15 January 2017

Photographs of Repairs, Renovation and Painting at Arunachaleswarar Temple

Below sequence of photographs show how smart Arunachaleswarar Temple is looking now that nearly all repairs, cleaning, renovation and painting have been completed in time for Monday, February 6, 2017 Mahakumbhabhiskeham. 

Cracks on Raja Gopuram have been repaired by Civil Engineers

Statues on all Gopurams cleaned and whenever necessary repaired

All gopurams cleaned, repaired and whitewashed

Vimanas on all shrines repaired and painted

Finishing up all work before February 6 date of Mahakumbhabhishekam

Both theerthams with surrounding statues, cleaned and painted

Wherever necessary repairs made on stonework

Statues on top of shrines cleaned and painted

All clean and ready for upcoming function

Shrine at 4th Prakaram showing column of fire legend

Shrine back of 4th Prakaram fully painted

Statues in front of Mother Shrine cleaned and painted

Photograph taken from 2016 Deepam Flag Hoisting showing smartly painted statues front of Arunachaleswarar Shrine

14 January 2017

Arunachala Pongal 2017

H  A  P  P  Y     P  O  N  G  A  L 

Best Wishes for a joyous and abundant 2017

13 January 2017

Arunachaleswarar Temple Mahakumbhabhishekam 2017: Full Programme

The below diagram of Arunachaleswarar Temple shows the location of the venue for the upcoming Mahakumbhabhishekam Yagasalai. The venue is located top left of the diagram.

Tiruvannamalai Arulmigu Apeethakuchambal Samaida Arunachaleswarar Temple 

Ashtabundana Swarnabundana Mahakumbhabhishekam Invitation Festival 

Arunachaleswarar is one of the most famous temple in India with Annamalai and Unnamulai and other murtis in the temple. 

To this Ashtabunda, Swarna Kumbhabhishekam will be done to all gopurams and all renovated vimanas. 

On February 6, 2017 Monday morning from 9.05 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. Mahakumbhabhishekam will be observed. On that same day in the night, Swami’s marriage and procession of the panchamoorthies will occur. God’s vahana will be the Silver Rishaba. 


January 26, 2017 Thursday 
Mangala music and Sridurgai Amman Utsavam at 6.15 p.m. 

January 27, 2017 Friday 
7 p.m. Sri Pidari Amman Utsavam 

January 28, 2017 Saturday 
7.30 a.m. Sri Vighneswara puja. Dhana puja. Sri Ganapati homam. Lakshmi Homam. Navagraha Homam. Gaja Puja. Go Puja. Annam Puja. 
Saturday Night 7 p.m. Rakshana Homam. 

January 29, 2017 Sunday 
8.30 a.m. Srimoorthi Homam. Skanda Homam. Purnaharti Deeparadhana. 
Sunday evening 7 p.m. Vastu Shanti 

January 30, 2017 Monday 
9.05 a.m. Dhisa homam. Samhita homam. Purnaharti Deeparadhana. 
Monday evening 5 p.m. Miruthsangkirahinam 

January 31, 2017 Tuesday 
8.30 a.m. Shanti Homam. Agni Homam. Theerthavari for moorthies. Ashtabundanam. Purnaharti Homam. Deeparadhana. 
Tuesday evening 5 p.m. Kumbha Alangaram Yartra Homam, Yatra Dhanam. Yagasalai Pravesum. 1st Kala Yaga puja. Purnaharti Deeparadhana. 

February 1, 2017 Wednesday
2nd Kala Yaga puja. Purnaharti Deeparadhana. 
Wednesday evening 4.30 p.m. 3rd Kala Yaga puja. Purnaharti Deeparadhana. 

February 2, 2017 Thursday 
5 a.m. Parivara Yagasala Puja 
8.05 a.m. Kala Yaga Puja. Purnaharti Deeparadhana. 
9-10.30 a.m. Parivara Devathas Kumbhabhishekam. 
Thursday Evening 4.30 p.m. 5th Kala Yaga puja. Purnaharti Deeparadhana. 

February 3, 2017 Friday 
8.30 a.m. 6th Kala Yaga Puja. Purnaharti Deeparadhana. 
Friday Evening 4.30 p.m. 7th Kala Yaga Puja. Moolasthanam Arunachaleswarar and Apeethakuchambal. Astabandanam. Purnaharti Deeparadhana. 

February 4, 2017 Saturday 
8th Kala Yaga puja. Purnaharti Deeparadhana. 
Saturday evening 4.30 p.m. 9th Kala Yaga puja. Purnaharti Deeparadhana 

February 5, 2017 Sunday. 
10th Kala Yaga Puja. Purnaharti Deeparadhana 
Sunday evening 4.15 p.m. 11th Kala Yaga puja. Purnaharti Deeparadhana Tatvarchana. 

February 6, 2017 Monday
3 a.m. 12th Kala Yaga puja. 
6.30 a.m. Mahapurnaharti 
7.15 a.m. Yatra Dharnam starting Kadam 
9.15 a.m. Raja Gopuram Moolasthanam other vimanas kumbhabhishekam. 
10.05 am Moolasthanam Mahakumbhabhishekam 
4.30 p.m. Mahabhishekam 
8.30 p.m. Tirukalyanam (marriage) 
10.00 p.m. Panchamoorthies procession

12 January 2017

2017 Arudra Darshanam and Nataraja Abhishekam

Arudra Darshan is observed in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December–January). It takes place on the full moon night (along with Arudra Birth Star) and is the longest night of the year. In 2017, Arudhara Darshan was observed on Wednesday, January 11. 

It celebrates the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva, which is represented by the Nataraja form. The term 'Nataraj' means 'King of Dancers' (nata = dance; raja = king). Arudra denotes a red flame and Lord Siva has also a name called "Semporjyoti" or "Golden Red Flame," and thus Nataraja is the manifestation of Siva as a Light. 

The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva represents five activities–Creation, Protection, Destruction, Embodiment and Release–thereby representing the continuous cycle of creation and destruction. It is believed that the energy from this dance of bliss (Ananda Tandavam) sustains the cosmos, and when Siva is finished with this dance, the Universe will end and a new one will begin. 

In this festival at Arunachaleswarar Temple, Abhishekam of Lord Nataraja takes place early in the morning and He and the Goddess then come outside amongst  devotees. Only a few times a year is the statue of Lord Nataraja brought out of its permanent home at the 2nd Prakaram of Arunachaleswarar Temple. 

Below are photographs of the abhishekam which was performed on Lord Nataraja and the Goddess at the 1000 Pillar Hall on Wednesday, January 11, 2017.

After completion of abhiskeham the Gods are taken out of the 1000 Pillar Hall and after turning right (in front of the Murugan Shrine) proceed through the gardens to the Thirumanjana Gate (South Side) and exit Arunachaleswarar Temple on the start of circumambulation of the mada veedhis (perimeter streets) of Arunachaleswarar Temple. 

Lord Shiva as Nataraja (Lord of the Dance) performs the Tandava–the dance in which the Universe is created, maintained, and resolved. The five places where Lord Nataraja performed His Tandavam are collectively known as Pancha Sabhas meaning Five Assembly Halls of Lord Nataraja. 

Dancing with Shiva 

"The world is seen as it truly is—sacred—when we behold Siva's cosmic dance. Everything in the universe, all that we see, hear and imagine, is movement. Galaxies soar in movement; atoms swirl in movement. All movement is Siva's dance. When we fight this movement and think it should be other than it is, we are reluctantly dancing with Siva. We are stubbornly resisting, holding ourselves apart, criticizing the natural processes and movements around us. 
It is by understanding the eternal truths that we bring all areas of our mind into the knowledge of how to accept what is and not wish it to be otherwise. Once this happens, we begin to consciously dance with Siva, to move with the sacred flow that surrounds us, to accept praise and blame, joy and sorrow, prosperity and adversity in equanimity, the fruit of understanding. We are then gracefully, in unrestrained surrender, dancing with Siva. The Vedas state, "The cosmic soul is truly the whole universe, the immortal source of all creation, all action, all meditation. Whoever discovers Him, hidden deep within, cuts through the bonds of ignorance even during his life on earth." 

[By Satguru Sivaya Subramaniyaswami] 

11 January 2017

Pradosham Tuesday January 10, 2017: Arunachaleswarar Temple

The below photographs were taken on Pradosham as observed at Arunachaleswarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai Tuesday, January 10th, 2017. 

When Pradosham Vrat falls on Tuesday, it is known as Bhaum Pradosham. The benefit of Bhaum Pradosh Vrat is believed to give relief from health problems and enhance physical health. It also brings prosperity. 

Aarti at Periyar Nandi 5th Prakaram

Devotees watching Periyar Nandi Aarti, 5th Prakaram

Large crowd of devotees gathered for Tuesday Pradosham

Aarti at Kodi Kampathu Nandi,Third Prakaram

The next pradosham to be observed at Arunachaleswarar Temple will be on Wednesday January 25, 2017.

February 6, 2017 Mahakumbhabhishekam at Arunachaleswarar Temple

The below photographs were taken on November 21, 2016 during the "Kumbabisheka Yakasalai Panthakal" function. The function is the precursor of the Mahakumbhabhishekam that will take place at Arunachaleswarar Temple on Monday, February 6, 2017. 


Regular visitors to Arunachaleswarar Temple will have noticed renovation and restoration work being undertaken throughout the Temple since 2015. Gopurams, shrines and stonework have been cleaned, repaired and restored and in the case of the Raja Gopuram (Temple East Gate) cracks in the tower were recently repaired by civil engineers. 

Gopurams and stonework have been cleaned, restored and whitewashed, however Vimanas on all shrines, statues at front and top of shrines, and some smaller shrines in the west 4th Prakaram have been painted. 

The most recent of previous Mahakumbhabhishekams at Arunachaleswarar Temple took place in 1918, 1944, 1976 and 2002. 

5 January 2017

2017 Uttarayana Kala Flag Hoisting

Today, Thursday January 5th, 2017 marks flag hoisting at Arunachaleswarar Temple heralding the Uttarayana Festival. As this Festival follows so soon after Karthigai Deepam, it is not followed as lavishly compared to some other major Temples in Tamil Nadu. However at Arunachaleswarar Temple in the evenings a special puja is observed at the Siva Sannidhi, which is then daily followed by the Gods on procession around the Temple perimeter streets (mada veddhis). 

Uttarayana and Dakshinayana are each comprised of six months. Uttarayana means the northern movement of the sun. The period starting from Capricorn Zodiac (Makara Rashi) up to Gemini Zodiac (Mithuna Raasi) is Uttarayana. The period when Sun leaves Gemini Zodiac is known as Kataka Sankramana and this marks the end of the Uttarayana period. This happens annually on July 15th or 16th. 

“In terms of sadhana, Dakshinayana is for purification. Uttarayana is for enlightenment. Particularly, the first half of Uttarayana (until the equinox in March) is a period where a maximum amount of grace is available. This is the period of receptivity, of grace and enlightenment, of attainment of the ultimate. This is the time to harvest, and it is also the reason agricultural harvests begin during this period. Pongal is the harvest festival. So it is not only the time of harvesting food grains, but also the time to harvest human potential.” 

The culmination of this period is Pongal. Pongal was originally a Festival for the farming community but nowadays it is celebrated by all. It follows the solar calendar and is celebrated on the same days each year. At Tiruvannamalai (and throughout Tamil Nadu) the four consecutive days of Pongal are: 'Bhogi' January 13th, 'Pongal' January 14th, 'Maattuppongal' January 15th and 'Thiruvalluvar Day' on Jan 16. 

Lord Chandrasekhara and Goddess Parakashakti

Flag Hoisting at Arunachaleswarar Temple

Devotees watching the flag hoisting ceremony at Arunachaleswarar Temple

Lord Chandrasekhara being taken on procession

27 December 2016

Pradosham Monday December 26, 2016: Arunachaleswarar Temple

Soma Pradosham was observed at Arunachaleswarar Temple on Monday, December 26, 2016.

Significance of Monday Pradosham
Lord Shiva is also known as Chandrasekhara, which literally refers to the 'Person who wears the moon'. In some cultures the appearance of the new crescent moon has been celebrated as a return of the moon from the dead. This celestial body is a powerful influence on the human psyche. Its influence which is always available at Arunachala is celebrated in disparate ways during Sivaratri and Poornima. It is also recognised in all Pradoshams that fall on Mondays, as did today’s Pradosham Monday December 26, 2016. To read more about the significance of Soma Pradosham go to this link here.

All of the below five Temple Nandis receive abhishekam and aarti on Pradosham. From East to West the five Temple Nandis are: 

Periya Nandi in front of Vallala Gopuram, Fifth Prakaram 
Chinna Nandi, Fourth Prakaram 
Kodi Kampathu Nandi,Third Prakaram 
Ratha Vilaku Nandi, Second Prakaram 
Pradosha Nandi, Moolastanam 

Aarti being offered at Periyar Nandi, 5th Prakaram

Milk Abhishekam being offered to Kodi Kampathu Nandi, 3rd Prakaram

Tumeric abhishekam offered to Kodi Kampathu Nandi

Aarti at Nandi, 3rd Prakaram

The Lord on golden Rishaba, 3rd Prakaram with Arunachala background