Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Sri Arunachaleshwerar Temple, Tiruvannamalai

Google Maps: Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India
Trip: Bangalore > Tiruvannamalai > Pondicherry > Mahabalipuram > Kanchipuram > Bangalore

Tiruvannamalai was a stopover on way to Pondicherry from Bangalore. We would not have stopped had we not been surprised by colossal high temples appearing out of nowhere. Nobody had told us it was there and looking at the crowd, we were sure not many know about Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple.

South Gate@ Sri Arunachaleshwarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai

These giant gates, known as Gopurams, are present across Karnataka the most famous ones being Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, Chennakesava Temple in Belur and Virupaksha Temple in Hampi. However this one at Tiruvannamalai is counted among the hugest. As is usual with most of south Indian temples, we were not allowed to take camera inside nor allowed to take pictures from mobiles while remaining in. We walked in barefoot and were amazed to see there were multiple such structures within the campus.

View from North Gate@Sri Arunachaleshwarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai

We settled for tamarind rice preparation the temple was serving. It was really good. We then moved to the main temple complex. A small temple of Nandi told us that this massive infrastructure was dedicated to Lord  Shiva.

Nandi Temple@Sri Arunachaleshwarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai

There was an elephant standing in the middle of main temple collecting money from worshippers. I took some clicks from my mobile as surreptitiously as possible and then we were out as quickly as we were in. The large gates were visible even after we took few turns into the city on our way to Pondicherry.