Annamalaiyar Temple is significant to the Hindu sect of Saivism as one of the temples associated with the five elements, the Pancha Bhoota Stalas, and specifically the element of fire, or Agni. Shiva is worshiped as Annamalaiyar or Arunachaleswarar, and is represented by the lingam, with his idol referred to as Agni lingam.
The temple has six daily rituals at various times from
5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and twelve yearly festivals on its calendar. The
presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the
Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the Nayanars and classified as
Paadal Petra Sthalam.
The present temple was constructed during the Chola dynasty in the 9th century, while later expansions are attributed to Vijayanagar rulers of the Sangama Dynasty in 1336–1485 CE, the Saluva Dynasty and the Tuluva Dynasty during 1491–1570 CE. However , the temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
It is a Tamil Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Sivaperuman, located at the base of Annamalai hills in the town of Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu. The temple has numerous shrines, with those of Annamalaiyar and Unnamulai Amman being the most prominent.
The temple complex
houses many halls; the most notable is the thousand-pillared hall built during
the Vijayanagar period. And the temple complex
covers atmost 10 hectares, and is one of the largest temples in India. It has
four gateway towers known as Gopurams.
Inside the temple premise, the tallest is the eastern tower, with 11 stories
and a height of 66 metres, making it one of the tallest temple towers in
India. The temple has numerous shrines, with those of Annamalaiyar and
Unnamalai Amman being the most prominent. The temple complex houses many halls;
the most notable is the thousand-pillared hall built during the Vijayanagar