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Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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HomeTamils - a Trans State Nation > Culture & the Tamil Contribution to World Civilisation > Dravidian Temple Architecture > Thiruvannamalai - Arunachaleswara Temple

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Last updated
27/06/07

Thiruvannamalai Temple Complex - Selvadurai Sivagnanasundaram "The hill temple Arunachaleswara temple is one of the largest shrines in South India, sprawling 25 acres. It is dedicated to Lord Siva and one of the 12 Jothilingams in India. The giant 200 ft Gopuram towers over the giant gateway..."
Tiruvannamalai at Temple.net "The ancient and vast Arunachaleswarar Temple as it stands today is the result of several centuries of building, alteration and extension. A Nandi faces the main shrine in each of its five prakarams. The outermost prakaram houses the thousand pillared hall and the Shiva Ganga tank and is pierced on four sides with colossal Gopurams..."
A rare ceremony of renewal restores South India's famed Arunachaleswarar temple...

 

DRAVIDIAN
TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE

Thiruvannamalai - Arunachaleswara Temple
Chola Period (9th - 13th century)

Thiruvannamalai

 

Tiruvannamalai Temple  "...When we observe the general structure of the temple, we notice that there are five small gopurams on the inner boundary and four big gopurams on the outer boundary. The inner gopurams are known as Kitti gopurams. There are two gopurams in the East and one gopuram each for the other three directions. The first of the two Eastern gopurams is called Kili gopuram. There are indications that this was built in the 11th century. The gopurams built during this period have no more than five stories. The Kili gopuram was built by Veera Rajendra Chozhan around 1063 A.D. He is referred to as Maharaja Thiribuvana Chakravarthigal in the inscription.This name was also given to the gopuram. The Kitti (smaller) gopurams, except the top of the western one, were built by the Hoysala King Vallala Maharaja III. His name is given to the biggest Kitti gopuram which is in the East..."more
The Power of Arunachala [see also Ramana Maharishi]


Plan of the Temple


Sculpture at base of
East (Raja) Gopuram

Tiruvanamalai - Sacred Site "The Arunachaleswar Shiva temple in Tiruvanamalai situated at the foot of the Arunachala hill, is one of the largest (25 acres) and oldest temples in all of south India. The era of its founding is unknown; the complex grew over several millenia; and the large towers, called gopurams, were erected between the 10th and 16th centuries. The tallest gopuram is over 60 meters tall and has 13 stories..."
Tiruvannamalai on Line  "...As renovation occured during several periods, the old structure has been changed a little. Yet, the sanctum retains the old pattern. This is corroborated by inspections. The "Kodungai" or the roof edge is formed of Yali friezes and the vimana of mortar. There are six enclosures in the Temple : The number of Gopurams are 9 in all. Of these, four are in the midst of the walls.
Raja gopuram is the name, by which the big tower in the east is called. It has 11 tiers, with a Width of 135 ft by 98 ft at the base. The Tanjore Big temple erected by the Chola monarch Raja Chola Soars 216 ft high. Just to compare and rival that height, one more foot has been added to the elevation of this temple making it 217 ft. And this tower provides the main entrance to the temple..."

 

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