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Biggest lamp with a Brightest Flame : The Karthigai Deepam. The Karthigai carnival
As an annual festival feature, when the moon shows its whole disc illuminated in the month of Karthigai the celebration becomes a week long temple function. A big brass vessel especially designed in the form of a lamp is lifted to the peak of the hill; it is filled with tins and tins of ghee and pots and pots of butter; and an enormously thick wick made of loosely twisted woven fibers (clothes) is immersed into the vessel and one end of the wick is drawn out to the apex and is ignited with burning camphor and the thick wick fully soaked in ghee acting by capillary attraction conveys the ghee the main illuminant to the flame around 6 pm when the sunlit full moon disc emerges from the east and comes on to the horizon. The luminous glow of the lamp atop the hill opens the eyes of millions of people to something divine and auspicious and ardent devotees and others see in the burning light lord of the world and remain visibly, moved with their mouths uttering "Om Arunachaleshwaraya Namaha", Here man lights the largest wick of the largest lamp once a year and the world goes into rapture sings his songs of grace.
Deepam - The Symbol of Lord Arunachala

History has is that the practice came into existence following a dispute between Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma over who was the superior of the two after the some hindrance to their attempts to gauge their strength, the two prayed to Lord Siva for his Grace.

Their test was to find the top and the bottom of a blazing mount which was actually Siva. Lord Siva blessed lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma and said that he would appear as a Jothi (flame) on top of the hill. It is to perpetuate this event that the flame is lit on top of the holy hill during the month of Karthigai (November - December).

This festival begins in the Uthiradam (Star) day in Karthigai and winds up with the Bharani Deepam lit in the early hours of the tenth day. The Deepam is lit at dusk, coinciding with a Full Moon. The Deepam can be seen even from a distance of 45 Km. Real image of lord Arunachala is viewed in the appearance of "Agni". This is celebrated every year as the remembrance of one of the image of lord Arunachala as fire. During the holy day, more than 10,00,000 devotees get this heavenly worship of Lord.

Thiruvannamalai as a punctual shining spot on the National Map

By road Thiruvannamalai is connected to Vellore, Chennai, Pondicherry, Villupuram, Thiruppathur, Salem etc. From all parts of Tamilnadu these are state run buses throughout the day. The floating population changes the picture of the town everyday.

Arunachalam -Thiruvannamalai is one of the major pilgrim centers in South India. It is situated in 187 kilometers away from Chennai, formerly known as Madras- Capital of Tamilnadu. This is the capital of the Thiruvannamalai District. This town stands on an elevation of 266ft above sea level.

General Information (Approximately)

Population : 1,10,000
Area : 6.5 Sq. Km.
Climate Summer : 260 C to 380 C
Winter : 200 C to 260 C
Average Rainfall : 85cm
Languages Spoken : Tamil & English
STD Code : 04175

LOCATION

The temple is located on the Villupuram - Katpadi Railroad and is about 65 kilometers from Villupuram and is about 90 - kilometres form Katpadi. The town is well connected from Chennai and frequent bus services are available, one through Chengleput, Madurantakam, Tindivanam and Gingee, and the other through Sri Perumbudur, Kancheepuram, Vellore and Polur. The town is about 90 kms from Vellore, 60 kms from Tindivanam, 60 kms from Villupuram and 100 kms from Krishnagiri. The town also has a helipad so as to enbale devotees to reach it from Chennai and other cities.

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