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About Temple

“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.”

“The ancient and vast Arunachaleswarar Temple as it stands today is the result of several centuries of 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.”

“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.”

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