Select Copper-Plate Inscriptions of Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai - A Layman’s Perspective

Keywords: Arunachaleswarar, Giripradaksina, Devasthanam


Sri Arunachaleswarar temple at Tiruvannamalai is one of the Pancha Bhuta sthalas or the five abodes of Lord Siva each representing one of the five elements of nature. Arunachaleswarar is the Agni lingam representing the fire element of nature. The temple is located at the foothills of the mountain Arunacala/Annamalai which itself is considered as the ‘Tejo-linga’, the aniconic form of Lord Siva. The bustling temple town is well known for the famous Karttikai dipam festival and the giripradakṣina (circumambulation of the hill) during the full-moon days. The administrative structure, variety of taxes collected, public works and relief measures undertaken by the temple are all registered in the inscriptions. In addition to the inscriptions on the walls of the temple there are eight copper-plate inscriptions out of which four are in the possession of the temple dēvasthānam. This paper is an attempt to understand the contents in these four copper-plate inscriptions from a layman’s point of view.

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