''Ayyan Theerthavari Kulam'', Thiruvannamalai - renovated and opened yesterday by TN CM Mr. M.K. Stalin

Ayyankulam, Raja Gopuram of Big Temple, Arunachala

Built in 1860  Ayyankulam, also known as Ayyan Theerthavari Kulam  belonging to the Thiruvannamalai temple is opened to public by the TN CM temple on October 22 (Sunday). Covering  over three acres near the temple, the tank is being  maintained by the Tiruvannamalai municipality and has bathing ghats on four sides with  granite steps (roughly 30 steps). The water level stands at . 15-ft deep The local non-governmental organisation Thuimai Arunai,took care of desilting and deepening work. Earlier it was repaired and renovated in 1960s.  Over clogging in outlets and damaged drains prevented the inflow of rainwater from the town. 

Ayyankulam west. arunachalagrace.blogspot.com

Above image:  Ayyankulam, near Arunachaleswar temple, TN: Priests normally would stand  in the water on the bottom steps to perform Theerthavari.  Priests had performed special poojas for the Trident and the Gods Lord Arunachaleswarar and Sri Abhidhakujambal at  midnight of the previous day which culminated in 'Maha Deeparathanai' (aarti). The ceremony was then to be followed by "theerthavari" (holy dip) early this morning. Stampede occurred when the deity was taken to the ghat (west side) for theerthavari. The police swept into action and sealed the gate, thus preventing major tragedy In this temple tank Theerthavari will take place 5 times a year. Further float festival (Theppam) will take place for 3 days after the Karthigai Thiruvizha. Apart, on Amavasya days lots of people come here to perform tharpanam and other rituals related to honoring departed forefathers - pithroos,........................ 

On the occasion of Mahodaya Amavasya - Maha punya Kaalam in February 2016 a freak accident  caused by overcrowding of jostling devotees and  stampede resulted in the death of 4 persons drowning while bathing. Many people were injured.  It is said there were 7000 devotees in the bathing ghat  waiting  to bathe in the Theertham on the auspicious occasion. The bottom of the tank was slushy because of excess accumulation of silt that had not been cleared for a long period

 The public was not allowed to access the tank as the safety factors had to be given priority. With safety features in place in respect of devotees taking bath here, the tank was reopened on 22 October by CM of TN Mr. Stalin. 

It is to be noted that the near-by Arunagirinathar Temple is the third oldest Shiva Temple at Tiruvannamalai. Some experts are of the opinion  that  Adi Annamalai Temple is the Head,   Arunachaleswarar Temple is the body and Arunagirinatha Temple is the feet. Because so much divinity is attached to these temples and the Arunachala hill near by people in lakhs descend on this place during the Tamil month of Karthigai -
Ayyankulam, Aadi Pura Theerthavari, Thiruvannamalai

The Tamil Nadu CM also inaugurated the widened four-lane Cuddalore-Chittoor Road on this occasion.  The foundation stone for the ₹209-crore (Tiruvannamalai ₹140 crore; Kallakurichi ₹69 crore) four-lane work was in June 2022; “The stretch connects key districts of Kallakurichi, Tiruvannamalai, Ranipet, Vellore, and Tirupattur before ending in Chittoor (A.P), covering a distance of 205 km. Of this, 28 km between Kallakurichi (8.5 km) and Tiruvannamalai (19.5 km) has been widened,”