Annamalai Temple

Annamalai Temple

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Timings : 5:00 AM - 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Time Required : Less than 1 hour

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Annamalai Temple, Ooty Overview

A not so famous destination for traveller's list is Annamalai temple which is situated 20 km away from Ooty on the outskirts of Coonoor. The temple is built in dedication of Lord Murugan and now is known as the 7th Hill House of the Lord. It is a lesser known attraction for people not belonging to Coonoor. The locals perform poojas here, and an aged man runs a small ashram beside it. The lush green grasslands above the hills add seven stars to its glory. Hence, the temple lands on one of the most picturesque locations.

Guru Krishnanandaji founded this temple. The devotees irrespective of their caste, religion, or nationality perform the ritual of 'Anna-Dana' for the people who visit the temple during Nakshatra or Karthigai days every month. More than a hundred people take part in this kind cause of distributing food.

The Annamalai Temple sees itself in the village of Onikandy. Moreover, placed within the green tea estates and silver oak trees, the scenery it has is indeed a treat to every visitor's eye. Also, there is an observatory at the top of the hill for the public to enjoy the spectacular panoramic view. Hence, if you wish to find a place that is beautiful and serene, the Annamalai temple is to your rescue. Soak inside you the blessings of Lord Murugan and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. 

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Annamalai Temple
Annamalai Temple

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History of Annamalai Temple

The founder of this temple, Guru Karishnanandji was the eighth son of Nandi Gowder and Deviammal. He acquired his studies till the 8th standard. His lacklustre and not so good family condition had put a halt to his education. As he grew, he started trading tea which turned out to be a complete fail. The results of this were not good as this created him into a madman who was now all aimless.

It was in the 1970s when he was made to leave his house by an unknown force. It was the night when the moon was in its complete form. As soon as he opened his eyes, he found himself on the top of a hill. The hill today is known as the Annamalai hill. Following this incident, he spent the next three years of his life meditating in a cave. It is believed that on one fine day his inner voice asked him to build this temple in the dedication of Lord Murugan. Afterwards, he performed the first Kumbabisekam ritual in the year 1977, followed by the same in 1989 and 2001. The rest remains a history stored with the people of Ooty which is yet to be discovered.

Beliefs and Motives of Annamalai Temple

The word 'Annamalai' means 'Food Hill' which was derived from a religious belief that good food is a way to good physical and mental health. Furthermore, it is a saying that pure and honest thinking leads to Moksha. Hence, the Annamalai temple has been continuously supplying food to hundreds of needy and devotees for more than 30 years now. The charitable action of providing food to the ones who cannot afford is a way of this temple to back the less fortunate beings. In today's world, even the closest ones take a step back when required the most, but the Annamalai temple proves to be an epitome of unconditional love and support. By this, they have acquired respect and dignity not only in the country but worldwide.

Major Festivals at Annamalai Temple

The sanctity of Gods is best treasured during the months when the temple celebrates several festivals. To witness the vibrant celebrations, you must come here during the festival time. To sort your mind out; two of the widely observed festivals are listed below.

1. Kavadi Festival

This year it will be the 18th celebration of the Kavadi Festival at the Annamalai Temple. The visit of over 70,000 people can be expected on one single day. Now you can imagine the massiveness of the occasion. It is an auspicious period which is spent by worshipping Lord Murugan. The festival has a great significance among the people in Tamil Nadu. 'Kavadi' is a wooden stick decorated with flowers having baskets full of milk and rice on both the ends. The devotees whose vows are fulfilled by Lord Murugan take this on their shoulders and reach the temple. It is said that Murugan gets happier if devotee's mind, body, and soul are dedicated to him entirely during this yatra. 

2. Lord Murugan Festival
The Annamalai Temple or the 7th Hill House of Lord Murugan attracts thousands of devotees during the Lord Murugan Festival. People throng to the temple premises to offer prayers to the God. They are seen making offerings to appease God for he blesses them. Pujas are performed, decorations are made, and devotees are fed. The temple sinks itself into a flamboyant celebration mode.

How To Reach Annamalai Temple

The Annamalai Temple is located 20km from Ooty. To reach here, you need to drive down from Ooty to Kundah Dam or Manjoor. Moving 3km further from here takes you to the Annamalai temple of Nilgiri Hills. Reaching the temple from Ooty is easy as not only does the private cabs are in operation but also the local buses. Mattakandy Village Bus Stop is the nearest bus stop to the temple. You can walk your way from here to your destination. All in all, travel 45 minutes from Ooty and you are at the temple. 

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