Located in Tiruvannamalai, this temple’s lore goes like this:
The Creator Lord Bramha and Protector Lord Thirumal entered into a controversy among themselves so as to ascertain who was the greatest. Lord Siva was asked to be the judge. Lord Siva told them that whoever was able to see his crown as well as his feet would be termed as the greatest. Then Lord Siva transformed himself into a Jothi (a column of fire) touching the heaven and earth. Thirumal took the avatar of varaha (wild boar) and dug deep into the earth to find Siva’s feet but at last accepted defeat. Bramha took the form of a swan and flew to see the crown of Siva. Unable to see the crown, Bramha saw a thazhambu flower which had decked Siva’s crown falling down. He asked the flower as to the distance of Siva’s crown whereby the flower replied that he had been falling for forty thousand years. Bramha, realizing that he would not be able to reach the crown asked the flower to act as a false witness
The thazhambu flower acting as a false witness declared that Brahma had seen the crown. Siva became angry at the deception and cursed that Bramha should have no temple on earth and that the thazhambu flower should not be used while praying to Lord Siva. The place where Lord Siva stood as a column of fire to eliminate the ego is Thiruvannamalai.
The Annamalai Hill was Agni (fire) during Krithayugam, was Manikkam (Emerald) during Threthayugam, was pon (Gold) during Dwaprayugam and rock during Kaliyugam as per the ancient legends. On the request of Thirumal and Bramha by their devout prayer, Siva who was in the form of a fire column took the form of a Sivalingam at the foot of the hill were the Arulmigu Annamalaiyar Temple is located.
To my knowledge we have to start from East Gopuram. Enter into the temple thro East gate walk towards south Gopuram inside the temple and just in front of South Gopuram The Shiva lingampally which resembles Pasupatinadh Murty with four faces on four sides is the Brahma Lingam, have darshan of This Brahma Lingam, have darshan of Aruna Giri from south Gate and then come out of the temple walk about 50 meters and on your right you will have the Indra Linga the first of Asta Dikpalakas This is how you start the Giri Pradakshinam. Normally Indra Lingam temple is open around 9 am in the morning as this temple is surrounded by gold shops. Kindly follow the Tapes of Sri Brahma Sri Chaganti Koteswara Rao Gari Pravachanamulu for clear picture of Giri Valayam.
Good place for meditation and inner search; Perfect abode for rest and recuperation.!