Thiruvannamalai Maha Karthigai Deepam (Karthigai Deepam) is a 10-day festival celebrated at Arunchaleshwarara temple in Tiruvannamalai temple town in Karthigai masam. Maha Karthigai Deepam 2011 begins on November 29 with the hoisting of the holy flag at 5.30 am in front of the sanctum sanctorum of Arunachala temple. This grand festival will culminate on December 8, 2011 with Karthigai Deepam festival.
Karthigai Deepam represents Lord Shiva in the form of fire. During the 10-day festival Girivalam is performed by millions of devotees coming from across India and around the world. For three days after Karthigai Deepam (9, 10 & 11 November 2011), the deities of Annamalaiyar, Unnnamulai Amman, Parasakthi, Murugan Valli Deivanai, Vinayagar and Sundareswarar in the temple will be taken on procession along the girivalam.