What is the real meaning of Pradikshina (circumambulation) ?
The sound pra in the word pradakshina (circumambulation) means rooting out sins, da, granting desires, kshi, obliterating the fruits of karma and na, bestowing Liberation. This is the real meaning of the word pradakshina.
What is the effect of circumbalation around Arunachala ?
The nakshatras (stars) and the devatas (deities) presiding over the planets favour those who circumambulate the Arunachala Hill. Tithi, karana, yoga, muhurta, hora etc., (divisions of time) are also favourably disposed.
Does the deities in the Temple and Lord Arunachala do Pradikshina too ?
Yes. In Arunachala Mahatmaya , Lord has stated that, Even he circumambulate Arunadri, the divinely Effulgent Linga which is My form, in the company of ganas, devas and rishis at the time of the sacred Uttarayana (the winter solistice). I do so for the welfare of the world.
What is the Concept of Ardhanarishwara which is particular to Arunachala Mountain ?
Goddess Gowri will come to Arunachala to do penance. She will become pure by circumambulating Me. Afterwards She will gain one half of My body. She will perform severe penance and circumambulate Me at the time of pradosha (the evening of the thirteenth day of both the waxing and the waning moon) on the day of Kritika (the day on which the moon is in conjunction with the star Pleiades) in the month of Kartika (the eight month of the Indian solar calendar which corresponds to November-December). The Goddess in the form of Apitakuchambika shall then merge in Arunachala. This Arunachala lingam becomes Ardhanarishwara . Around Annamalai Tenple there is a statue, which dislays the Ardhanarishwara aspect.