It is said that when Lord Siva appeared in a great flaming cosmic pillar, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu requested him to take a benevolent and accessible form for the sake of all beings. On their request, Lord Siva manifested himself as Arunachala Hill. Lord Siva, said that all holy places will derive their sanctity from this place. For the benefit of all beings, every year on the day of Karthigai, he started appearing as a peace giving beacon on top of the hill.
Devotees gather at Thiruvannamalai to view the holy fire and starts walking around the hill.
Girivalam covers a distance of 14 km - 15 km, where in devotees walk around hill barefoot.