Karthigai is essentially a festival of lamps. The lighted lamp is considered an auspicious symbol. It is believed to ward off evil forces and usher in prosperity and joy. Karthigai Deepam is the most significant festival that is celebrated with pomp and gaiety at Arunachaleswarar temple, Tiruvannamalai. In this year Karthikai Deepam falls on 12th December,2016 .This Karthigai Deepam is celebrated as a ten day festival and it is widely known as Karthigai Brahmotsavam.
Karthigai Deepam festival starts at around four o clock in the early hours and the Bharani Deepam is lit at the temple. In the evening the Mahadeepam is lit on the top of the hill at around six o clock. This is a very important ceremony during the Karthigai Deepam festival at Tiruvannamalai. Arunachaleswarar is said to be visually represented in the form of agni on the hill top. There is a very mammoth gathering on this day at the Arunachaleswarar temple to witness this glorious and sacred event.
TNSTC operate special buses from various parts of Tamil Nadu to help cater the huge rush for the festival at Tiruvannamalai. Usually Chennai bound special buses are operated from Chennai road, Kanchipuram and Vellore bound buses north of the BS on Vellore road, Kallakurichi, Attur and Thanipadi bound buses near Thamarai Kulam on Thanipadi road near TNSTC TVM Branch 1 and West bound and Bangalore bound buses near Govt Arts College on Chengam road.