Aruna means Red, bright like fire (the fire is not ordinary fire which is only hot). This is Jnanagni (Fire of Wisdom) which is neither hot nor cool. Achala means ‘a hill’. So Arunachala means Hill of Wisdom. Achala is Sanskrit for 'mountain' and it also means 'absolute stillness'.
Samudra means - sea of syrup (one of the seven seas), the gathering of the
waters above and under the firmament. An ocean of virtues and auspiciousness.
There is an epigraph chiselled in the masonry at the Tiruvannamalai Temple dated 1317 which describes the glory of King Vallaladeva’s reign at Arunasamudra, an ancient name for Tiruvannamalai.
From the lotus of [Vishnu's] navel arose Brahma, the creator of all men. From his mind was born Atri. Then Soma [the moon] was born in his eye. In [his family] was born the king Someswara. To him was born Narasimha who was like a lion to his elephant-like opponents. From him whose gifts eclipse those of the heavenly tree [the kalpa-vriksha or wish-fulfilling tree] whose wealth eclipses that of Kubera [the god of wealth] … and whose prowess eclipses that of the terrible blaze emanating from the forehead eye of the God having the bull as His vehicle [i.e. Siva] was born the king Vallaladeva.
The illustrious King Vallaladeva, possessing all auspicious things, was staying at his capital, which was distinguished by the name Aruna-samudra, belonging to the Hoysala kingdom, which was established with love by his father, which possessed the wealth of a kingdom, and which was the abode of real riches.
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