Thiruvannamalai in a glance :
Thiruvannamalai is a city and the head quarters of Tiruvannamalai District in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Tiruvannamalai is named after the central deity of the Annamalaiyar Temple, Annamalaiyar. Here are a few places to visit in Thiruvannamali.
Annamalaiyar temple :
Dedicated to Arunachaleswara, a form of Shiva, Arunachaleswara temple is considered as one of the most sacred Shiva temples. It is one of the five Panchabhoota (five elements wind, water, fire, earth and space) Stalams.
Gingee Fort :
Also known as the Chenji Fort, this is an ancient structure last modified in the 13th century by the Vijayanagara Emperors. Called as the ‘Troy of the East’ by the British, this fort has impressed many by its strength and architecture.
Mamara Guhai :
Literally translated, Mamara Guhai means the ‘Tree Caves’. This is a religious spot in the hilly terrain of Thiruvannamalai. It is believed that this is the cave where the mystic saint Sri Ramana Maharishi carried out penances and meditation for six years.
Ramana Ashram :
This quiet and quaint aashram brings a sudden change over a person. The peaceful surroundings and tranquility are bound to relax anybody! This ashram displays the life, philosophies and teachings of Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi, the revered mystic saint who attained moksha at this place.
Sathanur Dam :
Built across river Penna, this dam has amazing gardens, beautiful landscapes and fountains. The water flowing from the Dam resembles a natural water fall.
Seshadri Swamigal Ashram :
Located near Ramana Aashram, this ashram has a history of its own! Mahan Sri Seshadri Swamigal was a 20th century saint who had displayed majestic powers. This aashram is the place where the great sage attained moksha.Skandashramam :
Close to the Arunachaleshwar temple and the Ramana Ashram, this is one of the caves where the saint Ramana spent his period of stay in Thiruvannamalai. In order to reach this destination, one needs to trek a long way. The view from the top is definitely worth it.
On the outskirts of the town, lies this beautiful temple complex which has four Jain temples, 3 Jain caves. It also houses a 16 feet tall statue of Mahavira erected in 12th century AD and is the tallest Jain statue in India.
Virupaksha Cave :
This unique cave aashram is in the shape of the Hindu symbol OM. The cave is situated atop a small peak in the Arunachala Hill, nearly 200 feet below the Skandasram cave.
What to Eat in Thiruvannamalai : You may not find great restaurants with hygienic facilities but the local South-Indian food will be good. Small restaurants will be the safest options and will provide you authentic and lip smacking traditional delicacies. The typical South-Indian platter consists of Idli, Dosa, Chutney, Vada, Sambhar, Rasam, Upma, Sweet Pongal, Payassam and Kesari to name a few.