Thiruvannamalai in a glance :
Coordinates: 12.2253° N, 79.0747° E
Thiruvannamalai is a city and the headquarters 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 Thiruvannamalai.
How to reach Thiruvannamalai:
By flight :
Since Thiruvannamalai has no airport, Chennai International Airport is the closest airport to Thiruvannamalai. There are no direct flights available to reach Thiruvannamalai, but if you are coming from any major city, Chennai International Airport is your best spot to deboard. You can hire a taxi from the airport to travel to Thiruvannamalai.
By road :
Thiruvannamalai is well-connected to various cities of Tamil Nadu through roadways. It is very easy to reach Thiruvannamalai by car or bus. If you are driving your car or have hired a taxi, it is best to take the national highway to reach Thiruvannamalai sooner. Puducherry-Krishnagiri Highway or NH 66 makes it quicker to reach Thiruvannamalai. TNSTC helps to connect one part of Tamil Nadu to others through its bus service. So, you can ride a bus as well to reach Thiruvannamalai.
By train :
Thiruvannamalai has its own railway station. Even though Thiruvannamalai doesn’t have a major railway station, it has good connectivity with various South Indian cities. Cities like Chennai, Tirupati, Vellore, Puducherry, and Madurai are connected to Thiruvannamalai through railways.
Places to visit in Thiruvannamalai
Annamalaiyar temple :
Source : https://www.templepurohit.com
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 of wind, water, fire, earth, and space) Stalams.
Gingee Fort :
Source : https://www.dnaindia.com
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 :
Source : Wikipedia
This quiet and quaint ashram 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 :
Source : https://www.thehindu.com/
Built across the 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 :
Source : https://tamilnadu-favtourism.blogspot.com
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 ashram is the place where the great sage attained moksha.
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.
Source : http://www.tirumalahabitats.in
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 :
Source : http://cpreecenvis.nic.in
This unique cave ashram 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, Payasam and Kesari to name a few.