Among the holiest towns of Tamil Nadu, Tiruvannamalai is a popular pilgrim site, which is believed to one of the five spots in South India, where elements of nature (fire, air, water, earth, ether) are worshipped. In this mountain-temple town, situated at the foothills of Mt Arunachala, Lord Shiva is worshipped in his fire avatar (Arunachaleswara). The town is sprawled around the iconic Arunachaleswarar Temple, a spectacular structure boasting four huge gateways or gopurams. On full moon nights, the town sees a sea of devotees arriving to perform the 14-km walk of Girivalam, around the Annamalai hill. It is a mesmeric sight to see barefoot devotees gazing at the temple atop the hill and walking while chanting “Om Arunachala”.


Tiruvannamalai hosts a smattering of serene ashrams that are spiritual retreats for visitors. A popular picnic spot among locals and tourists is the Sathanur Dam over River Thenpennai, around 20 km from the city. Karthigai Deepam festival is celebrated on the full moon day in the Tamil month of Karthigai (November/ December) and draws huge footfalls. Tiruvannamalai has a rich architectural legacy as it was ruled by Pallavas, Cholas, Hoysalas, kings of the Vijayanagar empire, the Carnatic kingdom, Tipu Sultan and the British.

Excursions

Explore the places near city of sacred shrines

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Arunachaleswarar Temple

Arunachaleswarar Temple

Situated at the foot of Tiruvannamalai Hills and spread over 25 acre,...

Ramana Ashram

Ramana Ashram

One of the most tranquil spaces in town, Ramana Ashram, is noted for...

Gingee Fort

Gingee Fort

One of the most magnificent citadels of South India, Gingee Fort, in...

Girivalam

Girivalam

Girivalam is a popular religious practice in Tamil Nadu in which...

Jawadhu (Jawadhi) Hills

Jawadhu (Jawadhi) Hills

An extension of the picturesque Eastern Ghats, the Jawadhu Hill range...

madurai

madurai

One of the oldest living cities, Madurai, holds the soul of Tamil...

tiruchirapalli

tiruchirapalli

Lying along the banks of River Cauvery, the ancient city of...

rameswaram

rameswaram

Nestled in Pamban Island that is shaped like a conch, Rameswaram, in...

thanjavur

thanjavur

Scattered with gorgeous monuments, a legacy of the mighty Cholas, and...