Thiruvannamalai   Places of Interest

Arunachaleshwara Temple

  1. The temple is located on the Villupuram - Katpadi Railroad and is about 65 km from Villupuram and is about 90 km form Katpadi.

  2. Of the great temples of Tamilnadu, Annamalaiar temple is one. It is spread over an extent of 24 acres.

  3.  Like all other temples, this Annamaliar temple too has a sanctum, Muha mandapam, corridors, and walls of enclosure. This temple further has sports pavillions, several circumam-bulatory passages, subsidary shrines, Thousand pillared mandapams, Hundred pillared mandapam, sacred tanks, gopurams, etc.

  4. The number of Gopurams are 9 in all. Of these, four are in the midst of the walls. Raja gopuram is the name, by which the big tower in the east is called.

  5.  It has 11 tiers, with a width of 135 ft by 98 ft at the base. The Tanjore Big temple erected by the Chola monarch Raja Chola Soars 216 ft high. Just to compare and rival that height, one more foot has been added to the elevation of this temple making it 217 ft. And this tower provides the main entrance to the temple.

  6.  Ammani ammal gopuram, Thirumanjuna gopuram and pey Gopuram are the names of the north, south and west towers respectively. There is neither pey (ghost) nor devil in it.

  7. In olden times, Tamil scholars with literary aspirations have named this tower as mel gopuram (western tower). But as years passed, this name got corrupted into pey gopuram!

  8.  The first and second enclosures with their enclosing walls are the oldest. The third enclosure were erected by Kulottunga as evidenced by the epigraphs in kili gopuram.

  9. The fourth enclosure, the wall abutting it, the fifth enclosure, the thousand pillared hall the big nandi, the sivaganga tank, the wall enclosing huge structures and the tower, all belong to the 16th century.

  10.  Daily Poojas :
    8 a.m, 10 a.m, 6 p.m, 8 p.m, & 9-30 p.m.

  11. Ph : 04175-252438.

Arani :

 Located in the Thiruvannamalai district of the state, Arani is one of the most important Silk centers of Tamil Nadu. The town is situated at a distance of 132 kms to the West of Chennai and at the intersection 79o 16’ Longitude and 12o39’ latitude. Spread over an area of 11.62 sq. kms. Arani is the second largest town in the district of Thiruvannamalai. With a population of over 0.69 lakhs, the economy of the town revolves around the manufacture of Silks Sarees products. The hot and dry climate prevailing in the region has been one of the various factors contributing to the growth of the modern rice mills industry in the town. The nearest Railway Station is at Katpadi about 45 kms away from Arani. Places of Interest : Padaiveedu is one of the most important ‘Sakthi Sthalas’ in Thondainadu (a part of Tamil Nadu). Goddess Renugambal is self-manifested in this place, indicating “Sakthi is everything in this world” and offering her blessings along with Brahma, Vishnu and Lord Siva. In this place a number of sages performed penance and attained salvation. The existence of Banalingam and Nanakarshna Chakra consecrated by Adi Sankarar is the specialty of this place. This is the place where Saint Jamathakni did penance and attained Mukthi(salvation). Here as blessed by Lord Siva, Mother Renugambal kept her Sirasu(head) for performing pooja by devotees and to offer them her blessings. She took her body to Swarka Loga (Heaven) along with Saint Jamathakni Nestled among the hills between Arni and Vellore is a village called Padaiveedu. This beautiful pastoral village was once the capital of Sambuvarayar Dynasty and was also a grand commercial centre. Encircled by mountains and hills, this place consists of 17 villages.

Padaiveedu :

Padaiveedu is one of the most important ‘Sakthi Sthalas’ in Thondainadu. Goddess Renugambal is self-manifested in this place, indicating “Sakthi is everything in this world” and offering her blessings along with Brahma, Vishnu and Lord Siva. In this place a number of sages performed penance and attained salvation. Located in Arani.

Tirumalai Jain Monument

Tirumalai, located 24 kms south-west of Arani and 11 kms north-west of Polur has a hillock featuring 3 Jaina caves, 3 structural temples and a monolithic image of Neminatha.

This image of Nemintha, 16 metres in height is the tallest Jaina image in Tamilnadu and is said to have been carved in the 12th centuary A.D.

A huge cavern at the lower level seems to have been built around the 9th centuary A.D.

This was converted into 30 shrine chambers in the 10th Century A.D. to accommodate stucco figures of Tirthankaras and a yakshi.

More structural additions were made in later centuries. The Kunthavai Jinalaya is said to have been built by the elder sister of Rajaraja Chola-I in the 10th century A.D.

Six centuries later, another temple for Mahaveera was built to the west of the Kunthavai Jinalaya.

Some paintings seems to have been added to the structure between the 15th - 17th centuries.


Sathanur Dam :

Sathanur Dam is one of the Major Dam Constructed across Pennaiyar River. The dam can be reached by road 30 km from Thiruvannamalai Town. This Dam was constructed during the year 1958. Sathanur Dam is the oldest hero in Cinema Industry. All the films in midst of 1960-1980 was shoot here. Beautiful parks were maintained here with lawns and parks. A mini zoo is maintained inside the park area to enjoy the Children. One swimming pool is maintained inside the dam to enjoy the tourist during the visit to dam. A large Crocodile farm and a fish grotta is maintained here to know the life of Crocodile and fish culture. A visit to Sathanur Dam is a useful one to the Engineering students who want to know about the irrigation structures, Sathanur Dam is one of the oldest and beautiful dam here to be visited. Sathanur Dam is constructed across the Thenpennai River in Chengam Taluk among Chennakesava Hills. It has a capacity of 7321 million cubic feet (Full level 119 feet). An area of 7183 hec. of Land is benefited by the left bank canal and 905 hec. of land is benefited by the right bank canal in Thandrampet and Thiruvannamalai Blocks. This is one of the best picnic place in our District. The Beautiful Garden with colorful statues are also available in it. This Garden is one of the Famous Cine Shooting Spot in South India.

Sathanur Dam

Sri Ramana Maharishi Ashram :

 He is widely recognised as the most unique spiritual personality of the 20th Century. His life was of simplicity, purity, equality and equanimity, born from an unalterable experience of supreme peace and oneness. He was a rare, pure channel of Divine Grace, that purposely made itself available to all living beings twenty-four hours a day. His highest teaching of ‘Self-enquiry’ was understood in the infinite silence of his presence. Through this silence, countless numbers of devotees and visitors experienced the pure bliss of True Being. That same experience of perfect peace is still available to sincere souls who turn to him and practice his teachings with devotion. This act of perfect grace can be experienced anywhere, but it is especially palpable at his Ashrama in South India at the foot of the holy Arunachala Hill, a hill that has attracted saints and sages for thousands of years. Ph : 04175-237200.

Sri Seshadri Swamigal Ashram :

Mahan Sri Seshadri Swamigal lived in the late 20th Century. Sri Seshadri Swamigal Ashram is one of the holy places in this Town. People from all over the world visit his Ashram. The ashram gives us a feeling of being in a hermitage due to its surroundings, fountains, flowering trees and peaceful and pristine pure atmosphere. The serene atmosphere has made many devotees realise themselves. Poojas and abhisekhams are conducted everyday. Group bhajans are conducted on Monday evenings and on some auspicious days devotees go around the mountain. Giving free meals is carried out everyday for hundreds of people. Swamigal’s aradhana are being celebrated in a grand manner every year. Books of Swamigal’s life and experiences, are available both in English and Tamil in the ashramam bookshop. Other spiritual books are also available. Located about two kilometres from the main Sri Arunachaleswarar temple and next to Ramana ashram in Chengam road, Tiruvannamalai. Ph : 04175-23699

Tiruvannamalai Grivalam Scultures

Idukku Pillayar Koil :

 Idukku pillayar koil is located in Thiruvannamalai, girivalam route. Its a very small temple without any god deity. The beauty of this temple is it has a very narrow passage where a worshiper has to pass. The interesting saying about this temple’s are, a) The evil force around us will go off while we pass the small passage. b) We will loose all our egotism by changing our posture in such a way that some how we should come out. The architectural fact is the size of the narrow passage is as equal as the width of human skeleton so it allows anyone to come out. Try it without fail when you go for girivalam.

Idukku pillayar koil

Thiruvannamalai Town and Temple :

Thiruvannamalai is one of the major sacred places of Tamil Nadu, It is impossible to ignore this because of the great area occupied by the Siva temple, the many processing, and the frequent festivals, especially that of Kartigai, the festival of fire, which more than doubles the population. This influx of pilgrims is received in cboultries or hostels, most of which are situated in the north and south car-street. Another aspect of the temple which has determined the physical form of the town was the construction of the fourth and fifth enclosures. This important extension caused the relocation of residences, especially of brahmins who usually live around the temple in the square formed by the four car-streets.

Deepam During Karthigai Festival

At Thiruvannamalai, the west car-street behind the temple has very few houses because the mountain slopes upward almost immediately. As for the east and south streets, which follow the main regional highways, they are quite naturally crowded with shops, and also hostels for pilgrims, who thus benefit from the passing processions. Besides occupying a large area, the great temple radiates its influence throughout the whole town due to its connections with outlying tanks. The sacred bath which takes place at the close of each of the numerous temple festivals is performed either in one of the two temple tanks, or in one of the outlying tanks: Indra Tirtha, Tamarai Kulam, Agni Tirtha, and Ishanya Tirtha. The last two of these lie at the two extremities of the circumambulatory route around the mountain; that is, at the outer limits of the town, where the cremation grounds lie. For this reason they are used for bath after funerals.

In Thiruvannamalai the Shiva temple is omnipresent and all-powerful, so that there is no Vishnu temple. Apart from three abandoned Shiva temples, there are about a hundred temples to the goddess or to Ganapati. These are street shrines or community temples, all of which relate to the great Shiva temple. During their festivals the processions from these proceed through the four car-streets of the great temple. The final bath takes place, depending on the location of the temple, either in the Ishanya Tirtha to the north or in the Agni Tirtha to the south.

Yogi Ram Surathkumar AshramYogi Ram Surathkumar Ashram :

On 1st of December, 1918, along the banks of the Ganga in a village adjacent to Kashi, Sri Yogi Ramsuratkumar made His descent in a religious family. Even in His childhood, swamiji showed signs of spiritual thirst. Bhagwan was equally drawn to the saints and sadhus who lived in the banks of the Ganges and was always engaged in Nama Japam. This invoked in heart the longing for the divine. Bhagwan with His burning desire to realize god started His journey in search of a Guru. He visited the ashram of Aurobindo and Sri Ramana Maharishi. It was in 1952 Bhagwan felt a strong inner urge to seek Swamy Ramadas at Anandashramam. His stay at Anandaashramam was a turning point in His spiritual life. Swamy Ramdas initiated Him in the divine mantram “Om Sri ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram” pronouncing the Mantra thrice in His ears. He came to Tiruvannamalai in 1959 and from then on staying there fulfills the divine task of establishing peace in the world and to work amidst people in guiding them to reach their spiritual goal. Bhagwan saves those who surrender to them and brings light in to their lives. His devotees, experience presence of Bhagwan with them in their day to day life.

Vandavasi :

Vandavasi or Wandiwash is a city and a municipality in Tiruvannamalai district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located west of Madras in Tiruvannamalai district. Vandavasi was the scene of a decisive battle in the eighteenth-century war between France and the United Kingdom for the control of South Asia. The Battle of Wandiwash was a watershed in Indian history as it cemented British supremacy in South Asia. On January 22, 1760, a British force led by Eyre Coote defeated a French force led by General Lally. Places of Interest : AdhiRanganatha Swamy temple, Jalakandaeshwara temple, Sreenivasa perumal temple at Navalpakkam, Narasimmar temple at sogathoor, Fort temple at wandiwash, Kilsathamangalam Village british used toppu (beerangi), Kilsathamangalam Village 1400 yrs old jain temple.

Panduranga Temple

This Thennaangur temple is an architectural splendor. The 120 feet tall Rajagopuram is built in the South Indian style and the sparkling golden kalasam itself is ten feet high. The ‘vimana’ above the sanctum sanctorum is designed like that of the Jagannath Temple at Puri in Orissa. The deities have been sculpted in a technique called sila which had its origin in Maharashtra. According to Kanchi Paramacharya, Thennaangur or Dhakshina Haalaasyam is the place of birth of Goddess Meenakshi. The Thennaangur temple is a perfect fusion of the past and the present. So visit the temple, appreciate the beauty and seek the blessings of the Lord. Location : About 6 kms. from Vandavasi Festival: During the July to August on Ekadasi day (11th day from the new moon day) the annual Brahmotsavam is held for five days.


Parvathamalai is located at Thenmahadevamangalam village which is about 20 kms off Polur. Polur is some 35 kms north of Thiru Annamalai (Arunachala). There's a very powerful Lord Shiva temple at the top of the Parvathamalai hill. Devas and spiritual beings from other lokas worship here every night. This is a place visited by numerous Siddhas for Shiva worship. Reaching the hill is somewhat difficult. Hence it is better to start early in the morning and return as early as possible. During the Pournami full moon, this hill attracts a lot of devotees. This is a place vested with a lot of spiritual power.

Tourist attraction : Hiking, Trekking and camping is the attract in this Parvathamalai.




Karthigai Deepam : Annually many festivals are carried out in the temple. Some of the festivals are famous and important. The most famous festival is “Karthigai Deepam” and is celebrated in the month of November/December. This festival is celebrated for ten days. During the festival everyday in the morning and night ‘Lord Arunachaleswara’ will come for procession. In the morning ‘Lord Chandrashekara’ will come for procession. In the Night ‘Lord Periya Nayagar’ will come for the procession. The smiling face of the ‘Periya Nayagar’ steals the show.

Bhrammotsavams (10 day festivals) the most famous of which is the Karthikai Bhrammotsavam (in the Tamil month of Karthikai Nov - Dec).

The Arudra Darisanam in the month of Margazhi (Dec. through Jan) is a celebration of the cosmic dance of Shiva.


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