Tiruvannamalai Tourism Information

Tiruvannamalai is about 68km from Villupuram district.  It derives its name from the hill at the foot of whichis temple with Siva in the form of tejo Lingam (god incarnate as Light), one of the largest in South India.  It’s mighty outerwalls, its imposing gateway, its thousand pillared mandapamand gopuram more than 61m high and with eleven storeys, possess uncanny magnificence.  On the occasion of the KarthikaiDeepam festival, being held every year on the full moon day in November to December, a huge beacon is lit on the top of the hill.  Mystics, Philosophers and tourists are all drawn to the Ashram of Sri Ramana Maharishi, a great saint who lived at Tiruvannamalai.

The saivite pilgrim site at the foot of holy Arunachala (Annamalai ) hill is dotted with a number of temples and is considered to be one of the most sacred towns of South India.  According to mythological legends, one Brahma and Vishnu quarrelled over the issue of superiority, thus Lord Shiva appeared here as a column of fire, creating the original symbol of the lingam and asserted his supremacy.  The annual Karthikai Deepam Festival held on full moon night in November / December is celebrated to commemorate this legend.  A huge deepa (lamp), with 30 metre long wick and 2000 litres of ghee is lit on the Arunachala hill and pilgrims undertake a 14km long journey on foot, around the hill.  The lamp burns for several days and its light cab be seen for at least 10km.

Tiruvannamalai Tourism Information

Arunchaleshvara Temple

It is dedicated to Sri Arunachaleswara (the fire incarnation of Lord Siva) and is one of the largest and most revered temples of South India.  The huge temple complex covering an area of a but 10 hectares was built during 11th century and several additions were made to the structure by the successive kings of South India.  There are four large gopurams, one at each cardinal point and several smaller gopurams.  The 13 storetyed main Rajagopuram on the eastern side rises to a height of 66 metres.  The main sanctum enshrines Tejo Lingam (fire lingam) encased in gold. At the entrance to the temple complex is a shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesha and to its right is a thousand pillared hall.  


Sathanur is about 37km from Thiruvannamalai is the Sathanur Dam set in the midst of picturesque hills in reserved forest area.  The site has an attractive park with a swimming pool.

Sri Ramana Maharishi Ashram

The ashram of the mystic saint Sri Ramana Maharishi is located at the foot of Annamalai hill.  It has emerged as an internationally renowned spiritual centre.

Tiruvannamalai Tour Information

Gingee (Senji) (37 km)

The historical town is known for the 700 old fort, sprawling over three hillocks.  It was built by the Kone Chiefs and remained the stronghold of the Vijayanagar Kings.  Marathas, Mughals, Carnatic Nawabs, the French and the British. The fort gained popularity under Raja Desingh, the chief of Nawab of Arcot.  Within the fort are two temples and a mosque. Kalyan Mandapam, the court hall is the finest monument here with a central eight storeyed pyramidal tower, having a single large room on each floor.

Sattanur Dam (30km)

Sattanur is about 30km from Tiruvannamalai. The dam built across the Thenpennai River is a popular picnic site. The beautiful garden here is very popular among the film makers of the South.