Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu is considered to be one of the most holy cities in the state. The famous Annamalaiyar Temple located here is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva. Lord Shiva is worshipped in the incarnations of the five natural elements and in Tiruvannamalai it is the element of fire known as Lord Arunachaleshwar. The temple is on the foothills of the Arunachal Hills and every full moon devotees come here to perform the sacred Girivalam ritual. The city also has a number of ashrams, mostly revolving around the deity worshipped in this temple. If you are looking for some peace and spiritual comfort, this small city is sure to surprise you.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Tiruvannamalai is from November to February
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
A pea-hen in Sri Ramanasramam
The great Vedanta Advaita lived here in this place and the great saint Ramana Mehrishi made this his home from the year 1924 till 1950 when he passed away. The place was named after him and is where you can find immense peace. This ashram is mainly known for meditation and for people who want detoxification. The Ramanashramam has a magical atmosphere and you get the answers to many of your inner queries which can then leave you at peace.
Golden Ramana in Sri Ramanasramam
This tranquil ashram in green surrounds 2km southwest of the city centre and is named after Sri Ramana Maharishi, one of the first Hindu gurus to gain an international following, who died here in 1950 after half a century in contemplation. You’ll find people from all around the world coming here and spending a few days in pure peace and simplicity in Ramana Ashram.
Arunachala Mountain walk (16 km around the mountain) (stopping for Idukku Pillayar and Eesanya Lingam) Its a 16 km walk around the mountain which is considered auspicious when done on a full moon day. There are 9 Shiva lingams around the path too which are symbols of human life and the 5 elements of human body. You will also notice many Sai baba temples on your way.
Arunachaleshwar Temple Kulam
A peaceful temple on the peak of the Annamalai Hill, this is one of the temple in the Naadu Naadu Range. Hymns about the deity of Arunachaleshwar here has been mentioned in the Thembakam scripts also. This is a seat of elemental worship and Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of fire. The temple is itself in the form of the Black Shiva Linga and water rippes down the stone walls continuously. The lord is seen to be in the lap of his mother and this is a scene of love, softness and grace. The Girivalam ritual is performed on every full moon here and this temple is a major reason for the tourist footfall in Tiruvannamalai. Also, you can worship here with a lot of peace since not many people come here due to the climbing they have to do to reach the temple.
According to mythological tales, once there was a fight between Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva as to who deserved the higher position and they came for a judgement to Lord Shiva. Since Lord Shiva is known to be the God of all Gods, he found the best solution to this problem. He formed a beam of light from his Third Eye and told the both of them to find an end each. After this Lord Vishnu too the form of a boar pr varaha and went to find the lower end and Lord Brahma took the form of a swan and flew away to look for the upper end. During this unending journey, both of the gods realized that there was no end to it just like both of them are equally important. They came back and worshipped Lord Shiva for making them realize this. Lord Shiva is thus worshipped here in the form of Arunachaleshwar. Adi Annamalai is a neighbouring town of the city of Annamalai and is mainly known for the Adi Annamalaiyar Temple which is the oldest of all the Arunachaleshwar Temples. This too is a part of the Annamalai Hills and people come to worship here in large numbers.