Toll Free No: 1800-425-31111

Of serenity and spirituality

Enveloped in an ambience of spirituality, Thiruvannamalai is one of the most serene destinations in Tamil Nadu. Part 13 of an Outlook special on lesser-known destinations in the state.

Thiruvannamalai is a destination that is steeped in history and spirituality. From temple trails to serene scenery, Thiruvannamalai has it all. 

Temple trails 
The Annamalaiyar Temple makes Thiruvannamalai a sought-after spiritual tourism destination. Lord Shiva, worshipped here in the form of a lingam, is believed to be present as Agni while Goddess Parvati is worshipped as Unnamulaiyamman. Spread over 10 hectares, Arunachaleshwar is one of the largest temples in India and has the tallest gopuram in the country, standing at 66 metres. 

A monthly ritual on all full moon days is held at the temple where lakhs gather at Thiruvannamalai for a 14-km-long holy walk around the temple, covering the Ashtalingams, each lingam standing for health, wellbeing and wellness. 

Sri Ramana Ashram and Sri Seshadri Swamigal Ashram are other important tourist spots. Sri Ramana Ashram, about 3 kilometres from the railway station, was home to the modern sage and Advaita Vedanta master Ramana Maharshi. His samadhi continues to attract devotees. Just about 100 metres away is the Sri Seshadri Swamigal Ashram that marks the samadhi of the “Saint with a golden hand”, who was born in Kanchipuram, but predominantly lived in Thiruvannamalai. 

Sri Varadharaja Perumal Temple in Injimedu is another important temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Various yagnas were performed in this village for Lord Perumal leading to it being called Yagnamedu, later colloquialised to Injimedu.

Brahmotsavam, the celebration of four prime festivals between November and December each year, is a beautiful time to visit. One of the biggest attractions is the celebration of Karthikai Deepam, a festival of lights. In Thiruvannamalai, lakhs look forward to and attend the lighting of the Maha Deepam -  a five-foot tall deepam containing three tonnes of ghee which is lit in the temple atop the hill. This lighting of the lamp is attended by lakhs of devotees and watched by many more from the surrounding areas.

Serene scenery
The area also has some beautiful scenic sights.  The Javadhu Hills, an extension of the Eastern Ghats spread across parts of Vellore and Thiruvannamalai districts, is a still-unexplored tourist destination.  This range is bisected into eastern and western sections by the Cheyyar and Agaram rivers. Bluish-grey granite peaks averaging 3,600–3,800 feet, these hills are sparsely populated and inhabited predominantly by Malayali tribespeople. 

Another significant spot is Parvathamalai, located near Thenmathimangalam village, about 20 kilometres from Polur. The hill is home to the Lord Mallikarjunaswamy temple, which is believed to be 2000 years old. The other significance of this hill is that it is rich in herbal plants. 

If you are in the area, a day trip to Sathanur dam, some 35 kilometres from Thiruvannamalai, is highly recommended. Ideal for pleasant picnics, the area also has a crocodile farm and mini zoo. Two more attractions are situated a short distance away - Padaveedu village or the village of temples and Javadu Hills. 

By itself, Sathanur Dam is a stunning engineering marvel. Built on the river Thenpennai, the reservoir is called the Sathanur Reservoir. Strikingly beautiful during monsoons, this has been a favourite spot for many feature films. 

Getting there
By flight: Chennai, 172 kilometres away, is the nearest airport.
By rail: Tiruvannamalai has its own railway station and is connected to all major cities.
By road: The city is well connected by road to all major cities in south India. 

Accommodation:
Hotel Tamil Nadu
Polur Road, Thiruvannamalai - 606 601
Contact: 9176995816

Other Blogs

Cuisines of the Tamil Land

The delectable cuisine of Tamil Nadu is a culinary style which dates to antiquity and has since influenced the other states of South and South-East Asia.

5 months ago

Explore the regional cuisine of Tamil Nadu

Next time you visit Tamil Nadu explore beyond idli, vada and sambar. Instead savour each regional cuisine that boasts of unique cooking methods and spices. They have been backed with heirloom family recipes, ancient culture and traditions, community history and external influences.

5 months ago

Sweet Savouries from Tamil Nilam

No meal can be treated as complete without the desserts. The indulgent desserts of Tamil Nadu are exquisite and nutritious. Most are healthy preparations using less sugar and include healthy proteins like green gram and chickpea.

5 months ago

A relic of bygone Chola power & prosperity

The great Chola king, Rajaraja II (1143 CE –1173 CE), built the Airavatesvara Temple in Darasuram, which is ranked only third after the two famed Chola temples of Thanjavur and Gangaikondacholapuram. Read more...

5 months ago

Explore the Surreal Kolli Hills

Dazzling through the woods on top of hills of the Eastern ghats is the road that bends the most. Located in the high altitudes of the Eastern ghats, the Kolli Hills derive their name from the Goddess who guards the hills-ettukai Amman, also called the Kollipavai. Run wild and free in the unrevealed greenery.

5 months ago

The mountains are calling...

Check out these five lesser-known but pristine hill stations of Tamil Nadu that will certainly leave you spellbound. Explore the unexplored.

5 months ago

On the sands of time

The southernmost tip of India is a charming town blessed with beautiful temples, historical monuments and serene beaches. Kanniyakumari has been and remains a preferred destination for tourists. Part 5 of an Outlook special on tourism in Tamil Nadu.

1 month ago

Of faith and history

A district steeped in the history of faith, with links to epic legends as well as to modern-day visionaries, Ramanathapuram delights those who love history, gladdens the hearts of nature lovers and soothes the souls of spiritual seekers. Part 6 of an Outlook Special on tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu.

1 month ago

Of Worship and Waterfalls

A unique corner of Tamil Nadu, the newly-formed district of Tenkasi is home to spectacular waterfalls and ancient temples. A visit to Tenkasi is balm for the soul. Part 7 of an Outlook special on unexplored tourist spots in Tamil Nadu.

1 month ago

Unstained Salem

Synonymous with stainless steel, Salem’s other charms usually go unremarked. About 160 km from Coimbatore, this small city on the route to many better-known getaway destinations is overlooked by tourists. While religious travellers flock here, Salem is as significant for its lush greenery, waterfalls and rich history. Part 9 of an Outlook Special on unknown tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu.

1 month ago

Of forts, faith and food

Replete with a unique history and heritage, nature and nuance, culture and cuisine are the town and district of Dindigul in Tamil Nadu. Part 9 of an Outlook Special on lesser-known tourist spots takes you on a tour of this unforgettable destination.

1 month ago

Gift of the Forest

One of the top hill stations of Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal has many well-known attractions. Yet, in spite of its popularity, it remains a serene island and retains the simple charm of a century ago. Part 10 of an Outlook special series on tourist spots of Tamil Nadu.

1 month ago

Yours Truly, Trichy

With its magnificent houses of worship and its heavy industries, the symbols of its past glory and the titles of its present significance, Trichy is an intriguing city. Part 11 of an Outlook Special series on Tamil Nadu tourism.

1 month ago

Magical Madurai

Bustling and yet soulful, ancient and yet modern, cultured and progressive, Madurai epitomises the best of Tamil Nadu. Part 12 of an Outlook special on tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu.

1 month ago

A town of temples

Tamil Nadu has a plethora of towns famous for their temples. But Kumbakonam is special among these. Part 14 of an Outlook special on lesser-known destinations in the state.

1 month ago

The Town of the Cosmic Dance

Yet another beautiful temple town built by the Cholas, Chidambaram has a quaint charm in addition to its spiritual significance. Part 15 of an Outlook special on tourist destinations in Tamil Nadu.

1 month ago

Of serenity and scenery

Endless greenery, unique temples, interesting festivals and wildlife reserves make Pollachi in Tamil Nadu an intriguing destination. Part 17 of an Outlook special on lesser-known destinations in the state.

1 month ago

A Festival of Kite Runners

This Independence Day weekend over the Bay of Bengal, kite history will be created! The state of Tamil Nadu welcomes kite flying culture on the most historic weekend of India as it celebrates 75 years of Independence!

1 month ago

A Trail Along The Coromandel Coast

Azure waters, clear skies, and shimmering sand. Tamil Nadu is where each beach lover's heaven exists

2 weeks ago

From 16th Century To Now, The Past Still Lives On

Discover the beauty left behind by the Portuguese, the Dutch, the British, the Scottish, and the Irish in Tamil Nadu

2 weeks ago

15 free things to do in Chennai, India's southern capital

Chennai, the steamy capital of Tamil Nadu, is huge, sometimes hectic, and a perfect introduction to the wonderful, frenetic energy of South India. The city sprawls for miles along one of the world’s largest urban beaches, dotted with temples, museums, Raj relics, and restaurants serving what could well be the world’s finest vegetarian cuisine.

2 weeks ago

6 top day trips from Chennai for steamy southern adventures

Often overlooked by the crowds who flock to Delhi and Mumbai, fascinating, foodie Chennai is the gateway to India’s steamy south. Within easy striking distance of the Tamil Nadu capital are timeless temple towns, coastal nature reserves, old colonial outposts and beach resorts that are as popular for monsoon watching as sitting on the sand.

2 weeks ago

Attractions

Here's a list of top attractions in Tamil Nadu that you must experience at the very next opportunity.

#TamilnaduTourism

Check out the world know your way of experiencing Tamil Nadu

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter Sign up for Tamilnadu Tourism's monthly newsletter to learn about our events, offers and more...