Home » Destinations» Thiruvannamalai

Thiruvannamalai - The Spiritual Centre Of Tamil Nadu


Thiruvannamalai is a small sleepy town at the foot of the Arunachala hill or Annamalai. It is a temple town which is popular amongst pilgrims for the Arunachaleshwara Temple and is located in the Thiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu; it is also the headquarters for the same district. The significance is that the hill is considered as the form of Lord Shiva himself.

Tourist Places In And Around Thiruvannamalai

The town is considered as one amongst the five Pancha Bootha Sthalangals or five element temples of Lord Shiva, denoting the fire element. The other four elements, space, wind, water and earth, are represented by Chidambaram, Sri Kalahasti, Thiruvanaikaval and Kanchipuram respectively.

Arunachaleswara Temple, Ramana Ashram, Virupaksha Cave and Seshadri Swamigal Ashram are some of the places that hold a lot of religious as well as spiritual significance for not only the Hindus of South India but for the world at large. One can spot a lot of foreigners who have traversed from far to realise the quintessence of Indian spiritualism. Padavedu Renugambal Temple and Nedungunam Ramar Temple are also temples which lure a lot of travellers who visit Thiruvannamalai.

Karthigai Deepam Festival

There are four Brahmotsavams that are celebrated every year in the town. The most popular amongst these is the one that is celebrated in the month of November/December. These months are considered as Karthikai in the Tamil calendar. The celebrations go on for ten days and on the last day is celebrated the Karthigai Deepam, where a giant cauldron with a huge wick is filled with tons of ghee and is lit in order to commemorate the significance of Lord Shiva assuming the form of a huge pillar of fire to remove the delusion of Brahma and Vishnu. Lakhs of people gather to witness the flame atop the hill.

Full Moon Day Circumambulation

Another ritual that is regularly followed in the town is the worship of Lord Shiva on every full moon night. This worship is no easy feat since the devotees have to go around the Annamalai Hills barefoot. This distance measures 14 km. However, thousands of people circumambulate the hill with reverence.

During the time of Chitra Pournami in the month of April, according to the Tamil calendar, many pilgrims from all over the country as well as the world come to the hill to offer their prayers.

The Town Of Peace And Harmony

People live in harmony and conduct their businesses in as peaceful a manner as possible. The main businesses of the town are centrally located on the main roads that connect the town to Bangalore. In fact, many residential places have also been constructed on this road.

How To Reach Thiruvannamalai

The town has its own railway station situated very close to the centre of the town in the railhead from Vellore to Villupuram. Chennai International Airport is the closest airport, but the best way to reach the town is by doing a road journey.

Thiruvannamalai Weather

The place experiences hot summers, moderate rainfall and mild winters.

Thiruvannamalai is Famous for

Thiruvannamalai Weather

Best Season / Best Time to Visit Thiruvannamalai

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • July
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

How to Reach Thiruvannamalai

  • By Road
    Thiruvannamalai is well-connected via roads to the surrounding cities and towns. The State government runs buses from various parts of Tamil Nadu to reach the holy town. During the time of festivals and celebrations, the government increases the number and frequency of the buses. Special point-to-point buses are run to meet the demands of thousands of devotees.
    Search Direction
  • By Train
    Thiruvannamalai railway station is only a kilometer away from the center of the town. The rail route between Thiruvannamalai and Madurai is very good because the town comes under the Madurai-Tirupati route. Hence, there are regular train services between Madurai to Thiruvannamalai. If you are travelling from Chennai, then you will have to board the train to Madurai to take a train to Thiruvannamalai.
    Search Direction
  • By Air
    Chennai’s Chennai International Airport is the nearby airport from Thiruvannamalai. The town is at a distance of 182 km from the Chennai Airport. You can hire a private taxi to bring you to Thiruvannamalai. The State government also runs buses from the airport to the town at very nominal rates.
    Search Direction