Tamil Nadu: Thiruvannamalai (Tiruvannamalai )


Thiruvannamalai, located at a distance of 100 km towards the southern side of Kanchi, is renowned in South India mainly for religious reasons. The sacred place has a Shiva temple, located at the top of the Shevaroy hills. The temple complex, covering 25 acres of lands, houses the largest temple of South India, Tejalingam, about one and half km away from the railway station and bus stand. It took 1000 years to build the pious temple. The prime deity of the temple, Shiva, is residing in the temple in the form of Arunachaleswarar. It is thus called the Arunachaleswarar temple. Parvati, Subramanya, Ganesha, Lakshmi and Venugopal are the other deities residing in the temple. 66 meters tall and 12 storied Gopuram looks majestic with its impressive architectural grandeur. Carvings of temple are remarkable. The edifice which is standing on 1000 pillars, at the eastern entrance of the temple, is worthy of mention. Women from faraway places to the temple use to come with the desire of fulfilling their wishes.

The Karthikai Dipam, the 10 days long festival attracts tourists and local people. Enthusiasts can watch the twelfth Shiva lingam, placed at the hilltop of Thiruvannamalai. The adjoining ashram is attached with the memories of the saint, Raman Maharshi. The grave of the great saint is located at a distance of 2 km towards the south-west side of the city of Thiruvannamalai. Trekkers will enjoy the road to Sevarai hills, located at an elevation of 1100 meters and Kalrayan hills, situated at an altitude of 300 meters.

The Virupaksha cave, located atop the holly hills at the opposite side of the prime temple of Thiruvannamalai, is a place for the nature lovers. You can take a walk higher up to watch Skandasraman cave as well.

The pool, formed due to the installation of Sathanur dam on Ponnaiyar River, Located at a distance of 35 km towards the western side of Reserve Forest,  has a depth of 39 meters. The crocodile project is another neighboring attraction. Explore the scenic beauty around the Park, located adjacent to the crocodile project.

Kuddalore, the business hub of British Empire, located at the southern tip of Thiruvannamalai, has a fort called the fort St David which was built by the British. Touristas can only see the ruins of the fort now.

The Krishna temple which depicts a majestic architectural panache is located at a distance of 43 km towards the western side of Villupuram. Villupuram is situated at a distance of 68 km towards the eastern side of Thiruvannamalai.

How to reach: Thiruvannamalai is well connected to Chennai by road. It takes 5 hours to Thiruvannamalai from Chennai by bus.

Where to stay: Aruna Lodge, Udipi Brindhavan Hotel, Sri Kalaimangal Lodge, Park Hotel, Rajaram Lodge, Devil Lodge, Murugan Lodge, Ranga Lodge, Trishul Hotel, Hotel Akash and Thoumagal Lodge.

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