The holy city of Tiruvannamalai is very sacred for Shaivite Hindus. It’s believed that one attains liberation just by the thought of Arunachala. Legend says that the Arunacha hill itself is a form of Lord Shiva. Although this town has been a prominent Shaivite site for thousands of years, recently it has become all the more prominent due to the presence of great sages like Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi. The legend of Tiruvannamalai will be covered in a separate post but this post is aimed at helping you plan your itinerary of your visit to Tiruvannamalai.
Top 5 sites to visit in Tiruvannamalai
- Annamalai hill (alias Arunachala Mountain)
- Sri Arunachalesvara Temple and other shrines around the hill
- Sri Ramanasramam
- Sri Sheshadri Swamigal Ashram
- Yogi Ramsuratkumar Ashram
Accommodation in Tiruvannamalai
In the current times it’s easy to get comfortable private accommodation anywhere, but The Cowherd would recommend approaching any of the famous ashrams for your stay. It will not only help the ashrams generate revenue but also give you a completely spiritual environment for your entire stay duration. If you are on a spiritual tour and are looking out for good accommodation, it’s advisable to call up any of the above mentioned ashrams (just click on the hyperlinks which will take you to the official website of your aashram from where you can find out the contact number) for availing their accommodation facilities.
Things to do in Tiruvannamalai
- Temple visit is the foremost activity
- Girivalam – Circumambulation of the Arunachala hill
- Paying obeisance to the adhishtanams/samadhi-sites of reliazed masters
- Visiting live seers/yogis
- Meditation at Ramanasramam
One may choose to visit the town during the Karthikai Deepam time and take part in the festive celebration or even choose to visit during off-peak season depending on the availability/schedule of the yogi/seer one is trying to meet. The Cowherd strongly recommends you to partake in the girivalam, i.e., going around the Arunachala hill, whenever you visit Tiruvannamalai. If you have an elderly citizens and kids with you, you can able hire an auto rickshaw or taxi to go around. It’s a stretch of about 14 km with a lot of small shrines on the way. It would be quite an enriching experience to dedicate half day for this in your travel schedule.