Tamilnadu - Tamilnadu Districts - Thiruvannamalai District
Thiruvannamalai (Tamil: திருவண்ணாமலை) is a pilgrimage Temple city and municipality in Thiruvannamalai district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the headquarters of the Thiruvannamalai district. Thiruvannamalai is home to the Annamalaiyar Temple located at the foot of the Annamalai hill and amongst one of the great Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu. Thiruvannamalai has long been associated with many yogis and siddhars, and more recently the 20th century guru Ramana Maharshi, who lived in Mount Arunachala, now a popular spiritual tourism destination.
Geologist considers this mountain is older than The Himalayas. The history of Tiruvannamalai can be tracked from B.C 100 Tamil Sangam age. We can also read about Girivalam circumambulation from ancient Tamil literature such as Periya puranam, Kandha puranam and Thiru vilaiyadal puranam. The foundation of Arunachala temple has been laid by Chola king Vijalaya Chozan and the contributions has been extended by continuous kingdom and people. Under the Hoysala King Vallalan this town flourished among the spiritual seekers and become famous south Indian spiritual pilgrimage site. Local Deepam festival is world famous, this festival take place every year of Tamil month Karthigai and celebrated for the period of 13 days. The first 3 day of procession take place at Durga Temple and remaining days will be celebrated in Annamalai temple.
Thiruvannamalai is one of the Pancha Bootha Sthalangal representing the fire element along with Chidambaram, Sri Kalahasti, Thiruvanaikoil and Kanchipuram representing sky, air, water and earth respectively. Four Brahmotsavams are celebrated every year, the most famous of which is the one celebrated during the Tamil month of Karthikai (November/December). The ten day event culminates on the day of Karthigai Deepam. On that evening, a huge lamp is lit in a cauldron with three tons of ghee at the top of the Annamalai hill.
Every full moon night, tens of thousands of pilgrims worship Shiva by circumambulating the Arunachala hill barefoot. The circumambulation covers a distance of about 14 km. On the yearly Chitra Powrnami (full moon) night in the Tamil calendar year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from across the world visit the sacred town. Advaita Vedanta guru Ramana Maharshi lived in Thiruvannamalai for fifty three years until his death in 1950. His ashram, Sri Ramanasramam, is located at the foot of the Arunachala hill, to the west of the town. Seshadri Swamigal and Yogi RamSurat Kumar are examples of two other gurus who lived in this city.
||6,191 square kms (2,390 sq mi)
• Max. 36.1°C, Min. 24.4°C
Famous Arunachala Temple Info
The Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva was built between the 9th and the 10th centuries by the Chola kings of the Tamil empire. The temple is famous for its massive Gopurams. This has been determined from an inscription in the structure that was made during the reign of Chola kings who ruled in the ninth century A.D. The 11 tiered East Rajagopuram towers to a height of 217 feet, while the fortified walls pierced with 4 gopura entrances offer a formidable look to this vast temple complex.
The Pei Gopuram, Tirumanjana Gopuram and Ammanaiammal gopuram are the other three. The 1000 pillared hall and the temple tank were built by Krishna Deva Rayarar of Vijayanagar. Each of the prakarams has a huge Nandi and several towers such as the Vallala Maharaja Gopuram and Kili Gopuram. It is one of the panchabhoota sthalam - representing five basic elements. This is the Tejo Sthalam among the Pancha Bootha Sthalams representing Fire. The others are - Thiruvanaikaval (Appu sthalam - Water) Kanchipuram (Prithvi sthalam - Earth) Kalahasti (Vayu sthalam - Air) Chidambaram (Akasa sthalam - Space) .
The town also has a large community of silk weavers, called sengunthars, who specialize in making silk sarees. Hand looms are most frequently used for the weaving, although recently some have turned to mechanized methods such as Power looms. Arni is the number one in revenue earning in Tiruvannamalai District, Tamil Nadu. Though the town is not well known outside Tamil Nadu, a bulk of India's silk apparels is produced by the people of Arni.
Thiruvannamalai District is known for everlasting peace and divine with the proud possession of the holy shrine of Lord Arunachaleswara and Ashrams. It is considered superior to all the other eminent shrines. Thiruvannamalai confers salvation to one who merely thinks of it. Sathanur dam is one of the major dam constructed across Pennaiyar River among Chennakesava Hills. This Dam was constructed during the year 1958. It has beautiful parks and a mini zoo. The garden is dotted with colourful statues. There is a swimming pool and a crocodile farm.
Jawadhu Hills is situated 75 km from Thiruvannamalai. The cliffs and precipices of hills allure and excite tourists. Places of interest in the Jawadhu hills are Beema Falls, Komutteri Lake, Kavalur Observatory, Amirthi Forest, and the Glass House. Devikapuram is situated 50 km from Thiruvannamalai. Here 600 years old Sri Periyanayagi amman Temple (Second biggest temple in Tiruvannamalai district) and Sri Kanagagiri Hill temple is famous for devotees all over Tamil Nadu.
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