Monday, September 12, 2011

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Tiruvannamalai Tourist Places and Attractions

Tiruvannamalai is the home of Annamalayaar or Arunachaleswarar (Shiva worshipped as a Shiva Lingam) and Unnamulaiyaal (Apitakuchambaal - Parvati), and is one of the largest temples in India. It is regarded as Pancha Bhoota Stalams and is one of the grand temples associated with the five elements. This is associated with Fire, the other four being Tiruvanaikkaval (Water), Chidambaram (Space), Kanchipuram (Earth) and Sri Kalahasti (Wind) respectively. Shiva manifests here as a massive column of fire. Antiquity: The town has been associated with yogis. The temple dates back a thousand years. A 7th century poem glorifies this temple.

About the place

Tiruvannamalai is an ancient city named after the holy mountain "Tiruvannan Malai". Geologist consider 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.

Religious Spots

Arunachaleshvara Temple

The town’s most important structure is the temple of Sri Arunachaleshwara where the linga is encased in gold, representing fire. Covering a vast area of 25 acres, this is one of the large temple complexes of India, one part of which dates back to 11th century. The temple complex consists of nine imposing towers, huge walled enclosures, a tank and a Thousand-pillared hall.

The temple is situated at the foot of the hill, half a mile west of the Railway station. During festivals the temple is widely visited by devotees of all faith.

Sri Ramana Maharishi Ashram
Tiruvannamalai is also famous for a mystique saint who meditated here for 23 long years to achieve spiritual enlightenment. His ashram is located near Arunachala hill. It is an internationally renowned spiritual centre that attracts devotees from all walks of life. Two more ashrams are located close to Ramana Ashram, these are: Sri Seshadri Swamigal Ashram and Yogi Ram SurathKumar Ashram.
Nature’s Trail

Sathanur Dam

The dam is constructed across Pennaiyar River in the year 1958. Located at a distance of 30 kms from Tiruvannamalai town, the dam was a focal point for film shooters during 1960-80. It has beautifully laid parks and lawns and also a mini zoo for the children.

The dame was constructed to full fill the demand of water for 7183 hectares of Land and also to control the flood situation. Today, it is one of the best picnic spots of Tamil Nadu owing to its gardens and natural scenery. One swimming pool, Crocodile farm and a fish grotta are present to attract visitors.
How to reach

By Air : The nearest Airport from Tiruvannamalai is Chennai (182 km).

By Rail : Tiruvannamalai is situated in between Katpadi and Viluppuram Junctions on the railway line. Many local and express trains connect the town with Viluppuram and other important towns and cities of the state.

By Road : It is well connected by roads with various parts of country. By car it takes hardly four to five hours from the State Capital Chennai to reach this temple town. During festival times Government Transport Corporation runs special point-to-point buses to/from all parts of State.

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