Dotted with beautiful temples and historic landmarks, Tiruvannamalai is a Hindu pilgrimage town at the foot of the sacred Arunachala hill. Explore Tamil Nadu’s holiest destinations by visiting ornate temple grounds, ancient forts and unique cave systems.
Things to do in Tiruvannāmalai
Start your exploration of Tiruvannamalai at Annamalaiyar Temple in the city center, a 10-hectare complex dating back to the 9th century. Step inside one of four gateway towers and admire the sculpted passageways adorned with dancers, dwarves and elephants, before seeing the impressive 1,000-pillared hall.
Walk to the sacred Skandasramam and Virupaksha caves, a popular place to sit and reflect, as it’s where Shri Ramana Maharshi meditated for years. Skandasramam offers panoramic views from atop the Arunachala hill, while Virupaksha is in the shape of the Hindu symbol OM below.
To see the center of spiritual teaching and meditation in Tiruvannamalai, visit the ashram of Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Nestled at the foothills of Arunachala hill, it offers a chance to learn the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi and meet travelers from around the world.
Venture to Ginger Fort, nicknamed the “Troy of the East”, an ancient structure last modified in the 13th century by the Vijayanagara Emperors. Explore Matrubhuteswara Temple to marvel at its pillars adorned with images of gods and goddesses and to relax in its beautiful flower garden.
Getting around Tiruvannāmalai
You can fly into Chennai International Airport and make the 3.5-hour journey to Tiruvannamalai by bus or car, while buses also travel from nearby cities. You can use auto rickshaws or rent a motorbike or bicycle to explore Tiruvannamalai.