Tiruvannamalai is considered a pilgrimage town, under the presence of Holy Arunachala Hill, that is Shiva itself. Ramana Maharshi called Arunachala the spiritual Heart of the world. Aruna, which means ‘red, bright like fire’, does not signify the mere fire that gives off heat. Rather, it means Jnanagni, the Fire of Wisdom, which is neither hot nor cold. Achala signifies hill. Thus, Arunachala means ‘Hill of Wisdom’.
Is a sacred place for the indians and devotees of Shiva and Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi. There, is located the Ramanasramam, an ashram built on the foot of Arunachala, spreading the teachings of Ramana, regarding to Self-inquiry or Atma-Vichara.
Every full moon, thousands of pilgrims worship ArunachalaShiva, by walking around the Hill barefoot [Giri Pradakshina].
Arunachala is a spiritual center, surrounded by many temples, Ashram and caves, and the icon is one of the biggest Shiva Temple in India: Annamalaiyar Temple.
Traveling to Tiruvannamalai
The closest airport to Tiruvannamalai is Chennai International Airport (MAA) – 172km by taxi, approximately 3h.
Bengaluru International Airport is 237km, approximately a four hours and a half drive.
Contact your country’s Indian embassy to acquire the appropriate visa before your arrival into India.
To arrange for a car to pick you up at the airport, contact Kumar by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Shanti Travels: +91 4175 236035 / 236538 or Mobile: +91 9443210235.
Other options from Chennai airport are to take a bus or train (there are no direct train to Tiru).
Ramana Towers, Arunai Anantha Resort, Aakash Inn and Rainbow GuestHouse are decent hotels in the neighborhood that provide safe and secure ways to land on your first trip to Tiruvannamalai.
There is plenty options of HomeStays, GuestHouses, Room for rent, Ashrams, Houses, etc., for all the budgets. After your arrival, you can ask around regarding accommodations, scooter/bicycle rental, and other necessities.
Respect Indian culture and tradition
During your stay, please be mindful of your behavior in the neighborhood, ashram, temples and with the local community.
Women should cover the knees, shoulders, and chest area while in public, and wear loose clothes (shawls can be purchased easily).
Always leave your shoes outside the houses, ashram, temples and shala.
Public displays of affection between men and women are also generally not approved.
These are just a few things to note about the local custom, and your willingness to pay attention to such things is a way of respecting the locals as well as remembering your respect to Arunachala.