Sunday, May 16, 2010

Visit famous Shiva temple at Tiruvannamalai and surroundings

How to reach Tiruvannamalai
Tiruvannamalai is on Katpadi-Vellore-Villupuram railway line, 68 km west of Villupuram and 83 km south of Vellore. Tirupati- Villupuram Passanger train leaving Katpadi at 6-40, reaches Tiruvannamalai at 9-30. Katpadi-Trichy Passanger leaving at 16-50 arrives at Tiruvannamalai at 19-25 via Vellore and then departs for Villupuram. The Passanger train that leaves Tiruvannamalai at 6-40 reaches Villupuram at 8-45 and then goes upto Pondicherry at 10-30. Buses take passengers from Tiruvannamalai to Jinji in 1 hour, Chennai in 5 hours and Pondicherry in 3 ½ hours. Tourists for Pondicherry are advised to go straight there by train or from Villupuram by a bus journey of 38 km. Railway station and bus stand at Tiruvannamalai is between 500 meters.

To 100 km south of Kanchi, on the northern side of Shovaroi hill and around Arunchaleswar Temple Tiruvannamalai, a holy place dedicated to Lord Shiva. At the foothills 1.5 km from rail and bus stands, Tejalingam complex of over 100 temples has come up on 25 acre of land. This is towering temple, the largest in South India, built with the patronization of the Vijayanagar kings of the 16- 17th century.

What legend says about Tiruvannamalai
Lord Shiva emerges here as Agni Linga or one of the five sources of life in the midst of Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu who clashed for supremacy. Lord Vishnu taking the form of a boar failed to bore the earth to determine the character of the Linga. Similarly, Lord Brahma in the form of a swan failed to scale the peak of the Lingam to do the same. Both accepted the superiority of Lord Shiva at Tiruvannamalai hill. The temple said to have taken 1000 years to built and Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Arunchaleswar. Other deities like Parvati, Subrahmanya (Kartik), Ganesh, Lakshmi, Venugopal are there in the temple.

The 66 meters high 13 storey Mandapam or Gopuram is a beautiful piece of art works. Carvings are simply marvellous. One will find after entering it on the east gate at the first courtyard the beautiful 1000 pillar Mandap built by the Vijayanagar kings. To the north of the temple is a tree, a cross between Neem and Bodhi (Banyan). The holy tree is a symbol of peace, happiness and prosperity. Newly married women come and pray to the holy tree for happy married lives. In November-December on the occasion of Kartik full moon a grand Kartikai Deepam festival is organized. Lord Shiva travels around the town on a chariot alongwith Parvati, Kartik and Ganesh. People from far off places come here to take part in the 10-days festival. One has to make 14 km tour trek up the Tiruvannamalai hill to see the Shiva Lingam.

Other attractions of Tiruvannamalai
Maharshi Raman's Ashram is another attraction. He died in 1950, cremated 2 km on the South West of the town. Further west is the 1100 meter high Shovaroi hill on the right side of the road and 300 meter high Kalrayan hill on the left side.

Opposite the temple to the North West side is the holy hill with its Virupaksha cave. Further up Skandasraman cave.

Where to stay at Tiruvannamalai
Pilgrims and tourists can stay in the Ashram. There after places like
Aruna Lodge, 82 Kosambadam St, Ph: (04175) 2323291;
Udipi Brindhavan Hotel, 57-A, Car St, Ph: 2322693;
Sri Kalaimangal Lodge, opposite north entrance. 14 Vadaothavadai St, Ph: 2324215; Park Hotel, Rajaram Lodge, Devil Lodge, Murugan Lodge, Ranga Lodge, Trishul Hotel, Hotel Akash, Thoumagal Lodge, Modern Cafe tourists can try.

Places to visit surrounding Tiruvannamalai
35 km west of Tiruvannamalai, in the Reserved Forest is Sathanur Dam (built in 1957) on the Ponnyar river which emerged out of North Bangalore. The lake created out of the dam has got a swimming pool and a crocodile project has also been taken up here. The park adjacent to the lake has a good ambience.

Further south is Kuddalore. East India Company set up a commercial house here in 1684. Fort St David was also their creation. However, the French destroyed the fort in 1758. Tourists may visit by bus to sculpturally beautiful Krishna Temple 43 km west of Villupuram.
NetSleuth.com-468x60 banner This article is originally published in Travel India and India Study Channel

11 comments:

Mithi said...

Being a devout Hindu, I would love to visit Tiruvannamalai, at least once in my life-time. This summer I'm busy with undergoing EcoIndia trip. I shall visit Tiruvannamalai this year during winter season.

Alysha said...

Thanks for providing me info on temples in Tiruvannamalai. Shortly, I'm gonna visit India and planning to take a round in Leh Ladakh . Oh, I will love to extend my trip to South India

Bob said...

Hi you have added nice Information on India Religious places.
In India, Rajasthan has always intrigued the tourists. It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the India. Almost every tour operator in the world that offers Indian holidays will have an option of a Rajasthan heritage tour. You can visit:- Rajasthan Heritage Tour

Cornell said...

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Jaipuria Brothers said...

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Travel Corporation India said...

India is a religious land. Ever since the dawn of civilization, India has been the birthplace of many religions. Being so, the country boasts of a lot of pilgrim destinations within its precincts. Rich in mythology, it has a number of temples, mosques, monasteries, churches and gurdwaras, which attract lakhs of devotees every year. Tour operators in India