Among all the major temple cities in South India, the city of Tiruvannamalai is one the most important ones for Tiruvannamalai Temple. The mount of Annamalai has been an abode of many Yogis and Rishis for a very long time. This city is also known for the famous Annamalaiyar Temple located at the foothills of the Annamalai.
Annamalaiyar Temple is one of the most sacred Shiva dedicated temples. This temple is among 275 sacred places which were praised in hymns of Thevaram and it is also one of the six Athara Sthalams and is also called "Manipooraga Sthalam". There are five worshipping places of Lord Shiva which are associated with five classic elements or the "The Panchbhootas" and Tiruvannamalai is one of them. Annamalaiyar Temple is one of the Panchbhoot Sthalams and represents the element "Fire". According to Shiva Purana this is the place where you can get salvation from the endless cycles of life and death.
Temple in Tiruvannamalai was built in 9th century by Chola Kings of Tamil Empire. The temple consists of six Prakarams. Eleven storied and 217 feet tall Raja Gopuram is the tallest Gopuram of the temple and it is located between the fifth and sixth outer Prakarams. There are seven stepped Sannathi which leads to the place where according to Hindu mythology, appeared the Lord Muruga. The temple also has a 1000 Pillar Mandapam, Sri Pathala Lingam and temple water tank "The Brahma Teertham". Nandi statue, Shakti Vilasam and Brahma Lingam are also located within the temple complex.
How to reach ?
By Air - The nearest airport to Tiruvannamalai is Chennai International Airport which is at a distance of 200 km from the city. Then there is Tirupati Airport which is the nearest domestic airport at a distance of 164 km.
By Train - Tiruvannamalai railhead is only 1 km from the city center. You can get regular trains from here to Chennai.
By Road - Tamil Nadu Road Transport Corporation buses are always available for Tiruvannamalai. There are many private bus services as well where you can AC facilities also.
Best time to visit - From October to March is the best time to visit Tiruvannamalai Temple. November to March are the festival months. You can pay a visit to Tiruvannamalai during these months to witness the grand celebrations of these festivals.