Tirupati to Arunachalam

The journey from Tirupati to the Arunachalam Temple in Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, offers a unique blend of spiritual experiences, natural beauty, and historical significance. In this travel guide, we’ll explore how to make this pilgrimage from Tirupati to the sacred Arunachala Temple, also known as Annamalaiyar Temple.

1. Distance and Route:

  • Distance: The road distance between Tirupati and Thiruvannamalai is approximately 200 kilometers.
  • Route: The most common route is to travel south from Tirupati through the towns of Chittoor and Vellore until you reach Thiruvannamalai.

2. Transportation Options:

  • By Road:
    • Car/Taxi: You can hire a private taxi or use your own vehicle for the journey. The route is well-connected and well-maintained.
    • Bus: Several government and private bus operators run regular services between Tirupati and Thiruvannamalai. The journey takes around 4-5 hours by bus.
  • By Train: Although there is no direct train route from Tirupati to Thiruvannamalai, you can take a train to nearby railway stations like Katpadi or Vellore and then proceed by road to Thiruvannamalai.
  • By Air: The nearest airport to Thiruvannamalai is Chennai International Airport. You can fly to Chennai from Tirupati and then take a taxi or bus to Thiruvannamalai.

3. Places to Visit En Route:

  • Chittoor: While traveling from Tirupati, you can make a stop in Chittoor and visit places like the Chittoor Fort and the Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple.
  • Vellore: If you choose to travel through Vellore, you can explore the Vellore Fort and the Golden Temple (Sripuram), a renowned spiritual site and other tourist attractions in Vellore.
  • Kanchipuram: Another option is to take a detour to Kanchipuram, famous for its temples and silk sarees.

4. Arunchala Temple and Thiruvannamalai:

  • Arunachala Temple: The Arunachala Temple in Thiruvannamalai is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is known for its magnificent Dravidian architecture. It’s one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams, representing the element of fire (Agni).
  • Girivalam: While in Thiruvannamalai, consider participating in Girivalam, the practice of circumambulating the sacred Arunachala Hill, especially during full moon nights.

5. Travel Tips:

  • Dress Code: When visiting the Arunachala Temple, dress modestly, covering your shoulders and legs.
  • Footwear: Shoes are not allowed inside the temple complex; there are designated areas for leaving your footwear.
  • Photography: Photography is generally not allowed inside the temple. Respect the rules and the sanctity of the place.
  • Accommodation: Thiruvannamalai offers a range of accommodation options, from budget hotels to more luxurious resorts. It’s a good idea to book your stay in advance, especially during peak pilgrimage seasons.

6. Pilgrimage Season:

  • Thiruvannamalai attracts a large number of devotees, especially during festivals like Karthigai Deepam and Maha Shivaratri. Plan your visit accordingly if you wish to experience these festivals.

The journey from Tirupati to Arunachala Temple in Thiruvannamalai is not just a physical one but also a spiritual and cultural experience. As you travel through picturesque landscapes and reach the sacred abode of Lord Shiva, you’ll be immersed in the deep spirituality and rich heritage of South India.