About Tiruvannamalai

Tiruvannamalai (often written as Thiruvannamalai), a popular pilgrimage center of South India is a town and a special grade municipality located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. During the year 1896, the Tiruvannamalai municipality was first constituted by the British.


Tiruvannamalai in TN Map

Tiruvannamalai town is the district home office of the district of Tiruvannamalai in Arcaadu seemai region in Tamil Nadu. The sacred town of Tiruvannamalai is a significant centre of the Saiva religion and one among the age-old heritage sites of our country.

Etymology and History of Tiruvannamalai

Annamalaiyar Temple in Tiruvannamalai

Legend has it that Goddess Parvathi, the wife of Lord Shiva blindfolded her husband in a playful manner at their divine domicile at the peak of the Kailasa. Though the playful act lasted for a moment, the cosmos was unlit and the earth was filled with darkness for years together! Substantiating the aftermath, the goddess along with other followers of Lord Shiva, performed severe penance and the Mahadeva came along as a 'column of fire' at the summit of the holy hills of Arunachala and illuminated the world. Lord Shiva then merged with the goddess and appeared as Ardhanarishvarar - the half male and half female avatar of the supreme god.

Did you know?
Just like the other Nayak capital cities, Tiruvannamalai town is expanded around the Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple.

Another legend associated with the Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple has it that a difference of opinion went on between Lord Brahma, the creator, and Lord Maha Vishnu, the protector, over who was superior. Lord Shiva appeared as a column of light and asked them to discover his source. As the Lord Shiva manifested himself as a column of fire in this sacred place, the name 'Arunachalam' came to be related to the holy hill of 'Arunachala' and the town of Tiruvannamalai. The word 'Arunam' means red or fire and 'Asalam' means hill, in Tamil. Another account expresses that in ancient times, the word 'Annamalai' means an inaccessible mount. The Tamil word 'Thiru' was affixed in front to signify its importance, and the two words collectively called as Tiruvannamalai.

Ashram in Tiruvannamalai

The history of the town of Tiruvannamalai has extended connections with the Arunachaleswarar Temple. From the Chola period inscriptions found inside the Annamalaiyar Temple, the history of the town goes back to the ninth century. The region has been under the might of various kingdoms and dynasties from time to time, which include the Pallava dynasty (3rd century CE-9th century CE), the Medieval Cholas, the Later Chola dynasty, the Hoysala empire (1026-1343), the Karnata empire also known as the Vijayagara empire (1336-1646), the Nawabs of Arcot also known as the Nawabs of the Carnatic, Tipu Sultan (the Tiger of Mysore) and the British. Furthermore, Tiruvannamalai functioned as the capital city of the Hoysala empire.

Geography and Demography of Tiruvannamalai

Annamalai Hills

Tiruvannamalai is located just 82.2 km away from the Vellore district, 194 km away from the state capital city of Chennai and 219 km away from the Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru. The geographic coordinates of Tiruvannamalai town are 12°N 79.05°E. The town sprawls over a total area of 6.3 sq mi (16.3 sq.km.), lying to the east of Eastern Ghats mountain ranges. The mean natural elevation of the town is 660 ft (200 m) above sea level. The landmark of the town, the celebrated holy hill of Arunachala (Annamalai hill) is approximately 814 m (2,669 ft). Tiruvannamalai town is bordered by Villupuram district in the east, Chengam and Thandrampet in the west and Polur, Arni and Cheyyar in the north. The geographics of the town is almost plain inclining from west to east.

Climatic Conditions of Tiruvannamalai

The town experiences hot and dry weather condition throughout the year.

Average Temperature Ranges:
Minimum: 40 °C (104 °F)
Maximum: 20 °C (68 °F)
Average Annual Rainfall: 815 mm (32.1 in)
Average Humidity: 77% (varies between 67% to 86%)
Hottest Months: April to June
Coldest Months: December to January
Wettest Months: October, November and December

Demographic Information of Tiruvannamalai

Total Population of Tiruvannamalai (Census 2011): 144,683
Male Population: 72,351   
Female Population: 72,332
Population of Children (0-6): 14,530
Male Child Population: 7,413   
Female Child Population: 7,117
Sex Ratio: 1000 per 1000 Males
Child Sex Ratio: 960 per 1000 Boys
Literacy Rate: 81.64 percent
Total Literates: 106,256
Male Literates: 55,585 (85.60 percent)
Female Literates: 50,671 (77.70 percent)

Administration in Tiruvannamalai

A Street in Tiruvannamalai

Timeline of Tiruvannamalai Municipality
  • 1959: Tiruvannamali municipality was elevated to a second grade municipality
  • 1974: Tiruvannamalai second grade municipality was promoted to a first grade municipality
  • 1998: Tiruvannamalai first grade municipality was upgraded to a selection grade municipality
  • 2008: Tiruvannamalai selection grade municipality was furthered to a special grade municipality
The Tiruvannamalai special grade municipality comprises of 39 wards and there is a council member elected for each of those wards. The day to day operations of the Tiruvannamalai special grade municipality are devolved into six dedicated departments and they are:
  • General administration/personnel department
  • Engineering department
  • Revenue department
  • Public health department
  • City planning department
  • Information technology department
All the six dedicated functional departments of Tiruvannamalai special grade municipality are led by a municipal commissioner who is esteemed as the Executive Head of the special grade municipality. The legislative council is led by an elected Chairman who is assisted by a Deputy Chairman.

Tiruvannamalai Municipality - Important Names and Contact Details

Tiruvannamalai Special Grade Municipality
Municipal Office, Tiruvannamalai Town
Tiruvannamalai District, Tamil Nadu
Pincode: 606601
Phone Number: 04175-222344

Municipality Chairman
N. Balachandar

Municipality Commissioner
P. Vijayalakshmi

Municipality Vice-Chairman
P. Hema

Public Utility and Emergency Services in Tiruvannamalai

Tiruvannamalai Station

Tiruvannamalai town along with its suburban areas forms the Villupuram Electricity Distribution Circle. The supply of electricity to the town of Tiruvannamalai is distributed by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB). Water system and supply is maintained and catered by the special grade municipality of Tiruvannamalai. Solid waste is picked up from the town day-after-day by house-to-house collection and afterwards the dumping of the waste are followed through by the sanitary section of the municipality.

No underground drainage arrangement is available in the town and the sewage system is followed through septic tanks, public conveniences and open drains. What is more, the special grade municipality of Tiruvannamalai runs three markets to cater to the needs and demands of the town population and they are
  • Uzhavar Santhai
  • Jothi Flower Market
  • Vegetable Market

Health Care Facilities in Tiruvannamalai

Number of Government Hospitals: 01
Number of Railway Hospitals: 01
Number of Municipal Maternity Hospitals: 01
Number of Siddha Hospitals: 02
Number of Health Centres: 02
Number of Private Hospitals and Clinics: 16

Law and Order in Tiruvannamalai

Truvannamalai Police Station
Law and order in the town of Tiruvannamalai in well-kept by the Tiruvannamalai subdivision of the Tamil Nadu Police led by a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP). At present, the town houses two police stations and one all-women police station (AWPS).

Important Contact Information:

Deputy Superintendent of Police - Tiruvannamalai Rural
N. Devanathan
Phone Number: +91-9498110392

Deputy Superintendent of Police - Tiruvannamalai Town
V. Saravana Kumar
Phone Number: +91-9444130886

Tiruvannamalai Town Crime
Inspector A.S. Thahira
Phone Number: +91-9498155844, +91-9994811092, +91-4175-232050

All Women Police Station, Tiruvannamalai Town
Inspector Hemamalini
Phone Number: +91-9498150600, +91-4175-253144

Tiruvannamalai Town Police Station
Inspector M. Gunasekaran
Phone Number: +91-9498151098, +91-4175-222302

Tiruvannamalai Taluk Police Station
Sub Inspector Prabakaran
Phone Number: +91-9498151383, +91-4175-232274

Tiruvannamalai East Police Station
Inspector R. Ramesh
Phone Number: +91-9498151400, +91-4175-250444

Tourism in Tiruvannamalai

Being a significant pilgrim centre, Tiruvannamalai houses several religious sites, including temples and ashram that receives devotees and followers from all over the globe, regardless of times of year.

Temple Tower of Annamalaiyar Temple Tiruvannamalai

The holy Arunachala hills (also known as Annamalai hills) and its surroundings have been extraordinarily regarded for centuries by the Tamil speaking population living all over the world. Located on the foothills of the holy hills, the far-famed Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple also known as Annamalaiyar Temple is the most important landmark of the town of Tiruvannamalai. The Hindu temple receives hundreds of thousands of devotees from all over the globe, for its rich tradition, architecture and festivals. Besides, it is important to note that the Annamalaiyar Temple is one among the famous Pancha Bhoota Sthalams representing the natural element of fire.

Some of the other important places of religious significance in Tiruvannamalai include
  • Sri Seshadri Swamigal Ashram
  • Yogi Ram Surathkumar Ashram
  • Sathanur Dam
  • Sri Ramana Ashram
  • Tirumalai (Jain complex)

Also Read: Tourism in Tiruvannamalai

Transport in Tiruvannamalai

Tiruvannamalai Bus Stand

There are two major national highways pass through the town of Tiruvannamalai.

National Highway 66 (NH 66)

Total Length of the Highway: 214 km
Route Information: Pondicherry - Thiruchitrambalam - Kiliyanur - Tindivanam - Vallam - Gingee - Pennathur - Tiruvannamalai - Pachal - Chengam - Singarapettai - Uthangarai - Samalpatti - Mathur - Kannandahalli - Krishnagiri

National Highway 234 (NH 234)
Total Length of the Highway: 780 km
Route Information: Mangalore - Bantwal - Belthangady - Ujire - Charmadi - Mudigere - Belur - javagal - Huliyar - Sira - Madhugiri-Byranahalli -Kotaladinne- Gauribidanur- Manchenahlli - Chikkaballapur - Chintamani - Venkatagirikota - Pernampattu - Gudiyatham - Vellore City - Kannamangalam - Polur - Thiruvannaamalai - Villupuram

Road Transport Facilities in Tiruvannamalai

Tiruvannamalai has eight arterial routes that link it to the surrounding towns and villages. The total length of roads maintained by the special grade municipality of Tiruvannamalai is 75.26 km. The town bus service is regularly operated to meet the transport needs and demands of the town population. Also, several private mini bus operators are also available in the town.

The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) operates daily inter-city bus services to Tiruvannamalai Villupuram, Chennai, Avalurpet, Tirukoilur, Chengam, Kanji, Sathanur, Vellore, Manalurpet and Sankarapuram. Long distance bus services to Tiruvannamalai are operated by State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) from Puducherry and Bengaluru.

Quick Facts:

State: Tamil Nadu
District: Tiruvannamalai
Former Names: Trinomali and Trinomalee
Total Area: 6.3 sq mi (16.3 sq km)
Languages: Tamil and English
Postal Code: 6066xx
Telephone Code: 04175
Administration: Special Grade Municipality
Nearest Bus Stand: Tiruvannamalai Bus Stand
Nearest Railway Station: Tiruvannamalai Railway Station (Station Code: TNM)
Nearest Airport: Chennai International Airport (IATA: MAA, ICAO: VOMM)

Distance Chart:
Tiruvannamalai to Chennai: 185 km
Tiruvannamalai to Vellore: 82 km
Tiruvannamalai to Puducherry: 106 km
Tiruvannamalai to Bengaluru: 210
Tiruvannamalai to Madurai: 319 km
Tiruvannamalai to Trichy: 188 km
Tiruvannamalai to Salem: 169 km
Tiruvannamalai to Coimbatore: 332 km
Tiruvannamalai to Thanjavur: 202 km

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