Hello World! Welcome to Arunachala!!
Arunachala is definitely atleast once in a life time visit to every human being. The only reason people visit Arunachala is to seek for the Ultimate Truth. This is “the hotspot” for a serious spiritual seeker. First of all, Arunachala is a holy mountain that’s considered as the world’s largest shivalinga. At the foot hills of the mountain is the temple of marveled architecture filled with sacred spots.
First things first! Where is Arunachala and how do you reach?
Arunachala alias Tiruvannamalai is in the state of Tamil Nadu, India located in South India. Chennai and Bengaluru are the two major cities near Tiruvannamalai (within 3-4 hour travel range). The capital of Tamil Nadu is Chennai and is the fourth largest Metropolitan City in India. Chennai has an International Airport and is accessible through Air from most of the countries across the globe. Tiruvannamalai is 194 kms away from Chennai City.
Bengaluru too has excellent road transport to reach Tiruvannamalai. The Govt buses in Bengaluru are neat, clean and very timely. Bengaluru too has a large beautiful International Airport but its outside the city. Bengaluru is generally known for its traffic jams and that’s the only scary side.
Travelling by Own Vehicle / Taxi to Tiruvannamalai?
Tiruvannamalai | Arunachalam Temple is well connected by roads. Google Map has solved a lot of headache in finding routes, so no much tension in reaching Arunchalam temple. Tiruvannamalai has two to three decent places to fix in case of any vehicle repairs / breakdowns. Computerized wheel balancing and alignment, well equipped puncture centers, fuel bunks, good restaurants, accommodation are all available. There are too many water wash service centers here. The best part is, its only Rs.150 to wash your entire car – super deals 🙂
I have marked important junctions around Tiruvannamalai, in case if you want to halt for a Tea, puncture, repairs, fuel, ATMs this might help. I do not recommend these places for food. Either pack Puliyogare or lemon rice with few loafs of bread and butter. Tiruvannamalai has good restaurants that can treat your taste buds. Will write about them in a separate section.
Travelling by flight to Tiruvannamalai?
Look out for Chennai (India) or Bengaluru (India) Aiports. Tiruvannamalai aka Arunachalam temple is almost the same distance from both the cities. My personal preference would be land in Chennai Airport since Bengaluru Airport is in the outskirts of the city and Bengaluru is now popular for the worst traffic jams in the planet. From Chennai Airport you can book a one way taxi to reach Tiruvannamalai. Tiruvannamalai is 173kms from Chennai International Airport (Tirishulum is how the place is called) and takes approximately 3.5 hours by car.
Like Ola and Uber, there is something called as Drop Taxi. A normal taxi would charge you Rs. 5000/- wherease Drop taxi would charge you around 2500 Bucks. https://droptaxi24x7.com is the link. You can book it online once you land. They send you the taxis immediately.
There is also an active FB community in Tiruvannamalai. People keep posting their travel plans from different countries so that travel and accommodation expenses can be shared. You could join the community and post for any help that you need in your travel.
“Tiru Community ” is the name of the closed FB group.https://www.facebook.com/groups/205976829530690/
Travelling by Train to Tiruvannamalai?
Tiruvannamalai has a small Railway station and is NOT well connected through Rail. Puducherry and Katpadi are the two nearest Big railway Junctions that has direct trains to Tiruvannamalai. Please check https://www.irctc.co.in for the timings. You can come to Chennai Central / Chennai Egmore Railway stations too and take a Bus to Tiruvannamalai from the Koymabedu Bus Station.
Travelling by Bus to Tiruvannamalai?
Tiruvannamalai is BEST CONNECTED through Buses. As of now, there is one Govt KSRTC AC Volvo Bus (Economical) from Bangalore to Puducherry that has a stop at Tiruvannamalai. Private Buses are available and can always be booked from the redbus site. Their prices are way too high compared to the KSRTC Volvo. Booking from https://ksrtc.in is the best way if you are coming from Karnataka / Bengaluru. This bus is a good choice. It starts from Shanti Nagar Bus Depot (Bengaluru) around 9.15 am and reaches Tiruvannamalai by 1.30 pm. The only problem is, just because its Puducherry Bus, they stop for lunch exactly 6 kms before Tiruvannmalai. You just loose a good 45 min for this reason. They stop at a place called Chola Hotel. You can either tell your friend or relative or auto driver to come and pick you up at Chola Hotel or you can just hang around the hotel..its got some nice benches, swings and a big fat Labrador (may be the owner’s) to give you some good company.
If you are travelling from Chennai Koyambedu, you can directly board the bus without any advanced booking. Frequent direct buses to Tiruvannamalai are available. Govt buses are hard and bumpy, if you are a chennaite or an Indian you definitely won’t have any problems. In case if you are looking at little premium services or travelling with kids / family book in Private buses. Govt buses from Chennai doesn’t run air-conditioned buses though private operators do. You can book tickets from https://www.redbus.in/
Happy Journey, Stay Blessed oops sorry Come Blessed 🙂