In this post I am sharing my trip details to Ratnagiri, Vellore and Thiruvannamalai. As usual, I have added many photos at the end. Hope you like it. I appreciate your your comments and suggestions. Thank you.
You can also plan a day trip from Bangalore and cover Thiruvannamalai and Vellore seperately. Vellore is just 3.5 hrs drive from Bangalore. Thiruvannamalai also is just a 4 hour drive from Bangalore. So added these into my earlier post "Weekend breaks Or Day-trips from Bangalore".
- Vellore Jalakateshwara Temple
- Vellore Fort and Museum
- Golden Temple at Sripuram
- We started from Bangalore by early morning at around 6:15 AM. Had breakfast at Saravanabhavan (before Krishnagiri) and reached Rathnagiri in 3.5 hrs. (we went on Oct 3rd week).
- There are plenty of options on the way for breakfast after hosur like Kamat, McDonalds+CoffeeDay, A2B, Saravanabhavan ...etc.
- First we visited the Rathinagiri Temple, it took around 1 hour. Come back to Vellore and visit Jalakateshwara Temple inside Fort.
- Have lunch outside the fort complex (Arya bhavan).
- Getback to Fort and visit the fort and walk around the fort walls. Visit Museum. Or visit other places in vellore like observatory (but this is 71Kms from Vellore). ss
- After 4PM, head towards Golden Temple. Walk for 30 to 45 minutes inside. Visit the main temple and wait again for lightings to be on. Get inside again and see the temple and its reflection in water.
- Head towards Thiruvannamalai and stay at Thiruvannamalai. (many stay options are there. see below).
- Get up early in next day morning, visit the temple. Visit Ramana Ashram. and then to Thirukkoyilur. Make sure to be there before 12 noon.
- Get back to bangalore or visit Satanur Dam nearby.
This temple is located on the Vellore-Chennai Highway and close to 14 Kms from Vellore. When you go from Vellore, this comes on the left side where you can see a big arch. This is built on the small hill with just 200 steps. One can also drive up the hill on motorable road.
Route: Bangalore - Hosur - Krishnagiri - Vellore - Rathinagiri
Refer http://ratnagiri.org/ for more details on this temple.
2. Vellore Jalakateshwara Temple and Fort
This is one of the places in Vellore you MUST visit. This fort is built on 16th century by Vijayanagara Kings. Centre of the fort there is a beautiful temple for Lord Shiva. The temple tower is so amazingly built and there is a mandap where one can see beautiful carvings. There is also a museum in the fort complex. With grand ramparts and wide moat the fort was well protected those days.
Guides are available and you need to ask for one near the entrance.
Read more in Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vellore_Fort
3. Sripuram Golden Temple or Malaikodi
This is one of the place you might want to visit while you are in Vellore. I suggest you visit this in evening so that you get to see the lightings which is the major attraction. Dont forget to see the reflections of the temple under the water.
This is situated on 100 Acre land near Vellore and is 7 kms from Vellore main city. You might be knowing about the Golden temple in Amritsar, this seem to be similar to that and having spent around 1500 kilograms of Gold on the 5000 sq.ft of the main temple. Sri Lakshmi Narayani is the main shrine. The temple is star shaped and you might end up walking close to 1.5 kms inside the temple to reach the main shrine. Not to worry, there are plenty of places you can buy water bottles and prasadam, coffee, tea to energize yourself. Also you can sit and relax anywhere on your way. Well laid stone benches are there elsewhere on the sides. There is also a big Gomatha statue which is made of pure silver and about 150Kgs which is so beautiful. Also there is a Swarnalakshmi statue which is about 70Kgs of pure gold, you can perform pooja yourself (milk abhishekam) to this statue by paying donation.
The main temple is been surrounded by water and so beautifully designed. I suggest you to visit this temple during evening and wait till lightings are on by dark. Once the lights are
on, it is so amazing to see the Gold that glitters so brightly in dark and the reflection of the temple on water.
Unfortunately no phones or cameras allowed inside. Even bags are also not allowed. Strict security check is in place. You can deposit your phones and bags in the counter and collect it
after you finish your darshan. A big car parking space is also there.
Like in ISKCON, you get prasadam while you return back after darshan. Plus you get to see lots of stalls selling all kinds of devotional books, photos, CDs, etc..
For photos, please visit the temple site: http://www.sripuram.org/
4. Tiruvannamalai - Arunachaleswarar / Annamalaiyar Temple
You should visit Thiruvannamalai for many reasons, one main reason is to see the majestic temple Towers. This Raja Gopuram or main temple tower is the second largest after Srirangam temple tower. Dont forget to visit the Padala Lingam where Ramana meditated. If you go here on full moon day, there will be hundreds of devotees performing Girivalam i.e. barefoot walking of 14 kms surrounding the temple premises.
Apart from temple, you can also visit Sri Ramana Ashram which is very famous. I dont need to write more about this place, refer Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiruvannamalai which has everything. I have added many photos as usual.
I am not sure if one can climb the Arunachala hill, if you could go up there, you get to see the amazing view of the entire temple complex. This is the hill, where Kaarthigai Deepam is lighted during the famous festival here.
5. Nearby places from Thiruvannamalai
Close to Thiruvannamalai there is a Santanur Dam if you are interested and get time. You can also visit "Ulagalantha Perumal" Temple in Thirukoyilur is 20 kms from Thiruvannamalai.
Refer Wiki for more details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiruvannamalai
Route info to Thiruvannamalai from Bangalore
IMPORTANT: Please dont go via Uthangarai road. Follow the below route which is better (not the best still).
- From Bangalore, go till Krishnagiri and take left to Chennai NH.
- Dont take right for thiruvannamalai as you see on the sign board (after joining this Chennai NH from Krishnagiri). Continue for 14Kms.
- Look for Bargur exit sign board on your left. Dont get onto the flyover and take left in this point and go below the flyover and take right.
- Now you are on the way to Bargur.
- Go till Bargur and next to Thirupathur .
- From Thrupathur go via Singarapettai.
- From Singarapettai, continue on Thiruvannamalai road. This distance from Singarapettai till Thiruvannamlai is slightly bad in few places.
Stay options at Thiruvannamalai
One can also stay at Ramana Ashram or Seshadri Ashram but need to book well in advance.
There are plenty of options. We tried Sunshine Guest house which was kind of okay though it was not the great option. Refer my tripadvisor review for details. Apart from that, there are many options like Arpanaa, Hotel Ganesh International, Hotel Arunachala, Hotel Ramakrishna ...etc. Refer to review sites for better options and ratings by travellers. A2B restaurant is also is there.
Moving onto photos...
Jalakateshwara Temple, Vellore Fort
|Useful info about the Temple|
|You might want to know the temple timings.... So...|
|Huge Wooden door on the main tower, there is other one on opposite side as well..!!|
|Another small tower inside|
|Water Storage tank|
|Beautiful sculptures on Mandap|
|Multi layered roof carvings|
|Useful information to know about Vellore Fort|
|Do you see? Friday is a Holiday !!|
|Second largest Temple Tower in India, first is Srirangam temple tower|
|Useful information to know - Temple Timings|
|On the walls of Temple tower entrance|
|Golden Rishaba Vahanam|
|Shri Kailasa Vahanam|
|Model of the entire Temple, do you see 9 towers !|
|Useful infomation about full moon days (Girivalam days in 2014-15)|
|Map of the temple|
|Inside Ramana Ashram, do you see the peacock on the tree ?|
Hope you enjoyed this post, feel free to add your comments below. Thank you !
Other blogs you might be interested
Kanchipuram City of Temples and Silk
Temple Towers of South India