You will be picked up in the morning from your hotel in Chennai. The drive to Thiruvannamalai will take about 2.5 hours. Enjoy the views of the rural landscape as you drive past villages and farms.
On reaching Thiruvannamalai, head off to the famous Arunachaleshwara temple. The temple was built by the Kings of Vijayanagar between the 16th and 17th century. It is the largest Shiva temple in India. The temple is said to be located at a site where the five elements of life - earth, water, fire, air and sky are present.
The temple is spread over 25 acres of land. It has four stately gateways, each crowned with large towers (gopurams). The east gopuram is eleven tiered and rises to a height of 217 feet. The main hall of the temple has 1 000 pillars. There is a large sculpture of the Nandi bull, the divine vehicle of Lord Shiva. Two large ponds of water are also present in the temple.
Next visit the Ashram of the saint Sri Ramana Maharshi which is situated at the foot of the hills, outside the town. You can visit the cave where the saint is said to have meditated. Inside the ashram visit the final resting place of the saint and the Matrubhuteswara Temple. A cow-shed, library and a bookstore are also present on the premises of the ashram.
After the tour of the ashram, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant (own expense).
After lunch you will be driven back to Chennai and dropped off at your hotel.