South India - Tourist Attractions - Tamil Nadu
The town, Tiruvannamalai, is located in Southern India, 200 kilometers from Chennai and can be easily reached through bus or car. This town is mostly preferred by tourists who seek spiritual guidance or experience a new kind of life. The climate is generally hot and the best time to visit this place would be between the months of November to February which are the winter months.
Sri Ramana Ashram - Thiruvanamalai
The nearest airport is the Pondicherry airport which is 87 kilometer from the town. One of the most preferred places by tourists in this town is the Ramanaasram also known as Sri Ramana Ashram which was the home of the saint Ramana from the year 1922 to 1950. It is located at the foothills of the Arunachala mountain.
Born in Tiruchuzhi in 1879 and named as Venkataraman, Swami Ramana was like any ordinary child. He preferred sports over homework and enjoyed in the fun and frolic with people of his age. After the death of his mother Alagammal, Sri Ramana settled in what is now the renowned ashram.
The ashram is a highly spiritual enriching place and there are temples and meditation halls within the ashram. You can stay in the meditation hall as long as you want to. The place has a shrine inside devoted to Lord Shiva and pujas are conducted here on all Fridays, special days and all full moon days. The tomb of Sri Ramana is located inside the ashram in a mantap. Peacocks roam freely through the ashram and there are no restrictions to anyone who enters the ashram.
Accommodation is available inside the ashram for both International and Indian tourists but you have to book in advance for the rooms as it is in high demand. Food is available in the Guest house and outside the ashram. The ashram also provides free food on most days.
There is a mountain trek of 2 kilometers which leads to the holy hill where Sri Ramana had meditated. The view from the top of the hill is breathtaking as the entire city of Tiruvannamalai can be seen from there. The virupaksha cave is close by which is the place where Sri Ramana had meditated for 17 years. The ashram itself has the Mother’s shrine, Nirvana room, a Meditation hall, Sri Ramana’s shrine, Cow (Lakshmi) samadhis, a book stall and a dispensary.
The Ramanaasram is a life changing opportunity and an irresistible place to visit. It is one of the most popular tourist places in South India and every person who tours the ashram leaves with a mind filled with serenity.