Tiruvannamalai is a district in South-India, popular for Hindu temples and religious appeal. It has a population of over 2.5 million people covering 6200 sq. km.

A little caution before the good stuff:

Like any other poor district in the country, Tiruvannamalai is prone to frauds, cons, and money-grubbing. Due to failing monsoons and low employment opportunities, the majority of the Tiruvannamalai population seeks jobs outside of traditional agriculture.

Apart from the Big temple in the middle, Tiruvannamalai can be a boring and tricky place for visitors due to the growing number of cult temples, fortune-tellers, psychics, unskilled yoga masters, religious quacks, and fake gurus[1][2][3]. These people mainly target the vulnerable and unsuspecting westerners visiting Tiruvannamalai in search of inner peace and spirituality, or simply as tourists. There are ashrams around the city spreading false doctrines and individuals wandering to “collect donations” on behalf of NGOs. There are even some criminals[4][5] living with the rest of the paupers around the mountain, disguised in saffron robes.

Read this article to learn about being safe while supporting someone in India.

With that being stated, we shall look into the other leisure activities for a tourist while in Tiruvannamalai. These activities would be awesome during the Indian winter time (November – Early February).

  • Visit Jamunamarathur, a beautiful hill station. Find it on maps
  • Go look at the galaxy from Asia’s second-largest observatory in Kavalur. Find it on maps
  • Sathanur – Pickup dam, a beautiful place to enjoy the rural fish recipes of Tamil Nadu. Go to this place preferably with a local friend, and head straight on for a kilometer to find the cooked fish on the side of the road.
  • Climb the Tiruvannamalai mountain (get permission from local authorities beforehand because the forest is a dangerous place).
  • Visit the outskirts of Tiruvannamalai for a truly peaceful time and to be alone with your thoughts. Click here to find some secluded places not far from the city.
  • Visit the thrift shops along the Girivalam path selling t-shirts for less than USD 3. You can find some great stuff there if you dig right.

Aside from these activities, an activity that will grant you eternal peace is helping someone in need. Like we stated before, there are plenty of poor people in the district. Honest & good non-profits like SHAPE are still working to uplift these people. Read this article to learn how to help with no money or resources. Make sure to donate anything you leave behind to the poor people in the district by giving us a call. Your trash is their treasure.

We hope you have a great time here.

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