The temple town of Tiruvannamalai, 85 km south fo Vellore, is an
important Shaivite toen. Of the 100 or more temples, the most
outstanding is the Siva-Parvati Temple of Arunachaleswar, which is said
to be the largest in India. The main gopuram is 66 m and 13 storey high,
and there is a 1000-pillared hall.
Gingee pronounced as 'shingee' is 37 km east of Tiruvannamalai. There
is an interesting fort complex here, constructed mainly in the 16th
century during the Vijaynagar Empire (though some of the structures date
back to 1200 AD). The fort is built on three separate hills, joined by
three km of fortified walls. The buildings - a granary, audience hall,
Siva temple and a mosque- are fairly ordinary, but the boulder-covered
mountain landscape is impressive.
Gingee is pleasantly free of postcard sellers and the like, in fact it's
deserted. You can easily spend a whole day here exploring at will.
There's an uneven staircase of stone slabs up Krishnagiri Hill, but the
route to Rajagiri Fort is much more difficult to
There are buses almost every hour from Tiruvannamalai. Ask to be let off
at the fort, which is before the town.