Thiruvannamalai is a town in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Roadways are the major mode of transport along with rail connectivity. Chennai International Airport is the nearest domestic and international airport to the town. Thiruvannamalai is named after the central deity of the Annamalaiyar Temple, Annamalaiyar.
Located on the foothills of Annamalai hills, Tiruvannamalai has been ruled by the Pallavas, the Medieval Cholas, the Later Cholas, Hoysalas, the Vijayanagar Empire, the Carnatic kingdom, Tipu Sultan, and the British. It served as the capital city of the Hoysalas. The town is built around the Annamalaiyar Temple like other Nayak capitals.
The KarthigaiDeepam festival is celebrated during the day of the full moon between November and December, and a huge beacon is lit atop the Annamalai hill. The event is witnessed by three million pilgrims. On the day preceding each full moon, pilgrims circumnavigate the temple base and the Annamalai hills in a worship called Girivalam. This practice is carried out by one million pilgrims yearly.