In January, 2008 I took a trip to South India (Tamil Nadu and Kerala). I didn't have much of an agenda, just a guide book and a map with too many places circled in red ink. In the end, I headed southeast to Tiruvannamalai.
(Click on image to enlarge)
Blessed by the temple elephant
Sir Ramana Ashram is also here and offers an oasis of calm. I was not prepared (though I'm from NYC) for the (apparent) chaos of even small Hindu cities.There are no traffic lights, stop signs, or rules really of any kind. A driver communicates his intentions by constantly tapping his horn. It all seems to work pretty well, but the noise is exhausting.
Gingee is a very nice side trip from Tiruvannamali.
View from the Queens Fort to the Kings Fort
If you are in or around Tiruvannamalai and need transportationI can highly recommend Anand Kumar. He drives a tuk tuk in town and will be your driver for the day, he charges very reasonable rates. He also has a Tata Ambassador (the standard taxi in India) very good for longer distance, I hired his taxi for a week with anexcellent driver (very important). firstname.lastname@example.org
A small temple on the road from Tiruvannamalai
Nataraja Temple and tank