Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Saturday, June 3, 2023

Arunachala Virupaksha Cave





Arunachala refers to the holy hill at Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu. The hill also is known by the names  Arunagiri, Annamalai Hill, Arunachalam, Arunai, Sonagiri and Sonachalam.









It is one of the five main shaivite holy places in South India. It is also an important place for devotees of Sri Ramana Maharshi, with Sri Ramana Ashram situated at its foothills.





Over the centuries, many saints and sages have been drawn to Arunachala. In the fifteenth century, Guhai Namasivaya, Guru Namasivaya and Virupaksha Deva came from Karnataka and settled on Arunachala. Saint Namasivaya lived in one of Arunachala's caves which are still known by his name.






Virupaksha Deva lived in an OM-shaped cave higher up on the Hill, and this cave too still bears his name. Located on the south-east slope of Arunachala, this was the cave that Sri Ramana Maharshi lived in from 1899 to 1916.





There is a constructed premises to protect the Virupaksha Cave, and allows the devoted to enter and intake the splendid vibrations within.