Tiruvannamalai

Tiruvannamalai District (also known as Thiruvannaamalai) is one of the 32 districts in the state of Tamil Nadu, in South India. It was formed in the year 1989 from non-existing North Arcot District as Tiruvannamalai Sambuvarayar and Vellore Ambedkar. Tiruvannamalai town is the district headquarters. The district is divided into 10 Taluks – Chengam, Tiruvannamalai, Polur, Thandarampattu, Aarani, Vandavasi, kalasapakkam, chetpet and Cheyyar, vembakkam Aarani is famous for silk sarees. As of 2011, the district had a population of 2,464,875 with a sex-ratio of 994 females for every 1,000 males.

Tiruvannamalai is one of the most venerated places in Tamil Nadu. In ancient times, the term “Annamalai” meant an inaccessible mountain. The word “Thiru” was prefixed to signify its greatness, and coupled with the two terms, it was called Thiruvannamalai. Thiru means ‘holy’ or ‘sacred’ and is traditionally used in front of names in all parts of Tamil Nadu like Thiruneermalai (Lord Ranganatha), Thirunageswaram (Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva), Thirumayam (Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva), Thirumayilai (Lord Adikeshava Perumal and Lord Kapali Eshwaran), Tiruvannamalai (Lord Shiva), Thiruchendur (Lord Muruga), Tiruchirappalli (Lord Sriranganathar), Thiruttani (Lord Muruga), Tiruchengode (Lord Shiva), Thiruchitrambalam (Lord Shiva), Thirumanancheri (Lord Shiva), Thirunallar (Lord Shani Eshwaran), Thiruporur(Lord Muruga), Thirukkadaiyur (Lord Shiva), Tirukalukundram(Lord Vedagiriswarar temple), Thirukarugavur (Lord Garbharakshambigai temple), Tirunelveli, Tiruppur, Tiruvallur and many more.

The temple town of Tiruvannamalai is one of the most ancient heritage sites of India and is a centre of the Saiva religion. The Arunachala hill and its environs have been held in great regard by the Tamils for centuries. The temple is grand in conception and architecture and is rich in tradition, history and festivals. The main Deepam festival attracts devotees from far and wide throughout South India. It has historic places besides Tiruvannamalai, Arni, Vandavasi, Devikapuram connected to East India and French companies. In the late Chola period the district was ruled by the Cholan of Sambuvarayar having Padavedu near Arni as HQ. We can now find the fort and note along with a Shiva temple namely Kailasanathar in Arni town.

After independence Tiruvannamalai was under North Arcot District. The civil district of North Arcot was divided into Vellore District and Tiruvannamalai District in October 1989. Thiru. P.Kolappan IAS was the first Collector of Tiruvannamalai District. On the whole Tiruvannamalai is traditionally rich in Historic and spiritual values but lacks in industrial growth.

According to 2011 census, Tiruvannamalai District had a population of 2,464,875 with a sex-ratio of 994 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929.A total of 272,569 were under the age of six, constituting 141,205 males and 131,364 females. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes accounted for 22.94% and 3.69% of the population respectively. The average literacy of the district was 66.%, compared to the national average of 72.99%.The district had a total of 588,836 households. There were a total of 1,238,177 workers, comprising 265,183 cultivators, 351,310 main agricultural labourers, 37,020 in house hold industries, 316,559 other workers, 268,105 marginal workers, 27,458 marginal cultivators, 173,753 marginal agricultural labourers, 9,700 marginal workers in household industries and 57,194 other marginal workers.

In the District Arani and Thiruvannamalai regions are highest revenue generations regions respectievely.In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Tiruvannamalai one of the country’s 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).It is one of the six districts in Tamil Nadu currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).

Tiruvannamalai District is known for its two major businesses, agriculture and silk saree weaving. Rice cultivation and processing is one of the biggest businesses in this district. 112013 hectares of paddy cultivation is irrigated by 1965 lakes and 18 reservoirs and small dams. It has 18 regulated markets through which the farmers sell their agri products directly to the government. Through these regulated markets, 271411 metric tonnes of paddy harvested in 2007. There are lot of rice mills to process paddy found throughout the district. The modern rice mill near Cheyyar is the biggest government owned mill and Arani has around 278 rice mills. Kalambur is also has around 20 Rice mills and known for variety of rice called Kalambur Ponni rice.

The district has a large populace of weavers from Sengunthar caste, who specialize in making Silk sarees. Hand looms are often engaged for weaving, although recently some have turned to mechanized methods of using Power looms. Arni is the most important revenue earning town in the district. Though the town is not popular off the state, a bulk of India’s Silk apparels is produced by the people of Arni.