On June 1, 2006, train service to Tiruvannamalai stopped. Since then, the closest one can get to Tiruvannamalai within the train system is Velore or Villupuram. Trains were stopped so that the tracks could be upgraded. This work is largely complete finally, and final testing is going on now. We are told by railway officials that service will resume in April of 2011. (We do not know if this date can be relied upon, since many dates have been given earlier.) We do believe, though, that this service will resume in 2011, so visitors who plan to travel to Tiruvannamalai should start considering train service as an option.
Here are a few photos of the Tiruvannamalai station taken in January of 2011.
As you come in to Tiruvannamalai by train, you will see this sign.
Here is that station from the street. Today the street is empty. In a few months it will be busy. I think I read that the capacity for 1700 passengers a day will be provided.
Inside the station, looking south. There are two sets of tracks in both northbound and southbound directions.
Looking north. The passenger bridge to the other set of tracks is at this end of the station.
Arunachala from the front of the Train Station.
Here is a map that shows the train station and the bus stand, as well as the Big Temple and Ramanasramam. Most Western visitors will probably take rickshaws to Ramanasramam.
Here is another article published last year on the Arunachala Grace blog.