Shiva as Bhikshatana, Virinchipuram
Shiva as Bhikshatana, Virinchipuram

The Gingee-Arcot-Vellore-Tiruvannamalai belt is one of the historic regions of Tamil Nadu. The Arunachala hill, is one of the oldest such formations in India. At its base is the magnificent shrine to Lord Arunachaleswara – where Shiva has manifested Himself as fire. Over the centuries, Tiruvannamalai has been home to any number of seers and mystics, the best known perhaps being Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi.

Gingee, often described in history as the most impregnable among forts, traces its origins to the Nayaks who were Viceroys to the Vijayanagar Empire. A fairly steep climb takes to you to the Fort that the Mughals, the Nawabs, the British and the French jostled for.

16-pillared hall, Jalakantheswarar Temple, Vellore
16-pillared hall, Jalakantheswarar Temple, Vellore

Not far from here is the magnificent fort of Vellore, built by the Nayaks and later strengthened by their successors, right down to the British. Close by is Arcot, home to the Nawabs from whom the Carnatic was swindled away to become the seed of the British Empire.

Delhi Gate, Arcot
Delhi Gate, Arcot

There was a lot of music history in the area as well. Muthuswami Dikshitar’s ancestors belonged to Virinchipuram, a temple he visited and composed on. He also sang on Tiruvannamalai, as did Gopalakrishna Bharati. The Arunachaleswara temple played an important role in the life of Arunagirinatha and is also a Padal Petra Sthalam being sung upon by Appar and Sambandar.

Young star Bharath Sundar will be on this tour to regale us with the music of this region.

Join historian Sriram V on this two-night, three-day tour.

A brochure is available in the link below in case you want to forward it to family and friends.


Dates – Friday 24th to Sunday 26th November 2017 (departure 5.45 am on 24th, return 6.00pm on 26th)

Mode of Travel – AC luxury bus

Stay – At the best hotels in Vellore and Thiruvannamalai

Fare – Rs 18,000 per head – covers travel, stay, food, entry tickets at monuments

Payment – Rs 5000 to book and balance by November 1st.

Cancellation/Refund – 25% cancellation fee if done before November 1. Forfeiture of full cost if cancelled after November 1st. In case the tour is called off owing to unforeseen reasons, we refund the full amount.

Payment method – Account Name: Past Forward
Account Type: Current
Bank Name: The Federal Bank Ltd
A/c No. 12820200104237
Branch: Royapettah
If you are doing a transfer, please send us an email to giving us the details.
If you still make your payments the heritage way, you can drop off a cheque payable to Past Forward at the following address:
c/o HVK Systems,
2&3, Bhattad Tower
30, Westcott Road,
Royapettah, Chennai 600014