Trip to Sholingur hill temple

This Monday myself and my friend E.Ravi decided to take off the next day and go for a drive away from Chennai. That’s how we ended up going to Sholingur this Tuesday (15th March). Sholingur is a town in Vellore District of Tamil Nadu, near to Arakonam and Thiruthani. The town is famous for its Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple on a big hilltop and Yoga Hanuman Temple on a smaller hilltop. From Chennai, you have two routes to go to Sholingur town. One is NH4 (Chennai-Bangalore Highway) going up to Walajapet and then proceeding to Sholingur, this is a longer route (131 Kms) and we were told by people who go there frequently that road from Walajapet to Sholingur is not that good. So we took the other route which is NH205 (this is the road you take to go to Tirupathi from Poonamalle) and SH54 which in total turns out to be a distance of about 120 Kms from T.Nagar, Chennai. Travelling on NH205 once you reach Thiruthani go towards Railway station and get on to the road (left) to go to Vellore via Chithoor, this is SH54 and then follow on signs for Sholingur. Once you are near the town you start to see the Hill Top and easily find your way towards the base car parking.

View of Sholingur
சோளிங்கபுரம் பெரியமலை, வேலூர் மாவாட்டம், தமிழ் நாடு
Foothills of Sholingur
Foothills of Sholingur
Footpath to hilltop
Footpath to hilltop
Main gopuram - அருள்மிகு லட்சுமி நரசிம்மசுவாமி திருக்கோயில் கோபுரம்
Main gopuram – அருள்மிகு லட்சுமி நரசிம்மசுவாமி திருக்கோயில் கோபுரம்

Once you reach the base, you need to leave your footwear and start your climb up the big hill barefoot (thank the good souls who have sponsored and put up a metal-sheet ceiling all through the path to protect the pilgrims from the heat). Climbing by foot is the only way to reach the temple, I was told a cable car has been planned in the next few years by local authorities. The steps are pretty steep but can be climbed by all able people with some effort. In our enthusiasm to reach up quickly, we both hurried up the steps and after few hundred steps found ourselves slowed down considerably, resting every few steps and gasping for breath. As you climb your way up, I kept wondering how the priests and others working in the temple do this trip every day. After nearly a one hour and climbing 1305 steps on hard rock, you reach the beautiful temple.

This place is rocky
This place is rocky
1305th Step
1305th Step
அருள்மிகு லட்சுமி நரசிம்மசுவாமி திருக்கோயில், சோளிங்கபுரம், வேலூர் மாவாட்டம், தமிழ் நாடு
அருள்மிகு லட்சுமி நரசிம்மசுவாமி திருக்கோயில், சோளிங்கபுரம், வேலூர் மாவாட்டம், தமிழ் நாடு

There are hundreds of Monkeys all through the path and in the temple corridors, so you need to be careful on your belongings. Especially if you are carrying anything the Monkeys consider as food (Bananas, Jasmine flowers) you got to be extra careful in covering them completely. Some Monkeys seem to have the ability to spot out people carrying items of interest to them more easily than others, even when the items are covered. We were warned about the monkeys in the flower shop at the base and were given a long wooden stick “free” to protect us (it is more to scare the monkeys, I can never get myself to beat these cute monkeys). We had our offerings, water bottle and flowers covered and hidden safely inside a “gym” bag and had a little problem. On our way up and down, we found that as long as you mind your own business, don’t tease or stare them in their eyes, the Monkeys don’t trouble you.

Monkeys everywhere in Sholingur
Monkeys everywhere in Sholingur

While coming down we hurried very fast and made it down in about 5-10 minutes, so in the last hundred feet found our feet trembling on the pressure. It would have been better to do the climb up and down more slowly with rests to prevent any strain and exhaustion. Carry plenty of water with you and with a light stomach (you do get Sodas & Fresh Lime Juice in a shop near the 600th step).

Panoramic view of the plains below
Panoramic view of the plains below
Abandoned mandap
Abandoned mandap

We started from Chennai at 8 AM we reached Sholingur town at around 10.45AM (a 20-30 Minute stop for breakfast in Motel Highway at Nazarathpet). Started the return from Sholingur at 1 PM and reached Chennai before 4 PM (a 30 Minute stop for Lunch in Motel Highway again). If you are planning to go to Sholingur, enjoy the trip and have a great Darshan.



  • Srini

    Dolli’s are Rs 800 for Periya Malai and Rs 700 for chinna malai. Over that the bearers ask for Rs 100 each at the top and also while dropping you back. It is thus Rs 800 + 200 + 200 = 1200. The would be happy with this amount. For Chinna Malai 700 + 200 + 200 = 1100

  • lakshmi senapathi

    thank u for the wealth of info. I am planning on a visit with friends and am wondering if 60 year olds can do this climb?

  • Raghavendra Prasad


    Can anyone suggest which is the convenient mode of transport to commute from Sholingur railway station to Sholingur Bus stand (Temple). How is the mode of transport from Arakkonam Railway station to Sholingur…? Which one would be a better option…? I will be travelling from Bangalore to Chennai via train

    Thanks in advance…!

  • venkatasubramanian

    HI Venkat,

    Thanks so much for posting this valuable information about Sholinghur temple and how to reach there from chennai.

    Indeed I found your infomation to be very useful and interesting. God Bless you.

    Venkat R

  • Krsna V

    Thanks for the nice writeup.
    Are there any good/descent hotels in Sholingur to stay for a night?
    If anyone knows, please give name/address/phone no. thanks in antisipation.

    Krsna V

    • venkatasubramanian

      Hi Krsna,

      Yes you have places to stay at night.
      Visit this site you will find A/c accomadation at Rs.500 Per night and Non AC at 250 per night from the temple devasthanam.

      Under tourist informaiton in the site and accomadation more than 20 lodges are listed.

      Venkat Subramanian

  • tkamatchi

    thank u very much for your information.already i went to there,but i didn’t know the details about that. thaank u thank u very much.

  • shreelekha

    i had proud to leave a comment tat i to went to sholingur on tis sundy n had a grt dharisanam.. ve r really happy to climb d hills in top to c narasima

  • priya

    hi, You had given imformation only about the route and distance.A lot of discussion about monkeys, which is very common near temples like
    Thiruttani also.Please give some information about the temple.Like timings, sevas, tickets, special darsan. special days, what is the best time, crowd,etc. After visiting anjaneya temple do we have to come back to the narasimha swamy temple and then come or from there directly come down the steps. Please write.

  • t.s.thiruvenghadam

    If happen to travel by car, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple at Narasingapuram also can be visited enroute Arakkonam. More details about this temple available at

  • t.s.thiruvenghadam

    Following alternate routes also avaialble

    1. Chennai – Vellaigate (Kanchipuram outer) in Bangalore highway – Take right turn towards Arakkonam road – Cross the arakkonam railway flyover – take left turn in Chittor road – Reach Sholingur.
    This road is excellent and we can reach Sholingur in less that 2 hours

    2. Chennai – Arakkonam by Suburban train. From Arakkonam, plenty of buses to Sholingur.(Arakkonam railway station & bus stand are in walkbale distance

  • M.Nisha

    Hai all, superb information and I m plan to go sholingur with my woulbe so i m eagerly waiting to see the temple and cute monkeys. once my trip over i will get back to you all bye!!

  • bala

    yesterday i have visited the temple. It was a nice experience. Also don’t miss to visit Aanjaneyar Temple which is near by small hill (400 steps). if possible take some biscuits or bananas in your covered bags for monkeys. Also don’t forget to take the sticks with u. Open the bag only where there is less monkeys or no big monkeys. Offer foods to child carrying , old or lean monkeys. Because they are really suffering for food. Usually most of the offers by pilgrims are taken by big monkeys(domination) only. So other monkeys are dieing without proper food. But remember don’t open the bags in front of (big) monkeys then u will be in struggle :-).

    One more interesting matter, Some monkeys don’t like cell phones (may be camera also). it will grab from ur hand and do some research in front of u :-) so be care full !! Especially on aanjaneyar temple.

  • Shiva

    Thanks for sharing info.

    1. The Longer route is approx(130 kms from Adyar), chennai-bangalore hwy (ignore the thirupathi right route and keep going on the hwy and once you reach Kanchipuram be watchful for about 10 kms. You should be watching our for KAVERIPAKKAM POLICE STATION on this hwy junction. Take a right from this junction and 27 kms voila).

    2. I would like to share one of the Uggra Narashimar near Pondichery. It is approxmimately 15 kms from Pondicherry on Cuddalore route and the name of the place is called ABISHEGAPAKKAM. This also belongs to the 108 temples.

  • Venkatarangan TNC

    @Kiran, Thanks for your compliment. We went by the Thirutani Route which was good. I am not familiar with Walajapet route, though I suppose you should be fine with that as well. When we went in March 2011 the renovations were over, so you should be fine for Darshan throughout the day. I suppose they close early in the evening, so better to go in mornings.

  • Kiran

    Hi Venkat,

    That review gives lot of information. I am planning to visit the temple in coming months. But looking at your review, it seems it is also comfortable driving via walajapet. What do you suggest?
    I have visited the temple two years (by bus). But that time the temple has been closed for long time for renovation. I hope the temple is opened for normal darshan now.
    Many thanks.


    Hi Venkat,

    Quite good guide for the traveller. Actually i am planning coming week. It’s well explained in your Blog. Thanks….