Sri Gnanananda’s Thapovanam Ashram – Tirukovilur


Swami Gnananandagiri Swamigal was born at Mangalapuri near Gokarna on the west coast in Karnataka to an orthodox Brahmin couple.

At his young age, he was driven to Pandharpur with an urge to know the "self". It is in this historic place, that swami was guided to meet his Guru, Swami Sivaratna Giri of Jyotirmutt, one of the four mutts established by His holiness Adi Sankara himself. Then, Swami followed his Guru like a shadow and derived great delight in serving him

After Mahasamadhi of his Guru, Swami traveled extensively on foot , spanning the whole of India, Tibet, Nepal, Burma and Sir Lanka. Finally, swami is believed to have returned to Southern India and from around 1966, swami permanently stayed at Thapovanam.

"Sri Gnanananda Thapovanam" is a quiet place, situated on the northern banks of Pennar river, near Thirukovilur in Tamil Nadu.

Thapovanam meaning "forest of penance" is today a place of pilgrimage. It is situated within a couple of miles from a sacred town called "Tirukovilur", meaning a town of sacred temples. Swami Gnananandagiri Swamigal, established his modest ashram at Thapovanam, a place which was identified by Swami himself for its spiritual potency. It is known that Maharishi Mrigndu, centuries ago, undertook penance at this holy place, having cluster of five old mango trees. Swami finally made this Ashram his regular living place, until he attained Mahasamadhi in the year 1974. A shrine of grace has been constructed over his "Samadhi".


Distance from Arpanaa

:    35 kilometers ( approximately )

Driving directions

:    Arpanaa >> Veraiyur >> Manampoondi >> Thapovaname

Ashram Timings:


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