A case for the preservation of the Annamalai Hill Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, South India

Document Type



Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor's Name

Juan Antonio Bueno

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

David Bray

Third Advisor's Name

Gray Read

Date of Defense



This thesis explores the potential for historic preservation of a site celebrated in ancient Hindu scriptures and legends. The site is located in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India and is called Arunachala in Sanskrit, or Annamalai in Tamil. The Hill of Fire, the Red Hill, the Hill of Wisdom; the name has many meanings and throughout history has reflected important spiritual and cultural ideas. The symbolic connection of the Hill to the temple at its base celebrates the marriage of heaven and earth and is unusual in the history of Indian temple construction. In considering the site for preservation, this connection may have been overlooked. The site makes an important contribution to the cultural resources of the region and should be preserved in a sensitive way.

The objective of this thesis is to test the site against best available preservation standards and guidelines, and to demonstrate that the site is an important cultural resource that merits preservation. The thesis explores the connection of the temple architecture to the landscape architectural elements around the site and proposes preservation treatment recommendations.



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