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Arani or Aarani
Silk city and Rice Kingdom
|• Type||Selection Grade Municipality|
|• Body||Arani Municipality|
|Elevation||151 m (495 ft)|
|• Rank||2nd in Tiruvannamalai disrtrict|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
As of 2011, the municipality boundary of the town had a population of 63,671, the extended town population is 92,375 and it is the 2nd largest town in the district after Thiruvannamalai. A new revenue division of the district is formed which is headquartered by Arni.
Arani is located at  on the banks of the Kamandala Naaga river. It has an average elevation of 151 metres (495 ft).
It is 126 km from Chennai, 38 kilometres (24 mi) from Vellore and 60 kilometres (37 mi) from Thiruvannamalai. There are two bus stands in the town and a TNSTC operates a daily service to important cities. Arani to Chennai has an every 15 minutes once a bus at 02:15AM to 10:45PM. The major inter-city bus routes are to towns like Vellore, Thiruvannamalai, Kanchipuram, Arcot, Polur, Cheyyar, and Vandavasi. The SETC operates long distance buses routes to the important cities.
The city is well connected through various well-formed roads, the state highways SH-4 (Arcot – Arani – Gingee – Villupuram Road), SH-132 (Vellore – Arani Road),Arani-Tiruvannamali Road are the major roads connecting Arani. A bypass road works has been completed outside Arani to connect, Chennai (Arcot) Road to Vellore Road and Thiruvannamalai Road. The nearest railway station is "Arani Road" located at Kalambur, which is 8 km (6.65 mi) from Arani, located in Arani-Polur Road. A new train route track laying is in process to connect the town, it is laid as part of Nagari to Tindivanam route announcement by central government. So, another station north of Arani will function along with the existing station called "Arani Road" station at Kalambur on the Vellore – Villupuram route.
According to 2011 census, Arani town with 33 wards had a population of 63,671 with a sex-ratio of 1,036 females for every 1,000 males, much above the national average of 929, but extended town including all the sub urban area had a population of 92,375. A total of 6,346 were under the age of six, constituting 3,200 males and 3,146 females. The average literacy of the town was 76.9%, compared to the national average of 72.99%. The town had a total of 14889 households. There were a total of 23,298 workers, comprising 153 cultivators, 343 main agricultural labourers, 2,185 in house hold industries, 17,919 other workers, 2,698 marginal workers, 33 marginal cultivators, 100 marginal agricultural labourers, 224 marginal workers in household industries and 2,341 other marginal workers. As per the religious census of 2011, Arani (M) had 89.16% Hindus, 7.39% Muslims, 1.8% Christians, 0.01% Sikhs, 0.01% Buddhists, 1.43% Jains, 0.19% following other religions and 0.0% following no religion or did not indicate any religious preference.
Pallavas were the first to rule the Arni town followed by Rashtrakutas in 968 A.D. Later during the Chola period including the reigns of Kulothunga Chola II (1070 A.D – 1122 A.D) and Rajadhiraja Chola II (1166 A.D – 1178 A.D) witnessed more developments in administration including formation of feudatories. Inscriptions also reveal several grants and donations made by Cholas to temples in the form of villages.
In 1640 jagir of Arani was granted to Vedaji Bhaskar Pant a Marathi brahmin. The jagir was continuously headed by the descendents of Bhaskar Pant till the Zamindari Abolition Bill was passed in 1948.
Poosi Malai Kuppam is 12 kilometres (7 mi) away from Arani. Raja Thirumala IV Rao Sahib built a sophisticated bungalow for his lover, an Anglo-Indian lady, there. During the Nawab period, there was a struggle between the British, French and Nawab Hyder Ali. The victorious British captured Arani.
There is also a palace near the town, now used by the Agriculture Department.
The tomb situated in the heart of the city for Sir. Ensign Robert Kelly who was a surveying Arani area, a colonel by then, died in September 1790.
The Battle of Arnee (or Battle of Arani) took place at Arani, India on 3 December 1751 during the Second Carnatic War. A British-led force under the command of Robert Clive defeated and routed a much larger Franco-Indian force under the command of Raza Sahib. The French troops were guarding a convoy of treasure. Clive took up a position in swampy ground, crossed by a causeway in which the convoy was forced to pass. The French were thrown into disorder and forced to retreat, but night saved them from total destruction. The treasure, however, was captured. Col.Robert Kelly fell at the Battle of Arnee.
There is a fort area in the heart of the town. It houses the forest department, sub jail, registration office, police station, women police station, and agricultural office. It also has a parade ground with a monument commemorating Colonel Robert Kelly.
Major revenue generated from couple of business Rice production and Silk saree weaving, more than 300 rice mills to produce best quality rice called "Arni Ponni" from paddy, the town also has a large community of silk weaver who specialize in making silk sarees. Hand looms are most frequently used for the weaving, although recently some have turned to mechanized methods such as Power looms. Arani is the number one in revenue earning in Tiruvannamalai District, Tamil Nadu. Though the town is not well known outside Tamil Nadu, a bulk of India's silk apparels is produced by the people of Arani.
The Govt. Boys High School, Govt. Girls High School and Subramaniya Sastri High School are located within the fort area. An affiliated body of AISECT under MCIT GoI: M/S MTECH BUSINESS SOLUTIONS (IT Training Division), OPP RCM Church, Karthikeyan Road, Arni.
It was Maratha king Shahji (Shivaji's father) who handed over Arni with 100 villages to his commander Vedaji Bhaskar Punt in AD 1640