Arni or Arani is a town and a municipality located in Tiruvanamalai district, Tamil Nadu, India. It has a latitude of 12.67 (12° 40' 0 N) and a longitude of 79.28 (79° 16' 60 E) with an average elevation of 151 meters (495 ft). The place is situated 851 kilometers south (163°) of the approximate center of India and 1785 kilometers south (173°) of the capital New Delhi.
There are many beliefs about how Arani derived its name from. It’s believed that Arani was called Araneeyam in olden days, which in Sanskrit meant ‘a place surrounded by a forest’.
Some believe that the name is derived due to the rivers Kamandala Naga Nadhi and Tatchur flowing around the site of the city like an ornament. In the language Tamil Auru means River and Arani stands for ornament, hence it is an ornament formed by rivers and called aptly Arani.
According to another legend, the word ‘Aar’ means Athi tree (Ficus glomerata) which has several diligences in Ayurvedic medicine. This region was surrounded fully with Aar (Athi) trees in erstwhile hence, the name Arani.
Arani is a city situated on the Southern banks of the twin Rivers "Kamandala Nadhi" and "Naga Nadhi" merging as "Kamandala Naga Nadhi" in Tiruvanamalai district. It is the second largest town in the district which is managed by Arani Municipality. The place is famous for its Silk centers in Tamil Nadu as its also known as the city of silk fabrics.
The main business of Arani people is Weaving, Growing Honey-bees, Agriculture and Poultry Farms. Apart from the silk centers this city is also known for its Paddy and Rice Business. There are around 278 rice mills in the town. Majority of the Silk apparels are produced by Arani people from India. The Silk Saris, which the place produces are very famous and are easily available for purchase in the wholesale and retail markets here and nearby. The Silk produced from Arani is famous in Tamil Nadu for its durability of colors and the yarn used in production of the silk handlooms. The community of the silk weavers here is called Mudaliyars and Patnūlkarar, who specialize in making silk Sarees.
Arani has a population of more than 69,000, out of which 35,000 people are into the weaving profession. Average educational level in Arani is up to 10th class. Mudaliyars, Zoroastrian, Gounder, and Chettiar are the main castes which involve in this profession. The literacy rate of Arani is 72%, which is higher than the National average of 59.5%.
Mahatma Gandhi had visited Arani twice to attend a meeting for Harijan's development.
In India, the first Flag hoisted in the Red Fort on Independence Day was the Silk Flag which was weaved in Arani.
The Vembuli Amman festival is commemorated annually in a grand carnival in the month of August here which is thronged by almost a lakh of people during this festive occasion.