On the map Venkataramana located the station closest to Tiruvannamalai (Arunachalam). He needed three rupees to reach the place. That day his brother gave him five rupees and asked him to go to his college and pay his fees. After leaving home Venkataramana wrote a letter to his brother as follows:
I have left to seek Father. Nobody need worry about me. No money need be spent to search for me; no one should try to find me. I have not paid your college fees. I have taken three rupees out of the college fees, and the balance of two rupees is with this note.
From home Venkataramana went straight to the railway station. He bought a ticket for two rupees and thirteen annas; he still had three annas. Venkataramana boarded the train and early next morning reached Viluppuram station. He decided to walk the rest of the distance to Tiruvannamalai. He was hungry and tired. He entered a hotel on the way. As food was not ready he had to wait for a long time. After taking food he wanted to pay for his meal but the owner refused to take any money as he realized that the boy had very little money left with him. The owner on hearing that he was planning to walk the distance to Tiruvannamalai suggested that he take the train. So Venkataramana walked again to Viluppuram station. He took the train to Mambalapattu and from there he started to walk.
By evening he reached the village of Arayininallur. There was a Shiva temple in the village. He entered the village temple and fell into meditation. He had a vision of an intensely bright light enveloping the entire place. He stayed absorbed in meditation until he was aroused by the temple priests who wanted to lock the place for the night. He followed some worshipers to another temple nearby and there became lost in meditation once again. When the priests had finished their duties food was served to the other worshipers but none was offered to him. However the temple drummer was impressed with his devout appearance and shared some rice with him and directed him to go to a Shastri’s house nearby for water. Tired and thirsty he went to the Shastri’s house and there fainted from exhaustion. He was given water and slept the night at that place.
The next day was Gokulastami, commemorating the birth of the Avatar Krishna. Venkataramana first wanted to eat some food and then proceed to Tiruvannamalai by train. By then he did not have any money. The only possession he had of value were his gold Brahmin ear rings with small inlaid rubies. He stood outside a house and asked the owner for some food. The owner of the house was Krishna Bhagavathar. The mistress of the house was a kind lady. She was more than happy to feed the young Brahmin. Now Venkataramana needed money to complete the rest of the journey. He took off his earrings, gave them to Bhagavathar and asked him for four rupees. Bhagavathar gave the boy four rupees, wrote out his own address on a piece of paper and gave it to him saying, “Come and take back your ear rings any time.” The mistress of the house gave the boy some sweets to take on the journey.