Trip to Parvathamalai

 

 

   

2nd Trip to Parvathamalai – 28th Feb 2010 Sunday         

My first visit to parvathamalai on 29th Jan 2010 was very exciting. To Simply put it, it was Devotion to God & Surrender to Nature. It tested the best of one’s mental and physical strength to the edge, especially when one is not accustomed to trekking and rigorous physical workout. When I shared my experience with my colleagues and friends, two things were clearly coming out, one they questioned me as to why am I risking my life under name of God-belief, and second was that they wanted to join me during my next trip.         

To know about Parvathamalai, please go through the below blog which contains info which i gathered from various sites.         

https://aryam0403.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/about-parvathamalai/   

I decided that I am going to visit Parvathamalai every month during the full moon day at least for the next 2 months to start with. For the second trip I decided that I would take as many people who would want to join. Around 18th Feb I sent out a mail to a list of probable 15 people who had shown interest based on my first trip experience. The mail had some very minute detail with photographs about the hill and some instructions to be followed till the trip is over as below         

· No alcohol  

· No smoking  

· No non-vegetarian  

· Brisk walking for 1 hour every day  

· To climb up & down 200 steps of staircase         

The response was lukewarm and of the people who have accepted a very few followed the above instructions. To lead by example I diligently followed the last two as the first three anyways are by default to me. On the d-day the team size was 13 including our driver Jenson “Ganesh” Button. Out of 13, Jagan, Jaggi and Suresh were part of my first trip as well. Suresh, close friend of Jaggi was our guide last time and he has visited Parvathamalai more than 10 times. He also had excellent contacts in the hill. I want to have a mention about Jaggi who lives alone in chennai was with his family for the holi festival in Mumbai but he flew down to Chennai on 28th Feb just to join the trip. That was level of interest and commitment. Once you visit, you would want visit again and again that’s the magnetic power of Parvathamalai.         

From left Reddy, Karan, Puliyogare Sridhar, Mahesh, Jagan & Jenson ganesh Buttor

We decided to go in three cars. Myself, Jagan, Sridhar, Mahesh, Karan, Reddy started in 2 cars from my home at 11am. Muthu joined us at the Vanagaram junction. As informed by Suresh we purchased 2 iron buckets for the Vana durga temple at the foothill where we take bath before the climb at the well (claims to have loads of medicinal value). Suresh along with Rajesh and Babu were to pick up Jaggi from the Airport and head to Parvathamalai directly. All of us were to meet at the foothill. In fact we found the route through Arcot –Arani-Polur is short by atleast 20-25 kms compared to the route via Tiruvannamalai which we took during the first trip.         

The Route from Chennai         

· Take the NH4 Bangalore highway till Arcot  

· From Arcot proceed to Polur via Arani  

· Take right turn after Polur towards the parvathamalai  

· Chennai to Arani 113 kms, Arani to Polur 24kms, Polur to Parvathamalai 21 kms – Total distance 158 kms         

Entry point

We reached the foothill around 2pm and had the excellent Puliyogare lunch which Sridhar had packed for us from home (there is a uniqueness in the way Iyengars’ prepare Puliyogare…..i think some one should patent it) which was tasting divine and absolutely unmatchable.

Waiting for Jaggi & team

Jaggi and team arrived slightly late by around 3.45pm. With the help of Suresh’s contact Mr. Rajendran – the priest at the vanadurga temple we managed to drive another 2 kms, as the vehicles are not allowed beyond a certain point where in you will have to walk for atleast 2 – 3kms to the reach the foothill itself.         

Holy dip at the Vanadurga temple Sunai/Well         

All of us took bath at the Vanadurga temple well. The water was so pure, cold and it is believed to have lot of medicinal value. I am not sure if I should call this a well or a Sunai because the well itself is completely submerged in the water. Since the motor was not working we have taken water in a bucket and bathed in the field adjacent.         

We spent some half an hour there to complete the ritual to tie a thread around the wrist by the priest before we started the climb.         

Rajendran tying the sacred thread

The sacred well

Vana Durga Temple

         

We started at around 4.50pm after a quick darshan at the Veera Bhadrar temple. Barring Karan and Reddy everyone was wearing atleast the basic footwear. Karan and Reddy decided to climb bare foot quoting divine reasons inspite of repeated warnings of the after effect.         

Jagan behind Veera Badrar Temple

the beginning

About to climb

Sun about set behind Parvathamalai

The Parvathamalai - we are going to scale

Jaggi leading the way

Starting last in the grid with Muthu

One has to trek through 6 small hills to reach the top of ‘Parvatha Malai’, which is the seventh The climb is like this, first a stretch of 1300 footsteps then a stretch through forest not so dense and not so steep climb, the last 500 ft through, Kadaparai Pathai, Thandavala Pathai, Akaya pathai and then to the divine Mallikarjuna Temple.         

Regular Steps         

   

First Break

People taking rest

Second Break

A tree full of flowers and no leaves

Group was told that 1300 odd steps would be the toughest and its better to be slow by taking rest at regular intervals. Jaggi was leading along with Karan with atleast 20 minutes gap between the rest of the team members. Fatigue started showing on all the first timers very early. The instruction was very simple be slow and take rest where/whenever required. Do not chat/gossip chant OM Namashivay all the time. The breeze was cool and gentle and the hill contains loads of rare herbs and breathing this wind is very soothing. Even among the group, I was walking lonely and my mind was very calm and blank which was the very objective of trip. You don’t get this blankness at all places. Try to keep your mind blank when you want….its not easy. If you can then you are a YOGI!    

There are atleast 10 – 15 shops (it’s called as Kudil) where you will get lemon soda, water bottle/packet, coffee, tea, and tender coconut. At some places even hot bhajji, vada n idli were available. Some of the people running these kudils stay permanently in the hill and the rest put up shops during amavasai & Pournami.    

We could not take any pictures beyond this point, as it was getting dark and we were climbing with the help of nature’s light also there is no electricity in the hill and our eyes were getting accustomed to the natural light and darkness. The group literally split into four before we reached the last climb of 500 ft and I was climbing all alone enjoying the nature and the loneliness, which you don’t get anywhere/anytime in our mechanical life.  The advantage of going in-group is that the individuals try we hard not to give up, as there is a psychological pressure from the other team members. The stretch through the forest was equally stressing since all of us were excited and submerged in the nature’s domain, we managed to clock a better timing compared to our first trip. We all met at a kudil just before the kadaparai padai. All of us by this time have had atleast 3 lemon sodas adding glucose to it. It was really refreshing. We removed all our footwear at this junction and proceeded bare foot for the final stretch. Karan and Reddy who were already walking barefoot exclaimed that the competition is now on a even keel.    

Final stretch needs lot of concentration and care.  We were able to see the 3000ft fall not protected by any safety nets. I was told that there are no accidents till date in this hill barring the incident when the lightening stuck and killed 7 odd people. Lightening arrester was installed post this accident. It’s a wonder a see the villagers climb with so much ease. Old men/women, children, men carrying children in their hand/shoulder climb without any fear and worry, I should say its only devotion. I met an old man during the first as well as the second trip, he is 73 years old and he has been climbing the mountain twice a month from his age of 17 years. I was dumbfounded (1344th trip for him to be precise). When we finished our climb and assembled in front of the temple at 8 pm…everyone were saying one thing that they have never had such a divine experience before and the place is definitely out of the world. This actually explains the reason for my second trip and more…    

The uniqueness about the Maragadambika samedha Mallikarjuneswarar temple is that there is no priest and you can do your own abhisegam, arathy and pooja. We did abhisegam using tender coconut, rose water, honey, panjamritum and sacred ash. The moola gragam does not have any exhaust and the devotees choked drainage system because of continuous abhisegam during pournami and amavashya. After the temple darshan, we moved to Mouna Guruswamy Ashram and spent sometime there. We heard about the legend of Parvathamalai from one of the sishya of Mouna Guru and they served us some hot ven pongal. They serve food to atleast 5000 people during Pournami. They run this ashram with the donation from devotees. All of us donated whatever we can.    

The Descent

     

We started our descent at around 10pm (we did not realize that we have spent 2 hours up the hill, we originally planned max 1 hour stay at the top) and reached the kudil around 10.40pm where we have left our footgears. We finished our packed dinner and started again.  Jaggi & Maheswaran were the first ones to reach the foothill at 11.50 pm. myself and Karan reached around 12.05 am. Rest of the team members reached around 12.20 pm. We have totally taken 5 hours, 3 hrs to climb and 2 hours to descend. None of us found the descent difficult as much the climb.    

The effects of such trips are actually seen the next day. Jaggi and myself attended the office next day as usual even though we reached home at 4 am. Jagan, Maheswaran & Sridhar managed to attend the office with little limping but the rest could not attend…this is what fitness/stamina is all the about. This is the point, which I wanted to drive down during my initial invite mail to the team.    

We are all set for our next trip to the Parvathamalai on 30th March 2010 and this time I expect the team size to be 25 atleast. We are contemplating to brand our group.    

Fitness through devotion!!!    

 

    

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Comments
20 Responses to “Trip to Parvathamalai”
  1. srini says:

    good. Will make a trip myself and let you know my views.

    take care

  2. Ayshwarya Sundaram says:

    Hi Anna.It was a good read!And my best wishes for you and your team!:-).

  3. Gayathri says:

    This trip seems to be fun and so worth it.Being fit and devotional who wouldn’t like it.All the very best for ur next trip.Have fun:)

  4. VETRI MUNUSWAMY says:

    Sir, I believe you have becoming more devotional now-a-days enjoying your life with so much of spiritual thoughts and devotions. Hope to join the team in the coming trip. Hip Hip Hurray!!!!!!

  5. Sriram Bala says:

    Dude, awesome work – the visit and the thought to put in a blog. Generates more interest. Sounds more like my trip to tirupathi this time. Myself and Suja walked while visiting Balaji and came with our parents in the car on our way back. Keep us posted and Keep up the good work.

  6. Ramesh Kannah says:

    ji, am missing this of last 2 times and this month too. Trust by God’s grace & blessings, i will also be part of next pilgrimage.

  7. aruna kumari says:

    hi, it is really nice to me know about the holy place. i want to visit it but iam from andhra pradesh…i want to visit both the parvatamalia and arunachalam it would be possible for me? Can u give any advice which really helps me…i want to be on purnima in arunachalma..
    thank u

    • aryam0403 says:

      Parvathamalai is just 25kms from Tiruvannamalai (Arunchaleshwara temple). But I feel it would be difficult to visit both places in a single trip. Its better if you plan it separatley. If you are doing girivalam at Tiruvannamalai you will have to walk 14kms at a stretch. Similarly at parvathamalai you will have to climb up and down the hill which would be close to 14kms again. You need to be physically and mentally fit. All the best

  8. sivaraman says:

    hello sir. this month i will go to parvathamalai first time. which time is best for reach the hill

    • aryam0403 says:

      Dear Sivaraman, During weekends, Amavasai & Pournami days you will find people climbing the hill round the clock. If you are not comfortable climbing in the night then do a early morning climb and start getting down around 3pm as it will be too hot to climb between 8 am to 3 pm . regards

  9. sivaraman says:

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH SIR……..

  10. Aman says:

    Very informative. Thanks a lot for sharing. You could have stayed for 2 more hours, ie till midnight. It is said that Siddhas come there at 12:00 AM midnight to perform poojas.

  11. Rajan says:

    Are we allowed to stay till mid night for worship in temple… Please reply

  12. g.nagendra(smashna baba) says:

    even am one of the lucky sadhu to climb parvathamalai i have climbed more than 10 times

  13. g.nagendra(smashna baba) says:

    that’s a virgin mountain were u can feel the presence of lord shiva , sarvam sivamayam,malayana marundana mahadevanai nenaithu parthala pase pogum n malayam n sivamalaiyam adu paruvathamalaiam.moksham malai pap venasham malai om namashivaia good bless u siva

  14. g.nagendra(smashna baba) says:

    07411984094 my number any doubt pls cl me

    • Sivasailam says:

      I am sivasailam staying in chennai. We want to come in a group and have darshan of Lord Shiva. What is the procedure? How to plan? Whether we have to stay at the bottom of the hill or in the top in the night. I am came to know that Siddhas visit and do pooja in the night.

      • aryam0403 says:

        Dear Sivasailam, Please plan your trip preferably on a pournami or during weekends. Avoid trekking during the day time. Please keep in mind that there is no toilet facility and water in the hill top. Please go through my blog for more details. regards,

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