3rd trip to Parvathamalai

3rd trip to Parvathamalai – 29th March 2010

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 
Unlike our previous trips, this trip was full of surprises starting from the date of travel…and all our plans went topsy-turvy.

The response to my 2nd visit was overwhelming. More than 25 people geared up for the 3rd trip. Innovatively this time I created a FTD (Fitness Through Devotion) group id in one of the free sms site and started sending tips everyday to the group one week before the trip. The response was quite encouraging. The number of people who religiously followed was again a very few only. I started walking back home everyday from office (3km stretch) and added few more asanaas to my existing yoga schedule. Let me assure you that walking and yoga can add wonders to your life. My colleague also JP gave me company and a few tips during my six-floor office staircase climb everyday (atleast 3 times a day 450 steps) and it does not take more than 15 minutes. I am determined to continue this routine.

Originally we had decided to travel on 30th March, which was the Pournami day as per my home calendar and from one of the Google preferred Tamil calendar site. My wife kept telling me that Pournami is on 29th and my younger sister also called me to say that but somehow I was convinced that it is 30th March till Suresh received a call from Mr. Rajendran, the priest at Vanadurga temple, Parvathamalai on 29th March morning to find out as to when we would be reaching the hill that day! After a few calls between me, Suresh, Jaggi & Jagan, we decided at around 11.30 am to leave for Parvathamalai around 3 pm the same day. Because of the sudden change in the plan, few people dropped out and few we could not reach on time. In spite of all these hungamas, 20 people joined the trip this time. We decided to go in 2 cars and a tempo traveler. With the help of our colleague Rajmohan (known for his networking and negotiation skills) we managed to arrange the tempo traveler and packed food for the group in no time. And so our 3rd trip to Parvathamalai began at 3 pm.

Our group in the Tempo Traveler

We had planned to start our climb from the foothill after finishing the routine at Vana Durga temple by 6.30 pm but to our surprise we saw unprecedented crowd at the foothill due to Panguni Uttram also the our group in the tempo traveler also reached quite late. We eventually started our climb at 8 pm.

waiting for the rest of the group to catch up...

First timers: Kowshic (elder son of Jagan -11 years old), Dilip ram, Sudharsan, Prashanth, Saurabh, Raghu, Manikandan, Raghu & Narayanan

Oldies: Jaggi, Jagan, Sridhar, Karan, Krishna reddy, Mahesh, Suresh, Babu, Rajesh & Prabhakar

ayyanar temple at the foothill

Anjeneyar temple at the foothill

Before the holy dip at Vana Durga temple

Helping hand to fetch water from the temple well

Vana Durga devi

About to Climb...

We split into 4 groups and started the climb. We would have crossed only 100 steps; Sudharsan conceded that he could not climb any further and there began the struggle. It was very hot and people are sweating profusely and getting exhausted very fast because of the heat. Sridhar gave lot of confidence to Sudharsan and they began the climb again but very slowly. As before, I separated out of group and started walking alone searching the blankness. Before I took bath at the Vanadurga temple, I was having a splitting headache (migraine) and I was worried if I would be able to climb. I prayed to god, swallowed a pill and took bath. In flat 10 minutes there was no trace of the headache. This is the power of belief…

I caught up with Dilip and Reddy who were leading and soon joined by Karan & Kowshic. Kowshic I must say was the real hero of the trip did not show any sign of exhaustion or fear, with little support from Karan throughout the climb, he managed it quite well. Karan, Dilip & Jagan walked bare foot and I changed my decision not to walk bare foot in the last minute because of my headache. Kowshic, Karan & myself reached the last the stop before the final climb through Kadaparai padai around 9.30 pm. Dilip and Reddy reached 20 minutes later. Jaggi also disappointed me this time (who is generally fit like a fiddle). The last pair of Sudharsan & Sridhar reached the meeting spot around 10.45 pm. All of us finished our food here before we attempted the final assault around 11 pm.

Thanks to Sun TV for creating a lot of hype with their Nijam Programme on Parvathamalai, the crowd was over flowing. But we still managed to reach the top around 11.45 pm barring Prashant who started shivering heavily after looking at the height and the downhill (acrophobic?) was difficult to calm him down. With support from Suresh, he also managed the climb.

Before the thandavala Padai...waiting for the crowd to cross over

The rock behind in the above picture is supposed to be the place where Lord Shiva has put his foot. It is just before the Thanadavala Padai…we waited for a huge descending crowd to cross over us

We spent close to 3 hours in the top. Did probably the best abhiseham of our trips to both mallikarjuneswarar and Karpagamabal. It was divine as usual and this time even more with Dilip’s vengala kural Rudra Prasanam. I had a personal satisfaction after the abhiseham this time, which was missing during the earlier trips. We donated what ever we could at the asharam and started our descent. This time the ashram people offered us to stay back overnight during our next visits. They even urged us bring our family with us. They handed over couple of VCDs about Parvathamalai temple and ashram. We promised them that we would upload the same in Youtube for public viewing.

Outside the hill top temple after abhiseham

Inside the ashram...

Our descent was very slow because of the excessive crowd but for a few people it was quite smooth otherwise. I managed to twist my ankle between the rocks. For a few anxious moments in pain I was worried as I felt that the damage could be heavy and I may not be able to walk further. I heard one of the villagers behind saying to someone to stand at the same place for few moments if you are hurt, you will be fine. I stood up and stretched my legs and started walking again. I was fine…power of belief. As usual it was Jaggi who reached first along with Suresh and devendra. Karan and myself reached next and surprised to see both Suresh & Jaggi fast asleep in one of the temple floors in the foothill.

We eventually started back to Chennai around 4 am and reached home around 8 am. The longest one compared to the previous two trips. Again a very memorable trip with quite a few learning and good experience.

7 of us are scheduled to climb Sabari mala on 10th April 2010 and I’m eagerly looking forward to the same, as it would be my first trip to Sabarimala.

Next pournami falls on 27th April 2010, our FTD group has a choice to make of Thiruvannamalai Girivalam or Parvathamalai or Tirumala hill which we will decide shortly. Velliangiri Hills and Sathuragiri are also on the cards…

“Travel is ninety percent anticipation and ten percent recollection” ~
Edward Streeter

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Comments
5 Responses to “3rd trip to Parvathamalai”
  1. Rajan Hariharan says:

    It is very good experience and good spirit

  2. Ganesan Ranganathan says:

    Hi,

    It is really very cool. Do consider including me on your fourth trip.

    Best Wishes,

    Ganesan Ranganathan
    9910060550

  3. Prof. M. S. Narayanan says:

    They are now renovating this temple. Please contact the following numbers for financial and material contribution.
    99662382601, 9884236697, 9884238897
    as published in an article in The Hindu dated8/10/2010

  4. H,SANKARARAMAN says:

    after seeing your experience, am also excited to visit dis place. it’s so nice n i lykd a lot.

  5. H.SANKARARAMAN says:

    aftr seein ur experience, am very excited to vist dis place. it’s so nice n i lykd it a lot.. i wud lyk to cum to dis place we u go d nxt tym..

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