Sathuragiri – Part I

Om Namo Bhagavathe Rudraya 

 Trip to Sathuragiri was something, which I was looking forward to for a very long time. In deed the trip was divinely satisfying than one could actually expect/imagine. Originally I have scheduled the trip on 24th & 25th July 2010. But everything changed after I spoke to Raman Swamigal. Without even allowing me to speak, he said we could leave on 29th July 2010 and come back on 2nd Aug 2010 which I immediately agreed. So the dates were finalized.

The plan was like this…leave on 29th afternoon to Panaiyur (a place roughly 60kms from Madurai and it’s a routine to Swamigal to travel through Panaiyur everytime he goes to Sathuragiri), after doing a grand abhiseham and Annadhanam at Selliyaramman temple, would leave for Sathuragiri on 30th evening. Stay at Sathuragiri on 31st Jul-10 & 1st Aug-10. To descend on 2nd Aug-10, if possible visit to Thiruvarur before returning to Chennai.  

The team, Raman Swamigal, Bala, Arunkumar Singh, myself & the multi-faceted Palanisamy (hero of our blog…whom we picked up from Madurai).  Palani is big time into muligai vaithyam and he spends most of his time at Sathuragiri attached to the Sandhana Mahalingam temple.  

We started from Chennai around 3pm on 29th Jul-10. We had purchased puja items & groceries for anna dhanam from Chennai. Flowers and some more puja items were bought at Trichy enroute to Panaiyur. Picked-up Palanisamy at Madurai around 12 am midnight and proceeded to Panaiyur.  




 Selliyaramman temple

Peacocks in large numbers found near the temple





We reached Panaiyur around 3 am and woke up Murugan, the temple priest to open the temple for us. We took rest inside the temple for sometime and started the preparation for abhiseham and anna dhanam around 6 am on 30th Jul-10. The morning was very pleasant at Panaiyur with picturesque hills around. It was a brand new experience for me to use the open land as toilet and to bathe next to the ground level water tank.  Yes, Life in village is different.  

We had a fantastic abhiseham done by Raman swamigal and he was parallely supervising the preparation for anna dhanam as well. Palanisamy was proving his mutli-faceted abilities as a priest, cook & ayurvedha doctor. Visited the Panaiyur Thakshinamoorthy swamigal Jeeva samathi. Raman swamigal took sometime to share with us the legend about the thakshinamoorthy swamigal and his son. Both their Jeeva samathi was situated at a well-maintained ashram. You will have to go the basement through a small opening and steps. More than 2 people cannot go at a time. The ambience inside the samadhi was very soothing with beautiful shivalingams erected on top of the samadhi. You can feel the vibration once you go inside and it’s an ideal place for meditation.  

We started to Sathuragiri around 7pm and halted at Srivilliputhur for dinner (excellent tiffin was served at Hotel Kadhiravan) and we did some grocery/vegetable/puja items purchase. Reached Watrap (orginally called as vatradha iruppu – surplus water) in the foothills of Sathuragiri, it was almost 11pm in the night and we went to one of the local villagers’ settlement to look out for a coolie (to carry the grocery, vegetables etc). Raman swamigal is very popular here and people call him affectionately as Vethalai Petti Swami (he always carries a box of betel leaves with him). We managed to hire one coolie but the luggage was too heavy plus it was nighttime so the coolie told us that he will arrange to get our stuff delivered at our proposed place of stay at Sathuragiri before 8 am in the morning the next day. We agreed for the same and parked the car at the one of the makeshift shop for the aadi amavasai festival, which was to happen the next week. We informed one of the guys known to swamigal to take care of the car. 


Vinayagar temple on the foothills of Sathuragiri


The climb – the excitement was multi-fold when we eventually started climbing around 11.30pm, it was only 5 of us who were climbing at that time and it was pitch dark and complete silence with occasional noise made by the wild animals. Arun was the one to spot two star-like lights in the top of hill, which were moving up and down as if a fireball was floating. We were stunned in silence, as none of us have ever seen anything like that before. But Raman swamigal quickly dismissed our excitement saying they were just stars and urged us to move on…but after coming back to Chennai he has told Arun that we were lucky to spot and refused to divulge any further information. Swamigal instruction was very clear to me before the trip that don’t come to Sathuragiri with a feeling/excitement of what is being shown in print and electronic media. If you see anything, which is unsual, please enjoy and keep it to yourself. We took a break after 45 minutes, the place was like a valley surrounded by hills on all sides…while we were taking rest Swamigal went off to sleep for nearly an hour. Rest of us could not sleep as it was not very comfortable to lie down plus a kind of small insect kept on biting us on all sides. We heard an unusual noise quite closer to us, which Palanisamy claimed it to be that of a leopard. Finally we managed to wake up Swamigal and started to climb again. I took lead and started walking fast and swamigal was behind me by about 40 metres that’s when I spotted the star like thing again this time much closer. I stood still with goose pimples and kept on watching the light. It kept on floating on top of the hill and when swamigal came near to me, I could not see that again. When I told this to Swamigal, he dismissed again saying that it was just a star.  

Vazhukku Parai (clicked during the descent)

Place where we halted in the night

I increased my pace, Swamigal was behind me by 50-60 metres and rest of them were way behind and could not been seen. Suddenly I heard the sound of an animal getting down from a tree or moving from one tree to another very close to me. I froze, it could just be a monkey since I was alone and it was very dark, My heart beating galloped and I dint move a bit till swamigal joined. After that I maintained my pace with swamigal.We walked for an hour or so and finally we reached Korakkar Cave. We decided to sleep there for sometime. Eventually we woke up around 6 am in the morning. You will not believe, the place and the wind was so soothing that nobody wanted to wake up. We started moving again around 6.30 am.  


River bed near Korakkar Caves
The place where we slept near Korakkar Cave



Shiva lingam, ambal and a statue of Korakkar at the entrance to the cave

Rettai Lingam

The detour – Yakoba hills Palanisamy took us through a different route from Korakkar cave which was not used by others… It was mind-boggling and we spent almost an half admiring the nature. Palanisamy suddenly disappeared into the dense growth and came back with few leaves in his hands. He asked all of us to have it, as it would appease our thirst, hunger and it had six different tastes. To me it tasted like nelli kai (amla).

Yakoba Hills

Water here was pure, refreshing and supposedly with loads of medicinal value


yakoba...a refreshing experience

Pilavadi Karrupaswamy temple

Reached Pillavadi Karuppaswamy temple around, which is next to Sundara Mahalingam temple.  


16 Responses to “Sathuragiri – Part I”
  1. Gayathri says:

    These temples remind my birth place….so beautiful

  2. thiru says:

    please tell me about the saint apprananda swamigal jeeva samadhi at nettur.he was a relation for panaiyur sawamigal also.

    • aryam0403 says:

      Apprananda Swamigal is a staunch Muruga devotee. It was said that you would not find Lord Muruga at Thiruchendur at 12pm everyday as he visits Apprananda swamigal at Nettur. He was sishya of panaiyur swamigal. That is all the details I could gather at this point of time, Will try and share more details…

  3. thiru says:

    dear sir,
    i am very eager to know about the saint sankara narayana swamigal in panaiyur.

  4. thiru says:

    plz tell about the saint attained jeeva samadhi at panaiyur

    • aryam0403 says:

      Dear Thiru, Pls give me some time, will try and get you as much details possible.

    • aryam0403 says:

      Dear Thiru, Could gather some info as required. There is the jeeva samadhi of Saint Sanakara Narayana and his son Saint Daksinamoorthy at Panaiyur. The legend is that Saint Sankara Narayana was born to their parents after 18 years of marriage. It was believed that Saint Agasthiyar personally visited them as Ramagiri and blessed them.

      Saint Daksinamoorthy is the seventh kid of Sankara Narayana who was not showing any interest in marriage life till Agasthiyar personally blessed him and urged him into marriage life saying “illarathil nallaram Kaan”. Saint Dakisnamoorthy was believed to have attained sprirituality during foetal stage itself hence he was very powerful.

  5. Srinath Raghavan says:

    Hello Sir,

    I am from Mumbai and I am going to Madurai in the first week of September. Is there any way I can visit Sathuragiri as in a group if and when it’s going at that time. Kindly guide and oblige.

    Thank you,
    Srinath Raghavan

  6. thiru says:

    thanks to aryam sir…

  7. raja says:

    Sathuragiri santhana mahalingam temple Kumbhabisekam will be held on May 31 2012

  8. raja says:

    Sathuragiri Santhana Mahalingam Temple Kumbabisekam will be held on MAY 31 2012…

  9. Niru says:

    Wonderful experience….would want to make a trip next year.
    I’d very much appreciate if you could provide Mr Palani’s contact number to me. Thank you. Namaskaram.

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