Thiruvannamalai-The Divine Circle


Thiruvannamalai is the abode of Lord Arunachala Shiva nestled in the hills midway between Bangalore and Chennai
It is also the place where Ramana Mahirishi has his ashram.

Read more about Thiruvannamalai here 

I left yesterday from our Chennai Office at 6.15 pm by bus with 40 colleagues to Thiruvannamalai. We left with the intention of doing a Girivalam or spiritual walk around the holy hill…

The road from Tindivanam -Gingee – T’malai is awful after this rain season with full of potholes’ and rough patches…The bumpy road made us reach only 11.15 pm ( 5 hrs for 190 odd kms).
We spent first hour in the bus chanting Rudram and Maha mrutyunjaya mantram.
The first patch through the town( starting from the temple- Rajagopuram side)-3 to 4 kms is on Bangalore highway, which is now completely damaged by rains, and I was barefooted then and felt acute foot pain by the sharp pebbles and wading through puddles of rain water stagnant on the road and then speeding trucks and overnight buses trying to run us off the road to the drains …! (Thank ‘Shiva’ it was a clear night though it had rained on previous days…)

Then I thought that it’s good to complete the walk and concentrate on bhakti rather than get distracted by the pain, and so wore chappals for the rest of the walk like many others with us (the rest of the Girivalam , 9 kms separated from the Highway traffic is in good smooth condition with tiled footpath too!)
The are are 12 lingams and being Karthiga masam, the temples were open poojas freshly done and being done. The jyothi/light atop the hill was visible clearly too…

The first temple for us was Agni lingam and the last one was Easanya Lingam.
Luckily there were like minded people for me, starting with our VP , Mr Krishna from AP, Managers- Ramesh , Bala and others who are traditional by nature and also some Sai devotees.
So we started singing Bhajans, me – Sai bhajans on Shiva (I sang some 12 to 14 myself) , others Murugan, Ayyappa and Amman bhajans/ songs in Tamil and even ‘Hare rama Hare Krishna’ chants and slokas and mantrams.

Our VP with a golden voice like SPB sang Shanakarabharanam and Annamayya songs -all devotional ones, and that is what made us forget the strain of walking. We completed the walk this spending time singing merrily all through. We had completed the 14 km stretch of Girivalam thus!
We broke once in between for sukku coffe and channa/ peanuts ( roadside kadai/ vendor) and in the end for a fresh bun and tea after the walk.
We left from Thiruivannamala temple parking at 3.45 am and reached home by 8.15 am. It was not possible to visit the temple as it was still closed.

Travel Tips:

You can reach The Tiruvannamalai from Bangalore and Chennai by road in the same duration
If you want to have darshan of Lord Arunachaleshwara , it is not possible till 5 am , when the doors open. So time your walk accordingly.


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