Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thiruvannamalai




I've actually been saving up writing about this place until I know enough to do justice to a place like this. 

I have almost been here for a month now, and even now I fail to come up with a single adjective to describe it. Nor do I want to go overboard by using mere words that anyway sound shallow. 


Pilgrims from all over the world flock to this place, one of the Panchamahabootha sthalas, Thiruvannamalai is the 'agni lingam', which represents the 'fire' element.


Ever since my parents settled here 3 months ago, I always wanted to come here on the full moon, and do the famous 'Girivalam,' a 14 km trek around the mountain, the main attraction of this place. 


As luck would have it, I came here to recover from my illness, and doing the trek was out of the question, so here I am, being ruthlessly, utterly pampered by my parents, eating awesome food and soaking in some awesome culture (Ha! that got you jealous)


The first thing I saw as I entered this idyllic temple town, was a majestic mountain that overshadowed everything else here. This was the sacred 'Aruna shivalinga mountain', meaning the whole mountain itself here was worshipped as the shivalinga. In the coming days as I recovered, I realized that the temple here is just the symbolic aspect to the city itself, and its actually the city of Thiruvannamalai which is the actual temple, the mountain, the linga. 


This city is scattered with ashrams, where masters like Ramana maharishi, Yogi Ram Surat Kumar and Sheshadari Swamigal meditated and attained enlightenment. 


The main temple, the 'Arulmigu Arunachaleshwar koil' , with the presiding deity of Shiva and Parvathi as Annamalaiyar and Unnamulaiamman is more than a 1000 years old. Throughout the temple one can feel the fire element emanating from its space having a strange cleansing effect, especially when you enter the inner shrine. 


The town itself of course is a brilliant tourist hub, especially in the Ramanashram side of the town, which is majorly popular among foreigners, the city feels like a cross between the colorful Goa and spiritual Varanasi. So you can meditate every evening and then head for delicious wood fire baked pizzas.


So this whole month has been an extended holiday. I don't know how long I am going to be here, but I could sure get used to waking up to the birds and peacocks (okay, by the time I wake up, they are gone, but I swear I hear them in my dreams) , a view with the majestic mountains and wood fire baked pizzas (not yet tried them, but they sound delicious). And I for once am in no great hurry to recover!!!!!




10 Annotations:

nands said...

This is such a jelousy-triggering post! :)

Deepali Jamwal said...

I know one more such place... dad was posted there for 3 long years--- Wellington, Tamil Nadu.
I can relate exactly to what u have to say :)

Kaushik said...

Enjoy the rest my dear. U will not get this chance again :)

Ashish said...

Woooowwwww, seems to be having great experience maddy....
Ofcourse getting Jealous....

Anonymous said...

Now I would' ve used ChickHen to flash custom firmware to his psp but he updated to 5.55. So I was wondering if the Half Byte Loader program would be able to run the 5.50 D3 installer at all, since I noticed the program is beta and apparently as many problems left, long enough to flash firmware without bricking his psp.

The Wandering Minstrel said...

ok, i am practically begging, groveling here. call me. pls.

Anonymous said...

thiruvanamalai is located near chennai. but in the photo it is written arunchala

Krishna said...

ur in heaven!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Krishna said...

ur in heaven!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Srikant.K said...

JGD!

You are right now in one of the most sacred places on earth! The holy Arunachala mountain is as old as time itself!

Only last month, I had written an article on the glory of Arunachala and I'm pleasantly surprised that you are here now and in peace ( away from the noise and chaos of bangalore).

Please take care of your health. I wish you a speedy recovery. After you get completely fit, please do the giri pradakshina. It gives a lot of inner peace and strength.


Glory to Sri Arunachaleswara!