There is also a famous saying that says ” Only if he wills you can reach Thiruannamalai” meaning it is tough to grace the feet of the Lord Arunachaleshwarar and only by his will this can happen.
Thiruvannamalai is a small township, about 200 Kms from the (Chennai) the capital of Tamil Nadu.
There are a million ways you can reach ThiruvAnnamalai. By Bus it takes around 4 to 4 and a half hours to be there. A very Big Temple for Lord Arunachaleshwarer is present at the foot of the Hill. The height of ThiruvAnamalai is about 2669 feet (800 m) from records. The Girivalam is approximately 15 Kms.
This place was ruled by the Cholas and also the Pandyas.
Thiruannamaliar is said to be a mount of very very Precious Stones and said to have emitted Cosmic Light unknown to mankind in Kritha Yuga, in the thretha Yuga a mount of Emarald, Dwapara Yuga a Golden mountain and in kali yuga in mountain contining simply stones, sand and forests(rock mountain).
Why so, you may ask… Each Yuga
The absolute truth is that the holy hill turns itself depending upon the type of people infesting the planet…
This shows that how much we have to improve ourselves in our values and morales.
Thiruannamali is said to also house one of the most magnificent festivals on earth. Yes it is the Light Mountain Festival(Thiru Karthigai Deepam). During the tamil month of Karthigai, a huge lamp is lit on the top of the holy hill to ward off darkness and spread the light of truth and vliss to the neighboring villages and its inmates.
Thiruannamalai is also know for its secrets and rare herbs. Legands also talk about all epic heros such as from rama to krishna, duriyodhana and even Lord Hunuman to have frequted the hill in the form of Girivalam.
Q: What is Girivalam ??
A: Girivalam is nothing but Circumambulation or call in going around something of immense spiritual power. Here girivalam refers to going around the holy hill of thiruvAnnamalai. It is said that Lord Arunachaleshwarer is said to be seated in the form of the holy hill across yugas for devotees to go around him to get their prayer calls scantioned in foot depending upon their might. There are profs of Lord Rama, Lord Krishna and many more divine characters to have circumambulated this holy hill. Please note: In the case of Human beings, the best form of circumambulating the Holy Hill is by foot, until unless you are not able to walk due to oldage , or non mobility due to medical history. Otherwise we kindly request you to not go around the hill in four wheelers or any other similar sort when you are capable of walking the distance. The distance is exactly 14 kilometers and also since this is holy ground, we request you not to wear any foot wear if possible.
Q: Why is Pournami Girivalam Becoming famous day by day?
A:Pournami meaning full moon day, which assumes the fact that the moon god is in Trust him and see the difference yourself. If you are in India it is simple. Try to make it here to ThiruvAnamalai. If you are a person from another country, then try to make it atlest once to this place. full power and had the ability to discharge rays that can sure certain health problems. Apart from this fact, the Holy Hill of Lord Arunacheleshwarer is said to pocessess al lot of rare and powerful herbs. Hence the breeze over the area is said to carry the essence of these herbs and hence the medicinal effect. Apart from all these, Lord arunachaleshwarer is a very generous God.
Q: What is the proper procedure to go on a girivalam?
A: The proper procedure to follow on a Girivalam are :-
1) Try to take food for creatures on the way like Bhiravas(dogs), Cows and you can even feed the temple Elephant.
2) Take insence sticks along with you. Them must remain alight till you complete the girivalam. Also chant or sing any devotional song to mantra so that the fumes from the insence stick carries these to the tip of the Holy Hill to get your prayers directly to the years of Lord Arunacheleshwarer.
4) Purchase Bread for charity to the sadus or any worthy people whom you may come across during girivalam. This is since it is a very notable fact that many saints and sages are also said to go for girivalams. Who knows you may even have the opportunity to meet one
5) This is point is mainly only for Males. ( Try to wear as less clothing as possible. This is because the lesser the clothing the greater the essence of the herbs reaches you. (Ramana Maharishi stressed on this aspect.)
6) There is no point in running/sprinting around the Hill. Try to be as slow as possible ( as quoted by our vathyar Sri Venkataraman swamigal… you need to go around the hill as slowly as a nine month pregnant woman). This is so because you can see a million darshans of Lord Arunachaleshwarer. Every step you take, the Holy hill changes its darshan ( according to Raman Maharishi). SO the saints cannot be wrong.
Q: What are the important things/Shrines/ Dharshans that you need to : see during a girivalam?
A: Dear Adiyar, You need to start your Girivalam from Bhoodha narayanan Temple and Complete it in Brahma Lingam. If you belong to any ashram doing sincere service for the betterment of mankind and also to the other devotees circum – ambulating the hill then they have an exception. They can Start and Complete the Girivalam at the ashram itself.
Please note: The information given here is based on the oldest shrines present. We do not vouch save any other temples or shrines that have come in the present. Also please beware of strangers and unknown persons calling you to visit them and under any other circumstances for any other things like fore telling your future or performing any sort of prayers. This is issued in the interest of Public welfare.
Let me assume that you are starting at Bhodha narayanan Temple, the next most important thing that you need to see it the Rettai Pilliyar. This is a very old temple and has exsisted for quite some time. From the back of the temple you can see the Chanakya Mukthi Darshan. Then the Main Arunachaleshwarer temple itself. Go around the entire temple. Ensure that you have adequate time for the girivalam also since the temple is very Big and may consume even hours to see it completely.
Apart from our Ashram, on the way form the temple you will find four other ashrams
1) Esanya Madham(Esayna Siddhar Samadhi)
2) Ramana Maharishi Ashram(Ramana Maharishi Samadhi)
3) Seshadri Maharishi Ashram(Samadhi Seshadri Maharishi)
4) Yogi Surat Ram Kumar Ashram(Yogi Surat Ram Kumar Samadhi) Please remember to spend some time on these since all of them have contained very great and eminent saints once in them. These saints are said to grace the Holy town of ThiruvAnnamalai even today…
You also need to see to Siva Raja Singa mugha Theerthams on the way. (these are small ponds containing the Huge Lion Face statues)
Then the Five Nandhis
Adi Gara Nandhi – Near Sri Lobhamatha Agasthiyar Ashram
Appu Nandhi — Vayu Nandhi — Thayu NAndhi and finally
The Eight Lingas
1. Kubera Lingam
2. Esayana Lingam
3. Yama Lingam
4. Vayu Lingam
5. Varuna Limgam
6. Agni Lingam
7. Niridhi Lingam
8. Brahma Lingam
9. Yeduku Pilliyar
10. Pancha linga Darisinam
11. Raja Harischandra Samadhi Finally Sri-La-Sri Lobhamatha Agasthiyar Ashram – Sri Venkatarama Siddhar Jeeva Samadhi Each of these lingas have said to pocessess immense amount of power in in its own aspect. Taking the first and the foremost linga the “Brahma Linga we you are supposed to start your girivalam, is said to decide the course of your fate– reducing the effects of evil and balancing the amount of good that you do. The others lingas such as Vaayu, Varua, Agni and Niridhi Lingas said to be the main constituents of the Five natural elements Fire, Water, Earth and Wind composing the human body and controlling him at every point of his life ensure that when a human comes circumambulating the Holu hill, provides control of the human body over these elements and bringing about the real balance of human emotions and physical conditions. The other lingas mainly Esanya , Kubera Lingas provide knowledge and wealth of the good being. Finally the eight is the yama linga who takes care that your are trated properly after death provided your actions are true and correct in this birth.
When do you need to go on a girivalam? You can go on any day in the year and at any time of the day. There are off course no restrictions for this. You can also opt to go for a girivalam on especially monthly shiv rathri, Maha shiv rathri, New year, Pradhosham, Festivals and even on your Birth Day would be great!!! What are the other forms of Girivalam You can go for :- Adi Pradakshina : meaning Foot by foot Girivalam Anga Pradakshina: rolling around the Holy hill in bear body:
These are the pics of the lingas. The one in blue is yeduku pillayar. Said to be a very thin passage and even the fattest can go in and come out easily.