29 January 2007

Having Fun

One of the first thing people notice when they come to Tiruvannamalai is the number of sadhus and sannyasins around the Hill. The vast majority of the sadhus and sannyasins are men and can be easily identified as they generally wear predominantly orange clothes. This particular Swami is having a nap outside a very peaceful shrine.

Outside the same Shrine, Nirudhi Lingam, is a very nice painting of the circumference of Arunachala with all the famous Asta Lingams marked.

In 2006 the Supreme Court in Delhi made a final judgement of the status of land around Arunachala. As a consequence of the judgement, construction has started in many places by the side of the girivalam road. All construction was actually halted for years whilst land owners waited to hear the definitive Supreme Court ruling. You can read the Judgement in full to find out more about the future development of this area.

Well this looks like a happy and healthy dog and also a nicely garlanded one too. Its always heartening to see the animals around Tiruvannamalai being spoilt; sadly there is not enough of that going on!

A beautiful photograph of Arunachala taken from the girivalam pathway.

A monkey in the foreground walking around his terrority. The species is Bonnet Macaque and there are many large size communities of Macaque monkeys both on the Hill and around the pathway.

In the below photo is the statue of the second Simhla around the girivalam pathway. This one is not as in good condition as the statue on Chengham Road. If you want to learn more about the history of these statues check out this previous posting.

There is a beautiful 8 km stretch of the Giri Valam pathway around Arunachala that goes through serene, unspoilt countryside with a wonderful darshan of the Hill. Until a few years ago, this stretch of road was unspoilt and empty of encroachments and disturbances. However nowadays new tea shops and restaurants seem to be appearing overnight. I asked a retired Government official why these encroachments were being allowed on the ringroad. I was shocked when he told me that these tea shops and restaurants are actually being encouraged to open on the pradakshina pathway in order to provide security for pilgrims against robbers!

I've definitely lost the plot here as I can't understand the reasoning of destroying the beauty and serenity of the pathway by opening shops that act as magnets to hordes of beggars, wastrels and bogus sadhus thereby making it impossible to go around the Hill peacefully without being importuned each time one passes one of these numerous, dreadful little rest stops.

The below is a Vinayaka shrine (Idukku Pillayar) which is very popular with pilgrims. One has to enter from the back doorway and slide through the narrow opening and emerge through the front. If successful, it is meant to be good luck. The shrine is also popular with people stopping by and hoping others will get stuck in the opening!

Once the passageway is navigated all that remains is to go through the hustle and bustle of town. And here near the junction of Car And Big Streets is one of the flower sellers selling indigenous, fragrant blooms.


PiTrinam said...

Beautiful pictures of Arunachala! Much Thanks to You for posting.
I am in Canada and have a great Love for Arunachala Shiva. I have never visited but in my heart, I am often there.
Oum Namah Shivaya!
Truth! Beauty! Love! Justice!
Shanti! Peace!2U&Yours! ~PiTrinam

Arunachala Living said...

Hello to you in Canada and hoping that you are blessed to come and visit Arunachala soon.