10 May 2007

Mountain of Medicine

I previously made a posting about the Mountain of Medicine, a reforestation programme at Arunachala which is located on the South Side of the Hill and near to Sri Ramana Maharshi Ashram. Anyhow, I revisited this reforestation programme a few weeks ago to see their progress, and was delighted to see great improvements.

To find out more about the name Mountain of Medicine, and Sri Ramana Maharshi's explanation of the herbal properties of Arunachala, please refer to this posting.

The Mountain of Medicine has a nice quiet, contemplative, seating area with this pretty water feature.

Below another water feature in the quiet section of the Mountain of Medicine.

A local artist is currently painting granite slabs, which will be placed at the sides of various walkways at the Mountain of Medicine. Most of the paintings are depictions of local water birds and indigenous animals.

The below looks like a kingfisher and at the back of the granite slab, you can identify packets of seedlings that will later be transferred to various spots on Arunachala Hill.

The below is a favourite of mine and depicts the very commonly found Bonnet Macaque monkey; one sees these mischievous monkeys on the Hill, off the pradakshina road and also in town. The Bonnet Macaque is highly intelligent and very adaptive, and can quickly acclimate to new situations. If you want to find out more about this adorable, roguish monkey check out: Bonnet Macaque and monkey games.

The below shows part of the Children's Park at the Mountain of Medicine, which was recently opened and which is quickly proving a BIG success with local kids.

Another shot of the Children's Park at the Mountain of Medicine.

Rows of seedlings and plants, some of which will be later transferred and planted on the Hill, the rest of the seedlings will be sold to visitors, for their own gardens or driveways.

One very interesting feature of the Mountain of Medicine is that the organisation has built a rocky lane starting from their compound, which leads directly to the inner pradakshina path around the Hill. Most pilgrims prefer performing circumbulation of Arunachala by going around the outer pathway because they enjoy visiting outlying Temples and the Asta Lingams, however the inner path is particularly peaceful and favoured by those that want to perform silent and undisturbed girivalam.

A view of Arunachala and the local countryside from a vantage point at the Mountain of Medicine.

The below is the view of Arunachala from the gateway leading to the Mountain of Medicine. In a few years the planted trees will have grown and the pathway will be a veritable leafy avenue of trees.

You may like to refer to an earlier posting on this Blog written by Govinda Bowley, the founder of the Mountain of Medicine, in which he talks about the current greening situation of Arunachala.

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