Those that have been following Arunachala Grace, already know of my great love for animals. I have six of my own doggies and also daily feed dinner to a number of local doggies -- much to the intense jealous rivalry of my own brood.
As well as having my own doggies, I also feed hundreds of birds who daily visit my garden compound which is located adjacent to the wilderness area of the Samudram Eri. So the below Animal Girivalam -- is all about my love of animals.
Over Deepam Festival I was asked by Yoges, a good friend in Malaysia to look after two of her compatriots, who needed a mentor during their stay at Tiruvannamalai.
On one day during their stay, we rented an auto rickshaw for 4-5 hours to enjoy a nice leisurely auto hill round. During the hill round made sure to stop off at some special Temples to explain to my visitors the mythology connected with the Temple and sometimes just talked about local gossip surrounding various Temple compounds.
Although I had my camera, wasn't really in the mood to take many snaps, except for the below photographs which were of animals we saw at some of the Temples we visited.
|Right click to see nesting birds: Adiannamalai Temple|
The below extract is from my posting on Adiannamalai Temple on my website Arunachala Samudra.
"Birds nesting at Adi Annamalai Temple
When entering the Temple Compound of Adi Annamalai during bird nesting season, you will often be met with clouds of parrots and doves on fly-past. And looking up you will spot the occasional sleepy looking owl standing sentry at the doorway of its nest.
With careful attention to detail during renovation of Adi Annamalai Temple, the little openings at the top of the compound walls surrounding the Temple were preserved so they could continue to remain as nesting places for: parrots, doves, pigeons, sparrows, owls and bats."
To read more about the Rose Ringed Parakeet which is found in abundant numbers in the countryside around Arunachala, please visit my Arunachala Bird Blog, at this link here.
Its been a long time since I visited the developing Balaji Temple (Lord Venkateshwara) near the Kubera Lingam on the South East side of Arunachala. It is the perfect place to bring young children, because as well as enormous statues of various Gods housed in individual shrines throughout the grounds of the Temple, the Temple is also home to a donkey and horse sanctuary. Below a lovely new-born at the beginning of his sweet life.
|Best place for junior -- right next to Mum|
Another Temple which has a fascinating history and mythology is the recently remodelled Pachaiamman Koil. On a personal note, I preferred the Temple previous to its remodelling -- but obviously I am in a minority, as the Temple is very popular as a wedding venue for local couples. Which was delightful for all the local monkeys, as it meant plenty of snacks and fruit for the day.
For a fascinating narrative on the history of this Temple, visit my website at this link.
|Monkeys in the Shade!|
Excerpt from my Website Narrative
"A legend of Pachaiamman (an aspect of Parvati) has it that after completing her penance at Kanchi, the Goddess started off for Arunachala. She travelled with 7 rishis and 7 virgins (Sapta Kanniyars) as part of a protective entourage. Halfway from Kanchi to Arunachala, the entourage stopped and made camp at the village Vazhapanthal. At that place the local king tried to molest the Goddess and the 7 rishis became as munishwaras (guardians) and killed the king.
In the Pachaiamman Compound there are 14 statues of Pachaiamman’s warrior guardians set out in two lines, with two representations of each warrior."
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With our Animal Girivalam complete, my two ladies from Malaysia and I continued on our auto hillround and stopped off at several other fascinating, mythology-rich Temples - and a very nice time we had of it!