The below photographs are of Pavala Kundru (Coral Rock) Shrine, situated on a spur of Arunachala. The current Temple dates from not earlier than the end of 18th Century, as historical records date the destruction of the original Shrine by the forces of Tippu Sultan to have occurred in 1790.
|View of Temple from main road towards bus stand|
The opening hours of the Temple are somewhat erratic, and this week was the first time in about six visits, that I visited at a time that the Shrine was actually open. This was particularly satisfying as one has to climb 150 steps on the side of the slope to reach the Temple.
|Beginning of a long, steep trek|
|A fascinating stele in a shrine on the side of the walkway|
|A beautiful Nandi statue on the side of the walkway|
|Side view of Temple|
|Nandi in front of Temple, facing the Lingam in Shrine Room|
|Nandi front of Temple. Board with information about Sri Ramana|
The Temple was recently renovated with the support of Shantimalai Trust and Ramana Ashram.
Outside the front door of the Temple is a board placed by the Ashram, which reads:
The first instruction imparted by Sri Ramana Maharshi was to his Mother at Pavala Kundru in 1899:
"The ordainer controls the fate of souls in accordance with their past deeds. Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen; try how hard you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen. Do what you may to stop it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is for one to be silent.”
|North Side Arunachaleswarar Temple from Pavala Kundru|
|Puja at Shrine of Pavalagiriswarar and Ardhanariswarar|
One of the most unique features of the current Temple is that there is both the Pavalagiriswarar Lingam and a statue of Ardhanariswarar in the Shrine room.
In a nook outside the main shrine room there is a statue of the Goddess Muttambikai, and to the right of that nook is a tiny room in which Sri Ramana Maharshi used to meditate during his six month stay at this Temple.
|View of Arunachala from Pavala Kundru|
|Unique view of Pavala Kundru on Arunachala spur|
I hope to be soon posting more detailed information about the history and mythology of this unique Temple on my website Arunachala Samudra. But for now, as well as some photographs, have also uploaded a short video of aarti being performed in the main Shrine Room.