31 March 2015

Parvathamalai Summit

As Parvathamalai is within the radius of the power of Arunachala, as set out in the Skanda Purana, and as it is becoming increasingly more renowned in these modern times, I have already made three postings on various aspects—see below: 

To read an earlier post about Parvathamalai setting out its spiritual significance and some of its history, go to this link here

To learn about the Siddhar Thavathiru Veera Vairakiya Moorthy with miraculous powers who lived on Parvathamalai in ancient times, go to this link here

For information regarding girivalam, accommodation and routes to the top of the Hill, go to this link here.

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Ashram left, Temple Right side

This fourth posting gives information about the sacred Temple on top of the Hill, and also includes photographs of the buildings on the summit and views of the beautiful vistas from the top of Parvathamalai.

Javadhi Hills from Summit

Another View from Summit

From Summit looking at nearby ruins

Nearby ruins where Parvathamalai pilgrims shelter

At the summit of the Hill is a very powerful Temple at which resides the Siva aspect in the form of Lord Mallikarjuna (i.e. White Jasmine) and the Sakthi aspect in the form of Parvatha Rani or Parvathammal. Parvathammal is also called Lordess Brahmarambika (and Maragathambika). Inside the Temple there are also shrines dedicated to: Sri Vinayagar, Sri Subramanyar with Valli and Devasena, Sri Aghora Veerabhadrar, Sri Kali, and Sri Nagarajar.

A Temple at this site is believed to have existed for the last 2000 years although it is not known exactly when the current Temple was constructed at the top of Parvathamalai. However a record (Malai Padu Kadaam) shows that King Maa Mannan who was ruling that area, during the year 300 A.D used to visit a Temple (at this site) frequently and worship Lord Shiva and the Goddess. It is said that 2000 years ago great yogis (Siddhas) constructed a Temple at the top of the hill for doing meditation.

The history of Parvathamalai is interconnected with that of the famed Sri Mallikarjunar Temple at Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh. The encompassing legend goes so:

“Sage Siladha performed severe penance on Lord Shiva seeking a boon to have children. Two sons were born to him, Nandhi and Parvathan. Sanakadhi Rishi called on the sage and said that Nandhi would live on earth only for a short while. As a result of this prophecy Siladha fell into grief. Nandhi assured his father by saying that he would win over death by his penance on Lord Shiva.

Pleased with Nandhi’s penance, Lord Shiva appeared and made the young child His vahana (vehicle) and passed the order that devotees should come to Him only after being allowed by Nandhi. Nandhi’s place of penance at the foot of the hills at Sri Mallikarjunar Temple at Srisailam is also known as “Nandiyal”. His brother Parvathan also performed penance on Lord Siva and became the hill – Parvatha Hill – i.e. Parvathamalai”.

Another legend associated with this sacred site recounts that when Lord Siva returned from the Himalayas to South India, He stepped on Parvathamalai on His way to Arunachala.

Lord Siva's Feet near Summit

One of the unique features of the Temple on Parvathamalai is that all may enter the inner shrine (sanctum sanctorum) in order to perform their own puja to Lord Shiva, the Goddess, Sri Ganesha and Lord Murugan. The busiest times at Parvathamalai are the days of full moon, no moon and new moon. The Temple is currently under renovation and when completed a grand kumbhabhishekam will take place. It is believed that it will be the first such observance at this Temple in 600 years.

Development of Shrines at Temple

Lord Siva Sannidhi

The Goddess Sannidhi

Goddess Brahmarambika

It is reported by visitors that at night many paranormal activities occur on Parvathamalai. That it is possible to experience both Jyoti Darsanam at night and also to imbibe an almost other-worldly intoxicating scent of flowers. The Goddess idol at the Temple has a dazzling smile and Divine light can often be seen on her face and cheeks. When the devotee walks away from Goddess Brahmarambika in the sanctum sanctorum, the size of the deity instead of diminishing, appears to increase in size and it seems as if the Goddess steps forward and approaches the devotee.

This place is filled with stories of miracles witnessed in one form or another. Devotees often report seeing images of both the snake and trishulam when lighting camphor in front of Lord Shiva. Some devotees have seen a nine foot King Cobra visiting the Sanctum Sanctorum for the worship and others have sight of three eagles circling the top of Parvathamalai.

It is reputed that there are Siddhars who have made this Hill their home and who keep their presence a secret only choosing to reveal themselves to very few devotees of the Divine. It is believed that these Siddhars visit the Temple on the top of Parvathamalai at midnight to worship the presiding deities there. Though no one are able to see them in physical bodies, Villagers around ‘Parvathamalai’ down below say that they can clearly hear the sound of ringing bells, blowing conch and beating drums exactly at midnight when pujas are performed by siddhars. Devas and spiritual beings from other lokas are also believed to worship on the Hill every night.

Information about Trust Renovation

New Archway leading to Temple on Summit

Early work undertaken in Temple Renovation

Renovation Work at Temple
[Extract from National Newspaper]

"Over 4,500-ft high, Parvathamalai challenges climbers. Tough and rugged, it has 1,800 steps. “With descending clouds keeping you company, it is a unique experience to walk in this virgin terrain,” say devotees, who have been visiting the hill for two decades, to worship Lord Mallikarjuna and His consort Brahmarambika. 

The dilapidated state of the Temple forced some the devotees from Triplicane, Chennai, to form a Renovation Committee. Word spread and help came from all quarters. The HR and CE gave the green signal and work started in earnest. But it has not been easy. From water to steel and wood to cement, everything has to be transported manually. An uphill task, literally! Sand is sent up in small bags through climbers. Water is carried in bottles and cans to be emptied into huge drums. 

Thunder struck in 2009 and work suffered a setback. A super conductor lightning diverter was installed. Huge parts of the tower, weighing 1,000 kg, were moved to the hill top and an expert team from Kodaikanal installed it. 

Help is coming from unexpected quarters. A devotee, after visiting the temple and watching the proceedings, supplied steel and cement. Everything is being built—from walls and pedestals for the idols, to ceiling and gopuram. . . ."

Miraculous theertham of spring water on Summit outside Temple

Lord Nandi on Parvathamalai Summit looking towards Arunachala

Arunachala from summit of Parvathamalai


Itinerant Yogi said...

Have you hiked to the Summit? How did you find it? Fascinating post BTW.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

One time I walked to the top of Arunachala and found that exhausting. Parvathamalai is a MUCH MORE demanding. It is not suggested for older or fatty folk. Or those in poor health. Also it can be slippery in parts when wet so again if one climbs up in the rain BE CAREFUL.

For myself I am too chubby to try the climb up.

From what I understand there have been no serious accidents in modern times concerning pilgrims climbing Parvathamalai. However a number of years ago, a group of around 7 people were electrocuted in a lightening storm when holding onto the metal guard rails.

As a consequence of that accident a lightening conductor is now planted on the top of Parvathamalai.

manavalan murali said...

with the help and blessings of the great mallikarjuna and bhramarabika i was able to go to that shrine on 24 th december 1998 from then onwards i am able to go that shrine every month and it has been 184 times in as many months with 12 months skipped because of my fathers demise in the year 2010 and after one year i am continuing to go there every month, it is great for my health and mind.

Itinerant Yogi said...

Dear Manavalan Murali. Can you please write a post about your different experiences in Parthavamalai. Thanks

altius malles said...

murali its great to hear u. its
good inspiring to the begginers
i have went recently nd would say hidden mystery of Tn in paravadhamalai