‘Giri’ meaning mountain or a Hill, ‘Valam’ meaning coming around – coming around the mountain is what we did on a Poornima on the 21 st May 2016. We, a group of Yogi’s from Dhrti Yoga team started on a trip to ‘Thiruvannamalai, 225 kms from Bangalore. Want to spend a night out, what other way to spend the night than go around such a majestic mountain where ‘Rishis’ are supposed to be living even today.
Dhrti Practitioners was ever enthusiastic and we embarked on our journey after an early dinner on a full moon day, a Friday to spend the weekend at the abode of Lord Arunachaleshwara (Lord Shiva), also called the Annamalaiyar. Majestic Annamalaiyar along with Unnamalai adorns the ancient city of Thiruvannamalai.
When we reached the city it was never like midnight, thousands of people already flooding the streets of Thiruvannamalai that night chanting the Shiva Nama, it was ‘Om Nama Shivaya’ all the way through the streets of the city. City brightly lit and the camphor smell from every nook & corner of the streets gave a wonderful aroma and kept all awake. Sometime made us not believe whether it is night or day, whether devotees had slept that night at all.
Streets were lined up with Ayurveda & medicinal herbs, Sukku Kaapi (Dry Ginger tea) available in plenty, Tender Coconut water all along & a very special ‘Vazhaipoo Masala vadai’ (Plantain Flower Vada) added to the aroma while devotees were tirelessly walking the stretch of 14+2 kms to reach the Arunachaleshwar’s sannadhi. The road was smooth to take care of the tender toes & treating the feet from all angles to give the acupressure effect all throughout. For some it was a smooth sail & for some it was a rough patch.
After a 4 hour journey (walking) by road, reached the abode at 6 am to wait (should we call it rest!) for about an hour before Lord Shiva gave us a wonderful Darshan, to just blow away all the tiredness created by the continuous journey. Wonderful Prasad of ‘Puliogare’ (Tamarind rice) along with Sakkarai Pongal (Sweet Pongal) filled the empty stomach, it tasted like nectar.
We came to the room to take a quick short nap so as to energize ourselves before visiting the Ramanaashram, Sheshadri Swamigal Ashram, Yogi Ram Surat Kumar Ashram. These visits not only quenched our spiritual search but added to our knowledge of understanding what these great Yogis & Rishis have contributed to this materialistic world.
The entire city looked energized with the ‘Shiva Nama’ the power of Rishis who are surrounding the ‘Giri’ all through out. Summer does not seem to deter the devotee’s devotion towards the Lord throughout seeking his blessings on the very important & auspicious day of ‘Poornami’.
Want to test your physical fitness, try ‘Girivalam’, no other day outing can match the experience challenge in making a Spiritual trip.
Hari OM Tat Sat