Follow Me...I will show you...
First, i will give you a brief introduction about Sathuragiri,which is situated in South India,near Krishnan kovil and Vatrayiruppu.It's connected with major cities, all over from Tamilnadu by road.Here i will share my own experience ,that is 'how i reach that place ' from my home town Madurai. I (selvaganapathy) and my elder son Karthikeyan got up early in the morning at 2 A.M and reached the bus stand(name called 'Mattu thavani' - central & new bus stand).There i met with other two friends of mine,Kumar and Ganesh lal,as per the tour programe.We alll the four persons got into the bus,which is plying to Rajapalayam,also a near by town of Krishnan kovil.We got the tickets for the place called Krishnan kovil.The bus departed at 3.30 A.M leaving Madurai bus stand and reached Krishnan kovil by 5.00 A.M. There we had some hot tea and relaxed for say 20 minutes. We were waiting for the bus to "Thanipparai".A heavy rush was there,since it was "Amavaasai" -a no moon day, Normally, the people prefer "Pournami " - full moon day or other wise especially "Amavaasai" - no moon day for their holy walk to the siddhar's mountain.
We reached the base of the holy mountain, by around 6 A.M.That base is called Thanipparai".We had kept nothing with us except my camera Nkkon D3100, I bought the camera ,especially to shoot the holy mountain,but unfortunately i forgot to load the memory card. I was fed up.O.K ,no problem.i was having my mobile phone "Samsung-champ"which has the resolution of 1280 by 960.It's enough for taking better photographs.From there, we had started our spiritual search.
We started from there by around 6.30 A.M. Our journey started from the plain to the steep of the mountain.On the both side of the path,there were called 'sadhus' saying loudly "Om Namashivaya" and making "sanganatham"- a musical instrument through which blowing the air by their mouth loudly. We can offer some money for them,and they can share with them.Again fresh fruits like bananas and mango were also sold on both sides of the way to the top.
After a 20 minutes walk,we can reach the pillayar temple and pays the tributes to him,and pray him for our safty walk to the the top.
Pray Lord Vinayaka for the beside-walk.A near by temple called "Vanapaetchi amman" temple
Here the devotees of Lord Sundaramahalingam,(the All mighty of the mountain Sathuragiri), are offering sweet pongal,vegetable rice to the people who are climbing to the top.After eating the offerings ,leaving the stomach half-starving,we climbed to the top.On both sides of the way,the lovely view of the mountain,made us astonished.
In front of me,my son Karthikeyan(in black pant and black T-shirt),my friend Ganesh lal are climbing.I am not in the scene,since i am taking the photographs.
it's me , in full of sweating
In Tamil language valukku means"slip".We can see the rocks with slipping mode.Precautions should be followed,when climbing the slipping-rock.Fortunately there may be some steps-like cuts ,by following these steps,we can reach the top of slipping-rock.
MY son Karthikeyan and my friend are there in the picture
It's me in the white shirt with the camera bag around my shoulder
After climbing the slipping-rock, we have to go a long way,full of stones and steep.When we are climbing like this, we can feel, that we have made another bath,since our dresses are wet with sweating.No problem,thinking the Lord Sundaramahalingam and the 18 siddhas in our mind,we can lift the hurdles easily.The one must-thing ,we have to keep with us, is a good cotton towel,to observe our sweating.The another important thing is watter bottle(1 litre enough) to quench our thirst.Why i am telling one lit re enough is ,that we have to climb a long way,so that,it is good enough to avoid any sort of luggage including water bottles.Again,during full moon day or the no-moon day,there are some shops all along the way.From there,we can buy water bottles,cold sarbath,hot sukku-coffee," a Tamilnadu-special herbal coffee".Again some snacks are also there.Biscuts,groundnut toffee,raahi thosai are also sold there. So,it's better for us to avoid luggage including food. When we reach the top,there are some charitable trust to give us a very good food.The food offered by them is a quality one.
The hiring people take the food materials to the top, for this they have charged Rs.150 - 200/-.
shops are there all along the way to the top.
From the name itself, we can understand that a long iron chain is attached with the rock ,in order to cross over a stream.During rainy season,'flood like water flow' is there.so, to cross the river safely,we can hold the chain,and can cross the stream. On the way to the top,there are 3 0r 4 strem-like crossings are there.So precautions should be followed.
The stream crossing the sangilipaarai.People are crossing the stream.some body was washing their hands and refresh them for a while.
The clean stream is passing through...You can see the long iron chain tied with the rock.Wit this,we can cross the stream safely.
After crossing the chain-rock, we have to climb a big steep,For aged people,care should be taken.
In between the way to the top,there is a down-way path,leading to the Siddhar Korakker cave,where Siddhar Korekker worshipped a Lingam in a cave like appearance. It's a very beautiful place,it's covered by the mountains on four side,and it is well situated among them.Here a chilled stream is running and also some stagnated ponds of water are there.Here the climbers stay a while and take rest.Some people are taking bath in the stream.It's a best place for meditation.We can see the people who are in meditation there.A special linga pooja has been taken place by the devotees.We can stay a while there and enjoy the spritual phenomena. After this we can continue our journey to the top.
After making meditation,bathing and worshiping at the Korekker's cave, we are getting ready to proceed our way to the top. On the way to the top,there is another mile stone called "Irattai Lingam".when we reach here,we are passing half way to the top.
After this point,the steep begins to slightly slope,and we continued our journey.In between the journey, we were relaxing by drinking "Sukku coffee" and water.With paining foot,we continued our way to the top,but that pain will be vanished,when seeking the dharshan (worshiping) of Lord Sundaramahalingam.
We are nearing to the "naaval oothu",very important milestone of our spiritual search of Sathuragiri.Here a natural spring,full of herbal-mixed,crystal clear water is spontaneously filling the small pond.But apparently the water seems to be brownish colored;when filling in the pet-bottle, it seems a crystal clear. We,all the four drank the water and it tastes like a sweetened mineral water.If you have a bottle with you,please fill it with this herbal water and bring it to your home.It's very valuable,not to describe in words,you feel it.
After taking the water with us, we proceed our way to the top.Our next holy destination is "Pilavadi Karuppu".It's colloquially spelled in Tamil language.This means "The Guard Deity Karuppasamy under the Jack fruit tree".Before entering into the shrine of Lord Sundaramahalingam, we get the permission from him,through him only, we can pray to the god,that will be taken into the account. And again,after returning from the shrine of Lord Sundaramahalingam, we should inform about our prayers.He is the person who determine whether to set it o.k or not.
The shrine of Pilaavadi Karuppu surrounded with stream of herbal rich water.
Side view of shrine of Pilaavadi karuppu.
You can see the jack fruit tree under which the shrine is there.
After getting permission from Lord Pilaavadi Karuppu, we continued our journey to the final destination of the mountain, "Lord Sundaramahalingam - The Maha Siddhar".In front of the shrine of Lord Pilaavadi Karuppu,there ,we can see the crystel clear-running stream.It's very good for us to take bath here, since this stream is coming from the "Beneath of Lord Pilaavadi Karuppu".So, it has all the vital powers of all rare herbals.
On the way to the shrine,we can able to see the road-side shops,having the flowers,coconuts,Ghee lamps,ghee,the pictures of the gods of Sathuragiri. Again here also ,we can see a very big water tanks constructed on the ground level,for the purpose of solving the bathing problems,when there is heavy rush.
People are refreshing themselves by taking bath before entering the shrine of Lord Sundaramahalingam - "Maha siddhar of all siddhars"
The road side shops selling coconuts,flowers,vilvam leafs near the shrine,before entering the gate way to the Almighty.
I bought some Pink Arali flowers and ghee sand lamps for the dharsan of the Maha-siddhar.
Now ,we are going to enter shrine of the Lord,and for this we have to stand a little line,and slowly we enter the entrance and got our lives flourished on seeing the Lord Sundaramahalingam.
Behind the gate way entrance .inside
The big bell inside the shrine.
Here my friends walking..
we are at the meeting point...
In the shrine , I lightened the deepam (sand-light) in front of the Lord Sundaramahalingam,and gave the pink-arali-flowers to the gurus of the temple,they in turn garlanded the flowers on the "Thiru meni" (body) of the Almighty,The Maha siddhar.
Here the people were sitting and put their hands on the floor and pray to the Lord Sundaramahalingam and in meditation.
Here we ate Vegetable rice of fine quality by the service rendering charitable trust.
It will take normally 3- 4 hours to climb to the top of the shrine,but the time differs person to person up to their body condition.Then we have to go to another shrine of Lord Sandhanamahalingam and the 18 Siddhars.
In the Shrine , I lightened another deepam in front of the 18 Siddhars sannithi and pray them .Then move to the shrine of Lord Sandhanamahalingam,here the gurus gave all of us the "santhanam" as prasatham to wear on our forehead. This is the sandhanam of the Lord Sandhanamahalingam's sandhana kappu -, a yellow perfume-powder poured on the "Thirumeni "(body) of the Lord Sandhanamahalingam.Then move to the shrine of Aanandha valli Amma,and made prayer to her.Finally down to the footsteps,we had relaxed for more than half an hour.Then we prepared to got down to the base of the mountain.
It's some what difficult,to get down,when compared to climb up.Again precautions should be there when getting down.Slowly,you should move your foot and balanced yourselves when getting down.
By around 4.00 P.M,we had reached the base Thanipaarai and relaxed a while.we reached vatrayiruppu at around 4.20 P.M.Here a lot of buses are plying to madurai ,Rajapalayam,Viruthunagar,Thenkasi etc.If not,better to go to Krishnan kovil,and you can catch a lot of buses to Madurai and other places. I and my son reached our house at around 6.30 P.M.