The good work that Arunachala Kattu Siva Plantation (Reforestation Society) has been doing includes restoring an old and presently unused path across Arunachala. This article concludes a two-part series on this path. The earlier posting can be found here.
To get to this path, first walk to the Arunachala Kattu Siva Plantation. Walking to this location is described in this post, and a map is provided.
From the Plantation, continue to walk on the Inner Path, as shown in this post, only keep on the main path.
You can see the pass that this path climbs ahead to the right in the clouds. Parvati Hill is in the background.
You will pass a small tank. Today there was an Indian Pond Heron perched on a rock.
Growing near this tank now is what I call an “Arunachala Lily.” I call it this because of the fiery colors, and because I see them interspersed along the Arunachala Inner Path this time of year.
Also next to this pond is a shrine, erected by tribal people. I will write more about this shrine in another post.
Keep walking until you see this trail marker.
Now you can see to the right the start of the renewed path . It is not obvious that this is a path. Follow it anyway. Maybe the people who are working on this path did not want to make their work known to the Forestry people, since these officials are not presently very supportive of this kind of work on Arunachala.
Follow the path towards the hill.
I explored this rock, and did not find any new caves. Darn!
Here is Arunachala from the path.
Looking back towards the forest.
The path gets smaller as it goes up the hill. More work needs to be done on it.
Keep going up. The top is near.
From these heights, the view back into the Kattu Siva forest area is quite nice. It is shown on the next two photos.
At the top, it is just a bramble. There is a path, but it is not always obvious where it is.
Now we can see down the other side.
Here is The Elephant through the trees.
Carol, at the top of the pass. Parvati Hill in the background.
After exploring a bit at the top, we head down the path we have found on the other side. It is better than the last part of the path going up the hill.
Here is another view of The Elephant.
We can see into the countryside on the north side of the hill.
The path continues down the hill.
The view from here is so big that it takes the next three photos to show it.
At the bottom, the terrain opens up. We keep to the left, following a path along the base of Parvati Hill.
Carol is behind me, clipping thorns to clear the path. You can see her white hat. The pass is behind her.
We keep following the path.
Now we can see what we call ‘The Frog Pond” through the trees.
We sit for a bit here. We usually sit on the side of the pond away from the Inner Path. We can sit here quietly, reading the Song of Ribhu and meditation, and occasionally see other walkers go by on the Inner Path.
Arunachala Kattu Siva Plantation Organization
The work on this alternate path is done by the people of the Arunachala Kattu Siva Plantation. We got a chance to meet them when we were invited to a work session they were having to discuss details of the project.
Here are some of the tribal people who have been trained to do the work. The woman in the yellow saree is a supervisor. We can see that she is a powerhouse.
Here are the leaders. The woman who is speaking, in the green blouse, is Apeetha Arunagiri, the Australian woman who started the Reforestation Society several years ago. The man is the blue striped shirt is C. Kannan, proprietor of the Amman Rooftop Cafe in Tiruvannamalai, near Sri Ramanasramam. He is in charge when Apeetha is in Australia.
The effort they are making is very worthwhile. I think the project is about five years old, and one can see the results already, with new trees growing, more catchment basins to catch the rainfall, and now, this path. They operate entirely as a nonprofit, and always struggle to keep funding this good work. Check out the “Before and After” photos on their website, near the bottom of the homepage.
Donations can be made by check to The Rainforest Information Centre. Make sure that the check is marked for “Arunachala Kattu Siva Plantation.” See this link for more information.
I am so grateful for the work that they and Mountain of Medicine and others are doing on reforestation of Arunachala.