Arunachala – A Break in the Monsoon


The Northeast Monsoon has been the longest and strongest of the three we have seen since we moved here. It has rained every day for more than the last week. Today there was a break in the monsoon, so we could walk around Arunachala’s Inner Path again.

During the monsoon our regular life is interrupted in many ways. We are less able to get out and walk. There are fewer dry opportunities to drive our scooters into town. And, importantly, it is hard to get clothes washing done, since there is no chance for them to dry. Today it is dry, so we can walk, and also wash and dry clothes. The forecast says three nice days, then the rain resumes.

I took a few photos when we were out. Arunachala  has many moods, and I think you like so see these, so I try to capture them and make postings like this one.

Here is Arunachala from our house as we departed about 6:15 in the morning. Parvati Hill is almost invisible, covered with clouds, while the Arunachala peak is visible above it. The sky is filled with clouds.

It has not rained for more about 12 hours, so paths are wet, but not too muddy. The water drains into the soil pretty fast.


Parvati Hill behind Kannapa Temple.


Parvati Hill again, from the Inner Path.


As we round Parvati Hill, we see this view of Arunachala’s peak, in the form of ‘The Elephant’ rising out of the clouds.

Below is the new path, cut by the people that are making what is said to be a tree farm. Here it goes into what some call ‘the Frog Pond’, at the eastern end of Parvati Hill. The path looks more like a river. Fortunately, you can walk on the dirt ridge to the left.


As the path goes into the Frog Pond, now it is just an extension of the pond, full of water. I had some concern when this work was being done that they did not understand what it was like during the monsoon. It looks like my concerns were justified.



The pond is quite full.


Next to the pond, the people who are creating the ‘tree farm’ are also getting ready to build a structure. I did not think that this was allowed. Is there anyone who can talk to the Tiruvannamalai Collector about this? Was this approved? It is right next to the Inner Path.


This side of Parvati Hill is topped by the cloud. We are looking from the Frog Pond.


Looking east from the pond we see that Arunachala is covered by clouds.


The new path from the Frog Pond. A bit like a river. Not such a good plan, whoever thought of this.


The Northside Basin has much water in it.


It is being fed by streams, flowing from Arunachala.


They flow into the basin.


Looking west, over the basin, again to Parvati Hill.


The peak of Arunachala shows, jutting above the cloud.


Carol and the Inner Path dog, Tigger, are ahead of me on the path. When I  have my camera out, I poke along behind everyone, looking for good photos.


Clouds on the hill.


To the north, there is a twin-peaked mountain a few K away that you can usually see. It is almost invisible today, behind the clouds.

The Northside Promontory.


If you look closely, you can see water flowing in sheets, running down this rock face. You will notice during the dry season that some rock faces are black. These have water flow, and the iron in the water turns the rocks black.


Water also flows down the front face of the promontory.


This is the other side of the promontory. There is an open area to the left of it that you can see in this photo. It is this open area that initially drew us into this area. We knew that something had to be there. What we found is a trailhead into this part of Arunachala. We have done some exploring up this path, and have much more to do. I bet there are caves here, somewhere.


Looking to the east, the mountain is still covered in cloud. We usually can use The Elephant as a kind of ‘compass’ to help us know where we are on the path. Not today.


You can see an Inner Path trail marker here, the white cup with the red flame. Many of these line the path.


More clouds atop the holy hill.


We are starting to get into the ‘Trees’ area.


Trees, maybe 20 years old, planted in rows.


Still, clouds obscure the mountain.


Carol ahead of me on the path.


The Inner Path.


Carol sits and waits for me. At the end of this clearing is the ‘ringing rock.’ We always strike it with another rock, to energize a blessing from Arunachala.


Cows (and Carol) along the path.


There are places where the path winds through tall hedges of local jungle plants. This seems kind of romantic and mysterious to me.


Still, clouds hide Arunachala.


Flowers have come out during the monsoon.

And some bushes have fruited with berries.

Towards the end of the Inner Path, it goes behind this small village. They know us here, since we pass through several times each week. Carol has taught the kids to ‘fist bump.’ Some, when they see us, line up to fist bump with Carol.




These little kids watch from the doorway.


More cows.


Here is the small hill that rises on the east side of Arunachala. Today we cannot see any of the Five Faces, usually visible from this side.


It was so good to get out, after more than one week being rained in. We have two more sunny days, then the forecast say rain again.


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One Response to “Arunachala – A Break in the Monsoon”

  1. smvel Says:

    wonderful description, picture with words combination is too good, gives a feeling as if the reader also has done the inner path with you and your wife.

    God bless Richard and Carol

    Arunachala Siva


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