The first walk along Arunachala’s new ‘Inner Inner Path’


After the opening ceremonies, we took the first ‘official’ walk along the Inner Inner Path. So that you all might be able to enjoy this walk and get a bit of a sense of this new path, I post some of the photos taken this day, 3 Feb., 2010.

The map below shows the new path (In yellow. The Inner Path is in red). It starts out at what we call ‘the Frog Pond,’ a small tank at the North end of Parvati Hill. It heads generally southeast, then northeast. It passes by a rock we call ‘Self Knowledge Rock,’ and other places where there are rock formations that are good places to stop, sit, and meditate. It rejoins the Inner path on the northeast end of the Northside Promontory. 


Today seven people made the initial trek on the Inner Inner Path; two women who passed by during the pooja, Saran and Mani, who were the two main workers on the Path, an Indian man dressed in white, who seemed to have a very holy attitude, a Western man who heard of the project and wanted to attend the opening, and myself. In the photo below, Mani is ahead of me in a saffron dhoti and white shirt. The camera is pointed into the sun, so the photo is a bit washed out.  


The path heads towards the eastern gap between Parvati Hill and Arunachala. There is a path over both the eastern and western gap. You can get to the Inner Inner Path from both of these.


Six people walk ahead of me, over a small ridge.



Notice that in many of the photos, there are rocks lining one or both sides of the new path. This makes it easy for a walker to know they are on the path.



Still walking towards Parvati Gap.

The vegetation changes as we walk along. Here it is more open.


The East Parvati Gap appears ahead. There is a Palmyra palm in the center of the photo. I have used this, coming over Parvati Gap, as a landmark. Now it is also a landmark for the Inner Inner Path.


Now we start to swing to the northeast.


The workers painted yellow and white trail markers along the path. Unfortunately, they oriented them just to the reverse of how they are done for the Inner Path, where they remind one of the deepam flame, rising out of a lamp. They thought that they were more like arrows, and pointed them the other way. Maybe I will ask them to repaint them all? They also painted a nice Om on this rock.


Looking around, here is Parvati Hill from an angle that most people do not see. .


The path now heads northeast.


We are nearing Self Knowledge Rock.


Below is Self Knowledge Rock (also known as ‘Frog Rock’). The workers cleared out much brush, so that there are good places to sit and meditate. Also one can now climb between the two rocks to see what is on the other side. What IS on the other side? You will have to go look for yourself.


Heading along the path. It is easy now to be sure you’re on the correct route. The path itself is more obvious, and path markers are painted frequently along the route. 


Saran and Mani and the saintly-looking man wait for me. The two women walk ahead. This is the last time we saw them. They obviously were able to easily find their way along the path.


Here is Saran. He was the head of the team doing the actual work. He is also a reliable Arunachala mountain guide, and can take you to see all the sites in and around Tiruvannamalai associated with Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Here is his web site:


Saran is walking ahead of me now.



The hill that starts to rise ahead of us is the Northside Promontory. (Check out this post for more about this place.)


Below is the view looking towards Adi Annamalai. The gopuram of the temple can be seen here as a white dot. There are a number of places where this path rises above the surrounding forest/jungle and you can get a good panoramic view of the area, a much better view than found on the Inner Path. (See this post for more about Adi Annamalai.)


Looking into the sun towards the Arunachala peak.


The Northside Promontory is very visible in this photo.


Turning a corner to walk through a dry stream bed. The rocks lining the path make the route obvious.


Walking the path. No rocks lining it here, but the route is obvious.


The white in the center of the photo below is the Adi Annamalai Temple gopuram again.


The promontory, and the tip of the Elephant’s trunk (also known as Shakti) rise faintly behind to the left of the photo.


The path goes through areas that seem quite pretty to me.


Rocks line the path going up this rise.


Rocks line it here as well. I think Saran and his crew did a good job!


The promontory is just ahead of us now.



It is nice through here.


There are also white and yellow arrows along the path. One more device to make sure that you do not lose your way.


Here is Tigger. She came along with us today. She usually does when we walk around Arunachala. She seems to like it when we explore new areas.


The path looks great in the early morning sunlight.


The tip of the promontory is ahead of us now. Not too much more path is left on today’s walk.



I really like all the stones that line the path.


Saran noticed an area where he needed to cut back the tree near the path.


Here we left a ‘cave’ through these bushes. I love this spot.


Looking out of the ‘cave.’


Walking near the end of this path segment.


This is close to the end of this segment. The white and yellow path marks show the way.


Now the new path heads back to the Inner Path. It meets where a power pole and the Inner Path intersect.


Looking back at the face of the Northside Promontory.


Parvati Hill from the end of this Inner Inner Path segment.


Walking to the end of the Inner Inner Path.


This painted rock shows where the Inner Inner Path meets the Inner Path. Tigger seems interested.


Looking back along the Inner Inner Path. It looks  like Mani is thinking about what they have done to serve Arunachala. They are very happy to do this service. 


Now there are two more km of path that you can walk. Maybe we will get a bit more work done here, to clear out one or two more good places to sit and meditate. These places are becoming of greater importance as Ramanasramam attracts more and more visitors. During the ‘season,’ it is rarely as quiet and serene at Ramanasramam as it once was. But here, there are more spots you can walk to that have the deep serenity you may be looking for.

I think this is the first new path to open on Arunachala in many years. If our vision works out, this path will continue all the way to Pachiaimman Koil. Maybe there are three more sections to work out. This is all to serve Arunachala, and is Arunachala’s doing, not ours.

Related Posts:

Opening Arunachala’s ‘Inner Inner Path’
Making a new Inner  Path segment on Arunachala
Inner Path – The Elephant
North side of Arunachala – Under the loving gaze of The Elephant
To the top of Arunachala’s Northside Promontory


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5 Responses to “The first walk along Arunachala’s new ‘Inner Inner Path’”

  1. vpsrao Says:

    hi richard,

    you are doing a wonderful job of blogging the INNER PATH. i enjoy reading your blogs illustrated with beautiful photos. i enjoy immensely walking the inner path whenever i am in tiruvannamalai. one day, i hope, the inner path would be complete — around the HILL, without going into the town after the amman koil. if such an endevor is afoot, i would like to volunteer to be part of the path making team whenever i am in tiruvannamalai.

    great work richard, and thank you very much for your service.


    • richardclarke Says:

      There is a project planned to get from Pachaiamann Koil to Virupaksha on the side of the hill. I am unsure what is the schedule.

  2. White Sun - The New Path Says:

    […] […]

  3. sumthingofeverything Says:

    Nice work ! Enjoyed every bit of reading and photo illustrations. Hope I could do it soon

  4. drpvssnraju Says:

    Namaste Richards,Congratulations.You are doing a great divine work.~Dr.Raju.

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