Over Arunachala on the new path


The Inner Inner Path is the first new path for those walking pradakshina (or girivalam in Tamil) around Arunachala in many years. It is between the exiting Inner Path and the Arunachala hillside. Now a new section of the path has been opened, going from the Kattu Siva Tank area, over the hill between Arunachala and Parvati Hill, to meet up with the existing Inner Inner Path on the North side of the Holy Hill. You can now walk 3 km on the Inner Inner Path, about one quarter of the way around Arunachala.

This posting shows the new path. This photos were taken before the white and yellow path markers have been painted.  

The map below shows this new path, marked as “East path over Parvati Gap.”


Walking to the area this morning, I passed this sadhu, quietly sitting with Arunachala, seeming to take the Grace of Arunachala into himself. Notice a westerner in white, also sitting quietly nearby.

After passing the Kattu Siva tank, there is this gate with two posts with Inner Path markers painted on top, and a water pump. This is the only pump you will pass anywhere on the Inner Path.

To the right, after passing the two posts, is a path. Take this path towards Arunachala.


There is a fork in the path. Go left. (To the right is Kattu Siva Cave.)

A small path goes towards the pass, the low spot between the hills. This path is small since the Forestry Department people did not want it to be improved at all.


A line of rocks indicates that the path turns.


Getting closer to the hill.


A line or rocks shows the location of the path. I also use the gray stone as a landmark. The dog we call ‘tigger’ likes to stand on rocks, big or small.


Stones line the path towards the hill.


As the path starts to climb, you can see that steps have been formed from rocks. These ease your walk. Before this, I always recommended that this path be done with a walking stick. Now I think it is fine without one. 

One thing that I think you must remember to do is to stop and turn around and look behind you. During the climb you rise above the floor of the forest that fills the Kattu Siva area, so you can see the forest (what locals call the jungle). Most people never see the forest, they just see all the trees around them.

More steps up. In most places the climb up no longer follows the streambed, but is to the side of it. Much better when it is wet.



Looking around, we are higher up now. Better view! If you know what is below, you will be able to identify places in the forest or near big rocks. One of these is Kattu Siva Cave, under one of the rocks that juts above the trees to the left. 

Up some more. This is pretty easy going so far.




More views.


The steps are nearing the top now.



Great view from here!

A few more steps.


One last look behind.

Now it is a gentle dirt path.


That rises over the hill. The around some turns.

the climb is less that up to Skandashram. Pretty easy, I think.


Then back down the other side.

There is not a good viewing point from the path at the top, too many trees. If you take one of the rough paths up the ridge to your left, you will find wonderful places where you can sit and get great views.


Down there are steps too. The basic path is pretty smooth and even, punctuated by steps.


They have pushed the stones that previously covered this path down the hill to form the steps. Easier to walk, and much less erosion. Plus, they say, as the rains come, they will fill the stones with dirt, making a better step for walking next year.



You can start to see the area below, on the other side.



There is the Adi Anamalai gopuram and buildings of the village.

Many steps, many stones. This used to be hard to walk down. Now it is easy.


Adi Anamalai again.


And down the path.


Now the path flattens out. We are near the bottom. Notice the stones lining the right side of the path.


There is a palm tree ahead. It is a landmark near the existing Inner Inner Path. We are almost to it already.


Looking around. Nice views here, too; views not seen by most.



This is the pass we just crossed. You might be able to see the route the path takes as a small indentation that angles down and to the right from the pass.


We are to the Palmyra Palm tree.



Here it meets the existing Inner Inner Path.


Turn right and you keep going round the hill.


We will stop at Self-Knowledge rock, have a drink of water, be quiet and sit for a bit. Then head home for the morning.


Here again is the pass we just crossed. this is from near Self-Knowledge Rock.


I love the new path!

We have been going over the hill on this route for some time. We first wrote about it in A Path Across Arunachala in October of 2008. Then Carol and I worked to clear thorns and brush away, so we could walk up the streambed. Now it is easy to use for most people. And has the added attraction of meeting up with the new Inner Inner Path on the other side!

Enjoy this walk. Let me know what you think.


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4 Responses to “Over Arunachala on the new path”

  1. Whispers From The Universe E-book. | CheapGalaxy.info Says:

    […] Over Arunachala on the new path « Living in the Embrace of Arunachala […]

  2. drsundaram Says:

    it was so kind of mr richard who has organised thro mr ramesh my maiden walk along the inner inner path of Girivalam. Fantastic experience. Peace, peace and silence only all along the path.Mr Richard said that during the full moon night the path will be flooded with moon light enabling one to walk on the newly discovered path silently thinking of Arunachaleswara. Thank you Mr Richard and to Mr. Ramesh .

  3. donnananda Says:

    Lovely–thanks for sharing. Almost like being along with you and Carol for a walk, and tuning into the Essence of Arunachala on Pradakshina. It was hot like Tiru in Virginia today, but nice to take a journey to Tamil Nadu tonight.

  4. drsundaram Says:

    dear mr richardclarke
    jai ramana bhagavan.
    i am coming to tiruvannamalai on 6th april before noon. Can i meet you . I would love Giri valam along the path you had been writing.
    please confirm to my mail also if possible

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