Arunachala Outer Pradakshina Path


For more than 1000 years Arunachala Giripradakshina – circumambulation of the holy mountain Arunachala – has been extolled as a way to achieve mukti, liberation or enlightenment. Each year millions of people, primarily South Indians, come to Tiruvannamalai on full moon nights for Girivalam (Tamil for Giripradakshina).

The present Pradakshina route was set about 900 hundred years ago, by a Pandyan king, Vikkirama Pandya. Famous saints and sages from over the ages have extolled Girivalam for its spiritual benefits. Most recently this was done by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.

Map of Outer Path

Pradakshina map

I have written a number posts that show this Arunachala Giripradakshina route and the holy places that line it. This page is a way to navigate to these postings.

Temples and Shrines

This post gives and overview of many of the 100 (or so)  temples and shrines alone the Pradakshina route. Most of them can be seen in this post.
Temples and Shrines along the Giripradakshina Route.

Yama Lingam

Yama Lingam

The eight Asta Lingams of Arunachala

The eight Asta Lingams are should be visited by everyone who does Girivalam. Learn about them and how to worship at them in this post:
The Eight Asta Lingams on Arunachala’s Pradakshina Route

Pradaakshina Route Temples and Celebrations

Kumbabishekam at Parashakthi Temple
Preparation for Kumbabishekam at Parashakthi
Kumbabishekam for Adi Annamalai Temple
Kumbabishekam for Gowthama Maharshi Temple – Part 1
Kumbabishekam for Gowthama Maharshi Temple – Part 2
Kumbabishekam for Gowthama Maharshi Temple – Part 3

Pradakshina Scenes

Sadhu Feast on Arunachala Pradakshina Road
Full Moon Night – 27 April 2010
Scenes from Arunachala Full Moon Night – November 2009
Full Moon Pradakshina – Part One
Full Moon Pradakshina – Part Two
Feeding Sadhus along Arunachala’s Girivalam Road
Night time  on Arunachala’s Girivalam Road
Deepam Aftermath Arunachala Full Moon Girivalam – Street Drawing 

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9 Responses to “Arunachala Outer Pradakshina Path”

  1. C Sastry Says:

    Hari Hi Om, Ramanachaleswaraya Namaha

    Dear Richard,

    Your post is very informative and felt elated reading the same. Request you to add the photograph of ‘Ramana Bridge’ under the tamarind tree….its the Culvert on which Bhagavan used to observe the Giri during his ‘parikrama / valam’. This is a small culvert and sitting there was one of the best moments i have spent during the ‘Pradakshina’

    Hari Hi Om

  2. cspacenz Says:

    Well I am coming for a very quiet, non-social time with Lord Shiva and The Maharshi (I’m sure you understand perfectly what I mean by that) but I will be there for well over a month so I have absolutely no doubt we will meet and I look forward to it. Probably on Pizza night !

    • richardclarke Says:

      Quiet time here is the best. If you want some caves to hang out in, I can probably get you a good place or two.

  3. cspacenz Says:

    Great, can’t wait, I’ll be there in about 6 weeks all going well. Your blog has been extremely helpful, thanks.

  4. cspacenz Says:

    Excellent, thanks. So do the eight lingams also partly act as sort of places of rest and shelter for those walking the route ?

  5. cspacenz Says:

    Hi Richard. I’m really enjoying the various posts that come through and especially interesting to see the last one with the aftermath of the million plus people visiting Tiruvannamalai, it’s not easy to relate to such a huge influx of people to a relatively small city (or maybe it’s just considered a town ?)

    What’s the Yama Lingam ? Is that a temple ? What does that mean ?

    Thanks for taking the time to do all this work, it’s really appreciated.

    • richardclarke Says:

      Around Arunachala, on the Pradakshina route there are eight lingams at the cardinal points (e, se, s, sw, w, etc). Lingams are representative of Siva, and are places to worship Siva. These eight lingams are said to be created by various Hindu deities. When walking Pradakshina from Ramanasramam, this is the first of these eight lingams. Around Arunachala, which is said to BE Siva, there are these eight special places at which to worship Siva. Siva is said to be the formless Consciousness that is the substratum of all existence – of the universe and of each of us.

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