Last year two segments of the new Arunachala “Yellow Path” (a path between the Inner Path and Arunachala) were completed and opened up for use. Now hundreds of walkers use these new path segments each month. This year additional parts of the Yellow Path will be completed. Work has started on the next phase. This post shows the beginnings of the work.
The new work started on the West Pass over Parvati Gap. When this phase is complete there will be:
- An improved path over the west side of Parvati Gap
- A new path up to the top of Parvati Hill
- A new path that joins the East and West Paths along the ridge line of Parvati Gap, also known as Skanda or Ganesh Hill
- A new view spot atop Skanda (or Ganesh) Hill where you can view both sides of the area around Arunachala
- A marked path to Kattu Siva Cave
The West Path over Parvati Gap was actually part of the original Inner Path before the current route was marked in the 1990’s. The earlier path did not go completely around Parvati Hill as it does now. Instead, the West Path was the path taken by anyone walking close to Arunachala. It was used by those doing Pradakshina, and by villagers going from place to place.
The path up to the top of Parvati Hill will open an area that, until now, had been difficult to get to.
The path that connects the East and West Paths along Skanda (or Ganesh) Hill provides easy movement from one pass to the other, and also opens up a new route. This path up to the top of the ridge will provide a view spot where both sides of the mountain can be viewed. This scenic vista has not been available before, except to those adventurous enough to go cross-country exploring on the hilltops.
The marked path to Kattu Siva Cave makes it easier to access this quiet and peaceful spot. It is a desirable destination for those who want a quiet place to sit and meditate.
Below is a map. The new paths are marked in white.
This is how the new path looks from the Inner Path. The West Pass is the low point clearly visible in this photo.
Rocks and stones have been removed from the path and used to line it on both sides.
Steps have been made as needed.
This is a big upgrade from what was there before.
The path heads up towards the hill.
Between the path and Parvati Hill, there is a large rock that rises through the trees. A cement and stone wall was formed on both sides of the rock so monsoon water will fill it. I have heard that this was done by a German man who wanted to be able to bathe in Arunachala waters.
A stone bench was installed under a tree, so that walkers would have a place to sit and rest.
The work will be complete by mid April 2011. Look for it when you visit Tiruvannamalai, and walk on the Inner Path. The West Path will be marked as another Yellow Path. The others will be marked as Orange Paths. The new Orange Path markings indicate a route where you can go exploring and see areas of Arunachala that have not been readily available before.
Tags: visiting tiruvannamalai