On 17 December, 2011, we were told by two Western men that they had tried to walk the Inner Path around Arunachala, and had been blocked by the digging of an earth-moving machine. They said that this was past Kannapa Temple, on the northwest end of the mountain (actually next to Parvati Hill).
The next day, Sunday morning, we went to look for ourselves.
The Inner Path, after Kannapa Temple, goes through trees for about 300 meters, then comes out into an open area. This is what we found when we came to this area: dug up dirt, trees removed, with the start of a dirt wall, a berm, to the left.
The digging was right through where the Inner Path used to be.
To the left of the digging is a branch of the Inner Path where it passes through this area. Carol makes her way through the piles of freshly dug dirt.
She is on the path now, and the new dirt wall is seen running through the area.
Right next to this area is a newly built housing compound, with several structures within it. I did not think it was legal for anything other than a farmer’s house to be built here, but here is a big new compound. I wonder who built it? I wonder if it is legal? It sure seems like encroachment of Arunachala.
Here is one of the many trees that was dug up by the bulldozer.
Looking into the compound. There are women who can be seen through the doorway, cooking. They have an electric light, so power has been connected to the compound.
After walking about 500 feet we come to the end of the dug-up area. You can see the form of what has been done from here. It looks like a new water catchment tank, intended, I am sure, to catch rain runoff, so it will settle into the underground water. Due to extensive farming for rice, and the power of electric water pumps, the water table around Arunachala has sunk in the last 50 years from about 20 feet below the ground, to about 300 feet. So now the Indian Forest Department is trying to do things to catch water runoff to refill the underground water table. This is only one of several of these catchment basins that has been dug over the last two years. Most do not cut through the Inner Path, though.
I wonder how effective this tank will be? There are no creeks that run through here, so what it the water source? I guess it is intended to catch water running down the side of Parvati Hill.
Here is another view of the compound, with the newly dug berm in the foreground.
Here is the ‘dozer, digging away.
One more intrusion into the peace of Arunachala and its Inner Path.
Here is a map I created using Google Earth to show where this is on the Inner Path.
For those of you who walk (or want to walk) the Inner Path: you can walk around this dig, and keep walking the Inner Path. For me, when I see things like this, changes to something that I love, I like to look within, and notice that which never changes. This is how I find peace, by looking within.
To see more similar posts that you may be interested in, please look at this link: Arunachala Guide