Back home with Arunachala


Carol and I traveled through Viet Nam, Cambodia and Thailand in February. It was interesting and enjoyable to see these other places. I was also surprised to find Hindu influences in South View Nam that date back to about 400 AD in the Champa empire, far earlier than the sea-going Hindu explosion of the South Indian Chola dynasty. We will write about the trip, with a number of posts over the next month.

Returning to Tiruvannamalai, I find much has changed since we left early in Feb. Most of the seasonal tourists have returned home, so Tiruvannamalai is much more of the small temple city and quiet spiritual center that it really is. Also the forests and hillsides of Arunachala are starting to dry out. The green is gone from the grasses. Tree leaves are turning to yellow and falling off. All the natural environment is getting ready to April and May, the hot two months of the local season, Agni (Fire), where daily temperature may beach 106F – 42C. In June will come the first rains from the Southwest Monsoon, and things will cool a bit (to daily maximums up to 100F – 38C).  Often Westerners who live here year-round find some way to leave for a while during these hot months that are coming.


4 Responses to “Back home with Arunachala”

  1. Neeraja N Arjun Says:

    Namaste Sir

    My name is neeraja. Im now staying in the ramanashram. i will be here till 10th march. I found your blog on a random search on pachaimman koil. Would like to get your guidance if you are in thiruvannamalai. Kindly give me a call on 94448 66594 or pls pass on your contact number.
    Looking forward

  2. richardclarke Says:

    Travel note: We were concerned that we might not be able to re-enter India. Since the attack on Mumbai several years ago, India has put in place a ‘Two Month Rule’ where people entering India with a Tourist visa must stay out of India from two months (or more) when they leave.

    Since this rule as adopted, they have been allowing exceptions, like for those visiting India and using it as a base to travel nearby. We can find no written rules about these exceptions, but heard, when we asked some India immigration officials, that these rules now allow people to visit nearby Asian countries. So we thought that we could travel for a month in SE Asia, and return OK. But we also heard of locals who had gone to Thailand and had trouble getting back into India. So we did not know what would happen to us upon our attempt at re-entry.

    t went OK and we were able to get back into India, but at the Immigration station when the officer looked at our visa and exit information, he took us out of the line and into a supervisor office. The supervisor, though, quickly looked at our paperwork, and then entered us into a logbook, and returned us to the line so we could enter India.

    So we were OK to get back in, and it seemed like no big deal; we were not cross examined or closely questioned, just logged into a book like this is normal procedure.

    We still do not know what the rules are for re-entry. in this case it clearly seemed OK. We do not know about return to USA and re-entry, nor for travel, say, to Africa, which is near India.

  3. Suryanarayana Raju Says:

    Namaste Richard Clarke.

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