Posts Tagged ‘Inner Inner Path’

Over Arunachala on the new path

April 2, 2010

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.”

screenhunter162

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.

20100401_7304

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.

20100401_7310

A line of rocks indicates that the path turns.

20100401_7317

Getting closer to the hill.

20100401_7320

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.

20100401_7329

Stones line the path towards the hill.

20100401_7331

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.

20100401_7344

20100401_7349

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.

20100401_7359

20100401_7360

20100401_7366

More views.

20100401_7370

The steps are nearing the top now.

20100401_7372

20100401_7375

Great view from here!

A few more steps.

20100401_7380

One last look behind.

Now it is a gentle dirt path.

20100401_7387

That rises over the hill. The around some turns.

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

20100401_7392

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.

20100401_7399

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

20100401_7400

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.

20100401_7403

20100401_7406

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

20100401_7407

20100401_7409

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.

20100401_7415

Adi Anamalai again.

20100401_7422

And down the path.

20100401_7426

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

20100401_7429

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

20100401_7431

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

20100401_7432

20100401_7440

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.

20100401_7441

We are to the Palmyra Palm tree.

20100401_7442

20100401_7443

Here it meets the existing Inner Inner Path.

20100401_7450

Turn right and you keep going round the hill.

20100401_7451

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.

20100401_7454

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

20100401_7455 

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.


%d bloggers like this: