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God's Footprint At the top of Arunachala

Standing in the clouds

30.10.2014 ( Day 24 )

After yesterday’s energy packed music night, we slept well.

So far so good. Everything went according to plan, but not exactly according to the plan.  Our plan of waking up very early and getting ready for the trek before 7 am didn’t work out because of our usual obsession with that extra 5 minutes morning sleep. We ended up starting as late as 9’o clock. We were warned that the total trek alone, going up and coming down would take at least 4 hours minimum.

We traced our previous day’s path. Reached our favourite  view point. Spent some time there. Again took the same pictures.

Morning Bird's eye view from the view point
Morning Bird’s eye view from the view point

But morning offered a little bit different view.

Morning Town
Morning Town

Morning light had made everything a bit different.

I was really excited and I was rushing and running. I wanted to reach the peak as soon as possible. But my travel companions were not interested in that plan. They wanted it slow, they wanted to enjoy the nature more.  That made me realize that I wasn’t really enjoying the scenes around me. I was just capturing some pictures and running. I was looking down, finding the next stone to step and the next one after that and like that I was rushing. I was not in that moment. I was always seeking the next moment!  Then I remembered Paulo Coelho. In some book he wrote about a ritual in which activities were done at half the usual pace. I don’t exactly remember the details. But it was something like that. So I reduced my pace. I consciously tried to enjoy things happening around me.

Then I started seeing these things.

A cute family
A cute family
Some simple flower
Some simple flower

And the trekking continued..

Someone in the wild

By following the path shown by the path itself..

following the path
following the path

and they watched us in surprise..

looking at the seekers
looking at the seekers

and must be thinking “where are these guys going up?”

when going gets tough
because the trek looked like this..

And as we were climbing up, someone was going down..

Someone going down
Someone going down

and we were almost there.. the view of the peak kept our hopes alive

The peak
The peak of Arunachala

Before reaching the peak we found this..

small hut/cave where Sri Ramana meditated
small hut/cave where Sri Ramana meditated

‘Footwear’ and ‘Fotography’ were not allowed inside. Surprisingly we found someone inside this small cave. We can call him a hermit or a young sanayasi. He welcomed us and started talking to me in Tamil. He explained the history of the place and later gave us some hot tea in a coconut shell cup. You should understand that this is happening at the peak of the mountain. After the long and treacherous trekking, a sweet, hot tea was the last thing we were dreaming of. And we completely trusted him and drank the tea. After that he showed us around that small place and suggested us to check out the peak.

After a few more steps from this small cave, was the peak of the mountain. At last we were at the peak. The view was just incredible. See it to believe.

The view from the peak
The view from the peak

The massive temple looked so tiny. We could actually touch the  clouds.

Standing in the clouds
Standing in the clouds

And also at the top, a surprise was waiting.

Footprints of Lord Shiva.

Footprints of Lord Shiva
Footprints of Lord Shiva

Don’t you think, it is cool to see the footprint of Gods!!

Braving hot sun we spent quite a long time at this peak. It was quite peaceful, away from the chaos of busy life. But still we could hear the sound of honking of horns from the town. Even the meditation places are not silent these days!

And then we started to our return journey before the rocks had become too hot. I forgot to tell you, again we were not wearing our footwear during this ‘holy trekking’. On our way up, to the peak we stepped on to some thorns and got some cuts and bruises. And I removed one tiny piece of thorn that pierced my feet and decided to stay there, after2-3 days when I reached home. But somehow we  managed to hike up to the peak without complaining.

Return Journey
Return Journey

Return journey was fun. We were pretty quick. I really enjoyed jumping from rock to rock and finding the best path and running. Luckily without slipping and falling down we proceeded. I think I want to try trail running at some point of time. Anyway we did the descend in just 45 minutes.  I am really happy to have such wonderful travel partners. Your travel partners can make or break a trip. And our trip was of course a good one.

And we reached our starting point before 1’o clock. Yes we did everything, climbing up, staying there for almost an hour and coming down within 4 hours.

Sri Ramanashram : Starting point
Sri Ramanashram : Starting point

The way up to the mountain is through this ashram.  Our starting point.  From here, we then went to restaurant and had our lunch.

We hadn’t planned anything after this. Decisions were made quickly and sadly the decision was to leave this place. Next destination : Chennai.  Thiruvannamalai Adventure comes to an end. See you soon in Chennai.

Photographing the journeys to recreate the Travels to take you for a virtual Photo walk.

76 thoughts on “God's Footprint At the top of Arunachala

  1. It was really a great experience after reading your trekking(spiritual one)

    and having the darshan of the lord shiva’s padam is not an easy one.

    You guys are blessed to have this opportunity.

  2. Hey,Did you go as such or did you guys hired a local guide..

    I wanna know is it suggestable to go alone or in a group.

    Will we get lost in the midway if we go alone. Is it mandatory to go in a group .

  3. Barefoot is wow!! I can’t imagine travelling barefoot in such place..
    I remember our Girnaar climb of around 10000 steps took almost 6 hours…but the return was just in an hour and half..though with your legs aching, it is a treacherous journey if you decide to speed up things..

    1. thank you.
      10,000 steps?!! that is a huge number!! yes, indeed, some journeys should be done in hurry. Especially if we are not doing much activities for quite some time.

      1. 🙂 one 20k plus total..hurry is dangerous, if your legs are aching, it won’t take much time to loose control while speeding down..

  4. This brought back a lot of memories! Don and I lived in Tiru for 3 months in 2012, and went to Ramana’s ashram everyday. We never climbed to the peak of Arunachala, but most days climbed to the upper ashram and cave.

    1. Glad to hear that. I am sure that was one great spiritual adventure of your life. Thank you for checking out this corner of blogsphere 😀 Happy travels. You two are very very inspiring 🙂

  5. What incredible views and great wildlife! You get great photos even when you’re climbing to such heights, brilliant! And it’s so true about taking your time to enjoy the scenery, I was on a walk the other day and spent more time hurrying along watching my footing than enjoying the incredible views!

    1. Thank you. You are kind 🙂
      Yes, that is exactly what I felt too..”hurrying along watching my footing than enjoying the incredible views!” Glad you could relate 🙂

  6. Wow! The monkey look so cute. 🙂 LOrd Shiva’s footprints? My god, I never knew. I have been to the Jadayu rock where I saw Lord Rama’s footprints, it was bigger I think.

    1. oh he also left footprints?! 😀
      Well this one is also bigger than our footmarks. Well I didn’t include any reference in the picture , so it may look smaller.

  7. I’ve wanted to visit that part of India for quite a while now. I keep going back to Rishikesh for yoga, or Goa for…well, other things, and yoga. Is it raining this time of year that far south? In Bali, it was raining every day now. Glad you got to slow down and “smell” the flowers along the way. Sometimes when we set goals, we miss other things in the pursuit.

    1. Sorry, I took too long to reply to this comment. Let me know if you are coming to Goa or any other part of india for travelling or any other purpose 😀

          1. Kerala! I keep meaning to go there, but just never have made it yet. And my five year visa ran out and I haven’t gotten a new one yet.

  8. Another awesome hiking trip by you 🙂 gosh, I will not dare to climb with just barefoot (from the picture) – you are brave (and strong!). And that’s true – just take it easy on the way up – enjoy the surrounding, must be really beautiful nature along the way 🙂 – love those monkeys 😉

    1. Thank you for all your kind words 🙂
      Btw we had a female member in our team, who did the barefoot hiking.
      Yes, the surrounding was beautiful, the view of the town below was the main attraction through out the hiking. Of course the monkeys were friendly 😀

  9. The practice of being in the present moment and conscious of all that is around us now, aware that the “now” moves along with us and that is all there ever is. Thanks for sharing your beautiful trip! 😉 xoxoM

  10. What a adventure! I feel like I was hiking along via your awesome photos. The view from the top is magnificent! I have to come back again. 🙂

    1. Yes it was a great journey for me 🙂 Thank you.
      Well I did this travel almost a month ago. I have a friend in Chennai and I went to meet. Will write about it in the following posts 🙂

  11. Lovely shots… Great enthusiasm for travel and it’s details. I loved the line ” was not in the moment. I was seeking the next moment”. Isn’t that the irony of life? The moment we start being in the moment and enjoying the moment, life becomes beautiful.

    1. Very well said. True that. It is sad we are missing the very moments looking for the next. But we were always been like that. Need some conscious effort to change it. What do you think?

  12. Loved those shots with monkeys 😉 Did they actually stop and let you take pictures of them or you took a quick snaps of them? Wonder how you guys walk barefoot. Does it hurt? By the way, this post is very interesting and enjoyable! 🙂

    1. haha.. I asked the monkeys to look that way and they posed for me 😛 Of course it does hurt if you step on to the wrong stones. Just find some nice round rock and jump, jump and go 😛
      Thank you very much for reading and leaving your feedback 🙂

  13. No Footwear and rocky climb !! :shiver: It sounds scary and thrilling !! The view from top looks amazing !!! I like Footprints(not the exact expression I was looking for ^^’ ) No Snakes etc. in sight ?

          1. lol !! I know, just the prospects of getting bruised all over and next thing I know I slipped up from some rock and it’s Humpty-Dumpty for me 😀 That’s the only fear I have while climbing steps/hilly areas ^^’

  14. That sounds beyond epic. From the pictures at first I was thinking, “wait, are they barefoot?” Then your comment about the thorn really confirmed it for me haha. But, a thorn and bruises for god’s footprint. Yep, sign me up too.

    1. Hey, your name itself is barefoot. so you might not find it too adventurous 😀 In fact after reaching the top only we came to know that there is such a footprint. So that was a surprise.
      Thank you for reading 🙂

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