Continuing from Thiruvannamalai Adventure begins
29.10.2014 ( Day 23)
We had the nice self-made dinner. Everyone thought that we would sleep early, and wake up early the next day morning to do the walking around the mountain before sun hit too hard.
Time : Around 12'o clock
But instead of sleeping early, we were having a great time with our host. I haven't mentioned with emphasis that I was couch surfing at Thiruvannamalai. So I will do it now. Yes, I was couch surfing at Thiruvannamalai!
This happened to be the bestest couch surfing experience I had till date. As usual our host was very kind-hearted like any other person with a true couch surfing spirit. , Greg, That is the name of our host .
This time I didn't even have to write a couch request to my CS host. My friend, my travel partner had already got accepted and was staying with Greg a day before I reached Thiruvannamalai. So when I made plans to visit this place, my fried casually asked Greg that if he could accept two more people. And he agreed immediately.
Greg is an amazing person, he is from France, he lives a few months in Thiruvannamalai, another few months near Himalayas, North India and Nepal. And then France. And repeat.
During this couch surfing experience,
That night was so much fun. Later Greg demonstrated juggling.
We had an interesting juggling and jamming session. Juggling and background music by ukulele and drums. I small part of that session captured by my mobile phone.
Well if you are thinking, is this the great midnight adventure I mentioned on the title , I will tell you the adventure hasn't even started!
Our plans of going to sleep early and waking up early were already thrown into the dustbin. It was around 1am when we started losing our voice due to heavy singing 😉 So we had to think of other plans.
The idea came like an impulse. There was a tug of war between adventure and laziness combined with a bit of fear. At last adventure succeeded and decision was taken to go for the walk around the holy mountain; and the time was 1.15 am !!
I am glad that others were supportive and finally we decided to walk the holy path at that time. When the whole world was sleeping, (even the authentic seekers of spirituality must be sleeping during that time) we three started walking.
It is called Circumambulation which means the act of moving around a sacred object or idol. Here the sacred object is Arunachalam, the holy mountain itself. The circumambulation path is 14 kilometres. The devotees circumambulate the 14km barefooted. We did the same.
Thus we were started walking, at around 1.30 am. The road was empty, we didn't have a torch, except the flash on our mobile phones. We had discussed and agreed on emergency procedures 😉 And we walked. We crossed and passed the narrow streets and finally reached the highway, the outer path that was mentioned in the previous post.
We have to complete almost 14km to come back to this point again. The walk continued. As we were walking I found a group of men following us. They were around 6 or 7 and they were approaching us. We decided to wait till they pass us. And they came nearer to us and guess what? They were also doing what we were doing. Walking around the holy hill 😀
When I came back and did some research, I came to know that the circumambulation is mostly done at night. On every full moon night hundreds and thousands of devotees comes here to walk around the holy hill.
During our further journey we met a few more people walking the path. Unfortunately we did it, Not on a full moon day, so there weren't too many people. But the streets were almost well-lit by street lights, roads were neat, clean and in very good condition. So barefoot walking didn't affect us much. Or maybe our barefoot mountain trekking had made us hard-core 😉
Maybe because it was a cold night, we did a lot of watering the plants and adding urea to it while walking. We came across sleep less stray dogs barking at us. We saw people sleeping on the sides of the streets peacefully. We even saw someone asking for alms at that time of the day! We saw temples and Shiva lingas but due to lack of knowledge I didn't realize their significance. Now I know that there are eight lingams located at the eight directions and provides an octagonal structure to Thiruvannamalai Town. You can read from the experts. CLICK..
We took around 4 hours to complete the walk. We reached around 5.30am at the point were we started. Still the life hadn't started yet in that small town. In between we stopped for a tea from an early morning tea shop. And when we were about to pay we didn't have any small notes! So we dug all our purses and found whatever coins we could, and paid. But still were short of money and we got a 2 rupees off!! Yay! 😉
We reached our room by 6. The walk and the effect of tea started working; nature was calling. 😉 Things were sorted out. Soon we went to bed, hoping to wake up and go out by evening. Oh this day was a little long! 😉 But definitely lots of fun.
If you missed the previous parts,
the day started with a morning walk
and then we did a half trekking and visited an ashram and cave where Ramana maharshi stayed for year. Then we prepared our dinner and rest of the story you just read 😉
A lot of adventures and fun are still awaiting to be told 😉
Well walking through an Indian street past midnight isn't a big adventure. It is just to get your attention I said that. Now that I know I have your attention if you are reading this, I am giving out the secret 😉