After a very long time, back to blogging with a post about the mystique and the divine – The Vellingiri Hills. The Vellingiri hills, considered the Southern Kailash, is one of the important and sacred pilgrimage destinations in the country. The Vellingiri Hills, a part of the Western Ghats, is about 30 kms from Coimbatore city. There are a lot of public transport facilities available to Vellingiri foothills. The prime deity is Lord Shiva in the name, Velliangiri Andavar, meaning Lord of the Silver mountains. The Vellingiri hills is a serene and a beautiful place where nature could be seen at its best. Along withe beauty a lot of legends are associated with the Vellingiri hills, one such is from the Mahabharatha.
The pilgrimage starts during the full moon in the months of April/May, that is, the Chitra Pournami – full moon in the Tamil month of Chithirai. Chithirai being the first month of the Tamil year and the full moon in this month is exceptionally bright, people start on a pilgrimage trip abode the Vellingiri hills to worship Lord Shiva. It comprises of seven hills, and the seventh hill being the place where Lord Shiva is abode.
The Vellingiri Hills is full of serenity and divinity spread across the seven hills. One can feel the finesse of the tranquility of the Vellingiri Hills, only by being there. The hills host a lot of springs that are freezing chill even on the hot summers day. There are springs with names that are quite intriguing and interesting. The Kai Thatti Sunai (The Clapping Spring) has an interesting belief behind it, the force of the water increases if one claps near it, though I have not felt personally when I tried. And there is the Aandi Sunai at the end of the sixth hill which is a bigger one.
The Vellingiri hills has many legends associated with it, especially from the Mahabharatha. Not only is the hills, but also the places nearby Coimbatore.
There are places in the hills called the Draupadi Palam (Draupadi Bridge), Bheeman Kali Urundai (Bheema’s handful of found in the shape of a ball), Andi Sunai (Andi Spring – the place at the end of the 6th hill were Arjuna conducted his penance).
One interesting story is that, when the Pandavas were in exile into the forests, they ventured out into the country in disguise. They were travelling near the place called Dharapuram, and one of the Dhuryodhana’s men identified the Pandavas and went on to inform Dhuryodhana. The place where the Pandavas is called Kandidam [Kanda (Found) + Idam (Place)], which later got transformed and now called as Kundadam. When the Pandavas came to know that they were identified by Dhuryodhana’s men, the retreated back into the Vellingiri forest. The place where they turned back and retreated is called Tiruppur [Thiruppu – (turn back) + Oor – (Place)], this name still exists.
Now lets view some of the serene and beautiful pictures of the Velligiri Hills
The mist covered serene Vellingiri Hills
Another view of the mist covered serene Vellingiri Hills
Nature at its best
Ravichandran on his ascent to worship Lord Vellingirinathar
Sathiyaraj, Kannadhasan, Satish on their ascent (The bamboo sticks are used for balance while climbing the steep hills and rough surfaces)
Kannadhasan, Sathiyaraj, Satish, Ravichandran on the divine
The arduous climb, but still, people are quite determined
In the hands of Mother
Illustration of the need for the bamboo stick
At some places, step are carved out of large rocks.
The Kai Thatti Sunai (The Clapping Spring)
Kannadhasan testing the Kai Thatti Sunai and quenching his thirst
Satish and Ravi lifting the Bheeman Kali Urundai (Lifting is a hoax though 🙂 )
Guys pointing our destiny of the mission, the seventh hilltop
Another view of the Seventh Hill
The rugged terrain
Gunasekaran at the end of the Sixth Hill
Kannadhasan and Ravi near the Aandi Sunai (The place Arjuna conducted his penance)
Sathiyaraj, after courageously immersing himself in freezing waters of the Aandi Sunai
View of the Siruvani Dam, claimed to have the world’s second tastiest water
Another view of the Siruvani Dam from atop the Seventh Hill
The Crescent shaped moon, we made this expedition when it was nearing New moon
Pradeep and Gopinath taking a short rest at the top of the Seventh Hill
Pradeep and others have a small break at the top of the Seventh Hill
So does Sathiyaraj at the top of the Seventh Hill
Watching the beauty sunrise from above the hills, another reason to reach the hilltop early at dawn
Another view of the sunrise
Valiant and happy after climbing to the destiny
The rejuvenated team after worshipping Lord Vellingirinathar
The first climb for us (Pradeep, my brother, and myself)
Preparing for the descent
The descent, notice the view of the beautiful view of the hills at the background
Tired and exhausted at the end of the journey
The divine place that made it happen
The more we go to Vellingiri Hills, the more we explore the mystique and the serene beauty of the hills along with its divinity. Lets explore this divine place and worship Lord Shiva in the Kailash of the South.
More to come, until then…