A must go place for trekking - Parvathamalai
Where is Parvathamalai?
So the first and the foremost question that arises in your head is "Where is this so called place??? and How will I go there???"
This place is not in the dark forests of amazon . So, Do not Panic!!!
Parvathamalai is in the southern part of India in the state of TamilNadu. It is located in the Thenmadhimanglam village near Polur which is approximately 35 kms away from the Town Thiruvannamalai.
There are three different routes which you can take from Chennai(Capital of TamilNadu) to Parvathamalai through Polur.
There is one more route you can take which is through Thindivanam, Gingee and Thiruvannamalai.
The overall journey by road from Chennai to Parvathamalai will take approximately 4-5 hours (but of course depending on your travel speed,traffic and weather conditions).
From Chennai to Parvathamalai through Polur
Half-way through the trek
What is special about Parvathamalai?
If you are interested in some religious information, you can read the first paragraph below.
Parvathamalai is about 3500 feet high approximately which has a Shiva temple at the peak point known as Lord Mallikarjunaswamy temple. This temple is believed to be 2000 years old and has many religious stories in hand. It is also said tat saints(Sidhars) are found on this hill and if you have luck you can see any one of them while climbing. It is also believed that seeing them will neutralize all the sins you have committed in your previous birth.It is also believed that climbing this hill will give equal benefits of climbing Mountain Kailash.
This hill is full of herbal plants and the overall climbing up of the hill will take approximately 4 hours for a normal man and down the hill will take approximately 3 hours(of course depending on your fitness)
For trekking, climbing a mountain which is at 3500 ft is really a big challenge. The overall climbing of this mountain is divided into various parts namely Kadarparaipadi(iron rod steps), thandavalapadi (tracks), Aenipadi(ladder steps)and Agayapadi(sky steps when translated literally)
Starting point of Ladder steps on the hard rock
Is Parvathamalai in your travel plans?
How to plan for the trek?
Here are some suggestions for you to plan for the trip
1. Planning for a one day trip is the best. You can also stay in the Shiva temple at the peak and come down the next day.
2. You can wear shoes only till 70 percent of the hill climbing from where you need to take ladder steps.
3. Avoid planning the trip during rainy season because the steps will be slippery.
4. Starting the hill climbing early morning is good for those who are planning for a one day trip because you can come down before it gets dark.
5. The starting 30 percent of the trek will have steps after which the real trekking starts.
6. There are one or two very narrow paths during the climbing. So, be sure to lose some pounds before you plan for this trek(just kidding).
Towards Peak point
Viewpoint from Thandavalapadi
Mandatory things for Parvathamalai trek
Things to Pack
Wear proper trek shoes
No shops till the midway
Fruits, Salad types to keep you hydrated
To capture some really good shots
Viewpoint from the ladder steps (Aenipadi) on the hard rock stones
My first trekking experience
- My thoughts !!!: My first trekking experience
Anything if done for the first time would be more thrilling.Be it first day to your college or first dating with your crush.... I too had the same kind of experience with my first trekking trip... Follow the link to know more of it...
Apt time to go for a Parvathamalai trek
The temple is open 24x7. So, you can go whenever you find time. But, if it is your first time , try not to go during rainy season as the steps would be slippery.
Also, climbing in day light is better if you are going for the first time. Because the path is directed only by boards and signs written in the corners and there is a chance for you to get confused with the right path if you are there for the first time.
This temple attracts lot of people during full moon day. So you will find many people climbing the mountain on a full moon day.
Beliefs and Stories about the hill
Parvathamalai has lots of stories being told by the priests in the temple and also by the locals.It is believed that a piece of Sanjeevini hills carried by hanuman fell at this place to give rise to Parvathamalai. So, the herbs in this hill is believed to cure any deadliest disease.