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-   -   Trip to Thiruvannaamalai. (http://www.indiamike.com/india/tamil-nadu-f40/trip-to-thiruvannaamalai-t85465/)

Quint Essence Jul 17th, 2009 03:55

Trip to Thiruvannaamalai.
 
Hi all,

I'm Paul from Blackwater, Surrey, in the UK. I enjoy traveling/exploring and some of my interests include; Metaphysics, Meditation, Spirituality, Religion, Philosophy, Reading, Music & Art.

I am planning a trip to Thiruvannaamalai, Tamil Nadu, for the first time either later this year or early next year depending on a few personal matters. I understand that the early periods of the year for this area (Nov-March) are considered the most busiest and April-July as the hottest in regards to weather, so if not taken this year I may have to wait till later next year as the heat may be a little to much for me? The trip will primarily be a spiritual retreat and will thus far be done solo, I plan to visit and mainly stay within Ramanasramam and to explore Arunachala mountain. But I will definitely be interested in exploring the close surroundings also.

If anyone has ANY advice they could shower my way in reagrds to this trip I would be very gratefull, and I mean ANY advice as I have never traveled to India before, and although I don't have a date secured for this trip yet I will be looking for companions to travel with from the UK when I do, so if anyone else is planning a similar visit then please let me know. Thanks.

pibikay Jul 18th, 2009 15:19

:) In Dec and Feb there may not be much of a rush.
If you can get it the best option to stay is the Ashram

santos_g15 Jul 18th, 2009 17:08

Its really a nice place.Its awfully crowded on full moon days.The special thing is the giri valam where people go around the mountain about 11 kms path on full moon days.There will be lakhs of visitors on that day.But the ashrams are peaceful and the temple beautiful.THere are frequent buses from chennai CMBT(Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus) to thiruvannamalai.

Quint Essence Jul 18th, 2009 19:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by pibikay (Post 771016)
:) In Dec and Feb there may not be much of a rush.
If you can get it the best option to stay is the Ashram

Well December would be a bit inconvenient, but February sounds like a good date, I will definitely look into that period. Also staying in the Ashram would be an ideal situation but it seems the Ashram can only lodge a person for a few days, I will write to them when I am closer to knowing my leaving date, but I will keep looking for other options just to be sure, plus it seems like accommodation is very cheap around Thiruvannaamalai anyway, but thanks for the heads up.


Quote:

Originally Posted by santos_g15 (Post 771093)
Its really a nice place.Its awfully crowded on full moon days.The special thing is the girivalam where people go around the mountain about 11 kms path on full moon days.There will be lakhs of visitors on that day.But the ashrams are peaceful and the temple beautiful.There are frequent buses from chennai CMBT(Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus) to thiruvannamalai.

That sounds like a beautiful scene, I plan to explore the mountain quite a lot during my stay but to walk it on a full moon would be something else. So what is the Girivalam, I have heard of a great festival which takes place around the mountain, is that what people refer to as Girivalam? So I guess the bus route would work out cheaper, but I bet they get extremely crowded and stop at every possible place on the way? I think I will opt for a taxi if it isn't too expensive, as it's my first visit and would probably work out a lot easier for me. :D

So what about accommodation, I have received a few links from people on this forum for rooms/hotels/houses etc, but would you advice booking before hand or looking around when arriving. Is it cheaper to find accommodation in town or close to the Ashram?

girlfromvenus Jul 18th, 2009 19:17

I will be in Tiruvannamalai for 2 days next month, as I will be staying in a guesthouse close to the ashram and also plan to climb Mount Arunachala, I probably can give you some valuable info after. :cool:

Quint Essence Jul 18th, 2009 19:40

Hi girlfromvenus,

That would be great, I look forward to hearing from you & I hope you have a wonderful stay..... Are you staying primarily to visit Ramanaashram and Mount Arunachala or are you on the move around India?

girlfromvenus Jul 18th, 2009 19:47

I am mostly visiting temple-towns in Tamil Nadu, starting point Chennai, going down to Kerala.

I am not the ashram-type, so I will not stay there. But I want to climb Arunachala and visit the Arunachaleswar Temple.

Quint Essence Jul 19th, 2009 17:17

Has anybody else on this forum been/stayed at the Ramanaashram or explored the Arunachala mountain? If so what has been your experience of such places?

girlfromvenus Jul 19th, 2009 21:25

you could also google the net for travelblogs about tiruvannamalai and the ashram, many people have written about their trips and experiences, it's all out there, you just must research.

Quint Essence Jul 19th, 2009 21:46

Yes research is good, if I hadn't researched I probably wouldn't have come across this site? I am always looking through various sites and Googling around, but part of that research is to get as many accounts and information from various sources, at the moment that happens to be here..Also it is handy to have the ability to interact with individuals about certain subjects through site's such as this, I will keep hunting though.

dineshpkm Jul 20th, 2009 18:41

Hi friend

Giri means -mountain
valam means- round up walk

giri valam literally means a walk around the mountain especially on a full moon day.

you refer to a festival in ur previous post. It is called as karthikai deepam. Festival of lights. The whole mountain will be crowded

matt-atma Aug 6th, 2009 20:52

Tiru
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Quint Essence (Post 771712)
Has anybody else on this forum been/stayed at the Ramanaashram or explored the Arunachala mountain? If so what has been your experience of such places?

HiPaul
I'VE been to tiru 4 times .You should not miss the Deepalm Festival of Lights on 23 rd Nov.lasting about one week-its magical.And u can also have Darshan with Laksmana Swami( see him do it on youtube).Heck I might even go to Tiru with you !! Ask the Ramanashram to arrange a taxi for airport. Find out if there are now ATMs in Tiru,then u wouldn't need travellers cheques. Its a lovely ashram & mountain & great cafes near ashram,& places to stay incl your own bungalow,all new since I was last there in 2001.
Matt.

JyotiM Aug 6th, 2009 21:37

Tiruvannamalai
 
Hi Paul,
Having lived in Tiru 4 years (longest continuous span of time was 8 months because of the oppressively hot weather), I can tell you that the most crowded time is during the Deepam festival in November. Thousands of people circumnabulate Arunachala 24/7, ending with the lighting of a ghee filled cauldron at the top of the holy hill. It is very exhilarating to observe and participate in the pradakshina, alongside groups of people who are chanting all the way around the "hill."
I recommend that you reserve a room at the ashram as soon as you have a fixed date. December and January is when most foreigners come as these are the months when well-known spiritual teachers hold satsangs and retreats. While at the ashram you can easily find your next place to stay.
I have stayed at the ashram a number of times and recommend that you make this a priority, for as many days as you are allowed. I definitely do not recommend that you stay in town - there are many guest houses near the Ramana Ashram. Even though this area is also becoming more and more developed, it is more accessible to the hill, to Skanda ashram & Virupaksha cave, to the Ramana Library (which is wonderful, and well-endowed), and shops where you will find many organic foods from Pondicherry.
Jyoti

Quint Essence Aug 7th, 2009 19:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by matt-atma (Post 786660)
HiPaul
I'VE been to tiru 4 times .You should not miss the Deepalm Festival of Lights on 23 rd Nov.lasting about one week-its magical.And u can also have Darshan with Laksmana Swami( see him do it on youtube).Heck I might even go to Tiru with you !! Ask the Ramanashram to arrange a taxi for airport. Find out if there are now ATMs in Tiru,then u wouldn't need travellers cheques. Its a lovely ashram & mountain & great cafes near ashram,& places to stay incl your own bungalow,all new since I was last there in 2001.
Matt.

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the info..I didn't know about the Deepam festival so I will definitely look into that & November doesn't sound like a bad month to travel for me as I'm going to Egypt at the end of September and won't be back till mid October. So what exactly does the Deepam festival mark/celebrate?

Lakshmana Swamy was a disciple of Bhagavan Ramana wasn't he? I had hoped to meet such people whilst staying in Thiru but I wasn't sure how many direct disciples of Bhagavan were still physically alive, and more so a self realized disciple.

Did you walk the stretch of Arunachala?

So you think you might like to go out again soon? I'm not entirely sure on a leaving date yet, but we should definitely stay in touch and maybe see about travelling together, it would be a massive help to me, seeing as I've never set foot in India before & it's always nice to have a travel companion..

Quint Essence Aug 7th, 2009 19:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by JyotiM (Post 786693)
Hi Paul,
Having lived in Tiru 4 years (longest continuous span of time was 8 months because of the oppressively hot weather), I can tell you that the most crowded time is during the Deepam festival in November. Thousands of people circumnabulate Arunachala 24/7, ending with the lighting of a ghee filled cauldron at the top of the holy hill. It is very exhilarating to observe and participate in the pradakshina, alongside groups of people who are chanting all the way around the "hill."
I recommend that you reserve a room at the ashram as soon as you have a fixed date. December and January is when most foreigners come as these are the months when well-known spiritual teachers hold satsangs and retreats. While at the ashram you can easily find your next place to stay.
I have stayed at the ashram a number of times and recommend that you make this a priority, for as many days as you are allowed. I definitely do not recommend that you stay in town - there are many guest houses near the Ramana Ashram. Even though this area is also becoming more and more developed, it is more accessible to the hill, to Skanda ashram & Virupaksha cave, to the Ramana Library (which is wonderful, and well-endowed), and shops where you will find many organic foods from Pondicherry.
Jyoti

Hi JyotiM,

Thanks for your reply, lots of good info.. The Deepam festival sounds like a great event to witness & partake in, Matt the previous poster on this thread also recommended the festival so it will definitely be something I will further look into...Whats the weather like in November?

It would be great to stay at the Ashram for a while and I will definitely see about reserving a room when I figure out a leaving date as it would be a shame to miss out on such an experience seeing as I'm there, but in regards to staying in town I will take your advice and try to stay close to the Ashram, I would like to explore Arunachala Mountain a lot whilst I'm there so being close would be a definite benefit seeing as the circumference of the mountain alone is so vast without a trek from town etc.

So on a different note, how are you getting on in India? If you don't mind me asking.


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