05th May , 2015.
This week end I had undertaken one of the most difficult trek to Velliangiri. During 1971, first time I had been to Velliangiri during Chithra Pournami day along with my three friends and our instructor of my Polytechnic College. After that I had made the Yathra either before or after Chitra Pournami to avoid rush. But this year, I would like to make it on Pournami Day ie, on 03-05-2015.
The train ticket was booked in advance along with April month’s visits to Ooty. Started my Yathra on 02-05-2015 through Kovai Express and two of my friends joined with me at Railway station. During my train journey, I happened to met one of the retired staff of my old Institute ( Govt Polytechnic College, Coimbatore ). We exchanged our past memories. Along with my friends reached our Guest House around 22.45 Hrs. After a quick refreshment, started our yathra to Poondi, the Base Temple. We were struck up near the Forest Department check post due to Traffic Jam. We do not know when it will clear. Decided to walk this additional distance of 4 KM. After crossing of about a KM we got the special bus before Isha Yoga Centre, which came through short cut route.
At the base temple there was a lot of crowd and we had to wait for another one hour for the purchase of bamboo walking sticks. After dharshan of Sri Velliangiri Andavar of base temple and Forest Department's check up, we started our trek around 00.00 Hours. All the plastic bags and carry bags were removed and news papers were issued to wrap. Even water bottle labels were also removed and advised to carry back to the base and deposit in the dust bin. But none of them adhered to the forest officials request and bottles, plastic bags & biscuit pocket wrappers were strewn through out the route. The climate was good and no sign of rain. ( Two times the hill experienced rain during the past week.)
Without any problem we reached the 2nd hill. Suddenly there was a traffic jam and people could not move up or down due to narrow path. This was due to selfish attitude of the people to give way to the others. We were stranded for more than 3 hours on the same spot. The jam cleared around 05.30 Hrs and started trekking further. My ambition of watching the sun rise from the 7th hill was not full filled. ( even otherwise I might not have the view due to cloud ). Reached Top hill around 09.00 Hrs on 03-05-2015. At the entrance of the cave there was a long q which took around ½ hour to have the Darshan of Lord Shiva. All the pain were vanished after the darshan of Lord Shiva. No body were allowed to stay near the cave shrine due to heavy rush. Volunteers applied the vibhuthi on the forehead of all devotees and vibhuthi pockets were also distributed. Any donation were asked to deposit in the Hundi.
After a brief meditation at vattaparai, we trekked down. The water in the Andi sunai was completely spoiled by the devotees and water became red in colour. On return we trekked slowly taking rest at many places and reached to the base Temple around 16.00 Hrs. I could not match my old record speed due to the leg injury and dislocation of ankle joint. This time I had seen some of the young ladies were also trekking in addition to old and small girls.
From the base to our guest house we had chosen the Public transport up to Alanthurai and from there by an auto, since our call taxi could not reach the base due to traffic. The Govt organised lot of special buses from Gandhipuram to Poondi on this Chithra Pournami day. While returning we happened to see that the Isha parking lot was occupied by more than 200 buses and 500 cars. At least 4 lakhs to 5 lakhs devotees might have visited the Cave shrine. Reached Chennai around 22.25 Hrs through Allepy – Danbad express on 04-05-2015.
I expressed my sincere thanks to my young friends, Mr Vijayan, Mr Arun and Mr China kumar for accompanying with me for the Velliangiri Yathra.
Thanks to Lord Shiva for the wonderful darshan on this Manmatha Year Chitra Pournami day
The panoramic view of the 7th hill from 6th hill top.
A Shiva Linga on the 7th hill. It was understood that this is a samadhi of a Devotee who had laid the steps for the three hills from his young age.
Vinayagar sannadhi on 7th hill
South side of cave - a view from vattaparai
Garbage hill – In-spite of Checking at the base by the forest officials the people manage to carry the plastic bags and dumped on the route.
---OM SHIVAYA NAMA:---