Monday, August 23, 2010

Palamaram Ashram and Cave, on Aruanchala by karthigainathan


Exploring Arunachala, Carol and I came across another cave, one under a rock that has a shrine and ashram built around it. We were told by the Arunachala Mountain Guide, Saran, who grew up near this spot, that this is called Palamaram Ashram and is ‘generations’ old and has been run by one family for these generations. Palamaram is the Tamil word for ‘jackfruit’ (but we did not see a jackfruit tree). The guru who was most recently active here, per Saran, was Palamaram Swamy, who was here for 40 years and for the last 15 years has been in the Himalayas. He said the Ashram is presently handled by Srinivasam.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Tiruvannamalai Top view

Tiruvannamalai is one of the most venerated places in Tamil Nadu.In ancient times, the term "Annamalai" meant an inaccessible mountain.The word "Thiru" was prefixed to signify its greatness, and coupled with the two terms, it is called Tiruvannamalai.

The temple town of Tiruvannamalai is one of the most ancient heritage sites of India and is a centre of the Saiva religion.The Arunachala hill and its environs have been held in great regard by the Tamils for centuries. The temple is grand in

conception and architecture and is rich in tradition, history and festivals. The main Deepam festival attracts devotees from far and wide throughout South India. It has historic places besides Tiruvannamalai, Arni, Vandavasi, Devigapuram connected to East India and French companies. In the late Chola period this district

was ruled by the Cholan of Sambuvarayar having Padavedu near Arni as HQ. We can now find the fort and note along with a Shiva temple namely Kailasanathar in Arni town.

From the History of Tiruvannamalai article:

Pavala Kundru – Tiruvannamalai

History of Pavala Kundru

“In 1790 Tippu Sultan captured Tiruvannamalai over-riding the Treaty of Mangalore (1784 A.D.) in which he and the English agreed to mutual restoration of conquests and exchange of prisoners. Tippu Sultan attacked Thiagadurga Fort (30 miles south of Tiruvannamalai). The whole population of the surrounding region took refuge in this fort.Activated by the news from Thiagadurga and apprehending attack,the inhabitants of Tiruvannamalai collected arms and men to defend themselves till British reinforcements arrived.When Tippu Sultan attacked Tiruvannamalai, its inhabitants put up a brave resistance but were compelled to surrender in the end. Tippu Sultan, it is said, occupied the hillock of Pavalakkunru after destroying the small shrine that was there. His solders, it seems, were cruel to the people of the town but strangely the Temple of Sri Arunachala was left untouched, barring a single cannon shot that was fired at it. The missile seems to have hit a part of the northern wall causing minimal damage.After camping there for some weeks, Tippu Sultan and his army left Tiruvannamalai.

A gun belonging to Tippu Sultan was found buried near the hillock where he had camped. It was taken and placedin a museum in Madras. Ramana Maharshi said that whatever Temple might have existed on or about Pavalakkunru seemed to have disappeared probably on account of Tippu Sultan’s invasion. The present Temple was probably built only a hundred and fifty years ago.”

From the Arunachala Grace:

Madurai Veeran Koil – Temple on East side of Arunachala

Madurai Veeran is a hindu sub-deity from Madurai District, Tamil Nadu (South India).

Pavala Kundru

Hill Theertham-Place : Thiruvannamalai