Let’s take a closer look at how to do a Giri Pradakshina in Arunachalam and what features are to be seen while doing it. As Lord Shiva is famous in Arunachalam Temple, similarly, Giri Pradakshina is also famous. Some devotees do Giri Pradakshina, after visiting the main temple. Also, some devotees complete Giri Pradakshan and visit the main temple; in this way, the devotees who come here follow according to their convenience. If we notice, we can see a hill from the main entrance Rajagopuram, this hill is called Arunachala Giri. Going back around this hill is called Giri Pradakshana.

The total distance of Giri Pradakshina is 14 km. In this 14-kilometer walk, we will see 8 lingams. The guardians of the eight directions (Ashta Dikpalakas) established these, which are known as Ashta Lingas. Also, there are many temples and holy places around, 44 of which are very important. This number has special significance. Arunagiri is shaped like Sri Chakra. Just as there are 44 energy points in Sri Chakra, there are 44 vital points around Arunagiri. If you do Giri Pradakshina by visiting these 44 places, you can get amazing results. You can see the Sri Chakra form of Arunagiri on Google Maps using a 3D view. 

The whole journey is 14 km on asphalt road in Vuru. This entire performance involves walking barefoot. So the circumambulation time is allotted to evening and morning time. By walking, it takes 4-5 hours. Also, those who don’t have a walk can do it by using an autorickshaw, which takes 1–2 hours. Also, we have all the facilities available along the way. Also, route map boards are visible.

Where should you start your Pradakshina?

1. Brahma Theertham | Brahma Linga

In the second Prakaram of the main temple, there is a place called Brahma Theertham. That is where your Giri Pradakshina should begin. Near the RajaGopuram (main gate dome) is a powerful deity named Shakti Ganapati. Pay your respects to him and then enter the main temple. From there, proceed towards the Brahma Theertham in the second Prakaram. Bathe in Brahma Tirtha if possible; if not, at least sprinkle water on the head. Opposite the Brahma Theertham, you will find the Brahma Linga. Giri will appear opposite Brahma Linga, then offer your obeisances to Brahma Linga and Arunagiri. Devotees believe that offering Namaskar from here removes the negative effects of unfulfilled promises, vows or lies. Also, few devotees start from Ramana Maharshi Ashram. Opposite to Ramana Maharshi Ashram is Lord Vinayaka Swamy Temple, where one takes divine darshan and starts Giri Pradakshina. Devotees mostly perform Giri Pradakshan on the full moon day and the crowd of devotees is more crowded on the Kartika full moon day.

2. Indra Lingam | Indra Pushkarini | Arunagiri Nathar Temple

Now let’s move from first place Brahma Theertham to the second place Indra Lingam. From the main temple, if you head towards Car Street, you will see the Indra Lingam between various shops. Although it is a bit challenging to locate, locals can easily guide you as it is well known. This Linga is said to have been installed by Lord Indra. That initially Lord Shiva appeared here in the form of Arunagiri. Subsequently, devotees believe that various divine deities have manifested themselves around Giri or created new lingas and holy ponds with their divine powers. That is why visiting these lingas, holy ponds and other places offers remarkable benefits. The presiding deities of Indra Lingam are Shukra (Venus) and Surya (Sun). Therefore, it is the belief of devotees that people facing career challenges can get success in their career and also enjoy a long life if they worship this Linga.

Then before coming to the third topic, Agni Lingam, note an important point. If you walk about 200 metres on the road next to the Indra Lingam, you will come across the Indra Pushkarini (sacred pond). Opposite Indra Pushkarini, you will find the Arunagiri Nathar Temple. However, this temple is a bit far from the Giri Pradakshina route so visit at your convenience during Giri Pradakshina.

3. Agni Lingam | Agni Pushkarini | Pandava Theertham

Now, let’s move on to the Agni Lingam in third place. Of the eight lingams around Arunagiri, seven are on the left side of the giri circumambulation route. However, the Agni Lingam is on the right side, which is a bit unusual. Moon is the ruler of this field. Worshipping this Linga gives protection by guiding in dangerous situations.

On the road, you can also see a big pond called Agni Pushkarini, where bathing is very good. So, at least sprinkle some water from this pond on your head. Here you will notice a bend leading to the road that takes you to the Agni Lingam.

Pandava Theertha is half a kilometre away from Agni Lingam. This is a truly remarkable place where the Pandavas enshrined a linga along with a sacred pond. Taking a bath in this theertha will give you amazing energy. Earlier Ramana Maharishi used to swim here. It is a very powerful place, but make sure to visit it with a group of people. However, visiting during Giri Pradakshina should be done according to your timing.

4. Seshadri Swami Ashram

Going to the fourth point on the Giri Pradakshina route, the Seshadri Swami Ashram can be seen on the right. Remarkable persons like Ramana Maharshi and Seshadri Swami have increased the spiritual power in important places in Arunachalam. This ashram is a place you must visit. Seshadri Swamy was born in Kanchipuram in the form of Goddess Kamakshi. He came to Tiruvannamalai when he was just 20 years old and spent his entire life there. He embodies the Avadhuta form, which is a form of enlightenment. Spotting the Avadhutas can be challenging because they look crazy to look at. Avadhutas deliberately look eccentric and often behave in a way that is mistaken for madness by society. Seshadri Swami’s divine activities are unprecedented.

Let us take an example here. Once there was a wedding going on in that area. The bride’s family worshipped Lord Seshadri, but the groom’s family considered him insane. He was invited by the bride’s family members to bless the bride during the wedding. He arrived at the wedding venue while the guests were seated for dinner. Approaching the couple, he scolded them, burst into laughter and went into the kitchen. There, a large container of sambar (a South Indian dish) is prepared. Seshadri swami turned the container and the sambar spilled on the floor. He left the kitchen with a big smile.

The groom’s family interpreted his actions as crazy and criticised the bride’s family for inviting him. Out of respect for him, the bride’s family thinks there is a motive behind his behaviour and when they set out to prepare the sambar again, they discover that the spilled sambar contains a cooked large Indian cobra and the sambar is poisonous. Consuming it can cause many casualties. This incident illustrates his unusual nature.

5. DakshinaMurthy Temple

A walk of about 20 feet from the Seshadri Swami Ashram leads to the Dakshina Murthy temple on your right. Although it looks new, this temple has an ancient and immense power that has existed for more than 1500 years.

The idol of the Lord in this temple is beautifully decorated with decorations. Be sure to offer your obeisances to the Dakshina Murti as it has the form of Arunagiri Yogi atop Arunachalam Hill.

6. Ramana Ashram

The sixth point on our journey is the Ramana Ashram on your right on the Girivlam route. Inside it, you can see Matru Bhuteshwar Temple which houses the tomb of Ramana Maharshi’s mother. Adjacent to this temple you will find the tomb of Ramana Maharshi.

Ramana Ashram has many important places to explore. As the visit may take a long time, proceed according to your time availability.

7. Vinayaka Temple | Gudipati Venkata Chalam

The seventh stop is Vinayaka Temple opposite Ramana Ashram. As you can see, it is covered by a grill. This temple houses Goddess Meenakshi, Lord Sundareswarar and Lord Vinayaka. Kavyakantha is famous for Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati appearing as an old couple to Ganapati Muni and his brother and offering them food. This incident took place in this temple with the power of Parvati and Lord Parameswara. As you go from this temple to the eighth block, you will notice Chalam Gari Samadhi on the left side of the pavement. Many Telugu people are familiar with him, his name is Gudipati Venkata Chalam, a famous writer. Initially an atheist, his early writings were somewhat controversial. However, after meeting Ramana Maharshi, his outlook changed completely, leading him to dedicate his life to serving Ramana Maharshi. Subsequently he wrote a remarkable book titled ‘Bhagavan Smriti’ and the preface of that book is also interesting. A little further along the Girivalam road from Ramana Ashram, you will come across his tomb on the left side of the pavement.

8. Draupadi Temple or Dharmaraj Temple | Simha Theertham

The eighth place is on the right side of Girivalam Marga. It is known as Draupadi Temple or Dharmaraj Temple. It looks like an ancient temple. Visit if allowed to enter. In this temple there is a Shiva Lingam worshipped by the Pandavas. From this point, you can get a panoramic view of Arunagiri. It brings inner peace to those who have faced many ups and downs in life and fear to face the future.

Before reaching the ninth place, you will notice a lion sculpture called Simha Theertha on your right. In the past, Arunachalam had 365 holy water sources that allowed bathing in a different Tirtha every day of the year. Over time, some have dried up or fallen into disrepair and Simha Theertha is one of them.

9. Yama Lingam | Yama Theertham

Continuing on the path, you will see an easily identifiable Yama Linga on your left. It is a powerful linga, as well as the third of the Ashta lingas and is enshrined by Yama, the god of death. Worshipping this Linga can protect us from accidents and untimely death. Reciting Angaraka Rinavimochana Stotra at this place gives beneficial results to those facing financial difficulties. This stotra is very powerful and if recited at this place due to the contiguity of Mars, it gives excellent results. Adjacent to this area is the Yama Theertha, which is now in ruins. Interestingly, there is a cremation ground in front of the Yama Linga. As Yama rules the south direction, this arrangement is significant. In the graveyard, you will see the graves of the Siddhas.

10. Prudhvi Nandi

After the Yama Lingam, you can see the 10th place on the left, which houses the Mandapam with Prithvi Nandi. Pay obeisance to this Nandi and light a lamp there if possible. If you can carry a lamp with you, you can light it here. Most people know about the Ashta Lingams around Arunagiri, but less know about the existence of 8 mighty Nandis. Some of these are difficult to identify. Prithvi Nandi is the first among these 8 Nandis. So offer your salutations to this Nandi.

11. Valamuri Ganapathi Temple

A little further, the road splits into two, one for Bangalore and the other for the Giri circumnavigation. At this junction, on the pavement, you will find the Valamuri Ganapathi Temple. This Ganapati’s trunk turns to the right side and one gets the darshan of the Lord. According to Puranas, devotees believe that visiting this Ganapati brings good fortune.

12. Rishi Durvasa Ashram

Going further along the Girivalam route, you will see the 12th place on your left, the Rishi Durvasa Ashram. There are three mighty ashrams of various sages on the Girivalam route and this is the first of them. Inside this ashram, you will find an idol of Sage Durvasa. This idol was consecrated by Kunti Devi. While others felt the wrath of Sage Durvasa, only Devi Kunti deserved his grace. Near the ashram, there is a neem tree where people tie yellow threads, which is believed to bless the couple with children. People also throw stones there, believing that it will help them get their own houses. So pay your respects to Sage Durvasa.

13. Kattu Shivashram

A little further you will reach the 13th point on the right side of the path, known as Kattu Sivashram. However, permission from the forest department is required to go inside and a guide is also required due to the dense forest. Otherwise, you can easily get lost. So, offer your respect from the outside. Kattu translates to “forest”, hence Kattu Shiva refers to Lord Shiva in the forest. He lived during the time of Siddha and Ramana Maharishi. Inside, you’ll find a cave where he meditated, as well as the remains of his monastery and tomb. This place is enigmatic and mysterious.

Even today, Siddhas continue to meditate in the cave in the form of giant snakes and many snake skins can be found there. Since this area cannot be entered, pay your respects to him from outside. From here, you can see the Somaskanda darshan of Arunagiri. That means one can have a darshan of three peaks representing Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati and Kumaraswamy. This vision has immense power. As you move forward from here, the view of Giri is obstructed by dense trees. This region is known as Kama Kadu, which means “Forest of Desires.” It refers to how excessive desires prevent one from attaining Shiva.

14. Appu Nandhi

Going a little further like this, you will come across a second Nandi called Appu Nandi. This Nandi is associated with the element of water in the Panchabhutas. Through the space between the horns of this Nandi you can see Giri Mitrachara. This darshan helps in restoring lost relationships, wealth and possessions.

15. Teyu Nandhi

Continuing further, you will find a third Nandi in a small mandapam on the pavement. This Nandi is called Teyu Nandi. Through this one can see Giri Chaturmukha. Brahma with four faces represents this aspect. After doing penance here, Lord Brahma acquired the knowledge necessary for creation. People struggling with distractions and negative thoughts can meditate here to gain the knowledge they seek, as this place holds powerful energy.

16. Shona Theertham

Going a little further, you will see the 16th point called Shona Theertham on the right side. Here, you will find two Nandi idols, one facing the outside and the other facing the hill. Adjacent to them is a mighty Ganesha temple with Jyoti Ganesha. During his Giri Pradakshina, Ramana Maharshi used to rest at three specific places. Thus this is the first place where he rests. This place has great power, hence Ramana Maharshi chose to rest here. His presence helped make the area more spiritual, providing a peaceful atmosphere for meditation.

17. Nairuti Lingam | Mariamman Temple

Before you reach the 17th place, you will come across the Mariamman temple on the roadside. It is a small temple on a high platform, the deity here is very powerful, bestows blessings and good health on children. So, pay your respects to her. As you move forward, reach the 17th position which is the Nairuti lingam on the left side of the path. This Linga is the fourth of the Ashta Lingas and was enshrined by Niruti, the demon king who ruled the southwest direction. Vastu doshas, negative energies related to construction and environment are often associated with southwest direction. So a small mistake in this aspect can adversely affect our lives. As Vastu experts say, careful attention in this direction can elevate us to the highest state.

Rahu is the lord of this kshetra. Next to the Nairuti Lingam, you will see the Nairuti Pushkarini. This Linga has the ability to reduce problems related to negative and evil forces. It also brings glory according to the Puranas. Once, when Ganapati Muni was meditating here, a transcendental voice (asariravani) told him that the chariot had stopped and would not move until he came there. When Ganapati Muni Pachayamman sensed extraordinary powers in the temple, he came to the Nairuti Lingam to meditate. It highlights the amazing energy of this place.

In all the Ashta Linga temples, you will notice that a large photo is displayed. This person is Moopanar Swamy. He was a respected saint from Tirunelveli. Ashta Lingas came here in 1968 when they were in poverty. Through his efforts in collecting donations, he renovated these temples, hence his photo is displayed in every Ashta Linga temple.

18. Nandhi Mukha Darshan

Going a little further, you will come across the 18th place called Nandi Mukha Darshan on your right side. A signboard indicates its location. Here, you can observe a natural stone structure that resembles Nandi’s head, with vivid details like ears and other features that look like an artist has drawn them.

19. Edirner Annamalai | Vallalar Ashram

Before you reach the 19th place, you will see Vallalar Ashram. There are many Vallalar ashrams around Giri. If we examine here who this Vallalar is, he lived in Vadalur, Tamil Nadu till 1874. His divine dramas are truly remarkable. Even the British officials were impressed by his pious actions and recorded his greatness in their official records. He has the unique ability to exist in a spirit-like form even while in his physical body. His shadow does not fall on the ground.

Finally, when he decided to leave his physical form, he entered a room and locked it. He did not come out for a long time and when his disciples entered the room, they could not find him inside. The British authorities also documented the incident as an unsolvable mystery. Vallalar is worshipped in the form of light. That is why you will find a light (jyoti) in the inner sanctum (sanctuary) of his ashram. Pay your respects to him.

Going a little further, you will find Edirner Annamalai Temple on your left as shown. This temple is a pleasure to see. In Tamil Ugadi, the sun rays directly illuminate the Shivalinga. From this place, you can experience the mighty Shiva Shakti darshan of Giri.

20. Akasha Nandi

A little further, you will find Akasha Nandi, the 20th place on the pavement. It refers to the 4th Nandi in the context of 5 Nandis associated with the five elements (panchabhutas). Pay obeisance to Akasha Nandi and continue your journey.

21. Palani Andavar

After travelling some distance, you will find the 21st energy point on your left. This temple is known as Palani Andavar Temple dedicated to Kumaraswamy. It got its power because Swami appeared here after his penance. He wears a Dandapani form similar to that of Subrahmanyam Swamy in Palani, hence the name Palani Andavar. Outside the temple, you will notice the Bhringi statue on a pillar on your left. Bhringi, after being cursed, performed penance here, as a result of which his curse was removed. The combined penance of Kumaraswamy and Bhringi endowed the place with powerful energy.

22. Rajarajeswari Temple

Also going a little further, you will come near the Rajarajeshwari Temple on your left. Although it is a small temple in ruins, it has considerable power. The goddesses here are very beautiful and appear with divine radiance. Interestingly, only Parvati hill is visible from this place. The manifestation of this temple coincides with the concentrated energy of Goddess Parvati. At the foot of the idol is the Kurma Meru Yantra installed by Dattatreya Swami. Offering obeisances or worshipping this yantra removes obstacles and fulfils wishes.

Outside, you can observe Dashamahavidya idols, which highlight the powerful Tantric nature of the temple. Chinnamasta Devi, though often depicted as fierce, has a serene-looking severed head in this temple with a gentle smile.

23. Simha Nandi | Simha Theertham

As you continue from Rajarajeshwari temple on the Girivalam route, you will see the Simha Nandi on your left. A Simha Theertham is also nearby. You can identify this place with the help of a lion sculpture visible from the road. This reminds us of another Simha Theertha we came across earlier. There you can see Nandi the lion on the grill, the fifth one we’ve encountered so far. This Simha Theertha has great sanctity.

You can sprinkle water from it on your head. Here is something special. If someone wants to give up bad habits or addictions, they can hold some water in their hands, make a sincere intention, and then release the water. The divine forces of nature are believed to help them overcome these habits or addictions. By the time you reach this place, you will be halfway through the 14 km Giri circuit.

24. Kannappa Temple

Also going further along the Girivalaya road, you will reach the 24th place which is the Kannappa temple on the right side. The temple is not visible from the main road. When you see Nityananda Ashram, standing opposite it, you will notice a path outside right next to the compound wall. If you follow this path for about 300 meters, you will reach the Kannappa temple in the forest. Access may be restricted at present as it is maintained by the Forest Department. You can pay your respects from the road and plan to visit in the future when access is permitted.

The Kannappa temple is situated on a large rock. Under this stone is a closed mandapam. Inside, you will find an intriguing statue of Lord Shiva in the form of a tribal figure. Pay your respects to Kannappa and Shiva from the roadside.

25. Gowthama Ashramam

Continuing further, you will encounter the 25th energy spot on your left. This is Gautama Maharshi Ashram, the second of the three Maharshi Ashrams around Giri. Sage Gautama used to meditate here, and you will find his statue inside. This is the second resting place of Ramana Maharishi. When Goddess Parvati came to Arunachalam to meditate, she first visited Gautama Maharshi’s ashram. On her arrival, the entire ashram was filled with the beauty of green nature. This incident took place in this ashram. This place holds immense power as Goddess Parvati did penance here for some time.

26. Surya Lingam | Surya Teertham

Later in your journey you will find the 26th position on the left, which is the Surya Lingam. We have already mentioned that apart from Ashta Dikpalaka Lingas, there are two additional Lingas called Surya Linga and Chandra Linga. If we look at the uniqueness of this Surya Linga, it is said that once Surya lost his radiance due to arrogance, then he regained his radiance after coming here, enshrining this Linga and doing penance. Moreover, reciting Aditya Hrudayam or Dwadasa Arya Stuti once at this place is as powerful as reciting it thousands of times. So if possible you can try.

27. Varuna Lingam

The 27th position is Varuna Lingam. Saturn(Shani) is the ruler of this Linga. It can relieve many types of problems caused by Lord Shani. The use of the water in the Abhishek performed here can cure diseases. Pradosha Puja is performed at Varuna Lingam every month on Trayodashi. Applying vibhuti (sacred ash) from this lingam on that day will wash away our sins. So, don’t miss Varuna Linga.

28. Manikya Vachakar Ashram

As you go a little further, you will see the Manikya Watchakar Temple on your right. It may take some effort to find this temple, even though it is on the side of the road. Look at the paintings of Nayanars on the compound wall to identify the temple. Inside the sanctum sanctorum, you will find a Shivalinga along with Manikya Vachkar, a great devotee of Lord Shiva.

Manikya Vachkar used to sing kirtans (devotional songs) in praise of Lord Shiva. In recognition of his devotion, he preserved these hymns for future generations and they are collectively known as Thiruvacakam. Similar to how Vishnu devotees recite Thiruppavai during Dhanurmasam, Shiva devotees recite Thiruvembavai. Manikya Vachakar wrote the holy book Thiruvempavai at Arunachalam, making this ashram very sacred. So definitely visit this place.

29. Adi Annamalai

29th place is the mighty Adi Annamalai Temple. You can find it a little further down the road next to the Manikya Watchakar Ashram. Arunachala Shiva bestows knowledge through worship, Adi Annamalai bestows our desires without our asking. This Shivalinga is enshrined by Lord Brahma and is believed to have existed before Arunachala Shiva.

There is also an ancient story related to this. Lord Brahma was enamoured with Tilottama’s beauty and pursued her in the form of a pigeon. Tilottama prayed to Lord Shiva for protection. It is said that Lord Shiva then saved her and freed Brahma from desire.

Also this temple is full of strange things. Sage Ramana says that while here at night, he heard the celestial hymns of the Samaveda sung by the Gandharvas. In front of the Ammavari temple is the Nava Dala Bilva tree. There are also said to be two caves connecting the main temple. So, don’t miss visiting this temple. If you look at Giri from here, it looks like Ganapati’s face, with trunk and ears, a wonderful sight.

30. Vaayu Lingam

After visiting the Adi Annamalai temple and returning to the road, a little further down, you will see the Vayu Lingam on the left. Even if it is hot outside, stepping into the sanctum sanctorum of the Vayu Lingam gives one a wonderful cool feeling due to the presence of Vayu Deva. Ketu is the ruler here. Worshipping places where Rahu and Ketu are presiding deities reduces Rahu Ketu doshas.

31. Vaayu Nandi

After the darshan of the Vayu Lingam, a little further down the path, you will see a small Vayu Nandi on the pavement on your left. Although small in size, these 8 Nandis carry considerable power, so pay your respects to Vayu Nandi.

32. Bhagawan’s Bridge

Also going ahead on Girivalaya route, you will come across Bhagwan Bridge on your left. Unfortunately, there are no signs and it can be difficult to spot. You can spot the Bhagavan Bridge by the nearby Vallalar Ashram or Pandramalai Swamy Ashram on your right. Ramana Maharishi used to rest here while looking at the Giri during his Giri Pradakshina. By using the zoom camera, you can see the vata tree (sacred banyan tree) on the hill from this place. Sage Ramana used to meditate here explaining the importance of this place.

33. Chandra Lingam

A little further down, where the road takes a bend, the 33rd place, Chandra Lingam, is seen. This Chandralingam is the second of the Surya Linga and Chandra Linga that we mentioned earlier. Enshrined by the Moon, this Shiva Lingam bestows peace of mind, providing relief from the hardships of life. Mondays are special for worshipping this Linga.

34. Agastya Ashramam

Also going ahead, Lopamudra Agastya Ashram will be seen on your left. Of the three ashrams around Giri, this one has been significantly developed by a trust. Inside, you will find an idol of Agastya Maharshi and this place is a place of powerful energy. From here, you can see the Giri where the hills of Shiva and Parvati merge into one, symbolising their unity as a single form of Shiva Shakti. This darshan gives blessings for marriage to unmarried people and bestows children to couples as told in Puranas.

35. Adhikara Nandi

Now, let’s go to 35th on the left side of the road. However, figuring it out can be a little challenging. This is the Abhikaran Nandi, an important place. During the circumambulation of the giri, the Abhikaran Nandi acts as the presence guard. Strange as it may seem, sages have put these rules in place to ensure our visits to these powerful places. We should whisper our gotra and nama in this Nandi’s ear or even from a distance to reap the benefits of girivalam. Pay your obeisance to this Nandi who is the seventh. Nearby, there is a ruined Sapta Matrika temple which is often overlooked by many. However, their powers are active here.

In the life story of Sage Ramana, this is where the Seven Matrikas feed him when he tries to forcefully fast. After their disappearance he realised their divine identity. They come from this temple which highlights the presence of these deities here. So pay homage to them.

36. Kubera Lingam

Also continuing ahead, you will see the 36th place on your left called Kubera Lingam. This temple attracts visitors every day. The importance of this lingam is rooted in the incident of worshiping the Shiva lingam here after Goddess Lakshmi performed Girivalam. She entrusted the responsibility of this place to Kubera as he was like her son and was the ruler of the North.

Goddess Lakshmi instructed Kubera to bestow wealth and riches on those who worshiped this Linga. Consequently, the temple attracts a large number of devotees seeking these blessings. Moreover, the pleasing decoration of this Shiva Lingam adds to its charm.

This region is ruled by Jupiter. As Jupiter is associated with education, devotees can seek his grace here to gain knowledge easily. Above, you will notice the Manikya Vachkar statue along with the three Nayanarus, Appar, Sundarar and Gnana Sambandar.

37. Idukku Pillayar

Arunachalam Giri Pradakshina Route Map Idukku Pillayar

Continuing further, you will see Idukku Pillaiyar on your right. Everyone thinks it is a temple. But this is not a temple. It is a narrow passage from the back to the front that you can pass through which has a special significance. A great man named Ilaya Kattu Siddhar installed two powerful machines in this structure. These machines are said to have the ability to relieve fatigue caused by giri pradakshina. It also feels real, and you can experience it yourself.

38. Panchamukha Darshan

Also a little further along the path, you will come across Panch Mukha Darshan on your right. In this large area, you will find a collection of stone chairs where hundreds of people usually sit. This place is not just for relaxation, it has a special significance. From here, you can see the five faces of the hill, hence the name Panch Mukha Darshan, symbolizing the five faces of Lord Shiva. From here the Agni Lingam, representing the form of Lord Shiva, adds to the importance of this place. This darshan gives career growth and job opportunities. Inside a stone mandapam in this area, you will find five Shivalingas.

Interestingly, on top of the mandapam, there is a Shivalinga in Padmasana sitting posture. Be sure to offer your salutations from this location. In this area, you can also see Isacki’s tomb. He achieved the extraordinary feat of circumambulating 1000 Anga Pradakshinas in his lifetime. Performing 1000 Anga Pradakshinas increases his greatness. His living tomb is here, so be sure to pay your respects to him.

39. Oosi Lingam

A little further after the Panchamukha Darshan, you will find a small temple easily visible on your right. This temple is called Oosi Lingam. It is located near the Royal Enfield showroom which helps you locate the temple. The word “Oosi” translates to “Needle” in Tamil and the temple has a Shivalinga in the form of a needle. As Lord Shiva did not appear despite long penance, Goddess Parvati stood on the Usi Linga with one leg to intensify her penance. This action touched Shiva’s heart and he appeared for her. This Linga symbolizes that event. You can easily serve your salutations through the grill.

40. Pachayyamman Temple

A little further, you will see Pachayamman Temple on your right. Here Amma is decorated in green color and in the form of Shyamala Devi. As you enter the temple, you will see large idols of Munishwara. Gautama Maharshi’s ashram transforms when Goddess Parvati arrives, making the surroundings lush and green. Then Gautama Maharishi begged the Goddess to appear in this Arunachalam. After that Ammavaru incarnated as Pachayamman in this temple.

Outside the temple, you can buy green saffron. Give it to the priest inside the temple, who will use it in the puja and return some to you. Wearing this green saffron brings lasting marital bliss. So, remember to get it before entering the temple.

41. Ishanya Lingam | Yajamana Nandi

Later on, the circular route splits into two directions. Avoid the route to the main temple and take an alternate route instead. Following this path will take you to the northeast. By visiting this Ishanya lingam, one completes the visit to all the eight dikpalaka lingams. The lingam is decorated with beautiful flowers and the temple has an ever-lit lamp. Worshipping this linga will reduce family, job and business problems. Do visit this Linga. In the nearby mandapam, you will encounter the eighth Nandi known as Yajamana Nandi or Northeast Nandi. Be sure to offer your salutations to this Nandi as well.

Ammani Amman Jeeva Samadhi

Opposite the northeast lingam, you can see a temple that is referred to as Ammani Amman Jeeva Samadhi. The temple is associated with a remarkable Avadhuta dating back to the 17th century. She played a major role in the construction of the North Gopuram known as Ammani Amman Gopuram in the main Arunachala Shiva Temple.

She attains Ashta Siddhas and asks for donations to fund the construction of the gopuram. Many were inspired to donate as soon as they saw her face. When some people hesitate to donate, because of their ineptitude, she surprisingly reveals hidden places of money and gold in their own homes.

This revelation prompts them to recognize her divine nature and cooperate. She used these funds to serve Lord Shiva by contributing to the construction of the North Gopuram, thus helping people to reduce their negative karma. This temple is her burial place.

Jnana Desika Samadhi | Isanya Matam

Adjacent to Ammani Amman Jeeva Samadhi place, you will find Janana Desikar Samadhi. This area is called Esanya Math. He was a great person from Vellore who attained spiritual abilities known as Ashta Siddhis. As he meditates on Giri, spiritual beings devoted to Lord Shiva, called Siddha Ganas, appear in the form of tigers to protect him. Many of his pictures show him with tigers. He attained Jeeva Samadhi in 1829 and nearby is his meditation house. Strangely, the water there is always cold and its origin is unknown. However, it is better not to visit these places in large groups as it may disturb the peaceful atmosphere.

If you are interested in meditation, you can ask to enter and see the meditation room, which is very unusual. Another important incident also happened here. Ramana Maharishi, who did not usually give speeches, actually spoke on the Bhagavad Gita at the Northeast Desikar Math, the only time he did so in his life. This shows the importance of this place.

42. Shanmukha Temple

After leaving the Esanya Math, if you continue on the main road, you will find the Shanmukha Temple on the right. This temple is the most powerful of the Kumaraswamy temples. The deity in the temple has six faces. Since the face is not visible from front to back, they put a mirror behind the deity so that visitors can see it. Arunagiri Nathar used to compose devotional songs on Kumaraswamy in this temple. Legend has it that Kumaraswamy came to Arunagiri Nadhar in the form of a small child, addressed him as “Appa” (Father), played and requested that he sing devotional songs.

43. Durgalayam | Khadga Teertham

A little further from Shanmukha Temple, you will find Durga Devi Temple on the right. This is a large temple, the place where Goddess Durga defeated Mahishasura. After the battle, the Shivlinga around Mahishasura’s neck gets attached to Goddess Durga’s hand. To remove it, she used her sword to create a holy pool called Khadga Teertha. As soon as she washed her hand with water, the Shivalinga split and she enshrined it in this temple.

This Shivalinga is called Papavinaseshwara. Make sure to see the Shiva Lingam and the sacred pool and consider yourself lucky if someone offers you water from it. In the temple, there is an area called Deepa Dana Sannidhi. Offering a lighted lamp in front of the beautiful goddess statue here is believed to bring marriages to the unmarried and progeny to the barren.

44. Pavala Kunrum

Finally, the 44th position is Pavala Kunrum. It is situated on a hill and has the ardhanariswara form of Shiva and Parvati. After completing Giri Pradakshina and getting tired, climbing the stairs may be challenging. Instead, you can pay your respects from the gate. However, if you have the strength to climb nearly 200 steps, I strongly recommend visiting this temple in particular. It is truly a magnificent temple.

Sage Ramana wrote on a piece of paper and shared with his mother a profound teaching about the principles of karma. He had never given such a teaching to anyone before. This teaching is displayed in both English and Tamil on a wall near the place where the incident took place.

Interestingly, this temple was built without a foundation, which is very unusual. Despite being in the middle of the city, this temple has a wonderful atmosphere that brings peace to people’s minds. A little further from the bend towards the main temple, you will come across the Bhoota Narayana Temple.

Here, Lord Vishnu appears in an unusual form, emanating tremendous positive energy that helps in removing negative influences and energies. It is very good to visit this temple. Also visit the nearby Irundi Pillaiyar Temple. The temple has two Ganapati idols on the same platform. After that, head towards the main temple for Arunachala Shiva Darshan to end your Giri Pradakshina Yatra. With this our Giri Pradakshina is complete.

This is the best way to Giri Pradakshina. Whether you are doing Giri Pradakshina for the first time or next time, be sure to visit all these places en route as they will give you great satisfaction. We have described the richness of many wish fulfilment places. That is why many people who complete Giri Pradakshina find their life partner if they are single and children are born to those who are already married. As there are various powerful places around Giri, a devotional pradakshina can grant wishes if the blessings of a particular deity shine upon us. It is unique to Arunachalam that it attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year as their wishes come true here


This Arunachalam Giri Pradakshina Route Map serves as a comprehensive guide for pilgrims and tourists. It provides a detailed layout of the sacred path around Mount Arunachalam. This map not only facilitates travel for devotees embarking on Pradakshina, but also explains the cultural and spiritual significance of this ancient tradition. As pilgrims travel this holy path, they not only follow a physical path but also embark on a deeply spiritual journey of devotion. Thus, Arunachalam Giri Pradakshina Route Map is a valuable resource. For more like this, visit Journey Index.