Arunachala ( also known under the name Arunagirinathar, Annamalai, Arunai, Sonagiri and Sonachalam ) is an approximately 980 meter high mountain in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, about 150 kilometers southwest of Chennai. At its foot lies the town of Tiruvannamalai. Arunachala is one of the oldest Indian rock formations and has a bald cone of reddish volcanic rock.

Religious significance

In Hinduism, the Arunachala regarded as a holy mountain. Its importance exceeds in South India nor that of Kailash. Arunachala is considered as a manifestation of Lord Shiva, while Shiva is only live at Kailash. Therefore, the city is considered as pilgrimage town of Tiruvannamalai. According to legend, to be the gods Brahma and Vishnu appeared in the form of a fiery Linga on this mountain Shiva. In this legend, the name of the mountain, which can be translated as " hill of light" or " hill of the Dawn " refers.

In memory of the appearance of Shiva on the top of a column of fire, celebrate the believers in a full moon night in late November / early December, at the summit and in the temple at the foot of a great feast, the Dipam. This produces large quantities of oil and Ghi are carried to the top and sparked a fire at the moment of sunset and the moonrise.

As a traditional ritual, it is important to go around the mountain. The Sanskrit name of this pilgrimage is giri giri pradakshina or Vallam. Importance of syllables: pra - sells sins because - lets go kshi wishes come true - removes karma from na - self-knowledge, liberation giri - Vallam Berg - The circumnavigation rounding is performed clockwise. The pilgrims are to go barefoot, his freshly washed, wear fresh clothes and go " in a pure and meditative state of mind ." In the south of the mountain is a Shiva Linga shrine, which is considered one of the oldest in South India. On the slope of Arunachala is a hermitage called Yelu Sunai find ( " Seven Springs " )

The mountain pulled the guru Ramana Maharshi already in his 17 years as a spell that he spent up to mid-December of 1922 in various caves of the mountain and from then until his death on April 14, 1950 at the foot of the mountain. Sri Ramana Maharshi worshiped Arunachala as the highest consciousness and wrote, among other verses five hymns in his honor.

" Arunachala is a hidden sacred place. He has always remained comparatively little known. The mountain gives self-knowledge, Jnana, but most people have other, stronger desires and not really looking for this deep knowledge. Oh Arunachala, you root out the ego of those who think of you in her heart. "