Tiruvannamalai is a four-hour drive from Chennai. Once out of the city centre, we passed many mango groves, and rice and sugarcane fields. There were tamarind trees on either side of the road and banana and plantain trees in all the village houses we passed. The drive was beautiful and as we neared Tiruvannamalai many hills began to appear on the skyline.
"Is that Arunachala?," I kept asking the driver excitedly.
"Not yet, not yet, madam" he would say. "Let me drive, you go to sleep, I will tell you when we get there"
A short while later, I opened my eyes and there was no mistaking. There was Arunachala Siva. My eyes fell on the mountain at the same time as the driver turned around and said "That is Arunachala Siva."
Tears came to my eyes as the driver said "That is Arunachala Siva." The mountain was, indeed, like the pictures I had seen on the internet but He was so much more. He was powerful. He was strong. He was peaceful. He grounded me in an instant and took me in his loving embrace, the moment I set eyes on Him.