We all felt very blessed! The last day of 2009 was a full moon day. So, in Tiruvannamalai we celebrated it by going on Girivalam. Then the first day of 2010, was Ramana Jayanti. We spent Ramana Maharishi's birthday with a powerful Rudra Abhishekam in his temple and a music recital.
It was a cloudy, cool and crisp morning, when we started our ninth girivalam of this visit, thirteen in all. (You should see, the locals do so much more than us).
We started our girivalam near Ramana Ashram when almost one side of the road was full of people walking and on the other side, buses and lorries were plying on this narrow Girivalam road. It seemed crazy that the cops would allow that. But then this is India. We simply threw our hands up in the air and started walking.
There are a lot of people in Tiruvannamalai right now, this being the tourist season when westerners come to India and when Indians take advantage of the holidays and go on pilgrimage. Tiruvannamalai doesn't have the infrastructure facilities to hold so many people in a dignified manner like Tirupati or Vaishnoo Devi. Some things need to be done immediately!
A Tiruvannamalai elder had told us "If you keep your mind on Arunachala as you walk, it will seem like you supplied the body for girivalam and Arunachala Siva did the walking". This last Pournami Girivalam of 2009 sure seemed like it.
After the girivalam, we went for some delicious Dosai (crepe made of a batter of fermented rice and dhal) and capi (South Indian coffee). Every bite of it seemed like it was charged with Arunachala's grace. We knew right then that it was Arunachala's gift to us as we bid adieu to Tiruvannamalai!