Chellappan Sairam experience into English.
Seventeen of us started the pilgrimage on 17 October 2014 to Pothigai Peak led by several good souls including Sathish, Murali, Kannaiya Aiya, Krishna Aiya, Jegatheesh, Ganesh from Thiruvanandapuram. The first day we visited Pabanasam and Kalyana Theertam, paying our respects to the presiding deity, and Agathiyar and Lobhama respectively. We moved on to pick up the necessary ration and food stuffs and all the required things for conducting the libation to Agathiyar at the peak from Krishna Aiya’s home. Krishna Aiya, Jegathees and Ganesh's family made these preparations. After obtaining the necessary permits and permission from the Kerala forest departments office, we reached Bonacaud estate. After inspection of our passes by the authorities and having breakfast we set off. It was raining as we started. Leeches started to have a field day feasting on our blood. We made a dash for it as the area was infested with leeches.
After two hours, we arrived at Bonacaud estate station. This is the start of the hike up c. Jeeps service until this place. After a short walk we were greeted by a Lord Vinayagar temple. After paying salutations to the Lord, we continued. One and a half hours later, we arrived at Karamanai aaru. It was a thick jungle. With the aid of sticks and the guides helping us, we made it across streams that formed as a result of the sudden heavy rains.
We partook the afternoon lunch and continued the journey. The track took us uphill and downhill through dense forests, flat plains, and narrow paths. After 5 hours of hike we reached Athiru malai camp. As we had walked fast, we saved a hour. We sat to remove the leeches that had hanged on to us. we spent the night at the camp. The guides prepared dinner. It was raining the whole night long.
At 7 the next day, we took our bath and had breakfast, and continued. We paid our respects to Athiru malai deity. The path began to be difficult from there on. We had to traverse 3 hills with the aid of ropes and after 4 hours reached the peak. Surprisingly the rain stop as we stood on the peak, but it was raining in the surroundings. We fetched water from the water spouting through the cliffs sides and bath the granite statue of Agathiyar. We did libation with santhanathi oil. Two of the devotees revealed that Agathiyar's head was hot as they applied the oil although it had been raining. We took turns to bath him in vibhuti, santhanam, paneer, and panjamirtham. Food prasad was placed before him and prayers conducted. It began to drizzle and we took it as his blessing.
We started on our way down. The rain became heavier making it difficult for us to maneuver the mountains. After 3 hours of walk, I stopped to pick the leeches that were annoying me. During that moment my friends had gone ahead and I was left alone. I was close to tears having lost track of them. I looked out for signs and posts. I prayed to Agathiyar, Shirdi Baba, as in certain places there were no arrows indicating the direction to take. At several spots the track split and I was not certain which track to follow. Just then I felt someone ask me to follow the left. After a short distance I caught sight of an arrow. After a distance the track split and I was uncertain again. Again a voice said follow left. I stopped to remove the leeches when I heard a voice ask whether my life is important or picking the leeches is more important. I picked up my pace only to be confronted by another choice, left or right again. I could not decide which path to take. To my surprise a stick about 4 feet long lay across one of the paths. I heard a voice within saying “I am laying here blocking the path so that you should not go this way”. I felt as if the branch spoke those words. After 15 minutes I reached the camp. I was happy to see the rest of the team already there some 45 minutes before. After half an hour a man turned up at the camp alone. He surprised us by pointing to one from our group saying that he was thinking the one with us was following behind him and was responding to his talk verbally. "But I find you already reached camp ahead of me", he continued. We looked at each other in astonishment and bewilderment. After refreshing ourselves we took dinner and slept.
We started down the hill after breakfast the next day. The streams we had crossed earlier on our way up were now swollen with the continuous rainfall. It took us even longer to come down. We reached base at 1pm. We thanked Agathiyar for taking care of us.
|விபூதி, மற்றும் சந்தன அபிஷேகத்தில் அகத்திய பெருமான்|
Thank: Mr.Chellappan Sairam ..Maldives