Inner and outer path, a 360degrees perambulation of the Hill

By seeing Chidambaram, by being born in Tiruvarur, by dying in Kasi, or by merely thinking of Arunachala, one will surely attain Liberation.” – Arunachala Mahatmyam

Arunachala refers to the holy hill at Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu. The hill is also known by the names Arunagiri, Annamalai Hill, Arunachalam, Arunai, Sonagiri and Sonachalam. Tiruvannamalai is revered as ‘Agni Sthala’ (Fire), one of the five elements described in shaivite philosophy. The Annamalaiyar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located at the base of the hill. Every year in the Tamil month of Karthigai (October–November), the Karthigai Deepam (Light) is lit atop the hill. The circumambulation of Arunachala Hill is known as Giri Pradakshina in Sanskrit and Giri Valam in Tamil. Every full moon, several thousand pilgrims perambulate around the Hill.  The pilgrims usually walk bare feet, chanting hymns and mantras dedicated to the holy Hill.

Inner path / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Inner path / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Inner path / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Inner path / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Inner path / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Inner path / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives

The 14km perambulation has two different paths. One is the commonly known ‘outer path’ and not so common ‘inner path’. The inner path is belongs to the Protected Area of the State Forest Department. The Life in outer path is versatile and alive with many pilgrims walking and chanting. The well made road and pavements are often crowded with different shops that serve the circumnavigating pilgrims. This path is vibrant with life and activities. The life in inner path is totally different. In reality, the inner path is an abode to the Sadhus of Tiruvannamalai. The perennial ponds, the lone trails, the animals, unique plants and serene silence adorn the protected inner path.

Project 365 photographer Maveeran Somasundaram
Project 365 photographer Maveeran Somasundaram

Maveeran Somasundram, Project 365 photographer will be documenting the life in inner and outer path. Maveeran is born in a village called Thiruthuraipoondi, Thiruvarur Ditrict, Tamil Nadu. He started exploring photography when he was very young. He has completed his MBA. He is currently based in Chennai.

Outer path / Image (C) Maveeran Somasundaram / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Outer path / Image (C) Maveeran Somasundaram / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Outer path / Image (C) Maveeran Somasundaram / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Outer path / Image (C) Maveeran Somasundaram / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Outer path / Image (C) Maveeran Somasundaram / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Outer path / Image (C) Maveeran Somasundaram / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Outer path / Image (C) Maveeran Somasundaram / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives
Outer path / Image (C) Maveeran Somasundaram / Image courtesy Project 365 PUBLIC archives

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Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis and the cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.”

Disclaimer:

All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com / FACEBOOK – Project 365

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