Friday, August 7, 2009

Vellingiri / Vellliangiri hills trek - KonguNadu - Siva Temple - Coimbatore

Region : Velliangiri Hills, Coimbatore Region, Tamil Nadu
Peak Height : 2240 meters / 7349 ft
Vertical Climb Height : 1200 meters / 3937 ft  
Difficulty level: Moderate to Difficult

Vellingiri is located along the westerns ghats and can be reached from the well known Coimbatore region (Kongu Nadu). It is more famous for Lord shiva's temple on top of the peak. The speciality is that the Linga is naturally formed and is within a cave atop the peak and is surrounded by 4 other lingas. And hence called 'Panchalingas'. For devotees the experience of reaching this place is similar to the 'Amarnath Yatra' of the North. Similar to Amarnath, here too Lord Shiva personifies in the form of Linga inside a natural cave. The place is also called Dhakshina Kailash. The cave can be reached after crossing seven hills (literally).
 
This was in my 'to do'  list for a long time, just because the place was barely 50 kms from my house in Coimbatore and because it was located along the beautiful Siruvani hills of the western ghats near Coimbatore adjoining the Kerala Border.  Less known for trekking and more known for the Holy Temple, I was amazed by the mystic peaks along this trek in its route. This turned out to be better than most of my other treks, in terms of sheer 'will' to reach the peak after a stupendous steep climb as well as for providing stunning views along the trek across the Siruvani Dam, and other Anaimalai hill peaks.

The trek is very steep and not suggested for first timers.
The base point of the trek starts from Poondi a temple place, near the famous Isha Foundation, which can be reached along the Siruvani Road from Coimbatore.

Coimbatore => Perur Road => Siruvani Road => Poondi Road => Poondi temple

The trek is gruelling and takes a lot of 'will' to get it done with in a day. We had wanted to complete this trek within a day and hence started in the early morning.

There are buses to Poondi, every 2 hours, from Coimbatore- Gandhipuram town bus stand. There is one starting at 6.30 am in the morning. We got on to this bus and reached Poondi at 8 am along the picturesque route of Siruvani road. There was a small mess near the temple at poondi, where we had a light break fast idli -vada. After some blessings from the temple, we started our climb at 8.45 am, along the steps upward which were located at the right of this temple. The trek would not need any Guide as the foot path along the peak was quite evident, moreover there were no other prominent diverging routes along the trek.

Trek route and points:

View Vellingiri trek in a larger map


There were a few devotees who joined us and were walking bare foot making us guilty for wearing shoes.But we were really amazed to see them romping ahead much faster than us in just bare foot. They later confirmed that they were regulars and visit every 6 months. The climb went on and the steps seemed endless. For an hour or so, the steps were along thickly covered green forests. Though it was a warm day, we didnt feel hot, as we were gaining height and the dense tree cover providing good shade.The steps were literally endless. After 1.5 hrs the steps started disappearing and got to know that we had crossed 2 hills/peaks. 

A landscape of views across the valleys started appearing along the path. The path was usually along the tip of the peaks and the entire way along had stunning misty covered valley and peaks. The sheep steepness really started challenging us as we progressed along 3rd and 4th hills. There was a small stream down around at this place where we refreshed ourselves. As we progressed further, we could see the views down towards Siruvani dam. But before we could take any pictures, mist covered the place, and was quite thick covering the entire region. 

After 3 hours we were barely at the 5th hill (our devotee friend kept counting the peaks that we crossed). And we could feel the wind getting cold and the mist getting thicker. There were some small lingas and temples along as we proceeded and we could see a few long bearded 'Sadhus' / Swamis either sitting calmly or walking towards the peak. Near the 6th peak one of the sadhus in a hut offered us hot plain Rice porridge that tasted heavenly owing to the hard climb and hunger. He did not accept any money and with a heavy heart we proceed further. At 12 we could see the peak atop. The last climb was ever more steeper, and took us another hour to reach the peak. We had taken 4.5 hours inspite of being strenuously brisk and fast all along.

The peak was indeed stunning, the views covering parallel endless peaks across. The peace at the temple was even more serene and we literally meditated for an hour at the peak. The place truly felt like 'God's Abode' We had the little food what we had brought (cakes, fruits and chocolates). We had to miss out on the sceneries as most of the places around were covered with mist. At 2.30pm with a heavy heart we started down the hill. The descent took almost the same time owing to the steepness and the fact that on the way down we had to be more careful not to over stress our soles and twist our ankles. After taking a lot of pictures in a mobile cam, we strolled down briskly.

We reached the base at 5.15 pm however the last bus to the town was only at 6 pm. We could only get a cup of tea at the temple down and waited for bus to go back to Coimbatore.

Pictures from a 2 MP mobile cam:

Lingas along the peak

One of the temple atop the peak






our resting place at the peak


At the peak - amidst the cloud




14 comments:

  1. A MUST GO PLACE ON EARTH

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  2. Keep it up other Velliyangiris too! Thanks ....

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  3. I have gone spiritual trekking to velliangiri three times. Try to go there in May or June. U can experience heavy wind blow and rain in the top.

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  4. can u able to share anyof the miths about the temple if u knoe

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  5. I have trekked Kodaikanal Thrice. Still i find it difficult when i was in Velliangiri Hills. You will never give up anything in your life when you faced these hurdles. some of my friends take this trek as annual body fit check up. : )

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  6. This is one helluva trek. Lucky to have been there. A real fitness buster. Above all this place is truly a God's Abode...

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  7. information is very useful n narrated properly

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  8. Having been on bliss for more than 7 years on this mountain.. It tests our mental strength.
    Before starting its always advisable to get a bamboo sticks or pole sold at the temple. (During off season these can be purchased at the bag safe keeping room behind temple. And dont keep any valuables in the bag).
    The first terrain - full of steps - acts as a warming up ride,The vinayagar temple marks the beginning of the second terrain. While on the second its bit relaxing and is a mix of boulder steps, soft soil, slippery slope (The sliding slippery rocks have steps carved on them). This is the first and one of the few spots where Mobile network is available. If some one is choosing to sleep on this beware of sliding stones..
    Almost end of 2nd terrain a very very sweet stream on the right hand side cushions our tastebuds..Beware of scorpions beneath the stones at the far corner of the mini stream...(Dont wander into the wild as its too riskier (Hand sighted bear and snakes more than a couple of times. If you encounter some stay calm and dont make sudden movements and lay low).
    the third terrain had some gud ascending to be done.. and at the end of the third terrain we can find a small stream out of boulders. Again BEWARE of Scorpions and dont go too far into the boulders(Guyz dont be too afraid). Beware and besafe and he will save you...

    Save water from this place on as we will be finding water source only on the beginning of 6th terrain...

    fourth hill is one place where the bamboo pole comes in handy and very useful...(Beware dont attempt to climb this terrain if it rains as its extremely risky when it rains). For trekkers without pole dont attempt holding the grass grown at the borders are it will come along with you... ha haa....the sand on the boulders makes it slippery.. and its well named.. vazhukuparai...

    Inbetween the different terrains after 4th there are few steep descends and ascends to be made... which will check your skill and will...

    5th terrain is my fav.. at 1200 MASL its just plains and KEEP RIGHT... few steps to left you will be rolling down in to the siruvani reservoir... and towards right dont walk off path as snakes dwell on the grass lands and forest to the right has some gud animals on it who does not welcome visitors and guests...

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    Replies
    1. This is one place where I was once walking amongs the mist and nearly missed rolling down the slope... Thanks to the lord... May his blessings be with me....

      next comes after few ascends and descends the 6th terrain which is called thiruneeru malai... the soil is white in color....
      at the end of the 6th terrain comes the most heavenly mini pond.... beware of leeches at the bottom of the pond.. during off season the water is crystal clear and super chill.. but once out of the pond you will feel like just being out after a month long stay on a spa in the hills of kerala...
      I would say just be careful and watch for animals at the far end of the pond as they are more afraid of humans and dont scare them please....
      A must take bath on this pond... it has some medicinal values too as it comes through various streams on the hills which is known for its medicinal values and passes through the places where man has never laid foot on...

      Here comes the best view of peak... the best bliss I have ever been.. .this first time when I had this view.. there was only one this which was occupying my thoughts....(I'm going to experience the divinity and be at bliss by the environment)....

      One tip to scale the 7th peak... be a lizard.. use ur hand and legs.. stick to the ground like a lizard and scale up.. this way you can make it quicker and you will not have the feeling of falling down in case if you are going to look around the terrain...
      guyz there are possibilities of going wary of this peak... I had been twice lost in this place and nearly missed slipping from 6000 feet.. one when mist covered me and next I was concentrating too much on climbing rather than the path.. that was my second time and I had the lesson...
      Stick to the main path.... there is another path some 10-15 feet towards right which is used for the ones who are descending... dont choose that as its not okay for ascending the peak and its slippery while climbing....
      Guyz have only one though when you are ascending this peak ..... You have reached this place with will and skill.. and you can make it to the top... you guyz are the one of the best and few thousands who had scaled these heights... definitely you guyz will be able to ascend without trouble and feel the bliss and tranquility.....

      at the top of the 7th peak is one place to rest... Best place to take rest and I had the best feeling of sleeping at 6000 ft was just enough for my lifetime....

      Meditating in front of the Shivalingam is the best experience I ever had in my life.. Im just greatful for that till my end....I was the only human on that place at that time..... :)

      If you are musician the place in front of the cave is the best place for a flute... I will never forget the flute played by a sadhu over there during my third visit.... it just took me to the upper heavens....

      One rested and while descending beware of slipppery surface... broken or sprained leg is much much worse than anything you could every experience in your life.. as no one will be able to carry you down and you need to make the return journey on your own... and Im saying again.. descending the first hill with a sprained ankle is sooo painfulll.......

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    2. Save water, Keep away from forest... dont take unwanted adventures....

      Things to take,
      Sprain tablets,
      Volini spray,
      Medical strapping cloth,
      Two water bottles,
      towel,
      Glucose for energizing...
      torch... But I perfer use it only on dire need... get your eye occustomed the darkness... as soon as you are in darkness close your eyes for 60 second and open.. you will see things better in dark,
      Dont use perfumes or soaps, shampoos... while bathing before venturing on trek,
      Match box.. dont lit fire.. dont lit fire...
      Vinegar in case of bee stings use this,
      Camera...
      light blanket....

      Dont make your back pack heavy...

      DONT SLEEP ON THE BAMBOO HUTS OR HUT LIKE STRUCTURES.... THESE ARE THE HIDEOUT for the SNAKES....

      Over all .. have a great will and skill....

      Enjoy the bliss...

      If one require further assistance and details feel free to contact me on Facebook or mail to asareere@hotmail.com

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    3. Hi Asareere
      Excellent account of things at Vellingiri for those who may go there/been there. Looks like you have really cherished your treks to this awesome place.
      Thanks

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  10. Sir,
    are women and children allowed to trek this mountain.

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  11. Nice Post. Thanks for sharing this in Blog.Book your bus tickets for Chennai to Madurai Bus in Hebron Travels

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