We as a team started on 5th night towards Kolli hills from Chennai by 9.30 pm from koyambedu. Kumar and Raja from our group had responded to this subject for the full moon trip. Other than this we had Devaraj, Balaji, Ganesan and my cousin brother joining us. Mr. Selvam started from Kumbakonam and joined us at Salem on 6th early morning. All 8 of us from there took a bus at 5.30 am and landed to rasipuram. From there we took a bus and reached the malai adivaram (karavalli).
We took another bus that would take us to the top of the kolli hills. (A destination is so amazing and is worth a trip for people who choose siddha margam). The climate was awesome and there was no sunshine at all while the bus started travelling up. There are only 70 hair pin bends before you reach the top. The bus came to Semmedu and then finally stopped near Arapaleeswar. It was a long travel because the time has become 10.00 am. We refreshed ourselves there with a unique soup (made out of a potato-mountain-variety, ginger, garlic,
pepper, coriander etc). It was mouth watering and most of our team emptied their 3rd cups. Fruits like jack fruit and pine (orange in color instead of the regular yellowish) were too good.
Mr.Devaraj and Raja have been there before whereas rest of us was completely new to the expedition @ kolli. The plan was to get down towards Akash Ganga and from there divert into the woods and reach the caves of Korakka siddhan. Devaraj is a staunch devotee of korakkar and has been visiting these caves many times in the past. We took a look @ arapaleeswarar temple, which is believed to be one of the "seeva nilaya" of Kalangi nathar. Balaji and Devaraj packed rice, fruits and pooja items near the temple. We all started moving down towards akash ganga.
On the way the first diversion on the woods is for the mudal siddhan's cave (agathiar). The passage was thro' extremely thorny bushes. The place is close to 700 steps and a bougain villa tree is the landmark. We all moved towards the entrance of cave. One by one started getting into the narrow path. I would say the entrance is 2 feet and is at 30 degree angle upwards with a sharp stone on the path. Once you move the path length is around 15 feet and towards the last part of entrance it becomes extremely narrow. All of the team squeezed inside except me
. I was not able to get inside and wished to stay outside after making few vain attempts. Devaraj and Balaji didn't give up. I was called to the other end of the cave. This had a different challenge because of the height however the duo literally threw me in, this time. To the left there was a face like appearance in the rock with 2 eyes and to the other end the cave grew at 45 degree. The visibility was upto 20 metres easily where atleast 20 to 30 people can sit and meditate. We have a few snaps for our group that will get posted to-night.
After that we started moving deep down to the woods will all luggage. On the way we found the Vengai tree that gives the vengai milk. I put my hands inside and it smelled like Crude oil and so is the color too. It is a medicine and also used for tantric purposes. We kept walking into the dense woods continuously. Technically we were walking down the valley. After a while we reached the cave of Pambatti siddhar. This is near the forest river which I heard was dangerous
because of the varying water levels due to forest rains. We did a small worship, after which we had few bananas and jack fruits. We crossed the river rocks and started walking on the other side now. There were lot of forest ants in this area but from then on we continued to hear the voice of the river. After that should be a km or 2 we reached the cave of korakkar. A nice and serene place that is so dense, un-polluted and distinct. The legs were aching for all but everyone had the temptation to get into the water stream. We put down our luggage in the cave and then went to the stream. It was damn cold, clean. The bath and drink from the stream was extremely refreshing. Most of them stayed on the stream for more than an hr. After which we all left back to the cave. There is a Murugan and lingam statue outside. There is a small eswaran, eswari and
Nandi statue inside. Each of the member started doing works like cleaning the statue, pooja work and doing Neivethiyam.
The time grew dark and a pooja was done to Korakkanathar by Devaraj. After which there was a long Satsangam. We consumed the neivethiyam and fruits after that. All shared some unique experiences and time went on. We had a camp fire that continued the entire night. As time went on few went inside the cave to sleep. The other 4 Including me slept outside as the pournami started. Moon couldn't be seen since we were deep inside the valley and the mountains were really tall. There was just one star that we could see and which shined so brightly on top of the
mountain. In the night some movements were felt here and there but we were safe lying near the cave.
7th Morning started with a nice lengthy bath session. After which we created porridge using rice and nice pickles. We started slowly at 11.30 am from the caves. Climbing apparently back to Arapaleeswar was tougher. We had track back and rested near Pambatti siddhar cave. There was a strong forest shower for 20 mins and we were forced to be inside Pambatti cave for that time. From there we started walking back and finally reached the top by around 4.00 pm. It was extremely tiring but we now had the soup to Relish.
Some of us took a walk and met Manicka swamigal. I guess he is avadhoothar and maintains a dirty look to avoid visitors. Post that we had tough bus journeys and finally managed to catch a bus at 12.00 in the night from Salem to Chennai
1) Salem to Karavalli, then to Kollimalai (roughly 175 kms)
2) Namakkal to karavalli then to Kollimalai