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Girivalam

Girivalam or Giri Pradakshina is a traditional practice of circumambulating the holy hill Arunachala, located in the town of Thiruvannamalai in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The practice involves walking a distance of approximately 14 kilometers around the base of the hill, which is considered sacred by followers of the Shaivism sect of Hinduism.

The practice of Giri Pradakshina is said to have originated from the belief that circumambulating the holy hill can help one attain self-realization and spiritual liberation. It is believed that performing this ritual during the full moon day of the Tamil month of Karthigai can bring greater benefits. The Arunachala hill is also known as Arunachala Shiva, and it is believed to be a manifestation of Lord Shiva himself. Many devotees come from far and wide to perform Giri Pradakshina as an act of devotion and penance. The practice is considered to be a powerful spiritual experience, and many people claim to have experienced profound transformation and healing through it.

In addition to the spiritual significance, Giri Pradakshina also has several physical benefits, as it involves walking for several hours, which can help improve cardiovascular health and endurance. Overall, Giri Pradakshina is a beautiful and deeply meaningful practice that has been a part of the spiritual heritage of Tamil Nadu for centuries.

There are several lingams or Shiva shrines located along the route of the Giri Pradakshina or circumambulation of the holy Arunachala hill in Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. These lingams are considered to be powerful sites of spiritual energy and are an important part of the pilgrimage experience.

Some of the most important lingams along the Giri Pradakshina route include the Annamalaiyar Temple, which is located at the base of the hill and is one of the largest Shiva temples in India. The temple has several shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, including the main shrine which houses the lingam. Another important lingam along the Giri Pradakshina route is the Virupaksha Cave, which is located on the eastern slope of the hill. This cave is believed to be the place where Saint Virupaksha meditated and received divine revelations from Lord Shiva. Other notable lingams along the route include the Skanda Ashram, which is believed to have been the residence of the great sage Ramana Maharshi, and the Seshadri Ashram, which was the home of another well-known saint, Seshadri Swamigal.

The practice of visiting these lingams and offering prayers and offerings is an important part of the Giri Pradakshina ritual, and many devotees believe that doing so can help them attain spiritual blessings and enlightenment.

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512 of 1013 people found the following review helpful:

   Girivalam, Apr 14 2023
Reviewer: Rama Jyothi

We were blessed to do the Girivalam/Giri Pradakshina. We've started early morning 6am and it took us 6 hours to complete it. We did it barefoot with chanting Om Arunachaleswaraya Namaha. Om Namah Shivaya.

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537 of 1059 people found the following review helpful:

   Girivalam, Apr 14 2023
Reviewer: Gomathi

I have come across some fascinating details regarding the Arunachaleshwara Giri Pradikshana and its importance.

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