Parvathamalai - the abode of Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy

Parvathamalai is a powerful place where  a Shiva temple is located on the top of a steep mountain. Parvathamalai is one of the most sacred places in south India where a temple for Lord Shiva was set up by Siddhars to meditate and attain enlightenment. (Siddhars are people with great spiritual powers called siddhi). The lord here is Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy who is believed to bestow the prayers of his devotees and help in attaining greater knowledge ans hence mukthi-salvation. 

Parvathamalai hill
Parvathamalai hill

It is said that Parvathamalai is the spot of hidden supreme powers were lots of miracles happen. Localites and pilgrimages believe that there are living Siddhars in and around the hill and perform meditation who give darshan to those pilgrimages who are lucky enough.

Parvathamalai temple
Parvathamalai temple 

Kadapaarai paadai
Trek route

Devotion towards the almighty god Mallikarjuna and surrender to Nature is the essence of trekking Parvathamalai with the hope to reach the hilltop. Parvathamalai is a place that tests one’s physical and mental strength to an extreme extent.

Parvathamalai trek route is approximately 5.5 km and the hill is approximately 4500 ft above from the sea level. For trekking enthusiasts, Parvathamalai trek is sure to give a great experience since it contains many types of steps, boulders and odd steps to climb up the hill.

boulder route
boulder trek route

Parvathamalai is a hill located closer to the villages Thenmadimangalam and Kadaladi in the Jawadhu hill range a part of eastern ghats in TamilNadu of South India.

way  to aashram
way to Aashram

The villages Thenmadimangalam and Kadaladi are located around 20 km from Polur taluk of the Tiruvannamalai district. One can reach the hilltop temple by two routes that combine in the half-way until the top. the two routes are the Thenmadimangalam route usually taken by the pilgrimages and Kadaladi route that is usually chosen by the trekkers since it is a bit tougher than the other route. 

Parvathamalai trek
View from top

The pilgrimages and the trekkers can choose from any of these routes to reach the hilltop. There is one more route from Mambakkam that is very rarely used since it is very steep and its difficulty.

Parvathamalai hills - Lord Shiva as Mallikarjuna

Parvathamalai is also known by many other names like Thenkailayam, Kanthamalai, Mallikarjunamalai, Tri sulagiri, Naviramalai, Parvathagiri and Sanjeevigiri.

Parvathamalai Hill View
Parvathamalai hill temple

At the top of the hill is the shrine that is dedicated to the supreme power Lord Shiva who is worshipped in the form of Mallikarjuna and his consort Shakti in the form of Parvatha rani, Parvathammal, Sri Bramarambika or Sri Akilandeswari Amman. There is no door to the temple and is never closed at any time and one can understand the powers of the prevailing god.

Sri Bramarambika Amman Parvathamalai
Sri Bramarambika Amman

There is an ashram that is located near the foot of the hill, where one can get the guidance of the route to the top. 

The devotees and the pilgrimages who are visiting the temple believe that the lord relieves them from all the sorrows of life and helps to walk into the path of enlightenment. 

Devotees with problems like property issues, money issues, love issues, marriage issues, family issues, and issues related to studies are solved by visiting the temple regularly with utmost devotion and belief in the almighty Lord Shiva. one can enlighten themselves and walk in the path of Mukti.

It is said that lord god Shiva and the Siddhars guide and bless the devotees with the right path to attain a successful life and a bright future.

Apart from climbing the hill, some localites and pilgrimages do Girivalam(circumambulate) around the hill on the first day of Tamil month Marghazhi and on full moon days to get rid of all the difficulties in life and achieve great heights.

The lord Shiva shows the way in each step. Chant the mantra om Namah Shivaya to reach the top with power in mind to climb up and seek his blessings.

Sannidhis and the sanatoriums

At the cliff, there is a shrine that is dedicated to Lord Mallikarjuna and his consort Sri Bramarambika. The lord is also known by the name Kalakanteshwars which means the lord whose neck is dark blue.

hill top Parvathamalai temple
hilltop Parvathamalai temple 

On the way, before reaching the hills there are temples dedicated to Lord Hanuman, Vinayagar, Pachai Amman along with 7 Muniswarar and Vana Durga goddesses.

At the bottom of the hill, there is a temple dedicated to Lord Vinayagar, the elder son of Shiva and Parvathi.

On climbing up on can find the shrine to lord Valli Deivanai Sametha Subramaniyar, on the route where there are boulders there is a Jeeva Samadhi of a Siddhar.

There are also Sannidhis that are dedicated to Bhairavar, Agastiyar, Jeeva samadhis, and other shrines here and there.

The temple is open for 24 hours with no residing priest and the devotees are free to perform poojas and offerings to the lord. if you want to perform a pooja. it is advised to get all necessary things that are needed for the pooja since there are no shops on the hill.

Parvathamalai on feet Annamalaiyar Padam:

Annamalaiyar Padam is the step mark of lord shiva on the hilltop that is believed to be that of Lord Shiva himself. It is said that when lord Shiva returned from the Himalayas back to Arunachala, he stepped on the Parvathamalai hills and from here went to Arunachala.

One has to recite the mantra "Om Namaha Shivaya", the only powerful mantra that will lead you to god with his grace and power. And other mantras that are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvathi can be hymned to get the grace of the lord, climb up the hill with little difficulty and get abundance bliss and peace of mind.

Devotional and Medicinal Benefits of visiting Parvathamalai 

Many gods and goddesses from the other world (called Lokhas) are believed to visit here to perform poojas to the lord on special occasions and full moon
day, hence one can get positive energy and blessings from Devas and Devatas by visiting this place regularly.

The temple in Parvathamalai is the only temple in Tamilnadu in which any of the devotees who climbs the hill can perform pooja to the lord and get his

Offering pooja to the footmark of the lord Arunachala gives you the benefit of performing the pooja to Lord Shiva himself.

Climbing the Parvathamalai and offering pooja to the lord reaps the benefit of visiting and seeking the fortune of visiting all the shiva temples on this planet.

mountain view
Parvathamalai mountain view

Pilgrimages visiting the Parvathamalai for 48 full moons and no moon days continuously reap the benefit of going to Mount Kailash and getting the darshan lord, Shiva.

Regular visits to this great herbal hill with 100’s of medicinal herbs will reduce the effect of diseases, stress, anxiety, and other health issues by the medicinal properties miracle effects of the herbs on the hill. 

It is said that Sri Sankaracharya looked upon the hill in the form of a linga and did not step on it and circumambulated (went upon Girivalam) the 
mountain worshipping it.

The great saint Ramana Maharshi by viewing the power of the great hill by his jnana Drishti said that there is no need for a guru ( spiritual teacher) for
those who are residing 30 km around the Thiruvannamalai and Pavathamalai.

During the rule of king Nannan around 300 A.D .the king used to visit this hill to seek the blessings of the almighty God Mallikarjuna and get the guidance from the Siddhars who are around the hill. With deep and truthful devotion one can get the path of welfare and enlightenment.

One can reap more benefits if you climb up bare feet without shoes which could be a difficult task. It is believed that one can reap maximum benefits and get grace and the blessings of God. 

Parvathamalai Girivalam - circumambulation of the hill

temple gopuram

Parvathamalai path for Girivalam is 25 km and it takes approximately 8 to 9 hours to complete it at a steady speed. 

Girivalam of Partvathamalai first started when the Kanchi guru Sri Shankaracharya looked up the hill in the form of linga and didn't want to step on it, he then went circumambulating around the hill. thereafter any pilgrimages visit the place to circumambulate the hill and get the blessings and desired boons from the god Mallikarjuna.

The main Girivalam takes place on the first day of Margazhi, lakhs of people gather here to circumambulate the mountain at this time. On this day 
Annadhanam(food with no cost) is provided to many of the devotees and the localites who visit here for Girivalam and for those people in the surrounding villages. Nowadays the Girivalam happens on new moon days and full moon days also. Thousands of devotees come here to seek the blessings of the almighty Shiva in the form of Mallikarjuna.

The path for Girivalam starts from the way to the hill near Thenmadimangalam and continues on the path through the hills and forests with wild animals. it is believed that the herbal breeze from the hill is good for health.

History and legends 

It is said that the temple was built around 2000 years ago and is said to have been built by the Siddhars to perform penance and attain the supreme powers from Lord Shiva to attain salvation.

Parvathamalai is believed to be a part of the hill that fell off from the Sanjeevani mountain when Lord Hanuman was carrying it to revive Lakshmana
the brother of Lord Rama. And hence is containing the powerful herbs that can handle and cure deadly diseases. The herbs here in Pavathamalai are rare and are found only in this hill and the Himalayan ranges in India.

Parvathamalai hill range
It is said that the wind that blows by touching the herbs is very good for mental and physical health. This herbal air makes a person refreshing and leads to the path of enlightenment and attain spiritual liberation. 

The hill temple is believed to date back to the part that belonged to the Thondai Nadu of the northern rulers in Tamil Nadu. This Thondai Nadu was divided into 24 regions called Kottams. And today's Tiruvannamalai and Vellore districts were in the region called Palkundrakottam, which means the land surrounded by many hills.

Many historic books were written by great scholars and poets that tell the greatness of the hill Parvathamalai in Tamilnadu of the subcontinent India.

Parvathamalai hidden secrets that can enhance body and mind

Open your chakras

In spirituality, it is said that there are seven chakras in the human body. A spiritual person who meditates properly will be able to open all the chakras through the power of meditation. Many of the spiritual leaders retain and regain their powers through the means of meditation.

Parvathamalai is a spiritual place that is rare of its kind with different types of steps to climb up and reach the hilltop. A person who is climbing through these different types of steps will be capable of activating the chakras with the power that is gained. 

With utmost devotion and concentration, any sincere devotee will be able to attain great heights in both spiritual and personal life and can be lead to the 
path of enlightenment to attain spiritual liberation. 

Hill Meditation

Localites and devotees who do night stay here have seen the goddess Glowing despite the pitch darkness on no moon day, darkness around, that shows the power of the place.

Devotees who do night stay can witness surprising miracles that will be a life experience. Many of the devotees witness god appearing in front of them. 
Others get to the darshan of Siddhars performing pooja. It is believed that the smell of camphor, ringing bells and floral smells are the signs of Siddhars performing pooja.

Parvathamalai accident: There are no deaths of devotees due to falling during the climb up and climb down on the Parvathamalai trekking has been reported till now except, few people being electrocuted during lightning a few years ago. Now a lightning conductor is placed on the hilltop to prevent such accidents.

Trekkers note:

24 X 7 and 356 days in a year
Parvathamalai is the only hill in Tamilnadu that can be trekked throughout the year for all 365 days in a year without any time restrictions. This hill can be adventurous and a thrilling trek that can be trekked in a single day and is sure to quench the thirst of trek lovers and enthusiasts.
Parvathamalai trek distance is 5.5 km and can be climbed up and down in a single day with lots of enjoyment and satisfaction.

Parvatham means mountain hence the name Parvathamalai implies that it is the “hill of hills” or the “Queen of hills”. This mountain contains many rare 
and beautiful flowers that bloom at night and there is a pleasant smell of the herbal flowers that heals one's mind and soul.

Before one reaches the hilltop, there is a ruined fort that was built by king Nannan around 300 A.D, who was the lord of cheyar and was the chieftain of Chengam.

This hill is steep and with different kinds of steps and ways to climb up and will be an adventurous trek in the Southern state of India.

One part of the hill is a path that contains rods called Kadaparai to hold and climb up the steep hill and hence this rock is called Kadaparai Padai (crowbar hill path).

it is a scenic marvel with all wonders and beautiful scenery, where both pilgrimages and the trekkers get to enjoy their journey to the hilltop.

It is a natural wonder that it presents itself in different shapes from eight directions around the hill.

Parvathamalai hill depth

At night stay one can enjoy the smell of the rare flowers that are blooming, which will be a pleasant and new type of experience for people who are coming here from cities and major towns.

Parvath hill
hill beauty
one can enjoy both sunrise and sunset from the top of the hill that is another scenic beauty of the place. 

Where can you stay?

If you have reached the nearby towns like Thiruvannamalai, Polur, Arani, it is advised you board rooms and lodges for night stay and comfort yourself for and rest for the next day's adventure trip to be peaceful.

At Kadalaadi in Parvathamalai, there is an ashram that was recently constructed, that is right under the foot of the hill in which one can stay by intimating the ashram members. If you have traveled with your own vehicle or hire a private vehicle till the foot of the hill, one can park the vehicles at the ashram and start climbing.

What is the right time to trek up and down :

Time to :

climb up ~ 3.5 to 4 hours 
Climb down ~2.5 

This hill can trek any time in a day, but it is advised to start in the early morning time since it might get darker and be difficult to climb up during
evening and night time.

Parvathamalai sunrise

With normal climatic conditions, a normal person can climb up the hill in approximately 3.5 to 4 hours at a steady speed. Climbing down the hills will 
take approximately around 2.5 hours. 

Parvathamalai trek checklist

Since there are no shops on the way up the devotees and the trekkers are advised to carry the needy things like water bottles, fruits, and necessary snacks. It is advised to carry healthy snacks that refresh since anyone can lose energy and might feel exhausted while climbing up.

If allergic to mosquitoes and insects it is advised to use insect repellents. The devotees are advised to carry a torch since it might get darker in the
evenings and nights. One who is planning for night stays should carry required materials like shawls, blankets, and other necessary things.

Checklist before you start climbing

Water bottle 2 to 3 liters 
if performing pooja items required 
Shawls, blankets and other necessary things for night stay 
Insect repellent (optional) 

Other major inspiring places around Parvathamalai 

Jawadhu hills 
Javvadu hills Bheema waterfalls 
Thiruvannamalai Annamalaiyar temple 
Sathanur reservoir dam 
Virupaksha cave 
Sri Ramana maharishi ashram 
Seshadri Swamigal Ashram 
Astha linga darshan in Thiruvannamalai can be done either by vehicle or by circumambulating the mountain 

Parvathamalai travel guide

How to reach from different places:

To reach the hilltop there are no transport facilities that are available, one has to climb up the hill with one's own stamina to reach the hilltop and get the blessings of the lord and enjoy the beautiful scenic points.

route to reach

By bus:

Some buses ply from major cities like Chennai, Madurai, Trichy, Coimbatore, Bangalore and other towns to Thiruvannamalai frequently.

The distance from Chennai is around 200 km and can be reached through buses that ply to nearest towns like Polur, Aarni, Thiruvannamalai. And thereafter local buses can be boarded to reach the point of beginning of the trek.

Chennai - Vellore -polur-(local bus to) Parvathamalai 
Chennai - Arani-(local bus to)Parvathamalai
Chennai- Thiruvannamalai-(local bus to)Parvathamalai

If planning from the nearby city Bangalore to Parvathamalai the distance is 204 km. Many buses ply to Thiruvannamalai. One can reach Thiruvannamalai and then take local buses to reach Parvathamalai.

By Train:

Some trains stop in Thiruvannamalai, Vellore, and Polur on specific days and specific timing that can be used as a mode of transport. Devotees who are willing to reach through trains are requested to check the timings and the days on which the train passes these routes. usually, there are trains to Polur, Vellore, and Thiruvannamalai from cities like Chennai POndicherry and Bangalore

By Airways:

If you are coming from a different faraway city or country to Parvathamalai one chooses between the airports Bangalore or Chennai as per convenience and travel to the destination either by hiring a cab or at your convenience.


  1. Very good article and explained in detail. Any guide facility available if we need to stay overnight on the top?

    1. Yes we can stay, but there is no room or anything

  2. You can stay in temple in the night...

    1. Yes you can stay, but there is no room or anything

  3. Excellent Article 👌👌 Explained Detail..Thank you.🙏

  4. Explained in Detail.Covered max information.

  5. Is this place suitable/safe for female trekkers?

  6. Yes , its suitable, there are many females will be climbing regularly

  7. Very detailed explanations! good one !!!

  8. Can a female go on her own and stay there at night or advisable to be part of a trekking group? Any agents who take groups for trek and night stay there?

  9. thank you for writing this, very useful, Hope I get the chance to visit next wekk


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