So where did I come to know of this place? One fine morning, in the tv channel Sun News there came a coverage about this place called Pon Uthiyur where there are some hillocks which are considered as the Sanjeevani Hill of the south.
When the great Ramayana war happened between Rama and Ravana in
This hill, till date, is considered to have all those medicinal plants including Sanjeevani. Though the program didn’t give any details about the medicinal plants in this it gave a decent coverage about the place on a whole with interviews from several locals. Though the program said that the place is near Kangeyam, I had no clue where in Kangeyam is this place. After searching the net for pretty long time, I found some details about this place. It was spelt Uthiyoor by some other site and atleast I got the info that its midway to Dharapuram from Kangeyam. We started off and were there at Uthiyur shortly.
It was a pretty small village with a hillock at one side. Not just a hillock, there were atleast 3-4. There was a little temple after a flight of 100 steps from the ground, which is the base temple ‘Uthanda Velayudhasamy Thirukoil’ with a huge water-well as well and the little path with few rocky steps beside the temple lead us to the base of a hillock and the steps ended there as well. There were few more little mandapams in a dilapidated condition.
There were few sculptures here and there, and also some hero-stones. But I couldn’t make out the era it could have been from. Must be Chola period with regards to its location, but which Chola king or which century, I had no clue.
From that point there was no proper path as well. And so started our trek. Somehow we assumed that the little temple like structure at the peak of one of the hillocks was our destination. There was a little muddy pathway that was rocky at most of the places. Also there were several smaller pathways (somehow I’m reminded of the riddle, ‘What is smaller existing thing than the ants.? It’s the ants’ food…!!!), that took us directly into the midst of the forest area of the hillock. We ventured into some of them and came back to the main pathway. At several places, we were faced with double roads and it was our own choice to take whichever we wanted to as there was no soul anywhere around to ask! The route was rocky and the hill was pretty vertical, not so shallow as Viralimalai. Many a places the muddy pathway was also missing. The sight of the same pathway continuing after a small distance guided through. Filled with several plants that formed a decently thick forest-like area, I am sure, several among these huge number of plants must be medicinal which would include the Sanjivani as well.
A route divided into 2 and there was a little board that showed an arrow to a route that read “Route to
A little more climb from there (in a good knows what kinds route!!! Do you see any defined path in the above pic? If not don’t worry. That’s the ‘path’ that had to be taken) took us to the hill top and there was a little
The wind was fantastic and the view was breathtaking. Care had to be taken not to go to the edges of the boulders there. A fall from there could definitely prove fatal. Some boulders dropped just vertically at 90 deg!!!
And my friend ventured to those points for the sake of the adventure and some photos as well!!!
While I took my heart’s content of photographs, we were soon accompanied by 2 more people. They were on their way to Sabarimalai in Kerala and had climbed to take the blessing of this Lord Ganesh. I enquired him about the
Yeah, this is the pic of the hill that we should have climbed from the other hill that we had actually climbed!!! So off we started of to that point where we should have diverted.
After walking some more distance in the right path, we met someone. Know what, I believe in God and something made me think, he was God himself. In an absolutely lonely forest which just no humans around, just to see him, I was relieved. He was an old man in his 60’s. He was on his way to the temple located at the midway of this hill. There was a wedding going on in this temple. He was telling me about himself that he’s a weaver etc. and he was often visiting this temple till some 10 yrs ago. Ever since then this was his trip after that.
This hill had several more herbs I guess. It was thicker and had several plants that I hadn’t seen before. There were several fruits that looked delicious. No, I didn’t venture to taste ‘em. I had no intention to die or even faint in that forest!!! Enroute, there was a funny structure of a tree. The ariel root of a particular tree had joined itself to another tree and had formed a swing.
But as we ascended the trees were less and there were more plants and shrubs. And soon there we reached that temple he told. It’s a typical small village temple. There were several monkeys here. And there was a decent crowd of around 15-20 people here, thanks to the wedding. The people were kind here. We were asked to eat and go, but we kindly refused and took enough water. Our bottles had long before got emptied, thanks to the ascent and descent of the first hill and again the ascent of the second hill.
From here, these people again guided us to the peak of the hill to go to the
There atop at the peak, there were 2 people already meditating. Here again there was a little room created by the space between 2 boulders. It was here that Sage Konganar Sithar meditated and lost his physical self. Sithar’s are yogists who are in the high meditative state and lose their physical state and attain divinity.
There is a pathway to enter this cave from the rear as well. It could be entered from the rear side through a small tunnel like opening and crawled down into the cave. Else in a simpler way you could enter it from the huge front opening.
The other 2 people who were meditating there, had gotten up by now and were giving blown rice locally called
I can give you tip or two. Take some
Even now, I have no clue about the specifics of the medicinal herbs or the Sanjeevani here. But even after climbing up and down 2 hills, which would have covered atleast 30km in total on foot, we weren’t all that tired. On any other normal day on a normal location we would have been almost dead. But here the tiredness was almost just as if we had walked hardly a km on a sunny day. Just as we say, ‘Love is in the air’, I am sure to say about Uthiyur that ‘Medicine is in the air’…!!!
TO REACH THERE
From Trichy: 73km via Kangeyam. Break journey via Kangeyam via Vellakovil.
From Tiruppur: 40km via Kangeyam. Break journey via Kangeyam.
From Dharapuram: 19km towards Kangeyam. Frequent buses are available.
From Kangeyam: 14km towards Dharapuram. Frequent buses are available.
Nearest Bus Stop: Uthiyur aka Pon Uthiyur
Food: There are a few local messes here. Nearest place for good restaurants and hotel is Kangeyam.
Dedicated to Arun