It is saga of a unique kind, building a temple on top of Parvathamalai.

This temple is 2,000 years old and situated atop a hill. A group of devotees has taken up renovation. Work is moving at a steady pace and will culminate in consecration.

Find this familiar? Read on for an amazing thing happening at Parvathamalai, 37 km from Tiruvannamalai.

Unique experience

Over 4,500-ft high, Parvathamalai challenges climbers. Tough and rugged, it has 1,800 steps. “With descending clouds keeping you company, it is a unique experience to walk in this virgin terrain,” say devotees, who have been visiting the hill for two decades, to worship Lord Mallikarjuna and His consort Brahmarambika (just as in Simhachala). “The hill is actually in the shape of the Nandi and siddhars live here. Rich in herbs, the air is healthy,” they add.

The dilapidated state of the temple forced some of the devotees from Triplicane, Chennai, to form a renovation committee. Word spread and help came from all quarters. The HR and CE gave the green signal and work started in earnest. But it has not been easy. From water to steel and wood to cement, everything has to be transported manually. An uphill task, literally. Sand is sent up in small bags through climbers. Water is carried in bottles and cans to be emptied into huge drums.

Thunder struck in 2009 and work suffered a setback. A super conductor lightning diverter was installed. Huge parts of the tower, weighing 1,000 kg, were moved to the hill top and an expert team from Kodaikanal installed it; a remarkable feat indeed!

“There has been no dearth of help,” says the enthusiastic team. It comes from unexpected quarters too. A devotee, after visiting the temple and watching the proceedings, supplied steel and cement. The District Collector was so moved that he promised assistance.

Everything is being built - from the walls around and inside and pedestals for the idols, to ceiling and gopuram. There are shrines for Vinayaka, Subramanya, Virabhadra and Kali. “A divine hand is taking this effort forward. Kumbabishekam date can be fixed only when work is complete. And that depends on the weather - heavy downpours can cause delays – and of course resource,” they observe.

When consecration takes place, it will be happening after 600 years. Those who wish to contribute may contact 9962382601, 9884236697 and 9884236757. More facts

Called South Kailash, Parvathamalai is close to Thenmadhimangalam, (15 km from Polur and 37 km from Tiruvannamalai).

Devotees can touch the idols and perform abishekam.

The hilltop has no supply of electricity and water. Devotees need to carry water and a torch light, apart from puja articles.

It takes four hours to climb the hill. Advice is to avoid peak sun.

Keywords: Parvathamalai