As per the Hindu traditions of worship, Lord Siva is worshipped as 5 basic forms of Nature – water, fire, earth (sand), air, and space! There are 5 temples dedicated to Lord Siva! Out of these, the Lord Siva Temple at Thiruvannamalai – Lord Arunchaleswarar – represent the FIRE (Agni).
Devotees consider that the Lord Siva himself appears in the form of the mountain and is glorified such that even thinking about Him will give you Salvation (Mukthi)!
As such, Thiruvannamalai is among one of the most hugely popular religious locations!
It is traditional for the devotees to undertake ‘Girivalam’ walk around the 14 km mountains circular footpath around it on Full Moon Days each month as per the Tamil Calendar! Tens of thousands of devotees participate and seek the blessings of Lord Arunachaleswarar!
However, due to the prevailing crisis of the raging first and resurgent coronavirus pandemic, ban has been continuously extended against undertaking ‘Girivalam’ by devotees on Full Moon Days over the last few months!
As a continuation, undertaking Girivalam on the ensuing Full Moon Day has been banned as well!
In a notification released by the Collector of Thiruvannamalai District, P. Murugesh in this regard, it is mentioned:
“ As there is a prevailing lockdown imposition as a preventive measure against the raging first and resurgent coronavirus pandemic, DEVOTEES AND THE PUBLIC ARE REQUESTED NOT TO UNDERTAKE ‘GIRIVALAM’ FROM 05.20 am ON MONDAY, 20TH SEPTEMBER TO 05.25 AM ON TUESDAY, 21ST SEPTEMBER!"