“Life’s valuable treasure always lies beside you”-Aartham
In life, we move through different places in search of momentary happiness, adventure, spiritual enlightenment and most of all, for basic survival (food & safety). Each of these places becomes part of you and these places make you a person you are now. Some of these places bring back beautiful memories of yours with your loved ones. Some places bring back the horrible unpleasant memories. Let me take you on a short trip to one of India’s most beautiful scenic spot-“Marudhavazh malai”.
Kanyakumari – When people hear this name, most remember it as “ the southern-most point of, the intersection of tri-sea-Triveni Sangamam (the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian sea), the temple of Devi kumari Amman (virgin and land of coconut. Some people remember the Rock Memorial of Swami Vivekananda along with Statue of Tamil Scholar-saint Thiruvalluvar at the tri-sea intersection’’. Little do people know about a small hill named Marudhavazh malaiof the height of 800 feet scattered away from Western ghats.
The Marudhavazh malai which means ‘mountain of medicinal herbs’ forms the southernmost part of the Western Ghats of India. The nearest village named ‘Pothaiyadi’ which is along the NH47. The national highway NH47 which connects the two states Tamilnadu and Kerala from Kanyakumari to Thiruvananthapuram is currently been widened to 6/8way road.
Growing up in Kanyakumari, you tend to incline more towards nature and prefer the presence of trees to buildings. For an insider, I was able to experience the three facets of Kanyakumari. First the forests and mountains along the north-west and west region (the borders of Tamilnadu and Kerala); Secondly the midlands covered with agricultural lands and urban towns; Thirdly the coastal lands with its 60km beaches and coconut tree fields along the south and east regions. My personal experience with Marudhavazh malai came at the age 22 while still trying to figure what to do with my life ahead.
Professional photographers travel a long distance and wait for long hours to make a single perfect shot. To experience such a perfect moment and to witness such wonders of nature is a rare opportunity. Some go to the far corners of the planet to capture those moments and for some, it occurs in their locality.
It is quite adventurous trekking the mardhuvazh malai at dawn. You are facilitated with paved stone steps to some extent and the rest is the unpaved and seasonal path which is filled with stones mostly. Reaching the top brings that victorious sensation and the view is breathtaking. The awe moment kicks-in when we see the early reddish-orange ray of the morning warm sun coming out of the long dark engulfing ocean. When that ray of sun hits you, you come to realise the three seas moving towards an intersection and shaping the spectacular curvy ‘V’ shaped landscape of our country. The green scenery around the dry, thorny and herbs-filled hill sometimes make you feel the mythologies might be true.
According to local belief, the Maruthuva Malai is considered as a fragment of the Sanjeevi Mountain which fell down while Hanuman was carrying Mahendragiri to Lanka for healing the fatal wounds of Lakshmana, the brother of Lord Rama. This hill is also believed to be noted in Ayyaavazhi mythology as Parvatha Ucchi Malai. Apart from Mythology, this hill is historically related to the life of Vaikundar. So, few consider this hill as sacred and consider it one among the Ayyaavazhi holy sites. Backing some quotes from Arul Nool and Akilam some even argue that Marundhuvaazh Malai is one among the Vaikundapathi’s. Narayana Guru attained enlightenment while undergoing penance (tapas) at this hill.
There is a mention about this Marundhu Vaazh Malai in Sri Pada Sri Vallabha Charithaamrutham written during the thirteenth century in Sanskrit, which is a biography of Lord Sri Pada Sri Vallabha(the first avatar of Sri Dattatreya). This place is mentioned as Maruthuva Malai and the legend about this mountain is captured. It is also said in the holy book that this is a Holy land and Siddhas and saints used to live in this mountain.