Girivalam means circumambulation of holy mountains. Among the circumambulation of various mountains, circumambulating the holy Arunachala hills is considered as a holy task, and by doing that, we would get good results in our lives. Arunachala hills are worshipped as a form of Lord Shiva. During the first Kritayuga, this holy mountain appeared in the form of fire hill, during the Tretayuga, this mountain appeared in the form of golden mountain, and during the Dwapara Yuga it appeared in the form of copper mountain, and in this present Kali Yuga, it appears in the form of rock.
The Holy hill is very height, and doing girivalam on Pournami is considered as a sacred act, and it is believed that during these day, many siddhar saints and the divine demi gods also would do girivalam in the holy Thiruvannamalai, and they would not be visible to our eyes.
While doing Girivalam, lot of small temples and ashrams for Seshadri Swamigal, Ramana Maharishi and Yogi Ramsurat Kumar are available. A nice Hanuman temple, IdukkuPillayar Temple and Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt are also located in the Girivalam path. Apart from that, there are eight lingams, which were installed by the divine demigods like Indra Lingam, Agni Lingam, Yama Lingam, Niruthi Lingam, Varuna Lingam, Vayu Lingam, Kubera Lingam and Eshanya Lingam.
There is an ancient Shiva Temple located in the Girivalam path, which is known as AdiAnnamalai Temple, and the significance of this temple was sung by the Nayanamar saints, and the collection of the divine songs are available in the Shaivite text Thevaram.
The girivalam path is 14 kilometres, and it takes a minimum of three hours to circumambulate the holy mountain. By doing Girivalam on this holy hill, we would get good peace of mind, and also we would be relieved from various diseases, by smelling the medicinal herbs, which are available in the mountain. It is believed that the great Lord Nandi Deva, the chief attendant of Lord Shiva, would bless the Shiva devotees, who sincerely do Girivalam.
Still now, during every Full moon day, lot of devotees are doing Girivalam, and praying to Lord Annamalaiyar in order to get their wishes fulfilled. It is also believed just by merely thinking about this holy mountain,we would get salvation after our death.
It is suggested for the devotees to do Girivalam without wearing any shoes or slippers on their legs, and they should not smoke or drink.
Those who do Girivalam must view the top of the mountain hill.Eating Non vegetarian food is strictly prohibited while doing Girivalam. Those who do Girivalam on full moon days would get good prospects in their lives.While doing Girivalam, we should not talk unnecessarily with others, and we must keep on chanting the Shiva Mantra, “OM NAMAH SHIVAYA”, or OM SRI ARUNACHALAYA NAMAHA”.