The height of Parvathamalai is over 4,000 feet and the distance from the
base is 5.5 km. Parvatham means mountain and ‘Parvatha Malai’ as its
called, signifies ‘Hill of Hills’ or ‘Queen of Hills’. Parvathamalai
presents eight different shapes from eight directions around the hill.
Parvathamalai is part of the range known as Javadi Hills with other
hills of the same range known as: Kadaladimalai, Methakamalai,
Kumarinettumalai, Kanakkachiodaimalai and Putrumalai.
The summit of Parvathamalai can be reached by 3 routes.
1. Through Thenmadhimangalam Village (new way): 20 kms from Polur and 35
kms from Tiruvannamalai. Most devotees come this way. It is the route
which as been most recently created. When coming this way one can take
darshan of the Pachaiamman, Veerabhadra and Vana Durga Shrines at the
foot of Parvathamalai.
2. Through Kadaladi Village (old way): Going by this route one can visit
the Swami Mouna Vithoba Ashram at the bottom of Parvathamalai and leave
one’s vehicle there. There are facilities for devotees to stay
overnight. This route is more appropriate to trekkers.
The same Trust that is developing the Temple of Lord Mallikarajuna
Iswara at the top of Parvathamalai Hill, is also helping to make access
to the Hill summit easier by the continued development of a Hill
3. Kandha Palayam: Kandha Palayam village is located 10 kms from
Kadaladi Village. A Saint who used to live in this village would
regularly climb up the Hill. Even now there is a path but its very
steep. There is an Ashram and Temple in this village.
The distance of the trek to the top of Parvathamalai takes about four
hours for a reasonably fit person to ascend and approximately three
hours to return back down to the base of the Hill. The walk starts on a
pathway which gradually becomes filled with rocks and boulders. The
incline is noticeably steeper and the last 2000 feet of the climb is
assisted by iron rods and chains embedded into the rocks.
The route to the top of the Hill is marked by white arrow markers
painted on the rocks. Both the Kadaladi and Thenmadhimangalam routes
cover about 60% of the distance to the summit with the two paths joining
before the handrails. There are some small shops and vendors at the
early part of the climb where the Kadaladi trek pathway meets with the
Pathway to the top of Parvathamalai
via Kadaladi Village
Beginning of hike
Pathway with Rocks and Boulders
Beautiful Views Throughout Climb
Stones Painted with Direction Markers
Always follow the direction markers
Total of over 25 shops on the pathways
Starting via Thenmadhimangalam
Walking to the summit of Parvathamalai via the Thenmadhimangalam
route, the walk starts with over 1263 steps from the base of the
Hill, which covers the first 30% of the climb.
Start of walk on Thenmadhimangalam route
Beginning of stairs Thenmadhimangalam route
Whether one starts the climb to the Parvathamalai Summit via Kadaladi or
Thenmadhimangalam, the pathways will intersect before the difficult
part of the climb commences.
Map shows intersection of the two major pathways
Rocky Pathway Continues
Interspersed with Beautiful views
Trident marks beginning of difficult section
The final section has two different routes for climb up and climb down.
The difficult climb up is called ‘Kadapparai pathai’, with steps carved
out of the rock and iron rods planted for support. This path leads to
the final steps to reach the mountain top. The climb down path is
The below photographs show some of the improvements which have been made
by adding safer and easier climbing alternatives to the current arduous
and challenging current arrangements.
Sections of ladders have replaced more difficult sections
Photo showing difficult climb upwards
Metal staircases have replaced some dangerous climbs
Stone staircases open at the side to a vertical drop
Now safer stairs with handrails near end of climb
Old thandavalapadi (rail steps), grilled plate paths has been removed and concrete steps has been constructed at the last stage.
Swami Mouna Vithoba Ashram
Lord Mallikarjuna Ishwara Temple
Plan your visit to Parvathamalai. It gets very hot in the daytime so
start your climb either early in the day or in the evening. Many visit
Parvathamalai on full moon days, so if you go at this time be prepared
for large crowds both climbing the Hill and on the summit. Be aware the
stones are very slippery when wet, so take care on the Hill during rain.