Climbing Hill

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 pathway.

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 Thenmadhimangalam route.

Pathway to the top of Parvathamalai
via Kadaladi Village

Direction board

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 comparatively easier.

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.