Of late, you can observe in Chennai so many travel agencies that are advertising about Thiruvannamalai Girivalam. Perhaps, just I thought, I can get some basic info about this for the benefit of all readers worldwide.
Giri means the hill or the hillock and Valam means circumambulation. Basically, Girivalam places an emphasis on the circumambulating the divine hill which hosts the Lord's temple and the thousands of the Siddhas and Sages who are penancing towards the Lord to invoke His divine blessings.
Girivalam is normally observed during the Full Moon Day (Pournami, in Tamil/Sanskrit).
Girivalam is not restricted only to Thiruvannamalai, though much hype has been given to that temple. Well! Though this religious topic need not be too much dragged into controversies, I would like to mention about the following significant temples that support Girivalam:
- Thiruvannamalai Arunalacheswarar Temple
- Sholinghur Narasimhar Temple
- Chennai Singaperumal Koil
If you are not able to attend the Girivalam, you can try attempting Girivalam at any of the hillock temples and perhaps the following list should be able to guide you:
- Madurai Thirupparankundram
- Palani Murugan
- Polur Parvathamalai (somewhere near Thiruvannamalai itself)
- Thirukachur (near Singaperumal Koil)
- Rockfort Trichy
- Ratnagiri Trichy
- Kundrakudi Trichy
- Karur Thaan Thondri Malai
These details were compiled from various advertisement pamplets that the travel agencies distribute and a search in Google revealed the Agasthiar website, which also stipulates certain regulations to be observed, while practising Girivalam.