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The Complete Guide to Parvathamalai Trek

Located near Thenmathimangalam village, 30 km from the Tiruvannamalai district in Tamilnadu, the Parvathamalai Trek is one of the most sacred and exciting treks in southern India. It is an Eastern ghats trail that falls inside the Parvathamalai reserved forest, within the Kanchi section of the Pudupalayam range. 

The trek is known for its rough and challenging terrain that gives trekkers an adrenaline rush. Trekkers also love the expansive and serene views of the Eastern ghats they get to experience as they make their way to the top.

It is also popular amongst devotees who take the challenging journey to pay their respects to a Shiva temple that has existed in some form or the other for the last 2000 odd years.

The region is rich in history, one that can be traced back to the Sangam period. Malaipadukadam, part of the Pattupattu (Ten Idylls) anthology, a poetic work that is more than 2000 years old describes the Jawadhu hill range as an extension of the eastern ghats comprising the modern Tiruvannamalai and Vellore districts of Tamil Nadu. It refers to the region as Palkunrakkuttam or ‘the land surrounded by hillocks’. 

It is believed that the hill is a piece of the Sanjeevani Mountain that Lord Hanuman carried to revive Lord Laxman. Learned saints, therefore, decided that a temple be built at the top of the hill for meditation. The hill contains powerful and rare herbs that can be found only in this region.

Palkunrakkuttam was ruled by King Nannan who would visit the temple frequently to worship Lord Shiva & the goddess. 

The Parvathamalai Trek is rated as a moderate difficulty trek. It is a vertical mountain over 4500 feet in height. You will have to trek over rocks and climb steep sections to reach the top. 

The trek can be done by fit beginners. It will test your endurance, even if you are an experienced trekker.

Table of Contents

Just like you, we love trekking! And this is a trek we’ve documented in great detail to help you do it on your own. Drop in your comments at the end of the page if you need any help!  You will get all the information required to do the Parvathamalai Trek on your own.

To navigate through the documentation easily, use the Table of Contents section:

Highlights of the Parvathamalai Trek

1. Adventurous trekking paths 

The climb at ‘Kadaparai Pathai’ is considered to be the toughest part of the trek. At the same time, it is the most adventurous part of the trek. You will have the challenge of climbing a very steep section of the mountain with the help of iron rods and chains – definitely an experience you will remember for a long time!

Steep climb-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

The steep climb at Kadaparai pathai makes for a memorable experience. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

2. The spectacular view of Eastern ghat mountains covered with clouds

Standing at a height of over 4,500 feet, the path leading to the top and the peak offer plenty of opportunities to take in the panoramic views of Tiruvannamalai hills and Jawadhu hills.

Summit View-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

View of the Eastern Ghats from the summit of the Parvathamalai trek. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

3. The chance to immerse yourself in the region’s incredible biodiversity

The Parvathamalai forest is an undisturbed portion of the eastern ghats. There are about 152 rare plant species recorded here. During many portions of the trek, you will have the chance to spot colourful flowers. Apart from this, you will often be accompanied by the mild fragrance of a variety of flora and herbs.

Flora-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

Spot a variety of flowers throughout the year though the highest concentration will be during the spring months. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

Trail Information

Route Map-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

Trail Map of Parvathamalai Trek. Screenshot on Google Earth Pro

There are two trails through which you can do the  Parvathamalai trek – the ‘Thenmathimangalam’ route and the ‘Kadaladi’ route.

The Kadaladi route is a shorter and more adventurous one, but we recommend taking the more popular Thenmathimangalam trail. There are three reasons for this – 

1. The Thenmathimangalam route is marked well and has a steady footfall so there is little chance of losing your way

2. Trekkers can avail themselves of free food (Annadhanam) and clean water at any time of the day at the Veerabhadrar Temple

3. This trail takes you through serene mango farms during the first part of the trek

Do note that both Thenmathimangalam and Kadaladi routes meet at a common junction and from there it is a single route leading to the summit of the hill.

Parvathamalai Trek can be divided into four sections. 

If you are taking your vehicle or an auto from the Thenmathimangalam Parvathamalai entrance point you can exclude the first section until the Shri Pachaiyamman Kovil. 

The next three sections will be valid for you.  

1. Walk from Parvathamalai entrance point to Shri Pachaiyamman Temple

2. Trek from Sri Pachaiyamman Temple to the Veerabhadrar Temple

3. A steep walk from Veerabhadrar Temple to the Kadaladi-Thenmathimangalam Junction

4. Hard Climb from Kadaladi-Thenmathimangalam Junction to the peak of Parvathamalai Top

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Section I: Parvathamalai Entrance Point to Shri Pachaiyamman Temple 

Trek Distance: 1.6 km
Trek Duration: 30 minutes
GPS coordinates of Parvathamalai entrance point:  12°25’59.63″N 79° 0’46.70″E
GPS coordinates of Shri Pachaiyamman Temple:  12°26’15.0″N 79°00’05.0″E

The Parvathamalai trek starts from the small yet beautiful village of Thenmathimangalam. 

Once you get down from the bus at the stop of the Thenmathimangalam Parvathamalai entrance point you will see the impressive Parvathamalai in front of you. Take the straight road to reach the Shri Pachaiyamman temple.

It will take about 30 minutes for you to reach the Pachaiyamman temple.

Statues at Shri Pachaiyamman Temple-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

Vibrantly coloured statues stand guard at the Shri Pachaiyamman Temple. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

This path allows you to get a glimpse into the customs and culture of rural Tamilnadu. The warm smiles of the residents, the soothing views of mango farms, and the refreshing green of agricultural farms are just some of the sights you will get to witness on the way to Shri Pachaiyamman temple.

Seven massive and colourful Muneeswarar statues welcome you to the Shri Pachiyamman Temple. If you want, you can go inside the temple to pray to the Muneeswarar and the Pachaiyamman idols.

If you are traveling by your vehicle, you can park your vehicle at the Parking Zone near the Shri Pachaiyamman temple. 

For two-wheelers, the parking price is Rs 10 and for the four-wheelers, the parking price is Rs 20.

| Tip: If you want to freshen up before the trek, you can use the public bathing and toilet near the Parking Zone. The price for using the bathroom and toilet is Rs.10 and Rs.5 respectively. However, we recommend you refresh before the Thenmathimangalam village since the toilets here are not maintained well.

PROTIP: If you are not confident of your fitness and want to skip this first section, you have the option to do so. Take an auto from the Thenmathimangalam Parvathamalai entrance point to the Shri Pachaiyamman Temple. 

An auto will cost you Rs.30 on sharing basis and Rs.130 for non-sharing.

Section 2: Shri Pachaiyamman Temple to Veerabhadrar Temple

Trek Distance: 1.5 km
Trek Duration: 25 minutes
GPS coordinates of Shri Pachaiyamman Temple: 12°26’15.0″N 79°00’05.0″E
GPS coordinates of Veerabhadrar Temple: 12°26’20.5″N 78°59’16.4″ E

The trek from the Shri Pachaiyamman temple to Veerabhadrar temple starts with crossing a small forest check post and the Shri Anjaneya Temple at its entrance.

After crossing the Shri Anjaneya Temple, you will see the path gradually ascending with dense forest surrounding it. 

path to Veerabhadrar Temple-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

A thicket of trees lines the path to Veerabhadrar Temple - an immersive experience. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

This is your chance to spot a variety of blooms. You can also try to follow the calls of different bird species. If you are lucky, you might even get to spot rare bird species like the Orange-breasted Green Pigeon and Bar Headed Goose.

Flora and fauna-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

Colourful flowers, butterflies, and birds keep you company throughout the trek. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

If you are visiting in monsoon season, you can find a small stream of water flowing on this path.

It takes about 25 minutes to reach the Veerabhadrar temple. You get free food and clean water here.

If you want to charge your phone for emergency purposes, the trust management allows charging, since this is the last source of electricity.

Veerabhadrar Temple-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

Fill up your water bottles, pack some food and charge your phone, if necessary, at the Veerabhadrar Temple. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

| Tip: A small forest check post is located at the entrance of the Shri Pachaiyamman temple. It is recommended to carry a valid government ID proof.

Sign board-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

The forest department instruction board details the dos and don'ts on the trek. Trekkers are forbidden from littering the trail. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

| Tip: We highly recommend you fill your water bottles here as you cannot find any free water source during the rest of the trek.

Protip: Veerabhadrar Temple Trust provides 24 hours free food for all every day.

Free food-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

Free food & water is available to all at the Veerabhadrar temple. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

Protip: The forest department has recorded 152 rare plant species in the Parvathamalai forest area. This includes Anisomeles malabarica, Ocimum sanctum, Phyllanthus reticulatus amongst other plant varieties. As far as fauna is concerned, there are about 128 species of animals out of which there are 17 species of mammals, 22 species of reptiles, and 89 species of birds. And the best part? You get opportunities to spot this incredibly diverse range of flora and fauna throughout the trail.

Section 3: Veerabhadrar Temple to the Kadaladi-Thenmathimangalam Junction

Trek Distance: 2.5 km
Trek Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes
GPS coordinates of Veerabhadrar Temple: 12°26’20.5″N 78°59’16.4″ E
GPS coordinates for the Kadaladi-Thenmathimangalam Junction: 12°26’04.1″N 78°58’15.7″ E

After crossing the Veerabhadrar temple, the trail becomes a long flight of steps. You will have to ascend 1200+ steps, all the while surrounded by dense forest. 

The steps have a moderate amount of ascent which can make you tired and dehydrated. Keep taking sips of water as you walk up the steps.

Man made stairs-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

A dense forest cover on either side almost makes you forget that you have to climb up 1000+ steps. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

Snack shops on the way-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

You will find small snack shops run by the locals on this section. You can buy bottled water and packaged food items here. However, it’s best to carry water in reusable bottles and healthy snacks. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

| Tip: Start your trek early in the morning to avoid dehydration

Green Tip: If you run out of water and food by this point, you can find small shops here where you can buy bottled water and snacks. Do note that the price is a bit higher than usual. We, however, strongly recommend that trekkers carry their own snacks or package-free food with them. Just a little planning will go a long way in reducing the waste on the trail.

Once you climb up these steps, a mud trail with big rocks opens up. Check to see if your shoes are tied snugly so as to avoid any missteps.

Boulder section-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

Be sure of your footing as you cross over this path. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

You will see arrow marks painted prominently along the path. Keep an eye out for them and walk-up in the direction of the arrows.

Arrow marks to show you the right path- Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

Look out for boldly painted arrow marks to be sure that you are on the right path. Picture by Ajay

At the halfway mark of climbing up this muddy rock trail, you will find a small Lord Shiva Temple made of stones. Head to the front of the temple to see a cluster of mountains spread out. It’s the perfect time to take a breather. Munch on a snack or quench your thirst before you continue your journey into the forest.

The Lord Shiva stone temple-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

The Lord Shiva stone temple at the halfway mark provides a good resting point to refresh yourself. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

View from the Shiva Temple-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in tamilnadu

The view of the cluster of mountains from the Shiva temple. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

You will then be walking past deep-rooted trees that twist and turn to create an otherworldly atmosphere – much like some of the forests we see in movies.

Forest coverings-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes- Treks in Tamilnadu

Eerie or magical? It’s all about perspective! Picture by Ajay Vignesh

It takes about 1 hour 10 minutes to reach the Kadaladi-Thenmathimangalam Junction from the Veerabadrar Temple. We highly recommend you take a 10-minute break and hydrate yourself amidst views of the mountain range because the toughest and most thrilling part of the trek is right up ahead!

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Section 4: Kadaladi-Thenmathimangalam Junction to Parvathamalai Top

Trek Distance: 1 km
Trek Duration: 1 hour 5 minutes
GPS coordinates for the Kadaladi-Thenmathimangalam Junction: 12°26’04.1″N 78°58’15.7″ E
GPS coordinates for the Parvathamalai Top: 12°26’16.3″N 78°58’18.1″E

The toughest part of the trek starts with a steep uphill path of uneven rocks.

Uneven terrain-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes- Treks in Tamilnadu

Though not tough, this uneven path requires you to focus on your steps. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

You can climb this section with the help of the attached steel bar wherever possible. It is best to take a ‘Slow and Steady’ approach here. 

After you climb this section, you will reach one of the main highlights of this trek – the Kadaparai Hill! As exciting as this section looks, don’t forget to take a few moments to enjoy the magnificent view of the Jawadhu Hills on your left.

Jawadhu hills-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-treks in Tamilnadu

Take in the beauty of Jawadhu hills. It will provide the energy and motivation needed for the exciting Kadaparai Hill section that lies ahead. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

Now, all you have to do is prepare yourself to cross the last and most thrilling stretch of the trek –  the Kadaparai hill. ‘Kadaparai’ translates to ‘an iron rod that is used to dig into stone’ in Tamil.

Uneven rocky steps-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

Steps are cut into the mountain itself. Climbing up the Kadaparai hill with the help of drilled iron rods and steel chains is an experience in itself. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

The Kadaparai Hill has an incline gradient of 60-70 degrees. True to its name, the hill has iron rods that are drilled into the rocks and iron chains that connect one rod to another. This is to provide trekkers with some support and assistance in climbing up this steep section.

After a 5-minute exhilarating climb, you will reach a flat surface.

After walking on the flat surface for a few meters you will need to climb a vertical section of iron steps. 

This section connects two hills and allows you to cross over the gap between them. If you have a fear of heights, don’t look down. Just look up and cross the section carefully, yet steadily.

Iron ladder-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-treks in Tamilnadu

Crossing these iron steps is the next challenging bit after the Kadaparai Hill. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

After getting to the top of this part, there is a small iron bridge-like pathway and iron ladder that you will need to cross.

Once you cross this, you will come upon a small stone mantap which is believed to have been built during the Chola period. While some say that the mantap was used as a watchtower, some others believe that this was used as a stop point for menstruating women.

Take a small break here and prepare yourself for the last part of the trek.

Stone Mantap-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

This ancient stone mantap is a good rest point before you prepare for the final push towards the summit. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

The last part of the trek is called the Idukku Paarai. Idukku means ‘Narrow gap’ in Tamil. You will be walking up uneven steps cut out from rocks. There are huge boulders on either side of this path and in certain sections, you will notice that only one person can pass through at a time.

Narrow trail-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

Idukku Paarai or Narrow Gap lies sandwiched between two giant rocks. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

After crossing the Idukku Paarai you will be able to see the Parvathamalai temple perched on top of the hill. Now, all that needs to be done is to walk up the man-made steps to reach the summit.

The view of Parvathamalai temple-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

The view of Parvathamalai temple after climbing the Idukku Paarai. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

Once you reach the top, you will be pleasantly surprised at the panoramas that unfold in front of you – expansive views of the Eastern Ghats and lush green forests spread out as far as the eye can see.

Tip: The temple on top does not have a pandit or pujari. You can perform puja to the idol inside the temple – a unique experience!

The entire journey from Parvathamalai entrance point to Parvathamalai Top should take around 3 to 4 hours.

View from the Parvathamalai-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

The spectacular view from the Parvathamalai summit. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

Sunrise-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in Tamilnadu

A sublime sunrise from the Parvathamalai summit. Picture by Ajay Vignesh

Protip: You can visit the Lord Shiva temple and later even climb to the top of the temple for a bird’s eye view of the surroundings and enjoy the cool breeze of the Eastern Ghats. 

Descending from Parvathamalai summit

The descent from the Parvathamali summit to the Thenmathimangalam village takes 2-3 hours. 

Please note that the latter half of the route to the top of Parvathamalai is one-way, which means that it is only for going up. You will have to descend from the top of the mountain by taking a different route. A series of steep stairs will lead down to the stone mantap and from there another route takes you to the halfway point of the trail. After that, the route up and down is common. 

Alternative route to Parvathamalai through Kadaladi 

You can also trek to Parvathamalai through the Kadaladi village which is about 28 km from the Tiruvannamalai district. The detailed map for the Kadaladi trek route is linked here Kadaladi Trek Route to Parvathamalai Top.

➤ GPX File for the Parvathamalai Trek

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➤ Best Season to do the Parvathamalai Trek

The best season to do Parvathamalai Trek is from September to February. 

Trekking in the monsoon season is difficult as the trail becomes slippery and the difficulty level goes up by a couple of notches. However, if you still want to go ahead with the trek during this season, be prepared with suitable gear.

During summers, the daytime temperatures often hover in the upper 30s and can even cross 40°C. This can quickly lead to dehydration. Hence, we do not recommend trekking to Parvathamalai during the summer months.

➤ Difficult Sections on the Parvathamalai Trek

The Parvathamalai Trek is of moderate difficulty. It is 6.6 km one way with quite a few steep sections. So your up and down journey will be a little more than 13 km. Your endurance will be tested if you are trekking from the Parvathamalai entrance point to the Parvathamalai entrance point in one day.

The difficult section on the Parvathamalai Trek is the ‘Kadaparai Hill’.

Apart from this, it is advisable to keep in mind the following – 

 Trekking in the forest and rock section can be tricky. Make sure you wear proper trekking shoes and carry a trekking pole so that you get a firm foothold.

 Sections of the Parvathamalai Trek can get very slippery during the rainy season. So if you are trekking during monsoon season, take extra precautions.

➤ How to Reach Parvathamalai Trek

The Parvathamalai Trek starts from a small village called Thenmathimangalam which is about 35 km from the Tiruvannamalai district. 

The buses stop exactly at the Parvathamalai entrance point. You can start your trek from there or you can hire an auto to reach the base point called Shri Pachaiyamman Temple.

| Tip: During festivals such as the Full Moon or New Moon day, you will be able to find a shared auto to Shri Pachaiyamman Temple easily. The cost will be around Rs.30 per person.

For auto service, you can call Gnanam Auto Service. 

Name: Mr Gnanam
Contact Number: 9943217353 / 9952878313
Note: Gnanam Auto Service also offers guide and porter assistance for pilgrims.

Reaching Parvathamalai by your vehicle

If you are planning on driving to Parvathamalai using your vehicle from Chennai, you can use this link to help set up navigation in Google maps. 

If you do not have access to Google maps, here is how to reach Parvathamalai from Chennai.

From Chennai, you can reach Parvathamalai via two primary routes

1. Chennai – Chengalpattu – Uthiramerur – Vandavasi – Polur – Parvathamalai

 From Chennai take Vepery High Road and EVK Sampath Road to Chennai – Villupuram – Trichy – Kanyakumari Road/ EVR Road/ Grand Southern Trunk Road/ Poonamallee High Road in Mahaveer Colony.

-  Continue on Chennai – Villupuram – Trichy – Kanyakumari Road/Poonamallee High Road. Take NH32, Bukkathurai-Uthiramerur Road, Uthiramerur Road, Manampathi – Koot Road/Tiruvannamalai – Kanchipuram Road, and Polur Road to Parvathamalai Road in Thenmathimangalam.

 Drive to Parvathamalai Rd in Parvathamalai R.F.

2. Chennai – Kanchipuram – Arcot – Arni – Polur – Parvathamalai

 From Chennai take a Kanchipuram-Chennai NH48 highway road to Arcot and from Arcot follow Arani Road and Cheyyar – Vandavasi – Polur Rd to NH38 in Ettivadii.

 Continue onto NH38 to reach Polur from Polur you can reach Parvathamalai.

Reaching Parvathamalai by Public Transport System

Parvathamalai can be reached by public transport easily. There are frequent buses from Chennai and Tiruvannamalai.

From Chennai, you can reach Parvathamalai via two primary roadways

1. Take a bus to Tiruvannamalai from Chennai and take a local bus to Parvathamalai base point from Tiruvannamalai bus stand. You can find the detailed local bus timings for Parvathamalai here.

2. Take a bus to Polur from Chennai and then take a local bus to Parvathamalai base point from Polur bus stand. However, the buses to Polur from Chennai are less frequent compared to the Tiruvannamalai buses.

You can use this TNSTC website to book the bus tickets if needed.

Use this link to find the detailed bus timings from Tiruvannamalai to Thenmathimangalam.
This link will help you get detailed bus timings from Thenmathimangalam to Tiruvannamalai.

Protip: If required you can contact Mr Ranganathan, transport route inspector for travel enquiries related to reaching Parvathamalai from Tiruvannamalai.

Name: Mr Ranganathan | Contact Number: 9894631844

Protip: If you are going to Parvathamalai via the Tiruvannamalai route and reach before 4 am, then don’t wait for the 6:25 am bus. Instead, take an Athamangalam Puthur bus at 4:15 am and get down at ‘Karapattu kuttu road’. From there, you can hop on a bus to Thenmathimangalam (Parvathamalai base point).

Protip: If required, you can contact Mr. Krishnan, a local groceries shop owner in Thenmathimangalam to enquire about weather and the bus-related details before planning the Parvathamalai trek. You can purchase all pooja-related items at his ‘Ratna stores’ shop which is next to the Parvathamalai entrance point.

Name: Mr. Krishnan | Contact Number: 7010723292

Nearest Railway Station

Polur Railway Station – 22 km
Tiruvannamalai Railway Station – 33 km

Food and Water source on the Parvathamalai Trek

Veerabhadrar Temple is your last reliable source of food and free water. After that, you can get only the snack items and water bottles from the small shops en route.

Tip: If you are not comfortable having water from the stream or well, carry purification tablets or a life straw bottle to purify the water.

Emergency contacts for Parvathamalai Trek

Hospital:  Kadaladi Government Hospital – 9159633620, Annai Hospital – 9843773835,  Government Hospital Polur – 04181-223048

Annai hospital is a small private hospital that is open from 9 am to 9 pm. Kadaladi Government Hospital, which is about 5 km from the trail, is equipped to handle emergency cases.

Police Station: Kadaladi Police Station – 9498100453 & 04188-244235 and Polur Police Station – 04181-222100 are the nearest police stations to the Parvathamalai trek.

Forest Department: Tiruvannamalai Forest Department – 9788344585 

In case of any emergency, you can contact the forest office of the Pudupalayam Forest division. 

ERSS: For any kind of emergency help, you can contact the Pan-India Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) number- 112

Fire & Rescue Department:  Fire Service Centre Polur – 04181-222099, 9445086180

In case of any emergency and rescue, you can contact Mr. Dakshinamurthy through the above contact number.

ATMs and Network on the trek

ATMs: The nearest ATMs are located at Thenmathimangalam and Kadaladi villages. However, it is better to withdraw cash either at Tiruvannamalai or at a reliable town en route if you are driving to the base. 

Mobile Networks: You get good coverage of JIO and Airtel through various patches on the trek. The signal connections are intermittent.

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 Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do you need permission to climb Parvathamalai?

No, you don’t need to take any prior permission for the Parvathamalai trek. However, there is a forest check post near the Shri Pachaiyamman Temple so it is recommended to bring a valid government identity card.

Camping is not allowed in Parvathamalai. However, you will find that many trekkers and devotees spend the night inside the temple in order to witness the sunset and sunrise.

2. What are the stay options near Parvathamalai?

If you want to stay overnight you need to go to Tiruvannamalai from Parvathamalai base point for a secure and comfortable stay. You can find some good stay options at these 2 links: Link 1 and Link 2.

3. What are the timings on the Parvathamalai trek?

The forest department has posted signs that pilgrims and trekkers cannot start their journey after 3 pm. The reality, however, is that visitors start the trek at all times of the day and night. 

The best time to start your trek will be early in the morning. This will ensure you are back to the base of the Parvathamalai entrance point. It takes about 3 to 4 hours to trek to Parvathamalai from the Parvathamalai entrance point and 2-3 hours for the downhill journey

5. Is the Parvathamalai trek open throughout the year?

Yes, Parvathamalai is open on all days of the year.

6. Where is Parvathamalai located?

Parvathamalai is located in the Thiruvanamalai district in Tamil Nadu.

➤ What To Pack for Parvathamalai Trek?

  • Basic First Aid kit*
  • Identity Card
  • Cap/ Scarf/ Bandana & Sunglasses
  • Water (Minimum three litres)
  • Lemon and salt OR Electrolyte Powder/Drink (Electoral, Gatorade, Glucon D, etc.)
  • High-calorie snacks (Nuts & dry fruits, a home-baked cake, etc.)
  • Safety Pins, Rubber bands & Whistle (Useful in emergencies.)
  • Quick Dry T-shirts are preferable over cotton tees.
  • A warm layer (Pullover, sweater or jacket)
  • Poncho, only during post-monsoons
  • Plastic sheet to wrap electronic devices, only during monsoons
  • Sunscreen (SPF 50+)

❖ First aid kit:

  • Scissor
  • Band-aids (Regular & Waterproof)
  • Analgesic spray (Relispray, Volini, etc.)
  • Antiseptic Liquid (Savlon, Dettol etc.)
  • Antiseptic powder (Povidone-Iodine based powders like Cipladine, Savlon, etc.)
  • Cotton roll & Bandage
  • Crepe Bandage
  • 1-inch-wide medical tape (paper or cloth.)
  • Micropore tape
  • Tablet for motion sickness (Avomine), Acidity (Gelusil, Digene, etc.).
  • Mild pain relief tablet (Crocin)

| Note: Always consult a doctor before taking any medicine.

➤ Places to Visit After the Parvathamalai Trek

1. Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple:  Arunachaleswara Temple also called Annamalaiyar temple is dedicated to the deity Shiva. It is located at the base of Arunachala hill in the town of Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, India. Arunachaleshwara temple is one of the temples associated with the five elements, the Panchabhoota stalas, and specifically the element of fire or Agni.

Annamalaiyar Temple-Parvathamalai Trek-Indiahikes-Treks in tamilnadu

The front view of Annamalaiyar Temple. Picture by Ajay

2. Sathanur Dam: Sathanur Dam is formed by the Sathanur Reservoir, one of the major dams in Tamil Nadu. It is constructed across the Thenpennai/Pennaiyar River in Thandarampet taluk among Chennakesava Hills. The dam can be reached by road 30 km from Tiruvannamalai City. It was constructed in 1958. There is a large crocodile farm and a fish grotto nearby. Parks are maintained inside the dam for tourists to visit and the gardens have been used by the film industry.

3. Jawadhu Hills: The Jawadhu Hills (also Jawadhi Hills) is an extension of the Eastern Ghats and spread across parts of Vellore and Tiruvannamalai districts in the northern part of the state of Tamil Nadu. There are many tourist places near Jawadhu Hills, e.g. The Beeman Maduvu waterfalls, that you can visit after your trek.

➤ Trek Contribution

Trek done and documented by Ajay Vignesh
Photos provided by Ajay Vignesh
The trek was written by Ajay Vignesh and Gayathri Ranganathan