Arunachala and The Pradakshina Man!

I used to pride myself that I am a spiritualist without being religious or ritualistic. But the place of Arunachala seems to draw me towards itself for a strange unknown reason. It is a different place, different language, a different set of people. I don’t understand a lot of the language that is spoken around. But there is an intense pull that drags me to go there again and again! I went to Arunachala again this weekend, fourth time in the last four months. Its not poornima (full moon!) so the crowds are less, almost zero.

I, with another colleague, landed in arunachala and decided to do the Pradakshina (Parikrama!) around the hill in the night. And we were blessed to have the company of an outstanding individual, due to divine providence. A simple person called Mr. Uday Kumar, a tailor on the Girivalam route – near Adi Annamalai temple. He has been doing the pradakshina around Arunachala hill for the last 24 YEARS, EACH AND EVERY SINGLE DAY, WITHOUT FAIL. A WALK OF 14KMS EVERY NIGHT! So much so that he is locally fondly called “The Pradakshina Man!” I mentally fell at his feet when I heard that!

It was an honor doing girivalam with him – a simple man with simple stories about the grace of arunachala. A person who is not in orange robes, he is the not the usual stereotype. When he started speaking, it was impossible for me to understand his Tamil (given that my knowledge of Tamil is from the movies!). But the emotion could not be missed, so the words started sinking in and strangely became comprehensible. A man of such great record, of 24 years and such humble stories of a person who got a job, who got blessed with good health and more. A man of such great compassion, that for 7 days he walked two times around the hill, instead of his regular one time, for someone else’s health – when the man who was ill was just someone whom he met like I did meet him yesterday.

I could have written a travelogue of my trip but that seems useless now. A Bachelor of Arts in Tamil, umarried and with a voice of divinity, it was really a different experience walking around the hill with Mr. Uday Kumar – listening to his pleasantly sudden outbursts of hymns to the hill Arunachala and in the numerous temples around it. For instance, standing in front of the 10000 Shiv Lingas in the Nityananda Swami Ashram at 12’o clock in the night, when all around you is silence and the breeze from the hill, listening to his singing the Shiva Panchakshari Strotram was a shower of bliss on me. His greetings of familiarity to the numerous sadhus on the way, their playful requests for a specific song, to a specific diety – the 6Kms of the 14Kms I walked with him was an experience I would probably cherish for a life time.

In the morning, I did walk up to Virupaksha cave and sat quietly. I went to Ramana Ashram too and did drive around the hill again in my car in the morning. But one snapshot stuck in my mind – Sitting in his 1.5 Rooms shack, that doubles up as a house and tailor shop sipping on a tea made by his neighbor who runs a tea-stall suddenly made me feel like a fool. Is this not the bliss of feeling a blessing? I was lost in thought – “Having how much is having too much? And what exactly does a man need to be happy?”

32 comments so far

  1. Raaj on

    Am blessed to read about such a soul. Should have clicked his snap as well

  2. Mitra on

    Would click his picture next time I meet him and post it here with his permission.

  3. Pramod on

    Nice one .. I read it twice

  4. LK on

    Take a look at and be inspired.

    with regards,

  5. JVC on

    I have got opportunities to interact and do girivalam with him many times. He is good Sanskrit scholar and devotional singer. He is karma yogi , is earning very little by doing tailoring and sharing his income with near by poor children to sanyasis. Meeting such souls are great during the girivalam.

  6. Madhan K on

    I Know The Person*

  7. Govindasamy on

    I know that Guy since last six Years… Named Udayakumar, From Adiannamalai.. I met Him Before Two days on Girivalam Road. He Told me About this site, He knows the site in Nearly last year Deepam Festivel from a bangalore friend, He is worked at Airport. But This Website Created on 2008. I am Happy For You….

    We want him Blessings….
    Thank You……

  8. Govindasamy on

    Very Proud To Be Mithra Sir…..
    He(Pradakshina Man) Want to Contact Your’s…
    His Mobile Number: 09442414461

  9. jayaveeriah on

    I met Mr.Udhay kumar many times. I could remember the first meeting in 2006 at midnight , introduced by a stranger who was accompanying me during my 1st girivalam. I was discussing with him at Adi Annamalai about Soundariya lahari with my very very little knowledge, where as he was having very sound knowledge about soundarya lahari and explained me with full meanings., of course he must be knowing all stanzas.

    During one of my visits , after few years , I had opportunity to hear the SHIVASTAKAM and he was narrating how Ravan sung the Shivastakam in commandable way. It was very nice experience hearing the song with his voice during the midnight that too with cool breeze enjoying a black tea at Adi Annamalai.

    Whenever you get opportunity to meet him and request him to sing for you ( you just name it )..Definitely you will have a very nice experience. Don’t forget to carry some eatables ( like fruits,biscuits etc) , which he will distribute to poor and needy children and Sanyasis near by.

    Now and then I am utilizing his valuable time to help me to do annadhanam during lean days to sanyasis through him.

    The way he is carrying out girivalam daily for last 30 + years, I feel he is like Sri SONACHALA DEVAR of last century, Who had done girivalam continuously for sixty years and attained god’s grace and migrated to Thiruporur on special assignment as per God’s wish.

    Let us have the grace of Lord Arunachala by visiting these kind of devotees. His Phone no : +919585695912 .., try to locate him or chase him when you are at giri valam..

  10. JVC on

    Dear Mr.Mitra

    Mr.Udaikuamr is very eager to meet you .Please contact him over phone:+919585695912..

    • Siva on


      We did the Girivalam last Thursday, Oct 30. We were fortunate to meet Mr. Uday Kumar (Girivalam Man!) on our trip and accompanied him to his home and work place Tulasi Tailors. We took pictures as well. You can see him on the facebook page. He is the first person from the left.

      • Siva on
  11. suresh m on

    recently I met him and he is a simple man and I got positive thought from him to my life ……

  12. M.SURESH on

    last pournami I went thiruvannamalai for grivalam along with him and one of my fried …it was wonderful experience with him and unforgotten this movement


    I was met just two days ago He is a not ordinary man he is a greatest God shiva Blessed Special Great But very simply person God Not coming lively But Come As like that Mr. Udhaya brother I am now god shiva Blessed Person via udhaya annan.

    God Shiv is very great Om nama shivaya

  14. Koteswar on

    Mr Udayakumar is god child of Thiruvannamalai.he has been doing girivam from last 33 years each and every single day with out missing. It is really because of Arunachala blessing only.I got a chance to do inner girivalam with him. It was great experience doing girivalam with him. Just wanted to share 3 experiences here.
    1. First we reached one place can’t recall that place name there we saw one lotus flower in the small pond it was very good scenary but there was only one flower Mr udayakumar wanted that flower but he don’t want to pluck it as there was only one after few meters walking from that spot for our surprise one sadhu was plucking lotus flowers and asked us take flowers it was really Arunachala miracle.
    2. Mr Udayakumar said to me that he is eager to see deers for our surprise after 50 meters walk we came across group of deers.
    3. It was sunny day and we did not carry much water after finished half of journey we have shortage of water there is no way to get water in between the forest. I am totally dehydrated I can’t move even a step ahead. I requested Mr Udayakumar please pray Arunachala for water. He prayed for the water but nothing turned out. He was singing about Arunachala and restored my energy and would able to manage walking 500 meters then both were upset for no response from Arunachala. This time he prayed Amma and walked few steps ahead. Mr Udayakumar is durga upasaka for our surprise there we saw one Shepherd we requesArunachalar water graciously he shared some water with us. That was really Arunachala leela. Nobody can understand completely Arunachala leela in fact Arunachala did great help in removing my karma and amma helped me in taking care of my worldly deeds.
    Shatha koti pranamams to Arunachala.

    • Senthil Kumar on

      Mr.Udhaya Kumar, My best friend, I usually called him as Swamiji. We are linked at the same point for the abundant love with lord Shiva the Almighty. I would like to share about him bit more hence I have doing girivalam along with him every month. You will be surprised after reading the below information hence this is a world record by his work in arunachala.

      Title : Arunai udhaya Kumar – The girivala nayagan / Pradakshina Man

      With the grace of lord arunachala the Shiva, I got a opportunity to meet my friend Mr.Udhayakumar in 2011 one fine night during girivalam in thiruvannamalai. I was wondering his pradakshina & having great love with lord Shiva. I just want to share some information’s about this divine soul. He owns a tailoring shop names Sri Thulasi tailors at Adi annamalai to lead his life and he is a bachelor. He is a pradakshina man and he started 01 pradakshina per day (16 km) in night time from the year of 1985, and he never missed girivalam any day till now even in worse climatic conditions. During his girivalam, he sings devotional songs & Sanskrit mantras with his divine voice.He started the girivalam when he was 27 years old and continuing his girivalam for the last 31 years till now and complete 58 years in last may’15.
      And he wants to continue this till his life time and I feel proud and blessed to meet this great soul in my life. —- om nama shivaya, Shivaya nama, Arunachala shiva, om namo nandheswara

      • Senthilkumar on

        Dear all,
        A slight correction girivalam total distance 14 km not 16km which my friend come across daily.

  15. Durai DK on

    I know the swamy G from my childhood onwards. Still he is continous girivalam each and every day evan natural interruption. He can able to speak almost five language. He can resolved all my difficult issues in my life still I pray to god give good healthy and peace of mind to him entire life he is a simple man. A tailor in tiruvannmalai he is another name of prathakman and girivala nayagan provided by USA persons.

  16. Senthilkumar on

    Mr.UDHAYA KUMAR – PRADHKSHINA MAN @ Arunachalam doing girivalam of 14 km daily without fail at any natural climatic conditions.

    On 25.05.2016 he turns to 59 years old with 31 years of arunachalam pradhasina.

    அருணகிரி நினைக்க முக்தி

    அருணாச்சலம் வாழ் உதயகுமார் நினைக்க பக்தி


    தா.செந்தில் குமார்

  17. sivasundar on



    Met Mr. Udaya Kumar Girivalam Sir during Giri Parikrama today feeling blessed.

    • M.Udhayakumar on

      Arunachala Anugraham,Aayushmaan Bhava.,,,,be free,be happy. ,,,,,

  19. アロエ育毛液 効き目 on


    • Durai on

      Thanks you sir Please send your in English command

  20. NatarajanSumathy, Adiannamalai on

    Firstly Namaskar to Thulasi Tailar Shiva (Prathakshan Man) we want to his blessing. Because he is unbeatable Girivala prathakshan person. I am also his Native place. So We are all proude to say. Thank you, SivayaNama.

    • M.udhayakumar on

      அருணாசலம் வாழி!அன்பர்களும் வாழி!!

  21. Raja on

    I meet Swamy in thiruvannamalai unfortunately but I’m so inspirations…I can’t believe udhyakumar Swamy 32 years pradakshinam..and so beautiful voice sing arunachalam songs so nice..I can’t explain no more word….I’m heartily blessings god only to meet Swamy….

  22. M.udhayakumar on

    ஆதி அந்தம் இல்லா ஜோதி ஸ்வரூபனே!அம்மையே அப்பனே அருமறை நாதனே!ஆதாரமே உந்தன் பாதார விந்தமே.,,,,,(உதயம்)

  23. M.udhayakumar, on

    இன்று அருணாசலத்தில் பௌர்ணமி கிரிவலம்.

  24. M.udhayakumar, on

    இன்று அருணாசலத்தில பௌர்ணமி கிரிவலம் வருக.உண்ணாமுலையம்மன் சமேத அண்ணாமலையாரை வணங்கி வலம் வந்து வளம் பல பெருக.

  25. m.udhayalumar on

    கார்த்திகை தீப ப்ரம்மோற்சவத்தின் துவஜாரோஹனம் 23/11/2017,அனைவரும் வருக!அருணாசலேஸ்வரர் அருள் பெருக!!

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