There are certain places that we really want to go to but they do not materialise easily. On the other hand, there are certain journeys that we are destined to undertake and these are undertaken without much effort.
Travelling to Kailash is one journey that most of us secretly nurture in our hearts. To reach this place one should be really destined. Many people believe that until there is a call from Lord Shiva, you cannot visit him up there. Apart from this the journey to Kailash is not possible to be taken easily by all, as the expenses are deemed to burn a hole in your pockets.
PC: Ondřej Žváček
Those who cannot travel to Kailash and get a darshan of Shiva, can get the same amount of satisfaction by visiting Coimbatore down south and it is also easy on the pockets as well. Southern Kailash is situated at an altitude of 1000 m above sea level. There is a belief that one who treks up this hill to see Lord Shiva, gets the same satisfaction of visiting Mount Kailash.
As per The Puranas, Parasakhti incarnated herself as Devi Kanyakumari to become the wife of Lord Shiva. She took an oath to marry him within a particular period of time and decided that if it did not happen, she would end her life and start a penance to impress Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva who was satisfied with her penance, decided to get married to her and started his journey towards the south. There were many who were against this wedding and along with the villagers many of them together found a way to stop the wedding.
The villagers lit a mount of camphor to create an illusionary sunrise to misguide lord Shiva. Thinking that the sun has risen and the auspicious time has come to an end Shiva feels sad and decides to return. On his way back, in order to take rest he spends time at the Velliangiri mountain.
This is how it got its name Southern Kailash or Thenkalayam. The idol of Shiva here is believed to be a self manifested one. Apart from Shiva there is also a shrine dedicated to Devi Kanyakumari.
One has to cross the forest range and seven hills to reach the top of the hill to have a glimpse of the self manifested lord Shiva, which is situated 6000 ft above sea level.
One has to be prepared with carrying enough food and water to trek around the forest range and mountains, as each mountain has its own specialties. They are made of bricks and heavy cold breeze blows across these mountain ranges.
One has to climb the steps that are carved out on the steep mountains, which are dangerous and create fear in a person. This fear is overcome through the devotion towards the lord and one forgets the steep climb.
One should be able to travel through the forest range and the strong winds to get a glimpse of lord Shiva. One has to go through an arch formed by two huge rocks and innumerable tridents to reach the destination.
The Shiva lingam is situated inside a small cave amidst a lot of small rocks. Those who encountered all the difficulties in reaching the destination to have a glimpse of the lord say that one cannot express the happiness after reaching the summit; one cannot find such happiness elsewhere.
One can reach the summit provided one is able to withstand the strong blowing winds, the steep climb and the freezing cold and unpredictable climatic conditions. Many a times people decide to return as the trekking becomes difficult. There is no entry for women in the age group of 12 to 45 years.