The Mystique Of
A Photo Journal By Sujit Sivanand
This Photo Journal is dedicated to
• Mrs. Vimala Sreedharan, who encouraged my visit to
Maruthwã-mala, the holy hill. Her countless visits to the
‘ashram’ at the foot of the hill have all gone without her
once trekking to the hilltop. Her faith in Narayana Guru’s
wisdom took her back to the foot of the hill each time.
• To the elderly ones who might hold the desire to trek
Maruthwã-mala, but health and other limiting circumstances
might not permit the climb up this hill.
• And, to all those inspired by Narayana Guru’s remarkable
humanistic philosophy of oneness, to who this holy hill will
remain - the unconquered mountain of mystique.
Maruthwãmala area is marked with an arrow on the map of the Southern tip if the Indian
Traditionally, realistic paintings, charcoal
sketches and sculpture were the popular
methods to create iconography.
Sree Narayana Guru’s birth in the mid-19th
century AD coincided with inventions and
development of photography as a popular
new medium for picturisation.
Maruthwãmala is the last hill on the southern tip of the Indian peninsula. Just 6 Kms from
Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin). Image sourced from Google Maps.
A hill made of matter, mind, or both?
After years of austere penance and meditation in the
breezy rock-cave atop this hill, the dawn of Absolute
consciousnesses was experienced by Narayana Guru -
saint, poet and humanist philosopher (1856~1928).
Maruthwã-mala to Narayana Guru is like Bodhgaya to
The name ‘Maruthwã-mala’ originates from the Tamil
language. In ancient times the hill was known as
‘marunthu vazhum malai’ meaning - ‘the hill where
The Last HillThe Last Hill
Indian mythology and legends attribute the hill to be a
part fallen off Sanjeevi, the mountain of medicinal
herbs, carried by Hanuman from the Himalayas to
Srilanka - medicines for healing the fatal wounds of
Lakshmana the brother of Rama, the hero of the
ancient Indian epic Ramayana.
Maruthwã-mala has been the spiritual abode
of the saints and seekers of Truth from
legendary to near recent times.
The hill is at the southern tip of the Indian
peninsula, surrounded by the Bay of Bengal
on the east, the Indian Ocean on the south
and the Arabian sea on the west.
The Last HillThe Last Hill
Maruthwãmala is the last hill on the southern tip of the Indian peninsula. Just 6 KM from
Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin).
On the approach road to the foot of Maruthwãmala. We see buildings at various levels on the
lower hillsides . These appear to be temples.
Maruthwãmala hill has a few buildings, including small shrines, on the lower levels.
Buildings and temples at various levels on the lower hillsides of Maruthwãmala. The trekking
trails are on the western and southern sides of the hill.
A close-up shot of buildings and temples at various levels on the lower hillsides of
A wandering mendicant. We initially met him at the foot of the hill and later on the peak. On
his first visit to destination Marutwa-mala, as one of the four holy hills of the South.
Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham’s Ashram at the foot of Maruthwãmala.
Library at Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham’s Ashram at the foot of the hill.
Where the uphill trek begins. A lady drawing water from the well.