Here the mountain is very sacred and root for the Town and the Temple. The mountain is the form of 'Lord Shiva' and people will make 'Pradhakshina' (rounding the hill). The distance is 13 kms. There is a road around the mountain for doing the Pradhakshina.
Importance of the Mountain
It is beleived that so many saints and 'Siddhas' are living in the mountain which we cannot see them. Doing 'Pradhakshina' is not only important for spiritual but also good for health.
History about Mountain
The full history of the Mountain is described in the Book called 'Arunachala Puranam' by 'Gowthama Maharashi' to Goddess Parvathi ,which is available in the temple office and also in the 'Sri Ramanashramam'.
When the dispute come between Lord Vishnu and Lord Brhamma that who is superior, Lord Shiva grown as a big fire between them and ask them to find the top and bottom of the fire. Both of them failed and worshiped Lord shiva and asked him to cool down. Then lord shiva became to the form of 'Mountain'.
There are lot of small temples around the mountain. The 'Ashtadikh-Palakars'(Lords of eight sides of the world) are worshiping from their sides. There are eight olden temples on the eight sides of the mountain. The following are the temples worshiped by the eight devas.
On Full Moon Days (Pournami)
On full moon days doing Pradhakshina is very auspicious and very important.Now every month about five Lakh people are doing Pradhakshina. Since Lord Arunachaleswara is being 'Full' and have all wealth and health doing Pradhakshina on full moon day is important.
Encroachments on the Mountain
The Mountain is beleived to be sacred and lakhs of people doing Pradhakshina on full moon days and also on other days. But due to the un-controlled Population growth and also due to the political influence people have started migrated to live on the Mountain. They started building huts on the mountain by not giving respect to the faith of the people and also giving problems to the environment. Half of the encrochers are in the form of 'Sadhus'. These people are acting as Sadhus are involving in illegal activities.
According to the Judgement given during early 1940's by the British Government, the Eastern side of the Mountain belongs to the Temple and the rest belongs to the Forest Department. This Judgement is followed till now. So the Temple authorities has to check the encroachment.
Since the Temple is managed by the State Government, the temple authorities are not taking responsilibility to check the public to live on the mountain. The encroachers also have the political influence.
If the way of encroachment on the Mountain is not checked by temple
authorities or the Govt. then it is not only irrespecting Lord, not giving
due respect to faith of people and dangerous to the environment.