Girivalam shrines – around Sona theertham
Sona Theertham is a sacred tank of water situated on the outer girivalam path. It is located in a very pictoresque spot on the border of the innerpath forest and thus has an abundance of lovely old trees all around. The theertham has two Nandi statues flagging the entrance steps which lead down to it and also a cute little Ganesh shrine with a smiling sadhu priest who looks like a sweet chimpanzee. This seems to be quite an idyllic place and often romantic couples come to sit here and enjoy the view.
On the opposite side there is a shrine to the Divine Mother under the title of Muthu Mariamman, a tamil name for goddess Parvathi. Of recent years this little shrine has become quite popular and on Sundays there is quite a crowd of devotees here especially vehicle owners who like to get their cars and trucks blessed with a little puja involving lemons and camphor flame.
A few metres after Sona Theertham on the same side is another pond called Krishna theertham due to the little Krishna shrine which is found just in front of it. This pond has fallen into a state of disuse and needs to be cleaned up ideally, which would make it another good clean natural source of water for the animals and birds which flock here to drink the water and enjoy the cool shade from the trees.
The remarkable feature about this spot is that even on a hot summer day it is always especially cool around here, probably due to the trees and also due to the plentiful water sources which are in concentration here. When one drives in here from elsewhere, one can feel the perceptible drop in temperature as soon as one enters the vicinity and due to this, often passersby stop here and relax to get relief from the summer heat.