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Blessings of Arunachala: A Serialized Travelogue - Part 4 of 12

Parag is a software developer turned writer who loves travel, the open sky, animals, books, and writing.

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Pyramid Valley

The twelve-hour sleep did its magic. I woke up the next day feeling refreshed and full of energy to explore the beautiful Pyramid Valley campus.

The image below shows my brave car parked near the room at Pyramid Valley.

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Pyramid Valley -- located off Kanakpura Rd, Bangalore -- is set in a nature-filled 28-acre campus. Along with accommodation & food, they also have a 100-feet high meditation pyramid, a meditation lab, a bookshop, and a large garden with lots of mini-meditation spots. These meditation spots comprise of a chair placed under a small metal pyramid shade. The mini-meditation spots are placed mostly near the pyramid and in the garden.

The pyramid itself has a huge floor space where you can meditate sitting on a chair or on the ground, if that’s what you prefer. At the center of this space is an elevated cylindrical structure called the King’s Chamber. It has a spiral stairway leading to the top. The staircase leads to a gallery with meditation cushions. The King’s Chamber is also open for meditation.

I’ve heard several accounts from people who loved to sit in the King’s Chamber because it is elevated at a certain height where the energy of the pyramid is said to be most concentrated. However, I had a different experience. The problem with the King’s Chamber is that the cylindrical base on which it stands is such that the structure shakes a bit when someone walks up or down the stairs. It’s distracting although not dangerous. Another problem is that the gallery structure at the top is quite small. So when someone coughs, it resounds in the entire gallery. Interestingly, when one person coughs, they tend to start a chain reaction and suddenly at least half the people are coughing at regular intervals. The shaking and coughing make “sitting in peace” a rather difficult endeavor in the King’s Chamber.

Meditating on the floor below was better. However, my favorite location was sitting under one of the many mini pyramid-shaped shades made of metal. They had very clear and calming energy under them, which made it a real joy to sit there in the evenings, especially after the weather had cooled down.

Mini-meditation spot under a metal pyramid shaped shade (see extreme left)

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Another feature of Pyramid Valley is a meditation lab where they have a few detox treatments and lab tests to check your brain’s calmness/focus, etc. I tried the ionic foot detoxification treatment. It consisted of a tub filled with plain water and some equipment to give a positive charge to the hydrogen in water. This positive charge, in theory, attracts negatively charged toxins in the body—especially heavy metals. It is supposed to pull the toxins out of your body. Sometimes, the water also changes color.

In my case, it changed to green, which according to the technician indicated bile-related problems/toxins. I did this detox treatment only once so I can’t comment on the efficacy of the process or the accuracy of the color marker, but I do have digestive issues so there might be some truth to the color indicators. The overall session was relaxing and pleasant.

After the foot detox, I did two lab tests. The first was a brainwave test that measured the dominant frequency of the brain and the other was an aura/meridian test that gives indications about the state of your chakras and energy meridians. Once again, it’s difficult for me to comment on the accuracy of the results but the meridian test showed an aberration in the small intestine—indicative of digestive issues which I do have.

I did these tests mostly out of curiosity and for fun and was satisfied on both those counts.

Overall, I had a restful stay at Pyramid Valley for two days, after which I was ready to leave for Tiruvannamalai.

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On My Way to Tiruvannamalai

I left Pyramid Valley at 10:30 AM after having a good breakfast and a short visit to the bookstore. Tiruvannamalai was 236 Kilometres was there -- about five and a half hours’ drive.

The road from Pyramid Valley to Hosur was very busy, however, the traffic eased down after I passed Hosur. Driving in Tamil Nadu, on the main highways, especially till Krishnagiri, was a pleasure. The roads were of excellent quality and people drove in a fairly disciplined way.

My first pit-stop was at Sri Krishna Inn in Shoolagiri, TN, a little after 1:00 PM for lunch. Sri Krishna Inn was a neat restaurant located in a mall sort of complex with McDonald’s, CCD, a tea shop, and a T-shirt factory outlet, among others. Not wanting to risk spicy food, I had a plate of Curd Rice followed by Filter Coffee.

Stepping out into the hot afternoon sun after lunch gave me quite a shock. For a moment, I felt like parking my car in a shaded spot to take a nap. But the road beckoned and I proceeded towards Tiruvannamalai.

About 30 minutes later, I passed Krishnagiri, which is famous for granite quarries. It also has a forest and possibly a wildlife sanctuary. Soon after that, I heard the map lady speak up after a long time.

“Take left,” the map lady instructed me.

But there was no left turn. I had just passed a left turn about a hundred meters back when she spoke up. I wasn’t sure if she meant the previous left or a left-turn that would appear soon.

Normally the map lady says “Take left in x meters,” but this time it was just “Take left.”

The left turn did not come, and I think the map lady decided in her wise algorithmic brain, that she would get me to take the next available u-turn on the highway and put me back on track. And so she gleefully told me to “continue straight,” till that u-turn came.

After the u-turn, she directed me to a deserted service lane instead of the highway. I tried to get on the highway, but she insisted that I was wrong and had me take the service road instead.

Something did not feel right. The road looked like it hadn’t been used in a long time. To my left was a patch of land densely packed with trees, and to my right was the highway. I’m not sure if what I saw on my left was forest land or just a large patch of land with dense vegetation. From the car, it felt like forest land.

© 2021 Parag Shah 333

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