The two photos directly below this paragraph clearly depicts where on the ashram grounds the Ashram Map, shown above, is located. The first photo of the main entrance was taken just outside the gate while the second photo is just inside and slightly to the right of the main gate --- in front of and center-right of the Illupai Tree. The map itself stands on the ashram grounds at the You Are Here designation. Please be reminded that the map is of the contemporary or current ashram as it is now. During my first two visits the ashram grounds were much more sparse and many of the buildings that now stand were not even there, the New Hall for example. Regarding the two smaller side-by-side photos below, the one on the left is taken toward the main gate straight out of the ashram and into the street while the photo on the right shows the view entering the ashram directly from the main gate. Both lower photos were taken circa 2000. Notice how even then the ashram grounds seemed more sparse. Notice too, that the tree does not have the grass or blocks circled around it as in the upper photo.
It is recorded that Ramana arrived in Tiruvannamalai on the 1st of September, 1896. During the first three years following his arrival Ramana stayed in a variety of temples and caves in and around the greater Tiruvannamalai area. Eventually he sought out a cave on the holy mountain Arunachala, taking up residence in Virupaksa Cave, staying sixteen years (1899-1916). He moved from Virupaksa Cave to Skandasramam Cave, a little higher up the hill in 1916 staying through 1922.
In 1922 Ramana took up residency at his newly constructed ashram, shown in the first picture on the left, above, which at the time was not much more than a single room thatched mud and stick hut.
Construction of what has come to be called the Old Hall, shown in the center picture above, was started in 1922 and done by 1928. The foundation for the much larger and more ornate New Hall, the photo on the far right, began January 25, 1945 with the cornerstone laid in presence of the Bhagavan on June 25th. By February 1949, most of the construction was completed and consecration was set for March 17, 1949. By March 17th, because of his continuing illness, Ramana was too weak to turn the lock, requiring assistance to do so.
The Ramana Ashram is built at the foot of the Holy Hill Arunachala just below the caves Ramana lived in for so long. The top reason Arunachala is considered to be so sacred and the holiest of the holy is because geologically-speaking the hill itself dates back into ancient, ancient times, long before man ever tread foot on the surface of the Earth. How the early cultures of India ever determined such a thing before geological proof is not known. However, given some minor wiggle room, such is the truth.
As it stands today, the land that currently comprises the Indian sub-continent wherein Arunachala lays was, millions and millions of years ago, located well south of the equator, comprising part of a much larger land mass called Pangaea. With the break-up and shifting of the land masses due to what has come to be called plate tectonics, that which was to become India began to move north dragging a proto-Arunachala with it. The Indian land mass eventually crossed north of the equator slamming into the more stable Eurasian land mass, creating and shoving up the Himalayas. The thing is, all the time the Indian sub-continent moved north, with weathering and all over the millions of years, some original remnants of proto-Arunachala survived, leaving us with the mountain and holy hill we have today --- in a sense making the foothills and the land the ashram is built on imbued with a deep and sacred meaning.
(please click image)
Not everybody that count themselves as followers, advocates, or devotees, or who find themselves interested in the history, background, and accomplishments of the Bhagavan Sri Ramana, spiritually or otherwise, appreciate the sacredness of the ashram and the grounds within which it stands. Nor do they know, possibly because of that sacredness, that the Ramana Ashram grounds was once the focal point and major destination for one of the most fascinating aspects to ever unfold. That "aspect" was multifold in behavior in that it flowed within the singularity of the grounds of the ashram and recorded for having done so by two separate sources and two separate authors. The problem arises because, even though they are by separate authors in separate books writing about separate incidents, they are talking about the exact same person as well as the exact same time, place, and time period at the ashram with Sri Ramana. In the first incident as it is written, Ramana saw the boy as a boy, in the second as it is written, again, at the same time and place, he saw the boy as a man. See:
TIME TRAVEL: MEETING YOURSELF
DAY AND NIGHT VIEWS OF THE RAMANA ASHRAM
PICTORIAL TOUR OF THE RAMANA ASHRAM
TRAVEL TIPS TO THE RAMANA ASHRAM
BHAGAVAN SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI
VISITING THE RAMANA ASHRAM
THE CODE MAKER, THE ZEN MAKER
SHANGRI-LA, SHAMBHALA, GYANGANJ, BUDDHISM AND ZEN
RETURN TO THE MONASTERY
ON THE RAZOR'S
As to the subject of donations, for those of you who may be interested in doing so as it applies to the gratefulness of my works, I invariably suggest any funds be directed toward THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and/or THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.
The lower portion of the graphic below shows the location of the India landmass 70 million years ago --- 5 million years before the demise of the dinosaurs. The middle shows the location of the same landmass 20 million years later, i.e, 50 million years ago, having moved north and crossed into and partway through the equator. The top of the graphic depicts India's present location having connected fully into the Eurasian continental land mass. As you can see, throughout all those million of years that the sub-continent moved north it stayed virtually intact and unchanged --- all the while carrying the mountain range that contained that which would eventually come to be called Arunachala, except for typical wear and tear that might occur through normal weather and geologic processes, along with it.
PANGAEA SUPER-CONTINENT CIRCA 250 MILLION YEARS AGO
AND NOW THIS:
Sri Ramana was of the opinion that on the other side of the world, corresponding directly opposite to the location of the Holy mount of Arunachala was an antipode of sorts, just like the North Pole is directly opposite of the South Pole. At that location Ramana inferred there was an Arunachala equivalent. Many people were of the opinion that antipode was Machu Picchu. However, such was not the case. The direct opposite coordinates of Arunachala on the other side of the world is not Machu Picchu, but hundreds and hundreds of miles west of the coast of Peru in the Pacific. Nothing of any consequence has been shown to be there. As for the direct opposite coordinates of Machu Picchu they are along the Cambodian Vietnam border in South Vietnam.
Relative to the majority of humankind and all that there is beyond our small globe, the Earth is not much more than a tiny speck floating in a vast and nearly unending universe.
It could be that on the much larger scale of the universe, as the Earth sweeps around the Sun it's yearly path there may be a point at a certain time on a certain day at a certain time of the year that a direct line through Arunachala and into space toward both sides of the galaxy that there may be in fact a major alignment of cosmic significance.
Returning to the smaller scale you can find out for yourself where any exact opposite of any given location on Earth is by going to the antipode page link below:
ANTIPODE MAP (AKA TUNNEL MAP)
ARUNACHALA AND MACHU PICCHU