Sathuragiri or Chathuragiri Hills/Malai (Tamil for Hill) is situated 13-15 kms from Vathirairuppu (Watrap) near Srivilliputhur in Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu, India. Sathuragiri is the Abode of God and is also the abode of thousands of Siddhas including Agastiyar, Gorakkar, Satta Muni, Roma Devar and Sundranandar. It is believed that the Siddhas still worship Lord Shiva from Sathuragiri. So the hills are also known as Sivan Malai.
Sathuragiri Meaning:- The divine place Sathuragiri is surrounded by four hills, hence its name Sathuragiri or Chathuragiri. It is said that the name Sathuragiri is derived from the Sanskrit word Chathur meaning FOUR (4) (there are 4 Vedas and each one is represented by a hill) and the second part of the name, Giri meaning Hill. So it can be literally taken as a place where all four Vedas meet and merge into one. This is mentioned in Siva Puranam. The name also carries another meaning where the hills surrounding the place are in the shape of a Chathuram (Tamil for square) so the name Sathuragiri. It is also called Mahalingagiri, Menugiri/Merugiri, Kailasagiri, Indiragiri, Sarvalogagiri, Suriyagiri, Brahmagiri, Siddhagiri, Yamagiri/Yemagiri, Sivagiri, Sakthigiri, Udayagiri, Sanjivigiri/Sathuragiri.
Where is Sathuragiri? Sathuragiri is situated in Virudhunagar district in Tamil Nadu, India. Sathuragiri falls under the Western Ghat ranges. To reach Sathuragiri, pilgrims will have to reach Thaanipaarai via Vathrairuppu. Thaanipaarai is situated at the foothill of the mountains that leads to Sathuragiri hills. Vathrairuppu is Thaanipaarai's closest town and the distance between the two is between 8-10 kms. The nearest Railway Station is located at Srivilliputhur. Madurai and Tenkasi are the other railway stations located close to Sathuragiri. Pilgrims travelling by air will have to reach Madurai, Tamilnadu and continue their travel by road.
How to Reach Sathuragiri? Pilgrims coming from north of Madurai can either reach Srivilliputhur or Krishnan Kovil Bus Stop before Srivilliputhur (via Madurai -> Thirumangalam -> Srivilliputhur). Pilgrims travelling from south of Madurai can reach Srivilliputhur (via Nagercoil -> Tirunelveli -> Rajapalayam -> Srivilliputhur). From Srivilliputhur travel to Vathrairuppu. Lots of buses are available at Srivillliputhur to Vathrairuppu. From Vathrairuppu proceed to Thaanipaarai. Couple of passenger mini buses are available in the morning and evening. Auto Rickshaws are available 24/7. They charge between Rs. 60-80. From Thaanipaarai pilgrims will have to walk their way up to Sathuragiri hills. Normally first timers take 6 to 8 hours to reach the top and experienced climbers can reach the top within 4 to 5 hours. Elderly and physically disabled can hire dolis (human carriers) to carry them to Sathuragiri. The charge will be somewhere between 1500 - 2500 Rs per pilgrim.
Note: Pilgrims can also come to Sathuragiri Hills from Theni and other towns situated around the Hills. If you are not experienced in any of these routes or not led by an experienced guide, you are requested to avoid these routes. Because it is quite easy to get lost as not many people use these routes. So pilgrims are advised to stick to the Thaanipaarai route as it is quite easy (compared to others) and even on lean days, the path is used often by the Adivasis to carry goods. So it would be easy to find humans using the path quite often say every 10-20 minutes.