There is temple inside the town. From there in about 2 to 2.5 miles is Kondapalayam [கொண்டபாளையம்]. Here only, these hills are there. Before we start our journey, we worship Anjaneya to give physical mental strength.
Anjaneya statue is about 30Feet tall. We are welcomed by long and steep foot steps leading to the top of the hill.
Place is bountiful with natural habitat. We see ponds here and there. We try to climb the hill and at the entrance is Prahalada, for whom Sri Narasimha avatar took place. Though he was an asura child, he remains a witness that good people can be spotted in any community.
For the benefit of devotees, the entire foot steps are covered by shelter, making it easy for them to climb even during broad day light. In earlier times to avoid scorching heat, devotees used to climb very early morning and return quickly. Now it is possible to climb up and down any time. Big hill has 1305 steps. The Lord is atop the hill at a height of 750 Feet. Lots of monkeys are there. Perhaps, they are there because their leader Hanuman is there! These monkeys help us by taking away our belongings! Help? Yes, when we are deprived of what we are holding, we seek His help! Monkeys help us in remembering the Lord! This hill is called Ghatikachalam or Ghatikadri or Thirukkadigai [திருக்கடிகை] in Tamil. Ghatikachalam means our sins are wiped off in one ghatika, if we stay in the hills. Chalam means moving or changing; while achalam means statioanary or constant. Our body changes while atman and the Lord remain constant. Therefore, our body which is not constant even for a period of one ghatika, should not be seen but the ever constant and everlasting atman and the Lord. This is the lesson we get from this hill. In Krita yug, this hill was golden; in Treta yug, it was silvery; in Dwapara yug, it was of copper; and, now in Kali yug, it is of stone. It is also said that the Lord appeared here for Seven sages - Atri, Kashyapa, Vasishta, Jamadagni, Gautama, Bharadwaja,etc., for about a ghatika time. We are now at about 600 steps from the ground. There is a small mandapam, where we can see the Lord and the seven sages. We have to still climb another 700 steps to worship the Lord Sri Narasimha. We have to necessarily remember one great Acharya of this place. He is Swami Vadoola Srinivasa, popularly known as Swami Doddayacharya. He lived here for 65 years from 1543 to 1607, and established the temple for Sri Utsavar and renovated this temple. Today we are able to enjoy all festivals, which were all started by that noble person. His descendents are still doing great service as Acharyas in this place. We will see more about the place in due course of time. We will now see sloka 31. Sri Krishna has been telling to see chalam [body] and achalam [atman] are different and achalam is superior. That is atman is superior to body, which changes. In Tamil, we call chalippu [சலிப்பு] for boredom! This body is doing the same thing and so gets bored. If we see the unchanging atman, then this monotonous boredom will vanish. But normally, we are interested to see things changing and such changes kindle interest. Here we have to note that the changing nature of body, never changes! Our Universe is changing continuously and this nature never changes! Atman, even though never changes, is showing its superiority. By looking at atman and superior Paramatman, we look at achalam, changeless. They are able to attract us. We have so far seen that atman is everlasting, always constant and is not doing any actions [akartha]. Body is opposite of all these qualities. We are fortunate to further see the nature of achalam [atman] from Ghatikachalam. Now sloka 31:
sarira-stho ’pi kaunteya
na karoti na lipyate
"Those with the vision of eternity can see that the imperishable soul is transcendental, eternal, and beyond the modes of nature. Despite contact with the material body, O Arjuna, the soul neither does anything nor is entangled."
This atman is praised as paramatman. Here in this sloka, paramatman does not denote the Lord, but the superior [param] atman, that is jeevatman. Ayam = this, paramatma = jeevatman, sarira-stho'pi = in spite of being in this body, avyaya = everlasting or indestructible or unchanging. Anaditvan = without a beginning. That is atman is never created any time; it is existing for ever, without a beginning and end. Nirgunatvat = without the Three qualities of satvam, rajas and tamas. Nirgunam does not mean without any Gyana. It means those qualities satvam, rajas and tamas, which are considered as blemishes are not in jeevatman. Na karoti = [absence of these qualities make atman] actionless. Body only acts and atman does not act. Body has all these three qualities satvam, rajas and tamas and so acts. Because from prakruti, body is made. Satvam, rajas and tamas qualities are inherent in prakruti. Without these three qualities, we will be actionless. Satvam makes us to acquire knowledge, rajas makes us to work for earning and tamas makes us to sleep, etc. Therefore, atman without these qualities is actionless. Na lipyate = [atman is] not affected by body's nature. Body has no influence on atman, in spite of residing in the body. Body has many components, like for example it is the product of intercourse of two [male and female] bodies, it is having three - vata [air], kapam and pittham [according to ayurveda], it is made of four - consuming by drinking, licking, chewing and swallowing, etc. But on the other hand, atman is single and always constant. By visiting Ghatikachalam, we can understand this principle.