Throughout the recorded history of Tiruvannamalai, rulers and emperors viewed Arunachala and the surrounding countryside as the crown jewel of their kingdom. Compare that attitude with the current one of disrespect and commercial opportunism. We are now in the Kali Yuga and even at the most powerful seat of Lord Shiva, the ultimate ruler in the eyes of most is money.
The Samudram is an essential feature of the area as it collects water running off Arunachala during the monsoon. In rainy years the 750 acre Samudram will be full for 5-6 months. For the rest of the time the area is dry and supports a myriad selection of wildlife including mongoose, monkey colonies, foxes, and rabbits.
Arunachala Samudram, the largest water reservoir in Tiruvannamalai, until recent times was maintained perfectly and with veneration. But now the area is being quickly destroyed; the topsoil of the Samudram being removed by the truckload and sold on nearby construction areas and pretty walkways on the top of the embankment with its surrounding forest of indigenous trees, has already been mostly destroyed in preparation for a bypass road. And this area is classified a ‘protected one’. But when it comes to a quick profit, 'protected areas' get quickly and quietly re-designated.
Compare the photographs in the before and after photographs of the walkway and area surrounding the Arunachala Samudram embankment.
Samudram Embankment Before Development
Samudram Embankment After Development
Not only has the whole area been devastated in order that a bypass road can be created by joining the housing projects (to be built) at the back of the Samudram with Perubakkam Road at the Arts College on Chengham Road, but the work itself is an Epic Fail. One heavy rainy season and the whole road will be washed away. Even the labourers who worked on this project are mystified.