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Adiyogi | The First Yogi | The Originator of Yoga



Yoga Yoga Yogeshwaraya
Bhuta Bhuta Bhuteshwaraya
Kala Kala Kaleshwaraya
Shiva Shiva Sarveshwaraya
Shambho Shambho Mahadevaya

Adiyogi, foothill of Velliangiri, outskirts of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Our trip to Ooty – Coonoor – Isha (near Coimbatore) was planned in such a manner that on Kartik Poornima we were at Isha Yoga Centre; to experience the powerful energies of full moon along with those of Dhyanalinga, Linga Bhairavi or Devi & Adiyogi.

We had one and a half day with us and it was our very first visit there. Since it was Kartik Poornima there some rituals & offerings which are done during such auspicious occasions. With so many things to do and timings of each sacrosanct, it took a bit of working to freeze our itinerary there.

Yogeshweshvaraya, Mahadevaya

Though I wished to photograph Adiyogi during sunrise, rainy skies, sunset, full moon light….. phew; eventually I did best with whatever time I could manage there.

Trayambakaya, Tripurantakaya …… The magnetic Adiyogi

The Adiyogi premises is a good 20 mins walk (~2 kms) from the residential stay and this played an important role in our visits to it. Day 1 (half day) left us with no time to visit Adiyogi though on Day 2, the day of full moon, we visited it twice; during the day as well as night.

The interesting Sarpa Vasal (snake gate) to Isha Yoga Centre from the Adiyogi premises

The walk to the complex is nice. The entire pathway is lined with trees and kiosks selling Isha products or eateries. You are bound to find devotees as well as tourists walking up & down through out the day. Many can be seen doing their Adiyogi Parikrama or Pradakshina. You can always do the Parikrama, make offerings and sit in meditation at the Yogeshwar Linga. The Parikrama has its guidelines which need to be followed and the route is as shared below:

Adiyogi Pradakshina

The pathway lined with fragrant Indian Cork Tree

We had a couple of rain spell early in the morning and the weather still looked rain ready. I was a little apprehensive but then we could see the sun trying to peak out.

Panoramic view of the landscape at the Adiyogi premises

After a light bite at Pepper Vine Eatery we proceeded towards Adiyogi.  The vistas were beautiful all around the scenic path with birds flitting in and out of Indian cork tree*, swarms of dragon flies in the air, widespread palm plantation and Velliangiri hills in the backdrop. The mist created a heavenly feel to the surrounding.

The Indian Cork Tree and the nectar loving birds are a regular sight there

The first glimpse the magnificent Adiyogi (while walking from the Isha Yoga Centre)

The Adiyogi bust statue, designed by Sadhguru (Jaggi Vasudeva) is made of steel and is 112 feet in height. The height is apparently based on two interesting aspects; 112 possible ways of achieving moksha as per yogic scriptures and 112 chakras of human body. Adiyogi statue is recognized by the Guinness World Records as the “Largest Bust Sculpture” in the world.

Trikagni, Kalaya, Kalagnirudraya

The Yogeshwara Linga is right in front of the bust statue. Lord Shiva is also known as Adiyogi, the first yogi or originator of yoga. It is also known as Dakshinamurthy (south facing Adiyogi) and Adiguru (first Guru).

Neelkanthaya, Mrityunjaya (Adiyogi with the Yogeshwar Linga in front)

Adiyogi with the Yogeshwar Linga in front (night view)

We spent some good time at the Adiyogi complex soaking in the misty nature, open space and of course the magnificent bust statue of Shiva. The vivacity of the place surrounds you and you feel peaceful, blessed and in awe of the source of this energy.

The blissful nature all around

On our way back to Isha Yoga Centre we opted for a bullock cart ride which was sheer fun. Slow and relaxing, it gave us an opportunity to sit back and enjoy the path that led us to Adiyogi.

We were dropped at the entrance, near the Moondraam Pirai Eatery** restaurant. We had a scrumptious lunch here. When am in South India my diet gets highly restricted. I love south Indian bites but I guess I cannot savor the full meals as such. I was happy with idli, podi uttapam and occasional ordering of vadas. 

From the bullock cart stand

After a hearty lunch we were back to our room for some rest before we stepped out for the rest of the day.

Before leaving the statue compound we went to the Isha Nursery there. There were pretty butterflies flitting around and Isha volunteers tending to saplings.

Isha Nursery

We came across a Tulsi (Holy Basil) plant which had huge florets unlike the ones we see. After a broken conversation with an old Tamilian lady we figured out that it was a purely medicinal tulsi beneficial for kidney related ailments. We picked up two saplings hoping they are allowed to be carried in flight and we could 🙂

Medicinal Basil with huge florets at Isha Nursery

The mist covered Velliangiri hills and palm plantation were a mesmerizing sight

On weekends, Poornima, Amavasya and other auspicious days there is an impressive Light & Sound show, ‘Divya Darshanam’, at Adiyogi. The show starts at 8 am and is for 15 mins.

The ‘Divya Darshanam’ of Adiyogi

We were at the end of the highly revered Linga Bhairavi maha aarti & procession and I was afraid we would miss it as it was about to be 8! We tried our best to be there before it ended and luckily managed to witness a bit of the show and the aarti of Yogeshwar Linga. The scintillating full moon with the gleaming statue of Adiyogi was a sight to behold. Here’s a short video of the light & sound show captured at different angles by me & my husband.

We had our dinner at the crowded Moondraam Pirai and headed back to our room laden with beautiful memories of our trip to Ooty & Coonoor and an unforgettable experience of blessings & powerful energies of Dhyanalinga, Adiyogi & Linga Bhairavi.

Sarveshwaraya, Sadashivaya. The brilliant Adiyogi in the full moon of Kartik Poornima

Mahadevaya Namah …….. one of my favorite, the pull is magnetic, inexplicable

Coimbatore is basically a hot and humid place. Its only in Nov-Feb that the weather is cooler and that is the best time to visit Isha Yoga Centre. However, if you are doing some course with or volunteering at Isha or are fine with any climate, then anytime is good time!

The powerful Kartik Poornima moon



You may like to read about our experience of Ooty, Coonoor & Isha Yoga Centre:

Amidst mist, tea gardens & waterfalls in Coonoor
How to enjoy the charm of Ooty in 24 hours
My first visit to Isha Yoga Centre
The ravishing beauty — African Tulip


*Botanical name Millingtonia Hortensis. Also known as Maramalli, Latak Chandani, Sitahaar

**If you miss your meals at Isha, this place is where you will get a good menu. The Pepper Vine eatery within the Isha campus has light snacks as option.



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Monika Ohson | TravelerInMe