With 814 m above sea level Arunachala is a relatively small hill, but as it is located in a large plain in the South of India it is very noticeable in the larger vicinity. Arunachala is mostly circumambulated by pilgrims, but you may also hike to the summit. It has been venerated since many centuries as the residence of Lord Shiva, one of the three supreme Hindu gods. Ramana Maharshi, lived at the foot of the mountain for most of his life and spoke often about the holy mountain.
Lord Siva says:
Though in fact fiery, my lack-luster appearance as a hill on this spot is an act of grace for the maintenance of the world. I also abide here as the Siddha. Within me there are many glorious caves filled with all kinds of enjoyments. Know this.
Action naturally binds the entire world. One’s refuge from such bondage is this glorious Arunachala by seeing which one becomes itself.
What cannot be acquired without great pains – the true import of Vedanta – can be attained by any one who looks at Arunachala from where it is visible or even mentally thinks of it from afar.
I, the Lord, ordain that those who reside within a radius of three yojanas of this place shall attain union with the Supreme, which removes bondage even in the absence of initiation…
(by Ramana Maharshi)