Thursday, October 20, 2016

Solo Trek to Sadhasiva Kona (October 2-3, 2015)

Recently I came to know about a Place Sadasiva Kona near Puthur. The hill was named by a Siva temple is situated in the hill top. (Kona means Hill) I went some treks to Nagala East and west side and this hill was located on the other side of the Nagala hill range. My Neighbor's family is planned for a visit to this place on 1st October and they called me as they know I was interested to visit this place. Due to some reasons I was not went with them on that day. But I planned to visit with my friends on the next day to that place. On 1st night others are not ready to come for some reasons and I was in little confusion, whether go or not. But I bought some food items for the trek and I was ready at any time to start. On that day night heavy rain started and I was in more dilemma, whether I go by solo or not by this rainy situation. Next day early morning I decided to go for a solo trek, woke up  immediately and get ready by 6.30 am. Started alone towards Sadasiva Kona trek and planned to return on the same day itself with my family friends (already camping there) or by solo.
Road Leading to Base hill

About Sadhasiva Kona: The temple of Lord Sadasiva (an incarnation of Lord Shiva) along with his wife Goddess Kamakshi is situated near the waterfalls and the major festivals celebrated here are Maha Shivaratri, Vaikunta Ekadasi and all Mondays during the Karthika Masam. During these days devotees in a large number visit the temple from several parts of the Andhra state and Tamil Nadu state as well. The king of Karveti nagaram who patronized and worshipped Lord Sadasiva and Goddess Kamakshi constructed the temple.
Temple in the base

How to Reach: Get down at puttur bus stand and walk to near puttur railway station. There is a petrol bunk next to that railway station. Also there is a private bus running 2 hours once (from 6am to 6pm). SRI SAI bus service. Bus will be available only in above mentioned spot. Please Don't search in Bus stand.

Base Temple's Pond

I boarded a local train to Tirupathi by 7.40 at Villivakkam and it reached at 10.20 am in Puthur. I gathered information from my family friend that there is very few buses plying to T.R.Kandriga (Timma Raju Kandriga)  or we have to take a auto to the village. From the village we have to walk around 1.5 km to reach the base. I bought some apples there in the market and waited for a bus, but the local people said few minutes before the bus went, so you can take a auto to reach the place. By luckily I got a Share auto plying to that village. I boarded the auto and waiting for other passengers to come fill the seats. everybody asked me, where are you going? are you going alone? like these questions. Finally the auto started from Puthur and few kilometers it went in the highway and taken a right to T.R.Kandriga village road. (15km) Auto driver dropped me in the village and took Rs.20 from me. Usually you have to take a separate auto and they charge Rs.200, but my luck the villagers came in that auto, so charged only Rs.20. I had my breakfast in between (bread) and walked towards the base (1.5km).

Path leading to Hill Temple
I reached the base around 12.00pm and In the base I saw a old Siva temple and Pond. I prayed in the temple and started my trek to Sadasiva Kona. Walked alone in the jungle and this is my first time to this place and I don't know the route, but the climate was good due to the before day raining. I enjoyed this climate and ascended medium faced towards the hill. I took few photos / selfie in mobile and reached the half distance in 1 hours time. Here I saw 2 small lingams newly incarnated in a small temporary shelter.  In between my trek I saw 2 to 3 people descending and they asked me the same question, are you going alone?. I said yes, but in my mind, God is travelling with me in this trek and I am not alone.
Lingam in Midway

Again I started my trek towards the destination. After few minutes I saw my family friend with their family and kids. They asked the same question, are you coming alone?. They explained the route and the situation on the top. They said the before day it was heavily raining and we stayed in the temple and cooked ourselves for our food. The falls is flowing good water and with the speed you are going you can return in the evening itself. I gathered all the information and heard in the top all the pilgrims are descended by now and only the Poojari will be there. They said it took 5-6 hours to reach the top and same time for descending also.

Rocky Trail

Falls next to Siva Temple
Again I walked alone in the forest for few minutes and found and trail was flat and slightly descending. I happily walked in the jungle and enjoying the nature in the Jungle. I saw few monkeys there in the jungle, but they didn't disturbed me. The trail was clear and I never distracted anywhere. On the middle of the trail I was stopped in a place where lot of trees and green grass was there. I captured video in my mobile and walked slowly towards the destination. In few minutes I heard a water falls sound and my adrenaline rushed  to move fast and dip in to the water. My mobile was running with me to gallop the nature's beauty and water. In between I saw a small Genesh temple with bell. I ranged the bell and moved towards the falls. I saw few steps going down and the path is leading towards a wonderful falls nearby the temple. I reached the destination in 1.45 hours and was happy for that. I prayed in the Sadasiva Temple and kept my bag aside. The waterfall is calling me to jump into her hands to have a pain relief massage. Immediately I removed my pants and jumped in to the falls with my shorts and enjoyed the mesmerizing falls.

Siva Temple
Falls near Kamakshi Temple

Nobody was there in the place except the Old Poojari and his assistant, so I took bath up to my wish. After that I had my Lunch Aval (Rice Porridge)with Sugar and took some rest by sitting relax in the temple. The Poojari asked me whether I am staying there for the night. I said I don't have any idea yet. After some time I moved to Kamatchi temple situated in 1.5 km away from the Siva Temple in the same hill. There also I saw a water falls near the temple. I was sitting in the temple and watching the falls, flying butterflies and birds Chirping and I forgot myself in the nature. Meditated sometime in the temple and it gave some fresh energy to me. Here are one Pandit is there and he stays a house nearby the temple.
Falls near Kamakshi Temple

Kamakshi Temple
I heard Kanchi Maha Periyava has stayed in this hill for almost a year and he himself performed Pooja / abhiseham to Lord Sadasiva and Goddess Kamakshi here. Personalities like MS, Seshan, and R V Venkatraman have brought food to Maha periyava during his stay.

Kanchi Periyava Meditation place
Now the time was around 5.30pm and the Pandit asked me have you staying tonight and had anything? I was in a feeling that I want to stay here forever and said yes to the Pandit without thinking anything. It was getting dark and sitting alone in the temple and enjoying the nature. I didn't even informed my house that I will stay there in the night, but I said I am going to this temple and our neighbors are there already. So not bothered so much. By 8.00 pm the Pandit and assistant offered me food for the night and a mat to sleep.

Siva Temple

Here some monkeys are disturbed us in the evening and some mosquitoes / insects are disturbed in the night. I slept in between the mosquito bites and woke up early morning freshly. Morning taken a bath in the fresh water pond below the waterfalls and prayed in Kamatchi temple. By 6.30am I proceed to Siva Temple and again taken bath in the waterfalls up to my wish. Taking permission from god Siva and descended to base by 7.00am and it took 1.45 hours to reach the base. I want to get down to base before Sun rays scorching me. Reached the base around 8.45am and had my breakfast (bread). Walked towards the village and found a auto was moving from the village. I shouted stop! stop! and ran towards the auto(there are only few vehicles to Puthur at certain time gap), the auto driver stopped after few yards hearing my voice. Immediately boarded in the auto and ply towards Puthur station. The hill was moving behind me slowly and getting smaller from my vision. But still the memories are greenery in my mind.  

Sadasiva Kona Hill 

Sadasiva Kona Falls

Number of people visiting this place is increasing day by day but no efforts are taken to preserve this hill. I saw lot of plastic waste and alcohol bottles that are choking the stream. People are using this hill as a picnic spot for drinking and later bathing in the waterfalls for fun.


Falls with a pool above Siva Temple visited in 2nd Time
Again on January 2nd I visited this place with my two friends and refreshed myself again. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

My First Solo Backpack Trip

I have a long time wish to go Valley of flowers - Himalayas and it was postponing every year for some reasons. Also I came to know that near Pune a place called Kas Pathar (Plateau ) was there and it was somewhat similar to Valley of flowers. So I decided to go there this year. Some of my friends are planned and try to book in tatkal to Pune for this trip. At last minute others are cancelled their plan and I was the only one ready to go that time. Also my long time wish is to go for a solo backpack trip to new place in North India. I booked a tatkal ticket to Pune on Thursday and the plan is confirmed.

Started from Chennai by Mumbai mail at 11.55am on Friday.

Reached Pune around 9.30 am on Saturday morning.

Boarded a bus to Satara (118km) and reached around 1.30pm. (limited buses)

Thosegadh Falls
From Satara boarded another bus to Thosegadh falls. (26km) (Limited buses and some private vehicles will ply this route some time)

Thosegadh Falls stream
Nice view of falls from another hill. Had taken bath in nearby stream as I couldn't control myself to dip in water . There was very few buses flying to this location and my return bus gone few minutes before my arrival, so I had taken a shared Jeep to Satara.

Evening at Kas

He dropped me before bus stand and I was taken a auto to another bus stand. The auto Wala doesn't know Hindi and English and I don't know Marathi, a confusion happened and I was get down in the middle of nowhere.

Kas Pathar
Then a man gave me lift in his bike to some distance and I walked one km to reach Rajwada bus stand.

Kas Pathar
Now it's already 5.00pm and boarded another bus to Kas Pathar Plateau by 5.30pm (25km) and I was informed that there is no return bus. Reached around 6.30 pm and the place was misty and dark. I was no other way to stay there and there are few hotels near. Also there are no rooms in hotels. The hotel owner was very courteous and helpful to get room in nearby hotels by taking me in his Car. But hotels are asking Rs.1500 to 2000 and I don't have budget. So the hotel owner Somnath taken me to a nearby village and I stayed in a old couple's house. They offered me dinner and bed for the cold night. Taken some rest in the night. (I paid Rs.400 to them for Dinner and Bed)

Next day morning planning to start early but they don't allowed me to go alone as the village was down in the valley. By 8.30am the old man accompany me to go up to the main road. It was a tiny trek. From main road,  Kas Valley entrance is 2km and I was ready to walk. But villagers said go by bus and the bus came. Kas pathar plateau was spread across some kilometers. I captured the beauty through my eyes and through my mobile camera. (you can spend 1 day there in full season time). It took 2 hour for me Roam around a part of the valley. Then I went to Kumudhini thalab (lotus pond) and here we have to walk 2 km in the off road to reach the pond. It was worthwhile to visit the pond. I spent some time there. Again I walked 2km to reach the main road and the people said few minutes ago a bus gone and another bus is around 3.30am. So I planned to walk to some kilometers and try some other option to go Satara. I walked again 3 kilometers and met few police people there and they asked me, why you walking alone? After that my story? :P they are interested to hear more from me and helped to get lift to drop in Satara. Thanks for them.

Village House
Again the van dropped before satara bus stand as they are going some other place. I took a biker's help and he dropped 1km before bus stand. Again I took a auto to reach stand. Autowala informed me get in a bus to Wai from there you will get bus to Panchgani. I boarded that bus and reached Wai. (35Km) Now the time is 3.00pm and I am feeling hungry. I had some food there and boarded another bus to Panchgani.(13km) Reached around 4.15pm and asked taxi for sightseeing but they asked Rs.500 so I denied. Some local people told that you have to go up 1-2km and can see all the places by walk. I am Happy to walk and walked to the peak called table point. From there we can see all the four points by walk or to use horse. But the horse man asked Rs.1260/- 😞 and I walked my way. I roamed around the hill (2km) and visited all four points in no cost. Valley view table point, dam, caves and sunset are spectacular. Again I came down by walk (1.5km) and saw some Durga Pooja procession and veer Marathas band music. I was wondering the girls are played the big drums holding on their hip. I was more curious to take a selfie with them. A man accepted my request and the girl is denied to take :P and somehow I took a selfie with them. I want to visit a temple in Panchgani but missed in this procession time as my bus to Mahabaleshwar was arrived.

I boarded the bus and reached Mahabaleshwar (19km)around 7.45pm. I roamed in the market some time and purchased some bags and syrups (Fruit syrups,  strawberry juice and Masala Chenna are Famous in Mahabaleshwar). After that searching a shelter for night stay. But hotels are denying me to give room as I was single. They are asking me to register in police station and come with noc, we can give room. But I didn't liked that. One hotel offered me room but rent is Rs.1000,  I am not happy with that. I searched again and finally found a room for Rs.500 (negotiated from Rs.1000 to 500). the room was not that good, but I need a shelter for the cold night, so I stayed there. In between I finished my dinner and went for sleep.

Inside the Jungle

Cave in Panchagani
Morning I woke up by 7.00 and ready by 8.30 am and proceed to bus stand. I checked for government round bus for sightseeing, but they will run only on season times (it's a off season)and they said one bus will go up to Mahabaleshwar temple and return, you can go in that. I checked with taxi walas and they asked me Rs.1100 for sightseeing and no share facilities. So I waited for bus to Mahabaleshwar temple. (6km) The bus came around 9.30am and flied for only 3 passengers. I assumed that why they stopped round service. Most people are preferring taxi service or Private cars only. Visited the Mahabaleshwar temple and Pancha ganga temple. From here Elphinston view point is 5km, but no bus, so I decided to walk and reached the point by walk in the jungle road(5km). The View point was so misty and unable to view anything that time. From the view point, I asked lift in a car from Telugu speaking people (OC travel) and with the help of them reached Lingamala falls. the falls has two sides, one side only a view point of the falls and other side we can dip in a small falls with a pond. We first visited the falls view point and next to the small falls and taken a chill dip. After that they are going to Satara and they asked me to hope on car upto Satara, but I didn't want to go there , so they dropped in somewhere away 7km from Mahabaleshwar. I enquired about next sightseeing place near that area to  the local people and they said at some distance, you can visit Ganesh temple and Kings Chair point. I walked few km to reach Kings chair point. Spectacular view of Mahabaleshwar town from the top and took some photos there and decent to the Ganesh temple. 

Walking alone on the Mahabaleshwar Road
Here I met a taxi driver who was asked me Rs.1100 in the morning for sightseeing. He was wondering to see me that I am walking alone in the road and expressed his happiness. He asked me, you are all the way walked and roaming the Mahabaleshwar? you are great sir and I am admiring you. Now I planned to go back to Pune as the time was around 3.00pm. I checked that driver is there any bus will go from here to Pune?, they said you have to go Mahabaleshwar bus stand to get a bus to Pune. The distance to Bus stand is around 6km and I decided to walk, but the driver asked me to wait there as some local vehicle will come and I will get you a seat in that. Boarded a route private jeep and reached Mahabaleshwar bus stand around 4.00pm.

Taken some food there and boarded a bus to Pune at 4.15 pm.(116km) Reached Pune at 7.15 pm and went for shopping in Lakshmi Road. There was lot of Girl's dresses, Chappels and accessories are there, but only few for Gents. Roamed around the market for some time and boarded a bus to Pune station and reached around 10.00 pm. Finally Boarded Dadar- Chennai Exp @ 00.10 and reached Chennai Tuesday Evening 19.00 pm. Journey ended with Pleasant memories. It was my First backpack trip to North India. Previously I went to a solo trek near Chennai and stayed a night alone in the jungle. 
King's Chair Point

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wayanad Trip in Summer

This Summer to beat the heat visited to Wayanad with my friends. Wayanad is a Hill station in Kerala near Calicut about 70Km distance. It is a picturesque plateau situated at a height between 700 meters and 2100 meters above the mean sea level nested among the mountains of the Western Ghats on the Eastern portion of North Kerala and on the sides of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka States.

Lakkidi View point Road
First we went to Calicut by Train and from there we took a cab to wayanad. I booked Rooms and cab through online and the service was very good as we expected. 

We Booked a homestay little outside in Kalpettah main town of Wayanad. They Charged Rs.3000 per day for 8 persons. There was 2 bedrooms, a hall and kitchen are there. Newly built and well maintained rooms in the outskirts of Kalpettah welcomed us. 

Homestay at Wayanad
Lakkidi –Ghat road view point

The gateway to wayanad , Lakkidi is situated 700 m above sea level, at the crest of Thamarassery Ghat Pass.

Lakkidi View point 

Train reached Calicut around 4.30 am and our cab driver Jayaprakash chetta was already waiting for us to receive. We boarded the Tata Aria cab and proceeded to our homestay in Kalpettah. Everybody was little tired in the early morning so they slept in car and I was in a fresh mood and watching the greenery and the hairpin bends outside the car. The car reached our homestay around 6.30am and we had tea in a small tea stall. I want to take bath in a falls so we first finished our morning duties and went directly to Soochipara falls for fresh water bath. 
Soochipara view

Soochipara Falls, Kalpetta

The Soochippara Waterfalls also known as Sentinel Rock Waterfalls are situated near Meppadi is natures treasured gift. The waterfall cascading from a height of 100 to 300 feet is a treat to the eyes. The pool sited below the falls offers great opportunities for swimming, bathing, water rafting,  etc. another attraction is the tree top huts presenting a distinct views of the Western Ghats and of the shining shallow waters of the spring. Carrying plastic near the waterfall is strictly prohibited.

Soochipara Falls

After Soochipara falls we had lunch and then we went to Edakkal Caves, by the time we reached Edakkal, it was around 3.30 pm the entry was closed by 4.00pm there. We have to climb up some steep road to reach the ticket counter, When I reached it was 4.00pm and I bought the ticket and immediately the counter closed. 

Edakkal Caves

Edakkal cave is 25 km from Kalpetta and just 3 km from Ambalavayal. Most interesting trek up Ambukuthy Hill near Ambalavayal town takes you to the world famous Neolothic pictorial writings on the rock walls tell the pre-historic heritage of Wayanad. This is a crevice for about 96 ft in length and 22 ft width. A fissure was created due to a rock splitting due to natural weathering. The depth of the crevice and the fissure is nearly 30 ft which gives an appearance of a cave to any observer. 

There are human and animal figures carvings on the rock walls depicting pre-historic period and civilized people. The caves can be approached by 1km trekking trail starting from Edakkal. The best visiting hours are morning and it is open till 4 pm. Tourists need to indulge in a one and half hour long trek to reach the entrance of the caves. The roads are in good condition. In order to reach the actual cave, tourists will have to trek uphill for another 45 minutes.

After the Edakkal cave point we retunred to Kapettah as most of the places will be closed by 5.00pm. so we done some shopping in Kalpettah and had dinner.

Next Day we started early by 7.00am and proceeded to Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary.

Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary

Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular wildlife sanctuary in Wayanad. One of the memorable experiences will be night camping. The watch tower of this sanctuary is situated above the lake and is the main water source to animals. This gives a thrilling experience, as at night animals come to drink water. Tholpetty wildlife sanctuary is abundant with flora and fauna. Animals like Bison, Jungle Cats and Elephants can be spotted here.

Tholpetty Wildlife Santuary

Thirunelli Temple, Thirunelli

Close to the Papanashini stream in Wayanad district of Kerala stands the 3000 years old Thirunelly temple. The temple is devoted to lord Vishnu and is constructed with 30 granite columns to protect it. There is a bridge from the Papanashini stream coming to the temple. This is of great help to the Thirunelly temple as the Papanashini water is used for the temple directly for its precincts. 

Towards the south of the Thirunelly temple is the holy pond called Panchatheertha. The pond is named Panchatheertha as it is believed that five rivers met at this point. Generally, this pond has impenetrable undergrowth, but during summers this pond becomes waterless.

Banasura Sagar Dam

Banasura Sagar Dam is approximately 25km towards the north west of Kalpetta. It is considered to be the largest earth dam in India and the second largest in Asia. The dam extends to a wide area with crystal clear waters. Undisturbed and engulfed amidst the hills, Bansura Sagar Dam is an absolute beauty. 

It is an ideal place for picnic as it is surrounded by the bounty of nature and the low sound of the clear water gives a feeling of freshness. In fact, when the dam is full, the landscape portrays a picture of upstream formation of the dam and is a mesmerizing sight to visitors. Boating and other water recreational activities are available at the dam.

Boating at lake
Kuruva Dweep

This 950 acre Kuruva Island is situated on the tributaries of the river Kabani and is a fabulous picnic spot. Its serene silence and wide expanse of the evergreen forest leaves you astonishing. This island is isolated but an array of uncommon species of birds, herbs and orchids are the monarchs of Kuruva Island. ... 

Kuruvadeep Island
Pookot Lake, Vythiri

The Pookot Lake is a breathtaking location. The water is clear and the foliage that surrounds it is a beautiful forest. Visitors can enjoy a boat ride against a serene backdrop. An ideal picnic spot, this beautiful lake is the perfect spot to admire mother nature. The area surrounding the lake has a handicrafts and spices emporium and fresh water aquarium along with a Children's park.

Boating at pookud lake
Other places to visit in Wayanad:

Chembra Peak, Kalpetta

Chembra Peak is the tallest peak in all of Wayanad district. It is at a staggering height of 2100 meters above sea level. This peak is especially popular with both mountain climbers and trekkers alike. There are even temporary camps that are set up atop the peak so that anyone that has successfully climbed the peak can choose to easily stay there for a few days. The climb is rather intense, but the reward on the top is worth the sweat! 

The panoramic views of the Wayanad are rather breathtaking, and the beautiful mountain lake at the top is impressive as well. 

Sleeping bags, canvas, log huts, guides and trekking equipments are provided by the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC). Trekkers are sure to enjoy the entire view of the Wayanad district from the top of the peak, while prior permission is required from the Forest Range Officer at Meppadi for trekking at Chembra Peak.

Meenmutty Falls, Kalpetta

The most impressive water fall that can be found in the Wayanad district is Meenmutty Falls. Gurgling down from a height of 300 meters, it falls in 3 separate tiers. Reaching the falls involves a 2 km trek, but the view of the falls, makes it worth the effort. During the monsoons, this waterfall can be enjoyed only from a distance, due to the voluminous level of water. 

Trekking is a good option to explore its surroundings, but considering the rugged and undulated terrains, taking a guide along is advisable.

Thrid day we packed our things and started towards Calicut. On the way we saw Chain Tree and Lakkidi View point. We also went to Thusaragiri Falls near Calicut. The view and falls was awesome. When we are there it was raining so enjoyed the falls in rain very Much. 

Thusaragiri Falls

Finally we went to Calicut beach and took some photos. We are not spent so much of time as the beach was so dirty and not maintained. We packed dinner and proceeded to Calicut Railway station to board our train to chennai.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

My 15th visit to Mount Abu

This is my 15th time visit to Mount Abu, Rajasthan. This time I had some good memorable experiences in visiting new places. 

Shantivan Aerial View
Solar power Project

Mukdi Matha Temple
This year my long time wish came true as we visited the famous Gaumukh temple and Vashist Ashram. We have to take left from the toll plaza in Mount abu and usually people will not go regularly to this place. We have to hire a jeep / taxi to go to this place.

Steps to Gaumukh Temple 

The Gaumukh Temple was built in its location as a dedication to Saint Vashishth. It is believed that Saint Vashishth performed a yagna there that created the four major Rajput clans. There is also a tank that you should visit- the Agni Kund. The Agni Kund is believed to be the site of a sacrificial fire which Saint Vashishth used to perform the yagna from which the four clans were born.

Gaumukh Temple Pond
The cow is considered a sacred animal by those who make religious pilgrimages to the Gaumukh Temple and nearby the temple you will find a spring that is believed to have emerged from the mouth of a rock that is shaped similar to a cows head. A large marble statue of a cow has been built on the site. The bull is representative of Nandi, who was Shiva’s vehicle. There is a stream of water that flows from the mouth of the marble bull. Nearby you will find statues of Nandi, Saint Vashishth, Lord Ram and Lord Krishna.

If you are a visitor to the Mount Abu region and you wish to experience some of the local religious culture, you must visit the Gaumukh Temple. Once only popular for Ancient sages and saints to meditate at, the Gaumukh Temple is now a popular tourist destination. The Gaumukh Temple is located around 5 kilometers from the Hanuman Temple situated in a wild valley that is reached by climbing down over 700 steps. The area is covered with very think forest cover and visiting the place after dark & rainy season is not recommended without proper information and local guidance, you should plan for a full day trip to Gaumukh if you want to enjoy the beauty and nature of this place.

Gaumukh closeup

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Trekking to Meesapulimalai

It was Emperor’s 100th trek !! I am so happy to be part of this trek as I met around 120 likeminded souls in a single trek. It was announced on Jan 30th and I immediately applied for a moderate trek. This time it was announced as easy, moderate and difficult treks plus cycle and Bike trips. In between the time I had some confusion has to go or not. Finally all my other programs are postponed and I joined with the team. The place for the trek was kept secret to everyone and they are created some hype for the places by posting some wonderful photos. Someone said it was Kodaikanal and some other told that it was Wayanad. On 7th February, I had reached the Park opposite to Koyambedu (Bus No.2) and I saw lot of known faces in that bus with some new faces. And the best part, not knowing the location where we were heading too, except for the Organisers.  But everybody was eager to wait for the place to come. After everyone reached, the bus started around 5.00 pm from CMBT. The other Bus started from Tidel Park (Bus No.1) has joined with us in Perungalathur.

The whole journey was indeed great with a whole lot of people getting bums (making fun out of that) and playing dumb charades, where most of the people joined in. In the midnight everybody fall asleep. By 6.00 am I woke up and saw bus has reached near Theni and I thought the place would not be Kodaikanal, so it will be Munnar. I’ve been there already so my excitement reduced a bit. We stopped in between somewhere near Theni to finish our morning duties and had tea in the local tea shop. The bus reached Kurangani base around 9.00am and the whole group was spilited as Easy, Moderate, Difficult and Cycle trek groups as decided earlier. Now my mind changed a bit and decided to go with easy trek peoples as I’ve been there already. Moreover I want to conquer the Meesapulimalai peak. If I go with moderate people I will be tired and cannot reach the Meesapulimalai peak. So my plan was first go with the easy trek people by car/Bus and from Kolukkumali I can trek to Meesapulimalai peak easily. I boarded a SUV (Vignesh’s car) and had a nice time with the people in that car. We reached near suryanelli and had our lunch and waited for the bus people to come.

Everyone reached there and boarded into jeep to reach Kolukkumalai. The road trail to Kollukumalai was a bumpy rock road and you will get a back pain sure, if you travel in the jeep. But we made the trip interesting by playing antakshari songs. We reached Kolukkumalai around 4.30pm and searching for my bag to wear the winter cloth. When we reached Kolukkumalai tea estate the sun’s influence on us slowly reduced and we started feeling the chill breeze hitting us gently. The Kolukkumalai tea estate was quite refreshing and the view from the camping site and adjoining areas were breathtaking. By the time some people are hiking towards Meesapulimalai before me, so I ran towards them to reach as already it was getting dark. In the middle of the trek, somebody before us told one elephant is there, so we stopped the trek for a while and taking photos by posing differently. We didn’t hear any confirmed news from our organizers about the elephant; we climbed down from that place with sad feelings. After that we heard it was not an elephant, some shadow of a tree. L While coming down we witnessed the exquisite sun set view from Kolukkumalai at the height of 7600 feet.
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We came back to the campsite and helped to prepare Dinner with others. The sun slowly started to rest for the day and almost all the trekkers reached the tea estate. It was emperor’s food preparation and also a 100th trek, so many varieties of food was prepared. Gulabjamun, Bajji (ripe Banana, onion, potato, Chilli, Brinjal varities), Veg pulav, Chicken gravy, soya bean chunks gravy and onion raitha etc., are prepared for the dinner. On the other side campfire was started and some peoples are taking rest with nice hot bujji/snacks. Mean time cycle and bike trip team also reached the camp site. Everyone had a stomach full dinner and had a nice chat with campfire. Raja Anna (Munnar Jeep Driver and CTC’s favorite driver) prepared tents for us to sleep in the cold night. We are at 7600feet and the weather is around 10-15 degrees, we enjoyed that place a lot. I didn’t have any sleeping bag and I got only bedspread, so I entered into one of the tents to escape from the cold sleepless night. Then also I felt chillness inside the tent and spent the whole night without sound sleeping.

Next day morning we were woken up to the early morning chillness and to the melody of the birds to witness the pristine and beautiful morning views of the Kolukkumalai valley. We took some great group photos and had some good tea in the Kolukkumalai base camp.

Finally by 10.00am we boarded in jeeps and travelled down in the bumpy road again to reach Suryaneeli was still a great experience as I hanging on backside of the Jeep. The place around Munnar was astounding and wonderful with sprawling tea gardens and estates everywhere. We had brunch in Suryanelli after had a bath in nearby small stream. We boarded again in the bus and the bus dropped us in the Top station point where we have to get down by walk to the Kurangani base station. Now the time was 5.00pm so we have to reach the base fast before it was getting dark. Few of the fellow trekkers are travelled in the bus and around 60 peoples are ready to take the top station to Kurangini trail to reach the base hill station.

First I was struggling little to move fast and Prem & Shyam are pushing me to move fast, sometime later my pace was picked up as my heart beat was synced with my moves. Now I was feeling comfortable to walk down. In between we stopped at a pit shop in Kothagudi village (middle station) to have a sharbath(lemon soda). I know the trial route well and my pace was good, I started to climb down without accompanying the organizers. Few more joined with me and I reached the base station within 2 hours time and it was my best time. (my previous time to reach the base station was 4 hours). I feel happy for this and waited for the other trekkers to come.

By the time everyone reached the Kurangani village, it was already dark. We had few snack items which people carried with them and sat around for relaxing ourselves on the village road. We had an intro session there (as our bus will take some more time to reach that place to pick us) and came to know about the unknown faces. Our buses reached there to pick us by 9.30pm and before boarding it, we had our supper together on the road like village style.

The bus started towards Chennai by 10.30 pm and everyone felt happy to be the part of this wonderful Emperor’s 100th trek. We thank the organizers for giving us a chance to be part of the great event. Finally the bus reached Chennai next day morning around 11.00am and everyone rushed to their work with cool memories. Hope to see everyone in the next trek soon!!