Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Yelagiri Trek

If you have assumed Yelagiri, to be an extraordinary getaway with many scenic spots and places to cover, you got to think again. During many travels, the common hills and mountains fills the backdrop by the side, I have always wondered, if anyone had ever scaled those so-familiar yet so-ambiguous mountains. The answer came along and I saw myself scaling one of those last weekend,Yeah its Yelagiri for you.

The day dawned and we(Myself,(Muthu + DP)anna,senthil,sai,nachi) were on the lalbagh express standing in the unreserved compartment heading towards jolarpet. The DP anna's desparate attempts to sit on the floor & the hue and cry raised by one of the fellow passenger kept us rolling on the floor laughing throughout the journey. Getting down at jolarpet, we were joined by Rajaguru anna and from there we caught a bus to Yelagiri. The 14 hairpin bents and our driver's driving stunts made the just-eaten-idlies @ Jolarpet move up-&-down the gut. Once there we made our way to the lake and went for a boat ride. We then started our trek to Jalagampaarai falls. If there are two things that bogs down a trekker, its the heat and the weight of the bags. The head-above-noon-sun saw to it that we were scorched by the heat throughout the trip and the tents, sleeping bags & MTR instant cook recipies added the weight in our bags.

We were joined by a local village folk by the name Raman who guided us through the mountain. With the hurrying guide(he has to catch a bus back to yelagiri from jalagampaarai in another 4 hours) on the lead, and the fear of facing a bear enroute kept us on the heals most of the time. We moved through the valley and rise, stopping only a little to refresh then and there. The heat and the mostly dry vegetation (during this season) didn't attract many clicks from my camera. By the time we had covered 3/4 of the trail, we sat by the side a dwindled stream under a tree and had some bread and jam.From there it was mainly a descent down the mountain it was kind of easy to cover. The 4 hours of sweating from morning atlast got some solace on seeing the Vimaanam of the Jalagampaarai temple.Finally we reached the spot we had marked as our destination.After taking rest we climbed the steps to reach the falls.The falls didn't have any water except for the trickle oozing through that seem to say "ONE-AT-A-TIME-PLEASE". The trickle didn't deter us from taking bath in the falls.

The Temple of jalagampaarai had only one or two paying a visit and was largely isolated except for a tea shop catering for the 1/2 pilgrims coming in.Even they pack up and move out by the evening.Getting their advise on the location, we setup the two tents on the clearing in the midst of the forest cover. we collected some firewood and water and set up the rocks around for cooking. Once the fire boiled the water, we placed the MTR Instant Pongal,Sambar Rice,Rasam Rice,Tomato Rice packets and heated them. we had a hearty meal together under thr blanket of the bright twinkling stars and then went to the tent pretty soon. The eerie darkness,russle of the forest leaves followed by the dogs bark brought in a sense of insecurity.Though we were surrounded by the tent, it didn't extinguish the fear of wild animals like the bear.The day dawned and we got ourselves ready and paid a visit to the temple. We finished off the breakfast of kara paniyaaram with kaara chutney ordered by us in the tea shop. Very soon we hopped ourselves on the bus to Thirupattur and from there to krishnagiri -> Bangalore.

The Trek in all was exciting. especially our first time experience in setting up tents, cooking with firewood etc. The adventurous night sleep in fear turned out to be a false alarm, and it came to light as we travelled by bus to thirupattur. The bus took a right turn round a bend and we saw human inhabitations through-out. We had in-fact camped on the plains.The surrounding eerie dark forests turned out to be animal free forest cover followed by paddy fields.

Visit http://picasaweb.google.com/kpraveen85/Yelagiri for photos

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