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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kallem Village Excursion.

 Kallem Village Trek - Warangal District.

This write-up, more in the form of images, on Kallem Village Trek, is given by Upasana who is a smart girl of 10 years. Thank you for the article, Upasana.


So, GHAC adventurer Upasana, on Kallem Village Excursion.....

I am going to tell you how we spent, In a quiet little village, the last weekend.



















































Greeted us Aishu (the cow) and little Muffin, Her new-born calf with choco-velvet skin























Eagerly waiting for his journey to begin At the very first sight our hearts he did win




















Uncle Ram, donned in cowboy hat His favourite horses he continued to pat

















Nameless little flowers and bright gay birds, Their beauty is beyond any words



















Though we did not see peacocks there Their vibrant feathers were strewn everywhere

















We climbed the rocks through bushes : very spiny From the top of the hillock the lake looked shiny
















Lazing on warm rocks looking up at the sky With winking little stars we played ‘I spy’
















(By the time we got down …)The sun retired; but Oh! What a sight! Handmade dia’s made the place look bright


 













After dinner we took a leisurely stroll Spotting twinkling fireflies on patrol. By trial and error we put up the tent. A good night’s sleep we got as present













To think how quickly we all became friends My joy and wonder knows no ends.



 


















NOTE: If you have traveled with GHAC and want to post an article on the travel in this space, then send your articles or blogs to HACAdventurer@gmail.com or send the link of the site where you have posted the article. We will post your write-up as a blog in our blog site with credits to you and provide the link to the original article site.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Masanagudi Jungle Trek -2

Masanagudi Trek-2 was great fun, We started on 1 Oct 2009 at MGBS at 6 pm from Hyderabad in KSRTC Volvo bus to Mysore, everyone was on time and were in the bus before the wheels moved, on the way the bus stopped at Jadcherla for dinner, we had some hot spicy food at hotel munawar, the bus moved slowly via Kurnool as the roads were all flooded and the downpour was heavy, looking out of the windows we could see the water overflowing all over the roads, we were lucky to pass Kurnool but were delayed by 3 hours and we reached Mysore at 10:00 am, had our breakfast and boarded the mini bus on the way to Masanagudi, another 3 hours drive took us via Bandipur and Madhumalai forest where we could spot some tuskers and deer.





We reached Masanagudi at about 1:30 PM on 02 Oct Afternoon and were received by our hosts Suresh and Padmini who have converted their ancestral home into a resort with 4 large rooms that can accommodate 5 persons each comfortably and we adjusted ourselves in 3 large rooms, Divyani who was the only girl shared a different room with Padmini and her daughter, The resort is surrounded by 100’s of coconut trees and green grass about 100 meters all around, there is a river flowing about 200 meters from the resort where animals usually come to drink.



After a long journey from Hyderabad we were all hungry and had some good vegetarian food as it was Gandhi Jayanti so no non veg was cooked, After lunch we went to the river opposite the resort, in the evening we went to a nearby water stream and spent about 2 hours watching the water flow, the birds sing and occasional visits by the languor who were amused at seeing their distant cousins. we came back had our dinner and did some masti at the bon fire sharing jokes, singing songs and playing some games, midnight and we went to sleep.


Next day Saturday 03 October we got up early to witness heavy rain till 9:30 AM, We had out breakfast of idlis and puris and packed our lunch of boiled eggs, bread and curd and lemon rice, Suresh our host insisted that we plan some other event like going to ooty instead of trekking as it was raining, even the guides were reluctant to take us in the forest, I was adamant on going ahead and said there is no Murphy in GHAC club, that’s called taking executive decision, the guides were called in and we went ahead and after it stopped raining by 10 AM




The weather rest of the afternoon was mostly cloudy with a slight drizzle now and then, the cool breeze continued blowing hand in hand with the drizzle, as if it has some kind of arrangement with the clouds, it rained heavily after 3 PM, but that couldn’t stop us from trekking, we went ahead and faced it all, the path was muddy and slippery and steep, we had to traverse over stones, rocks and boulders, since it started raining heavily we moved away from the rocky paths, safety is priority in GHAC, we take calculated risks that are fun and helps one overcome fears and inhibitions, there were minor injuries that were treated instantly with first aid on the spot.




we had close encounters with wildlife during the trek and night safari, some of us witnessed, languor’s, bears, deer’s, antelopes, bison, elephants, stag and variety of birds and flora and fauna, we found the head with horns of an antelope which might have killed by a tiger or leopard. We plucked fresh amla from the trees to quench our thirst and the red flower of the cactus plant was sweet and delicious.





The Call of the wild made us keep in a close group together, we had heard stories from Suresh of how wild animals like the hyenas isolate and attack so we kept together, only recently was a French lady trampled upon by a elephant, As we moved a Stag deer suddenly rushed out of a bush and startled all of us, I was also doing the head count now and then to make sure none was picked by any wild predator.



we spotted the paw print of the leopard which was fresh as if it just went by us, suddenly panic calls from the deer’s and other animals got our attention, the guide whispered it could be the leopard or the tiger hunting for food, we all went pin drop silence and froze looking in all directions to catch a glimpse of the leopard or the tiger, as we moved we could hear the trumpet of the elephants, with dread and trepidation we moved among the dense jungle and reached the hill with steep slope down to the river, the river is where most of the wildlife come to quench their thirst, looking down the valley made our heart throb faster and a chill was felt in the spine. How on earth could we make it down there was the first question that came to everyone’s mind, then it was decided that we move sideways down the hill taking zig zag paths and it worked out well.





The hill was not only steep but slippery due to the rain drizzle, half the way some of the trekkers stayed back and rest of us continued downwards making our own paths, slipping falling and tripling over stones, it was tremendous to see everyone who tried their best from kunal who was the youngest to nagesh who was young at heart, all of them showed courage, Sanjay despite having injury on his feet, was the foremost among all, We went down near the river almost and it started raining, we had to go down over a rocky and slippery plateau, myself and Jagan tried going down and found it very slippery and came back advising others to take a different route, it was about 4 PM and we have to move back before it gets dark and we get lost in the jungle


While coming up we took a different hill, and both the groups were divided now, we continued our journey upwards and found a heavy breathing sound far away, on going closer we found a herd of wild buffaloes, all staring and ready to charge at us and all of us stood there motionless without any movement thinking what will happen next and without much thought the guide made a hand movement to change our direction and as we moved a little far we were relaxed to escape the wild buffaloes.





The other group which stayed back on the hill started making panic calls to me, saying they lost they way and they guide with them doesn’t know the way out, to add to the panic the group also found the fresh leopard marks on the route, fortunately they had a compass and we tried coordinating the directions to meet each other but in vain, finally it was decided to take different ways of the jungle and I was glad to get a call they reached a nearby village ahead of us, I know how it feels to get lost in a jungle full of wild animals and wait for the night to appear, it scary and wildest thing that can happen to anyone, when asked how the trek was they group which was lost said they were very glad to make it back and that was the best thing in life. And we all laughed at it enjoying the pleasure that comes after you get out safe from a dangerous situation.




Night 9:30 PM dinner was ready for us and after a long trek of 10-12 kilometers in the jungle were feeling hungry, the menu was chicken 65, chicken masala, chapatti and rice for the non vegs and gobi 65 and veg curry for the vegetarians, the non vegs made best of the both worlds, I could hear the veggies saying finish it off before the non vegs attack their food, we had some sweet vermicelli and mysore pak as deserts, after dinner we all assembled at the bon fire and discussed the journey back home, we were keeping track of the news on the Kurnool floods, We called the KSRTC office to find out that the bus was cancelled and we had to make alternative arrangements for return journey back home.



Getting back home from the trek became a concern and a problem due to the floods as all buses and trains were cancelled, the air tickets sky rocketed in prices but we managed to plan it out together and everyone had made their own arrangement of reaching back home by flight or buses taking a alternative route




On 4th October 2009 we started early morning 7 am, had out breakfast and got into the minibus and went on the way to ooty, there are 36 hair pin bends on the ooty Ghats and the scenery was amazing, we could feel the pressure dropped as we moved up, we stopped on the way at bison view point only to find monkeys chase us to snatch the apples we were carrying, somehow we managed to give a slip to our ancestors, we have evolved to be smarter then them, we also stopped at kumaraja river which was very beautiful, we witnessed some wild horses grazing around and we took pictures keeping some distance from them and at the same time checking for safety and looking at the camera, we went to pykara water falls and spent an hour there, hour later we said adios to each other we were split in 2 groups, one group that went to ooty and the other that went to Mysore.




The Few of us who went to ooty and visited the botanical gardens and the next day trekked to thondapetta peak in the reserve forest behind the botanical garden which was wild, dense and untouched, full of varied flora and fauna, we found different species of mushroom which were red in color, we also went to the doddabeta peak, it was chill weather and we ended buying some warm clothes and caps for cheap




The wild is still calling, who else is going to answer it next?

Narsapur Forest Trek

An entire Saturday lost in the jungle! Good to lose it. A close-to-Hyderabad trek was planned by GHAC, The Narsapur Forest Trek. This meetup, as usual, found an early response. The mode of transportation to this destination was car. Cars were arranged and the itinerary was prepared and we hit the road. Now, onto the journey. This trek was attended by 17 people. Although more people were expected, they did not turn up.



We started around 8 AM in the morning for narsapur, took the route via Ameerpet - Balanagar - Jeedimatla - Medak Road, we stopped inbetween to buy some bananas and water as there are no known hotels near the forest stretch, We knew we were on the narsapur forest stretch the moment we saw our ancestors a.k.a monkeys, and hoards of them just waiting and looking around for people to throw some food, we saw the hanuman temple on the right with more monkeys around it, lord Hanuman's Army, we stopped about 2 Kms ahead of the hanuman temple just near the aayapa swamy temple which comes on the left and parked our vehicles there, picked up our lunch boxes,water and had a quick round of introductions to know each other which is more of a customary practice with every trek.




All the members were shuffled and 3 teams were formed with everyone being new to each other, except one couple who were allowed to stick together, a leader was selected for each group and was given the responsibilty to take care of the group, it was decided that we would go into different directions and assemble back by 2 pm at the same spot we parked our cars, our trek started at around 10 and lasted till 2 in the afternoon.

I lead a group deep into the forest, This step was taken intentionally, trying the trek in a different dimension. The trek was good. The forest had a good vegetation, the sun was bright and blazing, the clouds covered the sun occasionally to give us some relief, we took shelter quite often under the trees around to escape the heat. as we went inside we stopped in between and heard some noises, only to see a farmer grazing his cows, we shared some refreshments with him to gain his confidence, we enquired with him if there are hills or water ponds ahead to which he replied negatively and he tried to scare us that a police party was roaming around the jungle as if we were naxals around, we had to lie to him that we have permission to trek the forest.





We got some calls from the other groups and tried giving out our location, but it was all green trees around, we tried making noises but no help, we thought the other groups are lost for good, on our way back we came across a large herd of cows which were grazing and we walked pass them only to realize that the biggest OX with big horns was furious to see us and was about to charge at us, respecting his territory we retreated and changed our direction, we found a banyan tree and a boulder beneath it, we all climbed it and had another round of refreshments, the shade was cool and the wind was blowing softly, it was about 12:30 and we decided to start back to reach in time.

The overall trek was easy, there were small steep elevations to climb which were easy, we found lot of small water streams around the jungle and . we started walking back and after quite a distance we could hear the noise of traffic, we came out on the road and were glad to be back into civilization, but we didn't knew which direction to take to reach the place where our cars were parked and we stopped passersby to ask where the hanuman temple is and different people showed different directions, there is no dearth of hanuman temples in this area, we were confused and called the other trekkers to come to our rescue but they couldn't locate us, we used the GPS phone and figured out that we were on some different road altogether which was about 8 kms away, we saw a bus coming and we boarded it to land at narsapur town.



All the other groups joined us at narsapur town and we went ahead to narsapur lake and spent sometime strolling and doing some recreational games. we started for Hyderabad had tea on the way and reached by 7 in the evening. Sometimes its good to venture and get lost in a small forest, just follow the sun and listen for the nearest traffic noise and you will come out on some road.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Photo Sharing Session at 10DS.

An afternoon spent with friends, families and trekkers, primarily, everyone was a trekker. Remember! it's the trekkers' photo sharing session. A nice venue opted for an event - 1o Downing Street, shortly called 10DS.

The thought behind holding the session was to reminisce the Tirupathi Bandalu Trek. The session included watching the images captured by various trekkers and relive the experience of being there. Again! The enthusiasm was evident. The funny moments captured gave everyone their share of laughter. The images acted like a window to the past experience. It helped trekkers remember the events leading up to the photo capture. The ideas were embedded in the photos, so was the fun which they had. I thought it best to join others and watch the slide show over a drink. The slide show was like a marathon with images from almost every camera running at its pace for display. I, personally, got to learn a little bit in the way to capture a good image. Few did inspire me.

The event also had a surprise, which ....err..was a surprise to many! The surprise was the 'prizes ceremony'. The prizes were sponsored by Mr. Ranjan Sood, a very enthusiastic trekker and very-kind-at-heart man. He has been an inspirational figure for many in GHAC and adds to the enthusiasm in the group. Not to forget, adds to the humor as well. It's very gracious of him to sponsor the prizes.

Well, now to the categories and prize winners of this surprise event.

This trek has youngsters. When i said youngsters, i meant kids, who participated in the trek and left the elderly surprised with the energy they displayed during the course of the travel. At 10DS, the only thing i saw them doing was run around and give their parents a moment to frown! However, kids forget everything that's around them when they are told - "You just won a prize!" The same here, they forgot the running and collected their prize.
The youngest trekker awardees were - Jaee and Naik and Raza Razvi.

There were 3 more awards that were given away;
The oldest trekker award was given to Dr.Sushma Patange.
The most helpful trekker was given to Nandakishore Upadhay a.k.a Sab ka Bandhu.
and The most entertaining trekker award given to Narendra Vadlamudi a.k.a Filmy.


Furthermore, an icing on the cake. There was an actual cake! Tiny tot Zainab celebrated her birthday by cutting the chocolate cake.

All in all, a good sunday afternoon spent amidst people who loved their travel and shared their experience and images with fellow trekkers and never missed a chance of humor.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tirupathi Arimanu Bandalu Trek. Second Blog Entry.

This write-up, on Tirupathi Arimanu Bandalu Trek, is written by Chaya Naidu.

Thank you for the write-up, Chaya.


NOTE: If you have traveled with GHAC and want to post an article on the travel in this space, then send your articles or blogs to HACAdventurer@gmail.com or send the link of the site where you have posted the article. We will post your write-up as a blog in our blog site with credits to you and provide the link to the original article site.

So, GHAC adventurer Chaya, on Tirupathi Arimanu Bandalu Trek? Read on.




A FEELING CROPS, A THOUGHT FLASHED,

AN IDEA STRIKES, THE EFFORTS FLOW,

AND THE RESULT BOY IS A "GIFT"

MOMENTS WOVEN AS SUCH, THANK U SO MUCH

FOR TIRUPATHI ARIMANU BANDALU TREK.




Nine thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety Nine…..!!??!!

Gosh!! Frowned on myself.., am I fine……!!?

That I count the stars in the day,

And laugh for the unexpected in a way.

25 exuberant Enthusiasts from various walks of life have waved off to hyd, for a kick-ass journey to the much awaited trip to Tirupathi. Except for few repeaters, most of them were new; we exchanged greetings, and in few seconds got acquainted with each other, a very refreshing start for the trip. Some feelings were new, some wishes were born, some eyes filled with enthu, some were na├»ve, some were vibrant, some were terrific and so with so many mixed emotions we began our journey. Is it a magic wand of a fellow unknown trekker or the natures enigma encrusted on our way, it’s a mystery that we all had completed the trek without heavy downpour and hurdles in the return journey. More twists as u you go……



Announcement – Housefull:

Now folks!!! Here comes the "limited akshaya paatra", ahhaaa. What am i referring to? The right side "part" of the website ---- RSVP-ing is thoroughly a "ticket counter" as you see for a newly released movie!!! Movie buffs crazy corner (for tickets). Imagine guys, you are right in front of the system -- site open -- spots available --- waaoow, now blink your eyes, get lazy, do some whispers and stuff. In just minutes the spots were filled up. Yes fellas, it happened. The same with this trek, all the spots filled up soon. Hmm this "wiinnnggggg" is always HOUSEFULL, 365 days, yearlong. Oh dude, man, bro, mamu or whatever, wish I could do something for this wing hehehe. I had first voted for Masinagudi, later skipped it for this trek, as Arimanu Bandalu sounded good!! Actually this trek has been a lifetime memory for me as it was the first ever "trek" in my life, but it took soooo long that accidentally I happened to go to chennai and went for a trek there.


Preparation/Walking & KBR Park:

For first timers, without any walking or preparation, it’s gonna be tough time for sure others will have to face the breathing trouble, as I had. Walking for an hour in an up and down the terrain fills the gap and hence the place chosen by Vibha for the preparation in KBR is nevertheless perfect and a boost for all, though if and only if its near. It’s far for me. By following organizers’ instructions, one can really enjoy the trip. Firstly, Walking and secondly, wear old used shoes. For my first trek, I regretted wearing my new shoes. With every step, my feet ached a lot. Third, is restricting your bag size -- to lightweight. So first timers got to follow instructions and beware.


The Journey – The Moving Train:

Platform number 3, Couch number S12 was all abuzz only with us, as ours happened to be the biggest group there. Clock struck 8pm. The train’s time was at 8pm, still I see everyone happily talking in the platform. Cant help it as our trains are reliable enough! The next four hours were blessed for complete fun Uninterrupted. After settling down, we chilled up with dumb charades game with giggling, rib-tickling comedy, tiny acts for winning and not to forget for the pangs of guffaws -- yep the most loudest laughs…wowwee. Ever would have anyone dreamt of such lengthy laughing compartment in the train with guffaws hitting the train rooftop!!! Imaginations of the guys soared soo high, reaching its peak, to give a 'bingo' guess -- as if it’s a doa(dead or alive) series. Animesh was the guy, best fit for any guess. Jaee too enacted well. So far so good, the journey to reach was a KICK-ASS BLAST.


British Bungalow – The Trek Starts:

It was morning, reached Tirupathi watching the distant hills covered with fog and dew, passing thru many fields, sipping train-bed tea , half refreshed. We were received by Mr.Balu there and from there in a minibus, we went to the British Bunglow. Its said to be the oldest building there, constructed way back in 1920's as a tiny hill resort for Britishers. Must say, after seeing the location, they did have a penchant for the coolest places on our land. Now fully refreshed, after breakfast, it’s the time to start trekking. It kickstarted with some pics. Funnily at start we remained group, and slowly split to one, two, three as many as groups on the way. Unmindfully regrouping and breaking went on and on. Its just begun and I could see the Spark, the Glitter in everyone's eyes which reverberated in tandem to the valleys gentle silence.. filled up with tiny bushes along our trial. Everyone started emptying water bottles like a tusker from its trunk.



Day 1 – Discovering Waterfalls:

Curiosity bound, we enquired for places up to see, pat came the answer, the waterfalls, which was some 300mtr trek. Good. Our pathway soon shaped up to be a scenic grandiose, initially with a motor way like path leading to a very tiny route inside to the dense thick jungle where the Sun could hardly shine. The group pioneered by little cutie jaee went on crossing, rocks, shrubs, thorny bushes, trees, merrily taking breaks on and off listening to naughtiest crackles by the most dreaded our very own yakku joker.(kindly lead all ur pointers to the same guy pl) It was around 1pm when all were stepping up a hill, half way done & the view was explicably spell bound. Farthest visible railway track, the huge cedars, circled valley, cool breeze, rocks in hues - its all here. It was as if we were cascading into many different worlds driven by iota of passion only to see this fury of nature. Then we reached rocky terrain where the rocks seemed handcrafted in formations. As if for ages, their stint of existence impressed all. Its was around 3pm now and all hungry stopped for break. Curd rice was equally divided, spiced up with kranthi's pickles, sudhansu's peanuts sitting around tiny water pools. Jaee/raza went busy with ball, n others wid pics. From here team had to move further to our campsite and we still were searching for waterfall. Alas, we reached our campsite by 4pm and our discovery of a waterfall went on to be a damp squib due to scanty rains. Still had a gala time in the nearby pool , esp guys frenzied on pulling over others actual required garments stuck inside waters. O God behold us!!!!! mighty women.


Night Halt – Bonfire – Animalzzz:

The magical magnanimity of the darkness has arrived bringing along little stories strewn to its vast wings. My wildest of dreams too hadn't cover this night yet. Yesz, a night to be spent deep inside the jungle, between a tent/bonfire, to the side of a stream in its own lilting music of splashing waters, gaze stars underneath cloudy skies shoving off time n again making pathway for stars to be seen, sleep amongst the jungle noises as soothing as lullabies was euphoric. Ohh Man this is not less than a poets paradise. Longing enough, ever dreamt, provoked thoughts for it, and yes the day did come. Once silent, the resonant eccentric forest noises are music. Some slept inside tent and some outside, around the bonfire. Ali had made us do an Introduction part which was simply out of the world experience and yeaaa summing up, aamir's and padmaja's thundering blues from the glorious past made a perfect combo to the environs. They both just went on and on singing a song full. Woweee.!!! A thumping feel. Harnessed together in front of the fire, listening to them until midnight was something too unique, irreplaceable. Ohh.What a pity who missed n sleepin inside the tent! Some even came out from tent to our noise but jubilantly joined us singing those in tunes of seeking alms as beggars. Ahh that was a shocking reaction. Ultimate thrills. And know what, meanwhile, suddenly somebody spotted wild beasts it seems, in the torchlights, the shining eyes flashed but at a distance. That was really goosebump ride. Well around 4am, while some guarded us, we dozed off to sleep. The laughter freak was when Ali sir, n others in the morning gave feedback of the nite n songs.hahahaha the feathers in the caps. Come wht may, shivanksha had slept full.


Day 2 – Caves – Swimming:

The following morning opened up with much zeal and gusto among members. After relishing our breakfast which was cooked in the firewood of jungle, which tasted like heaven, we were set for the trek to ancient Caves deep inside the jungle. A discount here for our backpacks that we did not have to carry them all along till the Caves structures. This made our trek more pleasurable than with a rucksack of more than 5plus kgs. How wonderful. Passing through the rock formations, holding shrubs was amazing to the core. Meanwhile we collected water from the streams for drinking, which was undeniably chilled and good. Adding Glucose on breaks in the water really saved everyone from dehydration. And many had brought energy bars and other supplements for energy which kept us on move. So moving helter skelter, we reached the Cave. The hillock is all in its mighty pink armour. We had to step into the middle of it to check inside the cave. Ali had warned not to go inside cave, as the attack bats might attack us.

That was nice. Well whatever on white n black, they are the ones who feel more responsible and caring enough. The Cave mountain was in its impeccable glow rich in its own shape. Everyone from nandhu, jaga, vibha, ganesh, aamir had all taken nice snaps here. After this, we returned to our campsite, had quick sumptuous lunch, then we headed with our backpacks for further trekking. Its was nearing 4pm, and we crossed many a good boulders. At last, we reached the waterfall and the much required pool. Within minutes, all gathered in the pool with their best bathing attires. We cooled off like thirsty mongers for water. Ahh, man after a long trek, chilling water had really refreshed us to the hilt. Some swam topsyturvy, some played ball game. Two hours of water frenzy still felt had fallen less. All game for swimmers, anywayz. The weirdest of all was ofcourse VIBHA who stopped the waterfall by

climbing up and sashaying on those flowing waters. Sudden change and everyones brows raised then the laughter followed. :Yoooman such a twist and a cry heard, for tea n banana pakodas made the moments more livelier.



Moonlit Night – Animals on the Move:

By the side of the waterfalls, on a rock bed terrain, our tent was fitted. It was getting dark. In few seconds it would be completely dark, and here comes our teams’ Grand Master Mr Ranjan, who made all our wicked gang stung to him with his chutkules, gags, tales of raunchy tidbits!!!! Slowly the moonlit milieu hugged the darkness and all eyes, plus that of bespectacled too, turned to witness the moon emerging out from the hills. Ho!boy!eyes fall short to behold the grandeur, it’s a sight to watch for dude!!! Bound to take the nectar of life in this way, that’s lucky. For a while it was like a dream song in the background. The calm going in a lot - animesh, srimanta, gauhar, glued to it unruffled. Now whose heart wudnt rave about these earthly moments of treasure trove, whose minds wudnt have made a spark to moods, yet to know..haha.

Dinner time fast approached when females stuck to sum girlie talks, fellas wid gags, n others chatting wid ali sir. Finished yet another lavish platter of meal and all gatherd for chat. The group was split, the once tranquil forest was now abuzzz with our noise and somebody now noticed again some animals at a considerable distance. Some anxious bunch got curious to watch, some switched on their torches, keenly observing the movements. Ahh!!! Gosh, spotted one eyes splashing like Orbit white Ad of tv. Oops. What if they wud come near, fear! Shudder ! Quivers --- to some! Five to six were glued like a bunch of fanatic cricket fans glued to tv on hyd roads. Ooooo. Well yelled good night last for this pristine glory of the forest, loaded with memoirs in our rucksacks for the next morning for return trip.



Photosessions – Ghandhiji ki Dhoti:

Just rendering the "unknown mind speak" of some fellas of our group like -- naren, jaga, moulik, ram, ganesh, aamir, ksree, related to taking pics. Here-mixed lingo..

Jaga: nalla irkiya, romba spot -- onnu snap fast.,

Naren: abbe ruk ruk goggle to lagane de, mera image ka kabada banayga.,

Moulik: wait a bit , chal yahan se le , le diya phoz , lagraha hun na dude abhi , chal nikal,

Ram: I face north, u face south, then that’s a gud shot..,

Ganesh: arre mamu main ich lerun tera, mera teri gf legi kya., mera to khinch le do char.,

Aamir: abhi ek sec mein pani mein bheektaun phir le.,

Ksree: no noise, only clicks.

Again Naren: yaar bas ekkkk kona aur bachgaya waha pe jaatun.,Haaaahaha.

Dear all this was the photography session kirkiri for you. Hmm though with the group these fellas made a point not to miss any scenic corner for a snap. Their batteries mite stop charging but they didn’t!!!. Most obsessive shot was -- at the time of the dusk, on a rock, five guys were ready for shot and as effervescent lively mr.ranjan and gang asked to remove the shirts and give a pose. And truly smitten by the cries of us, they did!!!!, they did thrust open their shirt for the bare bodeeeez hahaha. That was a tru sporty luk. Ready with the backpacks for return journey, group had a read out passage on " gandhiji ki dhoti " sounded wildly abnormal.



Hotseat:

Hot seat is a game zeroed in on a person shooting "any" questions, which can be actually called ragging to bits. Questions may be asked immaterial of whether its personal or professional. And its in shooting the questions, lies the fun. Woww. All did their die hard bit to pull each others strings yeaaa !!!!!!! , and the best two questions bang came from abhimanyu, and of course our very sweet mamiko…!! Oooo… yess. Oh welll the girls were spared here, for some were sleeping and some missed the game. Else definitely pointers would have been raised to disclose the most absolute geek of the trip or the most handsome guy on the trip hahahaha……This was the fun in the night zone and yeah concluded here heaving a sigh of relief -- for a weekend spent substantially well , taking sweet memoirs back home to treasure.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Masinagudi - Call of the Wild - 2

This write-up, on Masinagudi trek, is written by Jagan GVS.

Thank you for the article, Jagan.


NOTE: If you have traveled with GHAC and want to post an article on the travel in this space, then send your articles or blogs to HACAdventurer@gmail.com or send the link of the site where you have posted the article. We will post your write-up as a blog in our blog site with credits to you and provide the link to the original article site.

So, what does, GHAC adventurer Jagan, has to say on Masinagudi Trek? Read on.

Ooty treks have been a wonderful experience. I have not encountered such climatic odds and yet such determination and resilience despite the remarkable diversity in the age and fitness profiles. I found much inspiration in the un-relenting efforts of Mr. Nagesh and Master Kunaal who kept stride with the group and smiled past the arduous terrains.


Ownership and responsibility of a group lie with each individual and not just the organizers; this sentiment was well reflected in Diyanat's idea of arranging the group into three teams. Equally gratifying was Mr. Suresh and Ms Padmini's hospitality and their subsequent help and wishes during the Ooty trek which followed.


Day 0

We reached Masinagudi a little late due to the floods which caused much havoc and misery off late. Although, our thoughts were occupied for the safety of the loved ones and the people who were affected by the floods everybody soon got down adjusting themselves to the situation and marched down to the banks of rivulet which flowed less than half a kilometer from the Whispering Windows. After the tour of the rivulet we visited a lush patch of the jungle nearby with a small stream when a mild torrent chanced upon us and added just the missing element in the fun. Dinner, camp fire and conversation soon slipped everyone into the dreamy depths of drowsiness unknown to the rabid existence of the cities.


Day 1

Seemed like a lost battle with the rain gods pouring their hearts out. Just when I thought the day was going to be a cottage bound, card playing and lazing, Diyanat and Suresh managed to move the guides into action and bring the group onto a flank attack in the marshy terrain with a bleak overcast. However, this was soon dispelled when we reached a check-dam where we could see tracks made in the water by a large mammal. With the day getting sunnier we were soon favored by a couple of herds of spotted deer, bear (few of us saw them) and many picturesque landscapes. Towards the afternoon we started on an ambitious steep descent into a river valley. Despite our best efforts we could not reach the bottom of the valley due to continual drizzle, slippery marshy soil and equally wet rock faces. Returning to the cottage we warmly received with tea and hot pakoda soon to be followed by camp fire and enjoyable conversation.


Day 2

Before the tide of excitement of the first day ebbed on the group, we left the lush banks of Masinagudi for the panoramic heights of Ooty. First to a pine forest en-route Pykara falls and then to the falls itself, we sighted a herd of spotted deer crossing the road. Pykara falls was the parting time – one group left for Mysore and another comprising Devyani, Diyanat, Nilesh, Vineet and myself to Ooty for a trek. The parting shots brought the curtains down on the trek which in no respect was less than an adventure.

Reaching Ooty we met Mr. Suresh again who guided us find a fine place (Hotel Durga). The botanical gardens were a floral extravaganza and added an aesthetic dimension to the extended trek.


Day 3

The following morning we visited Mr. Suresh and Ms. Padmini’s place (who run a school also) for tea. We trekked to the Thondabetta peak and visited Doddabetta (highest peak in South India) and saw some fascinating landscapes, flora and fauna. Soon we were on our way to Bangalore ending an unlikely to be repeated collage of experiences.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

KBR Park Walking. Another post for GHAC blog.

This short write-up, on KBR walks, is sent by Mr. Ranjan Sood.

Thank you for the write-up, Mr. Ranjan.

NOTE: If you have traveled with GHAC and want to post an article on the travel in this space, then send your articles or blogs to HACAdventurer@gmail.com or send the link of the site where you have posted the article. We will post your write-up as a blog in our blog site with credits to you and provide the link to the original article site.

So, an active member of GHAC, Mr. Ranjan Sood on KBR walks.


The best ever gift politicians could give hyderabad is the lung of pure and refreshing feeling called kbr park. i am sure the outer ring 6km in length is like a simulator for, we, trek enthusiasts, for preparing ourselves mentally and physically for an out door trek. Thanks to the call made by the organizers most of us living near or far willfully started to come and enjoy a good walk and friends alike.

The ultimate goal of a trekker is to walk , that's what we did all these days thanks to the motivation of the little bubbly power house jaiee and her mother our trip organizer vibha and ali. They were always there on time to receive and coordinate with the always growing list of GHAC members joining the evening walk.

Most of us who walked regularly are better prepared for the trek . Hope the evening walks become a regular practice for most of those who enjoyed it and even for those who missed it and shall not in future. Lets all show our strength in numbers and practice walking regularly and strengthen our physical endurance for our own good and for the good of our dear club GHAC.

Lets make this a daily meet up and fall in line with our slogan " hyderabad " chalte kya adventure?


About The KBR Park Walk:
The walks are organized by Dr. A.V.S Prasad (Morning), Vibha, Ranjan Sood and Ali Rizvi., on a daily basis, EXCEPT sundays. Any GHAC member can attend these walks. There are two sessions. Any change in walk timings or cancellation will be intimated prior.

Morning session: 6 AM - 7 AM
Meeting point: Main Gate KBR park Ticket Counter
Reporting time: 5:55 AM to 6:05 AM - Monday to Saturday only
Walk: inside the park
Cost: Rs 10 per day, monthly/yearly passes available at ticket counter


Evening Session: 7 PM - 8 PM
Meeting point: Main Gate KBR park
Reporting time: 6:55 PM to 7:05 PM - Monday to Saturday
Walk: outer circle of the park
Cost: free

Same information here as well:
http://www.hyderabad-adventures.com/messages/boards/thread/7763094

KBR Park Walking.

This short write-up, on KBR walks, is sent by Gauhar Kachchhi.

Thank you for the write-up, Gauhar.

NOTE: If you have traveled with GHAC and want to post an article on the travel in this space, then send your articles or blogs to HACAdventurer@gmail.com or send the link of the site where you have posted the article. We will post your write-up as a blog in our blog site with credits to you and provide the link to the original article site.

So, GHAC adventurer, Gauhar Kachchhi on KBR walks.


A committed group of hikers let by Dr Vibha, Mr Ali Razvi and Mr Ranjan Sood have organized evening walks in KBR Park to prepare for Tirupati Arimanu Bandalu trek. Its a lot of fun to pace on the outer and inner tracks of KBR park with that jolly group. Everyone is chatting and getting to know each other, sharing stories and jokes and experiences. Before you know it, your walk of 7+ km is done. The enthusiasm and energy in everyone is infectious. It is difficult to remain non-enthusiastic when others express their enthusiasm.

After a long hard day at work, when you come to KBR park, you're as refreshed as ever... You just can't miss it for anything... :)


About The KBR Park Walk:
The walks are organized by Dr. A.V.S Prasad (Morning), Vibha, Ranjan Sood and Ali Rizvi., on a daily basis, EXCEPT sundays. Any GHAC member can attend these walks. There are two sessions. Any change in walk timings or cancellation will be intimated prior.

Morning session: 6 AM - 7 AM
Meeting point: Main Gate KBR park Ticket Counter
Reporting time: 5:55 AM to 6:05 AM - Monday to Saturday only
Walk: inside the park
Cost: Rs 10 per day, monthly/yearly passes available at ticket counter


Evening Session: 7 PM - 8 PM
Meeting point: Main Gate KBR park
Reporting time: 6:55 PM to 7:05 PM - Monday to Saturday
Walk: outer circle of the park
Cost: free

Same information here as well:
http://www.hyderabad-adventures.com/messages/boards/thread/7763094

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

GHAC Trek to Sheshachalam Mountain Ranges near Tirupati

This entire article has been written by Gauhar Kachchhi. Do find the same article with Photos on his site:

http://tirupati.informationpile.com/ghac-trek-to-sheshachalam-mountain-ranges-near-tirupati.

Thank you Gauhar for the article.


NOTE: If you have traveled with GHAC and want to post an article on the travel in this space, then send your articles to HACAdventurer@gmail.com or send the link of the site where you have posted the article. We will post your write-up as a blog in our blog site with credits to you and provide the link to the original article site.


So, read on what GHAC Adventurer, Gauhar Kachchhi, has to say on the trip to Sheshachalam Mountain Ranges.


Our Trek Begins – Evening 7:30 pm at the Kacheguda Railway Station

It was fascinating…

What a trek! Experience of a Lifetime… I have never done so many new things all at once…


Full fun! Full Dhamal…

We were a group of 25 high-spirited trekkers. Our youngest member was Jaee, aged 11 and out most experienced member was Mr. Ranjan Sood, aged 53. But it was amazing to see all of us jelling so well with each other. It was as if we all knew each other for years… :)

We started the journey in the evening of Thursday, 1st October 2009. Our train was scheduled to depart at 8 pm in the evening. It was the Venkatadri Express, traveling between Chittoor and Kacheguda. Our starting point was Kacheguda Railway Station, where we decided to get together at 7:30 pm. Our final destination was the pilgrim city of Tirupati. Our tickets were RAC and were confirmed later on. So, we were not together in a single compartment but were divided into 4 compartments. In the train, all the members had packed dinner and we all shared it with each other. Everyone was very friendly and cordial. After the tasty dinner, we all got to know each other. Some members played games like Dumb Charad and sang songs…Later, we all decided to sleep early to conserve energy for the trek on the next day… We reached Tirupati on the morning of 2nd October 2009.

The group rocked! We were all set to conquer any mountains or forests or streams that came in our way. We are Survivors… :)

After that, we went to the local trekking group’s office, because he promised us free tea and coffee… ;) The local group had agreed to provide us with guides, food, boiled water and protection from wild animals, for a small fee. The head of the group was Mr Balu, and he did a great job. The entire group appreciates his assistance in making our stay comfortable to a certain extent. After this, we all got into a bus and were transported to the starting point on the highway. We had a lot of fun there… We had 30 minutes to spend, and all the hidden singing talent came to the fore… :)

Once we reached our spot, we got down with our backpacks. We were in the middle of nowhere. From there began our real trek… With large backpacks on out shoulders, we started walking towards the jungle. We were on our way to an ancient British bunglow that was now converted into a resort. We planned to have breakfast there and pack up our lunch. We got down from the bus at around 8:30 am in the morning… all set to go…

On the way, we encountered railway tracks and decided to pose for a few pics, just for the heck of it… :)

Once we reached the British bunglow, we all waited in line for breakfast. There was only one bathroom for ladies and one for the men. So, not all of us could get a morning shower. We had to bring our own plates, spoon and mugs. After a good smacking breakfast, we got ready to leave for our destination. We were going to camp in the jungle. Our lunch was packed in plastic vessels. It was nothing fancy, just curd-rice and some pickle. After breakfast, we started onwards towards our base camp. It must be a good 10-12 kilometers away, a lot of it was uphill. KSREE had a GPS device. Our starting altitude was around 220 meters and our topmost altitude was around 505 meters. Stay tuned for KSREE’s blog which is going to be jam-packed with all the information you need. He did a great job with his Camera too. Animesh also had an excellent camera. Our trek in the forest was only interrupted by short resting periods for photo shoots… ;) As usual, Cool Dude Naren has the most pics this time also… :) At the start of the journey, we came across a dry river bed. We would encounter this same river bed on our way back 2 days later…At around 2 pm, we reached a waterfall. Unfortunately, the water was missing! ;) It was dry. We had packed curd-rice earlier. That was our lunch at that moment. We were very tired. The money in our pocket was worthless paper and we could not buy anything else to eat even if we wanted to… So, we relished whatever we had. It was our first taste of what the jungle had in store for us…Then, we continued to trek, and at around 4 pm in the afternoon, we reached our camp. It was a yellow tarpolene tent on a dry river bed. Solid rock under our feet.

We were all exhausted, but there wasn’t enough room inside the tent for all 25 of us… Then a few of us spotted a small pond there… and were we glad. We raced to the pond, climbed down a rough terrain… and there it was… just waiting for us to show up… :) (While going back this route, Nandu took a different route and was stuck pretty badly. He could neither go up nor go back down. It was a very tense situation, and Nandu was terrified. I can never forget the look on Nandu’s face…!) But a few trekkers decided to stay out of the pond. It didn’t seem very clean. Guys in the water teased all those outside it… :) It was fun. The water wasn’t much deep… just about waist height. But still it was a life saver. The cold water soothed our aching muscles, and took away all the dust and sweat and pain from the body. Relief… :) Then after a couple of hours or so, the trekkers were out of the water. It was tea time… We all had our coffee mugs with us… and we had tea with pakodas and biscuits. Then, in the evening, when the sun was about to set, we all had formal introductions. A few classic and new songs rang through the forest. The animals knew that there was a new group of beasts in the jungle… ;) and it was not to be messed with… Around dinner time, Mr Balu and the locals lit a camp fire for us. There was enough wood to ensure the fire would keep burning for the entire night, if we keep feeding the fire. Then we all had a heavy dinner. As usual, all our lunches and dinners from here on consisted of Rice, Rassam, Samber, Pickle and a bit of sweet, usually Tirupati temple’s prasad laddoo. Getting drinking water was big trouble. The locals boiled water in a large container, but it was insufficient for all 25 people and their bottles. And you couldn’t like the taste of hot, boiled water. But we managed. Water is the most important thing during treks… There was no fresh water stream that would give us any confidence of purity. So we decided to rely upon boiled water for our needs. Then at around 10 pm at night, Mr Ali and 15 other trekkers (including me) decided to trek the mountain near the camp. It was a huge mountain and could have easily taken us 4+ hours for a round-about trip. We all readied our torches and set forth to conquer that mountain. But after walking a few hundred meters, locals came to us and warned us not to go ahead at that time. We found that animals are very active at night, and the dense mountain was full of dangerous bears, wild dogs and panthers, as well as snakes. So, trekking at night was a very bad idea.

We dropped the idea and returned to base. After that, a few trekkers went to sleep in the tent, while the rest of us put our sleeping bags around the camp fire and enjoyed the night. We could see the locals hurrying into the forest to scare off wild animals. We did the rest of the scaring with our laughter, games and songs. A few singers were awake until 4 am in the morning… That was my first experience at open-air sleeping… near a camp fire… in a freaking jungle… :)

I woke up at 5:30 in the morning. My back was hurting like crazy. The ground was uneven, and it was solid rock. It was extremely painful… Then the morning brought a new experience. There are no toilets in the jungle. Damn… What an experience! I am glad I did it… ;) Then at around 8 am, we got a cup of tea. Naren was ready with his “Digestive Marie” biscuits… :) After tea, Mr Ali got a plan of fielding a cricket team for GHAC, just like the corporates do. It was a great idea. So, we began working on on it. We had catching practice for 30 minutes… :) Then, it was breakfast time… Light breakfast for all of us… It was good…Then, we packed up our bags and kept them ready. We were ready to go on a short trek, a cave nearby, along with a few small ponds. Very beautiful places indeed. There were a few caves there… More water bodies…There were animals & bats in this cave, and it smelled really bad. There were bats inside, probably porcupines or wild dogs too...After this, we set out of check another interesting location… It was very cool and serene place. Sudhansu found a skull of a dead deer… And then went ahead to discover a Right horn of a fully grown deer… We were happy at the discovery… :) Then, it was time for lunch and we headed back to camp. The food was, as usual, Rice, Sambar, Rassam and laddoo prasad from Tirupati temple… I was already missing Hyderabad… :P After lunch, the group rested in the shade of trees. The Sun was blazing hot, and not a cloud in sight. I and Ram Ganesh climbed up the watch tower. It was covered with a roof, and at that height, cool breeze was like a manna from heaven… :)

Again, as usual, drinking water was hard to find. Boiled water tasted very bad… and it was in limited supply. In this hot weather, we did not feel like drinking this hot water…Then, at around 3 pm in the afternoon, we moved on with our backpacks to a new destination… We headed towards a waterfall around 5-7 km from our first camp. Then finally, after a couple of hours of journey, we arrived at our destination. Our tired bodies rejuvenated with fresh energy as we found a beautiful pond at the base of the waterfall. That was all we wanted. That was what everyone was praying for… :) As soon as we reached Camp 2, we all rushed into the pond of cool water… It was a scenic place. We were glad we made it…Almost everybody was in the water. It was relaxing… The depth of the pond at the deepest point was around 8 feet. I am not a swimmer, so I stayed where water was around 5 feet… It was a great experience…We were dragged out of the water after 2 hours, coz it was getting darker and colder. Also, it was Tea Time… :)

Then again, we enjoyed Tea with biscuits and Wild Banana Pakodas, while enjoying the beautiful nature around us… It was awesome…In the evening, we spent our time chatting with each other… exchanging jokes, talking about things… just relaxing. Then we witnessed something very beautiful. In this wilderness, away from the frenzy of the city, we witnessed a Moon-rise on the horizon above the mountain… Beautiful… :) Then after a few more photo sessions with the moon, we got back to what we know best… chatting… :) Soon, it was time for dinner. Today, it was the last dinner offered to us by the local group. So, in dessert, we got Mesuk Pak sweets… Great!

Then the rest of the evening was spent talking about different things, singing songs, playing games…

It was a beautiful Poornima night. Later, we found it was the Sharad Poornima, that happens only once in a year. What luck…! :) This time, most of the group decided to sleep outside the tent. A good place to sleep was very hard to find. So, I had to sleep inside the tent.. :( Then in the morning, it was as usual, hunting for a good place for potting… :P I and Nandu climbed a hillock beside the camp. It was far away and I figured few would want to climb up there in the morning. It was far easier to climb down the waterfall into the valley. So, it was a safe place… :)

Later, we got our morning cup of tea, and we were ready for yet another trek. One thing you notice in a forest is that you never run out of beautiful places. It was one more waterfall with a beautiful pond. There were many other water bodies around as well. KSREE went out of his way to record stunning images of nature in his camera. He climbed down the waterfall alone in a secluded place to bring us this beautiful snap… Shree Ganesh was so thirsty, he wanted to drink the entire waterfall… :) Then, some member of the group decided to climb the waterfall. It was classic rock climbing, without any safety harnesses… I was stuck at one place. There was no grip… KSREE helped me up. Unfortunately, Mamiko slipped at that same spot and was lightly injured at hands, feet and stomach. But she is tough. She got up and was ready to go… :) After that, we had a few more photo sessions on the top and then returned, this time from another route, as the first one was very risky.

Then downhill, we had another surprise… :)

There were small fishes in the water. When we put our hands and feet in the water, they would come and start biting. But they were so small, they would only eat the dead skin of our hands and feet. It was a great tickling sensation and we thoroughly enjoyed Natural Fish Spa! Then, it was time to go back.It was very difficult to leave those fishes behind. I and all others really enjoyed the massage and pedicure provided by the fishes. But it was time to go home…

We reached Camp 2 and had our breakfast. We were ready with our backpacks to move on… We were going back to Tirupati city. Finally, we filled up our bottles with fresh stream water, and mixed a fair amount of Glucose into it to last us for the trek back to the starting point. We had some last minute fun, video shooting and masti… and then we set out for home…Looking at the distance we walked, I would estimate it was easily between 12 to 15 km to trekking that day.

One the way, we encountered a few things where it was obligatory for all of us to pose for a few pictures… :)

We found a few animal pugmarks. We suspect it was a Panther… There are about 45 Panthers in this jungle. We found a fruit bearing tree… and we plucked a few for ourselves… :) It had a sweetish-tungent flavor, but made the tongue dry…We were back at the Dry River bed that we had encountered on Day 1. It hadn’t changed a bit… :) Finally, we were back to where we had started from… the Railway Tracks… Time for a few more pics… :)

After that, we found a highway. The rest of the guys were still back there, exploring… taking snaps. I, Ranjan Sir, Sudhansu and Mamiko were the first to reach the highway and found a cool drink shop. Ranjan Sir was kind enough to buy us all large cool drinks… :) After resting for a while, the rest of the group caught up with us. Then, we were herded into cramped vehicles and dropped back to the railway stations… After reaching Tirupati, we decided to have lunch. While waiting for all the cars to arrive, we had to put down our heavy backpacks someplace. We found just a solution for it.. :) A cart, the same cart, that had greeted us on our arrival at Tirupati, was still there… ready to carry our loads… :) Good luck…Load carrying cart near the railway station at Tirupati - Day 3

Then we looked around for a restaurant. It was almost 4 pm and we were famished. It was hard to find a decent place to eat. Everyone wanted to eat non-veg food, except 4 of the trekkers. We found a restaurant and got in. The food was very expensive, and terrible according to Hyderabadi standards…

After it was all over, we headed for an ice-cream parlour, while a few went to drink some tea and coffee. I had a scoop of Belgium Dark Chocolate… It was awesome… :) And I didn’t even have to pay for it… ;)

After that, we headed for the railway station and waited for the train to arrive. The train was late. It was also going to take an alternate route as the mail route was under water due to flooding. Finally, we got it… and the train started moving. Everyone was tired, but their enthusiasm had not waned. We had a lot of fun… :) Aamer also wrote a song about the trek and Kranti is going to sing it during out next meetup in 10 Downing Street on Sunday, 11th October 2009.

All in all… the experience was Awesome…