This is my 15th continuous trek in 15 weekends and by far the best! I generally don’t do write-ups as I suck at writing but this trek gave me some really good experiences that I wanted to share. Mission Nagari was an exploration trek and Exploration feeds you with a totally different kind of energy.
Initially Me and vipin were new GPS users and we got to learn a lot about the maps, navigation and terrain features. Peter shared the Google earth files (KML/KMZ) which contained the full collection of satellite images and trails.the gpx file had all possible options that we had during the trek. Peter looked up the satellite images from google and marked each and every trail that was there around the Nagari range. All this was loaded in the GPX file which had 3 options which we could take depending upon the group speed and climate. This job needs a lot of time and effort and all thanks to Peter for considering each and every option possible. I'm not much of a GPS (I rely on the maps) user but me and Vipin loaded the all the GPS tracks in our GPS.
Image : The proposed trail and the trail completed.
We had 3 cars and 1 bike. I wanted to feel the wind in my face. So I and vipin came by bike. The initial trek was the hard as it was tough climb up the saddle to the temple where we had the bath. The people experienced with Nagari before (Durai Murugan and Vadivel) told us about the falls incident and the trail they followed up the falls. The morning bath was over and we were all set to explore. From here on, it’s all new
Image: Begining of the trek and Temple waterfall.
We followed a Jeep trail upto a saddle, that led us to the stream that goes from east to west behind the south facing Nagari wall. Here we took a right and filled up our bottles. We were at the west end and had to go all the way to the east. So the exploration began. No trails or anything, just follow the stream. People not experienced in bending, jumping, thorns, moving boulders and balancing properly had a hard time. We had to cover from 300m altitude to 1000m altitude up the stream. There were points where we had to climb straight wall like rocks. This was when we made our first discovery - The diving pool. Hidden under a huge rock protected from the sun was the pool. The water cold and clear, It was an awesome sight. At that point, when I realized that such wonders of nature can exist within a forest, we got the urge to explore more. That was the time I decided I’ll do the write describing the beauty of that pool! It was pretty deep as we couldn’t even make out the floor. Perfect for diving but none of us went in as the way out seemed confusing and we wanted to go on.
Image: Our first hidden pool encounter
After around half an hour climbing we reached the nagari dead-end! By far the best pool in our trek. Half the people couldn't see this pool as they went further on top, but we took our time enjoying the falls and clinging onto the roots from the mountain into the pool.
Image: The Nagari dead end. Awesome pool
An hour of climbing led us to the bath tub pool! It’s just like a small round bathtub good for taking bath. So we filled up our bottles and carried on.
Image: The kutti bathtub pool
The last 150m ascent was little bit tough as the rocks were loose and if disturbed, it could roll and hit the person below. Finally we reached the peak at around 4 pm and enjoyed the panoramic views of the northern plains containing Venkateshwara and Tirupati.
Image : The northern view of Venkateshwara
We were lucky as we got to see both the southern and northern plains. We were on top of a peak and most of us were out of water. We crossed over to a valley where Peter guessed water might be there. This is the valley where they camped in Nagari combo Level 3. And yes, he was confident and as usual (as always) he was right. We camped at the 5 star camp in that valley near the stream and the night's sleep was under the rain :-)
Image: Sleeping in heavy rain
We were already lagging too much on schedule as we had initially planned 4 valleys, 2 per day and we had completed only 1. So the plan was to complete the south east valley for Sunday and call it off. So it was 2 valleys in 2 days now. So we headed up the back to the legendary water rock which has a myth that water drips down throughout the year! For the people familiar with Nagari, this was a historic moment and for those who were new to Nagari got to learn significance of that rock.
Image: The legendary water rock and the saddle
Finally we entered the South-east valley - which was our aim for Sunday. Initially the place was steep and dry. We descended till 600m and then there was a steep drop till 450 meters. Here we found one more amazing pool, probably the highest pool in Nagari. We travelled quite a lot of distance without water and suddenly bumped into this heaven. It was around 10-15 feet deep and nature was kind to the non-swimmers too by providing roots hanging from the rocks as support. Vipin got so excited after seeing this pool that he started climbing down fast slipped and did a 360 degree back summersault and fell on Ram. The fall was around 3 meters and happened right in front of my face! At the end of it, every1 was glad that he was okay.
Image: The vipin 360 pool!
After extracting the pleasures from this pool, we moved on to a nearby peak which had an amazing view of the valley we were about to descend. We could relate each and every point in detail with the map.
Image: resting atop the hill after a nice swim and The 4Km valley we were about to cross
The descent further was torturous full of grass and thorns. Durai was blessed with our groups' first wasp bite here. The descent further was literally 80 degrees down the valley till 450 m. then on the path was clear.
Image: Lunch! So many hands 1 bowl
We found a recently used campsite and an adjoining trail. 5-6 Kms on that trail led us to the nearby village GopalaKrishnaPuram. This was not that easy as most of us were out of water and had to walk under the sun. Out of nowhere, we found an artificial pool with water from the valley. Without thinking much, we jumped in and enjoyed the waters.
Image: The artificial pool near the village
Soon the village came up at 6 pm and we had our refreshments. Me peter vipin and Nagin went around 6 Kms further to the place where we parked our cars (sada siva kone colony). The sad part was, even this way was full of thorns and the legs were cut on all possible places. But the 4 of us managed to reach the cars and our trek had ended.
Image: The final moments
There are a few good things that I take out of this trek and a few bad ones too. I know CTC has a lot of rules put up before the trek and I try to follow whatever I can. But what I found most disappointing was the shouting. I generally go out into the forests to find a peaceful, silent place to trek. But within our group, there was too much of shouting and we have to try and reduce that. One more disappointing thing I found was the nagging questions. After every 100m I saw people asking questions How much further to the village, how far to go, where is water blah blah blah. Thanks to Peter who never lost his temper and patiently answered every question. I guess there nothing less to expect out of the best organizer in the club. A total fun weekend with amazing discoveries. Looking forward for future explorations like this.
“I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it.”