[Write up by Durai Murugan]
Walking down the mountain trails; trekking along the banks of the stream; relishing the chill breeze soothing through nostrils; pleasing sun rays piercing the murky clouds; the songs of the birds adding melody in the air; breaking the morning laziness we started our trek from Senbagagathopu village which lies on the Northeast of the Javadhu range.
The agenda of this two day exploratory trek was to trek along the stream and reach the highest peak 975 mts in the northeast Javadhu range exploring this range of mountains and return back to the starting point, trekking along the ridges of the mountain.
Trekking along the river trails and visiting various hamlets:
The trek started along trail along the river penetrating into the jungles and passing through the rocky mountain. Both the side of the trail was surrounded by sky-high peaks and the trek in between them was mind blowing.
We halted for lunch on the banks of the river and decided to take bath in the chill water which refreshed the wetting skin and brought in chillness to the body.
After few of hours of trekking we reached a sliding pool and we dashed each other to dive and swim in the ice cold water it was a rewarding experience swimming and splashing in the river.
From here we trekked and trekked and finally in the evening we encountered a 30 mts high splendid waterfall which was a delight for the tired soul. The pool in front of the waterfall was very scenic. After spending considerable time with the natural beauty we started to trek along the river in search for a place to camp for the night.
Visiting Hamlets and understanding villagers:
I am given to understand that there are around 250 hamlets in the Javadhu hills and most of them have only walkable trails and no roads. Still untouched by modernization and industrialization the hamlets still use their eco-friendly granaries, huts and adhere to the local customs living with their cattle and begin part and parcel of Mother Nature.
The villages in the mountain are very small each having around 4 to 6 huts with a few dogs guarding them and cattle’s grazing around. The people in the villages are very hospitable and very friendly in nature. The best place to stay away from the noisy and polluted cosmopolitan cities and live close to the nature enjoying the chillness in the atmosphere and the melancholy in the wind.
Cold and sleepless night around the campfire:
We camped nearby the river and started preparing our rice and soup for our dinner and the fall of the sun brought in pitch darkness and chillness started spreading across the mountains. It was pleasure sitting around the campfire and eating our supper and chit chatting about the day’s trek and thinking about next day’s hike to the peak.
It was time to sleep and half the crowd did not carry a sleeping bag along with them and few had very thin sleeping bags. The mercury started dipping making us feel for heat or fire. The blankets and thin sleeping bags soon got drained with the fog and now people started wandering for some heat around 3 a.m.
Few guys started making a campfire to keep them warm and I could see the crowd around the fire slowly started increasing unable to manage the cold. Shivering to the chillness in the breeze they spent their night sitting beside the campfire. I don’t think these guys will ever forget this night which gave them endless and chilling night.
The morning was very peaceful and thinking of yesterday night cold made our bones to tremble and to keep us warm we started to sit in the sun rays. Soon preparing and having our corn flakes for breakfast soon we disappeared into the forest to reach the day’s target of hitting the peak.
Encounter with wasps:
It was around 11 a.m when we were hiking through the Javadhu hills to reach the peak I saw a bunch of disturbed wasps flying around us; I had a towel to cover across my face and quickly ran away from the scene. Two of my co-trekkers who were hiking behind me unfortunately had to encounter the wasps and got bitten by the wasps.
Both of them started developing signs of dizziness and the injured place started to swell. Luckily, we reached yet another hamlet which had 5 huts the villagers although surprised to see us trek to their place, welcomed us with charming smile and soon hearing the story of the wasp bite, one of the elderly lady took us to a tree and sliced its barks to extract the medicinal properties which they believed is the cure for wasps bite.
Only after few hours both of them recovered from the wasp bite and the group got split into two. Peter decided to stay along with the injured guys and take them safe to the starting place while the rest of us headed to conquer the peak.
Rocky hike to reach the 975 mts Javadhu north east peak:
We started our hike from the hamlet heading towards the peak trekking navigating by ourselves, braving the thorny bushes and dense plants. It was an adventurous trail at times we had to climb through rocky mountain. At few places we got stuck because of the sloppy rocks and had to do rock climbing. Indeed, it was unforgettable and adventurous to do this rock climbing along with trekking. A mixture of trekking and rock climbing was a real treat to an adventurer.
Rock climbing to reach the 975 mts peak:
The peak was bald and a humongous piece of rock. It at all we had to reach the peak we have to climb this rock. Most of us were quite reluctant if we can climb this rock. With an unconquerable will to conquer the peak we decided to climb this rock. Each step was a cleverly kept; each 1 meter climb made my heart pounce harder although in the middle of the climb I dared to look back to see where I am and think of what will happen if I fall down but I enjoyed the thrill very much. I never hesitated to take my camera out and capture my co-trekkers clever movements to and their expressions.
Successfully climbing the 25mts + high humongous rock we felt as if we “are the KINGS of the Javadhu hills” a nice feeling. Nature rewarded us with glorious views of the peaks below us, the hillock Kottaimalai temple, the greenish Javadhu valley, the view of the Dam.
Running along the ridges of the mountains:
After the conquest of the peak we all were over delighted and rejoiced therefore started dashing in the village trails to reach the Dam where we have parked our vehicles.
This time I choose to stay ahead of the group, myself, arun, vishal and few other guys in the front started running on the trail. We ran and ran carrying our trek bags and utensils and to confess I was able feel my heart beat on my throat. Enjoying every beat of my heart I ran from one village to another village and on the ridges and finally reached a mud road it was almost getting dark. The sun was setting in between two mountains it was a scene of lifetime to watch different colours unfold in the sky. Watching the sun slowly settling for the day we walked along to take a dip in the river and jump into our vehicles.
At the end of the two days trek this is what is would like to state “why would I ever want to go to Scotland to admire landscapes when am lost in the picturesque beauty of Javadhu; why would I ever want to bathe from a frozen Himalayan lake when am convinced of the cold streams of Javadhu; where on the earth can I find peace, tranquility and wisdom if not for you ‘mighty Javadhu’. You are a pristine glory of Eastern Ghats”
Story behind this exploratory trek:
I pinged Peter on g-talk to check if I can organize a kodai trek during Pongal holidays or he is planning to organize any trek which I can join; within few minutes of chatting through g-talk he decided to organize a trek and gave me the option to decide the place, I informed him about my desire about the less known Javadhu hills. To my surprise and delight even before I could finish my coffee at my desk I received a mail in my inbox about Javadhu exploration. I was just awestruck with his promptness in sending invite to the group which reflects on his passion for trek.
On this day 19.01.2012 i.e. Peter’s b’day I join the thousands and wish him to scale great heights; conquer mighty mountains. I pray to the almighty to shower on him with sound health and longevity. It’s been almost 20 + treks with him and I am grateful that I discovered a trekker, photographer and a blogger in me. Thanks Peter Van Geit i.e. CTC to me.