CTC Emperor's Team : Birthday Trek to Venkatagiri

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
CTC Emperor's Team : Trek to Venkatagiri  - Write up by Dinesh

This is my second trek with CTC. Had a lot of expectation after having a successful trek at Tada.We were bunch of 4 guys starting from Tirupati and the rest from Chennai.  Assembled by 6.40 at Venkatagiri. We had our breakfast at a shop beside bus stand .the Tiffin was hot and delicious with typical groundnut chutney, hard to find in Chennai. Meanwhile Masu along with yugesh and satish went to the local police station to acquire the permission. Then we had to drive 2-3km to the village. Villagers came out of the houses on seeing that many cars. Later one of the villager confessed that some of them thought that some politician or some government officials has come. But when the guys come out of their cars, they found that their guess was wrong. Later some recollected that same kind  of aliens entered their village for thing called trekking. We hired a local villager who will take to the base trail and keep guard of the cars. But due to his inadequate knowledge, he was taken back and a new villager named Balakrishna was hired. Meanwhile different items were distributed. Then we resumed our journey, Balakrishna was feeding us with the kind of crops grown here and  stories like some superstitious people went to the robbers fort in quest for treasure and destroyed some structures.       

After a 2-3 km drive we reached the base trail from where we started our trek. The trail was visible and almost flat but was narrow in most parts that we had to go one by one and there were bushes and thorns piercing our skin and especially our mats. Then we had a steep trail.it was getting tougher as the sun was beating harder. After reaching a considerable height, we could see the area which we covered.it was like a green algae spread over a dry surface.it was beautiful.Around 12, we reached a place having a huge gigantic rock with water at one end dripping drop by drop. Some worried that this is the only water source as mentioned in the internet sources. But the worry was doused when Masu mentioned that there is a another water source up there. 

We had our lunch and rested there for around 2 hours.Then we resumed around 2 p.m. reached a point where we could see the barricades made of loose boulder. First signs of robbers fort. ….`Rested for a few minutesThis time the trail had steep stairs made of rocks. The trail to the top was in a jig jag path. This part of our journey was dangerous, tougher as there was no shade at all and heat was dehydrating us and at the same time one could witness the amazing view. Masu asked everyone to collect some dry woods as there will be scarcity of dry woods up there. After a considerable hardship we reached a sloppy grassland. All the empty bottles were collected and a bunch of guys went to fill the bottle. Here for water, we had to descend a bit and there were steps all the way. This places as Masu reminded was quite dangerous although it doesn’t look like. If one slip, one will not slide down the slope but will a free fall of 100m or more than that .Here the water was dripping beneath a rock via a funnel made of sprite bottle cut at one fourth . The source for this water was quite intriguing. One theory claimed that it is the rainwater and other theory supporting the water from the roots considering the heavy dew absorbed by the plants .The water was bit sweet and cold. After filling the bottles, we joined the rest of the guys and reached the top by 5.30.

The view was quite amazing. There were mountains overlapping and extending as far as one could see. There were two mountains replicating this mountain having a monolithic rock structure at the top and the mountain which we climbed was the tallest. The robber’s fort was historical and the sunset from this place could make you forget all the pains endured   during the uphill for a moment. Meanwhile Senthil did a good job laying the tent and the cooking guys lead by Masu and Shankar were making a soup and the chopping dept lead by ankit doing their part.It was getting dark and cold. The hot and delicious soup followed by veg biryani and chips turned perfect for the moment. Most of the guys sneaked into the tent and some guys lay their mat outside the tent beside the campfire. Some of the guys went into a deep sleep immune against the chilliness and some slept in bit and pieces and for some it was a long night. The moisture in the air was wetting our blankets/bed sheets.

The sky was damn clear….it was romantic. ….The stars and everything up there look far nearer and were shining so brightly as diamonds fascinating one’s imagination. As the Beatles songs goes out “Lucy in the sky with diamonds”. I didn’t find Lucy but Jagdeesh showed us big dipper and Venus. ..The night was getting on so as the cold and the insomniac’s surrounded the campfire sleeping in between and some interesting humorous conversations which can be  witnessed during the entire trek. Around 3am, we went out of wood though there was one big wood refusing to burn… We started plucking dry grasses but that was temporary solution since dry grasses burns as quickly as sehwags stay at the crease in recent series. thus masu, senthil, dhilip later accompanied by mali and me went on the quest for wood. Senthil and Malli used their muscle power to break some branches. …. The night was getting chillier. I was eagerly waiting for the first sunrays but at the same time standing on a partially destructed robbers fort wall witnessing a 360 degree view was amazing. Almost every mountain was covered with mist. The surface on which we were residing appeared like something floating in the middle of air and there was a mountain whose top part is slowly being covered by mist replicating a sinking ship.it was a defining moment….. Then we had tea and the Popcorn which was planned to eat during campfire but was cancelled since the guys went to sleep early.

Slowly the darkness was evading and the time for sunrise. For a first timer like me watching the sunrise from this altitude was majestic. The sun in reddish orange popped out within a minute and there were river of clouds far below the mountain. It was something divine. Slowly everyone got woke up and started  savoring the  morning from an amazing place, some capturing in their cameras…The we had tea followed by cornflakes with honey.it was yummy …second round was inevitable…around 9.30 we went to lower adjacent cliff..took some group pics and the trademark CTC human chain.

Then we resumed our return journey. Some guys went  to fill the bottles. The return trip was scary. After couple of hours we reached a point where we assembled. Accountant sir Charan reimbursing the expenses and then we had a session were everyone shared their views.it was another defining moment. Some of the guys saying that they never thought that they would go that far..most of the guys pelting Masu with the popcorn scam.:D…after a great session we resumed and reached the car point by 3 pm..The we had a feast at the local Dhaba with ankit and aditie sponsporing half the food expenses on the  eve of their anniversary..At the end everyone bid farewell to every other. As our mach Kishore pointed out “at the end, no one were strangers”…it was a satisfying experience and especially a great experience for yugesh celebrating his bday at the top…The team bonded very well. There was no hesitation when someone offered something like oranges…there were lot of pranks , funny stories…the vibe was very good. I wish it had some  pools….at the end kudos to  Masu for organizing the trek with a cool head and CTC for his 4th bday…..

“ Ennaka club CTC ki whistle podu…:D “



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