Post Trek Write up From DHILIP
Wait for my first trek with CTC was growing endless just before this weekend. Just that everything else went to background with only CTC trek to tada top occupied all the space in my brain. Short listed one day before the trek, thanks to some dropouts before the day of trek. Having done some moderate plus treks with maasi a.k.a Masana muthu, was quite excited to join fellow CTCians. At 7.30 P.M, starters from tidal park were maasi, me, Ramesh and Charan tej in Ramesh sir’s vehicle. Alwyn joined us near IIT main gate. Hustling through the busy Saturday evening traffic, we reached Koyambedu at 9.30 P.M. Maasi was busy coordinating with Cars starting from Guindy. We joined other cars and were waiting for the cars from Guindy. Mean while vinod was busy collecting the indemnation forms from everyone. There were smiles between familiar faces, new introductions, we heard some anecdotes from a member on his thrill some experiences during his previous treks with CTC. Evading the rolling pebbles (boulders at times), while catching the rope and climbing up the rock, going waterless for long hours, climbing the 30 feet vertical cliff without looking down were come of them. Finally all of them arrived around 10.00 P.M. Other side Adithya was collecting the money from the gang. It was a good mix of freshers raring to go and battle hardened experienced trekkers combining for common mission. We were 37 members in total when we started from koyambedu. There was a brief halt near puzhal jail for picking up one member (there was rumor that CTC was picking up a person escaping from central prison). We stopped for dinner near Red hills @ 10.30 P.M. Our real trek started here even before reaching base camp @ ubbalamadugu, having to explore for a hotel around the place. The group was split into 2 and one went to non-veg hotel and another went to a veg hotel. We had some parotta along with crab kuruma and chicken gravy and it was worth the search, except that some members who liked to have non vegetarian had to contend with vegetarian on that night. We started our journey again around 11.10 P.M. We reached the Varadaiah palem village around 12.05 P.M. We regrouped and had the vehicle count before taking a cut road from Tada- Kalahasthi road towards Ubbalamadugu falls. Once we reached the forest check post around 12.30 P.M, tarpaulin sheets were put down and beds were made up and members got ready to sleep. With sky as roof under biting cold, with blankets covered, some insomniacs found that counting the stars in the sky seemed to be the best way for inducing sleep. It was a full moon day and chandamama started singing lullabies to all of us.
Around 5 A.M was the alarm time in my mobile, but I was awaked by 4.30 a.m. Maasi also got from the bed immediately. We took our torches and went in search of water and complete our morning calls. We collected some dry woods and set up the camp fire for tea. Light and heat emanating from the fire was majestic in that early hours before sun rise. Soon all of the gang were on their feet and sprung up from their beds. Maasi called for tea preparation, once the fire got well ignited and heated up. Soon the tea powder arrived and was getting boiled along with natural stream water. Soon the dawn arrived and twilight from the sun blinked on us. The tea was ready by the time everyone gathered near the fireplace. Soon the biscuits were out to pair up with tea. By that time, one person was seen arriving at the scene from other side of the campsite holding a big branch of Neem tree. It was prem, who shared the leaves to be used as natural brush. After chewing them, we felt our tooth getting removed of all the hidden stinks caused by our Pepsodent’s and Colgate’s so called tooth care products. Neem twigs were used to clean our teeth’s corners and all the gums were getting neem oil massage. One got the thought “Oh! Bliss let the evolution get rolled back to the time where there neem sticks were only used by people for cleaning the teeth, but people still had very strong and white teeth”. We had some delicious idlis & vadais from the Varadaiah Palem thanks to Shankar getting to village to procure them. Soon after the tea, common food items were distributed like electrolyte, dry fruit candy, energy bars, and oranges. Without wasting further time, we started towards the base camp at 7.00 A.M. Cars were already parked there. Everyone got ready with their backpacks for the hike. After the usual cheers, the trek to tada top commenced officially at 7.30 A.M. We crossed the mango pool, after crossing 1st stream, the trail diverted from the existing trail for tada falls. From there our objective was to catch the jeep trail leading to the reins of the old fort. After head count we resumed our trek. The jeep trail was very narrow and quite arduous. There was a brief pit stop at first view point around 8.30 A.M. We were informed that the fort is around 10 to 15 minutes from there.
Some of us had our breakfast with gazing around the awesome view of the dam and landscape of the valley beneath filled with green canopy. Some were busy capturing the beauty of the scene in their minds and in camera as well. Around 9.30 A.M. we started from the peak towards the fort. Soon the view of the fort ruins unfolded before us. Hurray for the latest kings from CTC to rule the peak from the fort. A quick descent from the place led us to awesome view point on a cliff and 90 degree free fall along gigantic mountain rocks. Some brave hearts were already ready for the photo finish having reached the edge. There was a group photo session at the fort. After having all fun, around 10.30, we moved towards our final destination, the tada falls at the top. We were shown only the destination point and the direction. From there we had to make a descent, climb on the ridge again and descend to the top of falls. Instead we followed same elevation line without much level undulation, and had to counter big rock boulders, thorn plants which were all over us. We literally cruised across them carrying the scars along the body. Alas! Big hurray came when we reached the open grass land, where we got the gasp of the pool. All tired souls were in the water around 11.00 A.M, getting refreshing dip inside the cool waters. Soon people were diving into the pool which was around 30 feet high in downstream. No one was willing to come out of the crystal clear, energizing stream. Mean while Shankar did some majestic feet by at least repeating the feet of climbing up the rocks and diving for 10 to 15 times. Non swimmers were inspired to learn swimming. The force of water was awesome and beating up all the nerve ends inside the body. We just could not describe the beauty and capture it inside our hearts, which left an indelible mark and earning to return to this place, once again.
After 2’00 clock, everyone gathered for lunch. The delicious aval payasam, was prepared, and consumed with pickles and potato chips. We packed our back packs at 2.30 P.M for the descent. There were some really thrilling experiences in store for the gang during the descent. Plan was to take a different trail without following the jeep trail. We found some breath taking views, mighty and steeper rocks, falling vertically below our feet. Spirit of the trek moment came when a 9 year old was leading the team for half of the trail. His favorite daddy Chellababu sir rolled back his years and was inspiring fellow trekkers to push our limits. There was steep descent, loose boulders where we just rolled down along with rocks. There was one point at where we are starring down the slippery rocks and getting down almost at 90 degree angle. Each step was taken with full attention and gave utmost thrilling experience. One gets really inspired to do rock climbing on these slippery rocks. Each one of them prayed for everyone while they were getting down in the point where a rope was employed for a descent of 10 feet height. Since organizers were strong willed and iron faced, everyone got light in the feet and crossed the hurdles with smiling face. There was one strange incident, when masi jumped from a rock and fall back below a rock and big boulder fallen down after him and it just stopped and sat on the rock above his head. It would have knuckled down any ordinary human skull when fallen directly on the head. Some magnetic force from the cosmos has stopped the stone from rolling further, I thought. After crossing that hurdles, our sailing was smooth from that point. After reaching the stream, one group wanted to visit the falls, and we continued towards the base camp and decided to wait there for the remaining guys. After reaching the first stream we had a dip and halted there. After the group came we had special sweet for savoring the success for accomplishing the mission. There was self introduction talk from everyone and trek ended on a high with dinner at road side Punjabi dhabha.