Took time after almost 4 months from my busy/lazy schedule for this trek. Saw the trek invite from Arun , wanted to join but was thinking whether I’ll get confirmed for this difficult trek. And the final email came with confirmed final list,Woo haaa!!! next day itself I transferred trek money to confirm my seat.
Arun wanted us to assemble at Koyambedu at 6pm near Toyota showroom. I don’t want to be late comer so cancelled my office meeting and started early. Got down at CMBT bus terminus took auto rickshaw till Toyota showroom. Auto driver didn’t had ₹50/- change and he started to ask around for it, Mohan came and gave me ₹50/- , I didn’t even knew this person and he is giving me money, this is one of good thing I liked about CTC every member greets you as if they know you from long time. Met Emma, Laura, Prasanna and there came Arun running with attendance sheet. Our bus was ready and we all boarded in for our adventurous trek. Accountant Bala and few other CTC family members boarded at Perunguthur.
Bus dropped us at side of Dam near Palani and we crossed over dam to walk into the beautiful hills of Palani. Few climbed on to the passing tractors near dam and enjoyment started before entering itself.
Till now I just saw Palani big boulders in PX photo links, today was the time to face reality. Really the boulders are very big. Filled water bottle and started my Palani Journey.
After climb from one boulder to another and than to another it was like never ending jumps,we waited on flat boulder which was surrounded by Mountain on all sides to regroup. Gayatri was punctured and her air (energy) was losing slowly, but liked her attitude. Even though she was tired but wanted to complete the trek.
After resting and dipping in water we started for another peak to complete. Everywhere we can see was only rock rock and rock. After lot of climbs and jumps we reached another peak.
The view from this peak was awesome mind blowing, wondering whether I was on heaven or earth, a flat land and at the edge a water pool and deep valley.
We had lunch with Coconut poli and good nap under tree shadow. Balaji with his DSLR camera showed his excellent photography skills. Nobody wanted to miss this opportunity to take their photogenic photos. Now we had little tough climb from here on. Senthil and Arun were leading the group, Bala and Jayant used to make sure nobody is left behind. Now we had to cross one big water fall, we climbed from the side of mountain towards the waterfall now had to climb down. Arun tied rope to go down where there was no proper base. Pushpa was the first to climb down and showed his Ranjanikanth stunt and jump down sliding and rubbing his hand against nylon rope and burnt his finger, than Prasanna was next to burn down his finger through ropes.
So Arun decided to go down to water fall and climb up. Than we crossed the thorny bushes and climbed down the tree.
After few distance walk we had another big climb, Senthil went up the big rock tied the rope so that everyone can climb up easily. This was the last climb to reach the first base camp.
Everyone started collecting logs for cooking and bonfire. We went under small water fall to take nice chill bath. After having yummy tomato soup was time for noodles. Every one circled around the bonfire. Gayatri got charged, made eachone to introduce themselves to group, if you missed to tell something about yourself then the questions would come did you have/had girlfriend/boyfriend and many similar kind of questions.
Oh now it was time to take big rest and night was getting colder and colder. It was big flat land just wanted to search for safe place to sleep so that no animal can harm another animal. But where sleep gonna come, I was sheavring whole night took my another T shirt out of bag to protect but of no use,even Mohan was awake inside his sleeping bag, looks like everyone was in the same situation except few of them.
Most of them got up at 5am, Prasanna and few other lit up the bonfire to get rid of cold. Now I was feeling somewhat better after sitting next to fire.
My god I was thinking how I’ll pass another night in Kodaikanal. After all morning work, it was time to make coffee, had breakfast by adding cornflakes in coffee, somewhat new menu for breakfast. Arun started showing his stunts like Neo in “matrix” movie by using wooden weapon made by Senthil. Than what who wanted to miss this opportunity, everyone started becoming part of Matrix. Arun was like movie director showing new, new stunts and everyone acting in it. It was fun jumping and running to take our photos.
Now it was time to pack up and start for another round of trek. We climbed another big boulder than thorny bushes and climbed steep downhill to reach the river bed. The view from here was awesome; I was feeling like entering into desktop wallpaper. Here on trek was easy walk. We reached near village met few village kid carrying fish for lunch. Even we were feeling hungry looking at that, but controlled ourselves.
We walked past vegetable field to reach tar road. Walked another kilometre, where Arun bargained for tempo till kodaikanal.
Reached Kodiakanal “the honeymoon place” with tourist all around in good cloths with fresh looks and we hungry trekker in dirty smelling cloths wanted to finish our lunch and start for another trek. After having good food we got on to our mini bus which dropped us at another trekking site to enter. Within no seconds we disappeared into Kodia pine forest. It was easy compared to Palani, no big boulders, just grassy land and smooth walk with few leeches. We crossed pine forest and entered into thick vegetation, it was greenery all around with river flowing parallel to you and mountain on another side.
We followed the water stream till its edge where it turned into big waterfall, do you know which fall is this, its famous kodaikanal Gundar fall. The water was flowing into big valley surrounded by beautiful mountains. This was our second day camp site.
It was getting cloudy, Senthil and everyone started tying up the tarpaulin and others collected wood for cooking. Senthil tried lot to lit up the fire by paper even ghee but was of no use as wood was not that dry enough to get burn. Somehow managed to light little fire but that was not sufficient enough for boiling water, so decided to lit the bonfire and if it works out than will cook food. The strategy worked out, we than cooked rice and mixed with some pickle type mixer which tasted good as we were feeling hungry.
As night going to be cold and didn’t had sleeping bag with us so we thought of sleeping next to each other. Balaji was on my one side and Gayathri has already gone to sleep on another side. Murali disturbed Gayatri’s deep sleep and than what Tom and Jerry show whole night. Again the same situation as previous night, it was getting colder and colder.
Had coffee with Rusk and everyone went down the fall little more till the edge to have group photo. Bharani joined us in morning crazy guy don’t know where he was whole night alone in jungle.
At around 12pm we started to climb up hill. While passing through pine forest we saw bison on other side of forest, it was very far to take any photos. Arun asked us to split in groups so I went with Senthil and Arun waited for others. In another hour or so we reached the highway. Since balaji was with us had another round of photo session. Luckily we got bus to Kodiakanal, on the way Arun and his group joined us. But we missed Phusparaj, nobody knew where he got lost. After reaching Kodia we had food, but everyone was thinking about Pushparaj. Arun asked Gayrathri and Murali to wait in Kodai and we took mini bus back to place where we came out of jungle.On the way back we found Pushparaj was coming in tempo rickshaw showing his Mickey Mouse hand, good luck we found him. Came back to kodai and made cycling plan and also not to tell Gay3 and Murali that we found Pushparaj. Instead Arun said gay3 that will file missing complaint to police. Gay3 got more tensed and we all walked down near to Kodaikanal Lake and went to take rented cycle, she did not understand anything what’s happening.
While cycling near lake we played another game,obviously idea by “Neo” Arun, game was to somehow find some fault in anyone and get treat at next stop from him. So here is the list and sponsor who gave treat
1st treat point: Ice cream
Sponsor: Girish- Went ahead of others to take his model pose foto
3rd treat point: Candy floss
Sponsor: Kaushik –Showed stunt by falling from cycle
4th treat point: Fruits shop
Sponsor: Prabhu – Need to find what he did?
5th treat point: Baloon gun shot
Sponsor: Bala – Need to find what he did?
Sponsor: Mohan ????
7th treat point: Omlet shop
Sponsor:Jayant – for eating everyone elses treat J
8th treat point: Handmade chocolate
Sponserer: Gayathri for getting fooled
9th treat point: Toilet
Sponsor: Murali with Mug of mineral water
Guys this was not the end of fun we had another episode in Bus where all guys started proposing Jayanti with different tricks and techniques, everyone tried their best to propose but Jayanti fell in love and got married to Mohan J.
Balaji had bus to catch for Bangalore from Dindigul we had our dinner after heavy treat and went to sleep to start our next day in Chennai for busy office life. This is called as “Best of Palani” Wonderful,funny,romantic,