Post Trip Writeup - CTC's 5th Birthday - Heritage Photography Trip - Gingee Fort - 3rd March, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Post Trip Writeup by Sandhya

Write up

My alarm rang at 4am on the Sunday morning as I got ready and hurriedly started off from home for the Heritage Photography trip. It's not very often I get to see how the early morning looks like - and it was indeed a great experience with a breathtaking view of several lit buildings and the glowing lamps on the Chrompet flyover, surrounded by the morning mist. Having joined by members in tambaram, we waited for the others from different pick-up points to arrive. And after everyone else joined, we started at about 6:30 from Tambaram.


Then, we halted at Aaryas Thindivanam for the breakfast - A special mention for the colourful side dishes to go with the dosas and idlis. Nambo trip organizer Nivya Breakfast po ve, sollitu irindhaanga - 'evalo maximum fill panna mudiyumo fill pannilkonga... Gingee la onnume kadaikadhu!! Romba kashtham dhaan'. So lunch kadakadhu nu oru thought la breakfast naalave saptom :). Unfortunately morning coffee alone got missed out from the menu.. Then, with Punitha also joining us, we started off towards Gingee

Thindivanam to Gingee was an adventurous roller coaster ride in itself - Thanks to the state transport for having maintained the road in such a way that a 30 km ride would take an hour. After reaching, Gingee - Raja Fort, and taking a glance of the forts from outside, we started off with cameras on hand ready for shoot - and of course some monkeys out there volunteering to pose to the photographers ;).

With a travel writer to give us company and adding on facts about the location, we started off briskly. After checking out the horse stables, kalayana mahal, magazine, aanai kulam and granary, we started climbing the steps. Raja fort, a massive structure had a shelter after every few steps - which was like a blessing in disguise especially with a scorching sun over the head and the rocks reflecting the sunlight.

 Having climbed atop the massive fort, the aerial view of the region surrounding the fort was good. As we waited for others to join us, slowly started peeling off the orange and eating them.. We certainly were joined by one more visitor who was more interested in the oranges in our bags - giving all of us a look as if we had snatched something off from it. Then we moved to check out the cannon. The descent was quite easy. The funniest part of the trip was of course the couple who wanted to know if there was a restaurant on the top of the Raja fort.

Then after some group snaps in the Raja fort, we had lunch in a mess (Thanks to organizers for ordering food in advance.. Not as worst as we had thought ;p)

At about 3:30, we started with the Rani Fort. While we had climbed Raja Fort, there were speculations that the Rani Fort was a smaller fort and would be easier to climb - But it wasn't so. Rani Fort, despite having less number of steps was steeper than the Raja Fort – ‘A possible discrimination against women even in those days’ as someone in the group mentioned during the ascent. With multiple bites of energy bars and with some self motivation (after seeing old ladies with red saris climb very briskly), we finally reached the top of the Rani Fort. One better thing about photography trip is that when you feel you want a snap with someone else over a background, there is no need to go on a hunt for a photographer.. There are several cameras ready to click..
And with the Gingee Fort official literally driving us away from the fort, we took the group snaps, we descended down. After introduction with each other and some snacks, we started off towards Chennai with a lot of memories. Sunrise and Sunset couldn’t be captured in the trip. However, it was a great trip, getting to meet new people, some of them volunteering to tell us various options that could be used in our simple digicams.

And a Special thanks to Nivya and Vinoth for this wonderful trip.

Write up by Siva Subramanian S

On 3rd March, Sunday early morning at 4:00 am woke-up from my bed and got ready to go for Photography Trip to Gingee Fort. This Trip was organized by CTC organizers NIVYA and VINOTH as one of the CTC’s 5th Birthday event. I am always proud to be the member with CTC. CTC is the Non-Profit volunteer based organization, which involves Trekking, Environmental, Social, Sports and adventure events for all kind of age group, gender and status people. So there is no doubt, all the CTC members will have self pride. With that pride and my Nikkon camera, I started my trip. I did not have any special expectation or curiosity about that spot. The reason is I visited Gingee Fort so many times from my childhood to till 3 years before along with my family and friends. Also it is not a adventure trip, just only Photography trip.  

All the selected members are met at the pickup points, Koyembedu, Guindy and Tambaram in their allocated vehicle. Then the trip started at 6:00am. 

After one and half hours, the vehicles reached the Thindivanam hotel. All the varities  of tiffin items were filled on the table and got “Swaha” by mixing with chatyies, Sambar, funny comments and jolly criticism of each other. ‘Yes, This is the culture of CTC, Even in the first time meeting the new member, after basic introduction the approaches will be so easy as like child hood friends. No one will hurt any other. All are easy going.  

Now, the time to move towards Gingee and reached the Fort at 9:00 am. Once I reached the Fort,  I could feel that this trip will be totally with the all my previous trips to Gingee Fort. In my previous trips I use to go with a gang, claim the hill, Feel the tired at the peak, view the structures in bare mind, feel nothing is there. (The same comments I heard form other visitors in this trip). The fort is same but my view has changed with the level of maturity standard.


All our CTC members take their weapons (Nikkon and Cannon) to conquer the fort. The CTC Force starts to move after Commanders Nivya and Vinoth's guidance and Instructions at Gingee Rajagiri Fort.  Every one start their shoot from the entrance till top. All structures, suildings, temple, fort wall, etc are shot by CTC Force with Nikkon and Cannon. On continuous shot, force moved forward towards the top of the hill.

On the way the team shot so many thing like rock, gun fire point, flower, indu, idukku, mulai, Mudukku every thing which they found. Finally captured the top of hill. All together enjoyed the moment there for some time at Berangi camp site then started back down the hill for lunch. 

After a good lunch we gone to Rani malai. Here also lot of shots has been  taken. There Uma got impressed on a monkey and took lot of pictures. On return from Ranimalai Shyam took lot of group photos from all the top, bottom, side, upper, lower, inner, outer and other angles. 

After return from Rani malai, at base of hill there was a introduction section. Then we started back to Chennai after having a coffee and snacks at Gingee town. We reached Chennai at 9:00 with a good photography experience and kind hearted friendship.


In the last paragraph, I just explain the happenings. Here I like to express my feel. As I said early, I visited Gingee Fort so many times here before. But always I see only rocks, walls, halls and water ponds. I felt bore and think nothing is there. 

 This time really my view has changed.  I could imagine the days of Raja Desingu. I could realize how they used the structures, buildings, ponds, storage yard, training centers etc. I can understand that how they protect themselves by constructing the boundary wall, canal, around the fort.  I could imagine how they use transportation of horse, elephant and weapons like motor, gun. It gives me the feel of surprise and proud about our ancient peoples. So my humble request to all  of the people those who want to visit Gingee Fort,  “don’t  try to see anything in your eyes you will not find anything there. Please try to feel what you are seeing in your eye, then you can find a life of our ancients”. We will feel proud to know our history. Thanks a lot to CTC and the organizers Nivya and Vinoth, to make me to realize the same. I could not realize these things, if I gone there with others for 1000 times.
Be proud as INDIAN.

S. Siva Subramanian

Writeup by Barath Kumar

The day started with my alarm @ 03:45 hrs awaking all others in the house except me :-P. Rushed through the morning routine so that I can reach Koyambedu before Vinoth’s follow up calls. Actually wanted to meet our people before “Start Music “ by Vinoth. Left home by 04:15, to my surprise I got the railway level crossing opened, which always
plays the culprit in making me late for trips. After I reached Manali nothing in the front was visible and it was covered by very thick fog/mist. That made me to remember Naane Varuven Song for a fraction of seconds but what to do guys before I could see that figure (ghost) I had to rush to Koyambedu (Enna Namaku than Driver Kadamai errukuthe). With great difficulty I reached Koyambedu @ 05:15 and reported for duty. Vinoth was very easily identified as his “Aura” was supplemented by his bright yellow T Shirt.

Cab had already reached as soon as all assembled at the stop we started for next Stop Guindy. There next set of participants along with Noel were all  ready except Vineel.
We waited for him. Mean while Noel was busy doing his accountant duty “Sir Ticket ticket.  

As soon as Vineel reached, we started for the next stop at Tambaram. We reached Tambaram after cruising through the traffic. There Nivya (NGC Pugal) and company were ready to goooooooooo. All of us started for Gingee, We were behind schedule by 45 min. But all of us should agree that we cannot do climb on empty stomach. Especially me so we had a pit stop at Ariya’s  Tindivanam . There we were joined by Punitha . 

We had a very very light snacks in the name of Tiffin as all of us were in a very strict diet. The menu was very limited like Vadi, Pongal, Idly, dosai ,poori etc. Food was awesome especially the Chatni, Sambar & Podi. We enjoyed the food. Then with a light heart and a heavy stomach we started for Gingee fort. We reached the fort by 09:30. En route we searched for a restaurant or mess for arranging lunch. We spotted a mess and ordered for lunch. (Athu thane makka mukkiyam). Then we reached the Raja fort. We were waiting for Thirumalai and company to reach. But as it was taking time the organizers decided to start as it was getting late and hot. In the mean time Oranges and chocolates  (Fooooood) were distributed.

First we went to the Raja fort and as soon as we entered all our Shutter bugs started their favorite activity(Zooooooooom & Click). With great difficulty we climbed the steps it was zigzag and was slightly sippery at many places. As we were not used to climbing steps our hearts were pounding but the views was very beautiful.  It was worth climbing. As we ascended we came across pond, granary, lawns & Canon. We shot the mighty Canon with our Canons, Kodak & fujis . We reached the top at around 0100pm . Then we had Tang and oranges, which Neol missed.

We started to decent and reached the base at 0145 pm. We took our group picture and went to do our favourite hobby other than photography (eating). The place was very
small mess and it really became a mess after we reached there . They were not able to serve the Hungry Photographers. Our RED BLOODED CTCian came to the rescue and
served the food. Thanks to them. I could have helped but sorry my hand and mouth were busy at that time. We felt something was terribly missing in the menu then from the corner of the mess we heard our great Siva Subramaniyan sir asking for double omelette.  Then the menu was complete and stomach was full.

Next Stop Rani fort. Though we had a heavy lunch our Shutter bugs never showed any sign of fatigue. I even tried to discourage people by saying they will not allow people inside the Anthapuram. Our photographer stopped at nothing and started to climb the Rani fort. We reached the Top at around 4 pm and the cameras never stopped
clicking.Fort official started to beg that he has to close the gates. But still our zeal and enthu didn’t end. We took  our group photo againand started to descend. We reached the bottom and we had a small intro session at the parking and started for Chennai. We decided to have small snacks in between which turned out to be great treat. Thanks to
the Organisers for such wonderful snacks.

We departed with new wonderful friends , lots and lots of photos and sweet  memories and a promise to catch up soooooooooon.

(PS: Guys in the return journey, we had lots and lots of fun and laughter. We didn't even realize that we have reached Chennai.A spl thanks to them for the company)

Thanks to Nivya and Vinoth for such wonderful plan, arrangements & trip.


Please post your comments and suggestions in the following nabble link:

Inline image 2



Copyright © 2015 • The Chennai Trekking Club