Tadagala Expedition Oct 2016 (Nagada Historical Mission) by Mani Raj (Photographer at Frozen Moments)
Organized by Muthu Kumaran, Jayanthan, Hamal
The day we stop exploring is the day we commit ourselves to live in a stagnant world, devoid of curiosity, empty of dreams! Neil Tyson
When I first read the mail from Vishal about Historical Nagada Trek, I started searching more information about it online when I bumped across an old exploration trek of CTC back in 2011 which spoke about the abandoned jeep trail, the lookout of the British and temple and I got interested immediately and registered for it.
The final count of persons who were going to be part of the historical mission after many dropouts was twenty. Muthu and Amal were the last to join us after Muthu’s alarm failed him badly. Off we went to Tada and got dropped before the falls entrance and started hiking. Our van would be waiting for us at Nagala East TP kottai dam after we complete our mission. After a short hike towards the falls, we silently climbed up some steep boulders to get away from the falls crowd.
The climb got steeper as we moved on and Muthu spotted a nice viewpoint and started climbing towards it. Jack, Amal and Subha took care that nobody was lagging behind and soon the entire team reached. After some clicks and rest, the team moved on.
It was getting hot and humid as we climbed up and soon we were near a pool on top of Tada. It was a small pool with crystal clear water, so clear that you could see your own reflections. Now most of them started diving from all directions into the pool and my camera got into action soon. Some were having a nice shower.
After a refreshing bath that cooled us, we were off through the gorges of Tada . We halted at for our lunch. Puliogare rice brought by some our fellow trekkers was a real treat. We decided to have a quick power nap to escape the afternoon heat. I was not getting sleep so started clicking some pics.
We started around and hiked some steep sections to reach leaf pool. Muthu exclaimed during monsoons the pool will be filled by water flowing like a leaf over its rock. Since Naga told us that they were having tickling water at the last water point when he came two weeks back for ‘INTO THE WILD’ trek Muthu decided that we would camp on top of Tada and head out for the lookout and come back again. Sounded like a perfect idea and I was all excited to see the centuries old lookout built by the British and the view of the plains it would offer.
But to our own disappointment we did not have even a trickle of flowing water at the last water point in Tada top. Muthu took a call that we will descend to the water point in the North west side and camp there. Armed with the new plan, we crossed over a small hill and marched towards the western side of Nagala range. Even though we missed the classic lookout of the British, the Nagala mountain ranges still had something to surprise us, a gorgeous sunset over its hill ranges. May be this is what I have come to love about trekking in this lovely paradise, we are always not short of surprises.
The final descend to our campsite had to be managed with torches and it was pretty horrible with the thorny bushes ocassionally hindering our movement. We finally found the sound of moving water and reached our campsite and started lighting fire for our dinner. We managed to cook a nice soupy Maggi for our dinner.We hit the bed soon and ocassionally it started drizzling but got subdued immediately.
Early morning chats started with the strange noise heard around while it was a calm sleep for me atleast or did I not hear it.
After finishing our breakfast with some nice soup, Muthu informed everyone that today it is going to be a dry day with no water until we reach magic pool, so everyone started filling their tummies and bottles with water. Yeah! We were going to walk from Northwest to East exit through the jeep track.We walked to the small Ramar temple to notice how temples have always been an integral part of the mountains through ages. This one had wishes of many people who come once in a year to tie those wishes to the tree.
We descended from our campsite so that we reach the base of the mountain to spot the jeep trail. There was a clear demarcation of the jeep route just by the width of the trail. This is where Rajesh complained of pain in knees and was slow moving but still wanted to finish the trek. We started walking on the jeep track as it slowly ascended up. After that we left the jeep track for the steep sections where Rajesh found it tougher to carry himself. While Muthu was mulling over sending him back with Ravi and Subha through the North western exit he asked Naga to climb up the steep hillock and reach a flat space. Me, Naga and few others were climbing hard the steep hillock and reached the flat space. We waited for Muthu and team but nobody turned up and so we echoed our voices through the valley to call them. Finally we found out that Rajesh has not exited and decided to carry on so they decided to traverse the hillock on the sides instead of climbing it so it was easy on him. We descended little bit and joined the team soon. Muthu and Jack were searching that trail which will lead us straight to magic pool instead of going through the valley. Jack did a recce and found it and from then on it was just more or less flat walk till we reached the streams which replenish the magic pool.We had some excellent views enroute of central peak and the valley .
We reached magic pool streams around and had some snacks. Then it was time for some good diving fun in the pools. Amal, aditya, selva all wanted to dive and have as much fun as possible and I got ready with my cam to get some cool videos.
Then we took cool shots of the eastern ridge of Nagala visible from magic pool. We headed to the Siva temple near the dam and reached our van around . Finally it was a good experience meeting some new folks who did their first trek in Nagala with this one.