After a long time I was given some work on Friday and the meeting was scheduled at 2PM. And what did I do? I said that I can't stay for the whole meeting and came home by 3'o clock bus. After checking for my car, the wiper and numerous calls to our prospective trek friends nothing really got materialized. At night 9 it was decided. It's going to be just two of us. Balaji said that he'd take his mom for the trek. Now can you believe that?The next day morning I woke up at 5AM, filled by bike fuel tank to the brim (still in hope of going to the trek in my bike) but every hope was dashed when Balaji opened the covers of his Alto. We started at Sharp 6 and in just ten minutes from his place at CMBT Balaji was like, "Do you know the route?" And that's how the adventure started.It was the search that enchanted the total experience. We knew nothing that was in store for us. To our surprise (read as horror) every single thing that you could imagine was in store for us. The first search was for Panimalar college, once we got there it was Thiruvallur then it was Uthukottai where we had sumptuous breakfast. Dude what was the name of the restaurant? The taste of the sambar there was next only to the mighty Saravana Bhavan. We gulped 6 pooris and 4 idlys and packed 6 idlys and 4 pooris with a total bill coming to a mysterious number. 203. We still couldn't figure what's the cost of one idly and one poori. One of the many unanswered questions in our journey.What we thought was going to take only half an hour journey took us 1 hour. Thanks to the extra 20 km we travelled due to our negligence or due to our eagerness in enjoying such a beautiful ride. We finally reached the place that we wanted to scale. The mighty peak that was in front of eyes was so beautiful with green cover all over it. Once we parked and emptied our bladder we looked at the peak which evaded us for so long. Nagala.It was a 15 to 20 minutes walk in the plain which very much resembled the dry deserts of Mexico. Thanks to the roundabout way in which we walked. Then it was a very narrow path where I led. There were invisible spider webs all around. I joked saying that I'll be returning back as Spiderman. Then after a 10 minute walk in another narrow path. There were bees. A whole lot of it. That's when I first became genuinely afraid. Because it was in this place a couple of weeks before someone had died due to bee stings.After all the walking in those narrow trails it was time for us to trek. After walking for about half an hour we still couldn't see any sign of pool. We were all alone in a desolate mountain. I was ready to walk further but Balaji thought it wasn't a great idea. He somehow sensed that the path that we were taking was wrong. This guy has some knack of correcting the mistake once he's done with it. From there he started to lead. So we descended in the path that we came and found out the stream which we followed through rocks and boulders for half an hour. Balaji said we're on right track when he heard the sound of water getting stronger and stronger. We first spotted species of our kind enjoying there. Some eight people were there before us, probably knowing the route and not had to trek the extra mile that we did. The pool was inviting with clear shallow water. No marks for guesses, we jumped right into it as soon as we saw it.After swimming for about half an hour where a wannabe photographer lost his mobile, thanks to the eagerness to shoot the numerous small fishes that were swimming around, we set out for the second pool. It was a cakewalk. It took us just 15 minutes to reach it. It was better than the first one with even clear waters and even more fishes which were so eager to bite my palms. We swam there for half an hour and set out to reach the third pool.It was no easy task that. We climbed and climbed for next half an hour. We slowly came out of all the vegetation and the stream sound. We couldn't spot any trail around us. All we could see was dry leaves and loose branches which eluded us from any sort of safety. We slipped the most during this journey from second to third pool. We didn't know that so many perils were there before us. And that's when we took an oath that we would eat only if we reach the third pool and otherwise not. Time went by but we couldn't see any hint of the pool. I asked Balaji to look at the red rock which was 10 meters away from us. He kept his bag and went to check that. Once he reached there he turned back and said that it's a cliff and we've reached the top of mountain. All we could do was laugh. So we again trekked back (this time it was even tougher) the second pool and followed the stream. We laughed at our ignorance to have missed the trail which was very near to the second pool. After an arduous hour everything looked easy. We reached the mighty third pool finally.Balaji straight away launched into it. A 10 feet dive in a 40 feet deep pool. I loathed myself for not knowing swimming properly and because of that I settled for a nature made pedicure bed where fishes were so eager to massage me off. It was the best experience of the whole journey. After having free pedicure for half an hour we came out of the water to have our lunch. We kept to our promise. Once the lunch was over we stayed there in the silence once likes after coming out of water for a good 20 minutes. It was like meditation to enjoy the beautiful scenery, those brilliant fishes and sound of water rumbling through leaves.Once our clothes got dried the drizzle started so we started from that place. It took a good one and a half hour to reach our car. On the way to car we filled our water bottles with fresh stream water which came in really handy because we again lost our way while coming back and that's when we thought two is a company and three is a crowd.
It's Day-2 : We were talking in low voices, more out of reverence for nature’s silence around us than for concern for our sleeping friends ; We wanted more people to wake up and join the early morning party !! Some were hungry and out came the snacks – it was 3 a.m ! We chatted and sang . After some time a very low light started dispelling the darkness. Through the clearing on the tree tops we could see the light. Within a few minutes the stream reflected the early morning light. The light was soft and the morning was tender. The flowing stream was singing a soft melody and the setting seemed too ethereal to be real ! One trekker woke up and when we showed her the first rays penetrating the forest, she instinctiveky switched on her torch to find out where the sun’s first rays where !! Another trekker announced that she had thought in her sleep that the constant gurgle of the stream was actually an artificial table top water fall !! It was funny and ironical. We cityzens – we urgently need more zenin the city !! We are all prone to such ironies when our lives get hardcoded in the city ! We need to become more zensitive !
10 like minded souls escaped from Concrete Chaos to reconnect back with Virgin Nature and the Great Outdoors to detox themselves amid crystal clear water streams, fresh oxygenated air, lush green forest and de-stressed tranquility. We have started out ride from Chennai through self supported two wheelers and gathered at CMBT junction.It's an early morning ride at 4AM and we had to stop at our first pit stop to have our breakfast and packed lunch.It is a short and quick 30 min break and we have resumed our ride to Nagala.We had started our trek at 7.30 a.m. With a short breakfast break at the interstate border, which also would be our last hot meal for a couple of days  , we had reached the base of Nagala at around 7.00 a.m. We were distributed food packets that were picked up in a village on the foothills enroute and and parked out bikes. After some basic instructions we had started our trek.
Nagalapuram is a small scenic village situated in Chittoor Dst of Andhra Pradesh close to Tamil Nadu. It is about 70 km from Chennai which makes it a great choice for an outdoor trip. It is well connected by bus to nearby cities especially Chennai. People here speak both Telugu and Tamil. There are no hotels here but home-stays are prevalent and they serve home cooked food.What makes this place so special?The most beautiful thing here is the Nagalapuram waterfalls. The river flowing from the mountains creates a cascade of waterfalls on its way and finally ending in a dam.
(Note: Nagalapuram is the town, the trek and falls are farther 15 kms away and Nagala Dam is the nearest landmark)By the time we got out from Bangalore it was 10 pm in the night. The reason we decided to drive out at night was because we wanted it to be a single day trek. The plan was to reach Nagalapuram early in the morning, set out for the trek and return to Bangalore on the same day. This is a hectic plan but doable if you don't plan on spending the night in Nagalapuram.Difficulty level Moderate-DifficultThe entire climb and descent will take you close to 6-8 hours, swim time + snacking time included. This is a 12 km trek (two ways) and is quite a steep and rocky trail, also slippery on some bits, so a walking stick can be quite handy.DIY or notAlthough you will find a lot of trekkers on the way to the top, it is advisable to get a guide along, as it is quite easy to lose track of the trail because of the thick vegetation. They charge a very small amount and can provide you tubes if you are keen on swimming.