Nagalapuram: flirting with the hills (13km trek)

11th Jul 2014
Photo of Nagalapuram: flirting with the hills (13km trek) 1/3 by Harita Vinnakota
The famous "magic pool" on the hill top
Photo of Nagalapuram: flirting with the hills (13km trek) 2/3 by Harita Vinnakota
atop the hill - bliss
Photo of Nagalapuram: flirting with the hills (13km trek) 3/3 by Harita Vinnakota

Nagalapuram trek is one of the most popular treks in and around Chennai. Usually this is a 2 day trek, one day of uphill, followed by camping - next morning teams return. But in our case we wanted to wrap up in a single day.

So we started off in the morning from Chennai (75km drive), breakfast on the way - reached Uttokotai from where Nagalapuram foothills is about 10 km drive.Reached the start point and started trekking with a group of 20 people at around 2 pm (yes! not the best time to start but as you will read further, you will realise how it made the trip more adventurous than starting earlier on) - Ideal and safe time to start if you plan to ascend on the same day would be around 10 am, not later.

If you plan to stay back ( as in generally done) - feel free to to start anytime till about 3 pm - again not any later, ascent or descent is risky post 6 pm.

We reached the first pool in a record 35 mins, the place is very scenic but you will hardly get the space to enjoy the scenary because you are on a mission, a hard uphill trek with intermittent streams and loose stones - you have to keep a watch on your step and tread carefully. We take a 15 minute break at the first pool and then start again. the second innings are harder than the first because it involves some steep rock climbing as well. But we finally reach in about 75 mins.

Groups fill water at the stream and descend a steep set of rocks in order to reach the magic pool. Magic pool looks like a simple harmless pool, but its definitely not advisable unless you have safety equipment or are a confident swimmer. we tied a rope across the pool, let down a couple of tubes all the non swimmers could take an enchanting dip too. After this the group went back to the camping spot (atop the hill), we lit up a small camp fire, cooked food for the evening - mostly maggi noodles (Could make for a great Meri Maggi Story), cooked about 9 packets of Maggi noodles for a team of 20. It was almost 9 pm by the time we were all done with dinner and collecting the garbage (NO littering at this spot or any other spot of that matter)

we make it a point to collect everything we brought, except for the utensils which we gave to fellow campers.

Now the most tricky part of the trek begins, darkness - guided by moonlight alone if you are not prepared for this one. But we had torches and hence we re a lot better off. descend can be slippery and dangerous (with gorge on one side, thorns on the other and loose stones on the path) We took about 80 mins to get down. we took 2-3 , 5 min breaks on the way back. We were back to foothills by 11 pm. Took 2 hours to reach Chennai (good roads - cant complain)

Overall - fun trip, endurance test - includes - rock climbing, hill trekking, streams, camping and all this can be managed at a very very cheap price. Definitely recommended for any average person below 40

20 Comment(s)
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Hello.. Nice Blog.. Nice pics.. Nagalapuram is a small town 70 km southeast of Tirupati. This village was designed during Sri Krishnadevaraya reign in the memory of his mother. The town has a very famous temple of Vedanarayana Swamy. Nagala trail is one of the famous trekking routes in Eastern Ghats. Must visit-
Mon 02 20 17, 14:24 · Reply · Report
Avoid trekking here during the summer months. I was exhausted just 2 kms into my trek. The sun is at its highest at the time. I plan on going back in winter. Clubs that support trekking in Chennai also advise against summer trekking.
Tue 11 24 15, 21:28 · Reply (1) · Report
we should take some precautions..
Mon 04 04 16, 10:40 · Report
A reservoir at the base is the starting point for the trek. The natural wonders nestled among the Nagala hills make Nagalapuram trekking a wonderful experience. Once you reach the hills, you feel like you are part of another world.
Tue 11 24 15, 17:48 · Reply · Report
Nagalapuram Falls offer among the best trekking trails in and around Chennai. I started the trek late instead of getting an early start. You could always camp at the hills if you have camping gear. The experience is something you will not easily forget.
Mon 11 23 15, 23:12 · Reply · Report
Nagalapuram trekking can get a little tricky in parts. However, it is enjoyable overall. Make sure to take your own food as there are few places along the way. There is a small village at the starting point of the trek. Some of the locals there will cook for you. However, taking big vessels into the forest will pose a challenge. Bring stuff you need from home as there are very few shops around.
Mon 11 23 15, 21:00 · Reply · Report
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