Trek to Kukkal forest.....#offbeatplace #camping under the stars 

Tripoto
12th Jun 2015

It was the morning of 12th June 2015, the day I had been eagerly looking forward to. It was the day we, SPARK team members of Ramco Systems, Chennai, decided to go on a trekking adventure. I have got all my requisites packed up and headed to the office, still lost in my own world, dreaming about the fun we were going to have in this wonderful journey. The venue was some area around Kodaikanal. As they say when you are lost in your own thoughts, you don’t realize the pace at which things happen in reality. That was exactly the case with me. Time had passed so soon and it already was the time for us to leave to catch our train. We have to reach central. We all decide to take local train to reach central.

Our train to Kodai road was to depart from Chennai at 18:15 hrs. As I get into the train my team members, I could feel the increase in my excitement. Once on the train we had started our little tittle-tattles. The journey to Kodai road was a memorable one. All the long talks I had with Fanny, Shobana, Pallavi, Arun and Chidambaram. Chidambaram shared his previous trekking experience and whoa, it was exciting! Meanwhile, Pallavi, Nishant and Rajesh have found their own way of passing time: Cards. Though I had met Manish in our previous Spark meetings, he was still just an acquaintance. He was very gregarious and I found it very easy to socialize with him. Just as soon, it was time for us to get our little nap as a magnificent chapter was to unfold early the next day.

Our station of destination had finally arrived around 05:00 hrs on 13th June. We made our way into a Tempo Traveller as we alighted down on to the platform of Kodai Road along with our entire luggage. We were on our way to our cottage at Kodaikanal, The Princess of Hill Stations. As the name (Kodaikanal, meaning “The Gift of the Forest”) says it all, it was green and surrounded by forests all around. It was just a wow view. We reached the cottage at around 08:00 hrs. We took bath with the chilly cold water, had our breakfast, lunch and by noon vroom, we were off to the most awaited part: Trekking inside the Kukkal forest.

Just as we started our trek, leeches were found and people started running away from them. Our shoes were almost covered by them. So, everyone picked up their shoes and started spraying them vehemently with Insect repellant and salt. Manish had helped me and Shobana to climb up to a safe place free from the leeches. After we were finished with all the mayhem, we started walking again and the way was leading us deeper and deeper into the forest. One can feel the nature, all the greenery and the buzzing of the insects in the deep, silent forest.

After a tiring trudge, we reached a place from where the view was just spectacular. The sun appeared as it was peeping at us from the clouds. All the things were appearing so small and tiny. The trek was not yet over. We had to climb more up the mountain through narrow rocky paths to reach the hill top. And finally we were here at the hill top. What a mesmerizing view it was! We were cover by mist all around. There was a temple located there and I believe that all of this was possible due to the grace of the Holy One. Once we reached the hill top, those who were the victims of the leeches, especially Pallavi were getting attended to. Those who weren’t were ready with their cameras and mobiles ready to showcase their photography skills. We had some energy bars to regain a portion of our lost energy.

We couldn’t spend more time as we had to get down to the camp site before it was too dark as it would be more difficult to notice the leeches in the dark. I came down sprinting along with Chidambaram following Pallavi and in the process, injured my ankle. But we managed to reach the base camp before it was too dark covering 8 Km. There was a lot happening once we managed to reach the base camp. Everyone was so tired and needed a bit of Volini. And as usual, the leech victims were getting their treatment. We had a camp fire where we danced our heart out and shared each other’s version of “I too had a Love Story.” By the end of which we were sleeping like babies at the camp. We all gals were to sleep in a single tent, tough we were just fit inside the camp we all had fun teasing Shobana.

Though it was so hot in the camp, weather outside was just awesome. Today’s itinerary had a waterfall listed. To reach the falls, we had to get down steep and rocky mountain. At some places the steepness was way too much. But Manish had managed to make me reach the waterfall. Whilst I was down enjoying the falls, Fanny was thinking, “I could definitely reach if she can”. The water was ice-cold. Even then everyone has taken a dip in the falls and it had replenished us with the energy required to climb our way back. We were accompanied by ‘Boogie’ our new companion on the way and back from waterfall.

As we started our trek back to the top, it felt onerous under the hot sun. Again I, Fanny and Shobana were led by Manish. We took a short cut which was more challenging as it was a narrow and steeper path but we had managed to reach back on time. Finally it was mission accomplished and the time to go back to our concrete forest. I didn’t feel like leaving the place.

All the memories, the time spent, the company, all were still floating in my mind as we board our bus back to Chennai. It’s a memory that would last forever. The experience was just supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I couldn’t find a longer word to express it. One more wonderful experience added to the Chennai Chapter. Many more to follow and I am waiting for better to turn into the best.

https://espirituelibre.blogspot.com/2015/06/trek-to-kukkal-forest.html

Photo of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Apeksha Mahto
Photo of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Apeksha Mahto
Photo of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Apeksha Mahto
Photo of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Apeksha Mahto
Photo of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Apeksha Mahto
Photo of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India by Apeksha Mahto
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