MEGHNA PAUL describes the awe-inspiring sights at Nagalapuram, while on a trek organised by the Chennai Trekking Club.
I woke up bright and early on Sunday morning, all set for the Nagalapuram trek with the Chennai Trekking Club (CTC). I had probably slept for just three hours but the excitement gave me enough energy to drag myself out of bed and leave the house. A group of us gathered outside Nathan’s Cafe at Koyambedu where the organisers ticked our names off their list for attendance after which we got into our respective cars. The journey had begun! We were running a little behind schedule so instead of stopping at Uthukottai for breakfast as planned, we stopped at Motel Highway instead.
After a quick breakfast we were off once again and kept going until one of the cars had a puncture. During this short break, my friends and I took the opportunity to explore the mango orchard nearby. Once the tyre problem was fixed, we got back into our cars and headed for Nagalapuram. Once we reached, we parked our cars beneath the trees and after a briefing, we started trekking up the hill. The initial stage of the trek was rather challenging as the sun was beating down on us quite vehemently. After much walking we finally made it to the stream — the clear, cool water was a refreshing welcome after our stint in the hot sun. Most of us dipped our feet in it, washed our faces and relaxed for a while before resuming our trek up the hill.
When we reached the first pool most of us who hadn’t been on proper treks before were awe-struck. It was jaw-droppingly gorgeous! From the greenery to the rocks, the fish to the sparkling clear water, it was truly a sight for sore eyes. Everyone jumped into the water - non-swimmers with their floats. After a short while we decided to move on to the second pool, further up the hill. Slightly deeper than the first pool with a small waterfall at the end, the second pool was even better than the first. We spent quite a long time in this pool — splashing about, taking photographs, sitting under the waterfall, getting free fish pedicures, enjoying the sun and so on…
Eventually, as lunch time approached, some members collected wood and began a small fire on which Maggi was cooked to feed all the hungry CTCians. After our “firewood Maggi” lunch, a few of us decided to trek even further up the hill, to see the third pool. The stretch between the second and third pool was rather steep. I must admit that I was out of breath by the time we reached it. But, on seeing the pool, all tiredness was forgotten! The pristine water, the fern covered hill side, the mossy rocks, the colourful leaves floating in the pool, all added to one of the most picturesque sights I have ever seen. The water here was far deeper than the previous two pools and that was quite obvious since it was much darker in colour than pool one and two. All the men decided to dive into the water from the surrounding rocks high above the pool.
Since we were short on time we quickly took a group photograph and headed back down to the second pool to rejoin the rest of the group. Once we reached pool two, we got into the water once again, took more pictures and eventually, packed up our stuff and began trekking back down the hill, with one more set of group pictures being taken at the stream as well as at the base of the hill. The trek back downhill was thoroughly enjoyable but also tiring since we were all worn out from the swimming and walking. The heat and dust at the bottom of the hill was tough to deal with but we all made it in one piece.
The group was a set of determined, fun-loving people who all genuinely loved nature and trekking. There were no complaints. Only laughter and fun! We finally reached our cars, settled our dues and said goodbye. My friends and I left feeling tired, but very happy for having been able to attend this well organised trek.
Meghna, 22, works at PwC.
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