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Nagala - Swimming Paradise

The Event Registration happened somewhere in Dec 2014 first week. I knew I was going for my first outdoor, night out trek for two days in a forest area but knew nothing about Nagala. Infact never heard of Nagala before and I opted it coz this was the only event that I got to register. I started collecting information about Nagala after Jan 2nd 2015. But still didn’t knew what was waiting for me at Nagala.
To talk about Nagala, the place is in Andhra Pradesh district of Chittoor and located in Village of Nagalapurum.  This place is close to Puttur to be precise.
The journey started on 9th Jan night from Bangalore state transport bus stand to Puttur. We reached Puttur around 4:30 am on 10 Jan . There after another bus was taken to the village town of Nagala which is around 20 Km drive.
We freshen up in a community hall right next to the bus stand and had breakfast near a small tea stall. Lunch was packed. The simple idli & vada was the both our breakfast & lunch. Rice and cooking ingredients was also purchased from the town.
From the town we need to reach base of Nagalapuram hill that was 8 kms from the bus stand.  We had opted for a guide Giri who also arranged our transport to reach the base. The transport was an open semi truck and that was one awesome mechanical camel ride.
The luggage was stuffed in and we all were standing holding on to whatever we can. Zooming through the village streets, this was indeed a joy ride. Through paddy fields , bullocks , hens , cows  getting the village aroma we reached to the base of our trek. The whole village was getting ready for Pongal. I could see every house indulge in cleaning and redoing their house walls. 
Before starting we had our introduction round and we were 12 trekkers- Hiren, Sangamesh, Vikram, Hema, Nila, Mahesh ,Guru ,Hemant, Aman, Suman, Surabhi, Ranga who were to venture into the “Lost World of Nagala”.  

Day 1 – 10 Jan 2015
To the start of Trek there is a huge lake where water from the hills is collected. During summer one could walk through this huge lake as the water dries off. Situated in between is a temple partly submerged and there are dead trees standing around the banks resembling Tekkady reserviour. We had started around 10 am from the base.  
Nagala as I experienced is folds of mountain and each folds is a mystery with serene beauty. This folds stores huge water beds which originate from the water falls and flows down in streams down the hill. Its just hidden world and there may be such 4 to 5 water pools and many falls. We could only venture into 2 and look around the other 2. 

It took around three hours to reach our first destination and this was amazing. The natural slide was added advantage and one by one we started relieving our inhibition and fear and jumped through the slide to be in water.
I have never leaped from a 40 feet height and I didn’t want to miss it. The first jump was life’s best  experience. As your body is flunked and hit on the water you just get your fears out. I remember struggling out but then I had my life jacket to take care of my non swimming ability. I also took a couple of more jumps. The chilling water works like acupressure. Day one was spent most of the time on this place and we had our lunch here.  We decided to stay in the night around this waterfall. There is a rock roof shelter where we started to gather our luggage and decided to cook. 
Boys took the kitchen and our chief Chef Nila, Guru and Mahesh quickly decided the menu, Lemon Rice, curd rice. With one utensil and a ladal, the three started to rollout the ingredient to make a memorable dinner under open starry sky. Everybody did whatever helping they can, from chopping , peeling , collecting , safeguarding from dogs( Of course they , ( 4 of them )were disciplined and waited till served them). Logs & Fire was worked upon by Giri-the guide. It just took the rice to cook in 30 minutes and in 50 minutes the dinner was ready. 
The three Chef had cooked this amazing lemon rice and curd was tempered to be made into curd rice. I confess till date I couldn’t make lemon rice as they had made it. We all feasted twice. With stomach full and dinner done, we sat in a circle and started to relax. It was almost 7: 30 pm and like always the only game that could play was Antakshari. I have always seen Antakshari always bring out a whole lot musical and lyrical skills in everybody.  We were two groups and the other group had Nila , Mahesh and Guru who couldn’t sing the Hindi songs, but were so good in Tamil songs that they outstood any performance. After every song VIkram and Sangamesh had doubts, comments and punches that put us to laugh. Suman Da has amazing skill of singing Chaiya Chiaya. He sang to the tempo of Humma Humma and there was Hema (Christened HR by Vikram) who suddenly sang sweetly to surprise us.  Well she was the only person I think who didn’t jump into the pool
Around 9:30 we wrapped up and got into our sleeping bags, to end an amazing 1st day. The night was chill and the fire burnt till dawn.  

Day 2 – 11th Jan 2015

I woke up to my 6 am alaram and again went to sleep till Hiren had his alarm ringing . Didn’t feel to wake up as it was chilling. 
We all woke up and found Suman Da complaining that he couldn’t find his glasses. He convinced us that he had kept it on rock. He assumed rat might have taken it but no one was buying his statement til vikram with torch light found his glasses stuck between one of the crevices. Yes indeed the rat has taken it and had left it on the edge and this was the task. A little wrong push or pull will make the glass fall off behind. 
Vikram & Sangamesh pulled out the glass and then the question why did the rat took the glass. After freshen up we had breakfast. Milk, Egg , Pav, Bread,Biscuits, ready to eat – Pav Bhaji, Chole, NavRatna kurma and left over last night rice. It was like Brunch. While I write this I still wonder that the recipe still makes me think are we in the forest or in a restaurant.
Around 11 am we started to another water fall and to reach here it took around 1 hour. This place is cluster of many pools and flows and ponds. We crossed many streams and though the water was very less as compared to monsoon season , we still struggled to walk as this was slippery and shaky.
The best thing is the water is pure and I don’t think one needs to carry much mineral water. This place was pristine and heavenly and more chilling than yesterday. Life jackets gave huge confident to venture into crystal clear water. We had good swimmers Vikram , Surabhi , Rana ,Aman, Guru, Hiren and Others managed as well. Few others were good with their life jacket.
If you swim across “Dead End”, there is a water fall and it was again a huge high to stand below the fall. This time Hema jumped from height. We had our lunch here – Chappati and acchar – courtesy Vikram. We wrapped up around 3:30 pm and started to walk to another corner which was as beautiful as other. This was more under open sky and not hidden. We spend around an hour and then call was taken to descend down the hill. We had oranges and apples and cakes and chocolates and just bid bye to the amazing forest of Nagala.
 The entire trek I had made a grave mistake of bringing two backpacks. And Vikram helped me all the two days to carry one of my backpack. And I am thankful to him and also apologetic. My advise and Vikrams too that “please keep only one backpack”
At the base the same truck was waiting for us and we got into the fun ride again. This was even more funny and the reason is Vikram and his missing pants. We came to the same community hall and freshened up and first thing we did was had tea and coffee along with Bajjaiyas. We took bus to Puttur at 7 and then had dinner at puttur and then left to Bangalore to reach on 12 chilling morning.
I recollect few  jokes, as in sangmesh has categorized mango tree to male and female. The two day trek was all combination of rock climbing, trekking, swimming, sliding, diving, night trek and putting all the worries behind. Thanks Hiren and Sangamesh and all other to bring up the two days into many memorable moments. 

Written By      : Sunita
Organized By  : Hiren & Sangamesh
Teamcount    : 13
Date of event : 10th & 11th Jan, 2015
Place             : Nagalapuram
Pictures         : BTC FB Page

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