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Exploration Trek Near Bangarapet: 23.10.2016

There are treks; and then there is The exploration trek near Bangarapet, that has definitely erected a wondrous impression on all of us and is undoubtedly going to stay with us for days to come. The exploration was conducted 3 times already and yet the summit had not been reached and so, this was the 4th time and everyone on the team, had one unchanging goal- 'Summit, by hook or crook!'
We embarked on our journey by huddling (just like the e-mail read:) ) at the entrance of the city railway station, a few of us had breakfast, we packed our lunches and without much ado, we set off from platform 7 and boarded the train to the- 'oh-so-unattainable-peak!'
We were 12 in number and we had quite a star studded team comprising of 6 organisers! Lucky us! We had a member of the armed forces- Mr. Kumar from the Navy, Mrs Bala mam, their daughter Smriti, Naveen - the Nagala lover, Pralove from Rajastan, also a Nagala lover, both of them couldn't stop gushing about the wonders of Nagala, Amol - BTC's newest organiser! Kudos!, Shrikanth - my old pal from Shivagange trek and another organiserSonali, who had just recovered from her illness / solo traveller / selfie queen / bubbly (with her new found resolution of never travelling with couples), Veera - The path clearer, way finder, jumping jack (jumps from boulders to boulders with insane ease!) and our beloved organisers, Ankit, calling out instructions to the team, as was necessary and Hirenthe adventure junkie, and of course, me and my sheer awesomeness :P (a lil narcissim in the house folks! kindly bear with me).
We got down at the railway station and our destination was visible clearly to us from here, 3 giant hills, or more like a cluster of boulders stood across us majestically, evoking a great deal of reverence for nature. We steered towards one of the giant structures3 different paths were chosen for the last 3 treks and hence we walked past those and decided to go further ahead, beyond the painting of - Jesus, coming soon (or as Hiren calls- Jejus). As we trampled ahead, we entered a settlement of houses, passed a farm of tomatoes (fruit or vegetable?, the catch question, casually strewn around by the captain) and met a passerby who warmly suggested a path to us, so we took the cemented road that led us away from the houses and towards our Holy grail!

We were now surrounded among a group of Eucalytptus/Nilgiri trees and with my watch showing 9:04 am, we clocked the time to our ascent, on to the Hillocks. 
The initial few minutes, we hopped and skipped and jumped and climbed up in all proficiency and it was then that we faced a huge plane with an inclination of about 70 degrees, nothing like I had ever come across before. The slope did look menacing but we hadn't come around the 4th time to fall back again, so we pushed on relentlessly and with the help and encouragement of the organisers (and my forclaz :P), each of us crossed the slope successfully.
Little did we know that this was just the beginning! A few metres from the slope, we now faced a seemingly dead end; at this moment Veera, Shrikanth and Ankit went deep below, into the caves, to find a way, while Hiren, Naveen and I took the path amidst the bushes, at this point I had no clue of where the rest of us were, as we were separated and hidden between the huge boulders. We were now listening to disembodies voices of our fellow trekkers and trying to find the source of their voiceUnable to locate the others the 3 of us, trudged on, pushing aside the lemon grass that had grown up to an impressive height of 6-7 foot We entered a small cave, below the boulders and came out through an opening, Hiren left us to bring the others along. We waited a while, ate fruits and then decided to go a little deeper into a patch of thorny bushes and luckily for us, we met the others who had also made their way into the thorny bushes from another direction; but alas, this route led us to a nowhere and we had to trace our steps back. We did experience a feeling of desolate emptiness during such unsuccessful encounters but they lasted only seconds as we were surrounded by massive trek enthusiasts. 
A few more attempts and the bleak path showed signs of let up as we chanced upon a boulder and hastily clambered over it and resumed our ascent. Furthermore we faced yet another inclination, however this was for only about 15-20 foot and we had the support of a projecting cliff to our left, and holding it slowly, we inched upwards. 
Then, just like that, the majestic cluster of huge ass boulders, had melted away in front of our eyes,  and we raced up onto the clearing and finally stood proudly on the peak , feeling deep pleasure and satisfaction, while the wind roared about us. All of us took a few well deserved selfies and pictures. Hiren and Pralove were busy capturing slow motion videos. 
As we looked on to the left, we saw a patch of trees and beyond it lay another mass of rocks, beckoning to us, slyly and I could tell that we were rearing to go atop those rocks as well but Ankit strictly told us to better get down and swiftly brought us back to our senses. The time taken for the ascent was an admirable 2 hr 42 minutes. 
After our gratifying moment at the peak, we dismounted and had a hurried lunch, gobbling food at an astonishing speed, made sure no waste was left behind and set about for our descent.

The descent was of course a lot easier and faster and though we came across a few blind alleys, we overcame them fluently. Pralove and Veera lead the way down; with Pralove showing us his zig zag way of bolting down. It was a relaxing time down hill and thus a time for pictures again, the organisers posed joyously, with much accomplishment, the rest of us too posed with great energy. Our descent time was 1hr 13 minutes. We walked back to the village and onward to reach the station, bought the tickets, ate bajjis and bondas and boarded the train.
With a rewarding trek and a contended smile on our faces, we all headed back to the city.
My personal thanks to Hiren, Ankit, Pralove, Veera  Shrikant and Naveen for helping me and the others throughout the trek. This was an example for one of those treks that was possible due to absolute team effort. This trek was an absolute delight to a true trekker, a hardcore trek through and through. 

Special thanks to the organisers of BTC for having the fervour to explore new hills and more importantly for NOT giving up and retreating. You guys make trekking such a joy for us. Kudos to you guys!

Written By      : Sneha Jagadeesh
Photo Credits : Amol, Pralove, Naveen & Hiren
Organized By  : Hiren & Ankit
Date of event  : 23rd October, 2016
Place               : Bangarapet
Members         : 12
Pictures          : BTC FB Page

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