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A memorable and mesmerizing 42km trek

A memorable and mesmerising 42km trek (rather trekathon ;)) from Kurangani Hills  to Meesapulimala .(2,640m, 8661ft above sea level)via Kolukkumalai.
Second highest peak in Western Ghats of Idukki district

Again one more wonderful experience with Bangalore Trekking Club.
My unforgettable journey to the peak-------

We (22 members) started from Bangalore at 10.30 pm reached Kurangani at 8.30 am the next day. from Bangalore. After having breakfast, started to trek at 9.45 am.

Get, set and go……………..
The 16km trek from Kurangani base to Kolukkumalai Top is a memorable one, which I will cherish forever as this is the most difficult trek, but was made easy to all ---- by the two organisers of BTC. They were most encouraging at each failing point.

When the organisers showed us the mountain through, which we had to trek, I was sceptical whether I would be able to trek the huge hill? I prayed that all should go on well till we return. All of us started with lot of optimism (though it was mentioned 35km plus within two days, I wanted to trek).

As we started, a small path was leading us through the mountain towards our destination. Both sides were covered with dandelions. It was a treat to our eyes. It did not take much time for us to view the dense forest. An array of trees was covering our path as well.

All of us were amazed with the beauty of the hill.

The grass on both the sides arched over us. We observed and absorbed the beauty, describing it in our own words to fellow trekkers as we tread the path alongwith with Karthi and Vasanth, our trek guides.
Pavan took lead alongwith  the trekkers, who were little fast in the front and Arun with few of us, who trailed behind. One of us was 62 year old teacher, Shri. Bhagawantraya. I was inspired by his zeal to trek 42 kms. Amazing person!

After two hours, many of us were tired as the sun was beating hard on us…. We started asking “How long will it take to reach there?”. Haha…. Imagine just after two hours…. But Pavan who was in the front kept on telling we are almost there….. Arun was encouraging telling “Good job, you are all doing well”….. indeed encouraging words from them and other co trekkers, who were friends by now was a treat to many of us. Sun was rising and weather was becoming hot and humid.  We consumed Electral, asking where is the lonely tree (as after a long trek from Karanguni, this is the only tree where we could rest for a while)……. Somehow, we reached single tree which was covered by grass on which anyone will get tempted to take a nap. I have no words to describe that scene. It was breathtaking.

The hill opposite the mountain was very beautiful. The zig-zag meandering trail was really worth a walk.
After resting for a while we started again……but thirst slowly started picking pace….. (biggest mistake from our end…. We ignored the organiser’s advice about carrying minimum two litres of water and we learnt a lesson). Added to distress, none of us had ample water….
Hurray after an hour, almost at 1:30 pm we reached a cool flowing stream. All of us quenched our thirst. Few meters further we found a shade, where we ate packed lunch. The lemon rice tasted yummy. We were informed that the trek difficulty level was lesser henceforth as it was flat land. Ohhhhh!!!!!! This came as a relief to many of us. Yes, indeed was the best path. We enjoyed still wanting to reach Kolukkumali as early as possible.
Finally, (this was only day one ---- haha), when we reached the kolukkumalai top…… little of our tiredness (not full ok) was gone as we reached the most beautiful and highest organic tea garden of the world…….  The view from this point was exotic. Two small temples were below the vast expanse of tea plantation. Houses of plantation workers were looking beautiful with a small stream passing by.
We were received by hot refreshing tea. We indeed visited the tea making factory. They are still following amazing 120 year old technology.

We all wanted to retire….When asked about our retiring rooms, we were told we had to trek little further…… gosh…. Still we were not disheartened, as hot meals were already waiting for us. After having dinner, organisers asked us to sleep well and surprised us by telling us that we have to wake up as early as 3 am if we have to reach the second highest peak in the western ghats……
We thought it must be a joke…. Finished our dinner and retired for the night in the tents. All of us slept like logs.

Day 2----- 3/9/2017 (26km trek from Meesapulimala to Karanguni. From 3.30 am to 5pm)
What’s this?????!!!!!!!!! It was still 2:50am, we could hear Pavan whistling…… Disciplined organisers……With aah and woooh from our end we were ready by 3:30 am. It was pitch dark…. All of us were surprisingly fresh enough and started to trek with two guides in the front.
After an hour, we all were famished again, but our organisers and fellow trekkers—Rahul, Dinesh, Satish, Pekun, Prshanth(to name a few) kept on encouraging us…. Just before an hour of sunrise we reached the base of Meesapulimala. This was the most difficult level. Since it was dark none of us could visualise the height of The Meesapulimala peak…..
Many reached at 5:00 am , I could reach by 5:30……
We were above the clouds…… a spectacular view of sunrise.

All of us screamed with joy. Half mission accomplished ( as we had to trek down 5+16km to Karanguni hill from where we started). I sat there for few seconds and thanked God, who gave all of us the strength to trek up to the top.
After half an hour, organisers started telling us to descend else we won’t reach our base in time. We were like,” waaait few more mins., few more min please”. Finally we started to descend.
More surprises awaited us….. We were thinking descending will be easier. But…..coming down the hill was even more challenging as the hill’s (Meesapulimala) elevation is at  70 degrees. Two of us were acrophobic (fear of heights)…. Again Arun gave them the boost…. amazingly both overcame their fear.

Arun, myself, Sushmitha, Dinesh and Prashanth were the last ones to reach our base camp of Kolukkumalai at 9:30 am.
After treating our taste buds with tasty food, we started to trek down the hill to reach our starting point - Karanguni hill.
Yessssss, now I was also fresh and started to trek fast, was happy with my pace. We didn’t take break for two hours. Finally when we reached lonely tree I was like ooohhhh, almost finished. After few mins. i.e., 1:30 pm, we started again. The weather was little hot.
When we started, many of the youngsters ran to reach the base point….. I was introspecting (wish I was also little younger and had the same energy, of course now also energy level was  not very less).
Again with will power….thinking I can hasten downhill, I started with my fellow trekker Sambha. The pathway was not only steep but with ups and downs.  After trekking for a while my legs were not supporting me to trek further……every step was arduous …. “Only thought was whether I will reach the base”  L.  Sambha Shiva (nicknamed Sambha) helped me to forget the distance with constant chatting and in between we were joined by Pavan, who encouraged by saying “Good job Namitha…. We are almost there”.
Finally after an hour, the path was flat. I was happy again. We trekked to the base point and one last pleasant surprise was the waterfall. J woooow. I enjoyed the splash of the fall for five minutes and my paining legs were a bit calm. J. The cool shower was ecstatic.

Next day as promised by BTC organisers, we all reached our home before 5am.
Many more peaks left to conquer for me ;)….
I wish to acknowledge the excellent organizing of trek by Arun and Pavan, the guides Karthi and Vasanth and all fellow trekkers for the support during the trek. 

Thanks to my husband and children for motivating me to take up the challenge and realise my capabilities.

Written by     : Namitha Iyer
Date of event : Sep 2 & Sep 3, 2017
Place             : Kolukkumalai & Meesapulimala

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