Taking on Thadiyandamol - Part 2

The foothills is the spot where the whole plan changes at times. There is a big rock there which serves as an elevated platform, far from the reach of the leeches, an excellent spot to take rest or have some lunch. But that's the catch. The view of the mountains and the sky from this rock is so magnificent that a couple of times we decided to spend the rest of the day on top it and drop the plan for any further hike. The contrast of lush green and sparkling blue is so magical that it can cast a spell on you, making you immobile and breathless. It is usually during moments like these that we hear statements like "For a view like this, I am ready to work for half the salary" and "Oh God, make me a leech here, in my next life", the second being more of an 'alcohol-enhanced' soliloquy. But this time we were clear of our target and to be frank, there was not enough alcohol to keep us there all day. We had our lunch and realized we could have had another 15 pooris. It was afternoon but not a trace of sunny boy anywhere, it was all misty with drizzles every now and then. We decided to start the climb without wasting much time as the visibility was getting poorer. Visibility will become a problem as we had a small stretch of forest to cross halfway through the top.

We came across couple of other groups who were climbing down. They were sad that the mist ruined all the beautiful views from the top. Suja was the only one who was happy to hear this as walking through the mist was one of the motivations for this trip. We decided to go ahead and see whats in store for us. The climb is steep at times and gets flattened out in between for short distances. We had to climb across a few hillocks before reaching the forest. There is a good view point just before we enter the forest but all that was visible then was the mist. The trail through is forest is about half a kilometer or even less, but gets slippery during the rains. It was not so dark inside and finding the trail was not difficult at all. At the end of forest trail when you see the light you will feel like you are on top, but once you climb out in the open, you can see another hillock ahead. In fact there are two more small peaks to climb after the forest to reach the highest point. Venky was the first to reach the top, followed by Suja. Soon we all joined them for some 'been there' pictures. Nothing was visible except the mist and person standing next to you.

As we waited there enjoying the chill and the mist, waiting for the sun to come out and clear the mist, Venky got an idea. He started waving his hands, shaking his head and moving his feet as if dancing to an invisible beat. He was doing the 'sun-dance', the time tested African dance to please the sun god of 'Orang Utan'. Though we were amused by the moves, we lacked one basic quality - belief - to participate in the ritual. It just didn't seem logical for our clouded minds. He continued the dance for a while and we remained spectators. Minutes passed and nothing happened, it was still misty all around. It was already 5 in the evening and we wanted to get down before the nightfall. We started climbing down cursing the mist for not blocking our view. But then something happened; as if by miracle the mist started clearing out, the sun came out from behind the clouds and awesome views started appearing all around us. Venky had a smile on his face, he knew the power of his dance and its effect on the Gods. We all nodded at Venky in unison, acknowledging the magnanimity of his gesture. Soon the cameras were out and we did manage to capture some of the landscapes in pixels for posterity. All along the return journey the skies remained clear and the mist was kind enough not to play spoilsport.

For the third time in four visits, I came across the so called 'worm-snake' this time as well. This one was thinner and had a shining blue scales. Undoubtedly this one belonged to the same species but I am yet to figure out what it is. It might be some variety of Sand Boa or even some limbless lizard as the ones I have seen were all short in length. This was the only interesting animal sighting except for the numerous leeches. We left the guy alone and continued our journey. We did manage to get to the tarred road before it became pitch dark and also avoided further leech casualties. We were soon on our way back to the house. After a minor detour, we reached there ready to gobble up a baby elephant if available. Aunty was all prepared for the assault with two varieties of pork, chicken cury and some assorted vegetables for Venky. The tamarind fried pork was so yummy that we were almost full when the rice and rotis arrived. After a bath, good food and couple of pegs of Brandy, the only other visible thing on the menu was 'SLEEP' - Arial. Bold, 24, Caps.

We all slept like babies that night. I am not sure what wake me up the next morning - the cacophony of birds or the snoring competition between Veny and Saad. Later aunty said she heard the snoring and came out of the house to make sure its no animal attack. The morning was beautiful with a lot of birds flying around - the red and yello miniverts, the chirpy seven sisters and a few more. It was good to watch their enthusiasm as we sat in the balcony sipping some hot Coorgi coffee. Breakfast was ready by the time we took bath and done with the coffee - Rice rotis and idli with bamboo shoot curry and pumpkin seed chutney. The pumpkin chutney was a delicacy and a hit with all of us. Soon after breakfast we embarked on a walk along the estate. There were some ponds with lot of flowers and butterflies all around. We did spend a few hours before it was time to pack up and move. Our next destination was Chelavara falls on the way to Virajpet.

By the time we reached the falls it had started raining. The waterfall was looking good this time of the year with all the rains. Ahilash could not resist taking a dip and so did Saad. I tried to reach the top of the fall through a different route but could not quite make it. After spending about an hour at the falls we resumed our journey towards Virajpet. I was traveling with Venky and Saad and we had some interesting discusions on music, much to the terror of Venky. 'The Best of Judas Priest' was blurting out of the stereo and Venky had to put up with it and my drumming for about an hour. I almost mistook Venky's face for the symbol at the end of a rolls and he is yet to have a straight look at me after that!! We had our much delayed lunch at Virajpet, had a stop over at the cafe Coffee day at Mandya and were back in Bangalore by late night.

We had decided one thing - we will be going back to Thadiyandamol on a full moon day in October/November to see the sunset and rising moon from the top of the hill. When I hit the sack to sleep, I tried to think about that trip and not to remember the next day is Monday. The thought was comforting enough!!
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1 comment:

Rob said...

There is a waterfall in Thadiyandamole??? Need to check that out again - or is that the one we went to from near the palace?

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