Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mukruthi - A path which goes deep in my Heart....

It was Dream come true, I was planning for this trek past 6 months & permission required from the forest department to reach the place. The park is characterized by montanez grasslands and shrub and interspersed with sholas in a high altitude area of high rainfall, near-freezing temperatures and high winds. It is home to an array of endangered wildlife, including Royal Bengal Tiger and Asian Elephant, but its main mammal attraction is the Nilgiri Tahr. The park was previously known as Nilgiri Tahr National Park.

The D day arrived, Thanks to srini Sir Helped me  to visit such beautiful place. Myself & group friends ( Shankar, Karthikeyan, Ramesh Muthiyan, Karthik, Madhav, Aravind, sudhir) All of us from Bangalore and Ramesh alone from Chennai.  Saddiq from Kerala my friend who is good photographer joined us for the trip.
The plan by srini sir was well jotted out.

1st Day - Pandiar – Devarbetta - Mukruthi Peak  - Kolaribetta-  Camping in Mukruthi River Bed  - 13 Kms
2nd Day – Mukruthi Camp Site –Pichkalbetta  – Western Catchment – Bangitapal Road – 27 Kms

The highest mountains inside the Park are Kollaribetta 2630m, Mukurthi 2550m and Nilgiri 2470m.

We Reached Gudalur pick up point & got pick up by the forest department – The mind started saying lets drop mobile, Dump the office memory log.. The Heart started pumping fresh air, The Jeep entered a no man’s land which en route to Pandiar. Shankar “Let’s call Ramesh and check where is now as the group was worried”. Jeep stopped at last signal point for Airtel. Ramesh States he on the way to ooty crossed conoor .  Post which  we started traveling towards  Pandiar, entrance to guest house covered with huge trees and  back drop is shola forest. We meet Srini sir and got introduced to the group. Group had a good breakfast and started packing things to start the Trip. Time clocked 9:00 AM as were already late and need start climbing.

The group climbed the Kolaribetta – as we climbed the Peak, we can see the clear skies around with water table in front of us. “The blue skies reflection falls on the lake and the banks of the lakes are reflecting with orange sand both sides” as we reached a point the trail started going flat and lot marsh plants that keep the area green. Time was 11:30 Am we crossed cloud traffic. “You would cross a road with heavy traffic, thy trail walked us through the green & gray grass painted and suddenly you see mass of cloud crossing you and you can feel it”. The group in front of vanishes and you alone walk inside the clouds………

Mukruthi – The place is just amazing (no foot print of Humans)

Mukruthi – The place is just amazing (no foot print of Humans)

The group took a break below Mukruthi peak had lunch, and the time was 1:45 Pm. The peak seen in front as pathway to climb. Time clocked 2:30 Pm we kept all the bags down covered with all thing as chance of rain. The group took regular trail to reach the Peak. My self and Sandeep planned to take direct incline towards the peak top. Sandeep & guard were in the front and I started climbing behind them, Heavy rain started & rocks were slippery with grass each step to climb the peak need to be monitored. We reached the top by 3:15 Pm and others yet to come and below video will recall the beautiful memory …..By the time we reached the peak top, it was raining heavily and once reached the entire place was surrounded with clouds and nothing was seen on the opposite side. This particular moment is most memorable one in my life time. The entire group one by one reached the top at 3.45 PM and took some rest. We were waiting for the mist to clear as we can see the Nilamabur forest area on the Kerala Side..

She is pretty beautiful; the current place where I stood was painted in black rocks & green grass. Opposite side the clouds where drifting towards us welcoming us to a beautiful world. Every moment filled with Joy cherished with best buddies besides…  “ Dilon mein tum apni betabiyan leke chal rahe ho, Toh zinda ho tum! Nazar mein khwaabon ki bijliyan leke chal rahe ho, Toh zinda ho tum!”

Time clocked 4:00 Pm, the group started descending, the Trail was clear . Sudhir did not make it to the top as he was not well. The moment we reached the lunch point, we searched for him. He was standing below the trees hiding himself  from the rain. The way to kolaribetta is different but we can see the Peak from the place where we stood. Group reached the evening camp point by 5:00 Pm. 
Note : The below click taken by karthick from my group.

Mukruthi - The Valley between Human touch & nature Paradise.

“The camp place was surrounded with mountains and as the time clocked down as the cold breeze setting across. Thanks to Srini sir for arranging such beautiful trip on the 1st day. Camp fire set with hot bajis & hot Tea given. Hats off to such a wonderful treatment by TN forest department…..

 Unlucky that no clear skies we could have clicked some star trails. Time clocked 10:00 PM, all were in to the tents & cozy sleeping bags, while the forest guards were planning for next day trip. I woke up at 3:00 Am, it dam chill inside the tent and I could not sleep. The fire was burning as huge logs were kept, I sat around the fire and started Hearing some animals noise, must be bison around the place. Made myself warm and went back to the tent to sleep. It was 5:00 after which could not sleep, the outside temperature was 10 degree freezing. I was waiting for the sunrise click, as we are in the middle of the valley. Sun takes more time to show up in this place.

The group quickly started moving in that area to click some macro of dew droplet and everyone was busy clicking. Time clocked 9:00 Am and everything for the second day trek is packed and taken care well. We are climbing pitchukabetta, once we reach the Top, we saw the Lake on the opposite side the view was just amazing and every one took a small nap. Remember the second day trek is yet to take it toll on the people who are coming the group. Sudhir recovered well and fit to climb now.

We started moving towards the western catchment area, the time was 11:45 am we got down from slope and entered in to a road which linking the wireless station. Lime juice was ready waiting for the guys and everyone had good small nap before the lunch time. The roads surrounded by both side mountains and clouds drifting along the path way, we were told chance of sighting niligiri thar in this area and group started walking silently, as we reached a curving point, the watcher alerted a group of niligiri thar is seen. Immediately all were with cam madhav has good chance to take as he good range Lens and he tried his luck. Myself had small chance but tried my luck with the 55-300 lenses could not get clear click.

Mukruthi - Earthen dam Exit Route.

The time was 1:30 PM halted in western catchment area near a dam , The dam here were built in late 1960 in Anna period to prevent water going to kerala. There is also underground pipeline links to paykara and which in turn helps to irrigate the Coimbatore, ooty & erode area 2:00PM, srini alerted guys we need to go long way from here. We are late an hour need to walk faster. The place visited after this was more beautiful up & down of the mountains and reached point where you see wireless tower on the other side of mountain clearly signifies we are on top peak.

The evening dawn is started setting in and all were carry good amount of luggage – 25 kgs by myself . The group started walking little slowly asking for what is the end point. To Movitivate us, Srini sir saidwe see shed on top mountain if we reach there, there comes and end point . “As I walked my eyes was searching for the end point, my calf muscles started paining  as we climbed up and down, My heart says to take rest. Mind acts immediately to state stop thinking and lets move. The End point has come , 6.45 PM and the group took small rest every one now not able to walk properly except the few ( Myself, Sandeep & srini sir). I had a last bottle of water which I had in hand. The night started creeping & wind started blowing cold, Sudhir was down badly after this he not able to walk properly.

Srini sir said it will take 2hr 30 min to reach ooty bus stand, the bus at 10:30 PM. Srini sir, myself & Sandeep started walking and the group walking slowly at the back. The watcher who came along with had been given torch to bring the Jeep . He Just ran like deer with torchs J Hats off to the courage these guys.  We see Jeep light in distance and it came up time was 8:00 PM. Sir said to pick up the last guy sudhir and other group guys jumped in to 2 vehicles. 3rd came ours and we were walking down. By this time my tongue started drying feeling hungry- second day we have walked 28 kms. 

The 3 vehicles started moving quickly to ooty , they also took shortcut in avalanche area going through forest road to cut short on the time.  Here come the bus stand  at 10:15 Pm 15 mins before the departure.  The pain in the body remains after going through such beautiful and unforgettable trip the mind is lite. What else you can ask for from this trip.

  Sincere Thanks: Hats of Srini sir & his team of watchers DFO and forest guard. We were treated like officers in the trip. These memories stay long way in our hearts…..