We three were from Visakhapatnam and the rest are from Hyderabad. We three earlier also did Mountain Biking in Kullu-Johlari pass in the month of May. So we were all pumped up to do this trek too.
We started at 9pm, and were late to start by 3 hours. We actually planned to start at 6pm so that we can reach by 12 or 1am the next day and take some good rest in a hotel. But as we were late we reached Guntur by 3:30am. We took small small breaks in between in order to get rid of sleep. But Aravind could not hold and slept at the back. We too were singing discussing about the thieves and also about the ghosts (these were the good pass time discussions to be off from sleeping 😉 ). Finally reached Guntur by 3am and it took us half-an-hour to find one good three star hotel “Vajram”. By the time we got settled it was 4am. Watching the nicely laid out bed, we three jumped and in a split second our eye lids were closed. And there came the wake up call, well the call was not from the reception but from our own Mr.Sridhar saying that they have reached and informed us to be at the bus stop in 10 minutes. I said OK and closed my eyes, suddenly I woke up and realized that it was not 10 hours but 10 minutes. Then the time went like a jiffy and we were ready and reached the bus stop in 25 minutes (:D, yep we were late!!). At the bus stop met Arun, Raghu and Sridhar.
We had a good Idly breakfast and then we bought all the necessary water bottles. Also we got the packed lunch packets for three of us. So after packing up everything, the bus was waiting and we boarded the bus to Kondaveedu. All the finances were taken care by Arun, Raghu and Sridhar. After getting at we need to take an auto to the foothill of kondaveedu and so we got two autos win which there were 11 in one auto and the rest in another auto. The ride to the foothill was very pleasant. It was through the lush green paddy fields and the air was fresh. That kind of breeze motivated us all to have a blast on that day. All were at the starting point of the ruined fort which was spread across the hill. We were waiting for the other auto to come by and in the mean time busy reading the history of the fort.
A brief history:: The Kondaveedu fort was built by Anapotha Reddy in the 1250 A.D and later developed by Ana Venkata Reddy. Both of them were prominent rulers of the Reddy dynasty known to be benevolent patrons of the art and culture. Later, the fort considered as impregnable with 24 bastions and spread across 30 hillocks was ruled by Gajapathis. Famous historians like Amol Mujumdar and Roy Chaudhuri praised the fort in their writings. Recent archaeological excavations unearthed a 14th century inscription penned by Kavi Sarvabhauma Srinadha and in idol of Raja Rajeswari. Of late, the fort turned into a treasure trove for treasure hunters. The seizure of a massive golden “panchaloha” idol, weighing 5 kg last year, gave credence to the theories that similar treasures could lay deep in the earth.
Now you guys thinking of what I’m thinking?? Na na we could not find any treasure out there The moment has come to start the trek. We all gathered, Sridhar gave a brief instructions on safety, about the ruins he knew and about the routes to the ruins. At the beginning we thought to explore a lot this time rather than moving on the same old known paths. So After a brief orientation session, we formed two groups one exploring group and the others follow the footsteps of Sridhar. So Myself, Srinivas, Aravind, Raghu, Arun, Sasi, Sandilya, Phaneendra, Kasi, Uma were the exploring team led by Raghu. We were making a new path to the first watch tower of Kondaveedu fort. We were making decisions and discussions and making our way out to the tower. Everyone are climbing up the rock carefully and then reached a point where we met with the rest of the people who came through the normal way.
Then we all together climbed up the rock to reach the watch tower. It was an excellent view from the top. It was just like flying in the air above a vast green fields neatly structured in a squares and rectangles. From the top we could see a point famously know as “Kattulabaavi”, a water well having sharp knives planted beneath the surface of it. The king used to have a clear picture of the enemy’s death after punishing and throwing him into the water well(which doesnt have water but sharp knives, ofcourse!). The Watch tower was having a magnificent view of its entire surrounding area below. The King could easily make out that there are enemies heading up their way to the top. The air was very strong at that time and we were very cautious about our steps that we were making on the rocks. From the top it was very beautiful. Below we could see the lush green paddy fields all placed in rectangular and square fashion.
We also could make out the way that we took to reach the fort by road. It was just like an “ANT’s” world out below the hill. Where ever I go if I find rocks, for no reason my hands and fingers get a hitch to climb them and there was Sridhar always encouraging me to go and climb this rock that rock. So I did climb all those which ever was on my way and it was AWESOME to climb on these rocks. I enjoyed a lot ( conquering those rocks ;)). After reaching at the first watch tower, we rested for a while had few energy drinks took some beautiful snaps. It was a perfect day for climbing. There was strong breeze flowing, not so hot as there were clouds around, overall the air was clear and we could see the horizon. There was an eight pillared hall kind of structure, from the King might used to have a good picturistic view of his kingdom below his fort. The place was superb!! May be the king doesnt need any air blowing machine to cool him off.
It was all natural air blowing non-stop. Simply perfect!! We took nearly 20 minutes break. Now we were discussing to move ahead. The discussion was regarding exploring a new path to the other ruin. This time I took the charge and led the team to the next part. So the entire team buckled up to move ahead to the next mount. Hmmm! you know what, to reach the summit, we need to now pass through a thick bushy area. This was in between two huge rocky boulders. I was laying the path through the bushes and at the same time my heart was beating hard for the fear of snakes hanging around. I fear a lot about snakes. So was making steps very carefully but to my happiness there were none through out the trek, because of which for me it was one of the most memorable among the treks. At a point I thought I’m moving into a wrong direction and indeed I led them towards the left side of the left boulder. We again stopped for a while looked around identified the boulders and then came in a right track towards the top.
At a certain stage the bushes were gone and we had a huge sign of relief as we could see again the picturistic view of paddy fields. Slowly we all made it to the top. Three cheers to everyone for their effort to make it to the top. At the starting towards this point Sridhar thought he had another way out to the top and took another path, as we all reached still Sridhar along with other two were missing. We all were waiting for them to come, we were shouting “SRIDHAR SIRDHAR” then after 20 minutes or so he appeared and came to the top in the same path that we came. A few more meters was the another watch tower and we all conquered it and had group photo alltogether. From there it was a gigantic view. We could see most of the ruins lying below and on the surrounding hills. We also marked our next pit stops from this point.
The next thing was to descend down the same path to reach the king’s court. We all carefully stepped down the hill as it was a bit difficult when compared to the ascent (as it is always, no matter which terrain we are in). While descending, Srinivas, Zehra, Raghu and Sridhar were the first to descend. Aravind was making Arun’s batch step down the hill carefully and I was in between these two groups about to lost again :D. We all came to the same spot again from where we started to ascend the second hill. Now this was a pretty plain road … oops plain path (there were no roads). After walking for a about 20 minutes we reached the king’s court beside that there was the queen’s palace. Even though AP govt considered it as a heritage site, still these buildings are in bad shape. Most of the mindless people carved out their names on the walls making it look very negligible. Mostly the govt might have did a face lift for once, but failed to maintain these structures.
Anyways, we rested for a while as everyone are now feeling rumbling in their tumblings(feeling hungry– according to my boss son’s saying). We walked past a pond and reached a spot what is called as signature spot for taking photos sitting on a vertical trunk under a shady bush. By this time everyone were very tired of climbing and walking. Most of our bottles were empty and few were collecting and filtering the water from the near by pond. We had chapatis along with jam and pickels. Now the most interesting thing is that we had a voting for another climb. Srinivas asked who are ready for the next climb? The next one was on a huge rock. One step wrong and we will find ourself in the pond. Myself, Sridhar and Raghu were ready. I did not expect Aravind to come by, but he raised and was doubtful to come along till we had a start. Apart from him everyone else were like not at all listening to the question. Ok the next question was obviously who wants to take rest until we 4 return from the climb.
AAAHhhhhhh! there you go, everyone raised their hands. Well we started to climb the rock. First we could not find the way out to the rock, somehow we managed the way and started doing rock climbing MMPH! MMPH! …………….while we were climbing there was a herd passing by,those goats were excellent climbers, every time I heard them being the good climbers but I got the opportunity to see them live in action. Just on the heels they were balancing their entire body. I was surprised to see them running too!!! I was stunned and shell shocked!!!! I was very worried that what if they slip?? I was more worried and tense because I was right below those running goats. If they slip they are going to fall straight on me. But luckily nothing happened as such. We 4 climbed successfully had good snaps. There was a small shelter kind of thing which resembled me the movie Lord Of Rings kind of signaling on the mountains.
There was a small pit (may be) used to have some kind woods to burn them and used that as a light house. Well it was 3pm and we have to descend to reach the final pit stop. We reached back to the troop and started our journey. At that time most of them had good amount of rest and regained form to start and end the journey. It was now ups and downs. The path was excellent to walk. Above us it was like a shelter for most of the distance covered. From both sides and on the top too, it was covered with trees and its branches. We were at a point climbing and later at a point getting down and in this process … guess what…. Sridhar lost the way to the last pit stop. I mean he may have missed the spot to switch to the correct way. TADAAAAAA!!!!!!!! Are we lost??? was some of their’s expression. Then Sridhar, Raghu and Myself went to trace the right route, after a gap of 25 minutes Sridhar found the way and then again the journey began. By this time we all were exhausted and had empty water bottles. But still all were strong in reaching the ground. As we were passing we reached a point where there was a small stream of water.
GREAT!!! was the call and we all had filled the thirst and slowly stepped towards the last leg of the trek, reaching Gopalapuram. Myself, Srinivas, Aravind and Zehra moved in one batch and reached the village where we were waiting for the others to come by. Finally the trek came to an end. Out and all it was the beautiful trek and an excellent trek. Everyone enjoyed a lot and we got one jeep and reached Boyapalem. There we had few cool drinks and snacks and boarded a bus to Guntur. As myself, Srinivas and Aravind had no proper sleep last night we three were drowsing in the bus. As soon as we got down we quickly gave a send off to everyone and rushed to the hotel got freshen up and in a jiffy went into sleep.ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
The next morning we started back to Vizag. I would like to congratulate Sridhar for a successful trek and putting his efforts to make it one of the memorable events. It was an awesome experience traveling with you. Hoping to look forward to do more treks with you ;). Also I appreciate and congratulate the rest of the troop members (kondaveedu rockies), for completing this trek without cracking any of your bones ;). That was a good momentum going in the batch and especially the girls who have shown tremendous and excellent spirit during the trek. Wish to meet you soon next time for one more trek. As I expressed my feelings to all the members through mail, in the same way I would like to do one more time expressing my best wishes to you all. Good luck. Chaitanya.
Courtesy: Chamarty Chaitanya’s BlogSpot
TagsKondaveedu Trek, Mangalagiri Trek, Vijayawada Trekking, Guntur Trekking