Post Trip Mail – Heritage Photography Trip 2 – Gingee Fort – 8th July, 2012

Writeup: Noel Prashant
Do you expect a guy to register for a photography trip without a camera??? yep, its me!!! 🙂 Until midnight of the trip, I did not have one… It was after that I went to my friend and asked him if his camera was free… He replied “yes”, so I got it from him. I spent the rest of the time learning how to capture pictures, but in vain. It was about 3:00am, when I realized I did everything in vain. Finally, I came up with the iA mode (intelligent auto).
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After a successful conclusion, I packed my bag and started to my pickup point (Koyembedu). We started introducing ourselves and involved in some deep discussions. We waited, waited so long for the cab to arrive, but it appeared as if it was not gonna come!!! we made several calls to the cab driver, and about 95% of them replied “The number you are calling is not reachable, Please try after some time”, and few went unanswered. After many trials, he responded and said he just took out the cab from Otteri, and that he is on his way to collect food from Chennai Woodlands, Parrys. After some time we called, he said the hotel was closed. Later, when we called, he said he is on his way to Koyembedu. Our scheduled departure was at 4:30am, but departed at 6:00am.
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Immediately as the cab arrived, we jumped into it and started to pick up our friends at various pickup points. On the way, near Vadapalani, the cab driver’s mobile fell down into the engine cabinet. After some 10-15 minutes struggle, we took out his phone (completely greased). Then we moved and picked up participants from Guindy – Asarkana bus stop, Chrompet, Tambaram – Railway station and Tindivanam. At the last pickup point, Tindinavam, we had our breakfast.
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After completing our breakfast, we started towards Gingee. On reaching, we decided to go to Ranikottai first and then to Rajakottai. We took tickets, and started to climb up to the fort. Taking pictures all over the way, we moved really slowly and reached the top of Ranikottai.
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There was a rock, where karthik exhibited his skills climbing it, where he was named spiderman. The temperature was too high that we were all exhausted. Upon reaching the base, We decided to take a dip in a pump house near the Ranikottai. But, the plan was called off when we heard that the entry to the Rajakottai will be closed by 3:00pm, and it was already 2:00pm.
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We returned to our cab, and started to Rajakottai. Near the entrance, we halted and had our lunch. After lunch, we moved in. We collected chilled water from near the ticket counter. After checking the tickets, we started walking in. We visited the Marriage Hall, Elephant’s Tank, Gymnasium and Granary and took some pics. At Elephant’s Tank, we planned a group photo. But it was dropped when few guys already left for the Gymnasium.
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Ten of us started to climb the Rajakottai while others opted to stay down. We did not take much photos on the way, as our prime aim was to reach the peak.
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Midway, we were stopped by a security asking us to go down, as it was already 3:15pm. We said few friends of our group have gone up an and that we would return with them.
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He acknowledged us asking us to return by 4:00pm. We made it to the top, clicked few picks. We totally forgot to look at our watch. It was already 4:00pm. We were to hurry down and we reached the base by 5:00pm.
On reaching the base, we clicked some pics. Announcement was made “Time for group photo”!!! Everyone assembled and the final pic was clicked.
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After all clicks, we went to the cab to find the driver sleeping. We woke him up and asked him if we can start. He immediately responded and started. All went into deep sleep.
I knew the driver was sleepy, so I went to sit beside him and give a chat. Damn him!!! For every conversation I start, he turned his head towards me to talk without looking the road. I was totally scared to continue the conversation. So, whenever he was feeling sleepy, I triggered him with a question, and stopped with a single one. On hitting the highway, we asked to stop for tea. He said he would stop near Melmaruvathur. But all Tea stalls were crowded. We then stopped at Mamandur, had tea, and started. Another scariest part was the way he applies the brakes… He applies brakes and steers the vehicle this side and that side, that the vehicle comes to a halt. On such brake woke up all sleeping guys, and few said, the driver made a great cut through. Only I know what actually happened!!! 😉
Dropping everyone at their dropping points, we came to Koyembedu. Settling the bills to the driver, we all departed with all sweet memories and the ever speaking photographs.
We still do not know how, Though we started way delayed, we ended as per schedule!!!
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