[Written by Ravi Shankar]
Next to my Munnar Trek, I am waiting for some moderate trek to test my endurance level and CTC announced some Birthday event treks, So I applied few of the moderate treks. I got selected for this Kolli Trek and waited for the day to come. In between preparation mails are received from the organisers and Bus bookings was done to Thuraiyur.
We (20 members team lead by Nachiketha and ElaMurugan) boarded a private bus from CMBT(Koyambedu) by 9.00 pm on Friday and reached Thuraiyur around next day 5.00am. From there we boarded a local bus to Puliancholai where we have to start our trekking. We reached Puliancholai around 6.30 am and had our breakfast near a small hut hotel. Organisers distributed our food for Lunch(Apple, Electrol, Bread &Jam and Chocolate Bars) Around 8.00 am we started from there for the trek to Kolli Hills.
When we proceeded to the hills a man stopped and asked us where we are going, we said we are the students(?) and going for trekking. That guy said he is the Forest dept person and denied us to enter in to the forest as there was forest fire happened few day before. And finally after some negotiation he allowed us to enter in to the forest and we proceeded through the dry stream boulders. After few minutes I feel I was tired in the beginning of the trek itself. Because I was having fever and cold for the past one week. But somehow I managed and climbing the hill up to some distance and again I found it was difficult for me as the hill path was very steep.
One of my fellow trekker / co organiser RP (Rajapandian) helped me by carrying my bag along with him and I found little easy now to climb. The sun was very hot that day and making us more tired and we are felling very dehydrated. There is no water on the way so we have to conserve water for the whole day and I sipped little water and walked very slowly. After some time I took bag from RP and climbed with the bag, now the bag was heavy and slowing my climb. Every body marched fast but me, Anand and Mani was well behind from the team. Ela is sweeping us for some time and after some time we missed him also as we are very slow. We are taken more rest and walked very slowly. In the middle of the hill Anand also moved little fast and joined with the group. Now Mani and me left alone.
We had bread and Jam around 2.00 pm for lunch in middle of the hill. We need more water that time but the 2 litres of bottle emptying very fast. Some how we managed and reached the top of the hill by 4.00pm and we got a call from our Organiser that we have to reach the camp site near Arapaleeswarar temple that was around 6 km from the place where we reached. But we have to walk on the plain surface, So we thought we can reach that easily. On the way we found one Well nearby house and we asked the owner for drinking water, he replied take from the well. Immediately we took a bucket of water from the well and refreshed ourselves and drank heart full of water and our energy was regained. Finally we reached the camp site around 5.00pm and everybody cheered us as we are the last persons.
We had cool drinks near by the temple and Mani had a herbal soup and we took rest for some time. Around 6.00pm the Forest fire was caught near by our camp place. It was spreading fast and destroyed a part of a forest in few minutes time. About 8.00 pm the fire was set off by fire service person after a big struggle. Then only we are feeling safe as it was happened very near to our camp site. Other wise we have to search for a new place for camp on that night time. After everything was under control we had a dinner in a small hotel near to temple at 8.30pm and went for sleep in our camp site. ( it was a small chowltry)
The next day we woke up by 6.30 am and finished our morning duties. Our actual plan was to take a bath in Agaya Gangai water falls and climb down through the stream way, but thebefore day forest fire caught near by the falls, so we skipped the plan. We went for a walk to nearby village through the Road and most of our team members(Lead by Nachiketha and Muthu) went again for a climb/trek to Periyasamy temple situated in a hill. The sun was very hot and we are feeling tired so we few peoples skipped the trek to that temple and went to another temple near by village called Ettukkai amman temple ( 8 hand Goddess). We had our Lunch there in the temple ( fruits and Bread jam) and returned to near the Original camp site where the Bus will start and waiting for our other team members to come. Now the time was 3.30 pm and our team members boarded a bus in the middle and reached the Bus stand. Everybody boarded in that bus and travelled to Nammakkal. The bus was actually up to Chendampatty only(before Namakkal), from there we have to catch another bus to Namakkal. We reached Chendampatty around 7.30 pm and boarded another bus to Namakkal. the bus reached Namakkal around 8.00pm.
We had a nice dinner in a hotel nearby Namakkal Bus stand and waited for our bus to come. Around 9.15 pm we boarded a Private bus booked for us and it reached Chennai the next day 6.00 am. Everybody left to their homes with green memories. Thanks to the Organisers for this wonderful opportunity to participate in this trek.