As planned, we Ascenders started from Majestic to explore the Sural water falls and to get deep down into the Sural Valley. And as expected, the next day we reached one hour late from the scheduled arrival time, thanks to Indian Railways. A Tavera was booked to drop us at our starting point. 10 people were all ready with fully loaded backpacks jammed tightly inside a Tavera.
To the left of resort there was a muddy trail from where we started walking. Initially we crossed 2 beautiful but slippery streams. After crossing the 2nd stream there was a bit of ascend after which we entered the beautiful jungle. The descending mist and the early morning dew drops on the leaves and the hanging climbers just added to the lush greenery of the surrounding. Then came a steep vertical descent and to add to it the rest of the group (except 4 of us) had already moved forward. So we had to negotiate our own path all through the tricky descend. Finally after some slip-offs & dust biting, holding tightly to the tree branches we managed to land on a stony river bed. Didn't knew one of the biggest surprise of my life was waiting ahead :). As we moved ahead the deafening sound of a huge waterfall became more and more louder.
And lo, the sight that gradually unfolded in front of us was a sight to behold. It was the top of the magnificent Sural falls. The combo of the mighty Sural falls gushing down with all it's might, the panaromic view of the Sural Valley ahead plus the rest of the group sitting was on the top with some clicking the sceneries.. this combo just made my mind go blank for quite a few minutes.
After some group pics, we continued towards our right & in the course hit a thorny dead end. We had to cut across the thick vegetation on our own which we gradually did after some tense moments. Couple of more minutes and we reached a place where we had a small stream flowing nearby. Had our lunch, filled our bottles, filled our stomach and then again it was get set go since we were running out of time.
From now on it was a gradual descend on a rocky path full of boulders which made the descend really painful. Finally at around 5 in the evening we hit a flat sandy surface near to which a stream coming straight from the Sural Falls was flowing in all it's glory.Sighted two Asiatic rock pythons. One of them was not able to make a move after a heavy meal and other one was timid and moved away from us swiftly. Roughly, both were of more than 10 feet length and half the size of human body.
We were in the midst of Sural Valley. I don’t think anyone might have entered so deep down the valley.
Can you spot the python in the below pictures? :D
It was time for our camp tonight! The first word that came to my mind was PERFECT :) What better place can we have for camping? We decided to call it a day. That's it! It was the time to throw away our dirty shirts & pants, strip down to the bare minimum and jump into the water. After a tiring trek through dense and thorny vegetation on a sunny day, nothing compares with the feeling that you get after diving into a pool filled with clear fresh water coming straight from the majestic falls. After having a refreshing bath, we headed back to our camping site to setup the tent. Since there were chances of water level rising after getting dark, we decided to give the sandy bed a miss and instead moved little up where we found a place which appeared to be ok and safe. Cleared the area filled with stones and thorny weeds. After doing a bit of leveling, we pitched in our tents. It was challenging to pitch the tents since we could not find a flat surface any were in that rocky river valley inside the sural valley.
Next day got up as early as 4:30 in the morning, finished packing and started at around 5:30. As always I was the first to get up and the last to finish packing. :( Need to work both on my packing skills and speed. :D After few hours of continuous ascend we hit a very dense and thorny vegetation.
Maneuvering through it proved to be a tough task. Suddenly Ranga's feet slipped off at a place where inclination was very steep. In a desperate bid to balance himself he held on tightly to 2 thorny branches and he along with our commando (who was all along with him throughout this ordeal) got lost temporarily. Finally after some 30-40 mins of wait they both managed to trace their path back to us, thanks to the continuous sound signals that was the only communication between us and them. Phew, heaved a sigh of relief. Next we managed to reach the exit point of our trek by hour an half.
After that we reached Sural Village and started a small trek to a nearby view point Thanks to my obsession with my camera, this time it was mine and Mahesh's turn to get lost :D, then it was followed by a classic bath at a stream nearby which also included a very luxurious bubble bath (please consult Patrick regarding the what's and how's of a "BUBBLE BATH" :P ) and then finally a sumptuous and yummy meal.
With mind peaceful, hunger satiated, thirst quenched and stomach filled to the brim, it was time to head back to station to catch our return train to Bangalore. And thanks to Jijo’s leg pulling abilities, time passed away very quickly.
I can safely conclude that this was another memorable exploration. Thanks to BASC, Patrick & others.
Join Bangalore ASCENDers @ CLICK HEREWritten by: Satya
Date: October 26th & 27th
Composed by: Swetha Padakandla
Event organized by: Patrick Samuel
Image Gallery: Satya, Ravi Kiran
The Crew: Manohar, Selvi Eswaran, Rajdeep Mondal, Supraja, DK, Jijo, Mahesh, Satya, Ranganath Mukunda, Anil Kumar, Srivast Sharma, Patrick