It was an early start around half past five in the morning. 24 of us boarded in two vans with a travel of 100 kilometers ahead of us. The crowd was diverse with people from early 20’s to late 30’s, all looking forward towards a journey which tests your endurance, determination and stamina. Our first halt was for breakfast at a mess in Uthukootai, a panchayat town very close to Andhra Pradesh ( now called as Seemandhra). They nourished us with the classic Tamil breakfast of idly-sambar-chutney along with vadai and we ate as much as we could as our next stop was only at Nagala. Since this was a Saturday and it was also in the auspicious Tamil Month of Purattasi, we were accompanied with a lot of Thirupati devotees along the roadway.
We reached Nagala around 9:30 am with sun shining brightly, our trek started. We took the group photo first as all of us knew, in the evening everyone would have exhausted, even to pose for a picture.
For the first half hour of our walk, sun took the best of us. Trees were not surrounding us densely and with rising temperatures were we draining. Once we entered the forest, degrees dropped and there was a restoration of vitality in all of us once we were under the shadow of the trees. The importance of trees in Mother Earth was reemphasized in my mind then. With every step, the trek became all the more challenging. We walked for another 40 minutes with the hope of seeing a tributary of Nagalapuram Falls. There are a total of three falls in Nagala Hills- East, each forming a natural pool inviting people to get in communion with Nature. When we reached the first pool, it was quarter past twelve and with sun nearly perpendicular to us, we descended into the pool.
The second pool was lucid and turned out to be the place where all of us swam, dived, played and it was fun at it’s best. The second pool had a depth of around 20 feet and the less comfortable people had their life-jackets on. After climbing for all these hours seeing the pure waterfall was divine. Most of us quenched our thirst with this water and all of us felt rejuvenated, happy and satisfied. The photo session kick started again and there was an underwater camera which stole the show. We forgot our hunger as we stepped into the pool and when we came out with a hard heart, the time was 2:00 pm. But, still we wanted to go to the third waterfall and we did go.The third pool had formed in the center of the hill and it was an excellent sight. It had a depth of 30 feet and the water here was the clearest of all. Till our bodies felt tired we swam and then finally had our lunch there when the clock struck 3:00 pm.
The best thing about this trek was that we cleaned the areas near the third pool this time picking the trashes, bottles and wastes dumped by irresponsible tourists. Last Saturday, we cleaned the second pool. On our way back, there were four trash bags as additional luggage. This trek was part of the community outreach program of our organization and this was our way of contributing something back to our society. I remembered #CleanIndia campaign when we did this. After, a twenty minute halt post lunch, we started our way back to where we began. This journey was far more toiling as all of us were nearing exhaustion and after a relentless two-hour walk, we reached our vans around 6 30 pm.
Almost everyone dozed on the way back while a few were reminiscing the day seeing the photographs. At the end of the day, there was a feeling of completion and accomplishment in all of us. Nagala hills is also good for a two day trek where you can stay in the forest with campfire, tent, food and if needed cooking utensils thereby making your weekend unforgettable. Be it one day or two days, Nagala hills along with it’s waterfall will refresh your Life and make you smile.