When you open your eyes and you see clouds passing by, sun rays dancing in the sky, golden lights painting the sky…your soul smiles and skips a beat…This was the view from top of Jindhaghada which is the highest peak in AP and also the eastern ghats at a height of 5545ft.
It was a weekend trip I was organizing with GHAC to trek to the highest peak of Andhra Pradesh. From the past few months, have been going bonkers over climbing the highest peak in every state and it was time to capture the home ground. So the team was set, 18 of us started off from Hyderabad to Vizag. From there the plan was to catch the train to Araku.
It was my third trip to Araku and everytime I go there, the views still mesmerize me. It was a beautiful journey with the train passing through various tunnels, green mountains, small stations..We reached Araku around 11am..where our Sharekhan-The Auto driver was waiting for us with Auto’s to take us to the base village ‘Poolaguda’ on the paderu road, which was the starting point of our trek. Most of the locals in Poolaguda know Jindhaghada as Pedda Gutta.
After a quick lunch, and a bumpy one and a half hour ride on the hard plank of the auto, we reached our base village. The ride took a worse hit on my stomach which started acting funny…aww..one of the most horrible journeys I had in my life..
It was supposed to be a 3 hour climb as per my homework. ha ha..started crocodile festival here..
The trail starts next to the village school(there will be a bore pump), which in an hours climb will take you to a small waterfall.
If its not peak monsoon, you will just see some small waterflow instead of a waterfall. This waterfall will be visible from the base.Once we cross the waterfall to the otherside, we will hit a clearance rocky area from which one can see Jindhaghada , the tallest mountain standing at a distance.
We begin our journey and 10 minutes down the path my lunch started dancing in my stomach..that epic feeling when you want to puke everything out but nothing refused to come out..
We continued our climb and in a couple of hours we managed to reach the waterfall which was more of a small stream passing down the mountains.
Folks got into the water and it was refreshing after a hot climb..After crossing the stream and turning around the corner finally the peak was fully visible..It was huge and far with clouds passing over covering its top..at some point the peak was not visible with clouds covering it
We continued our climb to the top..
We were loosing light and the clouds were hiding the peak, as the night started creeping in..we climbed and climbed ..plain ground was scarce, so we had no option but to climb the slope till we reach the top..
Finally we reached the top and after a bit of searching with torches we managed to find the peak with the flag post standing high on the highest mountain of eastern ghats..It was almost 7.30pm in the night. The sky was full of stars, air was cold and moist but the feeling in the heart was great..
After finding a camping spot right on the very peak, we pitched our tents, had our food and just sat down enjoying the stars..It was magical..everytime we were inside a cloud which passed onto us, all the stars and views vanished and everything became foggy..and slowly as the cloud started to drift off the views were opening up like a curtain on a stage..it was a nice game the clouds were playing with us..
After some star gazing, some ghost stories also an unexpected visit from a so called robber, we cuddled into our sleeping bags and tents..It was still freezing cold and off we went to sleep….brrrr…
Morning I could hear some shouting which woke me up …people were excitedly shouting outside the tents..I wake up, open the tent and I am like wow..I can see clouds floating in front of our eyes…it was the same cloudy effect you get when you see from an aeroplane…We quickly came out our tents and took in the mesmerizing sights..
The sun was just rising and the rays were sparkling like they are going through a prism..I would happily climb 10 more Jindhaghada’s for one such view..
Everyone was lost in their own little world, some taking in the views, some seeing sunrise, some buzy clicking pictures.. After spending time with the clouds, it was time to wrap up the camp and start down..
The descend was quite fast through the bushes and we reached the road in 3 hours where our sharekhan was waiting to take us back..
Now it was all leisure from here..time for some bamboo chicken 🙂
We started back to Araku where we stopped at Chaprai waterfalls..I had some very good memories at this falls and was a delight to come back here again..
Quickly we ordered some 2kgs of Bamboo chicken and while it was cooking we jumped into the sliding waters of Chaprai..what fun it is to get into water after a trek..always resets your whole body and tyring muscles..did a slide down and enjoyed standing under the falls…
Now it was time for some spicy chicken and spicy it was indeed.. Our next stop was at Araku market where all had some lunch and I bought some lemons and dependol for motion sickness, for the curvy hairpin bends ghat road which was to take us down..god save my poor soul!! . Hate this road always..After some shopping at AP tourism stalls, we then got into the RTC bus which would drop us at Vizag.
The route down the ghat is very scenic which takes you through various curves showing you the Araku valley and anatagiri hills from a close range.
We finally reached Vizag by evening and as we had a few hours to kill it was Beach time …yipee ..Sea is always so beautiful and never say no to a beach and make sea gods angry!! We then reached the RK beach at Vizag and man it was crowded!! We found some space in the corner and went into the water..Silly but we always go towards the water ,and the waves come, and we run to the shore shouting..he he..a perfect end to a nice trip..
It was time to say bye bye ..Had some dinner, got into our nice ac train(luxury after a trek) to take us back to Hyderabad.. Was a nice trip overall…the climb, the clouds, the views, zillions of stars, chilling cold, beautiful sunrise, green mountains, sliding down the waters of chaprai, bamboo chicken and finally the beach 🙂 .. . .
…And finally a video of our trip ...