Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Journey to the center of the Earrrrrrrrrrrth - the final cut

Part II completed a greater part of our trip and now, we speak of the last and most beautiful part of our day trip.
Then came time for lunch, and Srisailam is a small place. So no chance of finding any swanky place of any sort. We managed to find a comparatively clean looking Udipi place, grabbed a quick lunch and headed out again. By now, the sun was pelting down on us, and we were thankful to the cool confines of our car as we headed out to our next destination. This one, was Shikharam. As per what we'd read up, this was a Shiv temple up on a hill top, from whence we would be able to get a panoramic view of the whole Srisailam town. This temple was a tad different, in that the Nandi bull idol was on top of the Shiv temple! So, we'd pay our respects to the Shiv temple down, then go up some more steps to the top of the temple, and as per Hindu customs, we would need to look at the oversized Shiv structure made of iron rods through the two horns of the bull. There was a fair crowd there, waiting to do this, and we scampered up the steps afraid of getting our feet barbecued again. But surprisingly, tiles seem to be the next best thing since sliced bread! We went up, looked around, took a couple of pics, typical tourist style and came down again.

The gang got tired and decided to get some shut eye time, while I caught up with my music. On the way to the next stop, Mahelle Teertham, a waterfall, we crossed the dam from the other side. And it was an awesome sight indeed. The depth, the steep fall, the dam standing up there majestically, all added up to a pretty picture.
Around 4 PM, we reached Mahelle Teertham. This stop was indeed the icing on the cake. What we had found when we read up about this place, was that this place housed a beautiful waterfall. Certainly nothing like Niagara, but beautiful, nonetheless. There was a steep climb down, I reckon close to at least 100 rough, unsophisticated steps. We started the descent in the sweltering sun, and mid way, Random remarked that the steps we were descending with such gusto would need to be climbed up again! The prospect of that was rather painful, but we went on.

We reached the bottom, and there was a dirt track that veered to the left. This track apparently would have led to the waterfall. The waterfall in question was a sheet fall, that fell beautifully down a smooth rock cut surface. But when we looked to the right, we saw a lovely glade. It was super cool down there, under a canopy of trees. The whole area had a lovely green hue. We couldn't see the ground, since the whole place was covered by a blanket of leaves. We trudged across this blanket to a brooklet. The water from the falls came gurgling by and there were some rocks, placed in an opportune manner giving us a place to sit, such that we could just about put our feet into the water. This we did, and mannnn the water was coooool. It felt so good to put our feet into the water especially after a day of trudging through heat, dust and grime. And we sat there, opened up our sandwich packs, and sat with our feet in the water, yapping, singing, and basically having an amazing time.

After spending close to an hour or perhaps more there, we had to leave, to get back to Hyderabad. We were scorched, burned, tired, exhausted, but very very happy indeed. Even now, I can see vivid images of that glade, the tall towering trees there, the thick roots that stood through the brooklet, the tiny insects that flitted over the water, the random leaf that gently fell upon the water and went gliding past our feet, and of course us, singing away to glory, as if there was no tomorrow.

Thus ended our journey to the center of the earth. Absolutely ethereal. Absolutely beautiful. But all this fun couldn't have been possible without the company of the gang. Ren, M, Random - tooooo good. Together we made a temple visit fun. Together we made a simple dam a thing of beauty. Together we made a simple day trip a time to savor and remember indeed. Thanks a lot!!!

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