A sudden plan popping out on 2nd Dec evening, when a reader pinged and asked why don’t you guys review about Yelagiri? The point is we don’t prefer picnic spots since we are aware in some point of our life we will be visiting with our family , since this was from a reader, we didn’t have a second thought.

3 Dec 2017

The longest sleepless wait ever finally came to an end. It was 3 AM in the morning and time for the ride, wasn’t like other, the speciality was we are driving to Tamilnadu, hurray. Didn’t worry about the route, survived in Karnataka itself, now we are driving to our state. As usual a morning coffee at our regular shop, having a good chat about movies with that anna, he also praised about Mersal movie and Theeran, finally pulling my leg in by introducing STR topic and ____ (let’s leave that part)

The Crew

Ride was a butter smooth one, stopped for coffee at Krishnagiri, exchanging the rides, enjoying the early morning view, chatting all nonsense, went on the wrong way, enquiring the locals and finally to see the sign board that said take right for Yelagiri.

Places to visit

It was already 7:30, we were sharing the thought that this will be the non-misty hill climb in this year. And as we suspected it was until half way, then suddenly there was the first sight of mist, wow, we never expected that. From the base need to travel 14 KM that comprises of 14 hairpin curves, few of them were narrow ones, but it is manageable, unless there is a bus or a heavy vehicle on the opposite way. In the second curve we saw a car, with the parking lights on and he was in middle of the road, WT?? Not sure how he got his driving license? He turned out to be a fun element for us, enjoying the curves, going closely on the chicane, monkeys on the barricades hugging each other to bear with the cold and the young ones crossing the road unaware of the consequences, counting each and every curve, stopping for photos, cracking fun of the car drivers, an interesting and fun one. Entire ride below,

Reached the checkpost, that said we have reached Yelagiri. It was 8:30, stopped for a coffee, the traditional Tamilnadu way of preparing Tea/Coffee, the boiler, tea bag, ahhhh, the taste that it brings in, unexplainable.

Near by shop had homemade chocolates, got some for our friends back at Bangalore. It’s not prepared at Yelagiri, it is from Kodaikanal so they charge 150 for 200 gms, and indeed good too. If you’re in need of a pure bitter dark chocolate demand for it, since the dark chocolate we got were added with sweetness.

Main attractions included, Boat house, Nature park, Venkatesha Temple and Murugan Temple. Boat house and Nature park opens at 9:00 in the morning. We weren’t interested in either of them,but just to kill time we went on to boat house and complaining each other, look at the climate, look at the water, look at the pedalling boat, look at the entire environment and look who is beside me, our fate . But that had lot of photo shooting locations around, spent ample time in capturing number of pics that suited for our profiles. Then had a brief chat with the vada shop vendor, enquiring about the yelagiri.

This is not a tomato, its an Apple

Price of row boat:50 per head
Price of Pedal boat:200 per boat
Came out of the boat house, spotting Parrot Astrology, Harish jumping and shouting lets check out our future, I replied you go ahead, am least interested and I don’t believe on these. But he insisted, let the parrot predict for both, else even am not gonna check. I agreed for it and then came hilarious part and the scam act (kind of). Will describe at later part of the post (Scroll down for the entire scene).

11:00 Moved away to withdraw money from ATM, in the mean time I checked with local auto driver about the places around, he directed us to a trek, I was like what? A trek in Yelagiri? Are you sure it is a trek? He replied yes, around 4 Kilometers one way. Harish came back refilling his wallet, told him about the trek and he too was interested. But our tummies were not ready without filling them up. Stopped by a village hotel, Idly, Poori, Dosa – laughing and sharing the scenes of Parrot Astrology, ate the max as if we were in for a good nap… Nooooo, trek first.

The difference between Karnataka and Tamilnadu is shown in this one pic, in Karnataka – Plate, plastic paper then food, Tamilnadu – Plate, banana leaf and food. This is TN.

Way for the Trek – Swamimalai

Recommended for: 

Distance: ~ 8 KM (two way)

Difficulty: Moderate (for Trekkers), Challenging (for Non Trekkers)

Things to carry: Water bottle(s), snacks (place carry the wastages in your backpack)

2-3Km away from Yelagiri, there is a village called Mangalam, drive through the village until you see a temple, stop by the temple and walk few meters straight, right, left through the village and you can reach the trek (if that right left didn’t take you to trek staring point please get in touch with the villagers)

No need to worry about losing the path, there is no deviation once you reach the starting point, it’s a straight trek. Even for us, after a long time completed a trek without losing our way. Initial few meters were walk through paddy fields, then the bare section, walk through the rocks and water stream. It seemed that it had rained early morning making us less comfortable on the rocks, but if you have a good trek shoe that will do the job. The entire valley was ripe with the sounds of the mountain birds and the fresh air from the surrounding tress was very soothing and energizing.

On reaching half way, surprise was waiting for us, mist covering up the horizon, and the cool breeze kept the entire scene mesmerising.

12:50 It took us nearly an hour to reach the peak, and what else POWER NAP time. But took us some time to find a perfect rock for the nap since most of the rocks were wet.

13:00 From last night 21:00 our brain had no rest, backpack and shirts as pillow we went on to take a deep sleep for some time. Suddenly Harish waking me up and saying have an alpha state sleep (I still don’t know why he told that) I removed the scarf, opened my eyes and in front of me I could see only white fog everywhere, in fact even we were covered by fog, the fog was gently abut passing us.

13:45 Decided to trek back, checked the view point and trekked back. Even at 14:00 the fog was unraveling itself, this made our eyebrows raise and comment even TN has some good places, we haven’t explored much. Had a good long, shitty chat, watching each other’s back on slippery rocks and after 45 min, back down.

Recapped the moments, shared the thought of whether this might be the last trip of 2017 and started back to Bangalore.

Rewind guys, still a part of the day to narrate.

Taboo: Superstitious

The entire part is from my point of view, I/we respect each and every people belief, this shows how our belief can be an innocence for an act of money.

We just wanted to check the Parrot astrology (Kili Josiyam in Tamil) and we clearly told we don’t want palm reading, but while proceeding the lady performed the act very cleverly, illusionist. This is how it started, Harish going first, the parrot took a hidden god photo (Lord Murugan), then the lady went to say his good characters and that something bad power is on him, that will end soon and from Jan everything will be good for him. Then for me, parrot picked Lord Durga, said the positives of me then all the bad sins had already passed away a month back so no much worries but still something is troubling (I was like What??) I believe in God, but not in these kind of things. It was a kind of negotiations, asking about marriage, children, chances of business etc etc but her speech was so impressive that we were possessed to her words, then came her performance.

Now she called Harish and told to extend his hand and I will say a way to push all the bad sins from you, then she asked to pick a random photo and enquired about family God. Then said all positive things, long things like it should go away, family should be good, in the middle added the amount also (in 600 rs it should go away), not once but twice, she made sure that we are gonna pay her 600. For a normal human being with a God photo in hand, the words we say are to be kept, so no other option we went on to pay that 600 and handed over some Kumkuma  placed on a thin sheet where she asks him to write his name and to put in a three corner road and without turning back go away.

Okay now we want to see what extreme this goes, so next she asked me to come, the same thing, I replied I pray all God and I believe in God but not in these kind of rituals, there is none in particular and the same wording with a slightest of difference in the middle added 500 instead of 600 rs, but at that point itself I replied am out of funds, when she asked me to say again I told the same, really we were out of money. Then she stopped immediately and told okay I am doing it for free and handed over the Kumkuma and told to place it near a plant and without turning back leave the place. We were like 

But just think how is that with a stipulated money all the negatives will be pushed away from us? The reality was she was in need of money and we were the victims, victims of our innocence. According to me if something good needs to happen, it will happen on its own terms and God doesn’t need money to make it happen, it’s not like give and take policy. In these situations people they themselves should give it according to their capability and with full satisfaction and not by forcing a person. So beware of that lady readers.

But nevertheless even we were quite pulled away by her words, and we were in search of three corner road, a plant and followed her words, after placing the cover with Kumkuma without turning back fled away from the place. Beware guys in 10 min she earned 1000 rs, thank goodness no GST charged 

Later it was a comedy scene for us, thinking back and laughing on each and every words that she told us, especially on chances of two wives and three children (1 wife three children or 2 wives three children), may be on another visit I will confirm with her.

With that said, yet another exploration in 2017, went on to discuss to finish 2017 with this ride itself or push for one more ride, YES was the answer, so where’s it, stay tuned that’s all I have as of now. Happy Reading.