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Summiters Blog (41)

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                          Real freedom lies in wilderness…. Not in civilization. That’s exactly what I believe in. She always waves at me… with all her glory, mesmerizing me, almost seductively asking me to go to her… and I just can’t curb my desire to head out there and trek in the wilderness… I just can’t! Thanks to a chance conversation with one of my close friends, I had this thought of heading to this mystery lake in Himalayas, roopkund, way back in November… the plan was to hit the trail by april and so we did! Nine of us!! Isn’t that awesome?! And how can I not write about it on my blog?! To put it in simple words, how can I not write about the trek of my life?!         Day 1: Rise up! With about…
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011Amedhikallu Trek Mesmerizing Amedikkellu. Tired of our Hectic schedules,Deadlines..! We a group of adventure enthusiasts planned to take a break from our monotonous life. After a brief chat of places visited we finally decided to a place less trodden. After an overnight journey we landed in the wee hours to a more serene and lush green environment of the Shola forest range of Charmadi Ghats near Dharmastala. Shishila a small sleepy hamlet , the place vaguely known for the area’s reputation of great natural beauty – albeit thanks to cursory google work.  We freshened up and had a sumptuous breakfast and left with Chennappa who was our guide around 8 am for the starting point of our trek about 4 kms away, with packed lunch. Carrying a light backpack for the two day trek seemed relaxing, surrounded by picturesque hills, myriad of colours and green vegetation enthralled…

Ghost Chilli

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Ghost Chilli Chillies wheather raw or dried are an importatant ingredient in Indian Cuisine.It is difficult to imagine Indian food without chilli.Normally chillies are meticullusly chosen according to taste by region,spice , heat levels and color.Few of the chillies found are Byadagi, kashmiri, Madrasi, Guntur, Chickballapur and Boriya Chillies.During my North east Indian sojourns I came across a lilliput size chilli known as Bhoot Jkalolia with resddish orange color.
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It was while descending and walking through the pine forest after kopru during my visit to high altitude lake Kanasar in Harkidhun Valley ; Uttarakhand.I heard about this and fortunate to see this a rare medicinal plant with the help of Mr. Aravind Bihst our porter.Having seen other medicinal plants and heard about their medicinal value I was eager to see it and know more about it.. Nag – Serpent and Chatri – Medicinal plant .In sankrit Botonical name Trillium govanianum is popularly known as Nag chhatri, is an endangered plant species from Himalayan region. It is a robust, trifoliate herbaceous plant species with deep red and green coloured flower on the axis and is found in the vicinities of Himalayas especially in India, Nepal, China and Bhutan at an altitude of 2700m-4000m. This herbal species is unusual in that the sepals and petals resemble each other, giving a six-petalled…
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Although the yatra season had begun and the train was packed to the core, I somehow managed to reach Trivandrum in the wee hours of that chilly morning. After munching a few appams for breakfast I headed straight away to a place called Kottur and after a bumpy jeep ride reached a small sleepy hamlet of Kanni tribe settlement called Podium in the afternoon tucked away inside the Peppara wildlife sanctuary about 70 kms from the capital city. Refreshing under a perennial waterfall nearby I reclined over a rock overlooking the hill. The monolithic giant rock face of Agasthya Mala rising above 6300ft was looming in the distance dominating the landscape. I was on an adventurous trek to that sacred hill situated in the heart of the sanctuary. My guide Surendran, for the next few days, narrated a few of the mythological stories related to the sacred hill. Having read…
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It is in the middle of January that Agastya Mala / Agasthyakoodam / Agasthyamalai / Agathiyar Malai / Agastyarkoodam is open to visitors and this time I did not want to miss the window. So, as soon as the forest department started giving away passes, I called them up. I was told that I have to be there at the spot with an ID proof to get the passes. Now, is it possible to go all the way to Thiruvananthapuram / Trivandrum, just to get the passes? I was not sure ... but this is exactly why I was not able to do the trek to Agastya Mala all these years! This time, I put a little more effort - I asked Darshan, if he can ask any of his relatives (who is in Thiruvananthapuram) to get the passes. He agreed, but the result was not so favourable - apparently,…
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    “In the hundred ages of gods, I could not tell thee the glories of Himalayas “ it says in the Skandapurana. it is to revel in their grandeur that the maounatins beckon me again and again. Restlessness begins to envelop my being if I do not glimpse them for a while.And so I return to tread the trails each year.
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  My definition of A Solo/Independent :  This is a trek where the trekker is self-contained in all aspects of the trek for the entire duration of the trek.   There are a few key aspects when it comes to being self-sufficient on a trek.   Self-sufficiency and Fitness First let us look at some key items that would be in the independent trekker’s backpack  Food      - Say for 3-4 days or to get to a place where one can replenish food supplies  Fuel        -  Petrol/Kerosene  to cook food for about a week  Utensils  -  Plates/Spoon/Vessel to cook food in  Clothing  - There needs to be sufficient warm clothing (assuming you are trekking in the mountains). However, this is one aspect where one has to be really selective if one wants to travel light.  My thumb rule is that if it is not needed for survival you don’t…

Sahib-Style Trekking

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Here is a counter-view for the “Independent Style Trekking”. I ask myself “Why do you trek ?” The principal reasons are to enjoy nature and to enjoy the walk. If those are the objectives and if I can afford it why not achieve the above objectives with luxury and comfort. That is what “Sahib Style” trekking essentially is. “Sahib Style” trekking achieves the above objectives without the additional challenges (pains if you will) of “independent style treks”.The following are some of the key characteristics of “Sahib Style Trekking” :-   Porters/Mules to carry your luggage  Guides to show you the way  Cook to ensure that you have tasty, nutritious and timely food along your way (often with desserts included)   A dining tent where you sit comfortably in a spacious tent replete with tables and chairs   A Kitchen tent where the cook & his staff (often comprising a helper or two) cook…
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Along with 2 other friends (Shyam and Sanjay Bhutani) I had done the 3 passes trek in Apr/May 2011. At that point of time I did not have a blog nor did I have a camera to take pictures -:). But I have had many questions on EBC/3 passes treks on public forums (like IndiaMike, yahoogroups like himalayan_trekkers) so I am posting some relevant information here for everyone's benefits. My Itinerary for 3 passes trek- Apr 22nd Blr to DEL/KTM - Apr 23rd Lukla to Jhorsale - Apr 24th Jhorsale to Namche Bazaar - Apr 25th Acclimitization day @ Namche Bazaar : Sherpa Villages of Khumbu - Apr 26th Namche Bazaar to Pangboche - Apr 27th Pangboche to Dingboche - Apr 27th (2nd Half) Climb to Nangkartshang Gompa & then to Nangkartshang Peak (5100m) - Apr 28th Dingboche to Chukung (and to Island Peak Base Camp & return) - Apr…
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