Seven at Seven Hills – Vellingiri Trek
I had always dreamt of going to Kailash. “If you can’t go to Kailash then you should at least try to climb Vellingiri Hills.” – This was the comment I got from one of my friend. It was called as the Thenkailayam (Kailash of the South).
A team of 7 friends (The Seven) started their first journey of discovery to Vellingiri hills on August 15, 2009. We reached at the foothills around 06:45 hours, while the whole India is getting ready to celebrate Indian Independence, we were inching our baby-steps on the first hill.
The Crew At Beginning
Everyone on this team is a first-timer for Vellingiri and no body knows what’s waiting for them at the hilltop. We packed our backpacks with a lot of stuffs and snacks as though we were going on an Himalayan expedition and every one in the team is carrying around 4 to 5 KGs of backpacks.
At first we thought that it would be cake-walking trek but first and second hill proved that we were wrong and at around 10:00 hours we were still crawling on the second hill. At the end of the second hill, the crew were exhausted.
End of Second Hill
Even though our body was exhausted our minds were filled with a ton of curiosity and we were excited about going into the unknown, so we recharged our batteries with the packed food and started again from the third hill.
The third and fourth hill were little easy to cross as steepness is lower and we enjoyed the hike. At the end of the fourth hill, our legs were started aching but our lungs were filled with fresh & pure oxygenated air and we refilled our bottles with world’s best sweetest “Siruvani” water.
The fifth hill is alive with stunning lush greenery. Fifth hill has a vibrant flora and fauna. Along the way we tasted the essence of the Nature and crossed the fifth hill.
At the end of fifth hill, our eyes were filled with green lush of the Mother Nature and we found small stream and our gush of adrenaline reached the maximum, without a thought we plunged in to the stream. It was freezing cold but that vanished all our body aches. After bathing for more than 2 hours, we started out to march towards the sixth hill at 14:30 hours.
Lunch At Heaven
We were hungry at this point and we settled on a huge rock to have our lunch. While we were having the lunch, a huge mass of clouds surrounded us and we feel that we were between the clouds and on the heaven. So we named that huge rock as “LunchAtHeaven” rock and after lunch we had a good rest for another one hour.
At around 16:00, we started out to climb the toughest part of the trek and at this time we realized that our backpacks are too heavy to make it further and we have to ditch our backpacks to make it travel light to reach the top. This resonated my thoughts with the saying I heard once that “If you want to reach higher consciousness, you have to lower your ego and be light at heart.”
At this time, we received a strong warning from a descending local hiker that it not a good choice to continue further because the sunset will be quick there and we will in strangled in the middle of seven hill and at night we cannot survive the wilderness of the nature.
By this time, we realized that we were too slow climbing up the hill and it might take another 2 hours to reach the seventh hill. With heavy hearts, it was decided to abort the mission for seventh hill and we started our descent. Actually it was “Seven At Six” rather than “Seven at Seven Hills” We thought that moving down the hill would be easy than climbing up but again Mother Nature proved that we were wrong.
At the beginning of the trek, we were recommended by the locals to carry bamboo canes as it was sacred to carry the canes with us and we were giggling at them thinking that we are not aged and how this cheap 20-bucks cane going to help us. But we realized the real use of the cane while descending down the hill because our legs were fighting our body weights and gravity of the earth and the legs were refusing to follow the orders of the brain. We had a scary and painful descent and we felt that the “sacred cane” was really sacred at that time.
We managed to reached the foot hills safely and the time now is 19:45 hours. Although we had a feeling that we were not able to accomplish the mission, we were happy that we had a lot of lessons from Mother Nature which we learnt on this trek and my Soul echoed to me that “Yes, Its always about the Journey, not the destination“.