Some memories linger a little longer than others; some leave an esoteric imprint, whilst only a precious few warm you up from the inside and turn you into a storyteller. The mind-blowing expedition to ascend the peak of Tandiandamol, a mountain of such majestic beauty enveloped by an imposing atmosphere of serenity, is one such memory. A novice to the challenging field of trekking, a multitude of emotions encompassed me: the excitement of delving into the depths of Nature, the unpredictability of the challenges to come and the zest of traveling with a diverse group of people united by the acute sense of adventure. The Tandiandamol Peak rising to an elevation of 5735 feet is one of the jewels of the Coorg region in Karnataka.
An amiable peak with spellbinding stretches of dense forests, lush valleys, pristine streams and occasional challenges, the trek to apogee presents an exquisite experience for all of the human senses. The trek commences from the base village and after drudging on the rickety man-made roads for a while, the trail starts abruptly presenting you with steep climbs and muddy paths. The course of the trek switches mesmerizingly between walking through dense forests and emerging into clearings to be welcomed by an astounding view of the surrounding valleys and hills. Just a couple of hours into the trek, we walked into an offbeat trail and entered a forest of breathtaking and unblemished beauty. After quenching our thirst by the pristine stream that ran through the clearing and etching every detail possible on to our visual memories, we set off again on the trail, with greater anticipation. The ascent up to the peak continues and Tandiandamol is deft at presenting the unsuspecting climber with intriguing challenges and visual feasts alike.
Clambering upwards across an extremely dense thicket of ancient trees, the steep path suddenly opens out, and the behemoth highlands seems to be waiting for us. After quickly transcending across the False Peak, the trail gets steeper and the excitement runs higher as the destination beckons the enthusiastic traveler. Once we ascended upon the peak, we were rewarded by a spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding mountains, cloaked white by the low-hanging clouds and green by the forests. We sat mesmerized, drinking in every detail of that particular spectacle, as the sun played hide-and-seek amongst the clouds. We began our descent reluctantly, consumed by euphoria and taking with us a million memories, as dark-grey clouds appeared amidst the cheerful light blue skies.
While it is important to capture the beautiful memories, it is also even more important to thank the people who made it possible. From bringing together a group of strangers and relentlessly encouraging them to conquer the peak at their own pace; the team of ‘Plan the Unplanned’ have made this a memorable experience for each and every one of us.
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