The geographical features of India are unique which help trekking grow from height to height. It’s good for your spirit, It’s excellent for your health. You can see amazing sorts of landscapes and beautiful views. You will meet kind and interesting people. It is going to be the greatest experience in your trip, and maybe in your whole life! The full concept of “trek” is something we don’t really meet in our regular western way of travelling. So, it is still nothing like trekking particularly in the hill region we are going to speak about here.
Chennai offers a never-ending list of amazing places to visit. Chennai offers various options to trekking enthusiasts. In addition to all the trekking options within a close proximity, the places for trekking near Chennai are Ombattu Gudda in Sakleshpur, Kodaikanal, Tada and Nagalapuram in Andhra Pradesh, Javadhu Hills in Tiruvannamalai district and many others.
The beautiful waterfalls are located in the amidst dense forest surrounded by natural beauty and greenery. So, it is believed that the water of Talakona Falls is enriched with herbs with healing powers. Talakona was declared as BioSphere Reserve in 1990 because of the wide variety of plant species present in the region. In this forest, one can find the variety of endangered species like sambar, porcupine, Cheetal, golden gecko, Indian giant squirrel, slender loris, panther and mouse deer etc. Talakona means ‘head hill’ in Telugu.
This waterfall is believed to be the starting point of Seshachalam Hills which are extended till Tirumala. It is situated around 240 m long canopy rope walks, about 35 to 40 feet in height, giving a thrilling experience to the visitors while walking. There are huge trees around with birds and monkeys during this canopy walk. There are a lot of trek routes in different categories of difficulty, giving an option for the visitor to choose their route. There is also the number of caves dotted over the mountains where it is believed that sages meditate eternally. It is situated close to this waterfall is a small temple dedicated to Lord Siddeswara Swamy.
The temple is visited by the number of devotees during the festival of Shivaratri, which is a very popular event in this region. The waterfalls have to be reached by 2 km trek from Siddeswara Swamy Temple which is the nearest motorable road to the falls. The duration of the trek is about 30 minutes through dense forest and slippery road.
Nagalapuram is most famous for two things, one is Sri Vedanarayana Swamy Temple and the other one is Nagalapuram falls trekking. This place is one of the popular trekking sites near Chennai and also among ideal weekend getaways around Chennai for a two-day trip.
Sri Vedanarayana temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is said to have been built by Krishna Devaraya of Vijayanagar Empire in remembrance of his mother Nagala Devi, after whom the town is named. The temple architect reflects the Vijayanagara architectural and the main deity idol is facing west. The sanctorum has Vedanarayana Swamy with his consort’s Sridevi and Bhoodevi on either side. Lord Vishnu is in Matsya Avatar, the first among the Dasavatar, who saved the four Vedas from Somakudu and returned to Brahma.
The huge temple complex comprises of a grand entrance, tall gopura, wide corridors and beautiful central shrine with excellent carvings. The main feature of this temple is a festival called Surya Puja, celebrated annually for 3 days during the month of March. The temple architecture is done in such a way that during these three days, the sun rays fall on the main deity feet, navel and forehead. The incident is perceived as Lord Surya arriving to worship Lord Vishnu by touching his feet.
It is located in Tiruvannamalai district, is around 200 Km drive from Chennai. The Sithar Malai is surrounded fully of herbs, known for its medicinal value. The Shiva Temple and Vitoba Swamigal tomb at the top of the hills, which is estimated to be at a height of 3500 ft. Anybody can do their own spiritual rites to God here, whereas everywhere else it is carried out only by a priest. The trek consists of the muddy path for a 1/4 distance.
Then comes the rocks and boulders with a very steep slope for 1/2 distance and for the last 1/4 distance, is the rock climbing part with supportive iron rods & chains. The best pair of shoes is required for the trek, but the last stretch has to be climbed barefoot only. The overall route is guided by white arrow marks painted on the rocks and one has to follow them to be on the right path. Beware of snakes en route.
Surprisingly dogs may accompany you throw out the trek route guiding the way, leading in the front. The first shop will be encountered only at the junction where the trek route (Kadaladi) meets with the steps route (Thenmathimanagalam) and this is almost at the end of the rocks and boulders part. The shops here sell Lemon soda, Water Bottles, Cola drinks, Tea & some shops may have Tender Coconut.