I am the alpha and the omega
June 02, 2004
I now start with the C-section (No no, not the Cesarian) of Murphy's Laws.
Cafeteria Law
The item you had your eye on the minute you walked in will be taken by the person in front of you.

This post, and probably the next is and may be about my trip to Tirupati. I will put the pictures, as soon as I load them to my comp.

The place: Tirumala.
The event: My friend S's Upanayanam, a ritual where they put the poonal for him.

That was the reason why we set out to Tirupati. We includes myself and 8 of other IITian friends, and 2 who were to join us from Bangalore. Nothing could have spoiled the calm balmy, and extremely hot, sweltering day when we started out to Tirupati, by van @ around 10:30 am. Nothing did, in fact.
Our entire itenary was, to reach a place called Koney falls by 1 pm, leave by 2, arrive at Tirupati by 3, have lunch, and attempt to step our way to the top of the hill, and hope to reach by 6. But things never did happen as they had been planned (Murphy's Law, a delightful reminder is at the top of this, and every post.)
Firstly, we arrived at Koney falls, at 3pm after being misled a lot by wrong directions. And Koney falls was a total fizz. It was just an excuse for a fall. There was not much water, and it was more like a shower we take everyday, albeit with 20 people huddling under it. So we skipped it. And we reached Tirupati by 4.
A little bit of Geography here.
Tirupati is about 150 km from Madras, and is at the foothills of Tirumala, which is the actual place where the diety resides.Travelling there is easy. There are 3 trains daily from Chennai, apart from a lot of other places. And buses are aplenty, from Everywhere.
Back to Tirupati.
After a lite lunch (we didnt want to have a heavy lunch lunging the stomach while we attempt the hill), we went to Alipiri, the place where we start the climb.
Another bit of trivia about the climb. It is a 3600 steps, 8 km long climb, with the steps not uniformly distributed. The initial stage is a 2000 step climb, in a space of 1km. Following that is a 7 km long walk, with a few steps in-between here and there and a 2km long walk along the road included, and then a 500 step climb after that. And then u reach the top. I actually dont know what the minimum time of climb is. But I reckon the average time is about 3 and a half to 4 hours (if elders are there). We reckoned it would take 2 to 2 and a half hours. And it did. One group reached the top in 1 hour and 45 mins (thats very fast, mind you). Others took 2 hours and 15 min; the last group (mine that is) took 2 hours and 40 mins. The reason, I will explain now.
The last group, myself and 2 others, started the ascent @ 5:20 pm. After the first 500 steps, a friend of mine fell flat, literally. That same was repeated every 250 steps afterwards, inspite of having a lot of lime-sodas (a salted version of limca or lemonade). I suffered from dehydration (Did I tell you that I sweat a lot and would have happily consumed about 2 litres overall. No lime sodas for me). Myself was happily clicking away photos of the cityscape of Tirupati as I ascended. After we finished this first stage at around 6:40 (the average time of this stage was supposed to be 40 min), we did some brisk waking to catch up. We covered the next 4 km in about 40 minutes, and reached the road @ 7:20. Another 2 km walk and a short climb later, we were at the top by 8 pm. (The time I had taken in previous climbs were more than 3 and half hours).
Some of the more succinct points, I will mention: It is not a climb for the faint hearted. A lot of stamina is required, and previous warm up sessions are necessary. A big bottle of water should also be included. Dont forget to carry a big towel. I bought a small one, and I had sweated so much that after reaching the top, I swear that I would have squeezed atleast 200 ml of sweat (Grose). If possible, bring a good camera; there is a deer park on the way, and you can get site of some of them.

I think I will discuss the rest tomorrow.

Posted by satosphere at 11:20 AM


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