A week ago I joined a group of hikers to nearby Kondapalli reserve forest range. I reached the place through the village Mulapadu 30 km away from Vijayawada on Hyderabad highway.

The hike was organized by a local group called Youth Hostel Association of India (YHAI).

I have been living in Vijayawada for over five decades, and I never knew there are such vast eloquent natural forests. There are candidly rich, deep, and beautiful beyond my fantasy. And it took hardly forty minutes’ drive to reach the place.

We all assembled in a vast clearing, and I could see most of them in their teens arrived on classy bikes with their girlfriends behind. By the time we started our hike the number had swelled to around a hundred enthusiasts. Perhaps I’m only grey-haired and photographer in the group.

There is a water trail coming down from the hill. The hike was along the watercourse up the hill, and it took around two hours to reach the peak of about 1.5km from where we started.

The track was wide, rocky, and knee-deep water groove. The stream was clear, cool, flowing down in puddles, noisily coming down across huge rocks, crisscrossed with tree roots. The rocks covered with slimy moss were too slippery and one step on it, and next moment we find ourselves settled in a deep puddle of water.

At the end of four-hour arduous hike, no amount of strength left to drive back home but I enjoyed a deep sense of satisfaction. And I felt, we all stay in towers of concrete all the time but sometimes let us take our heart to enjoy in this quiet unshielded nature.

Mulapadu Near Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, India.


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