Trek to the Enchanted Nagalapuram Forests

Inside Nagalapuram forest

Inside Nagalapuram forest

The best part about traversing the unpopular trails has its share of unbiased fun and the power to enjoy at your own discretion. The Nagalapuram forest trek is one such fairly uncommon, 1-day trek in the Eastern Ghats. Even at a moderate pace and stops to refill bottles or clicking photos, one can complete the ascent in about 3-4 hours. More often than not trekkers descend and camp at the base.

The Nagala hill with their rocky faces and beautifully sliced gorges have levels of hills – the easiest peak being approx. 650 meter high. The trail can be trekked in several ways, by crossing the range from East to West or vice-versa, or trekking to and fro from the eastern/western side.

How to reach Nagalapuram

The Nagalapuram village is located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, near Tirupati (a famous pilgrim place), about 90 kilometers from Chennai on NH5. However, the trek begins from the Arai village, which is around 15 km further from the Nagalapuram village. A motorable road can be taken up to the Koni reservoir, which also serves as the parking ground maintained by the local villagers. The parking fees range between Rs. 50 – Rs.200, depending on the vehicle.

We traveled from Bangalore for about 5 hours and took a pit-stop at Narayanvanam, that’s around 30 kilometers from the Arai village. After relishing on a hearty South Indian breakfast we geared up for the trek and headed towards the starting point.

Nagalapuram Trek

The trek begins from the open grounds near Koni reservoir

Nagalapuram Trek

The trek path winds up through a dense canopy of trees, gurgling waterfalls, refreshing streams, and crystal clear water pools. The rocky gorges that jut out are nothing short of a stunning piece of art. Sometimes the stretches get tricky and slippery and you need to be careful. The chasms get narrower at some points, making one hold on to dear life, like literally. It is not advisable to go without a guide, if you are an inexperienced trekker. Even if you are an experienced trekker, do avoid going alone.

Nagalapuram Forest Trek

Break near the first water pool

Nagalapuram Forest

Nagalapuram Forest

Waterfall in Nagalapuram Forest Trek

Crossing the cascade on the way towards the second waterpool

Nagalapuram Trek

Refreshing waterfall

Wandering about the thick forests, accompanied by the babbling brooks, you will see not one, not two, but three refreshing waterfalls cascading down into glorious water pools. These pools, famously known as magic pools, do not dry up even during the summers.

The enchanted view gives a feeling of walking straight into some kind of storybook spot. The first two water pools are comparatively shallow, but the third water pool, the guide told, is 30 feet deep. Flowing over the course of time, the water has carved a smooth path on the surrounding rocky walls, forming a natural slide to this pool. Pro swimmers also cliff jump into this pool. Being a non-swimmer & a hydrophobic at that, I found it risky.

Nagalapuram Waterfall

IMG_4196

Nagalapuram Forest Trek

Nagalapuram Forest Trek

The third pool is near the summit and is the deepest one.

Precautions

The waterholes are considerably deep and non-swimmers, especially, need to be wary of the fatalities. During the monsoons, trekkers have to deal with leeches. Luckily for me, I went trekking in the month of May. We still encountered small stretches with ganon of leeches. The forests also house a large number of bee colonies, so dress up to cover properly from head to toe.

Do not trek at night, as some stretches are slippery and narrow. Don’t be reckless or put on a false bravado – it might turn a pleasant experience into a dreadful one. Descend and pitch the tents by sundown, if you wish to camp. It took us about 4 hours to trek uphill, with all the photography & catching-up breaks.

After soaking and swimming in the water to our heart’s content and eating lunch by the waterfall at the summit, we trekked downhill and pitched our tents by 5ish.

Nagalapuram Forest Trek

Koni Reservoir Nagalapuram Forest Trek

Nagalapuram Forest Trek

Sunset at Koni Reservoir Nagalapuram Forest

Permit Required for Nagalapuram Trek

It is especially important to visit and get yourselves registered at the Nagalapuram town police station when you are trekking on your own. Not only is it legal to sign in at the police station, but also quite essential from the safety point of view. You might as well be an experienced trekker, but safety is of prime importance.

Fitness Required

Like any other day treks, Nagalapuram trek too requires a minimum level of fitness and stamina, if you wish to enjoy it without any worry or care. And just like a huge dose of mental strength that is required when you step out of your comfort zone, you need a great deal of it during trekking as well.

Knowing how to swim will certainly let you enjoy the pools without any anxiety; the non-swimmers too can indulge in it provided they take the necessary care. Always listen to your body and do not push yourself to the extremes.

Things to Carry

Carry a daypack with all the essential stuff for a day/ 2-day trek including items of clothing, toiletries, insect repellent, basic medicines, food and water. Do consider the tents, sleeping bags and sleeping mats if you plan on camping. And finally, bring back whatever you are taking along, do not leave anything behind that will affect the place and the environment in any manner.

Happy trekking. Happy travels!

By | 2018-11-25T19:27:38+00:00 August 28th, 2016|Travel|4 Comments

About the Author:

Just a wandering soul, Yogini, is a Creative Writer by profession, a book lover by heart and a little crazy by choice. Loves everything 'Travel'. She finds solace by being in the Himalayas and it's her all-time favourite place to be at. She writes sometimes, reads a lot, and travels as much as she can. And dreams of owning a tiny little house in the mountains, one day! :)

4 Comments

  1. Manu Khandelwal August 29, 2016 at 11:12 am - Reply

    Seems a good trek in Andhra Pradesh. Nice pictures and the waterfall in the form of lambda looks great.

    • Yogini August 29, 2016 at 3:49 pm - Reply

      Thanks Manu 🙂 Its quite a good trek.

  2. Yatin Shah August 30, 2016 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    The trek is quite amazing. It was my first ever trek, and let me tell you things get pretty difficult after you cross the third pool (at least for someone like me) but, it’s all worth the effort. The Camping site is great and has a fantastic view in the morning when you open your tent.

    Very well written Yogini!

    • Yogini September 1, 2016 at 5:13 am - Reply

      Thanks Yatin. And also for sharing your experience 🙂

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