20-Dec-2003 -- Our expedition to 17 Degrees North and 79 Degrees East.
Date: 20th December 2003
Time: 10:30 Hrs India Standard Time.
Visit by: Anupam Shringi and Chandra Dasaka
Enroute to Nalgonda from Maal in Nalgonda District. 26.5 km NE from Maal, 7.5 km SW from Chandur after Marripalem and 1.5 km West off the road.
Expedition dedicated to : Günter Walser of Austria.
Our earlier visits: Both Chandra and Anupam have visited 17°N 78°E last year along with Günter Walser and Pavan Chamarthy.
Chandra has visited 17°N 80°E last week along with Praveen Goggi and Abhay Singh.
Having decided to visit another confluence point this week, Anupam and I have gone through the points and have decided to visit 17Degrees North and 79Degrees East. Praveen who wanted to cover this point could not join us as he was going to Belgaum to attend the engagement program of his younger brother.
Anupam came to my house early in the morning around 0615 Hrs and we both started off towards Nagarjunasagar. The GPS showed a distance of 62.5 KM from my house. The map quest pointed it close to Chandur and Sivannagudem about 5 - 10 km away from Chandur. Having found the Nagarjunasagar road a closer route to these points, we have decided to proceed towards Sagar and by 0640 Hrs are on road towards it.
After traveling about 45 km from my house we have reached Ibrahimpatnam. Both of us have realized that we are hungry and need something as breakfast. So we stopped to have streaming hot idlies and coffee. Then we spread the road map of Nalgonda district and enquired the restaurant fellow for some guidance to approach Chandur. Actually we wanted to take a deviation from Ibrahimpatnam and go towards Shivannagudem. However, we were advised by him that the route to Shivannagudem is not very convenient for a car and instead suggested to proceed towards Nagarjunasagar and take a deviation at Loyapalli. Anupam was so enthusiastic to visit the point the earliest, took advantage of the good road with no traffic and drove very fast some times the speedometer at times has even crossed 140 KMPH. The GPS all through this travel has never shown a reading less than 39km and we became suspicious about the route we have chosen. We stopped at a small town and enquired about the route to Loyapalli and Chandur. We were informed that the Loyapalli route may not be a good option and to go to Chandur we should go 25 km back to Maal and take the route to Nalgonda.
With no other option available and also as we are loosing time, we have decided to travel back to Maal. This time Anupam was drove still faster and we have crossed those 25 km in no time and reached Maal. After a little confusion there, we are on the route to Nalgonda and have crossed Marripalem and at the milestone showing 6km to Chandur the GPS has showed 90 Degrees West. Anupam found it so difficult to proceed further towards west as there was just a pedestrian trek and is in no way suitable for car. We could hardly proceed 100 odd meters and then we have decided to park the car and take test to our legs.
Having parked the car there and started taking the Video cum digital camera, still camera and GPS to carry, a farmer named Bikshamaiah has approached us and wondering whether we are from Government coming there to help in irrigation. We told him that we are not and tried to explain him our mission. After realizing that we have failed in explaining him, we bid him good-bye and started walking towards the Confluence point. Bikshamaiah did not give up, he followed us for few yards asking whether we can employ him in our company, explaining that there were no sufficient rains and there is no proper electricity supply in that area for watering his orange trees. I expressed my helplessness in that context and we proceeded further. At this point of time, when departing with Bikshamiah, I have recorded the location thinking that it might be useful to track our return. It was a very difficult trek for about half a kilometer where we have to cross thorny bushes and deep stream. It was slippery and Anupam and I have slipped at least in couple of places there. After crossing it we found a big pond surrounded by toddy trees. We have taken a circuitous route to go to the other end, which the GPS is pointing towards. So with the confluence point becoming closer some times and farther some times we have finally reached the other side of the pond and the reading there showed 595 meters. This time the route was plain and we have reached a river or a lagoon with no water in it. And lo, the GPS is showing 60 meters West in the sand. We are very excited as we are approaching the point and LO, we reached it. We made it. We were jubilant and hoisted a branch of a small plant there to point the confluence point and started to take the photos. I and Anupam, in order to ensure that we do not miss a clear reading of GPS in the still camera, tried a few shots with digital camera. Anupam verified that the reading is recorded perfectly.
We have spent about half-an-hour there taking photos and eating the oranges and biscuits Anupam brought with him. With a joy filled heart having visited 17 – 79 adding another point to our credit, we have started walking back towards our car. This time it was slightly easier, as I have recorded the point earlier. I think, we should have this as a best practice and we should record the point where we have left our car, as, thinking back, I am sure, we would have lost the track and it would have been a highly difficult task to trek back to our car. It took about 20 to 25 minutes for us to reach the car, and we started driving back to Hyderabad. This time I drove Anupam’s car Fiat Uno, I enjoyed driving it, though, I could not even touch 130 kmph reading.
As we are approaching Hydeabad, we have noticed, a heavy traffic, because of some public function planned for that day and people coming in hundreds of trucks and all other means of transport to attend to it. It took quite some time for us to drive through. I have asked Anupam to drop me at Tarnaka instead of droping me at my house, as it would save him about 5 km or so. I took an auto and proceeded to my house.
I would dedicate this expedition and would like to place our gratitude on record here to Günter Walser who has introduced both me and Anupam to confluence points. As stated in this note in the first paragraph, we have accompanied Günter when he was visiting 17 78 last year. The GPS we were using was borrowed from him. Thank you Günter.