16-Dec-2001 -- Getting good, to-scale maps of India is very difficult, so we decided
to do without one as we were quite close to this confluence.
The GPS receiver estimated that the confluence was 42.7 kilometers from my home
in Bangalore. Looking for some maps on the Internet revealed that the
confluence was somewhere in a place called Malur in the Kolar district
With information about how to get to Malur, three of us, Praveen Khanna,
Ritesh Ranjan, and I got onto to my Bolero and headed East. Finally, I get to
use the GPS receiver for something. It was 11:15 in the morning.
The drive to Malur, on Old Madras Road, via Hoskote was uneventful.
Once we got to Malur we found a perfect left turn that pointed to where
we were heading, we took it and after driving for a few kilometers, we came to
a fork and we took the right as thats where the receiver pointed.
A few kilometers on the road and we were almost there. For a while,
we expected the road to go right through the confluence, however,
the road curved to the left and the GPS pointed right,
towards a brick factory. The confluence lay about 400 meters from there,
behind the factory. We were a little disappointed, this was too
easy. We were hoping for a short trek at least.
The 400 metre walk was not as easy as we thought it would be. A railway
track came into view behind the factory and crossing it was not too easy
as the bushes were really thick. We finally found an opening and
managed to scramble up an opening in the bushes and cross the
track. On the other side, there was a big ditch, almost like a small
moat. After having no luck in finding a way to cross over, we
slid down the "moat" and climbed up the other end. 200 metres more to
go. This was an easy walk and as the woods cleared up, we came to
a potato field. A few villagers were just finishing their lunch and they
ran to us, wondering what we were doing in the middle of their field.
We couldn't manage to explain about latitudes and longitudes. We finally
told them we were on a picnic. We finally zeroed in after going around
in circles for a while and we got an exact reading on the receiver.
What was amazing was that right at the confluence, there was this small
patch of chile plants. What are the chances of planting a few
chile plants in the middle of a potato field at a confluence?!
That was it, we took some photos, chatted a bit with the villagers
and headed back to Bangalore. We finished off with a mug of draught
beer at one of the several great pubs in the city. We were back at 3pm.
There are two more neighboring confluences I plan to visit. I expect
them to be much more challenging than this one. Will keep you
posted on that.