Aug 2, 2010

Pearl Valley

Muthyala Maduvu also known as "Pearl Valley" was another convenient destination for us during college days. My last visit was some time 1990 with Anil, Raman, Chicken, Harikeshavan and few other guys I cannot recall. We planned the outing at college, two-wheelers were our mode of transport. We got some booze on the way. Pearl Valley was a short drive from Bangalore, 45km one way. We took Bannerghatta road, then rode past Anekal to Pearl valley. About a kilometer before the road ended, we got a good view of the hills and the valley. Hills were covered mostly with tall shrubs and trees scattered in between. This area was protected by the forest department. I'm not sure how much of Pearl Valley is left with ever-growing Bangalore swallowing it's surrounding area.

We left our bikes at the end of the road, climbed down the rough cut stone steps leading us down into the valley. About 3/4th way down we could see a vertical cliff and water dripping down. This would be a good waterfall during rainy season. Unfortunately, I never got an opportunity to see waterfall during all my three visits. We reached the valley floor, explored a bit to find a shaded spot and settled down under a shrub. Almost immediately we started our booze party and it lasted for about couple of hours. By the end of the session one of the guys was sloshed! We wanted to leave but this guy could not even stand on his own. We carried him in turns till the waterfall, that's where the steps started. Even though the climb was short it was steep. We had troubling hauling this guy to the top. On the way back I took Hosur road. I cannot remember where we headed later.

My previous visit in 1987 was more adventurous. I had Deepak & friends' company. Every member of the gang was a Rambo-inspired adventure seeker. We had ridden two-wheelers, a bicycle included, loaded with booze and home-made grape juice and armed with one Rambo knife.


We ventured deep into the jungle trekking on the sandy stream bed mostly covered by patches of grass of different varieties. We passed by water holes surrounded by elephant foot-prints and elephant dung scattered around. Suddenly we were alert, prospect of running into a herd of elephants was scary. For that matter facing a lone elephant is even more dangerous. Nevertheless, we strode on. We paused by a large pond, dark green water which meant deep water. We came up with a crazy idea of making a raft and try it out. Our guardian angles did a good job of watching us. We gave up the idea ...none of us had ever built a raft and we wanted to test in deep water! Someone spotted weaver birds' nests. We wanted to take some home. None were reachable. Obviously, birds are smart. We were indifferent. We hacked down a tree with my Rambo knife and picked the uninhabited nests from the branches. The knife was blunt and completely useless by the time we were through wit the job. It was made of mild steel not alloy steel. I regret the act of cutting down a tree. Finally we settled down on some huge boulders and opened the bottles, mixed grape juice and rum. I cannot believe that- mixing grape juice and rum!! It was simply undrinkable. Someone mentioned smell of alcohol attracts animals. The words were barely spoken I sensed a small movement on a directly ahead of us. I pointed the spot to the gang. Few minutes of staring, we saw a lone tusker. Massive tusks. Lucky us, there was a a good distance between us covered thickly by shrubs. We watched the tusker, imagining that he might have smelt our rum. Coming back to our drinks, we had grape juice and someone had raw rum. We decided to head back, we had to trace back quite a distance. We made it back home safely.

My first visit was probably 1986. It was a family picnic with a granny, few uncles & aunts and cousins. I remember my small cousins and Deepak freaked out playing in the water. During that visit there was a waterfall. That's the first and last I saw water falling at Pearl Valley.

With Bangalore swallowing rural area it's hard to imagine what has become of the place. Surely it would be littered. If there's still water there, I'll be surprised. God protect Earth.

.........

No comments: