19-Jun-2004 -- Our Expedition to the Discovery of 15N 78E
Date: Saturday, June 19, 2004 at 1215 hours
Visit by: Praveen Goggi, Fahim Patankar and Chandra Dasaka
Place: At Gosuvari palli Hamlet, Near Bhogasamudram Village, Tadipatri Mandal, Anantpur District, Andhrapradesh State, India
Distance: 1.2 Kms from Gosuvari Palli Hamlet.
Earlier Visits: Please click on the respective names to view earlier visits.
Expedition dedicated to: Guenter Walser, Austria.
It had been a couple of months after our last visit to any confluence point. Both, Chandra and myself were busy with job, family, travel and vacation during this summer. On my return from my hometown, we decided to get going with couple of more points the coming week. Meantime, we met up with Fahim Patankar, who was also interested in joining us for our next expedition. Fahim is cheerful and a happy-go-lucky guy. He is quite experienced trekker and we looked forward for a great weekend together.
As always, four days in advance, Chandra myself and Fahim had a through look at the map and figured out the best way to cover 15N78E and 16N79E. Chandra noted down names of all the important places on the way. We agreed to start at 0430am and go for the 15N78E first (about 320kms from Hyderabad). This confluence seemed to be near the road and could be easy to achieve rather than 16N79E, which is in mid of a hilly forest terrain. We were all excited to begin a confluence hunt (yet again!)
Starting early, we managed to cover about 300 Kms in 4.5 hours. On the way, we stopped for a quick bite of sandwiches and “Tamarind Rice” (hmmmm yummy!). The first 300 kms were pretty uneventful, as we sped through the national highway number 7 with really not much vehicles plying on the road. Once we reached “Gooty”, our hunt started getting eventful. We got directions for the internal roads (as we had to go away from the highway). To our surprise, the internal roads were as good as the highway!! I had a ball of a time driving through such beautiful roads. Soon we were on the Tadipatri road and passed through a village “Yadiki”. We required 10 more kilometers for our destination and our excitement knew no limits, until we were about 2 kilometers from the point. At this point we realized that we don’t have road any further. We had walked such distances earlier too, so this was not bad, but we wanted to make sure of the “No roads”.
Fahim suggested to go a bit further to check if we have a small internal approach towards the confluence point. Going a little further, indeed, we came across a muddy road, which led to the fields deep inside. Chandra suggested to take this road and I drove further down to come as close as 1.2 kms. Now it was absolutely impossible to drive any further and we had to walk the remaining distance. I parked my car very near to a little village school and started our final walk.
Walking up and down the fields and through the thorny bushes, we enjoyed this last lap. Fahim, indeed was a good trekker, helped me on several occasions with steep slides and elevations. It took us about 45 minutes to reach 15N78E and we were as excited as we could be. I was about to get the essential photographs when a villager approached us and inquired if we were from the government and wanted to know if he can get water in his fields. We tried to explain our project, but in vain. He was a kind guy and gifted us with couple of huge raw sunflower buds (with oilseeds in them), we thanked him and wished him luck with the water in his field. I took all the snaps and hurried back to the car. On the way, Chandra caught up with the schoolteacher and students in the village school. This was a very little, One Room school run by one teacher, constructed by the Government and is mainly benefiting the poor schedule caste agriculture labour families (see the photo). This is an initiative of the Government to encourage schooling to all the children and these school are called “One teacher Schools”. The Government has also introduced a free mid-day meals program for all the students (young children of ages 4 to 11) to motivate in schooling. It was the mid-day meal time and students were relishing on the government provided rice and
Sambar. .. We too were offered food too but we were not hungry yet. (Probably, we were too excited and full with the expedition to have any more food). Chandra tried a bite. Mr. Mohan Reddy, the teacher there was quite interested in knowing what we were doing. We have explained him about our project. He said it was interesting and he said he would visit our site. He was happy to have met us. We were happy too!
Moving on from 15N78E, we sped towards Nandyal / Srisailam to get to our next point (16N79E)… but… there goes a old saying “Man proposes, God disposes”… Something similar happened to us. My car started behaving funny and I was concerned about it. It was 2pm and we were near a small town “Koilakuntla”. We stopped at a junction to check the car and get some cold drinks for us too. A mechanic checked up our car and announced that the car battery needs recharging. It was imperative for us to get this done and had too lose 2 hours. We dropped the idea of second confluence point as we know for sure that that point is in the hills near Srisailam and we have to go through a ghat section through a thick protected forest where one is not allowed to travel between 10pm and 6am. So we took a different route from Nandyal and reached Kurnool and joined National Highway 7 there and proceeded back to Hyderabad. The return journey back home was hilarious when we sang lot of songs continuously for 4 hours!!!
Very soon (within 2 weeks), we plan to complete 16N79E and 3 more points towards East too.
Praveen Goggi, +91-98851-98951 or +91-20-2295-3090
Fahim Patankar, +91-98853-13696
Chandra Dasaka, +91-98490 - 94153