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TelanganaTrek through Nallamala forest range with Chenchu tribals by your side

Trek through Nallamala forest range with Chenchu tribals by your side

Published: 3rd Dec 2021 12:16 am

Hyderabad: Pack your trekking shoes to walk in the Nallamala forest range. The trek, which is about 4 km and begins at Mannanuru Education Centre and ends at Umamaheshwaram, is the second leg of the Amrabad Tiger Safari conducted by the Telangana Forest Department.

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It is advisable to avoid cotton clothes as they induce rashes due to sweat. The sweat absorbing dry-fit ones are the best. The walk gets tough midway as the route is covered with boulders. It gives us a chance to know about the wild flora including some medicinal plants that the local tribes use.

Not all trees look vibrant. Some of them have already shed leaves and have turned bare. That is nature’s way to ensure that animals and birds have something to depend on throughout the year!

On one side there are farms with some sheds in it for people to keep a watch on intruders. In between the farmlands and the trek path is a trench that is about six feet wide. This ensures that the wild animals do not get into the fields and the man-animal conflict is reduced.

While on the trek, keep the ears to the ground to hear the bird calls. Educational officer from the Forest Department, who accompanies the troops on the treks, helps in identifying the birds based on the calls.

There is a break midway — it is a preparation for the rough terrain ahead. There are also local youth from the Chenchu tribe who escort the visitors and an additional Rs 200 is collected for these guides.

Carry water to stay hydrated. Ensure you do not discard plastic bottles in the forest area. Bring them back to the plastic crushing unit at the starting point. The path disappears at some places with thorny arches tugging at you.

The trek ends on the top of the cliff, giving a panoramic view of the meandering road below and also of the lush green forest cover, typical of the winter season. Avoid carrying food items to keep monkeys away. If it is on your agenda, you can have a darshan at the Umamaheshwaram temple.

Day one

The safari starts at 4 pm and the trip of about 13 km will be three hours. There is the best chance of spotting some ungulates like the sambar and the spotted deer, wild boar, some owls and birds. The sambar, if it senses danger or sees intrusions, lets out a grunt. That is a signal for the rest of the herd to be on alert.

A small stream allows you to listen to the water flowing in the forests. There are bamboo and broom shrubs all along the route. Amrabad is home to 16 tigers but luck should smile on you to see them.

At dusk, you will head to Farahabad View Point, which presents a mesmerising view of the river and the dense forests below. On the return, you see ruins of a building that was used by the royals and their entourage, who then came to hunt. The safari comes to a halt in the middle for us to gaze at the starlit sky and hear owls hooting, crickets chirping and frogs croaking. Do not forget to carry sweaters to deal with the sharp chill in the forests.

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