Exploring caves

I was in 8th class then, our school was in the Survey of India campus, at Uppal, Hyderabad. At about two kilometers distance from school there was a hill of granite rocks it was called Elugu Gutta (17.405088, 78.547603). It was about 100 meters in height from the base. The view of the city was beautiful from the top. The top of the hill had a bench mark. There were many caves and tunnels inside formed because of joints in the granite rocks and the rubble. The tunnels were like a straight line maze. Very little light reaches the floor through small spaces in the roof.  It was very steep. One huge bolder was there at the top, separated by a deep open joint of hardly two feet wide. We need to cross on to the main Boulder over a stone stuck in the joint. I was fascinated by the deep valley created by the joint which was about 30 meters deep.

I used to visit this place many times during my school days. One day with my classmates, I was there. We friends challenged our selves, who will reach the bottom of that valley by climbing down. And none of us knew how to reach the bottom of this joint between the rocks. We literally ran like monkeys but without any skills of rappelling. Crawled, jumped and ran. Among all of my friends, with great difficulty I managed to reach the bottom. This was one of the most dangerous challenge for me. What if I slipped and fallen, it would have been fatal.

During another visit, while climbing down we saw some youth who were collecting some dry grass, sticks and waste papers. We asked what are they doing. They said there is a very dark cave and trying to enter into it. For light they were collecting the materials. They were elder to us and were from the Government School, Uppal. They asked we could accompany them if interested to explore the cave. We liked the idea, but we don’t know how it would be inside. We all slowly crawled inside. After reaching some distance it was pitch dark, they tried to light the material bought with us. The fire was there for sometime we could see, it is a huge cave inside. But suddenly, the fire went off and there was so much smoke. Could not light the material again. Everyone suffocated with smoke. By touching the walls we barely managed and came out of the cave. Some of us had bruises and lots of dirt on our dress. My new pant was also tore  at some places.

It became an interesting place to explore the natural rock formations. One of the cave was favorite, I used to visit always. There were lots of bats found hanging in the cave. I can even now smell the pungent ammonia smell from the excreta of the bats. These are the beautiful memoirs of rock climbing and adventures during the school days.

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