from Amit Thaker
to Ashish Tewari - Back in Bombay
date Aug 17, 2007 11:49 AM
subject waterfall rapelling
you up for waterfall rappelling this saturday?
And so it begins.
Kondana is a small village near Rajmachi, pretty much like any other in the Sahyadris - small, anonymous, out in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by virulent green lushness for three months a years and blistering brown the rest, with the chief distinguishing feature of having the Kondana caves within an hour's trek.
The caves are Buddhist, and pretty basic - around eight Viharas, a giant Chaitya with octagonal pillars (which means it's around 200-100 BC) and a water tank. The whole thing is under the overhang of a 70-foot waterfall.
Started around seven from Dadar TT (a loosely defined location which may be, depending on circumstances, the real Dadar TT, Dadar Station exit, the overbridge, inside the train at Matunga, Mahim, or any point in between depending on how late you are - as examplified by the "Ya, I'm at Dadar only, just reaching, see you in five minutes" variety)
Headed off to Kondana past a giant bus that managed to get stuck in the village road, and had a horrified moment when we reached the village and found not one, but three similar buses parked; apparently some large-scale outing was in progress. Quickly got out and headed up, where we came across the contents of the giant bus, a giant group of giant aunties & uncles who, though definitely enjoying themselves hugely, were equally prone to getting stuck in the trail-slush as their mighty steed had been in the narrow lanes; also had a slightly surreal moment when we passed what appeared to be an emu farm.
Amidst much hilarity (when someone else was going down) and gritted teeth, shaking legs, prayers to God, shrieks of panic and tearful protestations (when you yourself were) all fifteen of us finished it; I was the second-last one down, so I missed the admiring oohs and aahs of the beautiful young women of J&J who had come for an office outing and miscellaneous other picnickers, but what I did have instead, after being in fairly cold water and the stress of hanging in space as well, was some hot chai and a cig -
Waterfall Rappelling at Kondana, a little photoessay.
T attempts to decipher the mysteries of a banana -
The rappelling first-timers - the 'before' photo
R takes a look down
Applause for the first sacrifice
Amit going down
Amit, the video
This is fun!
How high is it anyway?
What have I done to deserve this?
I mean, really tight!
And damn, it's getting tighter!
It won't cut off the blood supply, right?
Yay! My turn at last!
Look into my eyes...
Stinky the scratching dog