Somewhere between Tirumangalam and The Maud
The trail which led off into the bush intrigued me. There are few signs in these mountains to inform you of the right direction. The hike was very ad hoc, I wandered by whim and curiosity. Undergrowth was high in some portions and as I walked it was almost like a tunnel, but the trail was old and apparently still used, though not a lot.
Within a hundred meters the ground rose and I could see the upward slope as the route wrapped around the side of a small mountain. The heavy woodland obscured a lot of what lay ahead, but it was morning and I had the time. A map in my pocket and compass gave me a basic idea of where I was heading.
Eventually the trees thinned a little and I could see part of what lay ahead. Some high granite came into view off to my left as the path split in two and joined up again. Shortly afterwards I was heading down, towards a small stream. There ahead, was a mountainthe like of which I had never seen or heard of before.
I saw no easy way to reach it, so descended some more for about a hundred meters. Another route presented itself and a few minutes later a new trail looked like it would take me to the base of the cliffs.
This is incredibleas though the whole thing was sliced and pushed forward in sections. Perhaps there had been some sort of quarry here, but most quarries don't look like this. Did some antediluvian deity play a game, thinking that in the future people would stand puzzled by the spectacle before them? The answer is unknown to me.
The whole thing is rock climbers heaven. Some sections you can virtually walk to the top. Others, even the most experienced Yosemite free climbers would have a hard time withhandholds were few and far between. Such a range of climbing degrees of difficulty, existing all in one small place, almost beggars belief. The mountain face is not very high, perhaps 200 or 300 feet, but there is a huge amount to do. I was spoiled for choice.
Since any serious climbing is now out of the question, what with my damaged spine and age, the simple route was not much more than a hard trail, except it was granite instead of stones, dirt and tree roots. The way portions were positioned in slices was what really caught my attention. Then on the right hand side I saw somethingsomething very peculiar.
As I stood looking, it got kind of eerie. Just what is this? Is it my artistic eye or something else? A reminder of past millennia? I backed away a little thinking just how strange it was. As though I had stumbled onto a secret, lost in time. Here before me was a female like Guardian, standing in front of a pillared entrance to some other realm.
Could someone have painted this on the rock? I don't think so, because of the erosion and it's height. The rest of the mountain and any thoughts of proceeding to the summit were dismissed. I just stood, stared at the scene before me and sort of shivered a little.
In the upper left is the gate. It looks like two pillars are holding it up and beyond is a place of light. To the right it looks like a tall female. She is wearing some sort of head covering and has long blonde hair. In her hands she appears to be holding a garland of flowers, welcoming you, bidding you to enter into the fair land beyond the portal. Or, she is behind 3 standing stones, as a warning not to approach?
I knew there was little time left and departed. No mountain was topped, no real achievement happened, but the sensation of the "other" was quite intense.
Where is this?
I'm not going to tell you. Let's just say, somewhere between Tirumangalam and The Maud.