Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sanctum Abode - Vellingiri

After a very long time, back to blogging with a post about the mystique and the divine - The Vellingiri Hills. The Vellingiri hills, considered the Southern Kailash, is one of the important and sacred pilgrimage destinations in the country. The Vellingiri Hills, a part of the Western Ghats, is about 30 kms from Coimbatore city. There are a lot of public transport facilities available to Vellingiri foothills. The prime deity is Lord Shiva in the name, Velliangiri Andavar, meaning Lord of the Silver mountains. The Vellingiri hills is a serene and a beautiful place where nature could be seen at its best. Along withe beauty a lot of legends are associated with the Vellingiri hills, one such is from the Mahabharatha.

The pilgrimage starts during the full moon in the months of April/May, that is, the Chitra Pournami - full moon in the Tamil month of Chithirai. Chithirai being the first month of the Tamil year and the full moon in this month is exceptionally bright, people start on a pilgrimage trip abode the Vellingiri hills to worship Lord Shiva. It comprises of seven hills, and the seventh hill being the place where Lord Shiva is abode.

The Vellingiri Hills is full of serenity and divinity spread across the seven hills. One can feel the finesse of the tranquility of the Vellingiri Hills, only by being there. The hills host a lot of springs that are freezing chill even on the hot summers day. There are springs with names that are quite intriguing and interesting. The Kai Thatti Sunai (The Clapping Spring) has an interesting belief behind it, the force of the water increases if one claps near it, though I have not felt personally when I tried. And there is the Aandi Sunai at the end of the sixth hill which is a bigger one.

The Vellingiri hills has many legends associated with it, especially from the Mahabharatha. Not only is the hills, but also the places nearby Coimbatore.
There are places in the hills called the Draupadi Palam (Draupadi Bridge), Bheeman Kali Urundai (Bheema's handful of found in the shape of a ball), Andi Sunai (Andi Spring - the place at the end of the 6th hill were Arjuna conducted his penance).

One interesting story is that, when the Pandavas were in exile into the forests, they ventured out into the country in disguise. They were travelling near the place called Dharapuram, and one of the Dhuryodhana's men identified the Pandavas and went on to inform Dhuryodhana. The place where the Pandavas is called Kandidam [Kanda (Found) + Idam (Place)], which later got transformed and now called as Kundadam. When the Pandavas came to know that they were identified by Dhuryodhana's men, the retreated back into the Vellingiri forest. The place where they turned back and retreated is called Tiruppur [Thiruppu - (turn back) + Oor - (Place)], this name still exists.

Now lets view some of the serene and beautiful pictures of the Velligiri Hills



The mist covered serene Vellingiri Hills




Another view of the mist covered serene Vellingiri Hills



Nature at its best



Ravichandran on his ascent to worship Lord Vellingirinathar



Sathiyaraj, Kannadhasan, Satish on their ascent (The bamboo sticks are used for balance while climbing the steep hills and rough surfaces)



Kannadhasan, Sathiyaraj, Satish, Ravichandran on the divine



The arduous climb, but still, people are quite determined



In the hands of Mother



Illustration of the need for the bamboo stick



At some places, step are carved out of large rocks.



The Kai Thatti Sunai (The Clapping Spring)



Kannadhasan testing the Kai Thatti Sunai and quenching his thirst



Satish and Ravi lifting the Bheeman Kali Urundai (Lifting is a hoax though :) )



Guys pointing our destiny of the mission, the seventh hilltop



Another view of the Seventh Hill



The rugged terrain



Gunasekaran at the end of the Sixth Hill



Kannadhasan and Ravi near the Aandi Sunai (The place Arjuna conducted his penance)



Sathiyaraj, after courageously immersing himself in freezing waters of the Aandi Sunai



View of the Siruvani Dam, claimed to have the world's second tastiest water



Another view of the Siruvani Dam from atop the Seventh Hill



The Crescent shaped moon, we made this expedition when it was nearing New moon



Pradeep and Gopinath taking a short rest at the top of the Seventh Hill



Pradeep and others have a small break at the top of the Seventh Hill



So does Sathiyaraj at the top of the Seventh Hill



Watching the beauty sunrise from above the hills, another reason to reach the hilltop early at dawn



Another view of the sunrise



Valiant and happy after climbing to the destiny



The rejuvenated team after worshipping Lord Vellingirinathar



The first climb for us (Pradeep, my brother, and myself)



Preparing for the descent



The descent, notice the view of the beautiful view of the hills at the background



Tired and exhausted at the end of the journey



The divine place that made it happen

The more we go to Vellingiri Hills, the more we explore the mystique and the serene beauty of the hills along with its divinity. Lets explore this divine place and worship Lord Shiva in the Kailash of the South.

More to come, until then...

75 comments:

andy said...

Prabhu ,
A nice post after a long time . Please keep those posts coming. Nice pictures. Wish you a Happy Shiva Rathri !!

R.Prabhu said...

Thank you very much Aanand. Good to see you back after a long time. Wish you the same too!

V said...

Dear Prabhu,

Thanks for the picture-trek to Vellingiri. It is a real treat to the viewers. You have done the real climbing and arduous exercise and we sit in cozy comfort and enjoy the pictures!!

I wish you had made two posts on this, so that the pictures do not take a lot of time to appear on screen. I am forwarding your blog id to many others for them to view these great pictures.

PayaNangal todaraTTum.

Regards,
subbu

R.Prabhu said...

Dear Subbu,

It's been a long time since I posted and you commented. Hope everything is fine at your end.

Well, actually limiting the number of photos was a great task for me, because there are so many nice pictures that I found really difficult to eliminate. And finally I came up with the list I uploaded. I can understand the point of your comment, will try to make it so in the future posts.

Thanks once again for the support!

Regards,
R.Prabhu

Ravi said...

Dear Prabhu,
Nice to see you back. I was wondering if I should send you a mail but good that you are back! Nice post but am not able to see the pictures from workplace. Will check the same from home and pls do resume frequent blogging - can't afford to miss you that long! :)

R.Prabhu said...

Dear Ravi,

Good to see you back after a very long time. I had been away from blogging since I moved from Coimbatore to Chennai, recently, on switching my job. Now am back to blogging business :) expect more interesting posts in the days to come. And thank you very much for the support

Ravi said...

Hey so you in Chennai now. Welcome to Chennai! Maybe we should catch up sometime in person now that both of us are in the same city.

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks! Yup, sure thing :) I hope you have my email id, do send me an email so that we can also get in touch in gtalk :)

vkvalumini said...

Hi..It is a wonderful post about the vellingiri hills.Could you please provide me with the details of the transportation to the hills, how far one can go with the bike?Is there a way to travel to the upper hills with the vehicle?...Thanks for your reply and time.Have a great day!

(E-mail: bala_sky@lycos.com)

George said...

HI

Vellingiri is a great spot near coimbatore

George

More photos of the hill

http://www.peermade.info/travel/index.php?page=19&title=A%20Night%20At%20Vellingiri

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks George, the photos you have shared are indeed great!

Ragavendran said...

Wish i was there with you guys! :)

- Ragavendran

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks Ragavendran. Sure if possible, let us make it next year :)

A.CHINNUSAMY said...

dear Mr.Prabhu excellent place you have visited.I have been visiting girimalai from my 9th year.now my age is 50 years.nearly 40 years i visited.please take video in your next visit and display.
thank you.god vellingiri bless you.
chinnu

R.Prabhu said...

@Chinnusamy Sir
It makes me really happy to get in touch with a person who has visited Vellingiri hills for the past 40 years. Sure, will post a video when I visit the next time.

Thank you very much Sir

jo said...

Great Blog... One can prepare for the trip just by looking at the pics... Great going! :)

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks jo

Anonymous said...

hi, Prabhu, goood work,i like get some info ,can we climb up and come down the same day,or can we stay up there,any facilities?
how long it takes to climb. Appreciate u answer

Anonymous said...

sorry for not writing my name,
Thiru from Malaysia, thanks and keep up the good work.

R.Prabhu said...

@Thiru
Thanks for coming by. We usually climb during the night and climb down the hill by next morning. It usually takes about 10 to 12 hours trekking for the persons climbing for the first time. Also, there are no facilities for stay up there, you have to stay in the foothills or in the city. The one big advice is that you keep yourself light. Don't carry too much of weight.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply,So if we climb in the night can we find anyone to guide us or we follow the path ourselves,of course we need torch light i think,So you are saying once u reach the temple in the morning,pray and start descent. Sorry to trouble asking many questions,thanks again,

Thiru-Malaysia

R.Prabhu said...

@Thiru
It is advisable to climb the hill during the summer, during the months of April and May when there will be people going during those days to worship. The other months, rainy and winter are not advisable because the path will be slippery and freezing cold.

Anonymous said...

Vellingiri is a very Good Place

We had a very nice time tehre
http://peermade.info/travel/vellingiri

George

R.Prabhu said...

George,
The pictures look really great. I hope you had a great time at Vellingiri Hills. Thanks for posting the link :)

Aravindhan said...

Hi Prabhu..Nice to see your post for Velliyangiri. This is Aravind from Chennai. We planned for this weekend to trek velliyangiri. We are reaching Coimbatore by Saturday afternoon and in a plan of climbing the hill in the eve. around 4 or 4:30. Reaching hill top in the night, staying!!!! in the hill top. After watching the blissful sunrise climbing down on Sunday morning. Reaching Coimbatore on Sunday afternoon, taking the train and reaching Chennai by Sunday night. Will you please help us weather this plan works out? How can we stay overnight in the hill top (Is sleeping bags are enough?)? Is it safe and permissions are there to trek the hill at the night? Please reply immediately because we are in the plan of leaving Chennai by Saturday morning. Awaiting for your reply. Thanks i advance. Aravind

You can also mail me to aravindhanmira@gmail.com or call me at 99625-30666. Or please give your contact number we will call you. Good Day.

Aravind said...

The trek plan is on Jan 30 and 31. Jan 29 is Pournami.

R.Prabhu said...

Hi Aravindhan,

Thanks for coming to by blog. And it is good to hear that you liked it. Trekking at Vellingiri hills at this time of the year is not recommended. Usually people go during peak summer, otherwise the freezing cold weather might be even fatal. My advice is that you have to travel light, don't carry to many things with you. Because, during the descent, even a small towel would seem very heavy :). To watch the sunrise, you should be starting at around 11 or 12 in the night and you would have to walk continuously with some brief 5 to 10 min pauses at hills 1, 3 and 7, in between, stopping is not advised. Sleeping at the top of the hill is not possible, at least that is what i know. Moreover once you see the sunrise, you should start off with your descent otherwise you will grow deadbeat tired the more you delay.

I would suggest that you plan your trip during the month of April or May.

Regards,
R.Prabhu

ashok said...

Dear Prabhu,
This is Ashok Kumar From Chennai, we wish to have a pilgrimage to Thenkailayam (Velliangiri Hills). This is the first time we are visiting Velliangiri. We have planned to trek to the top of the hill on 13th March 2010. We have also planned to trek during night time (after 7:30 pm).
While searching for information regarding the pilgrimage to Velliangiri I happened to see your info on (http://rprabhu.blogspot.com/2009/02/sanctum-abode-vellingiri.html).
Since you have been there already, we would like to seek your guidance and advise regarding the pilgrimage.
Some of our friends say that the route to top hill is not available to trek during this time (March 13 & 14) and the forest officials will not allow us to ascend the hill.
Kindly help us by providing your valuable ideas and suggestions regarding this.
It would be great if we could get your phone number, so that we can speak and get clarified precisely. Also give us any more contacts of those who could guide in this regard.
Our Phone numbers as follows:
Ashok Kumar – 9840040100 (email: ashok0119@gmail.com)
Neela Narayanan – 9894766619 (email: vneelanarayanan@gmail.com)
Thanks in advance for your help.
Regards,
E Ashok Kumar

ashok said...

Dear Prabhu,
This is Ashok Kumar From Chennai, we wish to have a pilgrimage to Thenkailayam (Velliangiri Hills). This is the first time we are visiting Velliangiri. We have planned to trek to the top of the hill on 13th March 2010. We have also planned to trek during night time (after 7:30 pm).
While searching for information regarding the pilgrimage to Velliangiri I happened to see your info on (http://rprabhu.blogspot.com/2009/02/sanctum-abode-vellingiri.html).
Since you have been there already, we would like to seek your guidance and advise regarding the pilgrimage.
Some of our friends say that the route to top hill is not available to trek during this time (March 13 & 14) and the forest officials will not allow us to ascend the hill.
Kindly help us by providing your valuable ideas and suggestions regarding this.
It would be great if we could get your phone number, so that we can speak and get clarified precisely. Also give us any more contacts of those who could guide in this regard.
Our Phone numbers as follows:
Ashok Kumar – 9840040100 (email: ashok0119@gmail.com)
Neela Narayanan – 9894766619 (email: vneelanarayanan@gmail.com)
Thanks in advance for your help.
Regards,
E Ashok Kumar

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Prabhu


I had visited this shrine way back in 1997, by seeing your photos, those scenes are coing in my mind... well i will go to the place several more time, just waiting for a call from the Lord

R.Prabhu said...

@Anonymous

Hope you get the call and blessings soon!

Anonymous said...

Hi prabu, Very fantastic post...... Keep it up....

R.Prabhu said...

@Anonymous
Thanks

$$Prabhu$$ said...

Hi, this is prabhu from chennai.. My native is Coimbatore... till now i hav nt visited velliangiri.. even all my cousins hav ben there for many times... We friends decided to go here by month of July... Is that a feasible time to visit.. V planned for a night trek.. Since we ppl r busy with our projects during april-may we r unable to execute the plan. so decided to move on July 10th, which is a maha sivarathiri day.... can u jus guide us is that a good time to go.. we r the members of chennai trekking club and already has many riskiest trekkings... and our next plan is to trek here... Kindly suggest us will there be people rush during this sivarathiri... need ur valuable comments.. Thx

R.Prabhu said...

@Prabhu
Good to see that you and your friends are very interested in going to Vellingiri. However, the month of July is not preferred as rains will be heavy during June to September. When it rains, it is very risk to climb the Vellingiri Hills. If you are lucky enough, you might get a chance to climb the hills and yes Shivarathri is one occasion when people flock to this temple.

$$Prabhu$$ said...

Thx prabhu for your valuable suggestions.. Our guys r very eager to hav something adventures.. Any way i ll info my guys... Will it be fine to prepon the trip for June... Any Pournami day by coming June... Also i hav a doubt, climbing hills is allowed throughout the year na.. Or is there any period it ll be blocked..

R.Prabhu said...

@Prabhu
Yes you can try your luck in June, provided the rains don't start when you are climbing. Also, climbing the Vellingiri hills is allowed only during the summer months. The winter and rainy months are not suitable or rather too risky to climb.

Rajesh said...

Hi prabu,

Happy to see your photos of velliangiri hills. Great!! Hope you know about a NGO group is providing kanji in velliangiri hills every thai month. Do you know the name or any details of that group. My contact number is 9840066392. Hope to get reply from you very soon.

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks Rajesh. I don't know the details of that group. Will get back to you if I get that information

rajesh said...

Hi prabu, Thank you for your reply.

Arvind Kumar said...

Hi prabhu,

Really a wonderful work is yours and thank you for it.

Planned for Velleingiri Hills. want to know suitable month for visit. when asked people say April-Many during maha sivarathri is time to visit. few say during particular day of all months (think on mahtha sivarathri day or day of pournami) also devotee do visit and can join the trek. As you have familiar with the location, need your guidance regarding. Is it fine during November/December and on which day is the pilgrimage??

Thank you in advance,
avind1970@sify.com

R.Prabhu said...

Hi Arvind,

Thanks for coming by my blog. Good to hear that you liked it. Though people climb the hills during maha shivarathiri too, but not all, because during the months of November/December, the weather would be extreme with rain, cold and mist. Sometimes it could even be fatal. Even during the summer months, if it rains, people won't climb up the hills because you would not know the path you should travel and could be risky. So I would advise that you plan your trip during the months of March to May before the onset of monsoons..

Hope that helps.

Thanks,
R.Prabhu

Balaji Seshan said...

Hey Guys!
This is a real awesome place,Nice trek,we camped at the 6th peak,Luckily we carried tents else we wud have been frozen to death,The nite was very cold and windy! We encountered a lot of wildlife also like the Malabar giant squirrel and Indian Gaur !!! It was an awesome trek!!!!!

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks Balaji, good to hear that you had wonderful time during your trek

Arvind Kumar said...

Recently gone through a article from Dinmalar Vellore Edition dated 21.11.2010. Hope could help the needed devotees:

14D is the bus from Coimbatore Gandhipuram Town Bus Stand to Isha Foundation which is approx 1 hour travel for approx 38 kms distance. Poodi Shiva Temple is just 2km away from Isha Foundation. People can walk or talk an auto/bus from there to Poodi Shiva Temple. People also can take direct Coimbatore-Poodi buses. There are buses to Poondi from Gandhipuram Town Bus Stand serviced alteast every 2-hour. Special buses are operated during festival times. Trek start at poodi base.

February – May is appropriate time to visit. Climbing the hill up during the night is advisable as by morning 10AM the rocky terrain turns scorchy becoming hard for trekking. As the hill track is steep it is fatal to plan the trip during rainy seasons as the hill track again become slippery.

If planned for night trek it is good to carry woolen cloths/jerkin, foot cover, torchlight etc along. Only women above 45 years can trek the hill. Bamboo stick used as support to climbing the steep terrain is bought back home by devotees. It is believed that the Devars what is said in Hindu myths trek along with the devotees to cleanse their curse given by the Almighty.

The springs (sunai) at the end of 2nd paambaati hill, the kaithatti sunnai at the end of 3rd hill and haandi sunnai at the end of 6th hill serve the devotes the drinking water. Taking a dip at haandi sunnai gives the devotees the superior consequences.

Don’t rest while in between the trek. Frequent resting block the free blood circulation of the legs that may make the trekkers feel exhausted. Don’t trek after taking heavy food and carry fruits that contain rich water source. Travel light with a backpack for a comfortable trek.

As the landscape is surrounded by thick forest, wild animals move around the hilly terrain. And it is right to trek in groups. If alone, form/join a group while at base.

Don’t litter the hill with plastic bottles and bags. If desired, while way back can carry back the spotted trash to the base and keeping the shrine clean is also a service to the almighty.

The Thenkailaya Bakthi Perravai trust arranges trip with facilities like guide, food and accommodation for devotees who donate. Contact: 94331 45660 / 94431 35660. Please spread the word to the devotees required.

Regards,
arvind1970@sify.com

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks for the update Arvind, sure it will be helpful for people who read this post and its comments.

Thanks once again!

Arvind said...

Buses for Vellingiri Hills Base (Poondi Temple)

Coimbatore Gandhipuram BS to Poondi
06:45AM
07:50AM
10:00AM
10:50AM

12:50PM
02:00PM
03:45PM
04:50PM

06:15PM
08:00PM

arvind1970@sify.com

Arvind said...

Buses for Vellingiri Hills Base (Poondi Temple) Return

Poondi to Coimbatore Gandhipuram BS
06:00AM
08:15AM
09:15AM
11:15AM

12:15PM
02:00PM
03:15PM
05:00PM

06:15PM
08:00PM

arvind1970@sify.com

Arvind said...

Yesterday went for vellingiri hills. Rightly said, it is not trekking, it is mountaineering in vellingirimalai. So steep, rocky is the terrain. At 7000 meters above the sea level, slow and steady, step by step one have to move forward to have dharhsan of the Lord. Must carry water bottle as hours of hard climbing make one in need of water. Streams at end of 2nd, 3rd and 6th hills supply you the water needed. Have glucose packs & Lemon to fight dehydration. Jan-May could be suitable months as winter,Rainy seasons could make the region harsh. God Bless You!

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks Arvind! Hope you had a good Darshan and a nice time!

Ravisankar said...

Nice pictures, Prabhu. It is pity that I haven't visited Villingiri though I am a native of Coimbatore. How long did it it take to complete the climb and back?

This is the first of your blog that I have read. I am convinced I should read the rest of them :-)

R. Prabhu said...

Thanks Ravi, It took us about 11 hours. Hope you will make it the next year!

Btw, good to hear that you are convinced... let me know how the others posts are once you have read them... ;)

venkat said...

Hi nice to see so many followers Prabhu, this is Venkat from Kovai for more details about Vellingiri one can follow my blog:
www.venkat-trek.blogspot.com

thanks.

R. Prabhu said...

Thanks Venkat, your blog looks awesome with photos of Palamalai, the place that I have been craving to visit. Keep it up!

izzzmail said...

Its a great place indeed..
my account of vellingiri..
http://livingismyright.blogspot.com/2010/08/vellingiri-hills-trek-kongunadu-siva.html

R. Prabhu said...

@Izzzmail
Thanks for the visit! Your site looks great!

Anonymous said...

Sir,
I would like to visit the temple at the hilltop.This is the first time i am planning to go there.What all the things should i take there?What are the things should be done there?Should we climb in bare foot?When is the best time to climb during day or night? Please guide me.sry my questions are longer.Thank you.
And I am Mahendren.

R. Prabhu said...

@Mahendran

Usually people go during peak summer, otherwise the freezing cold weather might be even fatal. My advice is that you have to travel light, don't carry to many things with you. Because, during the descent, even a small towel would seem very heavy :). People travel on barefoot. To watch the sunrise, you should be starting at around 11 or 12 in the night and you would have to walk continuously with some brief 5 to 10 min pauses at hills 1, 3 and 7, in between, stopping is not advised. Sleeping at the top of the hill is not possible, at least that is what i know. Moreover once you see the sunrise, you should start off with your descent otherwise you will grow deadbeat tired the more you delay

Anonymous said...

Thanks sir..

kalish said...

sir i am damn sure that u r really gr8 n the post is awesome.. continue ur works prabhu sir..................

kalish said...

sir virudhunagar madurai pakathula iruka sathuragiri ya pathiyum neenga panalamae.....

R. Prabhu said...

Thank you Kalish. Sure, I have plans to visit Sathuragiri, one other mystique and divine place that I love to visit. I'll post about Sathuragiri, after I have visited the hills. Thanks once again!

Suresh Kumar said...

Hai Prabhu, YOur pic's were great, I am planning to do the trek in the day by all I spoke to are dead against, kindly advice, also let me know if we can ware shoes for the trek.

R. Prabhu said...

Hi Suresh, great to know that you are climbing the hills. Normally people don't wear any sort of footwear when they climb the hills, because the hills are considered sacred and it is not the usually trekking, but it is considered as a pilgrimage trip. Moreover, wearing shoes or chappals might be slippery at certain areas and you won't get the grip you get with your bare feet

Guru said...

Hi Prabhu,

I am Guru from Chennai. I wanted to Visit Vellaingiri hills. Can you let me know whether we need to take any permission from forest guard to climb the hill. Is there any group organizing trek to vellaingiri ?

R. Prabhu said...

Hi Guru,

There is no need to get any permission from any forest guard, however it is not advisable to visit now. The best time to visit is during April-May before the rains start. Please read the comments above that provides good guidance

yatesh anand said...

hi prabhu ,
m from delhi an planin to visit hills by june end 2014 , it will b my 1st experience climbin d hill, as m comin from delhi ,can u plz confirm climbin d hill during june end is allowed , my email address yatesh.anand@gmail.com , thanks in advance

manoj kumar said...

you give very nice details about indian trekking point.

Anonymous said...

Is it ok to travel to velliangiri during Oct 1st week? We are planning to camp at hill7 or hill6 during night. Thanks.

R. Prabhu said...

@Anonymous

I would not recommend, because it would raining during June to end of October and is more risky. The right months would be March to May

Anonymous said...

Hey Prabhu nice blog. We are planning to trek to Velliangiri on Oct 4th to have a divine darshan of Lord Shiva. Though we have been hearing that it rained in this week, we also heard that the weather does not remain the same every day. Wanted your suggestion on how to achieve the trek and have the divine darshan if it rains. Thanks

R. Prabhu said...

@Anonymous

I would never recommend to trek the hills during this season, it is very risky. If it rains, you won't have a place to hide and you can get easily lost and the way will be slippery and dangerous too. Please schedule your visit during summer season.

prabhu rajendran said...

Hello sir my name is also R.PRABHU i like very much in this trekking with my family as well as my friends it teach us lot of spiritual experiences and lot so every year i have been going this temple....

R. Prabhu said...

Thanks Prabhu Rajendran, glad to know that you have been visiting this temple

rmarathe said...

Dear Sir,

I was planning to make a solo yatra to the Velliangiri Hills on 7th Feb. I have a couple of questions in my mind:

1. Is a solo trek allowed, this time of the year? If not, and am to travel there alone, can I find groups to join?

2. Is it a good time trek now?

Would really appreciate your assistance. My contact details are 9029024535 and rohitsmarathe@gmail.com Thanks again!