Nagalapuram Canyoneering – West Loop Canyon – 4CIV – First Descent

Nagalapuram hill rage is located in Andhra Pradesh, a southern state of India. This hill range is a part of the Eastern Ghats of India. There are many streams and waterfalls in this hill range. Most of them were first explored by Chennai Trekking Club under the able leadership of Peter Van Geit.  Amar Shekhar of and Gokul Ramachandran of Indian Canyoneer’s Association (ICA) have together documented the main four streams and their waterfalls around the Nagalapuram hills. They can be found in this website.

ySome of those waterfall treks in the Nagalapuram hills are popular among outdoor lovers from Chennai due its proximity to Chennai (only 70 kms from Chennai). Outdoor lovers often trek and camp around this place and few of them have even rappelled around here. But, it was only the explorers of ICA who’ve ever done a true canyoneering trip here. Read on to know more about their canyon exploration (aka first descent trip)
On April 20 & 21, a team of 4 did a first descent of a canyon in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. It will be rated as 4CIV. It is an advanced technical canyon because of a re-belay that is required to reach the anchor on top of the 4th rappel. This is the tallest rappel in the entire canyon (130 ft) and the anchor is on a small bird perch that can only be reached after a small exposed traverse. In high water conditions, this should not be attempted; Instead, find another anchor and rappel line. The approach was from another village SB Puram slightly NW of the usual starting point, Arai. The total distance was 13 kms with an elevation gain of 2000 ft. Even though, this canyon is frequented by hikers from bottom up until the 6th rappel, very few venture up till the bottom of the 4th rappel. And pretty much nobody goes to the top of this 4th rappel (aka Sidheswara Kona waterfalls). Even though, this can be completed in a long day (14 hours), we had to spend a night inside the canyon because of long stretches of bushwhacking. This is definitely NOT a beginner canyon.