Saturday, June 12, 2010


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This is a theertham that is about 6 kms across papanasam by the downhills of the range on the other side of the bridge. On the way you will see sanagana sanandhana theertham. You will have to walk across this Sanagana Sanandhana Theertham to go to Tumburu. After our earlier success with Sanandhana theertham and Kumaradhara theertham, we didn’t worry or care a lot about going to Tumburu theertham and so we set ourselves on a trip to Tumburu on our third visit. After going a little further from Sanandhana theertham into the forests, we realized that it is only we two all alone in the forest and walking, walking, walking. We have been following the yellow arrow marks and saw a signage in Telugu on the way which was mentioning which theertham is in which direction and how many kilometers away.

Signage on the way......

In our first attempt, we came across a place where there are some white arrow marks that leads to the sideways of that hill steep down into bushy, rocky and creepy area, we thought there is a theertham there and we started climbing down this risky zone and some of the rocks on the way on which we stepped - it rolled down and the path down doesn’t seem like someone would have used that route at all….climbing down ….climbing down ….with every possibility of dying by a snake or any other poisonous bite or if any wild animals we do not stand a chance to escape as the route down is that risky….we reached the side downhills and there is a stream that is running through and we were not seeing any waterfalls looking like a theertham and as the stream is so tempting we started taking bath in this and spent some time there and started climbing back to the side top hills and we walked back to Papanasam ending our first attempt.

The water body we saw on our first attempt....

In our second attempt (after some months after the first attempt) we went across this place and we slowly slowly realized we are moving down the hills amidst deep thick forest and surrounded by deep thick trees, bushes and we were just following the path that was taking us through - following the yellow arrow marks which we missed at times and finally this ended into a stream (should be another point where the same stream in which we dipped last time) Water is so clear and had fishes in it swimming here and there and this is again the down hills on the other side and it became scary for us as we were surrounded by big sized ant-hills where the snakes will live – you can imagine if this is more than 6 feet high. Water stream continued moving deep into the forest and we didn’t gather enough courage to go further that time – not knowing which direction to take. So we returned sadly and on the way we made strong decisions to visit theertham for sure by next time.

Scary Ant-hills, Isn't this actually "snake-hill"?

Stream...down mountains...

Our third attempt –

On this trip (after some months), we started a little early and reached across the papanasam hills by around 9.30 am in the morning. And started walking straight to Tumburu non-stop and reached the foothills on the other side within 1.15 mins and again into the same stream and this time we walked across the stream and started walking on the sides of the hill on the other side of the stream. We have earlier heard about this from people who had visited Tumburu. They have explained as though we need to go through a cave like appearance and on the other side we will see as if the mountain had cracked into two and in between this falls is likely to be present. On our way, across the stream, we saw a cement built wall before some place, as we entered we first saw the removed skin of a snake lying down in the floor.

Recently removed snake skin by the entrance of the cave....

Cave - I restrict the other photographs for some reason

This place has a big cave which looked like the broken mount for us with a temple and this cave is so different and it had another cave above this on the roof part as if there are caves in 1st floor and 2nd floor. This cave is also a temple with Shivalinga and just next to this cave is another cave that goes deep down and looks like running behind the prime cave temple and on the other side of the cave is the mountain wall – It looked like the cave next to the prime cave runs deep and takes a right turn to go behind the prime cave and should be running again to the right wall side of the prime cave and also this right wall side looks like it has a kind of room space there. We started moving out of this place and entered the stream again and started moving through the stream path – we were entering deeps and deeps of the forest and all alone. Some kind of hesitation was running in both of our minds and we were hesitant in walking further inside but still continued walking. At one place on the way, I saw a small plant which is so crowded with a number of butterflies – Can you believe hundreds of butterflies just sitting and flying around this small plant that has not even one flower on it! – This looked strange to me. I took a video coverage of this and by this time we heard a heavy noise of some wild animal somewhere in the middle of the mountains on the side and I checked with my friend on whether he also heard it, he said ‘yes’ and this didn’t scare us and we were discussing on whether to go further or to return and we decided to walk back and we came again before the cave and I stopped there and there was a nice clear water pond in the stream which is tempting me to enter into it. I was asking my friend whether to take a bath there and he was thinking about that by this time we heard this wild animals’ noise so close and loud – should be within 40-50 metres surrounding – I just started running asking my friend to follow me and we ran into the cave and stood there for sometime. When we are in the cave, a thought came to me ….we walked away from the cave and heard the noise at the back of us in the hills and now we came back near the cave and so I thought this animal is not coming after us but we came close to it. So I changed my mind to take shelter in the cave which is actually not safe for us. Even at this point of time, we were not scared enough to run away. I explained this to my friend and we thought it is better to go across the stream and go out of the deep forests first and see the bright skies where I thought animals will not be chasing. With this thought, we started walking slowly and started crossing the stream on the slippery rocks….suddenly there was again a huge roar and this really did scare us and we both stopped where we were and stood still – I thought it should be a leopard and it is about to attack us and I was trying to locate the source of the sound and above our heads, on the tree it is a group of monkeys moving away and this is looking at something on the other side scarily and was making this noise. As I saw this monkey and as he noticed me seeing him, he stopped making the noise and this group continued moving on the tree branches. I told my friend to immediately move away from the place and we started walking fast to the other side and we were almost flying on the path that takes us out of the dense forest and we both cannot explain even now how we crossed about 2.5 kms of dense forest within 15 mins and we saw the skies. We both felt a bit relaxed and sat down by the side walls of the mountains (exactly where we entered to take a dip in our first attempt) and started having some fruits we brought with us and started walking again slowly because we still have to walk through 3 kms to reach papanasam. After some 10 mins after walking slowly itself we felt tired and so sat again to have some more biscuits. By this time, I was guessing it should be a bear based on the sound we heard. My friend was asking whether we got this wild animals noise recorded in the video recording I made (listen to this by the beginning of the linked video) so I was replaying this to check and we heard the noise again – This time it is from where we have been having the fruits finally. Imagine how scary it could be – it confirmed that this wild animal is after us and so we immediately started moving fast from there and walked as fast as we could and we heard this again for two more times but I can understand that this is fading away. Finally we came near sanagana theertham and saw some four youngsters sitting there giving us some relief.

One among this group had been to Tumburu when it is officially opened to general public during a specific nakshatra two months back that time (It comes sometimes in April) This man enquired whether it is only two of us who tried to go to Tumburu and I was trying to check with him on how to go further in the stream to see Tumburu. He said, I should go till the end of the stream to reach the place and it was actually about 1 km from where we stopped and started returning. This man also mentioned that after you reach stream it is risky because there were bears! My guess was right and this really had scared me – I could imagine, how we were made to fled away from the place through hints and change of thoughts without we being made to fear or worry a lot about the danger we were in – OM NAMO NARAYANAYA! It’s his grace that saved us! I was thinking about this again and again and I understood what had happened – Bear smelt us (we sweated a lot after all the walk!) and he was trying to reach our place and we started walking back, he was so close but climbing down the rocky hills where the cave temple is and on his second close growling we ran to the cave – this should have made him come over the rocky hill to the other side and come back to the cave to catch us – in between we had a change in thought and started moving away from the cave and the bear is on the hills climbing down – monkeys saw this, alerted us and went on its way! We got the fear element tickled in us – fled (actually fled) away few kms in 15 mins. He growled again for the third time and we realized that he is after us and we ran for our exit.

After this we have made firm decisions to explore Tumburu all alone and only when this is officially opened by TTD to general public during that nakshatra.

Butterflies and butterflies and the growling of bear



  1. hai, sir, can i have your number or email id, would like to contact you , do youhave orkut. i had been to almost, all these theerthas, thank you, super and excellent,

  2. Fabulous Narration..even I have been thinking of visiting that place..but I am aware that it has to be made only on that day TTD lays platform..I mean with a mob but not alone...It is deep in the forest and very threatening..Please let me know your contact details..Forgot to mention my name, I am Sasi from Hyd..

  3. Hello friends

    Thank you for your comments. It is quite a surprise to know that someone had gone through my blog....MARK APRIL 17 IN YOUR this is the nakshatra by when the path to Tumburu will be open for all pilgrims....reach me at

    author of the blog

  4. hi,

    Thanks for sharing your exp. Though i'm from Tirupati i was not aware of this place.Recently came to know abt it.Any idea wen exactly the gate will be opened? From your conversation it is mentioned as APRIL 17th. Is it the same day on every year or keep changing?Bcoz recently (March 19 Pournami) i came to know that the was opened. Forgot to mention my name, I'm Indu from tirupati

  5. @Every one :

    it good to see that there are nice hikers who share their experience through blogs.

    well i'm not kidding i've been to thumburu theertham while i was just 14 years old :P and you know we started from papavinasanam dam and reached thumburu theertham and from there we didn't return in the same path but we took another path and reached kukkalo doddi (near koduru)... It was an amazing experience and we were in the forest till 2 AM... Hiking in the dense forest especially in the the nights is an awesome experience. It was some 9 years back and now i am 23 :P

    And i am from tirupati too :)
    Recently the path was open from papavinasanam to thumburu theertham on march 19 2011, i couldn't make out this year as i was out of station.

    cheers guys :)

  6. The best time to visit the theertham is around november after a good rain (this is not safe but its adventurous) where the water in the theertham will be in a full gush and crystal clear. you can walk into the waterfall and you can reach a dark spot behind the fall to experience a immense view where water will be falling infront of you and you stand behind it... Its an awesome experience which one cant experience by just reading this, but can be experienced by only being there :) Till even today i rejoice the wonderful trips i had in the forests of tirumala when i was a Kid. I wish i can redo the trips all and again :)

  7. Hello friends

    Thank you for all your comments.

    Indumathi: Thank you for your note - it is quite useful. It made me check with the TTD call centre. Specific day by when the bridge is open every year is in the next paragraph.

    All: I learnt that the bridge was open as you said on 19th March for public to visit Tumburu as this is the "Palguna Pournami Day" and my understanding of "Chithira Pournami" which falls on 17th of April connects to some celebration to be held at Papanasam. I am still going to be there on the planned day with one or two of my friends. If a bigger team could team up - Siddarth is going to be there, may be we can try our luck.

    Thanks & Regards

    S Kumaran

  8. Hi,
    When i was searching for Kumaradara river, i happen to stop at your blog which is really excelent. thank you very much for sharing your experience and make others feel the same thrill which you experienced.

    great going. All the best.