At 6 am this morning my companion Lynn Noles and I drove with our host to the center of Nalgonda, parked the car and walked past a mosque to the foot P1080499of a long upwards stairway. These are the 550 steps that climb one of the two mountain that Nalgonda is built against and around. The mountain is named Lateef Saheb Dargah Mountain.

We left Martin at the bottom and began the long steep climb. The temperatures thankfully were cool in the morning breezes, though by mid-morning they would be pushing the normal 104 degrees of the last week. We wanted to take advantage of the cooler air to P1080501make this arduous climb.

The mountain itself rises up out of the flat surrounding (flood-basin?) plain like the tip of an arctic iceberg, an image that if we hold onto it firmly may help with the heat a little. I suspect each of these strange mountains that suddenly rise up out of the tabletop-like landscape hides two-thirds of its mass below the earth.

There is a small mosque on the top of this mountain, so the access might be limited to moslems except for the presence of a police transponder station that also shares the summit and is always manned by several officers assigned to the radio-monitoring duty.

We climbed to the top, enjoyed the view of Nalgonda and the surrounding territory, escorted by the local pack of dogs, who guided us up the steps all the way to the top. It turned out that the leader of the pack was the mama dog and she is the pet of one of the families who live at the mosque – when we P1080506finally reached the top we found her leashed and sitting contentedly next to her owner on a rock.

Here are some of the pix I took.