Category Archives: Travel

A trip to Srisailam – safari ride into Farahabad tiger project

Published August 7, 2013 10:39 am

WP_001566This is likely the final post on Srisailam Trip. After the fun of rope way and boating in the Krishna river, we started straight on our return journey to Hyderabad and wanted to take safari ride in the Farahabad forest area. We did not take any break and reached there by around 1-2 pm. There are commander jeeps for the safari ride. They had taken other people in the forest. We need to wait.

The staffWP_001631 gave us option to take our bus into the forest. The road is mud road; bus driver was scared and told us to not take the bus. Bus would have taken the toll of the road; the mud road is not as nice during the whole 1 hr journey. secondly, there is no discount to take your vehicle; we need to still give the full price of the package. We decided to wait and go in two jeeps.

WP_001634In the meanwhile, kids took some kurkure etc. from the snacks shop out there. We had exhausted our mineral water 20l bottle by now. My brother has loaded one 20l bottle in the bus. It costed us INR 30-40. Now, we were purchasing mineral water for INR 25 per liter. For a bigger group, that big bottle saved money and time. We took little walk on the road also. In about half hour, jeeps returned and we boarded two jeeps to get into the jungle. By this time, 2-3 more groups have come and waiting. It is good to probably do this in morning or early afternoon. By evening – traffic of visitors increases. Afair, it is open up to 4 pm.

?;K{??4xV4xV4xV4`????IB???CALZKFI07Cur.ZKFJ03CML018001001509FD120109010B010D010D01240967?+2?&TUNA?{==0????U???????ML????[?V???FLFLSVN#g??{K==KZDe?}8?R??8JKJKm?T??s???B?{=??0????U???????ML????[?V???JKJK"""""""""""""""""""""??"""""""""""""""""""????"!" """"????!"!"!"!"""!"!""!"!""??????!"!"!""!"!"!"!"!"!"????????""""""!"!"?????????""""""""!"????"""""""""???"??""2w2w2w"2w2w2w""??""2w2w2w2w2w"2w2w2w2w"2w?2w"2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w"2w2w2w??2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2wJKJK? ??%h???b????0???A????A????A????H?PBH?AFAF?[????6?|t?ht9]T??T??4?l4?PXXx—x?!4???7???????????R???-?????e?7??>?,Q????z?D????????AFAF?ZK??AFAF??? X?xR?)?)?ss&??6n???????F?W????%4:z@@????I had very low expectation of the safari – to see wild life. That helped. We had cited only few deer at one place; that is it. The climax of the safari ride is a hill top point; From here – one can have 180d wide open view of the valley. We spent order of half hour here; took snaps. Everyone wanted their family;solo pictures here with the nature background. There exists remains of then AP tourism hotel which said to be have been blown by naxals; only pillars remain now. WP_001639There is great wind blowing and view is very picturistic. This view point was the ‘paisa wasul’ for the safari trip.

We stopped once more for lunch after the safari on the way back. Nobody had any expectation for the quality of lunch. We were also late for the lunch time nearly past 3 pm. We got some daal; rice; and once bowl of vegetable biryani; that was the last bowl dhaba had. Everyone wanted more biryani but that was over! We were looking forward to Hyderabad/home for decent food. My belly was already giving me signals for the abuse. I was careful in eating this last meal. Btw, I forgot to mention the local zeera juice drinks we had in one of the dhabas. They are local made; they were chilled; from outside the bottle resembled a beer bottle; some of us kept away thinking local beer; one of us tried since pepsi bottles were taken by kids and over. It taste pretty good and thereafter we took nearly 3-4 zeera drinks.

Most of us were tired and took short;long naps during the journey after that. Some of us befriended during this journey. Once we got onto ORR; it was farewell time with in the group. Finance also needs to be settled as biggest expense was bus that needs to be settled by my brother who will be dropped last by the bus. It was interesting that it got settled pretty quickly with everyone reporting their share to one person. We reached our first drop point where everyone bid farewell to each other. By then – we have exchanged email ids; promised to stay in touch; ladies gossiped their personal matters; gents talked over professional matters; job etc. Interestingly – until the last hour of the journey – some of us who has met first time during the travel (friend of friend) – have not dived into each others job, what do you do etc. I promised to share the pictures on skydrive with others; same others did.

It has been order of 6 weeks since the travel. I wanted to share the trip in detail then; it got done today. I have been long waiting to host the blog on its own domain. I decided to start it with this trip report. Today – it gets concluded. Net net – short, sweet, exhausting, but nice and memorable trip.

Did you travel to Srisailam from hyderabad? How was your experience?

A Trip to Srisailam – ropeway and boating in the krishna river

Published August 5, 2013 12:26 pm

In last two post, I talked about the journey from hyderabad to Srisailam, visiting places on the way and darshan at Srisailam. That was our first day of the travel. Second day, we woke at around 6:30 am and got ready quickly in 1 hrs. We reached other hotel where rest of us were staying, for breakfast. Breakfast is just OK there. Not much choice as such.

Our driver again was sleeping and we walked to the other hotel. As soon we reached there, we came to know that rooms needs to be vacated at checkout time of 8 am within a grace period of half hour. Otherwise, you may land up paying one more day of charges. Like Tirupati, this place also requires clearance by the local staff and signature on the room advance payment receipt. After that, you need to go to the CRO (central reception office) to get back the advance. We need to chase the staff for both the cottages. This process takes order of half hour. Regular tip expectation by the staff will also be there. We managed to get the checkout time of 8:30 am for both cottages. but our breakfast which was ordered at the hotel – went cold. We took whatever we can and moved to the rope-way starting point.

WP_001591Rope-way takes down to the Srisailam dam. You can take up boating in the dam hold up area of the river; There was other choices of taking a long trip to ‘Akkamahadevi’ caves which is scheduled to take 3-4 hrs; I do not remember the other options. All options are available at the ticketing counter for the rope-way station. You need to selected the package along with rope-way down. Caves ride would likely be good but we did not have time to do that. It needs order of a half to full day. We decided to take boat ride package and it cost around INR 250 AFAIR per adult; for children (5-12 years), there is lower price tag.

Rope-way has a queue and waiting well kept lounge. It took order of half hour of waiting there. IMG_9565-001I took some picture during the waiting time and savored the nature beauty from the hill top. It looks beautiful and wide angel view from there. Each rope way cabin hosts around 4 people. We were roughly 16 people including kids. We managed to sit into cabins with 1-2 families per cabin. There is not much time to decide after the cabin arrives since rope way is running non-stop. Within no time, you are down. so, enjoy the 2-5 minutes you in the cabin. I experienced a point in between the two stations where there is pin drop silence; only nature high density oxygen air; and sound – That moment will stick in memory for long; It lasted only for 20-30 seconds.

Rope-way as much is not likely the latest technology;WP_001605 I am not the best person to comment on that since I have only traveled 2-3 rope-ways; one in ambaji temple near Palanpur, Gujurat and one more somewhere. but decent. It saves long ghat travel and get your down in less than 5 minutes; awesome. We took snaps of the neighbor cabins; cheered children; enjoyed nature; reached the destination station. There is order of 400m of hill climb down before you hit the boating station from the ropeway station. The road surprisingly does not have steps! need to walk carefully. Old people with walking limitation need to be careful here. On the other side, you can enjoy the glass of fresh buttermilk for INR 10/-, some jaal muri – there are many vendors out there and very friendly; also lime soda.

People with boat package tickets are given preference in boarding. That was nice. tst_IMG_9629-001We took the best seats we thought. The boat went towards the dam gates, and round back to the station. It was nice 1hr plus boat ride. nice. On the back travel also, we enjoyed some jaal muri etc. Took rope-way back up.

?;Kt??4xV4xV4xV4`??????????CALZKFI07Cur.ZKFJ03CML018001001509FD120109010B010D010D01240967?+2?&TUNA?tQQb????U??????_L????OW????FLFLSVN#g??tDQQDlZ??TPQ*?8JKJKm?T??s???B?tQ}?b????U??????_L????OW????JKJK"""""""""""""""""???"??????"P3?????"???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????JKJK`?v??d???4???4???4???????*?AFAF???????yj??j???tV`-`)?@??@)?dd????,z?-.??$?,D?b#????D?`J?zL?HP?O"?g?p&??????????????AFAF?ZK?AFAF??? X?xR?)?)?ss&??6nwwy{}?F?W?????#48`?@????Overall, we all liked the rope-way and the boating in the dam hold up area in the morning hours. We were back up by roughly 12. I do think we missed the 2-3 boat journey to akkma devi but do not have personal account to say whether it is worth the time. may be next time.

srisailam trip is not YET over. We are yet left with the forest safari part. Need to get back to work. Let’s get there another day.

A Trip to Srisailam – part 2

Published August 2, 2013 10:53 am

I talked about our Srisailam trip few days back, and was out of time to finish it. Let’s continue from where we left. It is likely that today’s also it does not get finished.

After a long break at the MallelaTheertham waterfall, we stopped at a Dhaba immediately after getting back on the srisailam highway. I forget it’s name – Family dhaba or something like that. You can not expect great food. but in the dhaba, even daal/roti or rice, sambar is also not eatable. They did not even heat the sambar and served cold. We have such experience next day also during return journey but better than this. Dhabas on the road – seem to be no-go place. May be if you reach during the exact lunch hours – 1-2PM – they – at least – serve hot food.

WP_001576I forgot to mention some of the giant trees at MallelaTheertham waterfall. They were simply huge and awesome.

Soon we entered that ghat roads; and eagerly awaited to reach Srisailam. It took 2hrs+ to cross ghat roads. They seem to not ending; mountain up, down, and again up. We kind of entered Srisailam town by evening 6PM; went straight to the devasthanam office to get the rooms; My brother had booked the rooms online through their site. Booking two weeks in advance worked for us.

There are two kinds of rooms. Non-ac cottages, and AC delux rooms. AC delux rooms are accommodated in the AP tourism hotel which is next to the rope-way station at corner of the hill. Some of us booked the AC rooms. I did not check with them about the room view. but the hotel building is located at the corner of the hill. My brother tried booking a couple of days later and could only get through the NON-AC cottage. Interestingly – the cottage accommodation had two rooms, and a dining area. Hence, two of us can get into two room in the same cottage. Since we have already booked the 2 cottages, we got the driver to stay there.

The devasthanam market place serves dinner in multiple shops. All of them seem to be ok. but they also operate very much during 7-10PM dinner hours. We decided to go for darshan in night itself since we wanted to take rope way and forest safari on the way back next day. There was very little line as visible from outside in the free lane. Some of us were particular about INR 100/- line and went straight to buy tickets. later we realized that the line inside the temple complex would have at least taken 1 hr. We got done in the INR 100/- line in 15 minutes or less.

Another thing we found that women is supposed to have head covered with dupatta. so, some of the ladies need to take turns using the friend’s dupatta. There is nice paid prasadam laddus available. We got some. There is another temple after the main deity temple. The exit of that temple is different than the entry. That got me waiting for my wife at entry gate for around half hour and later decided to go out and check. There was another old man waiting for his wife there who would have exited from other gate. Further, as per rule mobile phones are not allowed inside. That may be challenging in the scenario.

Net net, we had nice darshan in short time. It was dinner time but it was almost 10PM. We got into the shop at the junction. We can sense that the staff was in hurry to close down. He wanted orders quick. I found that chapati was served hot; so just got that. Few minutes later – chapati was over ! Good to just follow dinner timings if you want to have comfortable dinner. Comparatively, we had nice dinner (after the lunch) and ready to crash.

Our bus dropped us at the cottage and the hotel. and had a sound sleep till down. Woke up straight at 6AM. We had planned to go for rope-way in the morning after breakfast. Let’s talk about it next day. For now, I need to get back to work.

 

A trip to srisailam

Published July 29, 2013 1:20 pm

Today has been a long Friday; nearing an another weekend. What has been long due (a week long due) is the trip to Srisailam last weekend (sat-sun). Soon after coming back, week started and there was no space for leisure writing. Honestly – today is also not leisurely as such. Nevertheless, let’s catch up about the trip to srisailam.

Srisailam is known for its Lord Shiv template and the dam. My brother had planned the trip along with 3 of his friends. so – total 5 families (including my family) were travelling. My brother was looking into booking a small bus – 20 seater – mazda kind. He could find one @ INR 16 per km with min. 300km per day plus driver allowance of INR 350/- per day. That came to roughly INR 10k for two days trip. He booked the bus. We had the alternative to drive into 3-4 cars.

Little bit on the car vs bus for the trip. Srisailam roughly clocks 230-240km from Hyderabad. Cars would have cost in petrol little bit more if we take 4 cars. Cars would be less jerky while bus kept giving vibration massage to the body even when we were on reasonably good road. Bus was in good condition but certainly it’s not Volvo. Car drive would have been driving pleasure on ORR stretch of the journey but won’t be fun beyond that. Especially the 70-80km ghat road drive won’t be pleasure to drive for most beings. Bus gave plenty of room for kids to sleep, dance, breath. since we were only 16 members including kids – they could sleep at times taking a full birth. Bus could run at reasonably ok speed but not on par with car. so, it took 1-2 longer.

overall – for the crowd we had – bus worked out ok. If we could have worked out a bus with better suspension – it would have been ideal.

As instructed – we were ready for pickup at 6:15am. First surprise – DRIVER did not wake up on time. He woke up when my brother called him. With that, we started from our place at roughly 7:30am. We have to do one more pick up point for rest of us and were on ORR by roughly by 9am. I have done the couple of hours research for the drive. google map gives reasonably simple and good route for this. All one need to remember is to take exit 14 on ORR and get on srisailam highway. Thereafter, simply stay on srisailam highway (refered as SH in google route). That’s it.

I have taken light breakfast. but not all in the group. so, we were looking for place to breakfast. Bus need to fill the tank as well. On ORR exit 14, we took left into town – filled the tank in the nearby bunk. Petrol pump guy told us that a hut kind – dosa/idly place – on this road. This is almost close to the left turn on town road after ORR exit 14. There was good crowd of people eating idly, dosa, vadas. We also took a rough count, and took our tokens. Place was decent, and food ok. Finished our breakfast and got back on srisailam highway which is right turn after ORR exit 14. I do not exactly remember the turn. need to get on srisailam highway here.

Soon on the highway, we saw engineering college, a resort banyan retreat on the highway. At the beginning of the highway, there was works for the divider. It may get built for the future. but currently it is two lane highway with no divider. so, night driving should certainly be avoided.

There after, we took no break and straight stop at Dhindi project WP_001549on seeing a dam like wall structure on the road side. There was a stone marking its name ‘Dhindi Project’. Otherwise, it was hard to recognize what that was. Wall WP_001548has decent height but there was no water there. Nice view. There was a small shop selling chips, colas etc. We took some, and moved on.

Soon,WP_001566 forest area started; and we started seeing trees on either side of the road. We stopped on the marking of ‘Tiger Project’ at Farahabad. WP_001565We did not want to take long break here so that we can reach Srisailam in time. We inquired about the place; it runs safari rides up to 4PM; private vehicles are not allowed; the ride organizer have commander jeeps and cost for 6 person INR 800/- ; trip lasts for 1-1:30 hrs. We decided to take safari ride in the return route. more on this – little later.

Kids wanted to sit on top of the tiger statue here. we took some snaps and moved. Srisailamhighway – I found to be very straight (no curves) until we hit ghat road. For long long, we could see road straight. Traffic was also sparse. Good that not many are driving here. It saves the nature. Where ever tourism increases, nature decreases generally.

Well – since the post was going long – I have to break here. Today, I wanted to finish this and post. It’s good that I had written some while everything is fresh in memory; slowly the level of detail evaporates. I will try to capture as much I could still remember.

WP_001573We came to know that there is a good waterfall before we reach srisailam. It is called – MallelaTheertham waterfall. It is around 8-9km diversion from the highway route to srisailam and the road is also mud road. There was enough crowd we saw at the waterfall. Whether the waterfall is worth the extra time & diversion, well it depends. If you have time, it’s worth a visit. Good thing about this is it is in jungle/nature surroundings.

Few things about the place:

  1. be careful. the water is quite deep. Unless you areexpert swimmer, it is good not to swim across to go to below the waterfall.
  2. There is a pathway from the rocks to get below the waterfall. It is steep but doable. With kids, need to be extra careful. The rocks below the waterfall – are slippery and adventuring there with a kid in lap etc. may not be safe.
  3. If you ever go there – place will look for your respect for the sanctity of the place; no plastic pl.
  4. Old ladies (from local village) sell some berry kind of fruit for INR 10/-. It is not much tasty. but you may want to buy to give it a try and/or support to the local old ladies.

We had one daring swimmer in the group. He confidently swim across. He later narrated that even at  side, he has to “pull himself” up as ground was deep. My son was adamant to get below the waterfall. Hence, I discovered the rocky pathway to get below the waterfall. My daughter was also helped by one lady under the waterfall to take a shower of the waterfall. WP_001572We ended up spending hour+ here. One more thing – after parking the vehicle – there is around 250 odd steps to get to the waterfall.

We took a stroll back to the bus; crossed the mud road, and stopped immediately after getting to the highway for Lunch at nearby dhaba.

I need to break here and get back home. There is 1.5 days worth of more trip to discuss.  More as soon as I can get back.

I was sharing in the wordpress youmayneedthis blog earlier. This being the first post – on its domain – is special. Domain is new but the idea remains same – that is – about things that you may need to do some day. In the spirit of sharing – I look forward to continue sharing tit bits of things I do, and you may need to do some day.