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  1. 10 points
    Excellent report @sagar Thank you for sharing. Sadly, we couldn't take the pictures of entire convoy. I think after Koilsagar, this is the meetup has highest member gathering. Few mobile pictures from my end Low light conditions, spoiled the overall pictures. Quick break, enroute to Belum Caves Bonfire Early morning trek Convoy Panorama
  2. 8 points
    What is this BOCH: This group was created to provide a platform for Baleno owners from Hyderabad to share and seek information about various aspects like sales, service, warranty, insurance, accessories, modifications et al, and also to engage in frequent meet ups. These meets have helped immensely in knowing each other and also to strengthen the bond among group members. We hope to continue to organize these meet-ups as long as we can. Now the group's count is 160 plus members. Prelude: After the 6th BOCH meet, we decided that we would be taking a long break and no more meetups anytime soon. That was in mid Novermber 2018. But, as they say, men will be men, and rules are meant to be broken. And so we did exactly that in little over two month's time and completed the 7th meet on January 26, 2019. And also, 8th meet is not too very far away, planning it in March. So this just goes to show 'the more that you resist the tide, the more it pulls you in'. It is such an amazing Baleno group with enthusiastic guys who are always ready to meet and explore. Preparation: Unlike our previous short meets, the 6th meet was a special one where we had spent the whole day in a resort. So the plan for the 7th meet was to stretch it for two days with overnight stay and return the next day. While looking at options, a member shared the travelogue of India-Drive night camping at Koilsagar (done in 2017). Many members showed interest in this and we immediately put the plan into action. With date decided, I did a quick recce of the place. We calculated per-head cost if we take camp tents for rent and carry food. Everyone volunteered to share responsibilities. But the main concern and challenge was to organize night camping (especially with ladies and families involved) at an unknown lake with a large group. We had our apprehensions about permission, locals and security. So we contacted India-Drive admins and took all the details of the organizer (Hyderabad Adventure & Trekker's club). After discussing with HAT's club, they agreed to do our event and it proved to be a wise decision in the end. Though the pricing was a tad high but without them we could have lost and wouldn't have enjoyed the way we did. The package included T3 tents for 2 members, dinner, astronomy session and early morning trekking. As a complimentary, they agreed to shoot our trip without any additional charge. Thanks to Mr.Dheeraj for wonderful arrangements. Itinerary: Reach M Food Court (1st meeting point) located around 75 km from Hyderabad and 13 km after Raikal toll plaza by 2:00 pm. Reach Deverakadra and stop for drone shooting. Reach Koilsagar and search for camp site and sunset shoot. Introduction of members and organizers. Pitch tents and campfire. Followed by Dinner, BBQ, astronomy session and star gazing. At 6:30 am, early morning trekking to nearby hill By 9:30 am, return journey to Hyderabad. How Things Went: The day before the meet, Hyderabad city had plunged into gloominess with not so good weather forecast the next day. We were worried about rain at the venue and it may play spoilsport to the event. To our dismay, it started to downpour on the meetup day as soon as we reached outer ring road. So we thought the trip is going to be a dampner. Luckily, it stopped raining as we were out of the city though it remained gloomy till 1st meeting point. All the members reached M Food Court before 2 pm (thanks to all for being punctual), but organizers were nearly 45 min late to arrive. We could only continue our journey from M Food court towards Koilsagar at 3:15 pm as opposed to itinerary time 2:15 pm. Around 4:30 pm, we reached Deverakadra mandal and for about 30-40 min we had drone shooting, line up of Balenos and photo session. We reached camp site at 5:30 and scouted for a nice place to pitch tents and park our big convoy. There were some places already occupied by some others, but we managed to find a decent place. Everything went as planned after that like campfire, BBQ, astronomy session and star gazing, dinner followed by surprise activity with our Balenos, other shoots and of course lots of fun. Many members were awake till 3 to 5 am (I slept at 3 am) with everlasting discussions. Luckily, there wasn't a single drop of rain until the next day and we were so relieved for that. Next morning, by the time we completed our trekking to a nearby hill, it was nearly 9:30 am and it started to drizzle. A few members had fun drifting their cars for 10 minutes in those wet conditions, and finally we bid adieu to Koilsagar - what was a memorable trip! What We (and I) Missed: We could not shoot with drone at camp site because of low light. Forgot to take group pics though we had some pics taken during introductory session. I could not take my Baleno to the trip as our colony road dug up for laying new drainage pipes.😑 I let the pictures speak the rest: Dark clouds looming overhead with rain: Line up of Balenos at M Food Court attracted quite a few eyes: Stopped at this straight scenic road of Deverakadra for drone shoot: Classic line up shot using selfie stick: Balenos parked Balenos in an arc at camp site: Meanwhile, kids were having their own fun time: Something you don't often find in cities: Priceless expression: Kids with kids ☺️: Aesthetic Sunset: A Baleno soaking in the sun: Sublime Safari (a member came in this as their count was more than 6): Another member came in his new Ignis (he's got Baleno and S-Cross too) 😎: Behold the beauty of the sunset: In the lap of beautiful nature: Introductory and Interactive session: Beautiful sight with camps in light: Astronomy session and star gazing: Half moon and its beauty, captured using 600 mm lens: With chilling weather outside, campfire warmth was comforting: BOCH members sans family and friends: Intriguing photoshoot of Baleno headlights: Woke up to this gorgeous view: Hill that was trekked: That conquered feeling: Picture-perfect picture of the campsite: Majestic view of Koilsagar: An enthusiast's drifting: The little one with its elder sibling: One final line-up shot: Final group pic of members before parting ways: Being a part of this wonderful BOCH group and leading it was quite a learning experience for me. Needless to mention, it enabled me to meet other Baleno owners and avid car lovers from different walks of life. I hope our bond becomes even more stronger as we grow bigger as a group, and embark on many more journeys. Hope you liked this short travelogue. Keep traveling and happy motoring!
  3. 8 points
    Oh no! Only you should start talking about it Wish to see you more joining us for overnight drives Yes yes, Tell me about it We missed you there at the Bonfire Thanks much @KSK Waiting to catch up at our next drive meet
  4. 8 points
    Nice report team. This is my first over night meetup with India-Drive. Two days went off so quickly. Weather was great through out the drive. It was very nice meet you all online. I can identify few members from the group. :) Had fun winning the Dumbsharads :P, after battling the Telugu pundits. Events of Duster and Volvo showing their muscle power.
  5. 7 points
    Day -1 Landmark: Near Perumallapuram Village Route taken: Kakinada beach road to Annavaram Distance: ~30 kms from Kakinada
  6. 7 points
    @sagar @Ranger Awesome travelogue, with visually stunning pictures and details. Kudos to you guys and all the ID members for completing this successful trip.
  7. 7 points
    wonderful report @sagar indeed was a fun drive/trekking/sleeping in the tent. Lovely afternoon showers on the way back as well added to the joy.
  8. 7 points
    Day 5: Malda to Mirik Today it was event full. Instead of going to Siliguri we drove towards Mirik(less commercial). Roads are good through out the drive, Some sections are very narrow (village roads) We came across many tea estates enroute. We started gaining the altitude around 2PM. We reached Mirik by 4:30PM, Our stay is located 5 kilometers away from Mirik and it is very isolated. Roads are very narrow and dangerous, Hair pin curves are too narrow for Duster. Not a sedan/hatch back territory. Duster All terrain tyres came very handy. Slipping and sliding,(due to rain from past 4 days) We reached the mid way(2 kilometers) Many locals started discouraging us not take that route. In the mid away, it got difficult, With some patience and navigation, we finally reached the destination. Our expectations about the stay went down drastically looking at the road condition. Once reached the stay, We are blow away by the facilities and property view. Start time: 8 AM Reached: 6 PM Hotel : Royal Suite Rating: 5/5 Cost: 2500/- (Got an upgrade to 6k suite) Breakfast : Malda(3/5) Lunch : we skipped it Dinner : Royal Suite(5/5) Today it was eventful, We started to gain some altitude Beautiful tea estates enroute Inner roads through tea estates Our first road block due to slide. Now it is officially that we arrived Tucked-IN One of the best sunset ever Duster enjoying the view, All the struggle from the past four days is worth it? Thirty minutes that we spent at this sunset point, Will be remembered forever. Our accommodation is located 5 kilometers away from Mirik. Our host asked us, If we are driving a SUV? We said YES!, biggest mistake. And the next one hour drive is like switching between hell/heaven/earth Hair pin curves that can make your car tilt side ways, Slush, Some sections has zero traction, If we brake we will loose the traction. At one point we decided to turn back, We felt it is not worth the risk. Guess what? We couldn't find a place to take a U-turn. After one hour of constant spotting and corrections we made it to the destination. Looking at those roads, My expectation for the stay went from 100->0. Worst case scenario, we decided to sleep over in the car. Once we got down at the property. We were blown away by the facilities and the view. We stayed awake till 4AM in the morning with monk. Definitely best accommodation of the trip. Bedroom View Balcony Second room View from the hall Early morning rituals Kitchen
  9. 7 points
    We (my son and me) went to Kondaveedu Fort on Jan 13, 2019, in our Baleno. It is approximately 275 km from Hyderabad, and drive time is around 5-1/2 hrs. Route: Hyderabad -> Narketpalli -> Narsaraopet -> Phirangapuram -> Kondaveedu Fort Short Note: Kondaveedu Fort is situated in a beautiful spread of Kondaveedu mountain ranges, located 1700 feet above the sea level and at a distance of 26 kms from Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. The fort being located on a hill top, the view from this place is awe inspiring. And driving through the newly-laid continuous hairpin bend (almost 20) ghat road is exhilarating to say the least. It is a shame that this beautiful place, once flourished as the capital of Reddy kings, could not fast become a tourist hotspot. It is only in recent years, tourists from across the state are thronging the place and enjoying the scenic beauty of the area. We started from Hyderabad at 5:30 am and reached the fort by 10:30 am. We drove to the top of the hill, spent some time, took some photographs, enjoyed beautiful view of natural scenery and returned back. Unfortunately, we could not get into the fort as renovation work was still going on. Later, we went to Mangalagiri and Kanuka Durga temples and returned back to Hyderabad same day by 7:15 pm. Total trip distance was 635 km. Since Kondaveedu Fort can be reached easily via road and has excellent roads, I would recommend going here for a picnic and returning on the same day. However, if you want to crash, put up in any hotel in Guntur. Although the roads have been maintained, there are not many options for food and drinks around the fort. However, presently renovation work is going on and no tourists are allowed to go to the top of the hill. We were fortunate enough to be allowed.
  10. 7 points
    *All pictures will be posted at the end of the topic* Total Odo was 2600kms. We did it in 3 full days. The initial thought was to go Goa. But I heard that, Munnar temperature is dropping to sub zero and we can experience frost and fog. So I convinced my brother for Munnar road trip. I thought of taking my Mitsubishi Lancer (1999 model, Stock condition). but dont want to take risk in ghat section. My brother owns Hyundai Eon newly bought. Hardly we are 2 and can go without missing any space comfort. Planned to go by 10th of Jan in the early morning 3 Am. But due to my hectic second shift timings, I couldn't had enough sleep. 10th Jan 2019, Thursday Woke up at 7am and took Orr at ghatkesar entry and halted Shamshabad by 9am. Had good breakfast started by 9.30. I have taken the pilot charge and slowly accelerated to 100kmph. we feel the small car Eon is stable at 100kmph for cruising and braking. didnt gave halt anywhere. by 12:30 we skipped kurnool and halted for lunch at Ananthapur by 14:30. The temperature outside is around 30* . felt bit irritating in driving. slowly crossed penukonda and took halt for petrol pump. There I spotted KIA's new sedan. photos will be attached at end. departed from that place and seen KIA's plant for the first time. Its a very large. Realised that our average speed is coming down. then we planned to skip Bangalore city. Google maps didn't shown proper route. but I followed the suggested route by one of our members. ( He is Mr. ***) We have taken branch lane at devanahalli town and heading towards Hoskote. Its a single lane and bad road. full of traffic with loaded trucks. didnt check the time but we reached Hoskote. (Hoskote is on Bangalore- Tirupati highway * Old Madras highway formally). Then next hurdle we have to cross Hosur. Even this is a very busy road. can see lot of cabs and loaded truck. We reached Hosur by 19:00 approx. Thats where we took back our NH7/ 44. Thats full of 6 lane and full of hectic moving traffic. all people are rushing minimum speed of 80kmph. Their all driving shows full of recklessness. all junctions are equipped with blue LED lights blinking in weird way. its very disturbing. We crossed krishnagiri and felt happy after that. All chennai pax diverted completely. Slowly we reached dharmapuri by 20:30. Had Excellent dinner at Arya's bhavan. Proceeded towards Salem. Basically Salem is a very main junction. It holds roads coming from chennai side, bangalore side, coimbatore/ kochi side and kanniyakumar/ Madurai side. All the national highway through salem is like gliding on the city with one single fly over. Awesome roads those are. The advantage of taking NH7/44 is, we no need to divert anywhere. all the road join this highway and divides their own. Now, I feel bit drowsy and heading to Dundigul. Any how I managed 80kmph and used all my energy to reach dindugal. There we have to take right towards Theni/ Munnar. 11th Jan 2019, Friday Almost 00:30 we took right turn towards Theni/ Munnar. we can use same road for Kodaikanal also. I handover steering to my brother and took power-nap. Its a double road without divider. Every junction, there are strong barricades arranged in zigzag way. Somewhere before theni. A police checkpost arrived. police asked us the details and check our luggage, car and car docs. they allowed to pass from there. Later crossing then, ghat started with a strong hairpinbend. The road has fresh tarmac and having cat eyes. Lots of hairpin bends and the elevation taking us drastically up. I feel temperature is coming down for every 2-3 hairpin bends. approx 40-50 curves and easy 20 hairpin bends we crossed, (Watch for fallen stones on the road) and reached kerala border checkpost. through out ghat we got 4G internet (FYI). thats where we had great ride seriously. And from then around 80kms , its a bad road. some places with no road. We can clearly seen the roads are washed out due to land slides. The temperature is really chilling outside. finally we reached Devikulam. At this place I have seen clear sky with infinity stars shining. This will be the best place for night photography. by this time its our own risk. we cannot spot any human presence. those are very remote places during night. by 05:00 we reached munnar. and my brother booked a nice room at pallivasal. its on munnar kochi ghat. Had sleep till 10am and woke up. just took drive aback to munnar and had a very good breakfast at sangeetha restaurant(Pure veg). took drive to Top station. we can spot a big lake with dam and tea plantations while going. the climate was not so good to enjoy and photography. may be I reached in wrong time. Try some farm fresh carrots at stalls. be prepare for parking. as thats a narrow stretch, so can take parking a bit outside. I collected the information about the cold place where the temperatures goes subzero. We are completely tired and driven back to room and had sound sleep very early. 12th Jan 2019, Saturday Woke up in the morning 5 and vacated our room by 5:50. took drive to munnar first and had tea in a bakery. Thats too chilling climate outside. I can approximate 6-7* C. We were actually returning to Hyderabad by covering few places. I took the drive and heading towards Udumalpet. while going out from munnar, I saw people gathered beside a small lake. There I found water is emitting vapor. After getting down from the car, literally my fingers were freezing. I have taken my jacket and camera with me. Spotted frost on grass and photographed few moments.between beautiful sun rise moments started. So I decided to move on from that place. The road again going up from the actual plane. There we crossed so many tea plantations. these are actaully beautifull than top station plantations. the road is bit mixed with bad patches. overall you fell, this what munnar is. U can see a mile stone mentioning about sea level. thats 5500 meters. I missed to take that click. after going some distance, the road slowly takes to you to down. Later you will enter into annamalai wild life reserve. the road is bit narrow. u will follow a valley through out in the right side. be very careful on that road with upcoming traffic. By 9:00, we reached a forest checkpost. Hardly its 15 kms to Udumalpet. then we have to take to left towards Coimbatore. with the help of google maps we skipped coimbatore. reached mettupallyam by 12:00. Had good lunch at Kallar Railway gate. My brother taken the steering for nilagiri ghats. this is bit tough than munnar ghat in traffic and ghat elevation. I didnt planned any ste visits in ooty except chocalates shopping. we continued to masinagudi, thats actually 70kms to get down. there is another route, which can takes u down in just 35kms. unfortunately traffic police not allowing any vehicles. probably its a one way. we crossed mudumalai and bandipur. later halted at nunjangud for sacks. took mysore outer ring road towards bangalaore. he still we can skip bangalore city while coming from mysore side. we can take left at Maddur, towards Kunigal. the road is 2 lane without divider and occational speed brakers. thats awesome road u can drive. After reaching Kunigal, u can find an awesome Mangalore bangalore highway with 4 lane with divider. U can take that road till Nelamangala. after reaching nelamangala, u can take road to dodballapur and then to chikballapur. these two road are with bad patches and will all single road. There we have taken our NH7/ 44 towrds Hyderabad. My brother driven all the way to hyderabad with 3 power naps. 13th Jan 2019, sunday We reached Hyderabad by morning 9:30 safely. All the photos can be accessed through below link.
  11. 7 points
    Hi Friends, This is the first travel after joining the group and happened on the suggestion of the group in Whatsapp. I saved a lot of leaves for traveling to the USA this October/November. But due to some reasons, that tour did not materialised and some 13 leaves were left to be utilised in December. First I had availed 3 days leaves from 12th Dec. First day I had attended a marriage engagement at Hyderabad and two more days plus Saturday & Sunday were with me. I wanted to go out only for 2 days and as per the suggestions of the group decided to visit Sagar on 13th & 14th. I made a booking in Tourism Hotel Vijay Vihar at Vijayapuri in the morning before starting. Me and my wife started at 10.10 Hrs from Hyderabad and reached Sagar by 13.00 Hrs with a stop at OOR exit on Sagar road to meet a family friend for 15 Min. and had a late breakfast at a way side hotel. (another 30 Min). Had buffet lunch in tourism hotel and out in car by 14.00 Hrs. My friend in Sagar project arranged for a visit to the dam and inside dam (inspection galleries). Generally visitors are not permitted to go on to earth dam and main dam for security reasons. Mean time local person called me asked us to reach the dam by 15.00 hrs as the staff have gone for lunch. Then we made a round in the hill colony where I had stayed for couple of years in the childhood. With great difficulty I could able to find out the quarters where we had stayed. All the Sagar quarters are now seems to be occupied by locals unauthorised including some top politicians. Quarter where I stayed in childhood We made a round up to the road bridge on Krishna river in front of the dam and came back to Earth Dam. Took permission from special police and entered on to it by 15.00 Hrs. We were asked not stop the car in between and not to click any photos. So we obeyed. Views of either side over the road bridge. When we reached main dam, the security staff received my car number and opened the gate and allowed us over the dam. After speaking to Irrigation AE, we stopped at first tower (Lift). Then we were guided in to the lift and taken to first inspection gallery at 140 Feet Down from top. There is an exit towards spillways side and a ramp which will lead us to first spill way on left bank. We did not carried the camera, but we took some snaps with mobiles. Three more inspection galleries are available below the one we visited. Lift for the same was having some problem and we did not go down further. These galleries are used to check the health of the dam. at every 10 Mtrs tel tale vents area available and the water leakage from these will indicate the internal leakages and the health of the dam. These galleries also used for repairing any leakages (How I do not know). We were told that every day morning staff will inspect all the four galleries each is of a length of a 1000 mtrs. After spending some time inside, we came on to the dam. due to heavy clouds and fog, we could not see the water in dam properly. With great difficulty we could able click some photos. After thanking the irrigation official we went to Ethipothala falls. We were not expecting any water in the falls but there were some. On the way back to hotel we had clicked sunset over the Sagar Dam. We could not get it exactly over the gates area. We came back to hotel before it was too dark and spent the time sitting in the balcony with Sagar backwater view. (Though the water is not visible due to fog) End of day One.
  12. 6 points
    Few pictures from my end , thanks for the link Gautham
  13. 6 points
    We had returned to guest house around 10 and had our breakfast. Ordered food for lunch and went to bed to have some rest. Post lunch we packed our bags and reached Navegaon gate by 15.00 Hrs for afternoon safari. Timings are 15.00 Hrs to 18.00 Hrs. It was very hot now and the morning wetness on the ground disappeared. It was New Jeep and New Guide. We enquired about morning vehicle and guide and we were told that their serial will come on next day only. It was so hot that we could not see any animals on roads like we saw in the morning. We roamed and roamed in various directions. Our guide got a call from other guides about sighting of Tiger and by the time we rushed there it disappeared in to forest. Found some more birds at a water hole. \ Then these After shooting this cute one, we got information that a Tiger (I forgot the name of it) is sighted at a specific water hole. We rushed there and found a canter and a half a dozen jeeps are lined up in front of the water hole waiting for the Tiger to come. After waiting for some time at about 17.00 Hrs we gaot another message that the Tiger reached another water hole It was the same where we waited in the morning. By the time we reached there it was too crowded. More than 20 jeeps are there with big big cameras zooming out and clicking the BIg Cat. With great difficulty we squeezed in (Jeep) (None is allowed to get down from the jeeps. Not only here but during entire safari time. And at last we could see a Tiger taking rest in the pond after a belly fool of hunt. Around 17.30 all the vehicles came from other gates including Mohrali left the place as they have to travel more than 30 minutes to reach their gates. We had an advantage of short distance to Navegaon gate and we stayed up to 18.00 Hrs and left the place. I do not have proper Zoom Lens and the snaps of the Big Cat are not so good after more cropping. Here are few... This is the last one away from core area said bye bye to us. We started at about 18.15 from Navegaon gate and started for nagpur as I have to drop Pandey and his kids. Otherwise we can directly come to Hyderabad. We reached around 20.00 Hrs to Nagpur it rained again reducing our speed to 30 Kmph while reaching Nagpur. We stayed overnight at Nagpur and started after breakfast at 9.00 from Nagpur and reached Hyderabad by 16.00 Hrs. Summary 1. Navegaon Gate is the most nearer to the core area and one can reach the core area quickly and there will be more chances of animal sighting. 2. Private resorts like Tigers heaven Resort and Jharana Jungle Lodge are available when we visited in June 2016. Some more might have been added now. We did not stayed in any one of them hence no feed back. 3. Unlike other gates, very limited vehicles are permitted from Navegaon gate. What I remembered is 10 in the morning and 10 in the Afternoon. 4. Advance booking (Online) is best option. Direct entry (Booking at Gate) is possible only if permitted quota is not booked online which most unlikely. 5. Private cars also permitted on condition that a forest guide is available in our car. I do not think it is wise as visibility to rear seat occupants is not good and one seat in the front is occupied by guide. It will be difficult to take photographs. None will be allowed to get down from car, 6. We can directly reach Hinganghat on NH44 from Navegaon and the distance to Hyderabad will be about 530 Kms. Other option is via Chandrapur but quickest is Via Hinganghat. I am not aware of road condition between Navegaon to Hinganghat. 7. Road between Nagpur to Navegaon gate is mostly two lane and very good up to Umred (Chandrapur dist border) and good beyond that. Total about 100 Kms. I would love to share any further information known to me. Hope I did not write too much.
  14. 6 points
    It was around 8.30 in the morning, I woke up to see this in our WhatsApp group. A big thanks to Mr. Prashant Mathur, who shared the invitation link, location info etc:- Thought 2 minutes about my Sunday schedule and decided to go as I cannot afford to miss such wonderful opportunity. The event was around 60 KM from my place. I Hit the ORR, reached the event place around 11, and saw it is already started:- Went straight to the registration counter:- Greeted with the Plastic Wristbands:- Grabbed a cup of cold coffee at the cafeteria, as I had to wait for my turn. This was the drive area; every car was starting from here. The display car can be seen at the extreme right:- Went to check up the display model out there, and ended up being a poser:-πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ To drive a car in a track, first you need to know the track. So I hoped into a car to watch the entire scene from the rear seat at least once before my turn:- Finally, my name was announced and they asked me to come to the drive area. I hoped into the designated car and it was to time to get down to business! There were different terrains in the circuit. Every car was accompanied by an instructor. And oh boy, oh boy!! It was super fun to drive though those hard terrains. I enjoyed driving so much that I requested them to permit for one more round, and they allowed me once again. Now let some pictures & videos do the talking (Some photos/videos are not taken by me, copyright goes to the respective owner:- In the last video I was holding my breath rather breaks! 😁 Had some quick lunch in between:- When all the cars were posing:- Evening we enthusiasts were having really good discussion about cars where GM of Vibrant Ford was also there. We had a good 30-45 minutes discussion but could not even realize that. Overall, it was really awesome Sunday to spent. Got chance to meet many enthusiasts and like-minded people. A big thanks to the organizer for all the arrangements. Cheers! Pralay
  15. 6 points
    Exploring Yanam Part 1 Origin: Ramachandrapuram, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh. Destination: Yanam, Puducherry. Route Taken: Ramachandrapuram - Tallapolam - Draksharamam - Kuyyeru - Yanam Start Time:5:10AM Distance: 27KMS Time Taken: 1hr Car: Honda City VX i-VTEC Mileage: 13.2KMPL Road Condition: Mix of good, average, bad and worst. Scenic Views: Single lane roads with beautiful scenes at either side of the roads. The roads are surrounded by lush green farms on either side. Trip Report Yanam, the place that I first visited in 2013, when I was 17. And this time again I wanted to visit the place only to know it better and love it more... Started early in the morning at 5:10 and reached the area in 1hr. The only thing I thought I could do in the place is to take the initial sunrise photo touching the waters. That's a beautiful sight and I never missed that. But surprisingly this time I got more than what I expected. I got to know about the area more and explore the area and the backwaters. This time, unfortunately, I could take my favourite shot, the sun touching the waters because of clouds. But got a chance to explore the area a bit. It was 7:00 AM, the sun just started rising pushing the clouds aside. And there I saw a person in a white shirt and white pant, assumed him to be a local and approached him to inquire more about the place. To my surprise, he turned out to be the government boat operator. Upon asking him, he arranged a boat ride into the waters and at 7:15 I was on the boat moving gently on the backwaters. The boat driver Ramakrishna, is a very nice guy. I finished taking photos and started talking with him. he spoke many things, from the political situation in Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh, their lives, the local MLA and not to forget, the insider information about the place. Yanam, a very beautiful place, mostly unexplored and left undeveloped. "Yanam chala manchi ooru Saru, Kani Chala mandi teliyaka raru. Tourists perigite maku income perugutundi" said the boat driver. Yanam indeed is a really beautiful place, there are many places to explore from Yanam. The first one, Bhairavapalem Mangrove Forests (Where we can find many rare migratory birds. It takes 2 hours to come and 2 hours stay on this island. Total of 6 hours. Price for 10 is 6000 INR) Koringa Mangrove Forests And many small unexplored islands (We can find many migratory birds) I think the area should be developed, but that development shouldn't destroy the natural beauty and serenity of the place. The local activities early in the morning, sunrise, birds chirping and the fishing activities are really beautiful and the development should not destroy these... Part 2 coming soon... I'll be writing about the places that in have visited in part 2. Places to stay: The Regency Hotel (best for families as per trip advisor) Sarva Inn Puducherry Government Guest House Few Pictures
  16. 6 points
    Yay! super cool report as usual @sagar. Here are few pics from my end!! While I missed a lot of pictures with convoy, we have had super fun with the team as always. Like @prabhum said I literally feel like a family reunion when I drive with this group. My beast... Lone warrior! Admin on the job for the cover pic! Yo soy el administrador!!! Most vibrant tents & our Greyhound guy in one of them !! Most awaited Sunrise view from the tents over the gorgeous Gorge!!! I got a little creative here.. My two little devils Yashu and Oordhva! Couple of family pics I managed to click! The evergreen & ever energetic @prabhum garu and family! Super cool @Anand Singh Now you know if it is Rio De Generio or the Status of Liberty!! and few more of them!!! Thank you very much @sagar @Ranger for this beautiful drive, all the memories that you have given in this trip and wonderful pictures!! Yet another super awesometastically managed drive!! Waiting for the next one to come, Adios until then!!! ❀️❀️❀️
  17. 6 points
    Hats off to The ID Team for this successful drive meet and appreciations to Sagar for this amazingly perfect travelogue presentation. While reading thru I really felt as if I am driving & experiencing live. Surely, I missed this awesome drive meet due to health reasons. Would love to join next meet up. Thanks.....
  18. 6 points
    One more memorable drive, its always like a family reunion on drives with India-Drive. Well-drafted travel-log projecting the entire trip @sagar . As @mit1682 said , and that speaks what this drive is all about πŸ™‚
  19. 6 points
    Wow wow and wow. Awesome travel log. You guys are giving reason to live. I missed this as we had already planned Koilsagar drive during that time. One more location added in bucket list. Happiness is flowing on people faces. Saw few families with kid, now my fear of "kaise manage karenge" vanished. Will surely join in next trip with you all.
  20. 6 points
    Hampi, Aihole, Pattadakal and Badami tour was indeed a three years dream ultimately became true in the first week of Jan, 2019. I took the same route as our ID group travelled in December, 2018. Hyderabad-Kurnool-Bellari-Hampi. Return I came from Badami-Lingsugur-Raichur-Desugur-Mahaboobnagar-Jadcharla-Hyderabad. I may not be able to put up all the story at one go. I will try to post it day wise. Team Me and My Wife, My Mother's sister and uncle, Their Daughter and two 11 & 9 year old kids. (5+2) Vehicle- Uncle's own Xylo Day One-05-01-2019 With a little delay than we planed we started from Vanasthalipuram just before 6.00 AM with a cofee break at M Food Court before Jedcharla and reached Kurnool by 9.15 AM. We had Buffet Breakfast at Hotel Suraj Grand @ Rs.120/- Per head and the breakfast was very good. We started just before 10.00 AM from Kurnool and reached Mayura Bhuvaneswari KSTDC Hotel at Kamalapura by 2.30 PM. My wife became sick by the time we reached the destination with three vomitings between Kodumur and Kamalapura. I was told its an infection in intestine and simple medication was told by our family doctor over phone. Every one was in anxiety and after medicationction she slept in the room forcing me to continue with visiting places. I was in a real dilemma not ready to leave her alone in that condition and other side My uncle, aunty, sister with two kids who came from Australia and depending on me for the tour. At one stage I thought of asking my uncle to go ahead by engaging a guide but my wife insisted me to go. As the distance of Vijaya Vittala Temple is close to the Hotel, We left hotel by 4.10 PM. We reached Tallari Gatta Gate by 4.25 and took a snap and proceeded to Battery car point. Due to paucity of time I could not stop over by Gajjela Mandapa. We saw all the ruins and places on drive in battery car. By 4.50 we reached the Vijaya Vittala Temple and after taking entry tickets, we engaged a guide out side the temple for Rs. 350/- Full team minus my wife πŸ˜₯ Full temple Left side view through Wide angle lens Sun set time Right side of the Temple. By the time we saw the Vittala temple complex, it was 6 Pm and the time for closure of temple. When we came out we were told that the last battery car will depart from the temple at 6.30 PM so we did not went to Shiva Temple adjacent to Vittala Temple. We came out and wanted to see King's balance. Before that few clicks of Siva temple and Vittala Market. My wife also called me and informed me that she is feeling better. Vishnu Temple on the way to King's Balance King's Balance Few other structures near by We returned in the last battery car and reached the Hotel by 7.15 PM. We had dinner at the same hotel and went to bed early. Food is good at the hotel but the service is very slow. Room service is not available. End of day One
  21. 6 points
    Day 6: Mirik to Nepal, Darjeeling and Gangtok. Mirik is very close to Nepal. We decided to drive down to Nepal. It is a 2 hour drive from Mirik. To enter Nepal, - Own vehicle - Owner of the car should be present - Original documents - Customs entry - Vehicle details entry - Identify card Cost 20/- per car. Process is pretty straight forward, It took us 10 minutes to finish the formalities. We went to Pashupathi market, It is famous for clothing.(Cheap) We had lunch in Nepal, Decided to drive back to Darjeeling. Since we don't want to miss view of kanchenjunga (world's third highest mountain) Roads are excellent through out drive (considering hills) View of Kanchenjunga is excellent from Darjeeling. Apart from the view, There is nothing much exciting in Darjeeling. We decided to drive down to Gangtok. On the next day, we have to try our luck with permits.(zero point) Start time: 11 AM Reached: 7 PM Hotel Hotel : Royal Orchid Rating: 5/5 Cost: 2300/- (value for money and very neat property) Food Breakfast :Royal Suite Mirik(4/5) Lunch : Nepal (4/5)(you can find plenty of bars, hookahs, Momo shops..in Pashupathi market) Dinner : Royal Orchid(4/5) Beautiful roads en-route to Nepal Best view of tea estates Image quality from pixel is quite impressive, I did not use DSRL for the entire trip. Selfie time Nepal entrance Enroute to Darjeling First view of might Kanchenjunga This is first time, I missed the DSLR light started to fade away, this is at 4PM
  22. 6 points
    Sharing few pictures clicked by Arifismyname Enroute to Hamsaladeevi beach
  23. 6 points
    Day 1 : Hyderabad to Vishakapatnam Road condition : Complete 4-lane, overall road condition is good. Start time: 6AM Reached: 7PM Accommodation : Hotel : keys select vizag Rating: 4/5 Cost: 3000/- (three members) Food options enroute Breakfast : Village Aharam (3.5/5) Lunch : Srikanya (Rajahmundry) (4/5) Tea break : Coffee day (After crossing Annavaram)(5/5) Dinner : Keys select (4/5 expensive side) Note : All the pictures were taken from mobile First picture of the day Setting up action camera, 3M Mount point is strong, held up well through out the trip. Roads between Vijayawada to Vizag improved a bit. Village traffic is still high on the highway. Testing the YI action cam(wide angle) Quick break round Annavaram Coffee day at Annavaram is maintained very well. We spent around an hour here. Much needed picture of the day. We reached Vizag around 7PM, Keys hotel is decent for the price. To be cont..
  24. 6 points
    Day 2, 14-12-2018 Friday, Surprise or disappointment was in our store. Without knowing it we got up early and ready by 8 in the morning. Weather is same as yesterday and we could not see the water in Sagar from our room. We just asked reception guy about boat timings to Nagarjuna konda and where can park our car. He told me 9.30 and 14.30 Hrs and it will take about 2.30 - 3.00 Hrs to come back and we can park our cars near temple near launch point. We had our breakfast at the hotel. Some one wrote that the breakfast here is not good. Yes Idli was not good but bonda and pongal were good. We reached the boat point by 9.00 Hrs only to know that Museum at Konda is closed on Fridays and boat will not run. If more tourists are available (abt 50), they will run a jolly trip taking them close to dam and back. But not even 5 tourists including us were available at that time. I felt bad being so ignorant and all the friends in Sagar with whom I was talking yesterday did not inform me even when I was telling them that tomorrow we will visit Museum. Yesterday, we had lot time to catch up with 14.30 boat as we were at boating point by 14.00 Hrs. We could have visited the dam today. Else we would have returned to Hyderabad is known at evening. My Wife said, let's go back home. But I said having come all the way here, let us make a round to opposite side of the dam in to AP. We slowly drove to the bridge over the river and entered AP side. Once we crossed first ghat and reached old bridge area, we had a clear view of the dam. We took some snaps here before going further. After a little photo session we went further and reached launch point on AP side. There also we got same answer and there are no tourists today. I found a new tourism hotel opened up by Govt of AP. There we a sign boar indicating ANUPU is 8 Kms. One of my friend told me that if you have time pl visit Anupu Buddhist place. Initially we deleted from our mind as the hotel receptionist told it is not worth traveling 24 Kms. But now we have time and it seems we had already traveled 16 Kms towards Anupu. Sowe went further and reached Anupu Buddhist excavated site. The place is like a small valley amidst small hill all round. ASI is maintaining it in better way. It is so peaceful and pleasant in these days and one can visualise how secluded and peaceful it could have been in those times. Buddhist devotees from Japan came in a sleeper bus of Bihar registration and started prayers in the lawns. Some wild flowers in the lawns. In the return journey to hotel we stopped once again at the spot where we took dam photos as more light has come now for quick clicks. We checked out of the room by 12.00 Noon and stopped at SRIPARVATA ARAMA site. though it was closed for visitors, we entered in to its first enclosure through Sidhardha Hotel. From there entry is closed with steel pipes and we were told the work is in progress and none will allowed further. They also said the ARAMA is likely to be opened for public by Feb,2019. Started from here at about 12.30 and reached ORR before 15.00 Hrs and had our lunch at Sendriya Aharam opposite to RTA office Manneguda near ORR on Sagar Road. Reached home by 16.00 Hrs. Much about roads and food etc has been written for this route. So need not repeat.
  25. 5 points
    We had reached the Thatiguda waterfall point and the views which the valley had offered was just breathtaking. Few stairs down to reach the foot of the falls Breathtaking view of the valley between the clouds The sun shone bright that noon. But, rain was all we had expected which could have shown up more green to the naked eye. The water flow at the Thatiguda waterfall disappointed us but the view what we had experienced at this place was quite refreshing. Thatiguda village was surrounded by a lot of green crops which gave us a very pleasant feeling. Thatiguda village road The drive was set back through the narrow village roads until we reached the main road to head to our next destination. Our next destination was the Gaalikonda view point enroute Araku. A bird's eye view of the whole valley from the view point This view point is one of the highest view points in the Araku valley. Approach road to the Gaalikonda view point. We drove through a numerous coffee estates and stopped by for a snacker. The time passed 6 PM and the commercial point where the coffee is being sold was already closed for the day The Jungle bells resort by Harita in Tyda lays amidst the forest on to the main road which is quite decent for a stay. The newly built A/C wooden cottages were the best of our stay options we opted. The resort management had arranged a traditional dance show of the native tribes for the residents in the night. The next morning, Our drive was set back at pace towards Vizag via Thatipudi. A click of the Thatipudi Reservoir enroute. We reached Vizag by noon to relax at several beach points. Beautiful views of the Bheemili beach. Clicking our last pic at the RK beach, our drive was all set to hit back home. It has turned out to be a pleasant weekend overall.
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