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  1. We got our new car in Aug 2018, decided to go for a long drive during dasara holidays. So we planned for a 3 day trip to Anantapur, lepakshi and madhavaraya temple gorantla. Day:1 Distance : 366 KM Travel time : 6 hours approx Started on Sunday afternoon around 1:30 PM, we took the NH44 towards jadcherla, karnool. Reached around 7:30 to Anantapur with tea break and dinner break nearby Anantapur (Hotel Mayura) . We stayed at Hotel Serena as we saw some good reviews about the place, and its close proximity to NH. Hotel was good as we expected. Day: 2 Distance: 255 KM We began our journey to Lepakshi temple around 8 am after had a delicious breakfast filled with yummy idlis and hot wadas at Ramaiah Idly Centre, which seems to be famous food joint known especially for Idlis in Anantapur. Reached Veerabhadra Temple, Lepakshi around 10 PM. Temple is maintained so clean and neatly, found parking place near by the entrance. Around 2 hours we spent in the temple admiring the marvellous sculptures of Vijayanagara architecture. Being the holidays season temple had good amount of visitors, though we had a pleasant darshan. Temple has a small garden and washroom facilities. This is a must visit temple if you like visiting historical places filled with beautiful sculptures and grand architecture. Few pictures take using my mobile. hope you like them.
  2. Total Trip Distance: 588 Kms - Home to Karimnagar: 166 kms - Karimnagar to Vemulawada: 36 kms (one way) - Karimnagar to Dharmapuri: 80 kms (one way) Vehicle: Hired a XUV 5OO from Revv Self drive cars (Couldn’t take my own car (SX4) as its tyres are not in a great condition, I don’t plan to get them changed as I am planning for a new car in the next two months – and this is the precise reason why I am not joining the drives planned in this forum. Hopeful to get my new car in the next couple of months and be a part of the India-drive motorcade J) Travelers: My family of 5 adults (3 senior citizens) and 1 child Routes taken: Onwards journey: (Rajiv rahadari – 4 lane highway with two tolls Rs 50 and Rs 51 single way) Hyderabad -> Shamirpet -> Duddeda -> Siddipet (by pass) -> Karimnagar Karimnagar to Vemulawada: Karimnagar -> Siricilla road -> Vemulawada Karimnagar to Dharmapuri : (NH563/NH63) Karimnagar -> Kondagattu -> Jagitial (by pass) -> Dharmapuri A big thanks to gowtham for suggesting this road. Return journey: (Rajiv rahadari) Karimnagar -> Siddipet (by pass) -> Duddeda -> Shamirpet -> Hyderabad Day 01: Started leisurely at 10 AM from home and it took us one hour to reach shamirpet due to moderate / heavy traffic around Jubilee Bus Station – Bolarum stretch. Got onto Rajiv rahadari and from there it was a breeze. Didn’t consciously cross 110 Kmph as my little one was playing in the car and wanted to avoid sudden breaking. Took a tea break at 11:45 AM for 20 mins. The four lane road was excellent all throughout barring some small stretches where the road expansion is in progress (nothing major though). Finally reached Hotel Swetha (thanks again to gowtham for suggesting the place) in Karimnagar around 01:15 PM. Checked in, had lunch and took an afternoon nap. Left the hotel at 5PM for Vemulawada. Took the Siricilla road and reached the temple by 6 PM. This road ranges from good to average (no major bad or worse stretches). One can easily cruise around 80-90 kmph. The only thing to watch out for is the TSRTC bus drivers trying to overtake other vehicles and local auto / tempos are always erratic on the road. Had a great darshan and started back around 7 PM. Reached Karimnagar around 8:10 PM and my family wanted to have a light dinner so we were looking for some south indian tiffins and as luck would have it we ended up in place called Sri Geetha hotel. This decision was a bad mistake – it was substandard food and sick ambience. When we started from Hotel Swetha in the evening, I missed checking out Hotel Prathima (which is like 400 m away from Hotel Swetha) due to traffic. And this costed us heavily. While returning from Sri Geetha when we saw Hotel Prathima with an hoarding highlighting 99 varieties of Dosa we all knew what we missed J. Went back to Hotel Swetha and retired for the day. Day 02: Was planning for an early start but could only manage to start around 9:15 AM from Hotel post breakfast. Took the NH563/NH63, it’s a decent two lane highway was able to do speeds of 100 – 110 kmph in some stretches. Had a scare near a village called Kalleda, I was cruzing at a speed of 90 kmph and spotted a 3 wheeler cargo auto trying to cross the highway. I honked and flashed my headlight to let him know that he should stop and let me go. He did stop for a moment and I thought he will wait and didn’t break but suddenly he decided he should cross before me. I honked again, he stopped again only to start again, left with no option I had to break hard and hoped ABS / EBD everything would work. And they did, I only had to get off the road to miss hitting him. I think there were only 5-8 inches gap between the vehicles during the crossing point, yes! it was a close shave. I first checked with my family if they were fine. Luckily my daughter was playing and hugging my wife when this happened so she didn’t get hurt. I got down absolutely furious and rushed towards the auto and what I saw completely baffled me. There were 4 people in that small auto cabin and the driver was not able to turn the handle neither break. He gave me sheepish smile and apologized profusely. I somehow controlled my anger and just reminded him that the scene now would have been completely different had he done this with a lorry or a bus. He again apologized. Finally reached Dharmapuri around 10:30 AM. Paid the ‘Panchayat entry’ toll of 50 bucks and was asked to head into a narrow lane that would lead to temple / parking. It was indeed a very narrow lane and was difficult to drive when another vehicle came in the opposite direction. To add to it there are open drains so one mistake and you can find your car wheels in the drain. Finally found a parking space for the XUV in those narrow lanes. Visited the temple had some special puja’s performed and started back around 12:00 PM for our next destination – ‘Kondagattu’ – the famous Hanuman hill shrine in Telangana. Kondagattu is around 47 kms from Dharmapuri and took me 45 mins to reach. Had a quick darshan and started back towards Karimnagar around 01:15 PM. Reached Hotel Swetha in next 40 mins and had a good lunch trying out some local (Telangana) non-veg food. Posted lunch rested for about 40 mins and started back around 4:30 PM. Reached Hyderabad around 6:45 PM and got stuck in the Bolarum – Secunderabad traffic. Finally reached home around 7:45 PM. Accommodation & Food info: - Places to stay: Hotel Swetha / Hotel Prathima - Places to eat: Hotel Swetha / Hotel Prathima / Hotel SilverOak - Food: My personal take is you get quite good non-veg food in these restaurants and vegetarians might be a little disappointed with the quality of food I couldn’t shoot many pics on this trip as my daughter was gunning for my phone as soon as I used it to click snaps. So to keep her tantrums in check decided not to use my phone a lot.
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