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A quick drive to Hidden Castle.
Place is located around 100 kilometers from Hyderabad.
4-lane with very few diversions. Once you hit the highway, You will reach the destination in an hour.
Food options on highway:
Enroute you can find Haritha food court.
Summers are always tricky. Most people don't prefer to venture out on a trip in summer, for obvious reasons. So, when I bounced an idea off a trip to Warangal this summer, everyone went nuts. They even ridiculed that I'm not in my senses. But I did not want to drop the idea just because someone feels it to be stupid. I needed a break from my monotonous work life, so I was adamant. I know my wife also wouldn't agree; even if she does, she doesn't come considering the weather, but I have to do the customary - inform. My son's response, quick as a wink, was "Let's do it". Wonderful kid. It took some collective effort by me and my son to get the go-ahead from the home minister. Phew!
Plan and Preparation:
Being a Kakatiya University graduate myself, I regret not exploring enough of Warangal (capital of Kakatiya Dynasty) for long, which is known for its rich history and heritage. Though it is well within 150 km distance from my hometown and also from Hyderabad, I did not specifically travel to see some of its historical places. So, it's that time again - One-day trip!
There was this understanding with my wife and me that any impromptu trip needs to be done and dusted same day. If it's feasible and possible then she and our daughter would also join. Otherwise, my only soul companion is my son on any given day. He can only match and endure my crazy schedule. But being peak summer, my wife was skeptical and worried about excessively hot weather. Only after explaining and reassuring about all necessary precautions taken, we were given the nod. I feel there is nothing like "perfect" time to travel. There is only convenient time. The more the amount of convenience the better. That's it. Peak season travel can bring expensive price tags, overcrowded tours, accommodation, parking and food problems etc. So sometimes off-season travelling could bring in some benefits. One such benefit is leisurely exploring the place in its entirety without hassle. In the end, it proved to be a wise decision as we could spend some quality time exploring the places (especially Laknavaram which is crowded during peak season).
Once the date (April 15th) was decided, it was only up to us on how many places we can cover in a day. We finalized 6 places. I've gone through Google maps for route and order of visit.
Hyderabad -> Bhuvanagiri -> Yadadri -> Kazipet -> Warangal.
This is the only route everyone takes from Hyderabad, but little did we know what was in store for us. The four-lane road is under construction from Yadadri (Yadagirigutta) to Warangal, and it is a 99-km section of National Highway–163 in Telangana. Lots of patches, diversions and traffic was allowed only on one side. It was a nightmare to drive with heavy oncoming truck traffic especially at night. It took nearly 4 hours to cover 145 odd KMs for return journey, excluding dinner time.
Below was the order of places we wanted to visit:
Bhadrakali Temple Warangal Fort Thousand-Pillar Temple Ramappa Temple Laknavaram Lake Pakhal Lake
Total distance covered: 539 KM
Total duration of the trip: 17 hours
NH163 - Yadadri to Warangal: Quite a few diversions, patchy roads, potholes, and heavy truck traffic (at night). Other connecting roads are good to okay. If travelling to Pakhal lake from Laknavaram then do not blindly follow Google maps. It'll take you through some thandas. We drove almost 6 KM through a thanda and got lost. Just take left at Mallampalli and follow NH365 until Narsampet (Ambedkar statue), and then take left and follow Pakhal road till the lake.
Limited food options everywhere we visited except Warangal. At Laknavaram, food options available like lunch, but depends on the crowd. Better to carry home-made food to other places.
Limited or no proper parking facilities at all places I visited. It'll be chaos at Laknavaram in peak season unless there is an alternative.
This trip happened during Novemeber 1st week 2018 and November first being our 9th Marriage Anniversary - we wanted to celebrate it in Mysore hence drived down to Mysore and to Ooty .
Started 10:00P:M from Hyderabad and highway was little busy with all RTC and Private Buses towards Bangalore and different parts of Rayalaseema.....we stopped at Kurnool Toll Tax and then started again but started being on a working day after tiring office work has shown the tiredness and me being only driver for the entire trip took good breaks ...we stopped between Kurnool and Anantapur near some petrol bunk and after Anantapur in the early morning to take some power naps ....Reached Bangalore Outskirts by 7:30 ..
The Morning Mystic view of Nandi Hills and surroundings was awesome and Bangalore Highway is very very super road except few speed breakers else so much fun to drive straight road.
-- We Stopped at Hotel Nandi Upachar : https://goo.gl/maps/LwP1NeFtZoG2
Hotel was very very Decent and Has Nice Rest Rooms and ample parking place - had quick refresh and Nice break Fast and there was Some Minister Visiting the Hotel and traffic was halted ...we had to further wait for 30 more minutes and started at 9:30 A:M and it took us some time to cross Bangalore and Hit Mysore Highway - as usual Bangalore traffic took a toll on us and Mysore highway was little busy.
We Stopped at Kamath for quick Lunch and then Started for Mysore .
I have a friend who works in Travel agency in Bangalore , he generally takes care of hotel bookings or cab bookings if needed whenever we are around he has booked a room for us in Mysore at Hotel Vyshak Residency - Hotel was good and has Hot water Supply all the day - This )hot water) is one of the must for the Hotels around that place in Winters
-- Next Day Early Morning we went for Chamundi Temple - Chamundeshwari Devi -One of the ShaktiPeeta ,We had good Darshan and had some prasadam at their kitchen.
While returning, at the Parking Lot My mother overheard some one saying Ooty from Here is 160 kms - She immediatley said to me its 160 kms which means like Hyderabad - Nizamabad [Nizamabad being my Native]
She asked me ,Shall we go to Ooty too.
Who can deny an drive down to Ooty and I said immediately OK and haven't said anything about Road -,she was not aware of Ghat road and being traveled on Butter smooth Roads from Hyderabad till Mysore she expected it to be same straight roads....but later she was scared to the max after Gudalur when it was pitch dark and raining and Ghat Road Started
We had a quick visit to Shri Ganapathi Sachidanda Ashram and started for Ooty at 2:30 P:M - if any one has this in bucket list when they visit Mysore and wants decent stay they can ask for room in Ashram campus and it is pretty less compared to outside while returning to Hyderabad we have to stay in Mysore as it was night when we returned to Mysore from Ooty and we asked an room for accommodation as it falls left while entering Mysore and they gave us a Big room was charged 500 Rs - all facilities were provided indeed
Took little while to cross Mysore , later we had took some time to find an ATM to get cash and has to look for ATMs in NanjanGud , the Route taken was Via :
NanjanGud - > Gundlupete ->Bandipur -> Gudalur -> Ooty
---- Took Right turn after GundluPete and went 11+ kms to visit Gopalaswamy Betta ....But now cars are not allowed to be driven till the temple and one must Take Karnataka Tourism Buses ...and those will be plied till 4:000 P:M By the time we went there its was 4:00 and we dont has an Option and it started getting dark and we started back , returned to Gundlupete and reached Bandipur
Same friend of mine booked a Room for us in 3 Star Hotel - Hotel Preethi Classic http://www.hotelpreethiclassic.com which was closer to city center and had quick tour of Tea Factory , Botanical gardens did shopping at Tibet Market - Finding Good food in Ooty is little tough and we had our breakFast at A2B and its pretty decent and good .
Return Journey was Simple - Stopping here and there for few clicks and my car being Wagon R and people cautioned about clutch issues generally occur in that route and asked me to take some breaks and give some time for car and then start ...slowly reached Gudalur and it took sweet 4 hrs including photo breaks and tea breaks , Reached Mysore by 8:00 P:M ,me being no mood to drive wanted a break and i thought of starting next day early morning , and went to Ganapathi Sachithananda Aashram -
They allotted a room , we went to near by restaurant and had dinner - Next Day Morning after a good nap and fresh-up started at 5:30 A:M to Bangaore- Hyderabad , Had Break fast at A2B Food Court after Mysore on Bangalore Highway [Excellent and Neat rest Rooms]
Crossed Bangalore in midst of heavy traffic and being Monday it was very very tedious to cross Bangalore - Had stop after Bangalore at Shell Bunk and topped up the fuel ,they have checked the car and i took their engine oil and they did the oil change in quick time and started for Hyderabad . Bangalore Highway is one of the best roads i have driven and being day time we can find less traffic on Roads and one can certainly get bored too ...went into Anantapur town in search of a good mess for Lunch but traffic made to change our plans and we stopped at Dhaba some where in between Anantapur and Kurnool highway .
After having Some Rotis started for Hyderabad which was Straight Road with speed breakers here and there
Gandikota meetup on January 26 and 27th