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Hyderabad to Ooty road trip guide   

3 members have voted

  1. 1. Best places to visit in Ooty

    • Upper Bhavani Lake
      0
    • Emerald Lake
      0
    • Avalanche Lake
      2
    • Botanical Gardens
      0
    • Doddabetta Peak
      0
    • Cairn Hill
      0
    • Bandipur forest safari
      0
    • Kotagiri
      1
    • Coonoor
      0
  2. 2. Hyderabad to Ooty route

    • Route for cars : Hyderabad -- Ananthapur -- Bangalore -- Mysuru -- Bandhipur -- Masinagudi -- 36 hairpins -- ooty
      3
    • Route for heavy vehicles : Hyderabad -- Ananthapur -- Bangalore -- Mysuru -- Bandhipur --Gudluru -- ooty
      0
  3. 3. Hyderabad to Ooty food options

    • M Food court, Balanagar
      0
    • Food Pyramid, Kothakota
      3
    • Hyderabad chef, Ananthapur
      0
    • Nandi Upachar, Devenahalli
      0
    • NH7 Refuel, Bangalore outskirts
      0
    • Bangalore to Mysuru : Milestone 67, KFC, CCD, Indradhanush restaurant ( group of hotels)
      0
    • Mysuru to Ooty : Pugmark hotel
      0
  4. 4. Hotels in Ooty

    • Sinclairs Retreat Ooty
      2
    • The point
      0
    • Accord highland
      0


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Hyderabad to Ooty, Coonoor & Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu - Pre monsoon drive meet up - June 01 - 04 17'

 

Start point - Gachibowli (ORR)

End point - Ooty (Accommodation)

Start time - 04:15 a.m.

Total Distance - ~1900 kms

Objective - A drive meet to Ooty, Coonoor and Bandipur to rejoice the pre-monsoon showers.

 

Participants:

 

1) Maruthi Suzuki Baleno

2) Volks Wagen Polo (Red)

3)  Volks Wagen Polo (Red)

4) Ford Ecosport

5) Hyundai Creta (Red)

6) Hyundai Creta (White)

 

Route Taken:

Hyderabad (Gachibowli) --> Kurnool --> Bangalore --> Mysuru --> Bandipur --> Mudumalai --> Ooty

 

IND DRV OOTY- DAY 3-60-01.jpeg
 

Road Condition:

 

Hyderabad to Bangalore: 
4-lane and road condition is excellent, Kurnool bridge is finally completed. 
 

Bangalore to Mysuru routes:
Route 1:
Bangalore --> Visveshpura --> Herur --> Yadiru --> Nagamangala --> Srirangapatna --> Mysuru

Bangalore to Yadiru route  : 4-lane and excellent road.
Yadiru  to Srirangapatna route : single lane road, road condition is good but many speed bumps en-route. 

 

Route 2:

Bangalore --> Channapatna --> Mandya --> Mysuru

4-lane road but heavy traffic.

 

Mysuru to Bandhipur route:

Mysuru --> Najanagudu --> Begur --> Gundlupete --> Bandhipur

 

Bandhipur to Ooty route:

Route 1:
Bandhipur --> Theppakapadu --> Masinagundi --> 36 haripins --> Ooty

Non-commercial route, only for cars and small vehicles are allowed.

Route 2:

Bandhipur --> Gudalur -->  Ooty
Commercial route with truck traffic.

 

Places covered:

 

1) Bandipur forest safari

2) Coonoor - Highfield Tea factory

3) Avalanche & Emerald

4) Doddabetta peak

5) Kotagiri

6) Ooty - The Tea factory and Tea museum

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Day - 1 : Hyderabad to Mysuru

 

All the members attending the drive have assembled at the start point by 4:00 a.m. and the drive kicked-off by 4:15 a.m. after a brief introductory session about the rules and the convoy positions during the drive.

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Following the respective convoy positions, we raced on to the ORR towards Kurnool to take our stop for breakfast.

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The usual way of how we regroup at every Toll exit until all the cars line-up to continue the drive further.

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We had stopped by the Hotel Suraj Grand for breakfast. The food at this place was pretty good with decent ambience.

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After a sumptuous meal, our drive commenced towards the next stop at Bangalore.

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Running under the defined speed limit, we never missed to fall out of this convoy. Being a part of this group for my first long drive, this factor has amazed me to a certain extent.

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We had reached Bangalore to stop by for Lunch around 1:00 p.m. The ambience and food at this place was decent.

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Having taken quite a long break at lunch, we started our drive towards Mysuru around 3:00 p.m.

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We have reached Mysuru around 7:30 p.m. to halt for the night. The Dawn hotel in Mysuru was pretty good for a night stay with an exclusive restaurant attached which served us dinner for the night.

Day 1 has turned out to be an eventful fun drive where I happened to meet some amazing travel enthusiasts and true petrol heads.  

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Day - 2 : Mysuru - Bandipur - Mudumalai - Ooty - Coonoor

 

Our drive was scheduled to start by 5:30 a.m. towards Ooty with a stop at Bandipur for the forest safari.

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We had stopped by a deserted road en-route for a short photo session post breakfast.

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Everyone of us got involved in bagging some memories through clicks and poses for a while.

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And then, our drive towards Bandipur continues...

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Day - 2 : Continued..

 

The Bandipur forest reserve welcomed us  as we moved up the ghat.

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The drive through the forest over such neatly laid tracks has been an absolute bliss.

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Every bit of the drive through this section has been more than worthy while we had experienced the spotting of wildlife in frequent intervals throughout

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We have spotted a huge herd of deer en-route not just once but many a times throughout this track.

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Burning the rubber onto the smooth tarmac while clicking some scenic views until we finished the drive has been out-rightly eventful and a memory worth recollecting.

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One of those many herds we spotted.

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One from a herd of wild boars..

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The open forest road opens up to stock up for the monsoon coming ahead.

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One of the many peacocks we spotted.

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The winding forest road opened up to offer us a newer view of the ghat we were going to take.

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A super scenic view of the ghat we were heading at..

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Our timely delays at the breakfast point and stops for the photo sessions caused delay in being available for the safari on time and so we decided to do the forest safari on our way back from Ooty in the next 2 days from then. (Note: Timings for the morning safari is available only between 6:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. And price is 300 INR/head)

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We have taken a short break amidst the forest road to stretch ourselves and breathe in some fresh air.

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Splendid view of the ghat as we got closer.

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We had taken the 36 hairpin ghat to reach Ooty which was super scenic offering the views at its best

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We have reached Ooty before 12:00 p.m. and moved towards our stay which was engulfed amidst the tea plantations away from the town in an offbeat site.

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The route to reach our stay has been quite an off road track which has added more adventurous fun to the drive and Yes, the Polo has managed to do this track

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Beautiful vistas of the tea plantations from our stay

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After we got settled at our stay, we then moved towards exploring Coonoor which is about 25 kms from our stay. Monsoon hitting this place quite early this year added more beauty to our eyes.

We stopped by 'The Grange' hotel for lunch on our way to Coonoor. This is one place in Ooty which offered good food along with ample parking space which was observed to be quite rare in a place like Ooty.

 

Proceeding further, we have explored Coonoor and halted at the 'Highfields Tea Factory' which is 50 years old. We have had the opportunity know how the history of the Tea Factory and its process. We had also tasted the samples of all the variety of Tea they grow followed by some shopping :D

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While we have explored whole of this Tea estate

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A group pic of the whole crew before the day ended

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Getting back to Zero after our dinner, we had some great fun over the bonfire and some interactive games under the stars. This session was then followed by some night photography and star gazing. 

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A sight at the night sky was so splendid and we had no option but to get lost in the tranquillity of nature.

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Cool breeze, Night sky, Innumerable stars and the best people around.. Explains it all!

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Day - 3 : Ooty - Avalanche - Emerald - Doddabetta peak - Ooty

 

The next morning, After our breakfast at 'The Grange' hotel, we have started to pace up towards the Avalanche.

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The drive towards Avalanche was one of the best I've been to as it had offered some best roads having best of the scenic views throughout with Tea plantations and step farming all around.

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Road to Avalanche as we got closer deteriorated but the drive was still fun as the road led us into a forest.

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The entry at the Avalanche got closed by the time we reached as the slots were full for that day and this is the best view of the lake we could capture midway. 

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We then moved towards the Avalanche dam and the Emerald dam which still remained closed due to the construction and piping work at the Dam.

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We decided to Explore the place and drive down to Doddabetta.

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Every bit of this drive has offered some best sceneries.

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No wonder Ooty is called 'The Queen of hill stations'.

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We had stopped by one of the best view points on our way to admire and cherish the beauty nature was offering us.

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All of us got involved in clicking some pictures at this stop

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A small village engulfed between the beautiful Tea estates.

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We started to move towards Doddabetta peak which is known as the highest peak in the Southern part of India.

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Drive towards Doddabetta peak was awesome as we have experienced different types of climatic conditions right from sunny to rainy.

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This place turned out to be a true commercial spot which seemed very crowded at the top of the hill. As the fog got cleared, this is one beautiful vista of the Nilgiris form the hill top. 

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Last picture of the day at the top of the peak, we had set back to our stay early by 9:00 p.m. as we have got a hectic drive lined up for the next morning.

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We have started off by 4 in the morning from Ooty towards Bandipur for the safari.

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As we got on to the ghat, the sky has offered us a magnificent view of the sunrise. No morning can get better than this sight to me.

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We got stopped at the check point on the ghat, before we entered into the wild forest zone as was closed and we had to wait at the gate until we got a signal about the road being cleared. It got opened at 6:00 a.m.

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We have reached the Bandipur Forest safari gate by 7:00 a.m. and booked our safari slots for 7:30 a.m. The price per head for the forest safari in the bus was 300 INR.

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Standing tall on the head, the wild vulture was overlooking at the forest ground.

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We have also spotted a lot of these grey faced Langoors.

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A furry mongoose, I wonder if it was wandering in search of snakes.

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The female Sambar deers always look confused to me. They are undoubtedly huge when compared to the normal deers.

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Mother and the fawn.

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And a lot more of these deers.

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A group of peahens.

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A herd of 'Great Indian Elephants' taking a break at the lake amidst the forest.

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It was 9:00 a.m. by the time our forest safari got done and we then, started our drive back to Hyderabad taking breaks at regular intervals for food.

We have reached home by 11:00 p.m.

Over all, It wouldn't have been a lively trip without a great company!

I would like to thank @sagar for being so generous in offering me a ride and also my co-passengers @Kashyap @Sug @charan89 for putting up with me throughout the drive :P. Each and every member's actions & help will definitely have a profound effect on me for sure and I have got a lot to learn from everyone of you. Though we have parted ways in the end, our paths have aligned, memories are woven and crossed each other's minds. This is just the beginning and I am sure that I am in for one Hell'uva time with you all in more of such trips. Thanks to the admins for organising such a wonderful road trip and I am looking forward for more. May the 'Driving spirit' be with you all. Cheers!

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Lovely report with some amazing and brilliant pictures Omkar. Thanks a lot for sharing. It really took us quite some time to recover from the exhaustion & trauma and get back to our senses. I would like to thank each and everyone of you for making this a road trip to remember. Every bit of the drive starting from the highways into the forests and cruising on to the ghats and falling in love with nature has been really worth. More importantly, support from everyone of you, your enthusiasm and energy really did matter to us when a few things turned out aback at us. Thanks a lot for puling up your socks and keeping oneself so charged to explore more during the lows of this drive. Overall, it has been a commendable team work and we would like to thank each and everyone of you for being so active throughout and making this drive worth a memory in India-drive's sac. Cheers!

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@Omik, Amazing pictures and the report is very perfect.

What a meet it turned out to be.
Best way to spend a long weekend. A long drive along with road trip enthusiasts (India-Drive members).

 

We would like to thank all our members who were a part of this drive. 

Every member became more like an extended family in playing their parts, which also increased the fun quotient.

 

Ooty being very commercial, has landed us in facing few blocks.
It is amazing to see how our members kept up their spirits.


We feel very greatful to have you all as a part of the 'India-Drive' family.

Thank you.

 

Few clicks from my side.

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Neat,crisp and informative report. Brilliant images, and the pictures of the milky way galaxy stood out. Outstanding work omkar, here is to many more such trips to come!

Here are my additions to this travelogue
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Amaizing one guys. Pictures were breathing just the way they were in reality.
One heck of a ride it was. Cheers to all the drive buddies. A loud one for the organisers :D :D

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Amazing report @Omik.

 

Great captures @Omik , @Ranger & @Ravi . I could still feel those moments from these photos.

 

As @sagar mentioned it's the enthusiasm & energy of all the members which fueled this trip.

 

Kudos to Organizers for presenting us with such beautiful memories. Keep it up guys !

 

Happy Motoring & drive safe. :D

Edited by Asher
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Excellent write, even I had done a recent drive to Ooty from Hyderabad from June 12 to June 16 to avoid the crowd :)

On a side note can I ask who owns the polo TS07FN***
Can the owner pm pls :)
 

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On 7/12/2017 at 3:46 PM, suhas said:

Excellent write, even I had done a recent drive to Ooty from Hyderabad from June 12 to June 16 to avoid the crowd :)

On a side note can I ask who owns the polo TS07FN1223
Can the owner pm pls :)

sent from Mobile
 

Hi Suhas! That's my Polo there. Please check your inbox for my message.Thanks :D

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hi guys.. is this right time to visit Bandipur & Ooty..?  Thinking of a road trip this coming 30th, 31st & Jan 1st.
 

Ooty will be overcrowded during the new year you may want to avoid unless you have booking done already.

Try Kethi Valley should be relatively better n you would get Doddabetta peak views from there...


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On 28/12/2017 at 9:43 AM, sbhamidi said:


Ooty will be overcrowded during the new year you may want to avoid unless you have booking done already.
 

 

Spot on response @sbhamidi... Ooty and places around Ooty are definitely not worth a visit during any holiday seasons. I am eagerly waiting for your year end trip report :)

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Avoid Ooty during weekends/long weekends.
Place is completely spoiled by commercial tourists.

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    • By LoneRanger
      Precursor to the trip(Skip if you want to know Only about the trip) :
       
      All five of us went on to a trip nearly 10 years ago. And in all these 10 years , all of us together haven't met even once. We were working at various places - Hyderabad , Chennai , Pune , New Delhi & Bengaluru. As years passed by, 4 of us moved to Hyderabad due to various commitments. Only one was left out in Chennai. 
       
      At the end of Jan 2018 , Mr.Chennai , gave me a call ans started discussing about his boring and torturous boring IT life. He suddenly pops up the idea of a weekend trip from Hyderabad, only guys trip without wives. Over the next couple of days , we made whatapp group and discussed various options and finalised Belum Caves and Gandikota. We planned to go at the March 2018. As weeks passed by , each one had to drop off due to some or other reason. At the start of March , only Mr.Chennai and me were onboard ( My wife had to go to her parents place).
       
      But Mr.Chennai , was very adamant, he used to share the photographs of 10 year old trip on the whatsapp group. People became nostalgic , First to say yes was Mr.Microsoft , Then Mr.NRI and a day before the trip we have a confirmation from Mr.Daddy.
       
      Day 1 of the Trip : 
       
      Plan was , Mr.Chennai would reach my house by 6 and we would have an early breakfast and leave by 7 from my house. But Indian railways have another plans. Mr.Chennai arrived at my house at 7:45. After freshening up we started at 9:00 A.M to pick up Mr.Microsoft and Mr.Nri. And last pick up of the day was Mr.Daddy , from ORR Gachibowli.(We wanted to give more time for him to spend with his daughter). By the time we picked up Mr.Daddy , it was 10:00 AM and we started cruising on ORR , towards Kurnool. 
       
      My car has Fastag, and i zipped past the traffic on ORR and the Highway. At 12:00 P.M we stopped at Food Pyramid to have brunch. We had heavy lunch and then off to our first destination Belum Caves. 
       
      The road till Kurnool was NH and was good , After Kurnool we has to take Rayalaseema Expressway(Toll Road) , this was beyond good. It is better than national highway.

      (Rayalaseema Expressway - Road work going on the Left lane)
       
      By 3:00 P.M we were at Owk reservoir, MR.Chennai was mesmerized by scenic beauty and wanted to stop for few photographs. And indeed the place was super scenic. Its just that it was mid afternoon in Rayalaseema. The cool breeze flowing from the reservoir was a bit of relief from the hot Sun.

      (From L-R : Mr.Chennai, Mr.Daddy, Mr.NRI & Mr. Microsoft, Im Mr.Driver & designated photographer for the trip)

      (Panoramic view of the Owk Reservoir)
       
      The owk reservoir has APTDC center , with restaurant , and has boating and other activities. But we wanted to head to Belum Caves before they close it down. We next stopped directly at Belum Caves. The caves close at 5:30 P.M , and you have to exit the caves before that. We Reached Belum caves at 4:00 P.M. There is an entry fee and parking fee. We were charged somewhere around R.s 285/- for the 5 of us. 
       
      This is the first time im entering a cave system , and i was amazed. The caves were neatly maintained, and properly ventilated with the help of electric fans. They were well lit too. I'll tel the pictures do the talking from here. And if you are planning a trip to Belum caves , be ready to carry a huge water bottle , as it is humid as hell, and also wear stretchable clothes , You have to bend and crawl through some spaces. 

      (Map of the caves )

      (Entrance to the caves)
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      (This is where the Plaque is posted. After this its all dark)

      (Notice the pipe behind, circulating fresh air)

      (L-R - Mr.Daddy & Mr.Driver-Me, you must be wondering why i was wearing goggles in a pitch dark cave, i have sight , those are powered , and i forgot my normal glasses, and yes i put this picture only to point that out  )


       
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      After coming out of Belum caves , we went to the Budha statue near by to click some sunset pics.

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      (Budha Statue at Belum Caves)

      (Last Pic of the sun set into the clouds)
       
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      Next day we planned to visit Gandikota , and wanted to stay as close as possible. We couldn't get a reservation from APTDC Gandikota. And place nearest to Gandikota was Jammalamadugu. But we could find any hotels online to book. However during the trip we found that there are a lot of lodges and small hotels available at jammalamadugu. You can directly go and take a room for rent , without pre-booking. We could only reserve a room at Prodattur. Our reservation was at Sri Devi palace. Imagine the shock of our life when we found out that Sri Devi Palace is actually Sri Devi Palace Function Hall , and there was a wedding happening when we went there.


      (Surely made our trip memorable  )

      (Full scale wedding with Guests outside)
      Surprised and Shocked we called the contact provided on booking.com. The owner was friendly , apologized and said he would rent out the rooms on normal days, when there is no wedding and arranged us a place(lodge) within in Proddatur. There is nothing special about the lodge , the washrooms have leaky faucets. But since all of us are guys , and we wanted to enjoy the trip , we were ok with good beds and AC , for having a good night's sleep, Which it had. But if you are going with family , there are many new lodges with similar price range. You can go , check the rooms and then make a reservation. Same is the case in Jammalamadugu. You will find most of the lodges in Bus-stand road in proddatur. 
      After checking in , and unloading our luggage in our respective rooms, we went out to have dinner at the Andhra Spice Restaurant. It was good for family , but there is no parking available, the security made some adjustments and arranged some space at the entrance. We has a sumptuous dinner, had the restaurant special - "Chicken Navya" , did some shopping for toiletries and went back to hotel to rest for the day.

      (Chicken Navya - Boneless Chicken curry , made in butter with roasted cashew's and stuffed in an omelette and sprinkled with grated cheese , roasted cashews & coriander)
       
      Day 2 - Gandikota , Orvakal Rock Garden , Alampur.
       
      Next day woke up at 5:00 A.M got ready and woke up everybody else. Everyone was ready within an hour. Advantage of not having women in the trip. Our idea is to reach Gandikota before sunrise. If you are planning a trip to Gandikota , plan to reach gandikota before sunrise. Reached Gandikota at 7:00 A.M , it was already sunrise , but God it was beautiful. The canyon, the rocks they were in explicable. I would have stayed there for eternity , enjoying the beauty. 

      (First shot of the Canyon , when we reached there by 7:20 A.M)


      (Sunrise reflection on Penna River)
      (Mandatory Group Pic)

      (Mr.Microsoft, Mr.Daddy & Mr.NRI were happy looking at the scenery and dint want to explore any more)

      (Mr.Chennai on the other hand doesn't want to leave any nook or corner. 

       
      We stayed for more than an hour and we are way away from shade. It was getting Sunny and hot , hence we decided to explore the Gandikota fort. There is nothing left at the place. Only places remaining are Ranganatha Aalayam , Gandikoda Granary , and kathula Koneru. The places in pristine condition are Juma Masjid. Heard from locals that it has been redone in recent times by archaeology department, and they will soon improve the other remaining places too. 

      (Juma Masjid)

      (Inside the Masjid)
       
      Came out of fort , there are multiple roadside eateries , all of us are hungry and just stormed into one of the eatery where we all will fit. The eatery is an extension to the home and is managed by father - daughter duo. We had dosas for breakfast , and had coffee right after. The eatery owner told us that there are tents available for rent , and other adventure actives are available to do during evening time. (Campfire, Canoeing, Boating etc , also sleeping bags are also available for rent). 
       
      After breakfast i observed a road split off and going in the direction of the near by mountain and windmills, looked more like a service road. I inquired if tourists can drive up there , and to my surprise , they said yes. Drove to the top of the hill , and view of Gandikota fort from there is pretty awesome. we decided to take some pics before leaving.

      (The view of the fort is towards the left of the pic , with penna reservoir in the background, not quite visible)
       
      We left the place at 9:30 at started towards our next destination Orvakal Rock Garden. The Rock garden is opposite to the Kurnool Airport Gate , we reached the place by 12:30. 
      Google maps took us through a route with is not great  till we reached the Rayalaseema express way, but it was very scenic. Too bad we didnt take any pictures while driving , and just enjoyed the views. 
       
      It was 12:30 , by the time we reached Orvakal Rock Garden. There was a APTDC resort. And entry Fee to enter the rock garden. As it was 12:30 we decided to have lunch before heading into the resort, but each one of us went and bought an ice cream or Kulfi , ( Feels like child , when wife or parents are not around). Went ahead to Orvakal Rock Garden. 
      It was not big, but the rocks have been sculptured by air flow over thousands or millions of years. But since it was 12:30 in the after noon , it felt very big. 

      Entrance to the Rock Garden , stairs are neatly cut , and anyone can reach it without any difficulty

      Once you climb up the stairs , you will be greeted with this statue , and then similar statues of multiple animals






      It was so hot that we settled under the iota of shade available in the entire rock garden. 
       
      Notice Mr.Chennai missing from the picture , he again went to explore every nook and corner of the Rock Garden. We waited till he came back and started off to our next destination Alampur. 
       
      Alampur is one of the 18 shakthipeetas , it is the place where Krishna meets Tungabhadra , and is the place for deity Jogulamba. It is said that when Sati immolated herself , Lord Shiva carried her body across the universe. Vishnu not able to see Shiva's sorrow , cut the body of Sati with his Sudarshana Chakra. Those body parts fell back on earth. And it is said that alampur is where Sati's Upper Jaw/teeth fell. 
       
      The road to Alampur was well paved , and Telangana tourism has provided drinking water and other amenities to pilgrims. Mr.Daddy who was here some years back was surprised to see the roads and amenities provided. 



       
      The temple has Medieval architecture , and even if you are not a religious person , but interested in history , you should visit this place. There is a Museum for History buffs. 
       
      We left Alampur at 3:00 P.M and reached Food Pyramid at 4:30 P.M , had some tea , snacks , and started back to Hyderabad. 
       
      We reached Hyderabad at 7:30 P.M , went to DLF to have chai. And after chai , everyone went their own separate ways . May be all 5 us will together be on a trip in 2019 next. 
       
      Signing Off 
      Mr.Driver
       
      P.S : This is my first post , please provide feedback , on Pics , mistakes , Spelling , writing style , any thing which you felt is out of place.
       
       


    • By Raj1
      Hello guys...
      I'm planning for a Road trip from Hyderabad to Goa.... And back to Hyderabad...
       
      I'm new at this... So would love to hear out suggestions about the route to be taken, places to stay along the way and places to visit!
      Along with approximate time duration for all of the trip!
       
      Thanks in advance
    • By Ranger
      A quick drive to Hidden Castle.
      Place is located around 100 kilometers from Hyderabad.
       
      Road condition:
      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.

    • By KSK
      Intro Rant:

      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.
       
      The Route:

      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.
       
      The Journey:

      Below was the order of places we wanted to visit:
       
      Bhadrakali Temple Warangal Fort Thousand-Pillar Temple Ramappa Temple Laknavaram Lake Pakhal Lake  
      Trip Details:
       
      Total distance covered:  539 KM
      Total duration of the trip:  17 hours
       
      Road Conditions:
       
      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.  
      Food Options:
       
      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.  
       
      Parking Facility:
       
      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.  

       

       

  • Gandikota meetup on January 26 and 27th

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