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Exploring Yanam Part 1
Origin: Ramachandrapuram, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh.
Destination: Yanam, Puducherry.
Route Taken: Ramachandrapuram - Tallapolam - Draksharamam - Kuyyeru - Yanam
Time Taken: 1hr
Car: Honda City VX i-VTEC
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.
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
Dussehra vacations are on the way and I started planning from today itself for my next wildlife trip.
Woke up in the morning to see a mail about the vacations 😁
for me its going to be a long holiday from 13th October to 21st October.
What could be more happier on a Monday morning than opening a mail about the long holidays... 😍
So coming to the point,
I request people over here to give some information about the forests reserves in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, AP mostly as I will be spending most of my time in Vijayawada and Ramachandrapuram (EG Dist).
Been to Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve this year visited Nallamalla forests the previous year, and Maredumilli forests before Nallamalla (couldn't spend much time though). this time also I'm planning to visit some place and want to spend some time, at least a day or two in the forest.
everyone please give the list of places which will also be useful for wildlife enthusiasts like me as there are very less posts on wildlife here.
A day to be remembered forever, 2016 is the year that I have joined in this beautiful group since then Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve was always on my bucket list. many attempts plan since then and nearly after two years, I got the chance to go. I don't want to stress more on the routes and other details as there are enough threads regarding the same. rather I would like to share my favourite photos that I have shot in my three days stay and safari and Pangdi and Madnapur gate. never the less I will share with you people some necessary information like stay, safari details, gates, and some knowledge of wildlife that I have gained.
Started at 6:00 in the morning from Kompally and reached by 3:00 in the afternoon. remember that no one can help you with the routes. it's always better to contact someone at the resort and ask them to guide you in person. except Jio, no other sim card is going to work. I stayed at Mahua Tola Resorts, I can say that it is the best in the place. a bit on the higher side, yet friendly staff, manager and good food. we were the only family the three days and never we felt insecure. Manager Shukla is a very nice person, he will come with us to the Safari and make it a very memorable and enjoyable one.
Coming to the safari, it's always good to ask the resort people to book. because at the gate I have seen few facing some problems. if it's the resort people, its hassle free. this is personal opinion though.
As people see, it's not so easy to spot a tiger. a tiger spotting depends on our luck. a tiger mainly sits just beside or few meters away from us inside the forest, yet not visible most of the time. it's just because of the bamboo trees. Tadoba is full of bamboo trees and that makes it very difficult to spot one even if it near us. you will be tempted by the pugmarks, but not always you'll see a tiger. I was really lucky to spot Tigress Junabai with her cubs on my last day safari with the resort manager Shukla at Madhapur gate. Ultimate sightings I can say. It is my father who spotted her while she was resting under a tree shade few meters away from us covered with bamboo trees.
I'm not a pro, yet telling my experience with the camera focusing modes and how I got a perfect focus mode settings by experimenting and with the knowledge I have on focus modes which I have learnt studying few books, articles and discussing it in our WhatsApp group.
The device, Sony Alpha A6000 with 55-210mm zoom lens. manual mode, shutter speed around 1/500 and above, ISO range 4000 (thanks to my cameras high ISO range ie, 25600), Aperture F:6.3
Focus Mode: Auto, Focus Area: Wide, Metering Mode: Multi
This was the mode that I have shot at first only to get the defocused face of a tiger. Thought "this is over, I'm not going to get any more beautiful photos". thought of the focusing modes and settings I have learnt before and adjusted it again to try my luck.
Focus Mode: Auto, Focus Area: Centre, Metering Mode: Spot
And then I got some amazing pictures.
Used Auto Focus Continues while the subject was moving and I can say that this is the camera for super fast autofocus. never missed a detail while shooting with this in AF-C mode.
You can check out the langur monkey and male spotted deer jumping. shot in AF-C mode with shutter sped around 1/1000 or above. couldn't get a zoomed one because of the lens.
Here are the pictures.
PS: I have written Neelghai female. but that's a male Sambar deer.
I guess 2017 has been one of the most significant years for me! I vowed to travel every month and look for places I have never been before and ended up driving, flying more than once to a place unexplored earlier. It was very fascinating for me to see Bali for past few months and finally in August after been refused by all my friends to fly this year, I booked a seat for myself and fly all the way to Indonesia in Diwali. When there is no one, plan one for yourself!
The trip was small and sweet but glamorous enough for creating awesome memories and experiences to share with everyone. I am ready to fly again…. Not because I am crazy but because I found the province worth visiting again!
My flight was from Hyderabad to Kuala Lumpur – 4 Hours with a layover of 2 hours at LCC Airport and three hours flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bali, Indonesia. The much controversy of whether we need transit visa at Malaysia…was finally resolved. If your connecting airline is leaving from the same airport, you just need to go through security twice and no visa is required. Incase your airports are different in Malaysia… you better have transit visa applied. Otherwise you need to pay a good amount of money for airport transfer and Transit Visa in Malaysia. My flight from LCC KLAI2 was decent enough. The airport has plenty of stores to scan and do window shopping, taste Malaysian cuisines and use free net, Wi-Fi and make calls, chat up with people etc. If you flight is in the morning between Malaysia and Bali… I bet you will love the blue and green ocean with island floating like lotus leaves and petals from the sky high above on the ocean below.
Immigration is the easiest part of travelling to Bali. All you need return ticket to the resident country, place you will stay in Bali and that’s it! No visa… required. You get stamped and you are in Bali. The airport is cute and nice! The immigration queue is big but it moves like wind…. Quick and fast. The Green channel has snipper dog going through your bag till you get it scanned and exit the airport. We had cab booked for the day. The transfer to airport was very easy. The airport is at Denpasar. From Denpasar we headed to Kuta. It took just 25 minutes for us!
Pictures on our way to Grand Inna
Bali believes in rich Hindu Culture.
Kuta is the place to be!
The place is known for parties, shopping, sea beach, night life, food and cafes. My residence was at Grand Inna Kuta. I recommend everyone, try this hotel out. On the left you have the biggest shopping mall facing the sea and on the right and back, lanes with café, pubs and restaurants. The local stores increase the charm of the place. Happy hours and free Wi Fi everywhere make the place easy to walk and learn more about the location. The hotel has its own happening private beach! Grab a seat next to the beach restaurant and enjoy the breeze, jump in one of the pools to kill the heat or swim and drink or just walk to the beach, sit and sip a drink under palm trees. Plenty of footfalls from Australia, France and Germany! It goes without saying, everyone walk and sit in the beach around sun rise and sunset with families and special ones to enjoy the breeze and the scenic beauty.
The color of the sea is deep blue and super clean! The waves are huge and froth are so white on the white sand… you will love to dip your legs in the sand at night and wash the feet in the water. The food at the Hotel was also quite good. We have tried quite a few cafes and restaurants locally. It’s worth eating and drinking at happy hours. The hotel also serve free complimentary breakfast which is a good spread next to the pool.
The room at the hotel was sea facing as well. There are two wings with four levels. One wing connects you to the garden and a big pool with Indonesian feelings. The other wing connects you to the garden beach and pool with modern look and feel. Both have its own charm. All you need is to select a room of your choice and preference. The attitude of every attendant at the hotel makes you feel humbled. The smile and the way they communicate, address and delight you every other way is quite impressive.
For phone connection, you can take a sim card which has a lot of options. I used 3G connectivity for outside Wi-Fi zone and WhatsApp. The network was pretty strong across all over Bali expect for few remote places. Just after the lunch, we headed towards a city trip by a cab. You can go for Blue bird taxi radio cab or you can book a cab on few hour basis. My target was to drive over Mandara Toll Bridge. It is five years old now. It connects you to all the island and area of Bali. For four wheelers, the cost of one side is 12,000 IDR and connects you to three important destinations – Jimbaran, Nusa Dua and Sanur.
The first night was at Jimbaran.
It is a place filled with beach restaurants. The night with start filled sky, beautiful sea and songs around, you feel good enough to sit and leisurely have your dinner looking at the sea. The beach is clean and also have waves high enough! The sunset is beautiful. Sea food is super cheap and very tasty! Local people come and sing awesome songs for you at your table. You can turn back and see the local dance performance as well. After dinner, we returned back to the hotel. In the mist of light and darkness, it was very beautiful and relaxing to sit in the beach and hear the waves till you feel you are ready to sleep.
The next day sunrise was so beautiful from the room, it automatically recharge your legs to step out of your cozy bed and walk to the beach! After the heavy breakfast, we headed for a walk around the shore! It’s pristine and beautiful! The place has so much to explore and so much to view the sea from different spots and restaurants and clean rock beds. Around 11 AM, we had our cab picked up to Banur for water sports! Nusa Dua and Jimbaran are two places known for water sports. The island do have many other places too but we selected Nusa Dua side. Mind you, you will have many agents conducting different water sports. We did snorkeling for one hour- it was an awesome experience, sea walk, Turtle Island to see the ways government is protecting the sea life and other creatures. Turtle Island has a small sanctuary. You can see turtles ages between few months to 400 years. They also have owl, parrots, macaw, and snakes. The sail was in glass bottom boat! The exploration was beautiful.
After water sports, we returned back to our Kuta beach and spend watching the sunset.
The night was to explore more of Kuta and visit number one pub –Sky garden. It ranks 88th in the world ranking and worth going if you are planning for great music, fireworks, laser show and world DJs... The crowd is quite good and decent! Try your lucky early for unlimited drink and buffet which can save your money in eating and drinking. 3000 people at one place with great screen and music, has its own charm. The street remains crowded till early morning! So there is no fear of walking back to the hotel or looking for a cab to another location.
Today was the day for us to check out of Kuta and move to Nusa Dua. Unlike Kuta, Nusa Dua has serene beach with all boutique hotels and resorts and spa. This place is primarily for people looking for water sports, tranquility, and peace. The beach has rich corals and water life. Every resort has its own shore and water sports arranged. One our way to Nusa Dua... we did visit one of the high end boutique resort for coffee and spa.
The walking area is high above the edge of the sea. The scenic beauty is breathe taking. The spa, infinity pool and Jacuzzi are all under the open sky facing the breath taking sea and hills. The glass boundary makes you feel to just close your eyes and enjoy relaxing for hours. The tranquility of the place is so so high, I bet you won’t feel like stepping out immediately.
Our Hotel was great enough to provide us free complimentary snacks and high tea every day during our stay. We also had few other complimentary services like spa and breakfast. At late afternoon, we decided to visit Uluwatu! Its 21 kms from Nusa Dua. Uluwatu has coffee plantation on both sides, amazing view from the Uluwatu temple on the sea. The place is big and have many visitors from across the globe to enjoy the sunset and local dance inside the temple next to the sea after the sunset. The ocean beauty is unparalleled coupled with the sunset. I have never seen, so many people at one place and still there is silence, peace, serenity across the place.
The local dance is very enriching. They play the story of Ramayana in two episodes. The first episodes bring the essence of Indonesian culture. The second episode is just hilarious! The performers, the artists go all across the open studio and pull up audience in different funny activities and performance. The beauty is when they address different countries and audience cheers up together for each country.
The day was over and it was our turn to visit coffee plantation. I have never been to a coffee plantation before. Though it was dark, it was an experience to walk down the alley in the plantation and taste over 15 varieties of coffee free of cost! The taste of every coffee is so unique and nice, if I had all the store and money, I would have buy all of them. It was not a bad expense. I bought few varieties of coffee worth tasting and drinking everyday.
One of the observations worth mentioning – Balinese follow traffic rules and queue. Just before the monsoon, Government has been very proactive in building up the roads and repair the pending work. Traffic is so smooth even in small lanes on hill region, everyone is patient, follow lanes and queue. I didn’t hear honking or experience potholes! We headed towards Jimbaran for some shopping and it was fantastic to experience the local handmade or manufactured items.
Today was the day to visit –Nusa Lembongan .One of the most popular islands of Bali. Incase you want to visit coral reef and jump from the edge on natural bathtubs in the sea, you can go to Nusa Penida as well. Nusa Lembongan swift boats leave by 9.30 AM. Every day. You need to buy tickets or book before through an agent for your trip. You will be allocated with a time line to return and check out from the island. The arrangements are awesome for passengers. You hold two tickets with you. Upon your check in, you will be given a band to wear all day.
The band colors are different for different people or group. People going for water sports like scuba diving will have band color different from people going on exploring the land of Nusa Lembongan. They collect your footwear before you board the boat. Over the blue sea and high waves as go towards the coral island, your eyes do have the cucumber effect by the beauty! Nusa Lembongan has a lot of places to explore. Yellow bridge, devil’s tears, dream beach, under house, panoramic view, mango groove boating, kayaking. The day is so engaging and super-fast, you won’t realize its 4 PM and you would love to hold back yourself on the island. The beauty of the coral, sea, waves, oceanic color is so so like a dream …. It brings back a lot of peace and happiness in you.
The panoramic view is from the top of the mountain which looks like Spain! The blue green Coral Sea – stretched across the white sand with red tiled casa and trees around
The Devil tears spot have massive water blows and waves that can sweep people out in seconds. However nothing stop mankind to sit on the rock beds and shoot the water blow and giant waves and roar of waves every second. It’s like a tub on a swing moving right to left over a pendulum.
You can befriend quite a few travelers or fellow passengers on this trip either during complimentary breakfast or over lunch or transfer to island. It’s like everyone is in consensus with - how beautiful Bali is –whether you are an Australian, French, German, Malaysian or another Indian.
Indonesian people are very friendly and open. They would often greet you on roads and in hotels and shopping outlets. They would often try to impress you with singing a Hindi song or speaking some festivals of India. It’s very common for men to come and flirt with a girl in a very healthy way. Please don’t take offence. They have no bad intention. It’s just a way to appreciate you are beautiful, my lady. Always smile back to someone talking to you or asking you a simple question. Balinese are very close to their roots and religion. They offer food to souls and spirits every day. They often can ask you –Are you Hindu? Don’t get offended. You can simply smile and say yes or just in a friendly way say no. They don’t take the conversation any further even if you say “Yes”.
I did enjoy the Balinese cuisines. Nusa Goreng rice or noodles is now one of my favorites. They also serve you chicken with peanut butter sauce. Try them out.
The best season for visiting Bali is June to October. The season after October is very humid and have heavy rainfalls. After April, the location takes time to bring back the beauty till end of May. August and September are two pick seasons with beautiful weather and season around.
Incase you love mountains, you can visit Ubud! It is not only beautiful, its breath taking. The slow life, followed with scenibeauty of rice
terrace farming and facing of the hotels and villas to waterfalls and sea can take your breath away. If you want to experience volcanic activity, you can go to Batur. They come and pick you up at 1 in the morning and you can walk on the slope till 4.30 in the morning for the beautiful sunrise by 6 AM. You can see the fumes and feel the heat over the hill which brings a kind of a different experience of seeing the volcanic readiness in the hill.
Gandikota meetup on January 26 and 27th