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I am planning to drive from Mumbai to Srisailam with family. I would be the only driver and so will need night breaks in between. I am confused about the route to take post Solapur. Google map shows 2 routes one via Gulbarga and other via Zaheerabad. Which one is better and a 4 track road with dividers? One friend suggested instead it drive till hubali then to Bellary and then reach Srisailam as the road is good and the total distance might increase only by 150 kms. Please guide. Thanks
Last weekend me and Saran decided to explore a new place called Gottamgutta.
We started searching online for routes and other information.
Even after spending an hour, I couldn't find anything related to routes and places to visit.
We decided to start early in the morning and explore this place.
Distance : Hyderabad to Gottamgutta : 120 kilometers
There are two routes to reach this place. One is a regular route through the village called Chandrampalli (dam).
Other route is through few small villages and a forest.
We obviously took the forest route.
Hyderabad > Sangareddy > Zaheerabad > Govindapur > Mogudampalli > Chincholi wild life scantuary > Gottam Gutta
Red marked path is not present in Google maps.
Places to visit
1. Chincholi Wild life scantuary
2. Gottamgutta (trek)
3. Chandrampalli dam
Right from childhood, I always had this inner desire to stay alone for a certain period of time, do my chores, live my life all by myself, without my mother helping me nor my dad telling me what to do. I wanted to lead an independent life. This was because I never left home for any part of my life. So I took up this oath for myself that I would travel solo for at least 1 week of the 52 weeks in a year.
This year,2017, was no different. It was 4 day trip within the Telugu states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Hyderabad- Srisailam-Nalla malla forest- Nalla malla jungle camps- Gandikota- Hyderabad
The numbers :
Car : Hyundai elite i20
Mileage : 16.5kmpl (tank full to tank full)
Total trip : 935kms
It was not a pre- planned trip. Just as when things at home were at peace, a little effort to persuade mom paid off, a quick search in the India-drive paved the way for this trip.
A Teaser !
Drive day is the only day I would wake up so early in the morning (read 4 am) without even alarm setting off.
Started at 5 am, and the plan was to reach Srisailam Dam before crowd sets in and explore the route from Srisailam temple to Nalla Malla Jungle resorts
Gachibowli ORR - Dindi Reservoir- Srisailam
Smooth roads and early morning fog made the drive refreshing!
Reached Dam by 8:30am, crowd was sparse
Clicking ample pictures, chugged along at a leisurely pace
Moving along reached the top of Srisailam. I wanted to savour the moment, found a calm place over looking the dam. Spent a moment in tranquility and drove on.
I am a self proclaimed atheist, so skipped visiting the temple and drove down the hill towards Dornala.
With smooth tarmac and winding Ghats, the roads up until Dornala Junction were smooth as silk
The drive got rugged and bumpy after taking a right at Dormala Junction, leading towards Bairutly on the Vijayawada- atmakur Highway.The road passes through thick and dense Nalla Malla Forest.It is a single lane, potholed road with heavy truck traffic, often veering off the road to allow truck to pass by.
As irritating as it can get, and as bumpy as it could be, the silence in the forest and green cover has more than made up for the effort put in driving through this route.
Stopped by a thick canopy of heavily grown bamboo trees/plants on either side of the road, turned off the engine, windows rolled down and a breath of fresh air brushes your hair.
Blisss!! Savour the moment!The canopy was so dense, even sunlight couldn’t peek through, hence no photographs!
Reached Nalla Malla Jungle Camps by 2:30pm. The manager was kind enough to arrange for some home made meals for my lunch.
The resort had 4 double occupancy cottages and 3 tent like looking rooms and one dormitory.
This was my allocated cottage!
The rest of the day was spent in leisure, talking to the staff about the safari the next day and their lively hood in such dense forest.
It was quite a while since I had such peaceful sleep. Owing to such calm, non-polluted area and beautifully maintained rooms sound sleep was inevitable.
Since it was holiday and festival of Diwali, the resort had no guests. I was the only moron I guess who wanted to elude the city pollution.
So I had the whole day to myself and I was up and ready by 6am for the safari.
A quick breakfast and off we went
The safari vehicle
The crew consisted of a driver (working as a driver for forest officers for the past 6 years) and local ‘gudem’ guy, Saidulu, who entered the safari vehicle with an axe. Safety I would think!
It was a 8km circuit through the jungle I was told and would take about 2 hours for the safari
When I asked the driver, what would be the odds of finding the Big Cat, he replied recklessly “very very very slim”
Just then, he slammed the brakes of the shoddy safari vehicle and spoke to Saidulu
He got down with the axe and did this ..
Meanwhile,continuing my chat with the driver and looking around to spot the tiger, he asked me to get down the vehicle and walk with him. Apparently he found something odd at a distance.
“Its a female” the driver reckoned!
How? I spurted out!
Looking at the edge of those pug marks, the rounded edges denote female. Male would have claws which would have dug deep into the mud, he explained!
We decided to leave the vehicle behind and start walking.
In excitement left my Camera in the vehicle (Facepalm Moment!)
As we walked along, we found more pug marks and we were sure to find a few a small distance ahead.
We walked for almost an hour, in search of the Wild cat but to no avail.
We came across one of the bunkers/ rest areas for men who patrol the forests. There is one such bunker for every 40sqkm and they have 8 men guarding the area round the clock from poachers!
Sadly though there have been reported cases of deaths caused by Tiger attacks on these men.
This is the path taken by people who visit the Holy shrine of Srisailam during Maha Shiva ratri.This path transverses through the thick jungle, amassing a distance of 80kms.
Enroute they have 3 pitstops, each at a temple which provides free food.They would cover the distance in about 11hrs flat.
We were already Walking along the thick forests for almost 3hrs now and I was almost drained.
Spotted a few deers here and there
We sat down at a small pond under the shade of a tree.
I asked Saidulu more about his life and what do they do to survive.
He very simple replied “ government free rice isthadi, avi udakapedithe ganji osthadi, ullipaya & mirapakaya ikkada pandistham, aviti tho tinestham.dabbulu sampadinchali ani em undadu saaru ikkada”
(Translation: Govt gives free supplies of rice, we cook and extract porridge. We grow onions and chilli, we eat rice along with it. We don’t think about earning money)
He was very vivid in whatever he told us, what problem they often encounter, how his childhood was.
After a while he was kind enough to invite me to his ‘Gudem’
It was an hour walk through the forest again. My eyes never stopped trying to spot a tiger though.
There were about 35 people living in the ‘gudem’. They seemed content with what all they had, the kids were smiling and the ladies had their own avagatxion of either raising kids or singing their daily chores away.
Lunch, was their staple food. A bowl of rice porridge, onion and chilli as accompaniment!
(Left my camera in the vehicle & phone battery drained out. Hence no pictures)- Sorryyy
After spending time with the local ppl , we started our long walk back to the resort. While we were walking back i was fortunate enough to spot a few cubs playing at a distance.
No means to capture, it was just see and enjoy.
After a long day, dozed off early as I had made plans to visit Gandikota the next day.
Plan was to reach Gandikota as soon as possible and relax during sunset time at the view point.
After breakfast, spoke to the manager there and bit adieu to the staff.
Bairutly- Atmakur-Jammalamadugu- Gandikota
It was a 3.5hrs drive with roads varying from single late to beautiful 4 lanes.
Reached Gandikota by 2pm.
Explored the surrounding area of Kottalapalli, famour for windmills
The service road leading to the Windmills
It was too hot and humid, and I drove back to the resort to rest till evening.
Made it to the view point by sunset time, and it was heavily crowded.
Had an early dinner and dozed off. The beds and rooms were ill maintained at Haritha resort. I could barely sleep.
Woke up early, had little breakfast at the resort and started my drive back to Hyderabad by 8 am
All the rounds were either 2lane or 4 lanes opening upto beautiful lush green fields on either side of the roads.
Stopped by Owk Resevoir, which was full owing to bountyful rains they received this year
Had lunch at food pyramid at Kothakota.
Reached hyderabad by 1:30pm
The car was battered to the maximum extent with dust and mud and it was cleaning time in the evening.
It got all the pampering it deserved
All in readiness for the next drive!!!
Until then, Drive safe!!!
P.S : After I forgot to carry my camera during the safari, I have decided to make this " All Mobile camera pictures only" trip. Sorry for the shady images if any
Hello India-Drive members,
This is a travelogue of my recent trip to Nagarjuna Sagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve and my third travelogue in this Forum. Wanted to make it the best out of three so took some time.
Before starting the story, i would like to thank my dear friends from the WhatsApp group who made this trip a memorable one with their tips and advice.
Drive Time: 8HRS including 1 breakfast break for a hour.
Vehicle: Honda City VX Manual
Speed: Cruised at 100KMPH and 140KMPH
Route Taken: HYDERABAD-KURNOOL-NANDYALA-ATMAKUR-BAIRLOOTY
DAY 1. 22 SEP 2017
Started at Kompally at 6:00 AM and reached M food court Mahbobnagar at 7:30 AM.
The road is a good 4 lane road but going above 100KMPH is a tough thing after entering AP border. There are many white lines near the intersection which irritates at high speed.
Had breakfast at M food court and started at 8:30 AM.
About M food court,
A restaurant with bad food and bad service. Not at all VFM.
There is another restaurant called hill park before M food court but missed it due to the speed i was in.
Started at 8:30 AM. after having breakfast and a small quarrel with the hotel staff there and reached Kurnool around 10:00 - 10:30AM.
Got confused after reaching Kurnool and asked in the group. Thanks to @DheerajReddy @jay_chitti for suggesting me a route.
Took RAYALASEEMA express way to reach Nandyala. After entering Kurnool we will get a signal from which we should go straight and then left to enter RAYALASEEMA express way. Going left from the starting signal will directly take us to Atmakur which is the best and quick route.
Reached Nandyala at around 11:30 and did a mistake by switching on Google maps. It took me through streets where even a cycle guy thinks twice to enter. The street is Sunkallamma street adjacent to market road. got stuck there for one hour. That time i was sure that some one would come and trash me and my car for entering that narrow street with such a long vehicle... as imagined people came near me but what happened is a very different thing... people there are very good and kind, they helped me cross the street with absolutely zero damage to my car. One local there even walked for almost a kilometer just to ensure that the road is clear so that my car could enter. even a police there did the same thing. Was pleased by the way they treated their guest. all these things were because of the TS number plate my car has. After all those things, crossed Nandyala around 12:30PM and reached Bairlooty at 1:30PM.
Had lunch there and started off to safari at 3:00PM, half and an hour earlier as there were no one that day.
The safari is very good, takes us through dense forest. A person with an axe accompanies us for safety. Unfortunately could not spot any wild animals as its difficult during this time, happened to spot a Sambar female in this first day and captured it in my camera.
The very adventures thing that has happened was a Gypsy break down. The Gypsy after going deep inside the forest broke down and we had wait for an hour for next Gypsy in the calm, peaceful, serene forest enjoying the chirping sounds of the birds, waiting for some wild animal to come so that i can capture. The driver, and few guys accompanying us were very attentive as they knew that there is always danger hidden behind a beauty. The place that we stopped was a thick forest where tigers, bears, cheetas come for evening snacks. The place is near a Y junction where there is an old British building and an old temple which is very very risky.
Completed the safari by 6:00PM entered the room, had some tasty pakodas with hot tea enjoying the nature and then had dinner at 9:30 in the room itself as we were tired and slipped onto the bed.
DAY2. 23 SEP 2017.
Woke up at 7:30 AM from the comfy beds, got freshed up, had breakfast, bought some goodies from the local shop in the resort and went on for a second safari at 10:15 AM
Forgot to tell you, there is an old Shiva temple inside the forest which is considered as a very risky place to go. The second day morning my father woke up early took the Gypsy and went inside the forest and temple. He spotted few wild bores, wild dogs, and wild pig on the way to temple.
Many wild animals including Bears and Wild dogs, which are considered as the most dangerous animals than tiger come to that place early in the morning and in the evening. One should be prepared for the worst thing before going to the temple. Many people asked me the reason forgoing there, instead of going to some other place, there is no answer for those type of questions.. after all its a wildlife enthusiast and travelers thing.
Coming to the second day safari, I was fortunate enough to spot few Neelghais this time. Spotted a group of Neelghais in the bushes and captured it in my camera.
After going deep inside the forest for few kilometers there was a ditch where our Gypsy wheels got stuck and back seat occupants had to get down. The drivers are well experienced and got the Gypsy out of the ditch after few minutes of off-roading. This is my first off-roading, that too deep inside a forest.. after going for few kilometers, the driver stopped the vehicle at a safe zone and then i took few pictures. Completed the safari at around 12:30 and then bought an archery ticket for 100 rs for 10 arrows, the archery is a thing filled with great fun and joy. Learnt archery from the local tribal workers there and managed to shoot the red wall on the target board. A great achievement for me
Finished the fun filled archery paid extra amount ie, 200 for 20 arrows, had lunch at 1:30 PM and drove to YSR Smruthi Vanam at 2:15 PM. Reached the place in less than 45 mins, a very good road where one can easily maintain 60KMPH entire 30KM stretch.
About YSR Smruthi Vanam,
A place which is 30 kilometers away from Bairlooty( Nallamalla Jungle Camps) at Atmakur. A place build in memory of undivided Andhra Pradesh ex Chief Minister Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy. His plane was crashed 15 kilometers from YSR Smruthi Vanam at Pavuralagutta which is clearly visible from a view point tower constructed at that place. Its a picnic spot for many locals, a good place for children to play around and have fun, for elders its not so interesting. Visited that place paid my respects to the great person, my father went on to the view point and clicked some pictures, we read few facts about him engraved on a marble stone and left the place at 2:45 PM.
Reached Bairlooty at 3:15 PM took rest for an hour, had snacks, Mirchi Bajji, Tea, and then again paid 100rs for archery at 5:30 PM. could not play much because of the low light and returned early to the guest house. There the light is very low, looks like 6:30PM but will still be 5:30PM
Had some quality talk with the supervisor Mr. Rajendra Prasad. He is a very passionate person, passionate about wildlife, a nature lover, photographer, and flutist.
His passion towards these things are obvious from the way he talk, he is a Bpharm degree holder, had a lab of his own, stopped it and came to bairlooty from Kadapa just to serve the nature. His job at Bairlooty is amazing, outstanding, and he is still a contract employee. His wildlife photo collection is excellent. He has a Nikon D5 with which he captures the beautiful wildlife. He has got a very good knowledge over wild animals, plants, forests. He caught a very dangerous spider and sealed it in a box. Took the picture but its not clear.
At 8:30PM i tried for some star trails but could not get because of the clouds. Had dinner at 9:00PM and slipped onto the bed at 10:30PM.
DAY 3. 24 SEP 2017
Woke up at 7:00AM, had tea, paid 200 for 20 arrows, (yes, I am addicted towards that game) had breakfast at 9:30, Packed our bags, bought some more goodies from the store there which were made by the Girijans there, paid amount and left the place by 10:30 with a heavy heart
Route Taken: BAIRLOOTY-ATMAKUR-KURNOOL-KADWAL-HYDERABAD.
Reached Hyderabad at 7:15 as we stopped for some time at Gadwal and Food Pyramid.
A nice place famous for its sarees. Could not explore much.
About Food Pyramid,
A restaurant with worst food and service.
No hygiene at all.
Stopped at Gadwal and my mother took some sarees at the weavers.
The roads were good all the way, the road from Bairlooty to Atmakur is a beautiful two laned road surrounded by lush green farms.
A special thanks to
@Ranger @DheerajReddy @jay_chitti @varunc @shruthi and all the WhatsApp group members for sharing the information rite from the beginning to the end of the trip.
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