Precursor to the Trip:
Mr.Daddy calls me up on Oct 2nd in the evening.
Daddy : I had to work today , who the hell works on Gandhi jayanthi? They don't even sell Liquor today.
Me : Chill Macha , we chose this job. And have to take everything it throws at us.
Daddy: I need some relaxation , plan something for the weekend.
Me : Hmm, lets go to Bhuvanagiri Fort, I have been meaning to trek that fort since childhood.
The plan has been made , but could not be executed the Dussehra weekend, due to the obvious reasons. Our Wives would let us go on a trek on a festival day. And i totally forgot about it , till 12th When Mr.Daddy messages to ask me if i'm available to do the trek on 13th (Sunday). I said yes , and the trip was on.
Hill Fort of Bhuvanagiri:
If you have ever have traveled to Warangal by road or by train you would not miss this small fort on top of the hill. I remember watching the hill for the first time as a kid, from a train window, on my way to Hyderabad. Since then i was always fascinated by this small fort and it was my long lasting desire to trek to the top of it.
The fort is constructed in the 10th century A.D by Tribhuvanamalla Vikramaditya VI. That makes this fort atleast 1000 years old. In contrast Golconda fort is 400 years old. And Since it is built by Tribhuvanamalla , the fort is called Tribhuvanagiri , Which latter became Bhuvanagiri and with the Persian and Urdu influence of the local kings became Bhongir. The fort was built on a small egg shaped hill, and there were small steps cut into the rock to climb up to the fort.
Drive To The Fort:
I started at 8:30 A.M on Sunday morning , and started towards Mr.Daddy's home in Manikonda, Hyderabad. I picked him up and on the way we stopped at Organic hotel to have breakfast. After having quick breakfast we took the ORR to reach Warangal Highway.
(Organic Hotel , where we had or break Fast)
As there was no hurry , we mostly drove in the middle lane at 80KMPH max speed, The ORR charged us 140/- to get down at Warangal high way, And soon after that we had to pay another toll on the highway, We took a to and fro pass for 140/- and went on our way. The toll has dedicated lanes for fastag , and if you still don't have one Get one ASAP.
As soon as you cross the toll gate and proceed further , you see something like this (Image is taken from Wiki)
With the help of google maps we reached the entry point of the fort. There are two gates to get into , one for regular tourists and another for rock climbing school in the premises. There is ample space to park 8-10 cars. We parked our car , proceeded to the shop next to the ticket counter bought ourselves a water bottle & moved to ticket counter to buy our tickets. Ticket cost for Adults is rs: 10/- per head.
The Rock has steps cut into it , which looks fairly a recent addition to the 1000 year old Hill Fort. We started our climb from this point.
The weather forecast for Bhongir on that day was partially cloudy and with intermittent rains. But Sun god has different plans for us. It was hot and the rock reflected the heat. After a brief walk , we ended up at the first gateway to the fort. There was some shade and i sat there for a couple of minutes.
(The first gateway , where you will find some shade.)
After the first rest stop , there is enough tree cover and it was a little cloudy , we reached the second Gateway in some time.
The distance between the second and third Gateway is not much , but there is a increase in elevation. We soon reached the third gateway , and the the view looked like this after crossing the third gateway.
From here there is no tree cover , and to my bad luck there is no cloud cover either. From here , if you walked towards right from the path , you would find some ruins. This signifies that you have reached level 1. From here the path goes on to the top of the hill. We kept on walking and discussing on how ingeniously the architect of the fort has constructed multiple Dams to conserve rain water.
(Level 1 ruins towards the left of the picture and Check Dams to conserve towards the right of the Picture)
From here the walk way is very steep , one has to be careful. And this can be slippery during rains.
(Steep Walk way , with stairs cut into the rock, Rails installed in the modern era for support, Another Check Dam towards right and Mr.Daddy gauging on how far we have to go)
After this i was completely exhausted , and stopped at every 5-10 minutes on the pretext of taking pictures 😛 , Approximately after an hour we started , we reached the top of the fort.
(Celebratory pic of climbing the hill, My smile will tell you how happy i was on the top, the cannon at the back might be a late addition to the fort , as they were developed only in 15th century)
There are three structures at the top of the Hill , one ruined old fort , and two other government buildings , with Cellular tower on top of one. The other building was build on top adjacent to an old well. (The Pic of the fort).
The views from the top of the hill are simply amazing. Google maps told us that we were 1000 meters above MSL. Below are a few pics of the views from the fort.
(You can spot Bhongir Railway station , from where i first saw this magnificent Hill Fort. Also , at the bottom right , notice how Dams were constructed to save water.)
(Another pond , and the fort wall at a distance)
We explored the whole place for an hour , found a small entrance and a staircase, just out of curiosity i went in and started climbing the stairs , and Mr.Daddy followed me.
The stairs took us to the top of the fort. There is no higher point in Bhongir Than this.
(The fort view from behind)
(Me after conquering the fort, instead of a sword i posed with an Umbrella, modern day weapon to fight the soldiers of the nature)
By 2 o clock we were hungry and decided to descend, as soon as we thought of of it , we could see dark clouds manifest out of no where and weather became cloudy and pleasant. I wonder where these clouds were when i was climbing up the hill.
We climbed down, and there were 6 other cars parked in the parking. We went to the shop next to ticket counter had another bottle of water. Went to a nearby restaurant in Bhongir and had our lunch. After and uneventful lunch , we started back to Hyderabad , and it started raining just as we were ready to leave Bhongir.
Tips for Trek to the Top :
Carry your own water one bottle per person. Carry an umbrella , Sun or Rain it will help you a lot. Avoid Summers , It was tiring to climb in October Sun. Imagine April Sun beating down on you.
Suggest to go in groups, Half of the time i was engrossed in deep conversations with Mr.Daddy , and didn't feel the tiredness.
Wear shoes and avoid Slippers and Flip flops at all costs
PS: For those who are wondering , why i call him Daddy , You can find the explanation in my previous write up
This Dussehra holidays we planned a long road trip to Coimbatore in our EcoSport.
Thanks to India-Drive members, especially @sagar @Ranger for suggesting trip route and staying food options along the route.
We started around 4 AM from Miyapur, Hyderabad. Drive till Anantapur is quite familiar to me, as i have driven this route many times.
Drive was excellent with good pleasant weather, around 9:30 AM We reached Anantapur for breakfast at Club RuRu.
Food was good as well as the service and atmosphere. After some nice breakfast we started towards Bangalore, as we approach the outskirts of the city traffic made us slow down, and also the fear of over-speeding and getting fined made me cautious, kept at 60-80 speeds reached Devanahalli around 12:30 PM.
Our EcoSport flyaudio gave us this route which bypassed the traffic areas of the city (silkboard, electronic city) and took us to the sarjapura main road and joined on the NH just after the electronic city. The route we took to bypass the city is quite scenic and some places were narrow roads. and in some parts very rough roads (2-4 KM) with construction work is ongoing. I am attaching the route map for reference.
Around 2:30 we reached Hosur outskirts, despite being a Sunday afternoon the road is filled with heavy vehicles occupying all the lanes and made us slow down, managed to reach a good restaurant which serves good tamil meals by 3:00 PM.
The food was good and hot. after staying so long out of Tamilnadu we always look forward to eating in Tamilnadu hotels, glad we could make it for lunch.
After lunch started the journey towards Salem, Roads were quite good and smooth but not as wide as Hyderabad-bangalore highway. Not a pleasant experience as the vehicles seems to be in hurry and not giving space occupying all lanes, had to be very patient to outmatch the city buses.
Kept a average speed of 60-80 KM reached Salem, thought have a break at Salem, but due to some politicians visit (i am guessing its CM visiting his native Town) the roads were filled with cops asking us not to stop and keep left. At some places the cops were confusing us with their directions, over all a confused environment, but good thing is they reroute the heavy vehicles like lorries and trucks to some other route, so we had a clear road ahead of us.
The only catch is we couldn't stop for the tea break. And it started drizzling once we past Salem, it's almost 7 PM, and those rerouted trucks joined us back while we are nearing Coimbatore making our last leg of journey more interesting At Komarapalayam we stopped for some hot Badam Milk and much needed break.
After that it was nice to drive to the coimbatore city with with lit wide roads, reached around 9:15 PM to Sungam cross roads, Coimbatore. After parked the vehicle and went inside the house all of us were feeling that still we are moving. From morning 4 to night 9 this makes my longest distance driven in a day. (960 KM says speedometer)
We visited the famous GeDee Car museum, Coimbatore. the beauty of the museum is we can see so many vintage cars at one place which are maintained so good.
Checkout few pics:
*** Even Though this Travel is done back in march , by Sleeper Bus and Flight - I think its eligible to get into this Section as I would post pictures of Road and Few Places of interest. ***
Well The Most Asked Question either in ID whatsApp or Facebook - Which Route is Best from Hyderabad to Goa and Back.
-- Teaser Pic
This was done in March and my friend had to attend an Meeting in Goa - He booked ticket for me But I have missed out the flight from Hyderabad became blessing in disguise .
I have booked VRL travels Sleeper coach Bus to reach Goa the Next day where I could enjoy the journey and being a road enthusiast I preferred sitting in Cabin and Enjoy instead of the sleeper Berth - somehow i felt the sleeper berth cramp and bumpy
Bus was scheduled at 19:00 hrs Departure and boarding was at Lakdikapul , where a mini bus took all of us to Aaramgarh , Reached Aaramgarh by 19:00 , but had to wait about half-an hour for the Bus to arrive .
Bus was almost Full and it is due to they have adjusted passengers who booked AC Seater bus into here - Where as I have paid 1700+ for sleeper Bus and people who booked 800Rs Ticket were fortunate enough to get into sleeper Bus
- Picked up a passenger in between , near Shamshabad and slowly Bus picked up and reached a Dhaba Near Jadcherla for Dinner Break - I had food packed from home and as per fellow passengers food was pathetic and hotel was just OK.
-- Bu Stared from Jadcherla and took Mahabubnagar road and below route was taken
MahabubNagar - Raichur - Madgal - BagalKot- Belgaum - ChorlaGhat - Goa
-- Below was the Road condition
Hyderabad - MahabubNagar : Road was Good
MahabubNagar - Raichur : Road works were on then and little diversions too
Raichur - Madgal - Bagalkot : Its double road and we have to get down whenever an bigger vehicle or 4 wheeler came from opposite end and Needless to say while in Karnataka Expect many speed breakers too ..
Bagalkot - Belgaum : Road was good .. Reached early in the Morning - Hence it was easy to cross Belgaum
Belgaum to Start of the Ghat Road - it was double road and being early morning there was some truck traffic and also travel buses reaching Belgaum , Many people were doing walking /jogging by the side of the road and seen some people doing Yoga too
Needs to be careful while driving at the stretch
--- Once reaching the start of the Ghat Bus has stopped at decent Hotel for Bio Break and it was around 6:00 A:M in the Morning.
It took around 3 hours to reach Goa [Private Buses Parking Yard] as road was through Ghats , Some rural villages and little delay at check posts - Being Morning time encountered little traffic reaching Goa ]
Stayed a Hotel Govia Homes Near Candolim Beach - Hotel was home stay kind and had good swimming pool - Able to tour only Candolim and Baga Beaches and a guided tour with mini bus provided
All beaches that i have toured were well maintained maximum care is taken to avoid plastic - even though boozing is not allowed at sea shore near by Beaches but i could see few people doing that
Goa is Pretty costly and Bargain is the funda works here - never hesitate to bargain if you are shopping in the shops road by and Near beaches too
Food is pathetic and costly especially people from Telangana and Andhra would find food not so good , me being vegetarian has less options to chose and my friends who took non veg said its pathetic and not for spice lovers ..I have seen few people from TS and AP getting Induction stoves and cooking as they found food very very waste in taste .
-- I think there is very much to explore in Goa Beyond Beaches and Booze , something that always pulls back to the place may be its weather , people or its picturesque locations and Beautiful Beaches - that might be the reason people always wants to make it despite of the hard roads and other reasons like cost and stay options - There is always something more left to explore in Goa as per the conversations with people and foreigners who were visiting for nth time who are always finding a new place and Goa wears different colors accordingly to the different seasons
'Hyderabad to Mahabaleshwar , Panchgani' - Monsoon Drive Meetup
Hyderabad to Koilsagar - Overnight BBQ camp under the stars - Report