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.
Mid of April month,
I am Planning to have a Shirdi trip from Lingampally(Hyderabad),
Lingampally - Naldurg - Tuljapur - Terkhed - Jamkhed - Ahmednagar - Shirdi
return with same route.
Would like to know the current road condition of the above route.
This is about June 2016 travel to Tadoba Tiger reserve from Hyderabad.
In Jan-2016 I had traveled Chopta and Munsiyari in Uttarakand with another three new travelers met first time at Delhi. One of them Mr. Pandey is from Nagpur and he asked me to come down to Nagpur for visiting Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve and booked safari a couple of months before for 12th June 2016 . Till then I had no experience of any forest safary and I was excited to see many wild animals. Mean time our travel friends planned for Ladakh tour in the last week of June, 2016 (25-06-2016). It was one of the dream destination and I know it will be difficult and expensive if I go alone and said OK and booked flight/train to Delhi and back. Then started thinking it will be hectic for two tours in two weeks. But Pandey who is also coming for Ladakh trip did not agree and made me to visit Tadoba.
On 11th June we started at 5.00 Hrs in my car from Hyderabad. My wife and son were with me. We are two drivers and had a back seat to sleep if needed. We reached Nirmal by 8.00 Hrs entered town leaving NH44 and had breakfast at Hotel Mayuri. Breakfast was good but when we had lunch next year, it was very bad. We joined NH44 through old NH7 road. Reached Nagpur by 13.00 Hrs and Pandey's home by 13.30.
Roads up to Adilabad were excellent. Four lane work and Underpass works at Hingenghat (about 30 Kms) not completed and have to change lanes and pass through the villages. Road at places in this section also not good. After that till Nagpur roads are good.
One more travelmate Mr. Jagtap from Betul (MP) who is mine safety officer in Western Coal Fields (WCF) and a native of Nagpur was supposed to join us with his family in his car. But due to some fire accident in a coal mine he could not join us.
Our plan was to reach WCF guest house at Murpar which is about 15 Kms away from Navegaon Gate of Tadoba Reserve and stay overnight and reach the gate early in the morning.
We started from Nagpur at about 17.00 Hrs and reached Murpar by 19.45 Hrs. While entering Chandrapur district at Umred check-post, local police stopped our car for checking and found one whiskey bottle in our luggage which was kept by Pandey.
The police told me that alcohol is banned in chandrapur district and we can not carry. I said I am from Hyderabad and I do not the local rules and never imagined that a particular district will have a ban.
He looked at Pandey in the car and asked he is from Maharashtra and how come he do not know. I said he does not know about it and i brought it my self. Some how he took away the bottle and allowed us to proceed further.
So those who are travelling to Tadoba please do not carry alcohol.
By the time we reached Chimur which is a little bigger town close to Navegaon Gate, it started drizzling and when we took right turn at Khadsangi for Murpar, heavy downpour started and visibility was hardly 20 mtrs in head lights. Left turn at Khadsangi will lead to Navegaon gate. Mr. Jagtap booked the guest house at WCF mine area, Murpar. We found one Telugu cook in the guest house and when we told him about Umred check post incident, he said we are too lucky to be let off, otherwise they arrest and harras for carrying alcohol. When we asked about dinner he said other than non veg, he will prepare any thing. Non Veg has to be brought from Chimur some 12 Kms away and it is not possible at that time and that too in heavy rain. We ordered roti, dal and sabji with omlets.
Mean time me and pandey went to Khadsangi in the rain and enquired about safari vehicles. we were told that there is no need to book in advance and Gypsy cars will be available at the gate as per the serial and as many as permitted for the day/session. We had dinner and had good sleep.
We got up early and reached Navegaon gate before 5.30 Hrs. We found only one car before us at the gate. We went to gate office and booked a safari car and engaged a Guide. Safari car is for Rs. 600 and Guide Rs.350 (That's what I remember). Sky is clear and we found water of previous night's rain on the roads pot holes. We entered the forest by 5.45. Our guide said it is always advantage of more sightings if your car is first and it proved correct.
Myself with wife and kids of Pandey
The first site before entering the core area
Second sighting a glimpse of bear
Then a Jackal
There were lot of birds and I could not shoot them as I do not have a proper lens.
The same bear came out of the forest and crossed our path.
We were told that Tiger will come here but after waiting enough time he did not turned up.
There are many deers and Neelgai
Obviously not happy with our presence
Canter from Moharli gate
Now many jeeps arrived and waiting at a water hole for the arrival of the Big Cat.
But it did not show up and the our morning session ended. Little disappointed and our guide was telling us that people make more than six safaris and go back without seeing a Tiger. We had a booking for afternoon safari also. With a little hope we returned to our guest house.
On the way back from morning safari
Padey with our Driver and Guide.
Will continue with after noon Safari..
Gandikota meetup on January 26 and 27th