This is the first travel after joining the group and happened on the suggestion of the group in Whatsapp.
I saved a lot of leaves for traveling to the USA this October/November. But due to some reasons, that tour did not materialised and some 13 leaves were left to be utilised in December. First I had availed 3 days leaves from 12th Dec.
First day I had attended a marriage engagement at Hyderabad and two more days plus Saturday & Sunday were with me. I wanted to go out only for 2 days and as per the suggestions of the group decided to visit Sagar on 13th & 14th.
I made a booking in Tourism Hotel Vijay Vihar at Vijayapuri in the morning before starting. Me and my wife started at 10.10 Hrs from Hyderabad and reached Sagar by 13.00 Hrs with a stop at OOR exit on Sagar road to meet a family friend for 15 Min. and had a late breakfast at a way side hotel. (another 30 Min).
Had buffet lunch in tourism hotel and out in car by 14.00 Hrs.
My friend in Sagar project arranged for a visit to the dam and inside dam (inspection galleries). Generally visitors are not permitted to go on to earth dam and main dam for security reasons. Mean time local person called me asked us to reach the dam by 15.00 hrs as the staff have gone for lunch.
Then we made a round in the hill colony where I had stayed for couple of years in the childhood. With great difficulty I could able to find out the quarters where we had stayed. All the Sagar quarters are now seems to be occupied by locals unauthorised including some top politicians.
Quarter where I stayed in childhood
We made a round up to the road bridge on Krishna river in front of the dam and came back to Earth Dam. Took permission from special police and entered on to it by 15.00 Hrs. We were asked not stop the car in between and not to click any photos. So we obeyed.
Views of either side over the road bridge.
When we reached main dam, the security staff received my car number and opened the gate and allowed us over the dam. After speaking to Irrigation AE, we stopped at first tower (Lift).
Then we were guided in to the lift and taken to first inspection gallery at 140 Feet Down from top. There is an exit towards spillways side and a ramp which will lead us to first spill way on left bank. We did not carried the camera, but we took some snaps with mobiles.
Three more inspection galleries are available below the one we visited. Lift for the same was having some problem and we did not go down further.
These galleries are used to check the health of the dam. at every 10 Mtrs tel tale vents area available and the water leakage from these will indicate the internal leakages and the health of the dam. These galleries also used for repairing any leakages (How I do not know). We were told that every day morning staff will inspect all the four galleries each is of a length of a 1000 mtrs.
After spending some time inside, we came on to the dam. due to heavy clouds and fog, we could not see the water in dam properly. With great difficulty we could able click some photos.
After thanking the irrigation official we went to Ethipothala falls. We were not expecting any water in the falls but there were some.
On the way back to hotel we had clicked sunset over the Sagar Dam. We could not get it exactly over the gates area.
We came back to hotel before it was too dark and spent the time sitting in the balcony with Sagar backwater view. (Though the water is not visible due to fog)
End of day One.
If you read and think I am exaggerating, fabrication is just another style of Pinaki.... I go on my knees to say, I am little mad for beaches and this beach just unveiled the beauty of AP coastal line when I visited Chirala for the first time. I do carry the good memories and excitement in me b'coz it was planned overnight ( in less than 12 hours ) and did bring a name on my list that I can definitely visit more than once .
There are two ways to reach this spot.
You can either start early - take Nagarjuna Sagar Road, enjoy the sunrise , stop at Ethipothala waterfalls, click some pictures go towards Chilakaluripet and go towards Chirala. This route is not excellent or best road to drive and enjoy end to end though the first two spots are great to start your day and lose sometimes on way to Chirala
Early Morning picture towards Nagarjuna Sagar
Ethipothala waterfalls inside the property of Haaritha.
Take ORR - Exit gate 11 - Take Nalgonda
Second route and recommended.
Take ORR - Exit gate 11 - Take Nalgonda Road - Miriyalguda - Piduguralla - Narasaraopet - Chirala. Total Distance - 336 kms. The road is pretty good and have scenic beauty. You can definately mainatain a speed of 100 -120. There are three toll gates on the way.
It takes 6 hours . We did start at 3.30 in the morning , had a break at Piduguralla and reached Chirala by 10.15 am.
Chirala has very limited options. I have tried my luck at two different spots.
a) Sea Breeze Resort - Definitely a good place. Most of the travelers prefer staying here . Rooms on weekends go off soon and can be a problem if you go without booking. The resort has different varieties of rooms. Do not fall for room types. Request for information on the room location inside the resort, ventilation and facing of the room. Sea facing are only available with Deluxe room and cottages. Rest of the sea facing room are actually garden facing.
b) Lotus Buddha - The management is cooperative however the property is not well maintained . I was almost in depression of spending two nights at this resort. It is just in the middle of village with fishermen and local crowd. The smell and the not so maintained locality dampen the spirit and feeling for the place.
You can definitely order your food at the resorts. The quality, quantity and the service support is very decent and well maintained.
They do serve dinner on the beach at night. They charge you INR 500 for the effort. The experience is great if you go during full moon night. You see the sunset followed by the full Moon in the sky , high tide and the breeze.
the variety of food is also quite grand at Sea breeze. You have options from fish to chicken to Biriyani . Atleast they serve you what you see on the menucard.
A lot of people told me, they do order food from outside. Local villagers are great cook and serve you hot chicken and local dishes.
The beach is just opposite to the sea breeze property. My first trip was in September. The silver sand and the non sticky quality brings softness to your feet and happiness as you walk down the clean beaches. The water was so clear , it was literary blue. The beach is stretched over almost 7 kms and also have awesome tree lines across the road. Incase you feel you want a shade while you want to be on beach - simply go and take a seat under the shade and sip coconut water in the morning or in the afternoon and leisurely drink your fav one in the evening.
Collect broken or new designed shell, shoot around with crabs , or just lie down on the silver sand.
Check in - Check Out - Your check in time is 9 AM and check out is 9 PM. Breakfast is complimentary and includes Dosa, Idli, Kheer, Vada, Poori, Omlette, Juice , Tea, Coffee.
There is no local spots to drive around. Though you can visit the local saree mill for some handwork sarees or can even drive down to Narasaoraopet for Kotappakonda Temple . The Temple is on the top of a hill and has amaziong scenic beauty. The drive up to 5kms is really amazing and can be a good disconnect for sometimes.
Give Chirala a try! After all, small things bring more happiness so why you let this one go?
Distance : ~190 kilometers
Drive time: 4 hours including breaks
Mileage : 16 KMPL (Best mileage we have ever achieved, never crossed 120 km/hr)
Total trip cost : 2600/- (Including fuel for 2 persons)
Road condition 2017: Quick update Hyderabad to Nagarjunasagar road condition:
Road condition has improved a lot compared to last year. First 50 kilometers has a beautiful single lane road(similar to srisailam road) Last 100 kilometers is a good single road.
Places to visit at Nagarjunasagar:
1. Nagarjunakonda Island
a) Visit APDC launch station.(around 10 kilometers from Dam)
b) Park your vehicle at the paid parking.
c) Take a boat to the Island.
d) Total trip takes around 3 hours (approximately)
Timings:9:30,11:30 and 1:30
Price : 120/- per Adult and 100/- per Kid
2. Nagarjunasagar dam
3. A.P tourism hotel (excellent view, no entry charges and food is good )
4. Ethipothala Water Falls.
Food option on Hyderabad to Nagarjuna sagar highway.
Sai Annapurna hotels , Google maps : https://goo.gl/maps/qK64agvUpqm
Naga lakshmi Kaveri Family dhaba, Google maps : https://goo.gl/maps/nQPLuhBck5A2
Food options at Nagarjuna Sagar
Hotel Siddartha , Google maps : https://goo.gl/maps/HiCqkP1TVDU2
TSDC tourism Vijay vihar, Google maps : https://goo.gl/maps/fEpVvnMfVkk
A.P tourism is the only best option available at Nagarjunasagar. There are few private hotels but most of them are not maintained properly.
By Sridhar Tandra
Hyderabad to Coorg / Kodagu Exploration Drive - Pre-Monsoon drive meet up - July 07/10, 2018
Start point - Gachibowli (ORR)
End point - Coorg
Start time - 5:00 am
Total Distance - ~800 kilometers (one way)
Objective - Drive to thank the monsoon showers and explore self while being in raw nature away from Luxuries
1) Tata Tiago (Expresso Brown)
2) Volkswagen Polo (Red)
3) Maruthi Suzuki Baleno
4) Hyundai Creta (Star Dust)
5) Hyundai Creta (White)
6) Renault Duster (White)
Hyderabad (Gachibowli ORR Entry Point) ---Bangalore --- Mysore --- Coorg
1) Tribal Style Stay in Coorg
2) Irrupu waterfalls
3) Mandalpatti Peak
Day 1 (July 07th, 2018):
We start off from the meet up point (Gachibowli ORR Entry Point) towards Mysore
Stop by for breakfast at Food Pyramid, Kothakota
We stop by for lunch just before entering Bangalore at Amaravathi Gardenia, Devanahalli
We reach Mysore to break down for the day
Day 2 (July 08th, 2018):
We start off from our Mysore accommodation towards our Resort in Coorg
Have breakfast en-route and reach Evergreen County Resort, Virajpet, Coorg
We will check in into our resort, explore the resort and places around, Camp Fire & Dinner and break down for the day
Day 3 (July 09th, 2018):
Coorg exploration drive, check out Irupu Waterfalls
Drive back to Mysore by End of the Day and break down for the day
Day 4 (July 10th, 2018):
We start early to escape the Mysore - Bangalore traffic and proceed towards Hyderabad
Things to carry:
1) Carry umbrella and rain coat (Must)
2) Toiletries, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Mosquito repellent cream and Glucose / Electrol (personal medical kit)
3) Camera kits and Telescopes if any star gazing enthusiasts or night photography enthusiasts
4) Most importantly loads of energy and positive attitude
I will let pictures speak more than words from here on, watch and enjoy!
Evergreen County Team welcoming India - Drive Team:
Exploring the Resort, It is a treat to eyes and nestled in to Nature!
We have planned to explore Irupu falls after exploring the resort, we understood from the locals that there is a huge Tea Estate on our route to Irupu Falls, Couple of cars went ahead to check it out (Polo & Tiago) and we were the only one's to look at this beautiful View! We had to go back to the convoy with a bad news "Visitors are not allowed"
We continued our drive towards Irupu Falls, One should not miss this falls in Monsoon! Reach the falls, close your eyes and surrender yourself to the Mother Nature!! ❤️
We have reached back to the resort by the time light faded and gone for the Nature walk around the Resort and had a wonderful time with India Drive Members introducing themselves at the Camp Fire session followed by delicious Dinner at the Resort Restaurant (Secret Spices, Rest O cafe)!
After a Sumptuous Breakfast and an unforgettable Morning Coffee (Pictures Below) we checked out of the resort and headed towards our exploration drive towards Mandalpatti Peak (Heaven, I call this after exploring the place). We came across a Landslide en route Mandalpatti and we could not take our cars any further, for a moment it was a disappointment but that's when we got to know from the locals that we have to hire 4x4 vehicles to be able to reach Mandalpatti Peak. Without wasting any time, we parked our cars, hired those beasts and started enjoying some pure off roading fun and reached the Heaven!! We have spent considerable amount of time exploring the place with literally zero visibility and clicking pictures. We have reached the car parking location back by about 5 pm with a super Maggi break (Special Thanks to our Instant Chef Bhargav) and started our drive back too Mysore!
Like all the other Drives, we had to end this Drive too wishing if we could have continued it for another Infinite number of days!!
Aideu from Sridhar Tandra until next Drive Meet!!❤️❤️
Gandikota meetup on January 26 and 27th