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Shekar

Hyderabad to Bhogatha and Chitrakote. An unplanned drive!

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I did not travelled for three months and the traveller in side me is thirsty.

Few plans to West Maharastra and Goa with friends did not materialised.

 

I had also planned a trip to Chitrakote falls with family friends but they were afraid of travelling in Chattisgarh.

It was late night of 27th July, 2018 Friday and I was desperate to go to some place.

I asked my wife and son Shall we go to Chitrakote Waterfalls? They said yes.

 

Rough route plan was with me. No bookings for night stay made. 

 

Got up early on 28-07-2018 Saturday and started from Home by 5.30 AM and reached Warangal by 7.30 AM.

 

I know the route up to Eturunagaram before Bhogatha and I know very well that once we cross Warangal,

it is difficult to get any food. So we had Breakfast at Hotel Ashoka, Hanmakonda, once my favorite. Entered in to Mulugu road (from here entire roads are 2 lane) by 8.30 AM. 

 

Our original thought was to come back in the same route from Chitrakote but it proved wrong.

Initially we thought of seeing Bhogatha falls in return journey so as to reach Chitrakote early.

By 10.30 we were at Bhogatha Falls cross road and its only 1 Km from there. We thought lets have a look without wasting much time.

 

It proved to be good decision. 

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After travelling in the same road condition 6 Kms before Bhopalapatnam, again road ended.

 

With previous experience, I just went in to water stream only to see it is a bigger stream and no culvert there.

 

A bigger bridge is under construction over it. Two wheeler are being transported in small local made boat like things.

When I asked the people nearby (First time I saw many people here)., they said car can not cross the river. Suggested to try with the bridge engineer whether he will allow on the bridge as all the slabs are completed. 

 

I found site engineer on other side of bridge and walked to him and requested to allow our car to cross the bridge. (Material have been dumped on either side of bridge to prevent vehicles).

 

Site Engineer who is from AP told me that the last slab was laid a couple of weeks back and he is not allowing two wheeler under pressure for locals, how can a car be allowed.

He added that even if he allows me, Naxals will abduct  him by evening.

He asked me to go back to Hyderabad as there is no road from Hyderabad to Bhopalapatnam from any side.

 

The roads are open only in summers till monsoon sets in. 

 

Then he asked me how you came up to this place as today is Naxals bandh in entire Chattisgarh.

 

Even locals will not come out of their homes. And also told me that till couple days back, Seethanagaram Vaagu (Stream) was flowing at 6 ft height and no vehicle could pass it. I could see the bandh effect till I reached Jagdalpur. 

 

I thought and told him that I travelled for 300 Kms and for 6 Hrs and do not want to go back.

Requested him for any alternate solution. After pestering him for almost 45 minutes, he said if we can wait for 2 Hrs, he will allow me to cross as local Bijapur district SP is crossing in opposite direction (His vehicle will be first after slabs) and same time I can cross so that locals will not question him. 

 

Ultimately it took us nearly 2.30 Hrs wait at the bridge from 12.00 noon to 14.30 Hrs.

 

In the tension, even i did not took a snap at the bridge. Once we entered Chattisgarh no mobile network is available.

Later we came to know that only BSNL will work at CRPF camps at 3 Kms range.

 

Except in towns, we did not had a mobile connectivity in entire Chattisgarh.  

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As our trip was unplanned, we did not pack any food.

 

By the time we crossed it was beyond lunch time and we were hungry.

But did not got a tea till we reached Jagdalpur in the night.

There could be some eateries on the way but may be due to bandh we did not found any. 

 

About 17.00 Hrs we reached Dantewada.

Had darshan of Maa Danteswari part of less known Shakti Peetas.

The temple is at the confluence of the Dakini and Shankini rivers.

 

We did not ventured in to the town and started our journey towards Jagdalpur.

We initially thought of visiting Chitrakote falls before reaching jagdalpur but due to 2.30 Hrs time lost at bridge, we had postponed it for next day morning.   

 

We reached Jagdalpur by 19.30 Hrs and checked in to Hotel suri International. Found this hotel through Make My Trip site. 

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Day -2,  29-07-2018 Sunday

 

We were ready by 6.30 in the morning and checked out the room after a cup of coffee.

 

Chitrakote falls are about 40 Kms away from Jagdalpur and we reached there before 7.30.

 

We were told that the flow had decreased since past two days. but it is still high.

 

As it was early morning, number of visitors at the falls were less even though it was Sunday.

Weather was too cloudy and I was disappointed with the camera. Let the photos speak further..  

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We had spent about an hour at the falls enjoying the views and clicking photos.

 

Tourism resort is adjacent to the falls and we had breakfast in the resort and it was good.

 

I had checked up availability of the cottages in the resort before starting but they were full for couple of months in advance.

 

View from the cottages is awesome (I had checked up standing near them). By 9.15 Hrs we are on the road again to drive back home about 600 Kms. 

 

This time we have decided to drive through Jagdalpur-Sukuma- Bhadrachalam-Hyderabad.

 

Do not know the condition of the road but surly can not go back in the same route we came here.

 

Up to Sukuma and 20 Kms beyond it was good 2 lane road with sparse traffic. After that CC road work is in progress and most of the next 60 Kms only single road is laid with huge height difference between lanes and most of the road is through forest.

 

There were many culverts and none have been completed. Night driving is not advisable. 

 

With difficulty we reached Andhra border at Komta and all mobile signals are active now.

Once entered in to AP and further in to Telangana, roads are good.

 

We reached Bhadrachalam by 15.00 Hrs and after having Darshan reached Kothagudem and took a couple of hours rest at my friend's house.

 

Started from there at about 19.00 Hrs and reached home by 12 mid night with a break at Suryapet. completed 1205 Kms drive home to home.    

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Summary

 

1. Dates          - 28-07-2018 & 29-07-2018

2. Members   - 03 (Myself with Wife and Son)

3. Car              - Toyota Etios 

4. Total Kms  - 1205 

5. States         - Telangana - 620 Kms,  AP - 065 Kms, Chattisgarh - 520 Kms

6. Stay             

-   Hotel Suri International, Jagdalpur. Good 3.5/5 Points

-   Other options – Hotels available in Telanagana at Warangal, Forest guest house Tadvai, Bhadrachalam & Kothagoodem.

     In Chattisgarh -Limited hotels  at Dantewada, Many hotels at Jagdalpur, Tourism cottages at Chitrakote waterfalls.

7. Food       

 -    Hotel Suri – Good 3.5/5 points

  -   Other options – Near Rayagiri & Warangal. Once Warangal is crossed very basic food available at Tadvai/Eturunagaram.

 Once entered in to Chhattisgarh, one small food point available at Bhupalapatnam and till jagadalpur no food options until                                           Bhadrachalam is reached from  Sukma side. Good food is available at Tourism hotel at Chitrakote waterfalls.

8. Roads     

LB Nagar- Rayagiri – 60 Kms 4 lane one toll

 

Rayagiri – Mulugu x Road92 Kms 4 laning upto Kazipet is in progress and pot holes are available on existing road.

 

Mulugu x Rd – Chattisgarh border on NH 163 – 150 Kms 2 lane road mostly good except in towns

 

Telangana border – Bhopalapatnam 38 Kms. Only ballast road but level without much damage. Bridge over Seethanagaram   Vaagu  not constructed. It  will swell after any heavy rain. Bridge before 6 Kms to Bhopalapatnam was not completed on date of            journey. But by August,2018 end it might have    been  opened. Complete forest area and not advisable for night travel being Naxal         area.

 

Bhopalapatnam – Dantewada – Jagadalpur – 240 Kms. 2 lane road NH-63. Good Road except few culverts are under expansion.

 

Jagadalpur – Chitrakote waterfalls – 40 Kms. 2 lane Good road. 

 

Chitrakote Waterfalls – Sukuma – Kerlapal – 156 Kms. 2 lane road good. Last 20 Kms cement road.

 

Kerlapal – Konta -61 Kms. Cement Road work in progress. Except last 10 Kms, entire road is single and none of the culverts are        constructed. It may  take another year minimum to completion.

 

Konta to Bhadrachalam – 70 Kms. 2 Lane Good Road.

 

Bhadrachalam – Kothagoodem – 40 Kms. Most of the Road 4 Lane work is completed and Good.

 

Kothagoodem – Suryapet – 136 Kms. 2 Lane mostly Good except few patches. Moderate to Heavy traffic route.

 

Suryapet – Hyderabad (Home) – 130 Kms. 4 Lane Very Good. Two Tolls.   

                     

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11 hours ago, Shekar said:

Summary

 

@Shekar, Excellent post sir. Very well detailed about your whole trip. I was feeling the adventure you had gone through while I was reading it. Amazingly put up. It infact was super daring to do this trip with family on a Naxals bandh day. July to September are the perfect time to witness this good flow of water at both Bogatha and Chitrakoot falls. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience about this trip :) 

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21 hours ago, sagar said:

 

@Shekar, Excellent post sir. Very well detailed about your whole trip. I was feeling the adventure you had gone through while I was reading it. Amazingly put up. It infact was super daring to do this trip with family on a Naxals bandh day. July to September are the perfect time to witness this good flow of water at both Bogatha and Chitrakoot falls. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience about this trip :) 

Yeah it was little scary some times as there is no network, Navigation not working, no mile stones indicating the next town ahead and none found on the roads to ask. We were told by the bridge engineer not to click random photos on roads or in villages. As it will attract Naxals suspecting and may create trouble. We followed his advise. But I will visit this place again in 2020 duly booking cottages at Chitrakote in advance. (By the time both roads will be completed.) 

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Can you approve sir ji for small cars to move Chitrakoot water fall via Sukma road.

 

Or better to visit from Nagpur via Raipur then JAGDALPUR, which is very long roote.

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Beautiful pictures.
Perfect weather with a perfect drive. 

Thank you for sharing the details.
Will very helpful for the other members. 

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On 8/13/2019 at 7:36 AM, Rabindra said:

Can you approve sir ji for small cars to move Chitrakoot water fall via Sukma road.

 

Or better to visit from Nagpur via Raipur then JAGDALPUR, which is very long roote.

Most probably the road work might have completed by this time. Yes small car can do it. Roads in Chattisgarh are good. Only issue is very isolated with less traffic, not advisable to drive in night. Do not try via Bhoopalapatnam as there is a water stream crossing and it might be in full fury now. Via Bhadrachalam-Konta-Sukuma shall be good. 

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amazing pics and the trip looks like quite an adventurous one. thanks for the details and writ-up. quite inspiring!

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      A child in me touched triple digit speeds (100kmph) from 80kmph wanted to spill the water and went straight onto the waterlogged pool only to loose control over my car. The vehicle immediately lost traction, drifted towards the right, steering was out of my control for few seconds, I tried very hard to steer the car to the left keeping it in the lane and I succeeded.
       
      All thanks to the traction control that my car has. This taught me how much dangerous water can be and the force of water. Never after this incident I touched triple digit speeds during rains. 
       

       
      To sum it up, Freestyle is a car that definitely puts a smile the drivers face. Particularly the TDCi. It’s rightly called a pocket rocket. 

      Freestyle is not about luxury, its rugged, rough, not so comfortable when compared to the competition, the interiors are hard, the plastics are not placed well but as said before its lal about ruggedness and practicality. Once you are behind the wheel of a Ford you’ll forever be the fan of Ford.
       

       
      Srikrishna Bhavaraju
      A true Ford Lover


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