Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Travelogue: Ride to Srisailam

Blogging after a long time. This one is about my recent ride to Srisailam on bike with my colleague Uma Sudhan.

Total Distance Covered : 480 km
Started : 5.45 a.m 01-May-2005
Reached back home : 8.00 p.m 01-May-2005
Bike : Pulsar 180 cc DTS-I

It all started with this colleague of mine buying the bike 2 days back. He
wanted to give away the bike for the first servicing as early as possible. So
four of us were looking out for places around hyderabad ( close to 150 km) worth
visiting. Nagarjuna Sagar was far too off. From some stupid website found that
Srisailam is around 150 km from Hyderabad. Then and there we decided that we'll
go there. But the other 2 guys dropped later.
We started at 5.45 in the morning from our room at Somajiguda. The guy with
whom I went is a Tamilian and he understands but cannot speak Telugu. So I was
sort of guide for him. And this guy had prior experience of going on
a bike to far away places. But for me this was the first time I was to ride for
such a long distance. The maximum I can remember is the ride to Mount Opera. I
guess it was around 60 km from the city. I was very excited with the thought
of it itself.
Had a lot of trouble finding out the way to Srisailam from Chaderghat. I would
have led this guy astray with my assumption that Srisailam and Nagrajuna Sagar
fall on the same route. Soon we were to realize that it is not 150 but rather
210 km from the outskirsts of the city. But we didn't want to turn back. So we
pushed off. Once we were out of the city outskirts it was mostly straight route,
except for a couple of diversions.
The ride through the ghats was pleasant except for the pain in the arse. He
was riding at 65kmph consistently. He couldn't go above that limit as it was a
new bike. Further it was morning so the Sun wasn't hot. Our first major stop
was at some place called Dindi, some 100 km along the route. We had tiffin at
some roadside restaurant and started off again. There read in "Eenadu" that
Aishwarya is going to wed Vivek: :-(. Every 20-30 km we would stop by a
roadside cafe and sip a tea and he would light up his cigar. Took some photos
along the way.
The next half of the journey is the one that gives the spin to this whole
experience. Didn't know that we would have to go through mountains and forests.
It was around 120 km that the forest stretch started. I wouldn't call it
dense though. Literally just you alone, surrounded by trees on both sides, with
some sumo or a car or a bus zooming past you once in a while. Seemed like a never
ending stretch of forest. Billboards with "Project Tiger" or some "Save Wild life"
stuff were quite common. Climbing up the mountain to other the road through the
forest was just amazing. Will not get the same feeling on a bus or a sumo. The
forest I am talking about is the Nallamalai forest. I was looking out eagerly
into the thicket on both my sides to find some wild creature so that I could get
it into my camera. But all we could find were innumerable monkeys all along the
Though the Sun was staring us, we didn't find it that hot because of the trees.
The forest had dried up completely at some places. Only after we were close to
Srisailam did we realize that we had been through 85 km of road through
the forest. We were soon near the Srisailam West Bank Dam. There we started feeling
the hot breeze. But the sight of the Dam was awesome. Huge one, basically the least for me. There were two places one after the other here worth
mentioning: Domalapenta and Eegalapenta.
No more patience to stretch this mail. Will cut it short over here. The places
worth visiting at Srisailam are
- Boat Ride. From a place called "paatal ganga" (Paatal ganga is the place
down the mountain on which the temple is) to the Dam Site. Around
15 mins of ride. Was good for me as it was my first experience.
- There's a ropewy by which you can descend from the top of the mountain
to paatal ganga. I would go by it only for namesake. Not at all thrilling.
- Caves. To reach to the caves we need to go on boats for 16 km. This is
supposed to be exciting. We didn't go to these caves as he said it
would take around 4 hours to go and come back.
- There are these small circular boats called "Teppelu" in telugu, which
could be a nice experience. There were plenty of them there. I wish
I had enough time to sit in this. But it can be dangerous.
- Swimming near patal ganga
- The Srisailam west bank Dam. It'll be a beautiful sight when they open
the gates. Sometime in July/August.
- Srisailam temple (Just for the fact that you had come so long and going
without visiting the God will be ominous)
I spoke to one of the policemen over there about spotting wild animals. He told
me that around a year back a Leopard had attacked a girl in one of the villages.
Further he told that Bears descend are spotted too often in the nights.
We thought we would be baked in sun while riding back. We started at around 2.00
p.m from there and luckily for us it turned out to be more exciting than the
onward journey. Thanks to the clouds which shielded us from the hot rays of the Sun.
It was quite cloudy and wind was blowing and there were some intermittent showers.
This environment made the ride through the forest very very..very pleasant. I spotted
a couple of peacocks and while I tried to capture them they ran off. Now I can only
locate a blue-green speck in the photo which is supposed to be a peacock :-). How
I wish I had a camera with zoom.
I conclude here. In all it was a really great experience. You'll not feel that
you had travelled so far (of course, it was he who was driving and I was happily
sitting behind :-)). Hari, you should have told me about this place earlier. For the
guys interested in Geography: Srisailam is in Aatmakuru mandal of Kurnool district.
I think we had to go through Ranga Reddy, Nalgonda, MahbubNagar and Kurnool to reach
I have decided to learn swimming, buy a bike and then go on a trip once again.
Probably July/August would be a nice time to visit with the jungles looking very
green (rather than gray). Further we should spend a night there and move around
any other places around there. Dont know if they have any night safari kind of
thing available. If so then it would be wonderful. Guys we should all go there
once..and remember only on bikes'll lose the fun if you go on a car, sumo
or a bus. The only deterrent being if you bike breaks down at some point in the
jungle then you are screwed up.