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Hyderabad to Gandikota - Camping


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Hyderabad to Gandikota drive meet and camping - Republic Day drive report (Jan 26, 26 - 2019)

 

When: January 26th, 27th  2019

Where: Belum caves and Gandikota gorge

Distance: ~400 Kilometers

 

Objective :

A small gathering with all the 'India-drive' members at the Gandikota gorge for an overnight camp under the beautiful night skies.

 

Destination description:

 

Belum Caves:

Belum caves, supposedly the longest caves in India after Borra, is about 80 kms from 'Orvakal'. Belum Caves have long passages, fresh water galleries and siphons. It is a natural underground cave formed by the constant flow of underground water. The caves reach its deepest point of 150 feet known as 'Pataalaganga'.

 

Gandikota:

The name Gandikota was acquired from the picturesque gorge formed between the Erramalai hills. A deep valley with massive boulders of red granite resembling the Grand Canyon surrounds the fort. The Penna river flows between the gorge which is ~100 meters below the western and northern sides of the fort.

 

Cover picture:

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Participants:

1) Volkswagen Polo - Abhishek

2) Volkswagen Polo - Suhas

3) Fiat Punto - Rajesh

4) Baleno - Prabhu

5)Tata Tigor - Maroti

6) Ford Aspire - Ankit
7) Ford Ecosport - Anand Singh
8) Mahindra Scorpio - Dushyant

9) Renault Duster - Vineet

10) Hyundai Creta - Rajesh
11) Hyundai Creta - Sagar 
12) Mahindra XUV 500 - Rahul Sharma

13) Jeep Compass - Shivanand 

14) Ford Endeavour - Sridhar

15) Volvo D40 - Ashwin

16) Audi Q3 - Bhargav

 

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January - 26 (Day -1)

 

Around 5 30 AM all the 'India-drive men' started off from various prescribed start points to reach a re-group point at the 'Food Pyramid' on the Kurnool highway which would be the only stop until we reached the destination.

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We have reached the breakfast point by 7 30 AM to meet all the members attending the drive meet. After a short gathering and post breakfast, we started off to drive down to our first destination i.e. Belum caves

Sharing a few pictures shared by the members which were shot at the Belum caves:)

 

Unlike the Borra Caves in Vishakhapatnam the Belum Caves have long passages and spacious chambers.

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Muted lighting adds up to the mystery and the beauty of these carves were formed by the flow of underground water.

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Only point in the cave where the sunlight creeps in is this entrance

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Few glimpses captured after the cave walk.

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After a tiresome photo-walk inside the caves, we moved out to recharge ourselves with the Rayalaseema delicacies for lunch at the Harita Resorts.

Post lunch, we resumed the drive and steered towards the Gandikota camp site to sight the gorge during the sunset time.

We had reached the camping area by 5 PM, picked up the pitched tents and settled for the next few hours sighting at the fabulous view this place had offered.

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All the members got involved in some enthusiastic conversations while few others settled themselves comfortably getting acclimatized to the weather conditions. 

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It's always fun to hang around with the like minded enthusiasts. One doesn't really have to introduce himself when they share a common topic in interest.

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Every enthusiast got busy getting involved into interesting discussions on current affairs, travel goals and car culture. While a few others got busy capturing pictures on the west.

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The place looks beautiful as always expect for a lot of littering done by the regular campers.

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The next gen and the most youngest 'India-Drive' members have a ball of time in their own space. :) 

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@Dushyant and crew enjoying their own time sighting at the gorge.

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A small glimpse of the super enthusiastic crew who have made it for the drive and made the event a grand success. We were able to manage and get these shots before the light dimmed out. A huge shout out to the whole crew.

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Day - 1 (Contd.. )

 

All the members were set to explore the place by foot and capture the best of views at the campsite

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The huge red boulders added to the magnificent background and the landscape looked majestic.

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We have pitched our tents at our own private space overlooking the view of the Penna 

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There were a lot other campers who have reached out to the same place. Disadvantages of being here during a weekend :D 

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It was a pleasure to have the Fiat guys :)

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@Asher  @prasadduggirala  @ksa171983 tried their level best to make this pic look candid. Did I just spill out the beans guys? :P 

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A few captures of the whole group before I had shut down the shutter on Day - 1. This was followed up by a long session of interactive session besides the Bonfire until 1 AM in the night :) 

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This click is worth the memory of a lifetime to sac in :)

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January - 27 (Day - 2)

 

All of us were up by 6 AM and were set off to a short trek on to the surrounding cliffs to explore more of this place while a few others joined us late after their late morning chores :) 

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The place looks absolutely peaceful and away from the usual city lights. Nature can be felt best in silence between the mountains  :) 

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Customary photo freaks are never to be missed and @prasadduggirala is proud to be claimed as one as always. :P 

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@Vinith @pavanbandari @ksa171983 pose during the middle of their trek down to the banks of Penna :) 

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@sahil joins the crew of an enthusiastic trek till the banks of Penna

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@sahil Were you trying to clone the redeemer statue in Rio De Janerio :D 

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Day - 2 (Contd.. )

 

We spent there for about 2 hours exploring and resting at the top edge of the cliff clicking pictures

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A deep valley and impassable hills surrounded by massive boulders of red granite, does remind us of the Grand Canyon and probably that's why it is called so.

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All the cheerful souls got engaged in losing themselves in the tranquillity of nature

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Overlooking at our campsite away from a short early morning trek before we had our breakfast.

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Few glimpses of the members who always add a festive flare to every drive 'India-Drive' does. @Varsha. and @shammy

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@prabhum and crew always make sure about their presence being felt every time they make it to the drive :) 

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@Asher never misses out to be on a drive with 'India-Drive'

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It's always fun to have members like @Vinith who would love to volunteer and support the team whenever he makes it to the drive.

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'India-Drive' is proud to have members like @Sridhar Tandra who is the most active member on the forum and our new moderator of the Facebook group.

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We are sure that they have had a ball of time after being referred by our fellow moderator :)  

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After spending a good amount of time on the cliff top and soaking in the morning sun, we descended down to reach our campsite for breakfast. Post breakfast, we were all set to explore the fort area.

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After a last bit of exploration in Gandikota, The track was all set to get back to the base by 11 AM.

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Few customary stops for pictures enroute, we stop by a shoulder to get our last bit of group pictures :) 

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And we drove along the convoy to elaborate safety and eliminate risk :D 

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The most significant 'India-drive' convoy never hits a miss during any drive meet which is quite evident.

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Here is something that you would get used to while driving in a convoy with 'India-Drive'

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Our drive continued towards Orvakal to sight the Natural igneous rock formations but a heavy downpour at the place has enforced us to opt it out and set the next stop for a late lunch at the 'Food Pyramid'

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Before I wind-up, 'India-drive' once again would like to thank each and every member who have attended this drive and making this meet a grand success. Your support and participation throughout the event in co-ordination and knowledge sharing has been commendable and well appreciated. Looking forward to see you guys in the next drive meet.

 

Regards-

Team 'India-Drive'.

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Excellent report @sagar

Thank you for sharing. 

Sadly, we couldn't take the pictures of entire convoy. 

I think after Koilsagar, this is the meetup has highest member gathering. 
 

Few mobile pictures from my end

Low light conditions, spoiled the overall pictures.

 

Quick break, enroute to Belum Caves

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Bonfire

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Early morning trek

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Convoy Panorama 

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Nice report team. This is my first over night meetup with India-Drive. Two days went off so quickly. Weather was great through out the drive.
It was very nice meet you all online.  I can identify few members from the group. :)  

Had fun winning the Dumbsharads :P, after battling the Telugu pundits. 

 

Events of Duster and Volvo showing their muscle power. 

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44 minutes ago, uday said:

Had fun winning the Dumbsharads :P, after battling the Telugu pundits

 

Oh no! Only you should start talking about it :P  Wish to see you more joining us for overnight drives :) 

 

14 minutes ago, ksa171983 said:

sleeping :P in the tent.

 

Yes yes, Tell me about it :D We missed you there at the Bonfire ;) 

 

8 minutes ago, KSK said:

Awesome travelogue, with visually stunning pictures and details

 

Thanks much @KSK Waiting to catch up at our next drive meet :) 

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Wow wow and wow. Awesome travel log. You guys are giving reason to live. I missed this as we had already planned Koilsagar drive during that time. One more location added in bucket list. Happiness is flowing on people faces. Saw few families with kid, now my fear of "kaise manage karenge" vanished. Will surely join  in next trip with you all.   

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31 minutes ago, mit1682 said:

Will surely join  in next trip with you all. 

 

14 minutes ago, Krish said:

I'll definitely come for the coming drives

 

It would be a pleasure hosting one for such drive enthusiasts. Would love to have you join us :) 

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Hats off to The ID Team for this successful drive meet and appreciations to Sagar for this amazingly perfect travelogue presentation. 

While reading thru I really felt as if I am driving & experiencing live.

Surely, I missed this awesome drive meet due to health reasons.

Would love to join next meet up.

Thanks.....

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Yay! super cool report as usual @sagar. Here are few pics from my end!! While I missed a lot of pictures with convoy, we have had super fun with the team as always. Like @prabhum said I literally feel like a family reunion when I drive with this group.

 

My beast...

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Lone warrior!

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Admin on the job for the cover pic!

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Yo soy el administrador!!!

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Most vibrant tents & our Greyhound guy in one of them :P :P !!

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Most awaited Sunrise view from the tents over the gorgeous Gorge!!!

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I got a little creative here.. :P 

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My two little devils Yashu and Oordhva!

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Couple of family pics I managed to click!

 

The evergreen & ever energetic @prabhum garu and family!

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Super cool @Anand Singh

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Now you know if it is Rio De Generio or the Status of Liberty!! :D :D 

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and few more of them!!!

 

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Thank you very much @sagar @Ranger for this beautiful drive, all the memories that you have given in this trip and wonderful pictures!! Yet another super awesometastically managed drive!! 

 

Waiting for the next one to come, Adios until then!!! ❤️❤️❤️ 

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2 hours ago, Ranger said:

Beautiful pictures Sridhar.

Thanks @Ranger

 

2 hours ago, Ranger said:

Any insights on how well Endeavor performed?

It is a beast on our roads Gowtham, never had any issues with any kind of roads / potholes on the Betamcherla stretch. We never felt those potholes inside the cabin. noise level inside the cabin was also very less. Tried high speeding once while returning on the NAM between Orvakal and Kurnool to see how stable it is and It was rock steady even at 180 kmph and cruised without any issues. I felt a little shaky at 180 kmph and when rain started to pour while on wet roads and bought down the speeds gradually to see where the vehicle gets stability, it was around 150 kmph when I felt back the confidence on wet road.

 

Overall, Endeavor is as tough as it looks and equally comfortable inside. Last row is a little cramped yet comfortable compared to various other cars we have in the market but need to compare it with Fortuner when I get a chance. The automatic gearbox works like a champ with almost no lag around any shifts with beautiful pull over. 

 

Will have to drive Fortuner for similar amount of time to understand the difference. 

 

It returned us about ~11+ km / liter on the kitna deti hai front which I felt is impressive overall with various road conditions and speeds we drove on.

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      Breakfast at Haritha, would be ideal.
      @⁨Saran when are you planning to return?

      Dr. Sudhir : My question too... Return plan? I would like to join at 5:00 am...  Saturdays r working days for me... For that matter Sundays too... ?
       
      Saran : Before Hyderabad traffic wakes up
      Yep.. Before 9 return

      Sridhar : I will also join the drive tomorrow morning if we return by 10
      Will I get the 'roadtrippin' tattoo for my car tomorrow if you are coming??
       
      Me : Yes

      Sridhar :  Is the plan on at 5am?

      Saran: Will confirm in an hour.
      Confirmed
       
      Ashwin : I'm in.
      Sridhar : 5am, Gachibowli ORR entrance is it

      Saran: Yep

      Sridhar : Will be at ORR entrance at 5 am
       
      Saturday :
      Me : Good morning 
      Will be there at ORR entrance by 5am.
       
      Dr. Sudhir :  Doesn't look like anyone slept ????
       
      Saran:  Am starting to ORR, Will be there in 15 mins

      Ashwin : Me too. See you there guys.
       
      That's how it all started, Thank you saran for taking the initiative.

       
      Places explored in Ananthagiri hills:
       
      Anthagiri hills view point, opposite to the temple Maps :https://goo.gl/maps/1nqWq5v4AP82 Anathagiri hills lake
      Maps :https://goo.gl/maps/6GeP8TC8CZK2 Haritha resort (Breakfast)
      Maps : https://goo.gl/maps/dJck8f1dZJB2
      More information about best places to visit in Ananthagiri Hills:
       
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    • The Automobile Lighting - Everything You Would Want To Know About Lights.
      "National Crime Record Bureau’s Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India-2014 report stated that poor visibility, animals coming on the roads and parking of vehicles on road shoulders killed hundreds of people in AP and Telangana in 2014-15.
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    • Hyderabad hanging bridge is open
      World's Longest Span Concrete Deck Extradosed Cable Stayed Bridge on #DurgamCheruvu today to the wonderful Hyderabadis.
      Another jewel added to the City of Pearls!

       

       

       
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    • Harley Davidson leaving the country?
      Harley is killing manufacturing plant. 
      Service/Spare parts wont be a problem for existing customers.
       

      Will it end with Harley or we will see more manufactures(expensive bikes) leaving the country?
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    • Hyderabad to Kondaveedu Fort
      We (my son and me) went to Kondaveedu Fort on Jan 13, 2019, in our Baleno. It is approximately 275 km from Hyderabad, and drive time is around 5-1/2 hrs.
       
      Route:
      Hyderabad -> Narketpalli -> Narsaraopet -> Phirangapuram -> Kondaveedu Fort
       
      Short Note:
      Kondaveedu Fort is situated in a beautiful spread of Kondaveedu mountain ranges, located 1700 feet above the sea level and at a distance of 26 kms from Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. The fort being located on a hill top, the view from this place is awe inspiring. And driving through the newly-laid continuous hairpin bend (almost 20) ghat road is exhilarating to say the least. It is a shame that this beautiful place, once flourished as the capital of Reddy kings, could not fast become a tourist hotspot. It is only in recent years, tourists from across the state are thronging the place and enjoying the scenic beauty of the area.
       
      We started from Hyderabad at 5:30 am and reached the fort by 10:30 am. We drove to the top of the hill, spent some time, took some photographs, enjoyed beautiful view of natural scenery and returned back. Unfortunately, we could not get into the fort as renovation work was still going on. Later, we went to Mangalagiri and Kanuka Durga temples and returned back to Hyderabad same day by 7:15 pm. Total trip distance was 635 km.
       
      Since Kondaveedu Fort can be reached easily via road and has excellent roads, I would recommend going here for a picnic and returning on the same day. However, if you want to crash, put up in any hotel in Guntur. Although the roads have been maintained, there are not many options for food and drinks around the fort. However, presently renovation work is going on and no tourists are allowed to go to the top of the hill. We were fortunate enough to be allowed.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       
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