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  1. Best Route from Hyderabad to Chikmagalur : 650 kms Hyderabad --> Kurnool --> Ananthapur --> Hiriyur --> Kadur --> Chikmagalur Route Condition from Hyderabad to Chikmagalur : Hyderabad to Ananthapur - 4 lane toll road, excellent Ananthapur to Chikmagalur - 2 lane road, average Limited food options between Ananthapur to Chikmagalur Best Time to Visit Chikamagalur : August to February Best Restaurants in chikmagalur: Khansamaa Restaurant https://g.page/KHANSAMAACKMRST?share Vishnu Delicacy - Vegetarian Restaurant https://goo.gl/maps/pUGfbyd83DZVPQVm7 Best hotels in Chikmagalur town: Hotel Aadrika Robusta Inn DC comforts Best resorts in Chikmagalur (Luxury): Vismita County Resort Trivik Resort & Hotel The Serai Chikmagalur Java Rain Resort, Chikmagalur Siri Nature roost Home stays in Chikmagalur: Mountainvalley homestay Nexstay coffee grove Day - 1 Start time : 5 : 00 AM Breakfast stop : 7 :00 AM to 7 :30 AM Location : Food Pyramid, Kothakota (Spacious parking, Good Food, Decent Washrooms, Kids Play area) Google pin : https://goo.gl/maps/Gha9UJ3A14Zvwa9E8 Fuel Stop : Reliance fuel, Anantapur Google pin : https://goo.gl/maps/kXvy8D47MFCchpDp7 Coffee break : 12 : 00 PM Location : Chowraasta Cafe and Restaurant, Anantapur Google pin : https://goo.gl/maps/798wC7JbwH1qNZiZ8 Lunch stop : 2 : 00 PM Location : Garlica Restaurant, Hiriyur Google pin : https://g.page/garlica-restaurant?share Coffee break : 4 : 30 PM Location : Sri Vinayaka Cafe, Kadur Google pin : https://goo.gl/maps/pGpi9BSuAXfQPYUD Final stop : 7 : 00 PM Day - 2 Places to visit : Kallathigiri Falls Mullayanagiri Babu Budangiri (Datta Peeta) 500 steps to climb, but the views are breath taking Day - 3 Places to visit : Ayyankere Lake Hebbe Falls (Private Jeep has to be hired which are available at the location, it will cost around 800/- for 4 people) Kemmangundi Coffee Museum (20 INR per head - Operates between 10 : 00 AM to 1 : 00 PM and 2 : 30 PM to 5 : 00 PM) Day - 4 Start back to Hyderabad Start time : 5 : 00 AM Breakfast Stop : 7: 30 AM Location : Udaya family restuarent, Hiriyur Google pin : https://goo.gl/maps/QDLnPwAKu8v2cuJk6 Lunch stop : 12 : 30 PM Location : Garlica Ananthapur Google pin : https://g.page/garlica-restaurant?share Coffee break : 5 : 00 PM Location : Food Pyramid Google pin : https://goo.gl/maps/Gha9UJ3A14Zvwa9E8 Reach Hyderabad: 7 : 30 to 8 : 00 PM Note: Additional Day-5 for Kudremukh
  2. Total Distance Travelled: 160kms up & down. Time Taken: 7.5 hrs. Road Condition: Excellent. Vehicle: Ford Freestyle Titanium 1.5 TDCi. Route: Gannavaram – Prakasam Barrage – Gollapudi – Lanco Circle – Kondapalli village – Lanco Circle – VGA – HYD NH – Kondapalli forest ghat – Kondapalli fort – HYD – VGA NH – Mulapadu village – Mulapadu Butterfly Park. It was the 28th day of August. More than 6 months locked in our homes. Yes, the lockdown has been lifted. But the virus is till there. Three visits to my hometown, Rajahmahendravaram / Dowaleswaram and Ramachandrapuram but the itch to explore a place and drive to a beautiful forest where I and my Ford always love spending time was still there. I was at Vijayawada, the city my father is currently working as a DGM at AAI. Never been to any nearby place but always heard about the place Kondapalli. Though visiting my all-time favorite Maredumilli forest, Pamuleru Vagu the 3rd time was my initial plan, couldn’t convince my parents since we were planning to Hyderabad very soon. So, What next? Just a quick check on the route from VGA-Kondapalli opening Google Maps and checking the best viewpoint using Google Earth. The next day, it was 29th of August. Gannavaram – Kondapalli village – Kondapalli fort via Kondapalli forest. We had a delicious lunch at home in Gannavaram, checked my newly fitted Hella Comet 500 and a gentle press on the push start button depressing the clutch, my Ford 1.5 TDCi roared to life. It took us 2hrs to reach Kondapalli village which is 45kms away from my house at Gannavaram. It was 3.07PM and we quickly stopped at Kondapalli toys store to gift a nice Kondapalli toy to our family doc and did a quick shopping for our newly renovated house at Hyderabad. While my parents were busy shopping at the store, I had a quick look inside the store, wondered at the beauty of our native Telugu artisans work and then it was time for me to have a look at the Gmaps for further planning. A short drive to the other side of the hill, we in no time entered Kondapalli Forest ghat. What a feeling! Driving on the ghats after almost a year. Maredumilli being the last. It’s a 6.9km drive through the forest ghat road and it took us almost 20mins to reach to the Fort after a good drive on the extremely narrow and scenic ghat road. The road condition was excellent. Doordarshan TV towers situated at the top of the hill is a major advantage and the only reason for the best road condition. We spent a good 1.5hrs time at Kondapalli forest. While my parents were busy exploring the fort, I was double busy exploring the forest and clicking some beautiful pictures of my mile muncher Ford and enjoying the views sipping a chilled sprite in the hot afternoon. It was 5.15 in the evening, it’s getting dark and we were already getting late to catch-up for our last leg of journey, drive through the Mulapadu forest road in the return leg to home. We hopped into our car after sipping hot tea and at a small shop near the fort feeling sad looking at the beauty being littered by some people. Kondapalli fort - Mulapadu forest – Gannavaram via Mulapadu forest road. (ONE NEEDS TO TAKE THE MULAPADU-GADDAMANUGU ROAD TO VISIT BUTTERFLY PARK AND FOREST WHICH IS NOT SHOWN IN GOOGLE MAPS) We started at 5.45 Pm at Kondapalli fort, a good downhill drive covering the entire 6.9kms but this time in 30mins avoiding all the idiotic bikers ricing on rice bikes and Activas, we reached the VGA-HYD NH with a small scratch on the rear right door caused by an old man speeding in his Dzire without even honking on a curve. “Be gentle on my curves” must be followed everywhere! We reached Mulapadu village and the time was already 6.15PM, seeing no chance of driving through the Mulapadu forest road to Gannavaram which was the original plan since it was already dark and the road was full of truck traffic, I settled for a few pictures near the Mulapadu Butterfly Park arch and Mulapadu forest entry, bought some beautiful plants in the nearby nursery, bid goodbye to the beautiful place looking at the forest road entry planning in my mind to execute the incomplete final leg of journey all alone, we drove back to Gannavaram. I know the story is incomplete unfortunately. But hopefully I’ll be back really soon with a part 2. Until then, Drive Safe, Stay Safe.
  3. Exploring Yanam Part 1 Origin: Ramachandrapuram, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh. Destination: Yanam, Puducherry. Route Taken: Ramachandrapuram - Tallapolam - Draksharamam - Kuyyeru - Yanam Start Time:5:10AM Distance: 27KMS Time Taken: 1hr Car: Honda City VX i-VTEC Mileage: 13.2KMPL Road Condition: Mix of good, average, bad and worst. Scenic Views: Single lane roads with beautiful scenes at either side of the roads. The roads are surrounded by lush green farms on either side. Trip Report Yanam, the place that I first visited in 2013, when I was 17. And this time again I wanted to visit the place only to know it better and love it more... Started early in the morning at 5:10 and reached the area in 1hr. The only thing I thought I could do in the place is to take the initial sunrise photo touching the waters. That's a beautiful sight and I never missed that. But surprisingly this time I got more than what I expected. I got to know about the area more and explore the area and the backwaters. This time, unfortunately, I could take my favourite shot, the sun touching the waters because of clouds. But got a chance to explore the area a bit. It was 7:00 AM, the sun just started rising pushing the clouds aside. And there I saw a person in a white shirt and white pant, assumed him to be a local and approached him to inquire more about the place. To my surprise, he turned out to be the government boat operator. Upon asking him, he arranged a boat ride into the waters and at 7:15 I was on the boat moving gently on the backwaters. The boat driver Ramakrishna, is a very nice guy. I finished taking photos and started talking with him. he spoke many things, from the political situation in Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh, their lives, the local MLA and not to forget, the insider information about the place. Yanam, a very beautiful place, mostly unexplored and left undeveloped. "Yanam chala manchi ooru Saru, Kani Chala mandi teliyaka raru. Tourists perigite maku income perugutundi" said the boat driver. Yanam indeed is a really beautiful place, there are many places to explore from Yanam. The first one, Bhairavapalem Mangrove Forests (Where we can find many rare migratory birds. It takes 2 hours to come and 2 hours stay on this island. Total of 6 hours. Price for 10 is 6000 INR) Koringa Mangrove Forests And many small unexplored islands (We can find many migratory birds) I think the area should be developed, but that development shouldn't destroy the natural beauty and serenity of the place. The local activities early in the morning, sunrise, birds chirping and the fishing activities are really beautiful and the development should not destroy these... Part 2 coming soon... I'll be writing about the places that in have visited in part 2. Places to stay: The Regency Hotel (best for families as per trip advisor) Sarva Inn Puducherry Government Guest House Few Pictures
  4. We got our new car in Aug 2018, decided to go for a long drive during dasara holidays. So we planned for a 3 day trip to Anantapur, lepakshi and madhavaraya temple gorantla. Day:1 Distance : 366 KM Travel time : 6 hours approx Started on Sunday afternoon around 1:30 PM, we took the NH44 towards jadcherla, karnool. Reached around 7:30 to Anantapur with tea break and dinner break nearby Anantapur (Hotel Mayura) . We stayed at Hotel Serena as we saw some good reviews about the place, and its close proximity to NH. Hotel was good as we expected. Day: 2 Distance: 255 KM We began our journey to Lepakshi temple around 8 am after had a delicious breakfast filled with yummy idlis and hot wadas at Ramaiah Idly Centre, which seems to be famous food joint known especially for Idlis in Anantapur. Reached Veerabhadra Temple, Lepakshi around 10 PM. Temple is maintained so clean and neatly, found parking place near by the entrance. Around 2 hours we spent in the temple admiring the marvellous sculptures of Vijayanagara architecture. Being the holidays season temple had good amount of visitors, though we had a pleasant darshan. Temple has a small garden and washroom facilities. This is a must visit temple if you like visiting historical places filled with beautiful sculptures and grand architecture. Few pictures take using my mobile. hope you like them.
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