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Old 24th October 2014, 15:43   #1
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Default Chennai -> Chitrakote Waterfalls: Need to plan the halts!

Folks,

The missus has asked that we plan a trip to the much-famed Chitrakote waterfalls for new Year's.

The high level plan is simple - start out from Chennai on 24th Dec or so, and be back by 2nd January.

Three simple questions:
a. Is the waterfall impressive enough in that season to warrant the ~1000km drive? What's the route given Hudhud happened recently?
b. Is it safe ? We will be just me, wife and 3 year old son. GMaps says it is 950km via Srikalahasti and Kothagudem. If possible I would like to leave chennai closer to 11pm, drive through the night, covering some 400-500km by day break. The son is quite naughty and really tiresome for the wife to manage all day - he needs to jump/dissipate his energy. While going I want to reach their quickly with least hassle, and then take a leisurely route while returning.
c. What else can we do enroute? Here's what I quickly drew up:
CHN - Chitrakote - Chilka / Puri - Bhubaneswar - Vizag - Srikalahasti - CHN

surely I can do better - please tell me what all.
Chennai -> Chitrakote Waterfalls: Need to plan the halts!-hny-plan-v01.jpg


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Originally Posted by RavenAvi View Post
Just have a look at the defective door checker of my Empress, as compared with a normal, brand-new door checker
Hey Avinash, Sorry for quoting this post- your intro thread was locked and so I quoted your latest post to seek your attention

Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post

Jeypore to Jagdalpur/Chitrakote [3 days] - 120 km
[NH43-NH16] - plus quite a few off route journeys to Tirathgarh, Kanger, Danteshwari temple and Kirandul.

Jeypore to Jagdalpur/chitrakote around 120 km. We based ourselves 1 day at Jagdalpur and 2 days at Chitrakote Resort, just near the Falls - fantastic location. From Jagdalpur covered the Tirathgarh falls beyond Kanger, Danteshwari Temple at Dantewada, and Kirandul/Bailadala mines. At Chitrakote just relaxed for 2 days.

From there Chitrakote we moved to Rayagada, Orissa. Followed this route as wanted to see the interior desolate roads. Amazing views, total emptiness, narrow roads for a halt at Rayagada.

In all Orissa state highways and national highways are deteriorating and both are in condition of disrepair. Road infrastructure of Chhattisgarh and AP, what we encountered, is much improved.
ADC boss,
please guide me about the chitrakote area given your visit that side! I'm not sure some of the places you listed above are necessarily quite close to chitrakote. Hence, please guide us as to the places nearby (within 50-60km of) chitrakote!
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Old 24th October 2014, 16:40   #2
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Default re: Chennai -> Chitrakote Waterfalls: Need to plan the halts!

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
a. Is the waterfall impressive enough in that season to warrant the ~1000km drive?
This waterfall is awe-inspiring throughout the year (this is how you'd see it in Dec) but it is JAW-DROPPING during the rainy season (July-Sep). If you are going ONLY for this then I'm afraid it might not be worth it IMHO. But then again, we LIVE TO DRIVE, don't we?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
b. Is it safe ? We will be just me, wife and 3 year old son. GMaps says it is 950km via Srikalahasti and Kothagudem.
The route that you have shared (via Konta-Sukma) is an absolute NO-NO, as it passes through some of the most naxal-intensive areas. A longer but much safer option would be to go via Vishakhapatnam - Vizianagaram - Jagdalpur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
c. What else can we do enroute? Here's what I quickly drew up:
CHN - Chitrakote - Chilka / Puri - Bhubaneswar - Vizag - Srikalahasti - CHN
Again, avoid taking interior roads from Jeypore to Chilka. Coming back to NH5 and then proceeding from there on would be a better idea.

Since you have 10 days in hand and you are going to Bastar, I would recommend spending a few days there. It is one of the most unexplored areas and pristine one at that. You can keep Jagdalpur as your base and visit the following:
Day-1) Jagdalpur town - Maharaja Bhanjdev's palace, shop for some excuisite local handicrafts
Day-2) Danteshwari temple @ Dantewada
Day-3) Tirathgad waterfalls/Kutumsar Caves

Once done, you can drive back from Jagdalpur to Srikakulam and then Northward towards Puri. I need not say much about Puri/Konark as you would find abundant stuff on these places on the net.

Hope this helps...

Last edited by cool_dube : 24th October 2014 at 16:45.
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Old 24th October 2014, 17:13   #3
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Default re: Chennai -> Chitrakote Waterfalls: Need to plan the halts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Three simple questions:
a. Is the waterfall impressive enough in that season to warrant the ~1000km drive? What's the route given Hudhud happened recently?
b. Is it safe ? We will be just me, wife and 3 year old son. GMaps says it is 950km via Srikalahasti and Kothagudem. If possible I would like to leave chennai closer to 11pm, drive through the night, covering some 400-500km by day break. The son is quite naughty and really tiresome for the wife to manage all day - he needs to jump/dissipate his energy. While going I want to reach their quickly with least hassle, and then take a leisurely route while returning.
c. What else can we do enroute? Here's what I quickly drew up:
CHN - Chitrakote - Chilka / Puri - Bhubaneswar - Vizag - Srikalahasti - CHN
First of all, excellent plan to visit the Chitrakote Falls, phamilyman. It's a fantastic place to be during New Year's. The waterfall is majestic and the resort nearby is extremely comfy and spacious.

Regarding travelling to here, the only good, safe route is Vishakhapatnam-Vizianagaram-Salur-Sunabeda-Koraput-Jeypore to Jagdalpur. Once you cross Vizianagaram, roads become slightly bad until you cross the Salur ghat section. Roads improve until Sunabeda, and then worsen (with some good patches) till the Chhattisgarh-Orissa border, a town called Dhanpunji. From there, roads are fantastic till Jagdalpur. It's a 6-hour drive from Vishakhapatnam to Jagdalpur, and 40 minutes from Jagdalpur to the Chitrakote waterfalls.

My suggestion - plan to stay at Jagdalpur (I'll be most happy to make arrangements for your stay if you PM me with details) and visit the Falls and some other places nearby for a day, then leave for your trip to Chilka Lake. You can either catch the same route back until Vizianagaram, then turn towards Srikakulam on your way to Berhampur and Chilka Lake, or you can take a route from Koraput towards Rayagada onwards to Berhampur.

The road trip from Vishakhapatnam to Jagdalpur is very scenic. You can plan stops at Arku valley, Macchkund reservoir, Kolab dam, HAL plant at Sunabeda enroute to Jagdalpur, if you start in the morning. Spend the night here, do the visiting next day, rest for the night, then leave early next morning for Chilka Lake. Berhampur is about 6 hours if you travel through Odisha(a bit unsafe if you ask me) and 10 hours through the Srikakulam route.

Quote:
Hey Avinash, Sorry for quoting this post- your intro thread was locked and so I quoted your latest post to seek your attention
Glad I can be of some help. You are always welcome to contact me for any help you need, my friend.
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Old 24th October 2014, 17:42   #4
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Default re: Chennai -> Chitrakote Waterfalls: Need to plan the halts!

I was initially thinking of suggesting Pakhal lake on the way then back via Hyd/Srisailam. But then totally forgot the Naxal aspect. So if you take Vijaywada/Vizianagaram option, then I dont know what to suggest enroute. Though the end destination is good, but a 1000km drive to the place without seeing anything in-between is some thing I would think twice.
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Old 24th October 2014, 18:39   #5
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Default Chitrakote Chennai Hexpress: Need to plan the halts!

There are some good places to visit - naval dockyard in Vishakhapatnam, Simhachalam temple, Kailasagiri, etc. At Vizianagaram, the Govindapuram temple, Ramateertham palace among others. Enroute to Chitrakote, the Arku valley is magnificent during winters.

Of course, I prefer the train route from Visakhapatnam to Jagdalpur. It is filled with some of the most breath-taking sights you can hope to see on a train journey. Absolutely fabulous!



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Old 24th October 2014, 19:03   #6
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Default re: Chennai -> Chitrakote Waterfalls: Need to plan the halts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenAvi View Post
Of course, I prefer the train route from Visakhapatnam to Jagdalpur. It is filled with some of the most breath-taking sights you can hope to see on a train journey. Absolutely fabulous!
Yet to visit that part of the country. Thanks for that perspective Avinash. Though in the current context I dont know what is state of affairs, post cyclone.
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Old 24th October 2014, 19:40   #7
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I had been to Visakhapatnam about a month back to get treatment for my in-laws. Roads and route were as I described above. Post-Hudhud, Visakhapatnam has taken the biggest hit but the route itself (to here) should be relatively unaffected, since the cyclone diverted from it's path and went northwards through central Odisha (we were in line to get hit, earlier).

I would say that roads entering and exiting Visakhapatnam are the most doubtful ones. Unfortunately I have no idea about those. But roads after Vizianagaram, heading through the Salur ghats into south Odisha, should be safe to drive.

But, just to be doubly sure, I can get some first-hand info from those in my circle about the roads from Jagdalpur to Visakhapatnam, post-cyclone. Will update tomorrow.




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Old 25th October 2014, 01:08   #8
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Default re: Chennai -> Chitrakote Waterfalls: Need to plan the halts!

Wow! You are planning the trip I wanted to do My plan was to do it during Navaratri though.

I would suggest doing Madras-Vizag on the first stint. Depending on the situation after cyclone damage you can spend a day in Vizag and see the places around Vizag. Araku, Borra Caves, Rushikonda, Bheemunipatnam.

Do Vizag-Jagdalpur on a fresh day in daylight. You can make Jagdalpur your base and can visit Chitrakoot and Tirtagarh.

Same way leaving CG also you could start in the morning, retrace to Srikankulam as Avi said and head north towards Odisha.
----
The initial stretch from Red Hills-Tada could be a pain there were numerous diversions there. Since you are starting at night, you should be wary of this. Also I'd suggest you time your start timing to cross Vijayawada before civilisation starts crowding the roads as there is no bypass and you have to go right through the city. I'd suggest a 10pm start, budgeting 7-8 hrs for Vijayawada so that you can cross around by daybreak. Since you are starting from Thiruvanmiyur (from the maps) you can take Thoraipakkam-Pallavaram 200 feet road - GST till Tambaram and take Chennai bypass. This will get you clear of major city traffic.
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Old 25th October 2014, 23:01   #9
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Default Chennai -> Chitrakote Waterfalls: Need to plan the halts!

Update: The roads from Visakhapatnam to Jagdalpur are unaffected by the cyclone. Traveling by roads to here should not pose any problem. But Visakhapatnam itself is in recovery mode. Finding good accommodation there, specially now, might be really tough. But no fretting - this also should not be a problem in 2 months' time, i.e., around Christmas.

Best thing to do is plan your trip so that you get to make a night stop at either Vijayawada or Rajahmundry, drive through Visakhapatnam next day directly to Jagdalpur and reach here by nightfall. It would be a 12-hour drive from Vijayawada to Jagdalpur via Visakhapatnam. On your return journey back from Chilka Lake, you can make stops at all these places (Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, etc.) and visit the chosen spots around, before returning home.

Ideally, Rajahmundry should be the mid-point of your journey, accommodation-wise.

Good luck. Drop me a PM once you finalise the trip.



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Last edited by RavenAvi : 25th October 2014 at 23:11.
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Old 21st August 2015, 17:22   #10
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Default Re: Chennai -> Chitrakote Waterfalls: Need to plan the halts!

Planning a trip to arakku from chennai next weekend. is arakku to chitrakote falls possible as a day trip and is the route from arakku to chitrakote via Badel safe and good?
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Old 9th October 2015, 20:03   #11
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Default Re: Chennai -> Chitrakote Waterfalls: Need to plan the halts!

Planning a trip from Chennai to Raipur via Vizag ,Jagdalpur with wife and 2 year old kid in November for Diwali including Danteswari temple visit.Looking for inputs on halts, time planning and road conditions and hotels for stay and food.

Vehicle: Honda Civic

Plan is to start early in the morning 2 AM -3 AM from Chennai and reach Vizag by evening 7 PM and stay for the night at Vizag.
Route - NH5
Estimated Travel Time - 15 Hours
Planning to pack food so that I can avoid long Breaks.

Leave for Jagdalpur early in the morning, reach by late afternoon and complete Danteswari temple visit and rest for the evening in Jagdalpur.
Route- Via Vizianagaram, Koraput, Jeypore.
Estimated travel time- 8 hours
Distance as per Google - 305 Km
Start time 4 AM
Reach by 10 AM
Any good hotel suggestions with Good restaurant?

Leave Jagdalpur in the morning and reach Raipur by evening.
Start time 8 AM
Reach by 4 PM
Distance as per Google 286 Kms

Cheers
Ramanak.

Last edited by ramanak : 9th October 2015 at 20:06.
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