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Old 2nd June 2011, 23:53   #1
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Default Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit

Initial plan was to visit Goa, but taking advice that Goa can be enjoyed most in winters, we postponed the idea of visiting Goa in peak summer.

Second on mind was the Dindi resort near Razole – East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh. Less pressure at work facilitated the leave approval and kid was anyways having summer vacations. It was a perfect timing.

Of the various route options available, we decided to take the following:

Onward Journey : Hyderabad > Vijayawada> Gudivada> Bhimavaram> Palakollu> Chinchinada > Dindi (about 450 Km)

Return journey: Dindi > Razole> Pasarlapudi > Cross the Godavari by Ferry > Amalapuram> Yanam (Pondicherry enclave) > Kakinada> Rajahmundry > Bhimadole> Eluru> Vijayawada >Hyderabad. (about 650 Km)

The reason for opting the longer route on the return journey was due to my longing to travel through the heart of Konaseema; and to drive through the towns of Yanam, Kakinada and to cross the Godavari by iconic Rail-cum Road bridge at Rajahmundry.

The starting date was 21st May 2011. The formalities of filling the diesel, checking air pressure and etc., were completed the previous night itself. My Scorpio had gone through first service just a week ago and everything was fine. The beast was raring to be unleashed.

At the planning stage, after reading the comments of various members on this forum and elsewhere, I was a bit undecided to take NH-9 for HYS-VJA. However I later decided to take this regular route.
We (I, wife and kid) started from the western part of Hyderabad at 5.00 AM. Drive on NH9 was exciting with thrilling overtaking opportunities, scores of diversions, slow moving truck convoys, undivided carriageway after Chotuppal and of course the beautiful four laned 40+ Km section both at the beginning and end of this stretch . We had a breakfast break of about 30 minutes at ‘7’ food court, 3 km prior to Suryapet. Nice pit stop with good refreshments, parking and washroom facilities.

Total distance covered up to VJA was 305 KM (residence to Benz circle at VJA) it was a 6 hour drive excluding breaks;. Entire stretch was completed without any undesirable event. Our starting time from Hyderabad was probably peak time for truck traffic both ways and also for the innumerable Volvos flowing into Hyderabad.

From Benz circle we took a slight right exit and continued on NH9 up to Kanikipadu which is about 14 Km and then took a left turn and continued on a smaller road (SH-111) up to Gudivada town. SH-111 goes through middle of the bustling Gudivada town and merges with NH-214. Even though SH 111 is a bit narrow, it is scenic, surface is good, and traffic is very sparse, speeds of 90 – 100 kmph can be maintained. Drive on NH214 right up to our destination was amazing, good surface, extremely scenic with canals running parallel, innumerable aquaculture tanks and dense coconut groves & paddy fields. NH 214 crosses the railway track 5-6 times at the level crossings on Gudivada – Palakollu stretch.


sorry for the poor quality of video , this was shot through the sunfilmed windscreen

We had a lunch break at Kaikaluru town which was halfway between Gudivada and Bhimavaram. The restaurant, if I am not wrong was SAI PRIYA. Chicken Fry and Fish Fry were delicious and true to west Godavari cuisine were spicy and sizzling. These dishes matched well with the traditional Andhra thali. Damages were Rs 350 +
We resumed our journey after this lunch break of 40 minutes; and after a driving about 2 hours we reached the village of chinchinada (nagvasireddy has interesting details about this village in one of his threads) and crossed the huge bridge across the Godavari’s estuary, The Vasishta. In another 15 minutes we landed at the Haritha Coconut Country Resort of APTDC.


Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit-konaseema-009-copy.jpg

Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit-konaseema-010-copy.jpg

Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit-konaseema-011-copy.jpg

Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit-konaseema-043-copy.jpg

Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit-konaseema-044-copy.jpg

Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit-konaseema-045-copy.jpg

Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit-konaseema-046-copy.jpg

Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit-konaseema-047-copy.jpg

To be continued

Last edited by Night_Hawk : 3rd June 2011 at 00:23. Reason: typos
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Old 3rd June 2011, 00:31   #2
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Default Re: Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit

Hey Night Hawk, that is one awesome place been there 3 times in the past 3 years and the place never failed to impress me. In the second trip to Dindi was able to book the house boat for 24 hours and we were 5 friends and it was one hell of an experience. The 3rd time we were there 2 of the house boats were being renovated and looks like they are completed going by your pictures. So would definetly plan a trip for this long weekend in July.

Waiting eagerly for the rest of your travellogue.

P.S: Could I add a few pictures in your thread of our past visits here.


Regards
Shashi.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 00:47   #3
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Default Re: Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit

As we arrived at the APTDC Resort we were overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the location. Right on the Vasishta River bank stood the neatly planned building with well maintained lawns, a lovely swimming pool and the waterfront well marked with railings and a walkway all along the river bund. Coconut trees were all around, an abundance of pleasant breeze blowing into face, wherever one stands. All one has to do was to enjoy the setting of a near Paradise on Earth.
I had made online reservation through APTDC website. Check- in formalities were completed in 10 minutes, the baggage was unloaded by the resort attendants and I parked the Scorpio under a tree shade in the vast parking lot of the resort. In another couple of minutes we were in our first floor room which had a beautiful view of the Vasishta Godavari from the balcony. Play area for the kids was in the garden at Ground level with slides, trampoline, seesaws and swings on one side and a good swimming pool on the other.
As far as the eye could see the skyline was one unbroken string of coconut trees all along the River banks on either side. It looked as if God planted the trees, all by Himself, with love and meticulous care, so that nothing will come in between.


To be continued
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Old 3rd June 2011, 00:49   #4
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Default Re: Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by octane78 View Post

P.S: Could I add a few pictures in your thread of our past visits here.


Regards
Shashi.
Hi Shashi,
You are right, its an awesome place.
You are most welcome. Please go ahead and add your pictures
NH

Last edited by Night_Hawk : 3rd June 2011 at 01:03.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 08:06   #5
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Default Re: Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit

Yesterday itself Konaseema and Papikondalu were covered by DC. Been thinking of heading there one of these weekend.

Good start. Will help me planning my vacation as well

Cheers
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Old 3rd June 2011, 10:03   #6
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Default Re: Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit

The tip on the ‘7’ food court, 3 km prior to Suryapet, is very useful, thank you.
What signage should one look out for at Benz Circle in Vijaywada - Machilapatnam?

Which is the bridge that is visible in your photo - taken from the APTDC resort?
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Old 3rd June 2011, 12:41   #7
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Default Re: Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Been thinking of heading there one of these weekend.
Hi MC,
I wish you a great trip; and I hope the monsoons don't spoil the fun


Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
What signage should one look out for at Benz Circle in Vijaywada - Machilapatnam?
Which is the bridge that is visible in your photo - taken from the APTDC resort?
Kumar sir,
While approaching from Hyderabad side, there are prominent signs indicating the direction to Benz circle. At the circle itself a huge overhead sign board gives clear directions for NH-5 as well ad NH-9 ( towards Machilipatnam)

The Brdge you see in my photo is between Chinchinada and Razole on NH-214 .

There is an under construction bridge on NH-214 between Pasarlapudi and Bodakasaru . As you are aware, one has to take a ferry here. I am posting a video clip of that location which shows the current status of the bridge as well as the ferry point ( sorry for the poor quality of video)
YouTube - ‪baboo1962's Channel‬‏
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Old 3rd June 2011, 16:04   #8
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Default Re: Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit

Travelogue continued..

Rooms at Haritha Coconut country are fairly ok. AC was working well. Toilet was neat and furnishings were clean. Common areas like corridors, staircases are well maintained. There is a spacious common sit out at first floor overlooking the swimming pool and the river. Restaurant is at Ground floor. The ambience and service at the restaurant are average. Bar is located adjacent to the restaurant, did not use, cannot comment.

For the dinner on day-1, we went down to the restaurant and ordered rotis, steamed rice, chicken curry, fried fish and fried prawns accompanied with chilled thums-up. Chicken curry was average. Fish fry was the high light. It's worth a mention that if you don’t like it spicy this is not for you. During one of my earlier visits to N’ Sagar, I had relished the fish fry at vijay vihar and it was one of the best fried fish I had. The one at Haritha was spicier and tastier. Don’t miss out this dish if you happen to visit this place. Prawns were equally good and I am sure prawn lovers definitely wouldn’t want to miss out on this dish. For veggies good choices are available on the menu.

Simple south Indian breakfast buffet (wada, upma, idly + sambar + 2 chutnies) is served from 7.30 to 9.30 am on complimentary basis. Tea and coffee is available from 6.00 am. As we had gone out to explore the surroundings we did not take lunch at the resort restaurant.

We went out of the resort just before noon, before that I spent few minutes on cleaning the windscreen and dusting my Scorpio. We drove down to Pasarlapudi Ferry Point(20Km) to check out the feasibilty of crossing the Vynateya Godavari along with our Scoprio. NH-214 suddenly turns into a narrow dirt track for about 500 meters length and this track terminates on the river bank at the ferry boarding point. There is huge bridge under construction here. All pillars are in place; the connecting deck that carries the roadway is still under construction it may take 18-24 months for this bridge to become operational (see video clip in previous post)

Very large number of two wheelers , three wheelers and other passengers were waiting for the larger ferry which is called 'punti' in the local slang. Some of the two wheelers and passengers were accomodating themselves in the conventional smaller boats and crossing the river. This can be seen in the video clip attached in the previous post

The crowd appeared to be unusually large. Upon query, locals told us it is a marraige season and numerous marraiges are scheduled on both sides of the river so, there is a heavy movement of attendess in both directions. There was commotion when the'punti' arrived. Disembarking and boardiing vehicles and passengers jostled each other and a sort of traffic jam was created. After seeing this, i decided that i will not take my vehicle on board lest it will be definitely scratched, dented and what not.

We took a U turn from the ferry terminus and took a detour ( additional 25 km) and crossed the Vynateya Godavari by bridge and drove via Ambajipeta to reach Amalapuram - which is known as the heart of Konaseema. Our programme was to have a hearty konaseema lunch in this popular town. Performance of my Scorp throughout the journey was brilliant, it provided the comfort and power both.

At Amalapuram, we asked few locals for a good restaurant and surprisingly every one of them invariably suggested hotel "Vishnu Sri" which is situated in market street. The approach lane to the restaurant was very narrow; and with two wheelers parked on either side of this narrow street there was no room even for a nano to go through. We parked our black beast in front of a popular shoe store on the main road with a request to keep an eye and rushed to the second floor AC family section.

We straight away asked for local specialities and the guy suggested the following " Shilavati Pulusu", Fish masala, Prawns pepper fry, plain steamed rice and Rotis.

The name shilavati pulusu sounded interesting and seeing our curisioty the guy explained that it is a pulusu (curry with addition of tamrind) prepared using fish locally called 'shilavati'. Believe me this was the star dish of our trip and we ordered two additional servings, we were left finger licking. the consistency of the curry was light and the light pulusu effect of tamrind and the spices had reached every layer of tender fish chunks. If you visit Amalapuram, dont forget to try this at 'Vishnu Sri' . Other dishes were also delcious. No choice of deserts, lunch was capped with liberal scoops of vanilla ice cream. This was a real sumptuous lunch outting and was worth travelling 25+ km from Dindi to Amalapuram.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 23:56   #9
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Default Re: Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit

Some more photgraphs

Under construction Bridge on NH-214
Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit-konaseema-059-copy.jpg



Locals use this type of conventional boats to cross the river together with their two wheelers
Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit-konaseema-060-copy.jpg


Ferry ticket kiosk under the tree shade at Pasarlapudi
Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit-konaseema-062-copy.jpg
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Old 4th June 2011, 15:47   #10
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Default Re: Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit

Travelogue continued..

After going around Amalapuram, we started back around 4.30 pm. On the way back, we thought of visiting Antravedi beach and lighthouse. After few queries with the locals, we were advised to proceed towards Mallikapuram which is about 13 km from Razole. At Mallikapuram, we had a tea break. From here, every query for the directions yielded a different advice; and the confusion set in.

Finally based on the majority advice, a narrow road on the left was taken. After 3 Km, this road became very narrow strip with hardly a couple of inches free space on either side of Scorpio’s tyres. A deep canal, with barely any water in it, ran abutting the left road edge. This road strip was laid in the middle of dense coconut groves. Despite the time being 6 pm, available sunlight was giving a feel of 7 pm.
We met few locals who were coming in the opposite direction on foot. On confirming with them, they told us we are on the right track and asked us to continue on the same path. A few meters from this point, another smaller canal commenced along the pathway on its right edge This was alarming because there was no way we can turn back if we wanted to; or give space if any tractor or other 4 wheeler comes from the other direction. As the daylight was rapidly fading and the surroundings were totally deserted and the narrow road being sandwiched between two canals, Wife resisted going further ahead. We decided to return back from the first available turning opportunity.

After a couple of Kms, we came across a narrow road on our right with a culvert on the right canal. I maneuvered and managed to take a U turn. Keeping finger crossed that no vehicle comes from the opposite direction, I hurried towards Mallikapuram. By 6.30 it was almost dark and we safely reached the main road. Expedition to Antravedi was thus abandoned.

We had a round of hot tea and relaxed for a while at a small restaurant oposite to the bus stand. We liesurely drove back 18 Km and were back in the comforts of APTDC by 7.30 pm
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Old 9th June 2011, 16:57   #11
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Default Re: Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit

@Night_Hawk
Interesting travelogue for me. I am happy to see details of Konaseema based trip. Usually do not find that many travelogues on this area.
Is it completed?
I was always interested in staying/covering this when I do a Bangalore - Vizag trip (which is eternally in planning stage )

@Octane78
Quote:
Originally Posted by octane78 View Post
In the second trip to Dindi was able to book the house boat for 24 hours
This is interesting. I have only heard of boat-house (or 'launch') trips from Rajahmundry / Papi-konda(?)
Is there any route or itinerary or is it just a night stay in an anchored boat?

Pls share more details, if possible.
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Old 9th June 2011, 17:51   #12
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Default Re: Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit

@Octane78

This is interesting. I have only heard of boat-house (or 'launch') trips from Rajahmundry / Papi-konda(?)
Is there any route or itinerary or is it just a night stay in an anchored boat?

Pls share more details, if possible.[/quote]

Hi Rajiv0 if you look at picture number 3 in the first post you will see 2 boats anchored together. These are actually house boats with 2 A/C rooms with attached bathrooms and an upper deck to sit and relax. The launch boats are available at Rajahmundry and Papi-Konda which takes you on a trip and back. These house boats at konaseema take you on the back waters the whole day but anchor at the night at the resort (As mechanical boats are not allowed in these waters as the fisher folk lay their nets in the night for their daily catch).

Regards
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Old 10th June 2011, 04:10   #13
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Default Re: Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit

Aah, konaseema. One can find lovely villages in east/west godavari/Krishna and Guntur districts along the banks of river Godavari and Krishna. The green carpet of rice fields is a sight to watch for. The best time to go to these districts is during monsoon months. We can see a lot of greenery that is pleasing to the eyes. Pardon me hijacking this thread and attaching some of the pics showing the green carpet. Also pardon me for the bad quality pics as I had nothing else but a Nokia N63 when I drove in those areas last year.
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Old 10th June 2011, 13:38   #14
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Default Re: Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit

Lovely pictures and writeup.

The Shilavathi Pulusu was an interesting find,many thanx.

The 7 Food court is like an oasis in the middle of nowhere,and what is very interesting is that the place has a lot of lady staff as well.Apparently there is a Hotel Management College run by the same group in the area and the students double up as staff here(just hear say so cant confirm it).The place belongs to the same group who run the Oakridge Intl Schools

Website of Seven seven
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Old 10th June 2011, 13:38   #15
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Default Re: Hyderabad To Konaseema And Beyond - Summer Visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajiv0 View Post
@Night_Hawk
Interesting travelogue for me.
Is it completed?
I was always interested in staying/covering this when I do a Bangalore - Vizag trip
Thanks rajiv
TL is not yet complete.. will complete in a couple of days
Do visit this place. Most ideal time to visit konaseema would be immediately after the monsoon. Beauty of this place will be at its peak during and immediately after the monsoon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by octane78 View Post
@Octane78
These house boats at konaseema take you on the back waters the whole day but anchor at the night at the resort
Regards
Octane78
As i was told, houseboats can also be hired for shorter durations like 6 hours.

Last edited by Night_Hawk : 10th June 2011 at 13:44. Reason: Typos
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