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Old 9th June 2011, 17:53   #1
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Wink A Quick Run-of-the-Mill Temple Trip to Annavaram!

THIS IS A FLASHBACK STORY, TRIP DONE IN JUNE 2010!

It is that time of year again. Skies are overcast and monsoon is already there. Have been longing to go for real long drivacation. This year has been okay so far as regards to my road trip. Drove to Ooty for New Year celebrations with family, then in April 2011 drove to Tirupati and last month in May 2011 drove to Srisailam. But after the Ooty drive in January haven't been on vacation and all trip happened on saturdays/Sunday's.

This itch to go on a drivacation is getting unbearable, therefore got a little nostalgic and was remembering the vacations/drives I went to last year. Last year was a little eventful, in April 2010 drove to Yercaud, then in August drove to Ooty, Coonor and Devashola for a week and again to Ooty in December 2010 which ended in January2011. Also, drove to Nagarjuna Sagar a few times last year. By that comparison, this year has been a little boring so far.


Enough of all this nostalgia. This is how it all started for this trip.

Wife & me were thinking of going for a short trip to some closeby place around Hyderabad. We thought why not explore Warangal. We were planning to leave on saturday afternoon, reach there by evening, stay overnight, sight seeing next morning till afternoon and then leave back to hyderabad by afternoon to be there by late evening.

We were searching for hotel and for this I thought of asking my friend who has been to Warangal, as his wife has relatives there. Called him up and was speaking to him when his wife suddenly asked him in the background to ask me that when we will plan for Annavaram. We have been thinking of going to Annavaram since late 2009 but the plan hadn't materialise as yet.

So my friend just asked me when will we do the trip ? I just a had a thought cross my mind then that why not this weekend. I just told him to hang on for a while I call my wife and tell her that why not do Annavaram instead as it has been pending for a while. Thankfully, she agreed and then I confirmed it to my friend, who was a little surprised to get such a early confirmation.

It was Thursday , 17th June and we had to start on Saturday 19th June. Oh and have to quickly ask for leave from the Boss too.
That was done in jiffy and we were all set. We planned to start early at 4a.m.
Friday evening, it started raining, heavily that too.We came back from office, had dinner early at 8p.m and it was still raining. Packed stuff for the trip and thought of going to sleep at around 10p.m and it was still raining. Wife suggested that we drop this trip, if it continues to rain for another hour. I was not ready too. Thankfully it slowed down but was still pouring by around 12 a.m and as we couldn't get any sleep , I called up my friend and asked him what he thinks about the rain. He answered, "let's see". I said fine.
He said they were packing stuffs, I said fine come over as soon as you are done, anyway which way we can't sleep now. They came over by 1-1.30a.m. By that time we were resolved to go through the trip and we were ready already. Had tea, packed stuff in the car, and decided not to waste time and start right away.
So fun started at 2 a.m , we were on road, a full 2 hours ahead of scheduled 4 a.m.
We soon hit the Vijaywada highway and it was fun till we got out of the city. After around 2 hours of drive, we got stuck in a traffic jam at around 4:30 a.m and it was still drizzling.

Now time for some photos
Stuck in the Jam
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Odo at 8k
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Everybody was sleeping, while I was enduring through the Jam and high truck traffic. I didn't realise but soon the night was fading away, and I started seeing daylight and it was still raining. It was fun and the same time very tiring to endure such traffic, rain, high beams.
Everybody woke up by that time and we decided to halt for breakfast and tea break. We soon enough saw the board of "7" highway restaurant and decided to break there. It was around 6 a.m .
We were so pleasantly shocked to see such beautiful food court in the middle of highway, though I have read about it before. Words will not do, see the pics for yourself.

Parked inside-my friends alongside my ride.
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Early morning, and the rains.
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Hey, what's there
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oh!! rabbits!!
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And sweets too!!
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View on the backside
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Oh!!the Foodcourt also has wi-fi!!
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Hey, you guys want to see the loo at this Foodcourt. You must, check this out.
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Super clean and well maintained, isn't it. I liked the view from the loo. Nothing like being close to nature when you are on nature's call.

Last edited by Fordmanchau : 17th June 2011 at 23:20.
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Old 15th June 2011, 22:50   #2
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So after the initial euphoria of seeing such a beautiful facility on the road and in such a lovely weather, we finally managed to pull ourselves inside to order food.

The food available at that time was the usual fare with multiple types of dosa, idli, utthapam, tea and coffee. And to tell you the fact,we were surprised to see the good interiors of the Food court too . I seriously wonder why this kind of facility is not on the Hyd-Blr route!!

We settled down on the table, ordered our food and waited for it. Let's see some photos in the meantime.
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Okay the coffee is here to start with. Look at the froth!!
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Binu andi with his coffee. I jsut remembered, the first time I ordered tea for myself
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Me posing for the camera
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And here comes the dosas
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The dosa's came with amazing chutneys,we gobbled two of those and then it was my turn with the coffee after finishing the dosa.
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This was one of the amazing coffee of my lifetime , I must say. Just one look at the photo and I can feel the taste in my mouth.
All this took around 1 hour and then we started again . Few parting shots of the rabbits and the facility.
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And we hit the road again..
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Last edited by Fordmanchau : 23rd June 2011 at 22:26.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 22:53   #3
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Default Re: A Quick Run-of-the-Mill Temple Trip to Annavaram!

This is where I handed over the steering to my friend as I was tired of driving through the night.
We planned to reach Rajamundhry and stay for the night and from there on next day morning we would go to Annavaram Temple.
Before this, we also discussed different route and stay options. My plan was to goto Kakinada and stay for the night and stay on the Vijaywada highway as long as possible to make the journey fast, easy and less tiring but our friend had different plans. He advised to halt at Rajamundhry and that we go via Suryapet-Khammam route. I was not convinced though, but after long unending discussion I relented.
So Suryapet-Khammam route it was to Rajamundhry. He was on the driving seat now and I was relaxed with camera in hand. I would recommend this route for the beauty of it. But it's long and tiring, plus being a single lane state highway, it has it's own pros and cons.
So what did I do while sitting on the passenger seat and enjoying the weather, clicked pics..hehe....!!

The long straights
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The good parts
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The bad parts, it was really not much of a bother
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The long long straights..
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The toll booth
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And the 10 bucks toll, why can't NHAI replicate this on all the 4 lane NHs.hehe!!
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The chickens got chickened!!
This was a fresh accident, and we saw two bodies behind the truck.
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Amazing road
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Wonderful curves
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Possibly it rained so much, only this much of land is visible.But it was actually a lake. Palair Lake.
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My car throwing a little attitude..
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Pics of Palair lake
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Last edited by Fordmanchau : 23rd June 2011 at 23:00.
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Old 24th June 2011, 09:47   #4
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Default Re: A Quick Run-of-the-Mill Temple Trip to Annavaram!

Thread moved from Assembly Line to Travelogues section.
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Old 24th June 2011, 16:42   #5
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Default Re: A Quick Run-of-the-Mill Temple Trip to Annavaram!

FM,waiting for more.The road pictures are all of the roads between Khammam & Suryapet?
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Old 24th June 2011, 17:27   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
FM,waiting for more.The road pictures are all of the roads between Khammam & Suryapet?
Yeah Ranjit , all road pics are of between Suryapet-Khammam-Rajamundhry stretch.
Will try and finish it tonight from home.There's not much but I am afraid
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Old 24th June 2011, 18:03   #7
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Originally Posted by Fordmanchau View Post
Yeah Ranjit , all road pics are of between Suryapet-Khammam-Rajamundhry stretch.
Will try and finish it tonight from home.There's not much but I am afraid
Well bring on whatever is there Hyderabad so very desperately needs some weekend places with good hotels.Phew
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Old 24th June 2011, 18:12   #8
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Nice pics, Manish. Where is the lake/ dam located?
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Old 24th June 2011, 19:41   #9
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Hey Manish nice trip. My folks got married at the same Annavaram temple. Did this route last year to Rajahmundry for a short vaccation.

Awaiting the rest of the travellogue.

Regards Shashi
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Old 25th June 2011, 00:13   #10
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We continued driving , enjoying the vistas, the open roads and perfect weather, stopping in between for short tea breaks but the sleepless last night was taking its toll and we were feeling a little tired.Still, just couldn't keep my eyes off the view out of my car window.

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So finally at around 9 a.m we managed to touch Khammam, and I will admit it I was a little surprised to see Khammam as a big town. Frankly, this was my first time to that side of Andhra Pradesh and apart from hearing names, I haven't travelled to these town and cities.
Some photos of Khammam.

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We crossed Khammam in a flash though and the scenery again changed to lush green countryside. It was good barring a few accident sightings on the road.
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Old 25th June 2011, 00:39   #11
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It was around 10:15 in the morning and we were still 145kms away from Rajamundhry!! More than our body, our patience was giving up and it seemed like we were driving forever and the distance won't end.
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The roads continued to be wonderful most of the distance, though a little patchy near the Mines. We spotted quite a few trucks carrying a huge single block of rock!!
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Kept driving and meanwhile I moved to the driver seat and so no further pics till we touch Rajamundhry, as passengers were quite tired and nobody volunteered to take pics. Actually, we were losing hope if we will reach Rajamundhry ever. It really seemed a like a Far Far Away land.
But as soon as we spotted this landmark bridge over Godavari, we knew we are almost there. So the next photo got clicked only at around 13:15hrs, that is when we reached Rajamundhry finally.

First view of the bridge
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Glad that we reached there, the next job was to find a decent hotel. We parked in the middle of the road at the Station road(don't blame me, it was how all cars were parked there) and went hotel hunting. After a few hotel visits and phone call moved in a hotel with parking.The rooms were decent, no restaurant but they provided room service.
(P.S: Please don't ask me the name of the hotel, I don't quite remember it)

We checked in , ordered the food, slept for 4 hrs and then around 5 in the evening, we got ready to goto BICCAVOLU temple.
Read about it here.
Biccavolu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The stone idol of Ganesha has emerged from the land itself and is continuing gaining height y-o-y. The temple is aorund 40kms from Rajamundhry towards Kakinada.

Look how cars are parked in the middle of the road as dividers.
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A pic of another temple enroute.
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Old 25th June 2011, 08:51   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordmanchau View Post

So finally at around 9 a.m we managed to touch Khammam, and I will admit it I was a little surprised to see Khammam as a big town.
Khammam has been upgraded to a Municipal Corporation on 24.06.2011.
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Old 25th June 2011, 11:06   #13
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Amazing thing at the Biccavolu temple was that I couldn't manage to get the pic of the Ganesha Idol. We four were the only ones there and it was dark. But somehow the priest saw me when I was just about to click and asked me not to.

The temple is situated in the small bylanes of very small village I guess and you would have to ask for direction from the locals there, but people know about the temple, so it would not be much of a trouble.

After driving back to the hotel, we ordered food and slept like a log. It was a very hectic and tiring 24hrs.

The plan for next day was to start early in the morning for Annavaram, have a darshan/pooja and push off for hyderabad after lunch as soon as possible.
So around 8 in the morning next day we were on the 4 laned Vijaywada highway to Annavaram. It was to get on the highway from Rajamundhry Town though we did have to ask for direction from the locals.

And it was raining all through.
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We were enchanted and happy to see so much of greenery around the highway. Loved this part of Andhra Pradesh, the greenery can easily be compared to that of Kerala. At one point, we thought it's enough, we have to stop for some photos. Just couldn't contain the excitement.
So we stopped the car, got down and went bonkers with the camera.This is where I have some best shots of my car and it was still raining

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Had a few scares on the road though.

First was when I was overtaking a truck from the right, the truck suddenly swerved to right to overtake another truck in front. Everyone(I think) including me(sure about that) had their "this is it" moment of their life. We were very close to the truck when it swerved right and anything could have happened, plus it was rainning, I was really not sure if we would make it.
Panic Braked, all force on the pedal and lo and behold the car slowed down without any fuss within a safe distance.
No skidding!! seriously. That was the ultimate test that my brakes and tyres have gone through and they came out with flying colors. My respect for the car went a notch up.
Infact, my father is scared to drive my car, just because the brakes are so good. I know you guys would flame me for that. I know where it comes from. We have a Maruti Omni at home(smileys' quota over). While now even I find the Omni's brake ridiculously pathetic, my father is ok with it.

Second instance was when I was again overtaking a truck(this time it was safe) a speeding accent from behind tried to cut between the truck and my car from my left. I noticed this and increased the speed and blocked his way. I know it could have been dangerous for him, but it was safe for me to do so. There was no way he could have squeezed in safely.
We expressed our irritation and anger to them with small hand fingure gestures, the credit for which goes to my friend. My hands were firmly on the steering, hehe!!
After that the accent guy sobered down for a bit, but again started speeding just before reaching Annavaram. Yes, he was also going to Annavaram and looked like he was running late for his appointment with God.

To cut the long story shot.
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That is the Accent in front of me.
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Old 25th June 2011, 11:50   #14
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It took us one hour to reach Annavaram from Rajamundhry and by 9:10 a.m we were up there at the Temple. The parking had become a mud puddle due to the incessant rain last night and in the morning. Luckily, we found a place in the parking lot. Kept slippers and valuables in the car and even left the camera assuming it would not be allowed inside.

Entering the main gate of the temple. The climb up for the temple is a baby in front of even the Srisailam ghat.
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We did Kalyanam and darshan there, luckily, got a priest who knew Hindi and our pooja was done properly by him.
All of it took 4 hours. Sorry, there are no pics of the temple complex as camera was in the car . Saw people taking pics inside the temple complex and we were like .

You can even give your camera to the priest for the click.
We came out, it was already 1 O clock, we still have to finish lunch, which took another hour. we had a south Indian Thali lunch at the restaurant just after the exit to the temple. The lunch was good and satiating.

So , we with full tummy we hit the road again. This time it would be the 4 -laned highway all through till Vijaywada.

Some pics of around the temple and then some from the Highway.
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A Quick Run-of-the-Mill Temple Trip to Annavaram!-img_3017.jpg
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A Quick Run-of-the-Mill Temple Trip to Annavaram!-img_3021.jpg
A Quick Run-of-the-Mill Temple Trip to Annavaram!-img_3022.jpg

So after 4 hours of drive we hit the Prakasam Barrage at Vijaywada. The roads were fine till after some distance from Vijaywada, and then the hell of the road starts. Single lane, trucks , truck and trucks on the road and very little shoulder to overtake safely.
At Prakasam barrage we, even took a wrong left turn, crossed the bridge and went towards Guntur for some distance when we realised that we were on the wrong path. We retraced back and then got onto the correct route.

Prakasam Barrage.
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A Quick Run-of-the-Mill Temple Trip to Annavaram!-img_3027.jpg

Last edited by Fordmanchau : 25th June 2011 at 11:53.
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Old 25th June 2011, 12:37   #15
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Default Re: A Quick Run-of-the-Mill Temple Trip to Annavaram!

A Quick Run-of-the-Mill Temple Trip to Annavaram!-img_3028.jpg
A Quick Run-of-the-Mill Temple Trip to Annavaram!-img_3029.jpg
A Quick Run-of-the-Mill Temple Trip to Annavaram!-img_3030.jpg

We had our dinner of Egg bhujiya and Roti after Vijaywada at around 8 p.m . We were dead tired by that time and my friend was not willing to take over the steering. After that I drove all through the night,taking breaks, wiping car's headlight and finally reached home at around 2.am.

That's a perfect 48 hrs from when we started.

The last two pics . Taken at around 20:30 hrs.
A Quick Run-of-the-Mill Temple Trip to Annavaram!-img_3033.jpg
A Quick Run-of-the-Mill Temple Trip to Annavaram!-img_3034.jpg

That was a whirlwind trip for us. out of 48hrs, we were on road for more than 26 hrs. It was tiring but exciting at the same time.

So signing off. A few updates about the toll, distances and total trip cost would be up later.

Thank you for reading.

EDIT: Here is the quick road update I posted immediately after my trip.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post1946811 (Hyderabad - Araku)

Last edited by Fordmanchau : 25th June 2011 at 12:54.
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