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Old 20th June 2011, 03:31   #1
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Smile Hyderabad to Horsley Hills in The Viceroy

Hello Folks!!

It has been a tradition in our family to visit most of the tourist places by road. No other mode of transport compares to the thrill of driving on a highway. We did our maximum road trips in the 1961 Fiat 1100, the longest trip being from Hyderabad to Ahmedabad and back. We now have a 1989 Premier 118 NE which also has done a few long trips, the longest trip being from Hyderabad to Kodaikanal and back.

In March 2011, we acquired a 1997 PPL (PAL Peugeot Limited) Viceroy. For the benefit of the folks who have heard this name for the first time, in a nutshell, a Viceroy is a rust free model of the Premier 118 NE with a few more enhancements: both cosmetic and technical. For more details on the car, please check out this thread: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...t-118ne-3.html (Premier 118NE 'VICEROY' - A RARE variant of 118NE.)

Having visited hill stations in other states like Ooty, Tamilnadu, it had been my desire for a very long time to visit Horsley Hills, a hill station in southern Andhra Pradesh. It is located about 540 kms from Hyderabad. Going to Horsley Hills by road is the best option as there is no proper connectivity by train. With all the basic work and maintenance completed on our Viceroy, I thought: Why not escape the summer in Hyderabad by going to Horsley Hills in the Viceroy? We checked out the availability of accommodation on the AP Tourism website, completed the bookings and planned the trip. There were three of us: My wife, my 9 month old kid and myself. We had planned the trip between 23rd May 2011 and 26th May 2011.

23rd May 2011: We started off at 6:30 AM from Hyderabad, took the P.V. Narasimha Rao Expressway (It is the longest flyover in India with a length of almost 12 kms.) which joins the road leading to the Hyderabad International Airport and then continues as the NH7 to Bangalore. This is an excellent 4 lane highway. The highway has good lane markings, dividers, sign boards etc, which gives you the complete confidence that you need to complete a journey with speed without compromising on safety. We traveled this great NH7 from Hyderabad to Anantapur, a distance of 360 kms. These 360 kms were a breeze. The stops during our journey were dictated by our 9 month old kiddo! His wish was our command! So we had to stop accordingly for his food and of course the routine change of diapers! He too was having a great time inside the car. When in front, he used to lean on the dashboard and enjoy the road. When on the back seat, he tried his best to climb up the seat to get a view of the road behind! The other small stoppages during our trip were the toll booths. We encountered a total of 5 toll booths on the NH7 between Hyderabad and Anantapur. The charge varied at each toll booth: 45/-, 43/-, 60/-, 75/- and 75/-.

We reached Anantapur at 1:30 PM. For this we had to exit the NH7, pass through the city of Anantapur, asking directions for the road to Kadiri. This road is the NH205 that goes through towns like Kadiri, Madanapally and then continues till Tirupati and Chennai. Once we left the Anantapur city traffic behind and joined NH205, it was time for lunch… both for us and the Viceroy. We tanked up the Viceroy and then at 2:15 PM, we stopped at a dhaba on NH205, had lunch and started off for Horsley Hills on the NH205. The NH205 is a 2 lane road with lots of curves and many railway crossings. You need to be very careful here as the curves can be tricky at times. Apart from the curves and railway crossing, there are also a couple of narrow bridges. These bridges are so narrow that only one vehicle can pass at a time. While the overall condition of NH205 is good, the condition of the road near the narrow bridges and railway crossings is very bad. A 4 x4 would be more suited to these conditions! After getting used to the fast 4 lane NH7, you need to ride the NH205 with patience.

After we passed the town of Kadiri, we stopped for a few minutes for tea, cleaned the windscreen and then continued on. My target was to reach Horsley Hills before sunset as the last 9 kms approach is a ghat road. About 50 kilometers before Madanapally, we started seeing sign boards indicating the distance to Horsley Hills. Then about 20 kilometers before Madanapally, there is a signboard, which directs you to take a sharp right turn (as good as a U-turn) for Horsley Hills.

From this sharp right turn, Horsley Hills is 11 kms. After going further 2 kms from this sharp right turn, you need to take a left which marks the beginning of the 9 km ghat road climb to Horsley Hills. Although the ghat road is narrow, the road condition is good and it is not difficult to maneuver. As the sun was just about to set, we did not stop at the various view points.

We reached Horsley Hills just as we planned i.e. before sunset! It was 6:15 PM when we reached. We then checked in to our room located in a building named Wild Winds. The place was neat and clean. The kiddo felt happy to finally find a free space to crawl. The overall experience was great. The car’s performance can be described only in two words: AWESOME and FLAWLESS!! It returned a mileage of 14.5 kmpl with the AC on for almost 90% of the time! We took rest for about an hour and then headed for the restaurant in the A.P. Tourism’s Haritha resort for dinner. At 10 PM, we retired to our rooms for some well deserved rest. No pictures were taken on this day of the trip.

24th May 2011: The resort at Horsley Hills has a few view points. Hence we all got up bright and early to catch a glimpse of the sunrise but since it was cloudy, the sun was not to be seen until 9 AM. We had breakfast and then started driving down the 9km ghat road stopping at various view points to take pictures. After completing our trip in the ghat, we came back to Horsley Hills and visited the environmental complex situated right opposite to the resort. This complex has a mini zoo, the forest officer’s guest house, a view point and children’s play area. We had a good time checking out the zoo and the view point. We then headed back to the resort for lunch and then to our rooms. Early in the evening, we headed for a view point inside the resort. We took some snaps at the view point and enjoyed the cool weather. We also took a walk around the resort checking out the different types of recreational activities. We relaxed in the garden near our room till sunset. We had our dinner and then called it a day.

25th May 2011: When planning the Horsley Hills trip, we had also planned to visit a place called Talakona. This place is home to the highest water falls in Andhra Pradesh. We had decided to dedicate a day to visit this water fall which according to maps is about 100 kms from Horsley Hills. Enquires at the resort in Horsley Hills confirmed that the water at the falls is good despite being summer. It was raining heavily in the morning and we decided to start off once the skies were clear. The skies cleared at 9 AM. We headed for breakfast and then started for Talakona at 11 AM. (Had to prepare and pack food for the kiddo!) The road to Talakona is the continuation of the same NH205 that we had taken. We took the bypass before Madanapally, headed to a town called Piler and then to Bhakarapeta where you need to take a left to go towards the Talakona wildlife sanctuary and water falls.

The actual distance from Horsley Hills to Talakona turned out to be 130 kms with the last 25 kms being a bad patch of road. We reached Talakona by 3 PM. The time taken was due to bad roads and stoppages for the kiddo. We had lunch in Talakona’s nature resort, took pictures of the log huts, relaxed and enjoyed the natural forest atmosphere. We then started to head for Talakona water falls which are about 3 kms from the place where we had lunch.

On our way there, it started raining heavily. The rains showed no signs of subsiding. When we enquired with the local folks about how the approach road is towards the water falls, we found that we need to take entrance tickets to the falls, then drive inside for a kilometer, park the car and the walk a further 1.5 kms to see the water falls. All this would have been fine had it not been raining. Since our kiddo was just 9 months old, we decided against taking any sort of risk. We then headed back for Horsley Hills.

The feeling was like that of the Apollo 13 astronauts… so near to the moon yet so far!! But safety was our first priority and we did not want anyone to fall sick by getting wet or risking injury by treading the slippery path that leads to the water falls. On our way back to Horsley Hills, the skies had cleared and we saw a spectacular sunset. The light was coming out of the sky as if someone was focusing a huge orange spot light!! We reached Horsley Hills by 8 PM, ordered dinner and called it a day.

26th March 2011: This was the last day of our stay at Horsley Hills. When we got up in the morning, we were pleasantly surprised to see Horsley Hills engulfed in fog!! Now this is one of the main attractions at any hill station. The best part was although the weather appeared chilly from the window of our room, it wasn’t. The temperature was perfect for a walk. We then went for a walk in the resort and to the view point, took pictures of the fog engulfed Horsley Hills. As the fog cleared, we headed to the restaurant for breakfast at 9 AM. We came back to our rooms, packed our bags, and took some rest. We then checked the oil and coolant levels in the car. All was fine.

It was now time to bid good bye to Horsley Hills!! We then started for Hyderabad at 11:30 AM. We drove back the same way we came. We took the NH205 from Horsley Hills -> Kadiri -> Anantapur and then the awesome NH7 from Anantpur to Hyderabad. We reached Hyderabad just before midnight calling an end to the successful and more importantly enjoyable trip to Horsley Hills. The car’s performance was great. We clocked close to 1400 kms. No top ups were needed for the engine oil and coolant. The only thing that the car needed was a thorough wash!!

Now time for the pictures!

Regards and Keep Revving,

Rahul Waghmare.


The Machine!!

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Pictures of the ghat road approach to Horsley Hills.

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A lake in the ghat!! 3 kms before Horsley Hills.

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Old 20th June 2011, 04:04   #2
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Post Hyderabad to Horsley Hills in The Viceroy

Pictures of the A.P. Tourism's resort at Horsley Hills.

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The Viceroy at our accommodation, the Wild Winds.

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More pictures of the Viceroy in the ghat road.

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Last edited by Scarlet_Rider : 20th June 2011 at 04:05.
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Old 20th June 2011, 08:01   #3
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Horsley Hills in The Viceroy

Good narration and pics.
The Viceroy looks sleek and definitely is a nice possession. It would be fine if you can post some interior pics of the Viceroy.
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Old 20th June 2011, 12:39   #4
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Smile More pictures from Horsley Hills!

Path to the main view point in the resort and some pictures from the view point.

Hyderabad to Horsley Hills in The Viceroy-0001.jpg
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Approach to another view point in resort and some pictures from there.

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In and around the resort.

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Steps leading to the restaurant at the resort.

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Views from the restaurant.

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Recreation area.

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One of the cottages.

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Entrances to the restaurant (left) and the reception (right) of the resort.

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The resort on the left and the environmental complex on the right.

Hyderabad to Horsley Hills in The Viceroy-b015.jpg
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Old 20th June 2011, 13:31   #5
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Post More pictures from Horsley Hills!

The Environmental Complex. This place right opposite to the resort has a mini zoo, the forest officer's guest house /cabin, another view point and a children's play area.
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Last edited by Scarlet_Rider : 20th June 2011 at 13:32.
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Old 20th June 2011, 14:59   #6
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Horsley Hills in The Viceroy

Thanks for sharing the trip log and snaps - The snaps of Viceroy in nice surroundings is sure a treat to watch.

I have been to Horsley hills couple of times but both were one day bike trips, so did not get to stay and watch the beautiful evenings.

If you do not mind, can you please share the accommodation and food rates? I plan to re-visit and this time, I plan to stay there for at least one day.
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Old 20th June 2011, 17:40   #7
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Horsley Hills in The Viceroy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarlet_Rider View Post
Hello Folks!!

Having visited hill stations in other states like Ooty, Tamilnadu, it had been my desire for a very long time to visit Horsley Hills, a hill station in southern Andhra Pradesh
Crisp and interesting TL. Awesome pictures. thanks for sharing

Despite visting madanapalli and arogyavaram many times, couldnt make it to Horsely Hills which was so close by.

I think on one of the longer week ends i will make a trip to this place . BTW, what was the time taken to drive from HH to TK falls.
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Old 20th June 2011, 22:02   #8
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Horsley Hills in The Viceroy

Your PPL Viceroy is such a gem. This is such a great write up dude! Brings me the memories of the trip I had with my NE (EarthQuake) 3 years ago. This is a bit special since it was the first long drive on this car and had lot of issues. It NEVER let me down and made the entire trip a very pleasurable one.

Happy driving
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Old 21st June 2011, 11:42   #9
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Smile Hyderabad to Horsley Hills in The Viceroy (More Pictures!!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
It would be fine if you can post some interior pics of the Viceroy.
Hi rajeev k : You can check out a few pictures of the interiors on the Viceroy thread, the link to which I have provided in the first post. I will update detailed pictures of the interiors on the Viceroy thread later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
If you do not mind, can you please share the accommodation and food rates?
Hi theexperthand : There are various types of accommodation facilities with tariffs starting from 800.00 to 2700.00. You can check out the following link for details :

APTDC - ANDHRA PRADESH TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Destinations, Hyderabad, Tirupati, Visakhapatnam, Puttaparthi, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada, Warangal, Themes, Heritage, Nature, Wildlife, Religion, Beaches, Adventure, Fairs & Festi

You can also book online like I did using the link : ::: Welcome to the Official Web Site of Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Limited :::

Remember to select the Un-Registered User option because when I tried to register, the password did not work and there is still no response to my password issue from APTDC!

I don't remember the exact food rates but it ranges between 40.00 to 100.00 for vegetarian dishes and 80.00 to 170.00 for non-vegetarian dishes. A buffet breakfast is included in the room tariff which has 3 different items plus tea and coffee.

Along with the daily newspaper, you get breakfast coupons and coupons to utilize the swimming pool free of cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Night_Hawk View Post
BTW, what was the time taken to drive from HH to TK falls.
Hello Night_Hawk : Horsley Hills to Talakona water falls is a distance of about 130 kms. It took us nearly 4 hours due to bad roads in between and especially the last 20 kms, which I would call a safe 4 x 4 territory!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkykar View Post
Your PPL Viceroy is such a gem. This is such a great write up dude! Brings me the memories of the trip I had with my NE (EarthQuake) 3 years ago. This is a bit special since it was the first long drive on this car and had lot of issues. It NEVER let me down and made the entire trip a very pleasurable one.
Hey Karthik : Glad to hear that your first long drive in the EarthQuake was to Horsley Hills just like it has been the first long drive for the Viceroy!! Wishing you many happy (s)miles in all your cars!!

NOW TIME FOR MORE PICTURES!!

Pictures taken during a drive around the Horsley Hills resort.


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Here are pictures taken at the Talakona Forest Resort and near the path that leads to the water falls.

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Pictures of the amazing sunset on our way back from Talakona to Horsley Hills.

Hyderabad to Horsley Hills in The Viceroy-t014.jpg
Hyderabad to Horsley Hills in The Viceroy-t015.jpg
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Old 21st June 2011, 14:44   #10
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Smile Final Set of Pictures from Horsley Hills!!

Hello Folks,

This is the final set of pictures from our trip to Horsley Hills. Phew! These pictures were taken in the morning of our last day there. The place was engulfed in fog and it was the icing on the cake. A visit to any hill station is incomplete until you experience the fog!!

Regards and Keep Revving,

Rahul Waghmare.
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Old 21st June 2011, 20:12   #11
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Default Re: Final Set of Pictures from Horsley Hills!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarlet_Rider View Post
Hello Folks,

This is the final set of pictures from our trip to Horsley Hills. Phew! These pictures were taken in the morning of our last day there. The place was engulfed in fog and it was the icing on the cake. A visit to any hill station is incomplete until you experience the fog!!

Regards and Keep Revving,

Rahul Waghmare.
Hello Rahul,
Nice trip you made there. But i feel that car pictures are less.

Anyway, what tyres does your viceroy run on?

Also, is the performace & acceleration of your viceroy better then you '89 Hitachi fed 118NE?
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Old 22nd June 2011, 03:57   #12
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Post Hyderabad to Horsley Hills in The Viceroy

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Originally Posted by KkVaidya View Post
Nice trip you made there. But i feel that car pictures are less. Anyway, what tyres does your viceroy run on? Also, is the performace & acceleration of your viceroy better then you '89 Hitachi fed 118NE?
I feel that 15 to 16 pictures of the car are enough for a travelogue as in this section, the places you visit are also given importance.

When we acquired the Viceroy, it came with Goodyear 5.60 x 13 - 6 PR nylon tyres. However for this trip, I had exchanged the tyres with our 118 NE which are Goodyear 155/80R13 radials.

The engine of our Viceroy is better in terms of performance when compared to our 118 NE as it has clocked far lesser mileage.

Regards and Keep Revving,

Rahul Waghmare.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 13:09   #13
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Horsley Hills in The Viceroy

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Originally Posted by Scarlet_Rider View Post
I feel that 15 to 16 pictures of the car are enough for a travelogue as in this section, the places you visit are also given importance.

Regards and Keep Revving,

Rahul Waghmare.
Hey Rahul,

Thanks for sharing. Looks lovely. Must be beautiful after rains. It looks similar to our own Nandi Hills in Bangalore - Nandi is 1478mtrs and HH is 1265mtrs in height.

Did you visit famed Rishi Valley school? Horsley and surroundings are good places for bird watching. Did you find anyone in wild? In fact, Rishi Valley school has published a filed guide on birds in the area.

Some nice bird pictures of HH in this link

India Nature Watch

I had also read some where that Tagore set the national anthem to music when he was in Madanapalle and the english translation is framed and displayed in the local college libraray.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 14:31   #14
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Post Re: Hyderabad to Horsley Hills in The Viceroy

Hi Fauji : Yes, my visit to Horsley Hills got back memories of my visit to Nandi Hills in September 2009. On the day we went there, the hill was engulfed with a dense fog. Visibility was hardly 25 meters!! Had a great time!!

The trip to Talakona took the entire second day of our visit and hence I completely overlooked visiting the Rishi Valley School.

Yes, you are correct. The national anthem was set to music by Rabindranath Tagore in Madanapalle. Here are the details : Madanapalle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Apart from monkeys playing around in the ghat road, I could not spot any other wild life.

Horsley Hills is definitely worth a second visit and will plan the next visit in the winter season! The next visit will be planned to cover the things I missed out like :

- Rishi Valley School.
- Talakona water falls. (Had missed it narrowly!)
- The famous silk sarees in Madanapalle. (Need to keep my better half happy!! )
- Anything else I missed out, please feel free to post!

Regards and Keep Revving,

Rahul Waghmare.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 14:59   #15
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Horsley Hills in The Viceroy

Fantastic trip, and superb pictures! I enjoyed them so much that a trip to Horseley is now on my agenda.

As regards Talakona, it is best visited after monsoon, when the falls are a lot more intense. I've visited that place in October 1995 and in June 2009. The second visit was a big disappointment becuase the waterfalls were hardly one-fourth of what we'd seen earlier.

Walking the last 400 metres to the falls is a bit tricky and slippery, especially if you have to hold an infant. It is good that you did not go this time.
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