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Old 14th May 2016, 23:24   #1
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Default Hummerís Travel: Jyotirlinga Darshana at Srisailam

Summer holidays are back again, another year passed so fast, I had written about the beautiful journey into the Kodachadri hills in Western Ghats region last year October, but time has its own course, doesnít wait for anyone. It is time to write about another divine journey. This time to see the Jyotirlinga at Srisaila.

About the Temple:

The shrine of Lord Mallikarjuna picturesquely situated on a flat top of Nallamalai Hills, it is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India. Srisailam is reputed to be one of the most ancient kshetras in India. It is on the right side of the River Krishna in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh. This celebrated mountain is also named as Siridhan, Srigiri, Sirigiri, Sriparvatha and Srinagam. It has been a popular centre of Shaivite pilgrimage for centuries.

Nature and Beauty:

Surrounded by the Nallamalai Hills and dense forests, the Plateau of Srisailam is 476 m. above the Sea level. The word Nalla means beautiful and malai means hill. The river Krishna flow in the narrow gorge of 100m wide and at a depth of nearly 1000 m from the top of the hill. The river continues to flow through the narrow gorge till it reaches Nagarjuna Sagar carrying on both the banks intractable forests dotted here and there by small tribal settlements, forming into natural sanctuaries of wild animals.

Where is it: Srisailam is located in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh. About 530 kms away from Bangalore, takes about 7-9 hours drive depending speed and breaks.

Mode of travel: We decided drive down in Nissan Terrano.

Travelers: My parents, two kids, wifey and the driver (me )

Journey plan:
Day -1:
ē Start from Bangalore around noon
ē Overnight stay at Kurnool

Day-2:
ē Start early morning to Srisailam
ē Visit main temple and other places of interest

Day-3:
ē Start early morning from Srisailam to Mahanandi
ē Visit Mahanandi temple and return to Bangalore

I always get excited for long drives especially the new routes. Previous day, got the Terrano cleaned up completely, filled the diesel from Shell, Nitrogen for tires from a tire shop near to my home.

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Day-1: We started around 1pm from Bangalore towards Kurnool on NH-7 (Hyderabad road), food for lunch and plenty of water stored in the trunk. It was pretty hot outside, must around 36 degrees, but cool inside. We stopped at 3pm at a grape farm near Devanahalli for lunch, ladies working there were kind enough to provide us a good place in shade with benches to sit and water to wash.

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After the quick 30 minutes lunch, started again, entered AP border at 4:30 (120km total distance), crossed Ananthapur at 5:30pm (220 kms).

Huge temple by the highway at Ananthapur:
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I was badly in the need of a good coffee, fortunately found a decent hotel called Blue Moon at 6pm at Miduthur near Gooty. It was good place to relax for a while, nicely maintained, with lot of space and garden, Coffee was just OK.

Few pictures of the Hotel Blue Moon:
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Reached Kurnool at 8pm, total of 370 kms from Bangalore home. I had booked two AC rooms at the Hotel Sai Priyanka Comfort Inn at Vidyanagar. Rooms were ok for a night stay only, not great, hotel location is in a cramped place with 3-4 cars parking only at the basement. We had tough time finding the hotel. There was a good vegetarian restaurant called Amogha at a walkable distance, we had dinner and hit the bed.

Amogha Restaurant:
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Basement parking at the hotel:
Hummerís Travel: Jyotirlinga Darshana at Srisailam-img_3027.jpg
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Old 14th May 2016, 23:58   #2
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Default re: Hummerís Travel: Jyotirlinga Darshana at Srisailam

Day-2: Left Kurnool at 5:30am, it was still dark, took state highway SH50. Forest area started after crossing Athmakur. The forest Nagarjuna Srisailam Tiger Reserve, was very dry with no leaves on trees due to dry deciduous forest type. It must be a pretty sight during rainy season.

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This is the best stretch of 40-50 kms in the entire 600 kms distance, it was a feast to drive with beautiful and curvy roads in the midst of dense forest, very less traffic movement, but we had to be careful of the wild animals.

Reached Doranala at 7:30am (130 kms from Kurnool) where we took a deviation into NH765. We had coffee at Doranala, we were just 50 kms away from Srisailam. We entered into a bit of ghat section called Nallamalla forest. Passed through native tribal villages, with nicely built huts and typical styled living.

Finally reached the destination ďSrisailamĒ at 9am. Gorgeous statues welcome at the entrance.

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We settled down in two AC room in a Panchacharya Mandira, took rest for some time and got out.
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Had breakfast at Trishool, the only good hotel found:
Hummerís Travel: Jyotirlinga Darshana at Srisailam-img_3111.jpg

Head to Pathalaganga for a dip in river Krishna. It was a nice ride in cable car to Pathalaganga, a dam on river Krishna formed the good back water surrounded by scenic mountains.
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Came to the main temple, I was told crowd at the temple would be as rush as Tirupati, however, there was very less crowd, thanks to my kids school which finished the exams and declared holidays early. Fortunately we had calm and undisturbed darshana of the Jyotirlinga and performed pooja ourselves at peace. We visited Hema Reddy Mallamma temple, had prasadam for lunch at the temple, temperature was just above 40 degrees, we did some shopping and returned to room for rest.

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Evening we visited Sakshi Ganapati temple, Hatakeshwara temple, Shankaracharya Sharada Peetam, Tribal Village Museum and returned to the room. We had food at annadaasoha at our place of stay and went to sleep.

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Old 15th May 2016, 00:31   #3
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Default re: Hummerís Travel: Jyotirlinga Darshana at Srisailam

Day-3: We wanted to drive straight to Bangalore via Mahanandi. Got the vehicle pooja done, started at 7am from Srisailam, visited Shikhareshwara temple on the way.
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A tribal lady in the forest:
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Roads were well tarred and winding, saw few accidents as well.
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Reached Doranala at 9am for breakfast.
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This region is famous for red chilly:
Hummerís Travel: Jyotirlinga Darshana at Srisailam-img_3200.jpg

Doranala to Mahanandi via Athmakur (SH50/NH340C) was about 125 kms drive, had to drive through Nagarjuna Srisailam Tiger Reserve till Athmakur and took deviation and reached Mahanandi at 11:30am. Mahanandi darshan was quick and we were out by 12:30pm.
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We took the route Mahanandi ==> Baganapalli ==> Tadipathri ==> Ananthpur. We had tough time finding a vegetarian restaurant from Baganapalli till we hit NH-7 after Ananthpur. It was quite a drive to reach Ananthpur via places like we see in madmax movies, mountains like loads and heaps of wastage of Kadapa stones. All villages around were dusty and almost all houses has cladding of Kadapa stones.

Huge Ultratech Cement Factory:
Hummerís Travel: Jyotirlinga Darshana at Srisailam-dsc04238.jpg

We entered Karnataka border at 6pm and had a coffee break at Nandi Refreshments near Nandi Hills cross and geared up to face our beloved Bangalore traffic.
Hummerís Travel: Jyotirlinga Darshana at Srisailam-img_3231.jpg

It was a great round trip of ~1200 kms in hot summer, Nissan Terrano really made this long travel so easy and breezy. Cool inside, no vibrations, no body shaking, only comfort. While cruising on NH-7, my mother asked at sometime whether the car is moving or stopped. Thanks to Terrano which increased my desire to go for more such long drives.

Some picture of the Terrano:
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Wish you all happy and safe driving !!
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Old 16th May 2016, 13:42   #4
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Default Re: Hummerís Travel: Jyotirlinga Darshana at Srisailam

Excellent travelogue sir. Great Pics too. We are also planning for a Srisailam trip from Hyderabad. How are the state roads, once we get down the Hyderabad-Bangalore high way ?
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Old 16th May 2016, 17:22   #5
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Default Re: Hummerís Travel: Jyotirlinga Darshana at Srisailam

Nice travelogue with some beautiful pics. Seems very long drive from Bengaluru... but seeing it is about 530+ kms I too would like to drive sometime !
Can you clarify what was the total distance covered during your trip including Srishailam to MahaNandi?
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Old 16th May 2016, 19:36   #6
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Default Re: Hummerís Travel: Jyotirlinga Darshana at Srisailam

Thank you Doylthippo and veerubhai.

@Doylthippo, I don't think you will touch any SH from Hyd. You will have to take NH765 from Hyd till Srisailam. Since I came from Bangalore, I drove on NH765 for about 50kms from Doranala to Srisailam and the road was excellent. Even the state highway SH50 from Kurnool to Doranala was good.

Some stretch between Mahanandi to Bangalore (especially Nandyal to Ananthpur) were bad, but you won't touch this route.

@veerubhai, Bannerghatta Road-Bangalore to Srisailam is 550kms. Srisailam to Mahanandi is 170km and Mahanandi to Bannerghatta Road-Bangalore it 425kms. We covered little over 1200kms in round-trip.
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Old 17th May 2016, 09:22   #7
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Default Re: Hummerís Travel: Jyotirlinga Darshana at Srisailam

Crisp, very informative travelogue with good photos. Thanks for sharing.

Planning similar family trip to Srisailam became easier for me with the information you have shared.

How about weather condition and crowd during June/July? Any info? Thanks again.
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Old 17th May 2016, 11:19   #8
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Default Re: Hummerís Travel: Jyotirlinga Darshana at Srisailam

Nice and simple travelogue . When is the right time to visit Srisailam, I mean less of crowd, en-route green forest and comfortable weather off-course!
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Old 17th May 2016, 11:24   #9
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Default Re: Hummerís Travel: Jyotirlinga Darshana at Srisailam

Lovely lovely (yes, 2 times!) post. A crisp travelogue. Its my dream to travel to Andhra for tourism purposes one day. Posts like these are immensely helpful. Can you please put up a map for me to better understand the route and places? What are the nearby places to visit (in Andhra). Has anyone visited Yaganthi? The photos looked like Zion canyon!
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Old 17th May 2016, 20:12   #10
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Default Re: Hummerís Travel: Jyotirlinga Darshana at Srisailam

Thanks for the lovely post hummer. Even I am planning to drive down to Srisailam from Hyderabad later this year. Not sire of the road conditions between Hyderabad and Srisailam. Anyone been along this route recently? I had heard that some part of the stretch was under repairs. Is it done now?
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Old 19th May 2016, 16:23   #11
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Default Re: Hummerís Travel: Jyotirlinga Darshana at Srisailam

Great TL Hummer. When you take a vacation with your whole family, that itself is a different feeling, a feeling which cannot be described.
Keep going brother.
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Old 19th May 2016, 20:19   #12
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Default Re: Hummerís Travel: Jyotirlinga Darshana at Srisailam

@Nempuguru and LoneRidder, It would be very hot between March - June, crowded also due to holidays. Cooler in Winter Oct - Feb. I suggest you visit during July - Sep if you love rain and greenery. You can avoid festivals, holiday season, weekends especially long weekends, it should be OK during weekdays.

@bsdbsd, Here is the map from Bangalore to Srisailam. You may google it for finer details. You can plan a trip to Hyd, Srisailam and Mahanandi for a week. There are so many places in AP and Telangana depending on your interests, holidays etc
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@Sachi, Since I traveled from Bangalore, I don't have this information, however I drove on NH765 for last 50kms from Doranala to Srisailam and the road was excellent. I think the entire stretch should be good.

@pduttaghy, Agree, it's a kind of complete peace and fulfillment.
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