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Old 18th February 2017, 15:09   #1
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Default Road trip to Srisailam, Ista Kameswari & Umamaheshwaram

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We were getting bored with our daily routines and wanted to take a break. The trip had to be short considering our work schedules. My parents were visiting us and my mother wanted go to Srisailam since she hasn't been there for a very long time. No major planning as such. I filled up my Verna the day before, checked air pressure, fluids and we got ready to travel.

Car: Verna 1.4 CRDI
Total Distance: 612 kms
Mileage: 19
No. of days: 2

Day 1

We started at around 11:30 am after finishing my work. We live at Kompally which is pretty near to the outer ring road. The ORR was fantastic to say the least, clean as a whistle and neat as a pin.

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We took the Srisailam road after exiting the ORR and the surprising part was how beautiful and well laid out the was road from there on. The last time I was on the same road was some 7-8 years back and now it totally changed for the better. I think it was recently done by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORT&H) and huge thumbs up to their work. A toll of 35rs was collected only once. We took a lunch break to feast on some mother made veg pulao under a tree.

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Next it was time for some twisty ghat roads. The temperature was rising but Verna kept us very comfortable. It was on those climbs that I felt maybe a 1.6 would have made made life a bit easy but the 1.4 did a grand job nevertheless. We stopped at the dam to check it out but there was no water flowing.
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Srisailam town was very dusty. Heavy renovation works going on for the yearly Brahmotsavam and the up coming Sivaratri celebrations. Red dust every where and traffic jams. Took great pains to travel on those roads without scrapping the underbelly. We stayed at this cottage called Sridevi Veda Vidyalayamu. Very warm and courteous people. They teach vedic literature and maintain a goshala. The rooms were decent enough and a prior booking is required to stay.

We immediately went to the darshan after reaching Srisailam at around 5:30pm. Please note that there is a 'Sparsha Darsanam' meaning you can touch the Sivalingam, for all devotees from 6pm to 7pm on Tue, Wed & Thu. All interested people can visit during that time on those days.

The darshan was quick. We took the 100rs entry ticket. Another note, the same ticket costs 500rs in Fri, Sat & Sun. The temple was beautifully lit with a variety of color lights. We spent some time inside the temple enjoying the cool evening breeze. My mother and wife then went onto to do some sari shopping while my father and I were sitting outside calculating the dent. We had our dinner at this place called Trishul. If there is a chance avoid it. Unclean premises, horrible food and extremely pricey. Retired for the night.

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Day 2

Next day we headed off to Ista kameswari Temple. Its 20 odd kms from Srisailam. Its located in dense forests without any roads, I mean literally no roads. You just have to travel on rocks and no private vehicles are allowed. The local jeeps take you there and they charge 770 per person and no more than 7 people in one jeep. Its one treacherous and adventurous trip. It takes 1 hour to reach there and I sincerely believe no modern day passenger vehicle can travel on that road.
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Old 18th February 2017, 15:52   #2
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The jeeps stop at a certain place and we need to walk a half km to the temple. Its very hard to reach this temple and no more than 100 people visit it each day. There is no word called ride comfort on the jeeps and people with any back ailments strictly stay away from this. A few pics of the temple and the premises. Do read about Ista kameswari temple, there is lots of information available on the net.

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A few videos below

- Road to the temple

- Inside the temple

Last edited by krishnakarthik1 : 18th February 2017 at 16:36. Reason: Added video links
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Old 18th February 2017, 16:24   #3
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Default re: Road trip to Srisailam, Ista Kameswari & Umamaheshwaram

Next we returned to our cottage, had lunch, packed our bags and headed back. On the way we stopped at Uma Maheswaram. Its a slight 14km deviation from the Srisailam-Hyderabad road. Temple is located on a hill. A few pics below.

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For dinner we stopped at this place called sri sai bajali pure veg. The food was very good. Neat and clean place. One can stop here for food.

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The roads were beautiful, the bike traffic on the highway was so cultured they always stayed to the far left. Reached home at night and had a great trip! This trip can be a small weekend gateway for all folks in or around Hyderabad. Need to mention about the brilliant ride and comfort the Verna offered. Its a wonderful car. The other best part is writing this travelogue. Such a refreshing way to rethink about the travelling experience. Thanks for reading, have a good one!
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Old 18th February 2017, 19:37   #4
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Default re: Road trip to Srisailam, Ista Kameswari & Umamaheshwaram

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 19th February 2017, 12:36   #5
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Default re: Road trip to Srisailam, Ista Kameswari & Umamaheshwaram

Hi KrishnaKarthik. Happy to read your travelogue. Nice photos and videos. Videos give clear picture about Ista Kameswari Temple and the approach road.

Disappointed to see most part of the forest dried.

One more place we can visit from Srisailam is Akkamahadevi guhalu (one can google it to know more).We have to take a boat ride arranged by AP tourism through the Krishna River with good sceneries, forests and hills all around to reach the Akkamahadevi Caves(Around 20 km about 45 minutes travel in the river). AP tourism conducts trips daily (The trips were canceled after the formation of Telengana state as Akkamahadevi guhalu fell into Telangana state. The trip may have been revoked by now).

Some other places worth a visit at Srisailam :- Sakshi Ganapati (The temple derived its name from the legend that the idol is the witness or ‘Sakshi’ for the devotees visiting this place), Shikareswara Swamy Temple, Mallela Theertam waterfall.
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Old 19th February 2017, 16:02   #6
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Default re: Road trip to Srisailam, Ista Kameswari & Umamaheshwaram

Hello KrishnaKarthik:
Good TR and nice photographs. Seems like you had a lovely time. we had been to Srisailam about 2 years back and stayed at the Forest Guest house some 20 kms away. in the morning we visited the forest - very beautiful and bountiful. We saw some paw marks but no sightings of predators, though birds were plenty. It was sad to see some forest offices/camps totally destroyed by the Naxals, but i guess that chapter is now over.
Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve is one of the largest in India, but due to the earlier problems has been off the tourist grid. Though that may actually bea blessing in disguise.
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Old 19th February 2017, 21:09   #7
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Default re: Road trip to Srisailam, Ista Kameswari & Umamaheshwaram

Quote:
Originally Posted by krishnakarthik1 View Post
clean as a whistle and neat as a pin.
Aptly sums up your travelogue too. Going on trips with parents helps further our family bonds. A few queries:

1. When was the trip undertaken?
2. What is with the weekend premium on special Darshan charges? And jeeps charging ₹770/head. Isn't that a peculiar amount?
3. We see many members on the forum talk of the 'boat like' ride of Verna. Did the passengers complain of any discomfort?
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Old 20th February 2017, 00:01   #8
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Default re: Road trip to Srisailam, Ista Kameswari & Umamaheshwaram

Quote:
Originally Posted by vsun View Post
Hi KrishnaKarthik. Happy to read your travelogue. Nice photos and videos. Videos give clear picture about Ista Kameswari Temple and the approach road.

Disappointed to see most part of the forest dried.

One more place we can visit from Srisailam is Akkamahadevi guhalu (one can google it to know more).We have to take a boat ride arranged by AP tourism through the Krishna River with good sceneries, forests and hills all around to reach the Akkamahadevi Caves(Around 20 km about 45 minutes travel in the river). AP tourism conducts trips daily (The trips were canceled after the formation of Telengana state as Akkamahadevi guhalu fell into Telangana state. The trip may have been revoked by now).

Some other places worth a visit at Srisailam :- Sakshi Ganapati (The temple derived its name from the legend that the idol is the witness or ‘Sakshi’ for the devotees visiting this place), Shikareswara Swamy Temple, Mallela Theertam waterfall.
Hello sir, thanks for the kind words. So glad you found our pics and videos useful. We too wished the forest was lot greener like during the rainy season when it is a delight to drive through. We have been to the Akkamahadevi Caves and mallela theertham before on our famous RE classics earlier so we skipped this time. Never knew the trips got cancelled after state formation, so sad. We visited Sakshi Ganapathi too on the way back.

My mother wanted to visit Ista Kameswari temple at any cost. She has heard a lot about it on TV. You are allowed to apply Kumkum to the Goddess and you feel as if you are touching a human forehead. My mother was ecstatic and her faith grew even more!

Quote:
Originally Posted by earthian View Post
Hello KrishnaKarthik:
Good TR and nice photographs. Seems like you had a lovely time. we had been to Srisailam about 2 years back and stayed at the Forest Guest house some 20 kms away. in the morning we visited the forest - very beautiful and bountiful. We saw some paw marks but no sightings of predators, though birds were plenty. It was sad to see some forest offices/camps totally destroyed by the Naxals, but i guess that chapter is now over.
Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve is one of the largest in India, but due to the earlier problems has been off the tourist grid. Though that may actually bea blessing in disguise.
Thank you sir. I bet you had a great time visiting the forest. We inquired about a possible tiger safari and they said it no longer there but there is a drive inside the forest to a viewing area where we can see some scenery. We decided against. But at Ista kameswari the locals told us that bear sightings are regular. But I am not sure how much we can believe. The whole forest area and the sightseeing places seemed to look neglected. As mentioned by vsun above there are so many places to visit but there were hardly any visiting. Only place we saw huge crowds was inside the temple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dailydriver View Post
Aptly sums up your travelogue too. Going on trips with parents helps further our family bonds. A few queries:

1. When was the trip undertaken?
2. What is with the weekend premium on special Darshan charges? And jeeps charging ₹770/head. Isn't that a peculiar amount?
3. We see many members on the forum talk of the 'boat like' ride of Verna. Did the passengers complain of any discomfort?
Thanks sir, for the kind words.
1. We were there on 14 & 15 of this month.
2. Poor God is spending his valuable weekend with us sir, that's why the premium charge! On a serious note, more devotees are free on weekends and then is the time to cash in on the rush I guess. I have no idea why they are charging 770 per person for the Jeep. I asked the driver and he said its rules!
3. A huge NO about 'boat like' ride of Verna. It felt like that on old model I guess but the 2015 refreshed one is brilliant car. Very very comfortable for all the passengers. I am not trying to hype it up because I drive one, we did not feel the journey all. Brilliant mix of city and highway comfort.
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Old 20th February 2017, 10:52   #9
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Default Re: Road trip to Srisailam, Ista Kameswari & Umamaheshwaram

Thanks for sharing! Lovely travelogue.

I just had to comment after seeing pics of the old Jeep. These basic Jeeps are the best way to explore rural India because:

- They are slow, so you actually get a chance to soak in the views (versus zooming by in a modern car).

- No doors means you are that much more connected to the environment .

- Robust build = no worry about any kind of road.

I'm sure that, once you returned to your Verna (after the Jeep ride), it must've felt like an S-Class .
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Old 20th February 2017, 15:06   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Thanks for sharing! Lovely travelogue.

I just had to comment after seeing pics of the old Jeep. These basic Jeeps are the best way to explore rural India because:

- They are slow, so you actually get a chance to soak in the views (versus zooming by in a modern car).

- No doors means you are that much more connected to the environment .

- Robust build = no worry about any kind of road.

I'm sure that, once you returned to your Verna (after the Jeep ride), it must've felt like an S-Class .
My pleasure sir, felt great writing the travelogue! Indeed, its just that we were too slow, overly connected to the environment, without any road!
Verna defined bliss afterwards!!
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Old 20th February 2017, 18:22   #11
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Quote:
Its 20 odd kms from Srisailam. Its located in dense forests without any roads, I mean literally no roads. You just have to travel on rocks and no private vehicles are allowed. The local jeeps take you there and they charge 770 per person and no more than 7 people in one jeep
That is Highway robbery! Rs 5390 for a jeep load for 20 kms...ok 40 kms. There must be some misunderstanding. Do they get enough people to shell out that kind of money for a 20 km ride? Admittedly on bad/non existent roads. Seems excessive.
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Old 20th February 2017, 23:48   #12
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Originally Posted by earthian View Post
That is Highway robbery! Rs 5390 for a jeep load for 20 kms...ok 40 kms. There must be some misunderstanding. Do they get enough people to shell out that kind of money for a 20 km ride? Admittedly on bad/non existent roads. Seems excessive.
Its not only about the distance but the amount of wear and tear the vehicle takes and the skill to drive on such terrain. These people constantly change the tyres I guess. These are not bad roads as such, its like driving on rock boulders. There is no road. I believe you might have seen the new fortuner off road capabilities in the forum. Believe me, it wont last more than a few mins there. Huge rocks and irregularities everywhere. But yes, I am not sure if its the pricing or any other issue there are hardly 75-100 vising that particular temple a day where as thousands visit the main temple.
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