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Old 7th June 2007, 16:36   #1
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Default My weekend trip to Srisailam

We were planning for a week-long trip to Vizag from Hyd, starting June 2nd. So I took a print out of the things to be taken on a long trip from TeamBHP postings a week in advance, and meticulously started checking off items that were already stowed in the car. I even asked my kids to help me with this task. After all, it was nearly 3 years since we had gone out of Hyd on a family trip, and it was very difficult for the 4 of us to have a week in common for a vacation. Things were even more difficult because of my wife's free-lancing type of work---she hardly works for 3 to 5 days in a month as a softs-skills trainer, but gets assignments only a few days in advance.
We were also keen on trying out our new Ford Fiesta 1.6 sxi on a long trip, as it was already more than 2 months old and we could not test her on the highway.With only a day left for the trip, the inevitable happened--my wife got two darned assignments during the vacation period, and did not want to miss them as they were from new clients. To keep frustration levels low among the rest of us, I proposed that we go to Srisailam on Sunday, as we had already seen Nagarjunasagar, etc.
My wife readily agreed, and the kids were again excited. So I quickly researched into possible routes to take and found two. Being adventurous, we decided to go one way and come back by the other.
Filled up gas the previous night and checked the tyre pressure. Woke up sharp at 5 and got going at around 7 am---got delayed by 15 mins at my apartment as some nitwit had parked his car behind mine. Bad-mouthed the security guard and made him wake up the car owner and fetch his keys. And then we were off. Drove via Tarnaka to LB Nagar cross-roads, and then took the turn to Ibrahimpatnam, instead of going straight to Srisailam. Being a Sunday, we could get out of Hyd and reach Ibrahimpatnam in an hour, though it is 50 kms away--on weekdays, it would have taken twice this time, especially at Tarnaka and Habsiguda junctions.
From Ibrahimpatnam the road was simply great, but having travelled on it 4 years ago to Nagarjunasagar, I did not speed up beyond 90 kmph, as there are speed breakers at unexpected places. Then I saw an Innova speeding behind me. I let it overtake me and started chasing him at a speed of 100 to 110. After all the risk was his, and I could easily brake whenever he slowed down for a speed breaker. I did keep a safe distance of about 4 car lengths, however. But I was surprised to see a white Alto guy chasing me--never knew an Alto could go that fast !!
After some distance, the Innova guy headed left towards Nalgonda, leaving me to take the lead on my route. My ego did not permit me to let an Alto overtake me, so I kept zipping at 100 kmph speed. Suddenly I spotted a speed breaker and braked hard, but my rear-view mirrors showed to Alto dangerously closing in on me. At the back of
my mind I knew that my ABS brakes were far superior to his, and there was a danger of a rear end collision if I braked hard,. So I was left with no choice than to release the brakes and take the speed-breaker at a speed of 30 kmph. Surprisingly, the suspension of the car worked wonders and took the impact without jolting us. The Alto guy realised his foolishness and stopped chasing us at speeds his car was not meant for.

After that I started testing the car at around 120 kmph, and found a little vibration on the steering wheel, possibly due to imbalanced alloy wheels. But the vibration disappeared at speeds over 120. I was delighted to feel the road-hugging features of the Fiesta that I had so often read about.. Man, this is really a prowl car !!
Stopped for breakfast at Mallepalle junction, and then took a right turn (straight goes to Nagarjunasagar, which is 45 kms away). Paid 10 bucks at a toll gate and sought directions to Srisailam. He suggested we take a left after Devarakonda bus stand a travel 40 kms on to Dindi, where we would meet the main highway to Srisailam. This
would save us 20 kms compared to going straight from Devarkonda and turning left towards Dindi at another junction (think it is Amrabad). When asked, he said that Srisailam was 150 kms away from the toll gate by the short route. I was kinda worried because the maps I had seen had given me the impression that the total distance on this route was around 200 kms, and I had already covered 120 kms. So either the toll guy was wrong or the map by a measure of 70 kms. I was also not sure if there
was a decent fuel station at Srisailam or anywhere on the road. I took a look at the Distance to Empty reading near the odometer and it read 390 kms (great feature for highway driving).
As fuel was a concern for me, I took left at Devarkonda and it was a single road for 40 kms till Dindi. Overtaking was difficult on this road, and it took quite a while to get by a lorry. The road was such that we could not speed up beyond 50 kmph, and once again I found the suspension of the car soaking up the bad stretches pretty well.
Could have gone faster, but did not want to punish a new car, moreso since it was mine. It took us nearly 50 minutes to reach Dindi, where we turned left towards Srisailam.
The road was quite good from this point upto Mananur check point. The cops took down our travel details and told us Srisailam was 78 kms away. The forest stretch starts just after Mananur, and we had to drive through the Nallamalla forest all the way to Srisailam, including a few ghat stretches. Incidentally this is supposed to be
India's largest Tiger sanctuary, but alas we did not spot any. The forest was also a Naxal stronghold till recently, when the Greyhound division of the AP cops drove them out.
As I was not sure of the road, I drove below 100 speed, when I saw a Verna CRDI speeding up behind me. I let him overtake me, and followed the same strategy of tailing him. The guy really knew the road well, and I found that I was tailing him at around 110 to 120 kmph. There were some steep curves on the road, but luckily I had him as the pilot. Believe me, I would not have dared to drive at such speeds on unknown forest roads, where the road dips and slopes up many times, and also has some hair-pin
bends. In no time, we were at the second police check point, and from there I had to drive real slow due to steep ghat section. Suddenly , while we were descending at a hair pin bend , we found many vehicles parked in the corner. We too parked and were thrilled to have a scenic view of the Srisailam dam. Took many pics here and found that the odometer read 240 kms so far, and we still had 20 kms to go to Srisailam town.

We had to descend deep into the valley, cross a bridge over the Krishna river (with a fantastic view of the dam looming beside us) at Pathalaganga, then climb up on hairpin bends over the hill on the other side of the dam. I recall reading somewhere that if one paid Rs 200, one could cross the road over the dam directly to the other side, saving around 8 kms of distance in descending and ascending. We then reached a T junction and turned right to Srisailam. Luckily I could read the directions in Telugu, as all the damn boards were in vernacular (My efforts a decade ago in learning Telugu paid off). God knows where to road to the left led to .
Reached Srisailam town at around noon, after paying Rs 30 at the toll gate. Drove till the vicinity of the temple and had to park the car in the hot sun, as all shaded areas were already taken. Quickly walked to the entrance to the temple, as we were told the temple closes for an hour or so at 1 pm. Spotting a large queue (as it was a Sunday), made some discrete inquiries and found out that it would take an hour and half to complete the darshan. Not wanting to be held up, I paid Rs 50 per head and headed for the 'Sheegra Darshan'. We were out of the temple by 1 pm, but the bad part is that we could not go back to the entrance directly, but had to go around the exterior wall of the temple. We had to go back to the main entrance as our footwear was there. Just outside the rear of the temple, we saw a huge line for Prasadam.
Keeping the 38 degrees heat in mind, and our burning feet, we thought it was not a good idea to buy Prasadam, so headed back to the main entrance. I must say this was plain torture, as the road was burning beneath our feet, so we had to make short dashes to any place that had some shade. We realised what it was to walk on fire, and felt we could do it in future when those dare-devil guys do a demo !
Having got back our chappals (God bless the guy who invented them), we found that there was no decent food joint in the vicinity. Since it was only 1315 hrs and we were not really hungry, we planned to have it at a Dhaba we had sighted an Mananur check point, around 80 kms away. Also found out from some other Hyd guys at the temple that the shortest route to Hyd was around 230 kms, though we had traversed 270 kms by the route we had taken. I noted the DTE in my car and it read 260 kms,
which meant there was 40 kms of surplus fuel. So I decided not to fill fuel at the dingy IndianOil pump at Srisailam.
Since I knew the road better now, we really started driving faster. But the stretch upto the dam was steep, so we could not speed up here. After crossing Pathalaganga, my daughter was feeling like vomitting, probably due to the ghat section. I stopped and let her puke out, and then resumed my journey through the Nallamalla forest road.
The drive upto Mananur was real fun. An Ikon guy was following me all the way. Since he appeared to be a great driver, I let him overtake me, and chased him all along for nearly 50 kms, Gosh, that guy was driving between 90 to 110 kmph, and really knew all the bends in the road very well---some bends cannot be taken at speeds above 40,while most could be taken at 80. At one bend I nearly lost sight of him as I lost some time overtaking a WagonR and an Santro. But on straight stretches, I could
drive upto 150 and soon caught up with him. But since I was teaching my son how to drive on the highway, I heeded all warning signs which warned us of accident spots, and soon lost sight of the Ikon. No regrets about this, as driving safe was my motto.
Stopped for lunch at a dhaba at Mananur for an hour, and then resumed our journey. All the while I was watching the DTE on the trip meter---to my luck, it was always showing a surplus of 40 to 70 kms when compared to the distance to Hyderabad. I also let me son and wife drive for around 20 kms each, and both were surprised when I told them to slow down--they were not aware they were driving at 110 until I told them. Crossed Dindi and followed all road signs to Hyderabad--had to turn left once and
right twice. I think those places were Amrabad and Kalvakurti--don't remember the 3rd junction's name.Stopped on the roadside near Amangal to buy fresh mangoes.
When we were nearing Hyd outskirts at around 6 pm, I found the fuel warning light glowing, and the DTE showed 70 kms of fuel left, but Hyd was only 25 kms away, so no sweat ! I trusted Ford, as the manual said the light would come on when there was 70 kms of fuel left.
But a thunderstorm soon broke out and it took us an hour to reach home, through several jams, though it was a Sunday. I checked the odometer and found that the total
distance we had covered was 495 kms, out of which 268 was the onward journey, and 227 was the return journey. I unwound myself at home with Vodka mixed with
Real Litchee juice, and crashed to bed soon after dinner. We had enjoyed a real good trip, though not as long as the one we had planned to Vizag.
I refuelled the next day and found that around 36 litres of fuel was consumed, giving us a mileage of around 14 kms per litre, which is not bad when compared to the
speeds we had driven, and the ghat section we had covered. I was also happy that I had discoverd the true potential of my car on this trip.
Man, what a trip !!
Will post pictures of my trip as soon as I am allowed to upload attachments---I am a new member and do not know how to do this.
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Old 7th June 2007, 18:47   #2
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This is the best travelogue i read on this site for destinations in AP. Can be used as a reference even by the people travelling for the first time to Srisailam from Hyd.
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Old 8th June 2007, 14:05   #3
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Thanks for the accolade, Satish. I still need to know how to upload photos to this site. Any clues ?
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Old 8th June 2007, 17:19   #4
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Old 8th June 2007, 18:52   #5
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Check this thread on posting pics in tbhp
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/announ...-team-bhp.html
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Old 8th June 2007, 19:03   #6
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vnabhi..
Fantastic travelogue..!! Very well put up...!! Keep them coming..
Please put up the pics using the link given by Satish..!
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Old 9th June 2007, 13:29   #7
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Thanks Satish and kpzen. Let me give it a try:-

Last edited by normally_crazy : 10th June 2007 at 14:40. Reason: Same Pic, Double Post
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Old 9th June 2007, 16:06   #8
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Excellent write up and please try posting a few samples of the pics to yourself via.pm and you will get the hang of it. Look forward to some more pics and some with your car in it. Keep posting
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Old 9th June 2007, 23:16   #9
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Last edited by normally_crazy : 10th June 2007 at 14:39.
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Old 9th June 2007, 23:20   #10
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Old 9th June 2007, 23:25   #11
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My daughter near the dam


Last edited by normally_crazy : 10th June 2007 at 14:38.
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Old 10th June 2007, 11:21   #12
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Great pics vnabhi, however, you must select the link for pics that can be posted in the forum ( option 2 or 3) in Imageshack when you upload the pics to that site.

Great looking car and very nice color. Did you get a chance to check your FE? Highway and city?
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Old 11th June 2007, 12:35   #13
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Thanks mobike008. I'd already mentioned that I got 14 kmpl on my trip. In Hyd city driving, it varies from 10 to 12.5.
Not sure of option 2 or 3 in ImageShack. Can you please be more specific.
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Old 11th June 2007, 15:18   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Thanks mobike008. I'd already mentioned that I got 14 kmpl on my trip. In Hyd city driving, it varies from 10 to 12.5.
Not sure of option 2 or 3 in ImageShack. Can you please be more specific.
Good FE for a 1.6 engine . When you host your pics on imageshack, you will have 3 URL's to select 1) Thumbnails for websites ( i think you selected this one) 2) Thumbnail for Forum 3) Thumbnail for Forum

Please copy the URL for either 2nd or 3rd option. There is a thread on the forum that teaches how to post pics,not able to find it now. Cheers !!!
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Old 11th June 2007, 16:08   #15
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Fiesta looks damn good in that colour..
Why are the pics so small in size??Are the pics taken from a mobile cam?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
T
Not sure of option 2 or 3 in ImageShack. Can you please be more specific.
Check this link for posting pics
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/announ...-team-bhp.html
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