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Old 19th December 2008, 15:46   #16
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Going to suryalanka during 2nd weekend of jan 09...

Mobike008 did tell me about you doing the trip....

your writeup and pics definately are helping me imagine the place already

We guys are going by train to bapatla from hyd from there on to the beach resort of ap tourism...

Any specific do's and don'ts which we should keep in mind( i knw your thread is dated back to march ,incase you would check this ,do respond!

else will pm you for the details!
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Old 19th December 2008, 16:03   #17
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Nice travelogue and pics...but the guy leaning out of window in santro is to dangerous...
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Old 4th January 2009, 23:31   #18
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Originally Posted by dadu View Post
The santro is not that heavy that 8 ppl couldnt push it. I hope you all were not sitting inside and trying to push. The alcohol has some detrimental effects, you see.
Lol - thanx for the info on the loose sand ...will be careful when I am there next week, for my car weighs about the same as 2 santros!

BTW. any updates on Suryalanka and the 2 roads going there from Hyderabad (via Vijayawada and Via Miryalguda)?
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Old 5th January 2009, 00:53   #19
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Nice pics. The resort looks quite nice too.
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Old 5th January 2009, 19:10   #20
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Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
BTW. any updates on Suryalanka and the 2 roads going there from Hyderabad (via Vijayawada and Via Miryalguda)?
The best route is Hyd-Narketpally-Miryalaguda-Piduguralla-Sattenapalli-Guntur-Bapatla. Hyd-Bapatla would be 320 KM. Except for the stretch between Hyd-Narketpally, rest of route is good.
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Old 8th January 2009, 01:00   #21
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I would say the route through HYd-Vijayawada-Guntur is much better because after vijayawada its NH5 and the roads are too good.
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Old 8th January 2009, 01:02   #22
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Did you guys book the cottages? difficult to get a cottage over weekends so make sure that you book it a week prior. apart from that I can't think of any specific do's and don'ts.

Duplicate message Mods please delete it

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Old 8th January 2009, 01:03   #23
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Originally Posted by Rajesh Rawal View Post
Going to suryalanka during 2nd weekend of jan 09...

Mobike008 did tell me about you doing the trip....

your writeup and pics definately are helping me imagine the place already

We guys are going by train to bapatla from hyd from there on to the beach resort of ap tourism...

Any specific do's and don'ts which we should keep in mind( i knw your thread is dated back to march ,incase you would check this ,do respond!

else will pm you for the details!
Did you guys book the cottages? difficult to get a cottage over weekends so make sure that you book it a week prior. apart from that I can't think of any specific do's and don'ts.
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Old 8th January 2009, 12:10   #24
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Originally Posted by romyeo4u View Post
Did you guys book the cottages? difficult to get a cottage over weekends so make sure that you book it a week prior. apart from that I can't think of any specific do's and don'ts.
yes the bookings were done way well in advance.we leave tommorrow night @ 9.30pm from secunderabad.. should be in bapatla @ 5.30am (sat)..

will have to kill some time as our check in is at 10am..

hope we get some public transport to go to the resort from bapatla station..
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Old 8th January 2009, 14:37   #25
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Have fun Rajesh!

I have also planned a trip to suryalanka on the 24th and 25th of Jan. Plan to reach there by train from Hyderabad. Please do update on how you managed to reach the resort from the bapatla rly station.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 15:48   #26
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Originally Posted by romyeo4u View Post
I would say the route through HYd-Vijayawada-Guntur is much better because after vijayawada its NH5 and the roads are too good.

Hi Romeo, I'm sorry but I must disagree with you. The road via Nalgonda, Miryalguda, Pidugralla & Satennapalle to Guntur is much better. Incidentally you will be on NH5 for only about 30 Kms. The NH9 from Hyderabad to Vijayawada is a nightmare.

My reply to this thread setting out my experiences on my trip to Suryalanka should be up shortly. I hope it will provide guidance on the roads etc. as well as tips on Bapatla town.

Cheers
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Old 23rd January 2009, 22:00   #27
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Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
Hi Romeo, I'm sorry but I must disagree with you. The road via Nalgonda, Miryalguda, Pidugralla & Satennapalle to Guntur is much better. Incidentally you will be on NH5 for only about 30 Kms. The NH9 from Hyderabad to Vijayawada is a nightmare.
Cheers
When we went last year we enquired about the route and we were told that the above road has many speed breakers,though I have not done it personally.

reg the NH9 its an open secret. May be you are right.

Have a great trip buddy.
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Old 27th January 2009, 13:40   #28
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Default Update on Bapatla Beach, Suryalanka, road conditions from Hyderabad.

After putting it off for almost a year, I finally decided to make it to the Bapatla beach (Suryalanka), over the Sankaranti holidays.

After packing our shorts, T-shirts, straw hats, towels, kites, frisbees, playstation, reading material, DVDs and VCDs for my trusty laptop, we packed the most important item for a road trip – our ice box - with enough water, ice, juices, soft drinks etc. for the trip. (The vodka went into my suitcase and remained there till we reached our destination).

We left around 11 a.m. on 12 January. Set the trip odo to ‘0’ at Sangeet theatre and took off towards Tarnaka and the Ring road heading to Vanastalipuram.

I took the left turn on to the Vijayawada highway, the truckers strike was still on, so traffic was light on this road which is otherwise notorious for it’s bumper to bumper traffic. Wrong information about the road conditions meant that I stuck to the NH9 till Nakrekal where I took a right (at the statue of one of the Gandhis, in the middle of the town) onto the SH5 heading towards Tipparthy and Miryalguda. This is no ‘highway’, it is a narrow country road filled with carts, tractors and assorted farm animals and, they have absolute right of way. The irrigation department is busy in this area digging canals etc., so the road is dug up at several places for making the canals, reaching Tipparthy and hitting the 4 lane road was a relief.

I took the left turn onto the 4 lane road at Tipparthy, the road from Tipparthy to Miryalguda is reasonably good with some patchwork done recently to fill most pot holes. The road outside Miryalguda is however bumpy and uneven with a wavy ‘hump’ running along the middle of the outer lane. The road passes outside most towns so traffic is light.

The Neanderthals in charge of the road have created a major hazard in the form of unmarked huge ‘speedbreakers’ which are strategically hidden so drivers cannot see them early. (One wonders if this is a result of ‘globalisation’ & ‘privatisation’, whereby the sponsors of the speedbreakers – the vehicle repair industry - choose their location!) Incidentally speedbreakers have no place in this age where the emphasis is on fast uninterrupted flow of traffic. Speedbreakers cause increased fuel consumption and increase wear and tear on vehicle parts & tyres. I wish the boffins in charge would calculate the additional costs the country bears due to shortened vehicle life, increased fuel consumption and reduced tyre life. Until enlightenment dawns on the powers that be, the only way to navigate this road is to lift your right foot off the accelerator the second you see any signs of human habitation on either side of the road.

The road improves past Miryalaguda and continues to be good till Wazfrabad. Beyond Wazfrabad, the road has a few potholes but the main nuisance is from the traffic to and from the numerous cement plants etc. The approach to the bridge across the river Krishna is bad in one patch. The bridge itself is a two lane affair but has a decent cement concrete surface with no major surprises. Unfortunately there is no place to park along the river near the bridge to enjoy the views of the river and the picturesque banks.

Crossing the bridge brings you into Guntur district. The road is wide till Dachepalle. Thereafter it narrows down to a double road. The surface is good – much better than on the Nalgonda side of the bridge. The stretch from Dachepalle to Pidugralla has a smattering of stone quarries and cement units & they contribute to the traffic. One notable difference on this side of the river is that the road narrows down and runs through the towns, doubling as the main road for the town, this can slow you down considerably. Guntur district seems slightly more civilised than Nalgonda, inasmuch as there are fewer speedbreakers.

From Pidugralla, the road runs straight to Sattennapalle with a great surface and a decent shoulder. Traffic is light too, so one can make good time. At the 271 Km milestone from Hyderabad there is a road to the left which takes you to Amaravati (30 Km). I however, reserved this side-trip for the return and drove straight on towards Guntur.

The scenery on this road is pleasing to the eye, gently undulating land with a few hillocks in the distance. The fields on either side are planted mainly with cotton and chilly - this is Guntur! The road gently snakes along with no real surprises waiting to pounce upon the unwary driver other than a couple of narrow bridges. Do watch out for the maniac bus drivers though, the demolished railings of several bridges en-route stand testimony to their driving habits.

This road enters Guntur by hitting the GT road near the Tobacco Board offices south of the city centre. Turn left on the GT road and continue till you see a whole lot of timber dealers. Take the right turn at another statue of a Gandhi (Mahatma/Indira/Rajiv). Continue till you hit a ‘T’ junction, turn right at the ‘T’ junction to hit the Guntur by-pass stretch of the NH. Turn left on the NH and continue till you see a ‘X’ road with a huge HP pump on the right. Take the right turn for the road to Ponnur (known locally as the Ponnur road or Chirala road).

The road to Ponnur is a dream come true, lush fields on either side, a smooth surface affording great grip and light traffic. Just a little note of caution, watch out for the poor condition of the road margin/shoulders, often there is none or is so low that it can be used only by heavy vehicles. The road narrows dramatically while passing through Ponnur. One bears left at the first junction in town and then turns right at the next one. Please ask for directions to get to Bapatla.

Once out of Ponnur, the road is great again till one comes to a road overbridge just outside Bapatla. This is a narrow one, deeply pockmarked with assorted ruts and potholes. Once you get off this nightmare road over bridge, you hit a junction, turn right and head into Bapatla town. In the middle of the town turn left onto the Agricultural College (Ag. College) road at the Clock tower. The clock tower is on the left side of the road and can be seen from about 500 M away. Once on the Ag. College Road you are on the home stretch with no more turns off it. The road becomes a single road a short distance beyond the Andhra Bank. One passes the Ag. College and a few other educational institutions, some sleepy hamlets [watch out for the drunks ]. The main hazard is from the auto drivers who think they are driving Ferraris. One passes a lovely stretch of woods and then there is a causeway across the tidal backwaters/flats (this is what makes the Suryalanka beach an island (lanka). Once across the causeway you pass the Air Force station (watch out for the killer speedbreakers outside its gates). Cross a small crest and on your right is the APTDC beach resort which were earlier called Punnami but are now called Harini or something (thanks to the sarkari types who put unmarked speedbreakers every few kilometres on highways).

I parked the car around 6.00 p.m. i.e. 7 hours after leaving home with the trip odo showing 352 Km., not bad at all considering the breaks for lunch, tea, etc.. By my estimate, I would have saved about a quarter of an hour if I had turned right at Narketpally and come via Nalgonda. If I had left home by 7.00 a.m. I would have saved another hour out of the two that it took to negotiate the Hyderabad city traffic!

One thing that has to be said about the APTDC resort in Suryalanka is – FANTASTIC LOCATION. Just yards away from the sea, which is as gentle as a mill pond. The resort itself is quite basic. The rooms are fairly clean. The sheets and towels are freshly laundered but show their age. The staff is friendly and ever willing to help – with broad smiles!! The accommodation is self contained units (huts / cabins) which are built on plinths raised about 7 ft on stilts, very nice. The A/c.s work very well as did the geysers. All in all very good value for money @ Rs.1155 per night. The culinary exploits of the asst. cook on duty while we were there are nothing to write home about but the idlys were absolutely fluffy and soft. Breakfast normally had a choice of 2 items. Lunch was normally a basic buffet of rice, dal, vegetable, sambar, rasam and curd. Limited ala carte items were available for lunch on some days. Dinner is strictly ala carte and most people preferred room service.

Seeing that the place was understaffed we decided to head into town to check out the dining options. Most highly recommended came the ‘East Coast’ which is on the 1st parallel lane to the south of the Ag. College road. i.e. coming from Ponnur and heading towards Chirala, instead of turning left at the clock tower, take the 1st left after the clock tower. A 100 yards into the lane the place is on your right side. The food is good but the menu is limited with the mainstay being ‘meals’. The ambience is basic so do not expect anything fancy. The next is ‘Sreepriya’ which is at the end of a short approach lane off the Ag. College road, (proceeding from the clock tower, it is about 20 metres before the SBI on the right side). The food here is about the same as at the ‘East Coast’ but the menu offers slightly wider choice. The service in Sreepriya though, is infinitely better than in ‘East Coast’. In the same area, diagonally opposite Sreepriya on the main road is ‘Mayuri’ (which we did not try). On the Ag. College road on the other side of the Chirala road (coming from Ponnur – turn right at the clock tower), is a Vasavi tiffin centre which seemed (and more importantly – smelled) promising but, which we did not try.

Bapatla beach or Suryalanka, is a veritable paradise for beach lovers. The beach is far outside town and one side is cordoned off by the Air Force who get very antsy if you venture onto the sea front outside their campus. On the other side there is a small fishing hamlet and the beach is generally deserted except on holidays. The water is very clean and the sand is clean barring the usual plastic and bottles left over by weekend day trippers. The sea is gentle and calm right through the day and one can wade in quite far. The sand here is very fine and gives the water a brown shade. Small fish sometimes swim within a few feet of the shore and the beach itself abounds with various molluscs. Don’t look for parasailing, jet-skis or anything by way of powered water sports here, it is just the sand, the water and, your ingenuity.

Night life is limited to having a quiet drink and watching the night sky (if you want a change, you can watch your neighbours drink themselves blind and get boisterous/maudlin – beats anything on TV!). It is best to carry your own liquor as the property does not have a bar, the staff though are helpful and will bring in your poison of choice from town. The rooms do not have mini-bars/refrigerators so it is best to carry your own ice box – here again the staff will bring ice for you from the market each morning. The staff will also arrange wood etc for a campfire, if you give them a few hours notice. We were however kept busy by our 6 year old son who simultaneously fought with me for the PSP and his mother for the TV remote!

After a day’s break, I decided to take off to Repalle and the new bridge across the river Krishna to Avanigadda. One mis-turn meant that I took a scenic, narrow country road via Khajipalem and Nagaram to Repalle and on to the bridge. This is a wonderful bridge about 3 Km long and the river looks awesome. I guess one day I will return, to go to the ancient temple at Srikakulam (Krishna District) Divi point, Manginapudi beach etc. On the return I took the route via Battiprolu (having been warned that the road via Vellaturu is pretty bad for a 4 Km stretch). To get there one takes the right turn at the entrance to Repalle and follows the narrow road to Battiprolu (an important Buddhist site), then turn left for Cherukupally and Bapatala. The road is much faster than the one I took on the outward journey, but not as scenic.

For our return journey to Hyderabad, we left around 10.00 a.m after breakfast at Suryalanka and headed for Ponnur. We made a halt in Ponnur to visit the Anjeneya Swamy (Hanuman) temple which is opposite the bus stand. The gigantic idol here is quite a sight. Next halt was at Guntur for fuel (at the HP bunk on the corner where the Chirala Road joins the NH). Proceeding towards Satennapally, we took the right turn towards Amaravathi (30 Km), where the milestones said Hyderabad - 271 Km, after a lovely winding road which has a few dips for causeways, we reached Amaravati around 1.30 p.m. After lunch we visited the state archaeological museum, which is informative and nicely laid out. We also visited the ASI’s museum which has a lovely collection of artefacts belonging to the Amaravati school of art. The uncovered remnants of the Stupa (partially reconstructed) is awesome to behold.

It is sad that our government(s) who shout themselves hoarse about our great history, heritage, culture etc. Take such poor care of invaluable sites. (The artefacts from Amaravati, in the British Museum are much better cared for.) It is also incomprehensible how the Government can prohibit photography – does not our culture, art and history belong to each citizen, nay, each human to appreciate, enjoy, cherish and partake? In this I find the Greeks the most civilised and pragmatic. They encourage each visitor to take photographs (without flash as the flashlights damage the artefacts). The Greeks also have no qualms about publicly acknowledging the contributions made by European, Japanese and American corporations, institutions, organisations etc. towards the discovery and restoration of their historical sites and artefacts. After all, merely by contributing to the discovery of an archaeological site, a foreigner cannot appropriate the history of a place or a nation.

Amaravati also gave us an opportunity to shop for fresh vegetables and yummy chillies. Leaving Amaravati around 4.00 p.m. I headed back to Hyderabad, this time taking the road via Nalgonda (this road actually bypasses Nalgonda). The road after Tipparthi is awesome and we made good time till Narketpally. The NH coming from Vijayawada is a nightmare and it was like driving through peak hour traffic in the city. I was often in 3rd gear for long stretches, as I desperately tried to overtake a long line of trucks & buses. The Indica taxi and Sunday drivers were no help either and, they would at the smallest gap in traffic, in-spite of me flashing my headlights, swing to the right (without dropping gears) and blocking my path, only to lamely swing back again when they realised they had not developed enough power to overtake. Soon I learnt that the only thing they responded to was a constant blast of my horn. Soon I was blasting them out of my path with the horn and shooting forward, leaving them to swing out after me and watch me overtake about 5 trucks at a go in the time it took them to overtake one. Aah, the joys of dropping a gear or two to keep the engine in its power band instead of labouring on in a higher gear.

I have now decided that the best way of getting to Vijayawada is via Guntur!
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Old 27th January 2009, 15:59   #29
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Ravveendrra,

Nice travelogue. Did you carry a dictaphone to note down such minute details of the roads and towns?

Food options in towns like Bapatla will be limited. But I am sure even such towns will have 1 or 2 joints that would offer finger-licking good non veg dishes, that you can find out only by talking to a native well in advance. My experience is that the joints near the bus stands and rly stations are usually below par, but if you venture into the residential hub of a town/city you will find decent joints.

Do you have photos of your trip?
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Old 27th January 2009, 19:57   #30
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Ravveendrra,

Nice travelogue. Did you carry a dictaphone to note down such minute details of the roads and towns?

Food options in towns like Bapatla will be limited. But I am sure even such towns will have 1 or 2 joints that would offer finger-licking good non veg dishes, that you can find out only by talking to a native well in advance. My experience is that the joints near the bus stands and rly stations are usually below par, but if you venture into the residential hub of a town/city you will find decent joints.

Do you have photos of your trip?
Hi,

Thanks nag but, LOL no dictaphone, but if I drive on a road I dont forget it for a while. I just re-check the names on a map.

Both 'East Coast' and 'Sreepriya' serve NV and seem popular with the locals, more locals here than transients.

Sorry about the snaps, I lost my camera there, so all my snaps went!

I did take some on my mobile - not the same (and my heart was not in it, having lost my camera).

A few of the beach are enclosed at the end.

Cheers,
Attached Thumbnails
Suryalanka: Beach Resort-15012009004.jpg  

Suryalanka: Beach Resort-15012009.jpg  

Suryalanka: Beach Resort-15012009001.jpg  

Suryalanka: Beach Resort-15012009006.jpg  

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