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Old 9th June 2009, 22:03   #1
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Default Bangalore – Vizianagaram – Araku Valley – Borra Caves – Vizag – Bangalore

I drove about 2500+ kms covering all these places.

We had a function in the family and right from the beginning, I was sure that I would drive to attend the function (no drive, no function). There was little resistance from my wife, but I could prevail over her.

Day 1: Bangalore to Tirupati


Once we decided to drive, I started searching for information on route, distance, travel time, etc. So, I started with Team-BHP and Google. I tried to get direction from Goolge and it suggested me a shorter route where in I had to drive over 350 kms on state highways.

That’s when I had posted my route query in Team-BHP and bingo, there were immediate responses advising me to take the NH5 route as it would a much better option and would enjoy the drive and save time as well.

Also, I had read Abhi’s travelogue to Cal and got few important tips from there. My initial plan was to start early morning on Wednesday and reach Vizainagaram by night. After reading Abhi’s travelogue, I decided to drive on Tuesday evening and take a night break in Tirupati and then continue from there on Wednesday early morning.

We left Bangalore at 5:00 pm and reached Tirupati at 9:30 pm (lost about 30 mins as I took a wrong turn into Tirupati town). For the night, we parked ourselves at Bhimas Residency.

Day 2: Tirupati to Vizainagaram
Started from Tirupati at 4:30 am towards Naidupeta, I must say that the road was good except for few unexpected speed breakers. Once we got on to NH 5, it was like a breeze. We did stop once for fuel and decided not to stay on for the breakfast as it was too early for us to have breakfast. We were carrying some multi-grain biscuits, which we had for breakfast. While I was driving and enjoying the sunrise and the locale beauty, I had asked my wife to take few snaps. Not very good ones, but they are OK to be posted.
Starting Odo reading:
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Room at Bhimas:
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View of NH-5
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View of NH-5
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View of NH-5
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Me driving
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We did make good progress and by around 9:30 am, we were passing through Vijayawada. We did manage to beat the rush hour and were able to get on to Eluru road pretty fast. From then on, we started to target Rajahmundry for lunch break. The drive between Naidupeta to Vijayawada is one part and the drive from Vijayawada to Rajahmundry was quite a different one. The landscape was quite green and the weather was quite humid and hot. Thanks to V-Kool, the A/C was quite comfortable.

My ride
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Lake or fish tank wherein Buffalo's take a nice dip
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Lake or fish tank wherein Buffalo's take a nice dip
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Lake or fish tank wherein Buffalo's take a nice dip
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We reached Rajahmundry around 12:00 and by the time we hunted for a good restaurant it was 12:30. We did enquire with locals there and were asked to try out Anand Regency. People out there were bad in giving directions. They ask you to take left and they point towards right. But, once we landed at Anand Regency, we did not mind the time we spent hunting for it. In all they have 3 restaurants – one a pure veg, two – veg & von-veg ala carte and the card is called cox & mox which has a buffet for lunch and does serve booze in the evening.

We decided to try Cox & Mox. Man, the food was awesome and for Rs. 159/-, we had a great variety. They had two non-veg dishes chicken and prawns and I did hog like a pig. Remember, I did skip my regular breakfast and had few multi-grain biscuits.

We managed to get over with lunch in 30 mins and by 1:00 pm, we were back on road. From there on, we did manage decent drive and as per the instructions I received from various bhpians, I did take the required diversion at Anakapalle. But sadly, we did hit a road block as there was a major traffic jam at a railway crossing as one of the truck trying to cross broke down and everyone else were smart enough to not let the other person go and the result was a grid lock. Just imagine, the grid lock was so bad that the train had to stop before the jam on the tracks was cleared and it could pass through.

Looking at all these, I decided to get back on to NH-5 and go through Gajuwaka traffic rather than sitting idle in a traffic jam. However, people did advise me to take a diversion at Lankelapalem and get on to Sabbavaram and then back on to Pendurthy road. From there on, we were back to the directions as advised by bhpians.

Once on this route, there were no more surprises and by 5:30 pm, we did reach our destination in Vizainagaram. Had we not got struck in the traffic jam or we continued on NH5, we would have at least save an hour’s time and reached our destination by 4:30 pm.

I will follow this up with my trip to Araku Valley and Borra Caves and my return journey to Bangalore via Bhimli.

Stay tuned ...
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Old 9th June 2009, 22:07   #2
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Awaiting pics of Araku!
Already tuned! Keep the pics coming!
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Old 9th June 2009, 22:13   #3
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Good pics muralisk! Keep 'em coming!
I did read somewhere that you took the Lankelapalem route---I remember that it is a narrow road, but scenic, with dips and curves. I used to take that route to visit a place called Devipuram---there is an NRI temple there, and it is on a hill just after that narrow road meets the Vizag byepass.
13 hours from TPTY to VZM is laudable.
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Old 10th June 2009, 08:13   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulsar56 View Post
Awaiting pics of Araku!
Already tuned! Keep the pics coming!
Sure. I will try and post all of them tonight ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Good pics muralisk! Keep 'em coming!
I did read somewhere that you took the Lankelapalem route---I remember that it is a narrow road, but scenic, with dips and curves. I used to take that route to visit a place called Devipuram---there is an NRI temple there, and it is on a hill just after that narrow road meets the Vizag byepass.
13 hours from TPTY to VZM is laudable.
Thanks vnabhi. Yes, I did update the route information in my earlier post and the road is indeed a narrow one and quite scenic. The surface is top class and when we were passing through this place, it did rain and that made the drive even more beautiful.
Thanks to NH5, I could cover over 800+ kms in 13 hours with breaks and some traffic jam as well.
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Old 10th June 2009, 08:21   #5
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Nice travelogue and pics Muralisk. Where do you stay Hyd or Blr coz your location says Hyd?

In one of the pic I see you driving without seat belts. Request you to pls wear them always on highways.

Waiting for more !!
Abhi
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Old 10th June 2009, 09:43   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Nice travelogue and pics Muralisk. Where do you stay Hyd or Blr coz your location says Hyd?

In one of the pic I see you driving without seat belts. Request you to pls wear them always on highways.

Waiting for more !!
Abhi
Thanks akroy. Am currently in Bangalore, but keep visiting Hyderabad my folks are there.

And regarding the seat belt, I do wear them all the time, but that was one-off slip up after taking off from a short break.
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Old 10th June 2009, 09:47   #7
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Some more road pics.

Swami Vivekanada statue
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A tempo coming at full speed on the wrong side of the road and that too on the right most lane
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The train that had to stop for the traffic jam to clear off the tracks
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Old 10th June 2009, 10:17   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muralisk View Post
Some more road pics.

Swami Vivekanada statue
During my trips to AP I have also noticed these very ugly statues. It seems Swami Vivekananda and Dr Ambedkar are very popular for statue making in these parts of the country.
And I suspect the exact same mould is used by the "sculptors" for both the statues. In Swamiji's case they put the turban and the special safron dress and in Dr Ambedkar's case they put a pair of glasses, a bluish suit and a red tie around his neck.
But essentially the two statues look more or less same.
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Old 10th June 2009, 12:34   #9
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I was surprised to see this as all along the highway I saw Hanuman statues and at this place, I saw something different.
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Old 10th June 2009, 12:40   #10
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Quote:
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But essentially the two statues look more or less same.
Well, should we say that they 'share the same platform'? ---BTW, just kidding!

Last edited by vnabhi : 10th June 2009 at 12:41.
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Old 10th June 2009, 12:53   #11
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Great write-up, pictures and travelogue.

I have had experiences of oncoming traffic on the NH5 from the wrong side. People tend to take the shortest route possible on their lifelines and endangering others. A lot of times, you will find educated people doing this on 4-lane highways.
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Old 10th June 2009, 13:31   #12
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Nice start there Murali. Looks like you had a great time. I never been to Aaraku Valley and Borra Caves, would wait for its pictures.

Btw, the room at Bhimas looks quite sparse? I think they have 2 other hotels with a slightly different name? What was the tarrif?

We always have lunch in their restuarant in the basement while waiting to board the train back to Hyderabad. Nice cool place, but the meal is a bit expensive though.
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Old 10th June 2009, 15:38   #13
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Thats a good trip you had there Murali. Looking forward to Araku and Borra Caves pics!!!
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Old 10th June 2009, 16:11   #14
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We always have lunch in their restuarant in the basement while waiting to board the train back to Hyderabad. Nice cool place, but the meal is a bit expensive though.
The one that has the best ambience has its restaurant in the basement--that is Bheema's Residency. There is Bheema's fast food joint just beside it, and beside that is the original Bheema's restaurant. The original one serves the best of tiffins, but its ambience is not that great.
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Old 10th June 2009, 17:02   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
The one that has the best ambience has its restaurant in the basement--that is Bheema's Residency. There is Bheema's fast food joint just beside it, and beside that is the original Bheema's restaurant. The original one serves the best of tiffins, but its ambience is not that great.
Exactly, thats the one. i dont remember the cost but their Thali was priced quite steep. This was a few years ago.
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