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Old 25th September 2009, 12:23   #1
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Default Srisailam beckons again!

Srisailam is one of my favourite haunts and also for our group of friends. Last year, we visited this place twice but this year has been a little tough with less holidays, more work, recession tensions and what not. Finally we got a chance to visit this beautiful place again and we did it last weekend, as we had Eid holiday on Monday.

Initial plan was to visit the waterfalls enroute then the dam and finally Srisailam and if possible, find accomodation stay there and come back the next day. This was mainly to avoid night driving as last time an adventure happened and my friend hit a buffalo which didn't hurt the buffalo much but dented the bonnet of my friend's car, big time and later around Dindi his car got punctured all of which delayed our homecoming and everyone reached home by around 1 in the night. Well this was last time, this time the trip was much more enjoyable and much more safe.

Some statistics:
Cars: Alto Lxi and Estillo
Members: 3 couples, 3 bachelors, totally 9
Cams: Sony and other digicams and one Canon 450D
Start date & time: 19th Sept 4:30AM
End date & time: 21st Sept 10PM.
Places visited:
Mallelateertham waterfalls
Dam site
Srisailam temple
Ishta Kameshwari temple

Weather: Partly cloudy, but mostly hot and humid

So off we went, started early from our homes at around 4:30AM, picked up few friends and finally were on the designated route by 6AM. Planned to reach Dindi by around 7:30-8AM so that we can have our breakfast there and proceed directly to the Mallelateertham waterfalls. Well, as they say, man proposes and God disposes, there was a puncture to the car my friend was driving. Fortunately, our car was behind theirs so we all were able to be together when the puncture was being fixed by some helpful individuals in our group. Good thing was it was fixed quickly and we were off again and reached Dindi by 8:30AM. We were still early by our standards as during the last trips, we were reaching Dindi a little late.

Decided to skip Dindi dam for this time and proceeded directly to the waterfalls. This is our favourite place on the way to Srisailam b'coz we enjoy the waterfalls like anything. It's an awesome feeling to be under the natural shower of nature and enjoy the pleasure and pain of water hitting you hard on the head, the back and behind your ears.

This time we observed something new at the waterfall and those were the barricades that were erected around the small pond that is formed. Really don't know the reason for that but earlier, when we parked our cars and were getting ready to climb down the 400 odd steps some elderly souls were telling us that it is really not worth going there and it's a waste of time. After seeing the barricades, we were worried that maybe we can't go under the waterfalls this time. Fortunately, that was still open and we all jumped in joy when we realised that our entry under the falls was not restricted but only the pond was barricaded. Like always we spent around an hour under the magnificient waterfalls.

Everyone geared up to climb back to the top, which we all usually felt was a tiresome thing to do, but this time around we didn't feel the exhaustion much. We reached the top, had some water and cool drinks and began our journey to Srisailam.

For now enjoy the pics... Will continue the rest of the description later.

Last edited by saleem_k : 25th September 2009 at 12:26.
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Old 25th September 2009, 13:05   #2
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Default Pics uploaded now.

Note: Please read the start date as 20th Sept. I have given it incorrectly as 19th.

The first turn towards left, while going to Srisailam. People tend to get confused here. On this road we had a puncture.
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3685.jpg

Me clicking, while the puncture is being fixed.
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3693.jpg

Road to Mallelateertham, is about 8kms, I think. This is being improved and is now much wider and much better compared to an year back.
Srisailam beckons again!-100_3276.jpg

Lot of dust and fine red mud settles on your car if you are behind any other vehicle.
Srisailam beckons again!-100_3280.jpg

Steps that take you to the waterfall. Would have been a tough trek if not for these steps.
Srisailam beckons again!-dsc00572.jpg

View of the forest from the top of the steps.
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3705.jpg

A dried up tree in this forest. Any guesses how old this tree could be?
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3720.jpg

The first glimpse of the waterfall
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3778.jpg

The waterfalls, our ultimate goal and our time well spent at this place.
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3728.jpg

Yippee! We can enjoy the watefall.
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3730.jpg

Our climb back after a refreshing time.
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3789.jpg

The road inside the reserve forest. Monkeys are always on the lookout for food thrown from the cars. Please do not do this or encourage others to do it.
Srisailam beckons again!-100_3270.jpg

One more view of the road.
Srisailam beckons again!-dsc00562.jpg

The magnificient Srisailam Dam
Srisailam beckons again!-dscn2092.jpg

Srisailam beckons again!-img_3807.jpg

Srisailam beckons again!-dsc00630.jpg

More in my next post.

Last edited by saleem_k : 25th September 2009 at 13:12.
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Old 25th September 2009, 13:46   #3
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Saleem, this is a different view of Srisailam. I have been to Srisailam scores of time but haven't ventured out into the forests and that waterfall.
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Old 25th September 2009, 15:39   #4
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Ah! Mallelatheertam!!

Thanks Saleem miyan for bringing back some old memories!!

I have been to Mallelatheertam way back in 2004 Dec.

Avi, I have been to Mallelatheertam for trekking and ventured into the jungle. Like Fazal bhai, a friend of mine(GVS Jagan Mohan) knows lots of places around Srisailam espcially the forests and tribal areas(and the tribals popularly known as Chenchus). After going down to the place of water falls we went to the other side up the hill. I dont know whether they are allowing it these days. As we were venturing into the wild, we observed one thing - the height of dry grass was slowly increasing and thats when Jagan commented that there are chances that we can see tigers or any wild cats in there. As it was already 4 PM and being December it would get dark early, we decided to head to back. While goind we took nearly 2 hours but in the return we did it in slightly over an hour. Shall I say FEAR FACTOR!!!

This is how the other side looks like(I am using pic taken by Saleem):

Srisailam beckons again!-img_3705.jpg

In the same trip we also went to Umamaheshwaram before heading to Mallelatheertham. Its nice and peacefull location. Though Srisalam is around 80KM from Umamaheshwaram, it is said that there is a path from here to Srisailam through the Jungle, which normally Lord Shiva's devotees use to visit Srisailam during Maha-Shivarathri. The distance to Srisailam via this route is around 54km, but it has to be done by foot.

Quote:
Papasnanam
it is around 200 meters away from the Sanctum Sanctorum- where water comes out underneath the huge rocks at the same rate all through the year. You have a rock-pot over there that gets filled with the water for every 5 minutes and overflows to water a stretch of Jasmine/other plants down the hill. It is said that all your sins would be washed away if you take a dip at this place. Water quality at this place is simply superb. Like this many water bodies are there on this stretch. However none of them is perennial like "Papa Nashanam".
We had some sweet water over here and we went to the starting point of the short cut which Lord Shiva's devotees take. Here is a pic of us at the top of the hill, which is the starting point(avi and rest of the folks try locating me in the pic):
Name:  papa nashanam.jpg
Views: 5384
Size:  82.5 KB

To reach this place, we had to do a bit of adventure, as we had to go along a path which is hardly a meter in width at a height of 500m and total length might be around 1.5 to 2 km. In the pic you can notice the road leading to Umamaheshwaram temple is in the shape of dragon.

Back then I had a film camera and one of us had a very basic digital camera, which could pics like a web camera!!! The above pic is taking by the same digital camera. I shall try finding the pics taken by me with my film camera, scan and upload(provided, Saleem bhai doesnt feel bad for Hijacking his thread).

Last edited by kkr2k2 : 25th September 2009 at 15:55.
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Old 26th September 2009, 13:09   #5
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Default 2nd day at Srisailam

After our time well spent at the waterfalls, we started for Srisailam. Srisailam is around 55kms from the waterfalls excluding the 8kms muddy road that takes us till the main road. The road from here till Srisailam is very scenic with forest, ghats, the dam on the way for which you have to climb down the hill from one side, pass the dam, cross the bridge to the other side and again start the climb. It is not just the place that you enjoy but also the drive.

After reaching Srisailam around 2:30, we had lunch and then started our search for a place to stay. Unfortunately all of the places were full, and people at Ganga/Gauri sadan were least interested in answering our queries about whether the accommodation was available or not. I pity such kind of government servants who spend their life doing no work but feeling as if they are doing a favour on the mankind by being in that position. Well, that's a different debate which I don't want to start.

So we were searching for an accomodation which we could not find in Srisailam but since we saw few boards of A/C lodges about 5-6 kms before Srisailam we thought of trying there. Fortunately we go an accomodation in a decent lodge called Gowri Shankar lodge for Rs.500 per non AC room, per night. That lifted our spirits coz we were thinking that we would have to come back the same day, which we didn't want.

After a night well spent, with fun, sharing some adventures and playing card games, we decided to visit either Akka Mahadevi caves or the Ishta Kameshwari temple the next day. Visiting both these places would not be possible in a day due to time constraints. While most of my friends decided to have a darshan in the main temple, few of us decided to try finding out the details of how to reach either of these places.

As Akka Mahadevi caves were of first priority, we decided to enquire at the ticket counter of Patalaganga, where tickets for this trip are also sold. Although we enquired at around 8 in the morning the tickets were already sold out for that day's trips. We enquired further and learnt that for visiting the caves you need to go as early as 6 in the morning to get the tickets and also the booking can be done on phone.

Next option was to find out how to go to Ishta Kameshwari temple. You can search more about this place on google but let me tell you few things about this place. This temple is around 8kms inside the forest from the main road that goes towards Dornala, Atmakur, etc.. Only commander Jeeps can take you inside the forest as the road is pure 4X4 terrain and that too if you have high ground clearance. Cars cannot go on this road so please do not take this risk. The entry point into the forest is about 8-10kms from Srisailam and from the entry point till the drop point its about 8kms of pure hell. You are shaken literally in every direction, big boulders are all over the road for the majority of the 8kms and some places you feel like the jeep will topple to one side. But yes, please be aware that anyone over 50 years may find this ride very very strenuous so please think twice about going to this place if you have elderly people in your group.

There is a circle near Gouri Sadan, where these jeeps come and you have to negotiate with them. They usually carry around 12 people but might take lesser people if you can pay them a little extra. For our group of 9, we were charged Rs.1600, which is a little high. The earlier you start to this place, the better a deal you will get. If you get late, the rates start rising.
So off we went on our roller coaster ride... I will let the pics do the talking now...

Next day in the morning getting ready for an exciting day ahead.
Srisailam beckons again!-100_3337.jpg
Srisailam beckons again!-100_3343.jpg

Some birds around, early in the morning. Unfortunately I have only 55-250mm lens so couldn't get any more closer.
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3831.jpg
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3840.jpg

Sadhu baba getting ready for the day. There are lots in Srisailam and one was even asking for alms and reasoning in English as to why we should give him alms!!!
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3861.jpg

Front views of the main Srisailam temple.
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3864.jpg
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3868.jpg

View from the top of Patalaganga where we have the ropeway station.
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3876.jpg

More views from the same place, this one showing the backwaters near the dam.
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3888.jpg
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3889.jpg

They take you till the dam and come back. It's a nice experience but we didn't opt for this, this time around.
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3893.jpg

Well, this is how the road to Ishta Kameshwari temple looks like. You have to bear around 8kms of this hell. The road to God is not always easy, isn't it?
Srisailam beckons again!-dsc00766.jpg

Commander jeeps have earned my respect after my trip here.
Srisailam beckons again!-dsc00767.jpg

We have to walk for around 5 mins from the drop point to reach the actual temple. Before that we have this open place which also has a Ganesh idol and mini waterfalls.
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3915.jpg
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3916.jpg

This is the Ishta Kameshwari temple. The white concrete structure that you see towards the left is the actual temple. One has to crawl and go inside.
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3943.jpg

We spent some time at this place before boarding our jeep for the return trip.
Srisailam beckons again!-dsc02409.jpg
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3965.jpg
Srisailam beckons again!-img_3980.jpg

Do remember to negotiate not just the amount but also the time that you will be spending at this place. Else the drivers would be breathing down your necks to come back fast because the more time you take the lesser their trips become. So it is always better to negotiate upfront and tell them that you will be spending some time there and he shouldn't bother you.

This was the last thing we saw in Srisailam, reached back to where our cars were parked near Ganga Sadan and after a break of half an hour, we started our way back to home at around 3:30pm.

Last edited by saleem_k : 26th September 2009 at 13:12. Reason: Forgot to paste some description before the pics.
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Old 26th September 2009, 14:28   #6
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Nice pictures and description Saleem. Are the first two pictures of Gowri Shankar Lodge? Looks good, IMO.
I have never been to Srisailam yet. Hope something materializes on the T-BHP Meet threads soon!
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Old 26th September 2009, 18:02   #7
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Originally Posted by pulsar56 View Post
Nice pictures and description Saleem. Are the first two pictures of Gowri Shankar Lodge? Looks good, IMO.
I have never been to Srisailam yet. Hope something materializes on the T-BHP Meet threads soon!
Thanks pulsar56. Yes, the lodge looks decent enough but at night you have lot of politician like people boozing and getting high. Since we were a group, it's fine but for families and couples this won't be a comfortable place to stay in. But yes, we did have some families for company.

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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Saleem, this is a different view of Srisailam. I have been to Srisailam scores of time but haven't ventured out into the forests and that waterfall.
Do check this place out mobike008, you will like it. Everytime I go to Srisailam it looks different to me.

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Originally Posted by kkr2k2 View Post
Ah! Mallelatheertam!!

Thanks Saleem miyan for bringing back some old memories!!

I shall try finding the pics taken by me with my film camera, scan and upload(provided, Saleem bhai doesnt feel bad for Hijacking his thread).
kkr2k2, I'm glad it rekindled your memories. Please feel free to post your pics too.
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Old 27th September 2009, 18:07   #8
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Nice picture and travelogue Saleem. We are planning to go to Mallelateertham next weekend (2nd October). Could you guide us where we need to take the turn on to metal road? Any clue on near by village etc.,

Thanks,
Raghu Lakshman
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Old 28th September 2009, 20:20   #9
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Originally Posted by tmnraghu78 View Post
Nice picture and travelogue Saleem. We are planning to go to Mallelateertham next weekend (2nd October). Could you guide us where we need to take the turn on to metal road? Any clue on near by village etc.,

Thanks,
Raghu Lakshman
Hi Raghu,

Mallelateertham would be easy to find. I don't know the name of the village where this is but can tell you that after the Tiger Reserve main gate (where you see the tiger idol seated in front of the entrance) you have to go another 5-6 kms and suddenly you will see a small village with lot of shops on either side of the road. Here is where you will find a signboard with arrow towards the left. Even if you don't find, don't worry, ask anyone and they will tell you. Have fun!
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Old 29th September 2009, 09:38   #10
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Hi Saleem,

Thanks for your reply. That is very informative. .
I stopped at same village every time I went to Srisailam to get some water, snacks, air check etc., That time I just did know about this treasure!

We are planning to go this weekend to Mallelateertham & Srisailam.

Fellow BHPians from Hyderabad!! if anybody interested to join us, please inform me. We can discuss and finalize the trip.
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Old 29th September 2009, 10:06   #11
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Hey Saleem, great write up and excellent shots. This is one of my favorite destination as well. Thanks for reviving some good old memories.
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Old 29th September 2009, 10:13   #12
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...
Fellow BHPians from Hyderabad!! if anybody interested to join us, please inform me. We can discuss and finalize the trip.
Just a note of caution:
Oct 3rd, Maoists called for a Nation wide bandh. I would like to inform you that, forest around Srisailam is a Naxalite strong hold!!
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Old 29th September 2009, 10:15   #13
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Quote:
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This time we observed something new at the waterfall and those were the barricades that were erected around the small pond that is formed. Really don't know the reason for that
Two people had died on account of diving into the pool. That barricade is to discourage people from attempting to dive in. Pity as it spoils the otherwise enchanting view of the falls.

Lovely pictures, thanks for sharing.

Last edited by DKG : 29th September 2009 at 10:16.
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Old 29th September 2009, 13:35   #14
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Originally Posted by kkr2k2 View Post
Just a note of caution:
Oct 3rd, Maoists called for a Nation wide bandh. I would like to inform you that, forest around Srisailam is a Naxalite strong hold!!
Thanks you very much bringing this to our notice. I might have missed that in news.
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Old 29th September 2009, 14:35   #15
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Two people had died on account of diving into the pool. That barricade is to discourage people from attempting to dive in. Pity as it spoils the otherwise enchanting view of the falls.

Lovely pictures, thanks for sharing.
What???
Last we were there (Dec 2004), the depth around the place where I see the fence was hardly three feet. If anyone attempted diving with the head down will definitely have serious head injuries or might end up dead. This sounds silly isnt it?? Or were they jumping from the top of the water falls into the pool of water???

Further down the stream, i.e. the place where the steps end, on the right side, we noticed the depth of the water is as much as a swimming pool around 6' to 7'.
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