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Old 10th February 2011, 11:09   #136
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Brings back some nostalgia.
Remember a trip to Arasavilli and SriKurmam, 25 years ago from Vizag.
After that I never went to Vizag. Need to visit again !!!
And its a coincidence remembering Arasavalli a old Sun temple other than Konark (this place was also part of the Kalinga. Guess Kalinga rulers were worshipers of Surya) on RathaSaptami day(today)

Also, good to see Hanuman Junction after so many years albeit in pictures !
HJ was just another junction to pass through if one has to travel between Eluru, Vijayawada, Nuzvid and other towns. They all have to pass through this junction, and there was a Hanuman temple(the one shown in pucture) and slowly a town evolved around it. It was a small village. All it started was with a bus exchange point. People used to take any bus and go to HJ and take a connecting bus, which evolved into a town. I never knew that GQ goes through this place.
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Old 10th February 2011, 12:12   #137
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Roamingrao Sir,

You guessed it right. My native is Berhampur. But i was born and brought up in Srikakulam district in various places(up to 10th standard). But i could visit these temples (srikurmam, salihundam amd srimukhalingam) only in 2008. I was searching for the photos to post here.

with your permission i will post them later at the end of your travelogue (i.e; if i could trace them)

Last edited by rkg : 10th February 2011 at 12:13.
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Old 10th February 2011, 22:39   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sriturl View Post
25 years ago from Vizag. After that I never went to Vizag. Need to visit again !!!
25 years ? Maro Charitra days ! though we do not understand much Telugu, some scenes / songs from that movie features vizag. If that is a reference, you would'nt recognise vizag now ! Ek Duje ke liye was also shot here. A must visit city.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sriturl View Post
Also, good to see Hanuman Junction after so many years. I never knew that GQ goes through this place.
Seeing the way the temple sits next to the highway ( almost no gap ), engineers would have struggled to save the temple during road widening. It seems that keeping the temple intact was a priority.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sriturl View Post
remembering Arasavalli a old Sun temple other than Konark (this place was also part of the Kalinga. Guess Kalinga rulers were worshipers of Surya) on RathaSaptami day(today)
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkg View Post
these temples (srikurmam, salihundam amd srimukhalingam) only in 2008. I was searching for the photos to post here.
with your permission i will post them later at the end of your travelogue (i.e; if i could trace them)
rkg sir, please ! Wishing that you find the photos and post them here ! Though it would have been better, as sriturl observes, if you could have posted them today ( ratha saptami ). Thank you.



--------------



A poll : Please name five rivers with 'male' names in India.

1. Brahmaputra
2. Ravi
3....




While you make a list, we cross the bridge over ' Krishna ' at Vijayawada !

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-31.jpg

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-32.jpg





We divert from the GQ for the second time in this trip to visit Suryalanka Beach near Bapatla.

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-chirala-detour.jpg





A smooth two lane road, lush green fields on either side ( remember this is Krishna delta area ) takes us through Ponnuru and lands us in Bapatla at 2 pm.

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-33.jpg

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At Bapatla, we ask for directions to the beach and turn left at the customary clock tower square.

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9 kms to the beach on this road...

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AF Stn Suryalanka just before the beach

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Ample parking beside the APTDC cottages

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We have a late lunch at APTDC Harita Restaurant. Clean, spacious, service is tad slow - but managable, fresh / tasty food.

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-40.jpg






12 A/c cottages ( Rs.1575 weekend, Rs.1260 weekdays, 8am to 8am, online booking only - tourisminap dot com ). More being built.

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Virgin beach, extremely clean, far from urban / rural crowd, time for oneself !

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Our frank opinion - nice place but too far from any urban facilities. If that's what beach resorts are meant to be, this is the place !





We reach Chirala at 3.30 pm and spend the next 2 hours here. I know Chirala from my visits to my client, ILTD Ltd. ( Indian Leaf Tobacco Development Division of ITC ltd ). Guntur and Prakasam districts are known for growing tobacco leaf and ITC has a big tobacco leaf curing plant here before sending the dried leaf flakes for cigarette making.

Chirala is also famous for handloom / powerloom pure cotton fabrics, neighbouring Vetapalem for cashews ( cottage industry ) and again Chirala for this chikki - known here as Jeedi pappu chikki. Ramya sweets - pure heaven for local milk based sweets and namkeens. We also try out authentic Mirchi bajji at a road side eatery. We relish all !

Chirala is a major stop on the rail line between Chennai and Vijayawada.



Jeedi pappu

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-53.jpg





5.30 pm - we could have continued towards Ongole on NH 214A - have done that road earlier through messy villages and bridges. So, we try out a much longer road to Ongole - via Chilakaluripet. A BIG mistake. The road from Chirala to a small village Parchuru is good - raising our hopes of getting on the GQ within an hour from Chirala ( 45 kms ). The road after Parchuru turns out to be a dumping ground for Chirala wastes ! Govt. buses drive recklessly on the dusty road unmindful of the huge potholes ! Not to speak of the zig zag ultra narrow roads inside Chilakaluripet to approach NH 5. Frustrating ride !

Chilakaluripet is famous ( sic ) for..... Ok, let me put it this way - a duty free shopping heaven for truck drivers !!

Back on the GQ, Ongole byepass comes up in no time.

Sleep overtakes me 10 km after we leave the southern entry / exit of Ongole. A strong tea at a roadside shop and a power nap at Tangutur toll plaza does'nt help me either. Unable to resist any more and unwilling to take a risk, we turn back and hit the bed at Hotel Narayana Palace, Ongole. All that comes out from the car is a small bag containing toileteries and two towels - we have run out of fresh clothes ! Also, at Rs.1000, it turns out to be our most expensive sleep for 4 hours !

Tomorrow, a 650 km long home run !

But not before a 4 hour dashing in and out of our fourth metro city - Chennai

Last edited by roamingrao : 10th February 2011 at 22:42.
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Old 11th February 2011, 09:12   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roamingrao View Post
25 years ? Maro Charitra days ! though we do not understand much Telugu, some scenes / songs from that movie features vizag. If that is a reference, you would'nt recognise vizag now ! Ek Duje ke liye was also shot here. A must visit city.
Not really ek dujhe ke liye
As a kid, probably one of my first road journeys. Visit to my uncle's place in summer vacations and subsequent road trips. Visit to Vizag itself was a big journey from Steel city(Steel plant is closer to Anakapalle than Vizag). As kids we used to enjoy those rides along country side.
And something more relevant to T-BHP, that this place got my first introduction to automobiles. My uncle used to own a service station near steel plant, and I used to accompany him to "City" to get spares etc.

Last edited by sriturl : 11th February 2011 at 09:24.
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Old 11th February 2011, 17:04   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roamingrao View Post
A poll : Please name five rivers with 'male' names in India.
1. Brahmaputra
2. Ravi
3....
While you make a list, we cross the bridge over ' Krishna ' at Vijayawada !
Krishna is actually the short name for the original "Krishnaveni"
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Old 11th February 2011, 17:17   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roamingrao View Post

A poll : Please name five rivers with 'male' names in India.

1. Brahmaputra
2. Ravi
3....

3. Bhadra
4. Bheema
5. Periyar
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Old 11th February 2011, 17:46   #142
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Default Re: Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !

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Krishna is actually the short name for the original "Krishnaveni"
Chikkars, that's a revelation ! Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sriturl View Post
3. Bhadra
4. Bheema
5. Periyar
I could add one more - Damodar

open to more...
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Old 11th February 2011, 18:20   #143
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Default Re: Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !

Hi,

I could think of 3 of them, Kumaradhara, Alaknanda, Bhadra


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Chikkars, that's a revelation ! Thank you.



I could add one more - Damodar

open to more...
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Old 11th February 2011, 20:38   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roamingrao View Post

rkg sir, please ! Wishing that you find the photos and post them here ! Though it would have been better, as sriturl observes, if you could have posted them today ( ratha saptami ).
Arasavilli temple is not that great architecturally. further they are just painting every thing white

some photos of Srikurmam temple
iam unable attach photos with text in between. will upload the photos of salihundam and srimukhalingam seperately
Attached Images
              

Last edited by rkg : 11th February 2011 at 21:04.
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Old 11th February 2011, 22:02   #145
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Salihundam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://srikakulam.ap.nic.in/intach/br_page5.pdf
Salihundam photos
Attached Thumbnails
Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-salihundam3.jpg  

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-salihundam6.jpg  

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-salihundam-vamsadhara.jpg  

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Old 12th February 2011, 01:16   #146
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Default Re: Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !

Chikkars, Sriturl and Rajesh1968, Thank you very much !


Quote:
Originally Posted by rkg View Post
Salihundam photos
rkg sir, we do sincerely appreciate your efforts to post those wonderful photographs here. Thank you very much for sharing them here.



--------------



Day 13, October 20, 2010. Wednesday.

Ongole - Chennai - Bangalore - Home : 702 kms



Starting from Ongole at 4am, we speed towards Chennai. Yes, fresh and ready to take on the day ! Day break sees us at Gudur and slightly further Naidupeta. Tamil Nadu border is fast approaching.

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-1.jpg

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-2.jpg





Past some barricades after Tada, we drive towards Arambakkam.

We are in Tamil Nadu. 13th day, 13th state..... ok, no more 13s !

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-3.jpg





Familiarity breeds contempt ! Despite all our planning and filtering on what to see and what we cannot on the GQ, we have not done any homework for our neighbour, Chennai ! We have been to Chennai atleast a dozen times over the last eight years ( mainly on work and on some occasions, pleasure / shopping in T nagar ) and greatly enjoy being in this city of spirited / enthusiastic people. It is culture and tradition that makes this great city stand apart. Truly, Gateway of South India !

Now though, we are at loss of ideas on what is the most popular landmark in Chennai by which the city can be recognised ? Will it be the longest beach in India ? No, a beach can hardly stand as a portrait. Is it MGR samadhi ? again, no, not in front of a samadhi. Valluvar Kottam ? Mylapore temple ? High Court ? ........ no doubt these are great landmarks, but we feel not enough to stand in front and say, Yes ! This is Chennai ! So, we go back to our first choice, The Chennai Central Railway Station.

Pardon me on this, chennaites. Please feel free to suggest !







We meanwhile pass through Gummidipundi and 7 km further towards Chennai, we stop here at 8am.

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-4a.jpg

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-4b.jpg





We at first thought will use the rest rooms here and proceed, but the swank interiors of the restaurant attracts us. A CCD counter also ! Location : Chinnambedu village, Ponneri cross, GNT road.

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-4c.jpg

The latest trend as we found out at Saravana Bhavan, New Delhi, was available here also - Mini tiffin : a masala dosa, 2 idlies, a small cup of pongal and one vada in a single platter. At Rs. 60, it is expensive, but taste - awesome !

This thwarts our plan to go to Murugan Idly shop !






Chennai at 9am !!!

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-7.jpg





Right at Madhavaram exchange, heavy traffic on J N road till Koyambedu junction, turn left and all the way to Central

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-8.jpg






Chennai Central

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-9.jpg

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-10.jpg





Ripon Building, Chennai City Corporation

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-11.jpg







Next stop......... Home !! Just 350 kms of fantastic roads seperates us from completing our Incredible India GQ drive.



The place mentioned in the centre of the board sounds new, right ?

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-12.jpg





Bangalore changes to Bengaluru !

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-13.jpg






Arcot loves Krishnagiri !

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-14.jpg






Deepam Motel Highway restaurant near Pallikonda toll plaza serves stale food after 40 minutes of waiting. We get ice cream which we can drink. On complaining, the manager retorts - Sir, this is icecream, it melts !






Ambur to Krishnagiri

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-15.jpg

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-16.jpg






We drive on. we have a poll - with 11 hotels, 28 restaurants and 6 dhabas behind us over the last 13 days, we rank the best in each category. 5 marks for the best, 1 mark for the least and compare results ! Result - all of us go in the same direction !

We do not rank the places we visited - all are ranked first, each one of them. Incredible India !


A peek at the results

Best Hotel

Location : Puri Panthanivas.
Room space : RTDC Kajri, Udaipur.
Comfort : Citi residency, Asansol.
Parking : UPTDC, Agra.


Best Restaurant

Taste - Sai Siddi Restaurant, Hotel Sai Sahavas, Shirdi
Ambience - Om towers 24 hours coffee shop - Jaipur
Service - Jeevan Cafe, Chennai
Value for money - MCD, Kolhapur

Best Dhaba

Taste, Service, Ambience and VFM - Azad Hind Dhaba, Birshibpur, Ulberia, Howrah. No doubt whatsoever !


Best road side Eatery

Opposite Kashi Vishwanath Temple main gate, Varanasi


Least marks were scored by - Rajasthani Ghar dhaba Dharwad, Nikhil garden Ranjangaon, RTDC swagatham Jaipur, Aakash Ganga Aurangabad Bihar and Deepam Motel chennai-bangalore road






At Krishnagiri, we turn right onto NH 7 - our 15th and last National Highway which takes us back to Bangalore.

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-17.jpg

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Passing through Hosur

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-22.jpg






Karnataka !

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-23.jpg





Past Electronic city, we turn left and drive on NICE road. Another sunset, but this evening, we do not search for a hotel !

Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !-24.jpg



6.15pm, Tumkur road, Hesarghatta road and Home after 12 days, 15 hours and 15 minutes. The trip meter reads 7215 kms.


We first rush to find if Tulsi devi is doing fine. Yes ! Drip irrigation has worked for 13 days and more important, for the 7th time.


A quick message to hvkumar, who immediately replies ' Fabulous ' !
Yes sir, it has been a fabulous way to see, explore and experience our Incredible India !


Now, even after 120 days, I stare at the map of India and wonder, My God, what have we done !!

Last edited by roamingrao : 12th February 2011 at 01:20.
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Old 12th February 2011, 01:28   #147
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Breathtaking and spectacular. Your trip is worthy of National Geographic coverage and should be considered by the Travel Channel, a US TV channel. I applaud you and envy you. Thank you, from the western desert region of the US.
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Old 12th February 2011, 01:41   #148
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Congrats sir, I feel like I have been travelling with you on this journey too. Thanks again for such a wonderful narration. Now I am sure to have withdrawal symptoms - what to look forward to next?
You should be proud of your journey as a family. I am sure you will have many a memory to share. Good luck for many more such travels; and memories of course
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Old 12th February 2011, 04:37   #149
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Wonderful travelogue. It requires immense support from family members too for successfully doing this trip. Congratulations to your family. Probably you can paste a big size India map on wall and fix your pictures taken at each place along the GQ on the map in your living room
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Old 12th February 2011, 12:50   #150
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Don't know what to say. All this while it was almost like travelling with you. Now it will be a sort of vacuum.
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