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Old 21st November 2021, 16:35   #1
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Default Canyons, Caves & Flamingos

Exploring parts of Andhra Pradesh and Raichuru:



Disclaimer: This is my first blog here, so please pardon me if there are any formatting errors.
This trip was done 3 years ago.

The places we visited in this trip were not in our bucket list, entire trip was planned based on an Instagram photo which I came across and the whole trip was built around it.

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Route map of entire trip.

Day 1: 01/11/2018

We woke up early at 3:00 AM and left home by 4:15 AM. As it was early in the morning, there was not much traffic.
We drove through Chikkaballapura, stopped for a tea break and reached our first destination of the day Lepakshi at 6:20 AM, just in time for sun rise.
We clicked some photos of the temple and surroundings, had breakfast @ Hotel Haritha, Lepakshi and left from there at 8:40 AM.

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On the way we stopped at multiple places to click photos as we were in no hurry to reach our next destination.
Also this was the first time we were driving in this part of the country, so we wanted to see around as we go.
During most part of the journey we encountered very good roads. We reached Gandikota at 1:45 PM.

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As we were hungry, we straight away went for lunch @ Harithas, Gandikota. You do not have much options here for food and stay.
Spotted some Indian Silver bills in the hotel area. Weather was very hot, so had a buttermilk after lunch to cool ourselves.
Post lunch we went to visit the Gandikota Fort. It looks like a village and few people live there now.
Parked our car near Jama Masjid and went towards the canyon. It is about 300 - 500 mts walk and you get to see multiple monuments on the way to the canyon.

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With water-body and greenery around, it is also good place to spot some birds.

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All the walk and climbing on the rocks is worth it to see this majestic view.

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As the only option to stay here was already booked, we had booked a hotel in Prodathur @ BGR Hotels.
We left from Gandikota at 4:30 PM and drove towards Prodathur.
Evening sky was beautiful and was creating excellent cloud patterns for the setting sun.

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We reached our hotel at 5:30 PM.
We had a very nice and creamy tea here, the best tea we have ever had anywhere. It is worth trying tea in this part of the country if you are a tea lover.
Took some rest as we had started early in the morning. We had dinner around 8:45 PM and some ice cream to beat the heat and called it a day.

Day 2 to continue ......
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Old 21st November 2021, 20:28   #2
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Day 2: 02/11/2018



We woke up at 6:30 AM, got freshened up and went to have breakfast at Sagar, a nearby hotel. We checked out and left from Prodathur at 8:45 AM.
We drove slowly enjoying the beautiful roads, stopping for photos on the way and reached Belum Caves by 11:00 AM.

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We bought entry tickets and started our cave exploration.
There are few narrow passages and needs some careful maneuvering but all passages are well lit and is comfortable to walk.
We completed our walk in the cave in 90 mins. Came out and had an ice cream and left from Belum at 12:45 PM.

On the way we stopped for photos in many places. Roads were narrow in some sections, but were in good condition through out.
We couldnt find any good hotel for lunch, so we skipped lunch and drove on.
We reached Rollapadu Bird Sanctuary at 3:40 PM.
We decided to go for safari here. But when the safari was about to start at 4:30 PM it started to rain. We waited for a while and the safari started.

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Safari here means they take you in a van and drop you at a grassland where you can walk around and they come back to pick you later.
It stopped raining and the sun came out ; the cloud patterns were out of this world. We got to see some blackbucks here.
Great Indian bustards were missing as this was not the right time of the year to spot them.
When we were about to leave we spotted couple of Montagus Harrier. As the light was poor, couldnt take presentable photo of this bird.
But spotting these birds made the trip worth it.

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We got picked up by the safari van around 6:00 PM and we returned back to our car by 6:20 PM.
We left from here and drove in some narrow roads and reached our hotel DVR Mansion in Kurnool by 7:30 PM.
After checking in had a tea and took some rest. Had dinner in the same hotel and retired for the day by 11:00 PM.

Day 3 & 4 to continue...

Last edited by thirugata : 22nd November 2021 at 14:12.
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Old 21st November 2021, 21:48   #3
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Default re: Canyons, Caves & Flamingos

Wow Thirugata. What a short and lovely travelogue. Last weekend even I visited Belum caves and Gandikota. We werenlucky enough to stay at Haritha resort. Compiling a travelogue is a very daunting task. I hope to compile mine and post it on this forum some day.
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Old 21st November 2021, 22:01   #4
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Default re: Canyons, Caves & Flamingos

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Originally Posted by Storm2.0 View Post
Wow Thirugata. What a short and lovely travelogue. Last weekend even I visited Belum caves and Gandikota. We werenlucky enough to stay at Haritha resort. Compiling a travelogue is a very daunting task. I hope to compile mine and post it on this forum some day.
Thanks.. would look forward to read your travel experience.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 14:02   #5
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Day 3: 03/11/2018

We woke up around 7:00 AM, got ready and had our breakfast in DVR mansion. We checked out of the hotel at 9:15 AM and left for Raichuru, our next destination.
It was time for breakfast for our car, so went to the nearby petrol bunk.
Most part of the road here was getting reconstructed, hence had a lot of deviations to take from the highway.
Once we entered Karnataka the road quality improved. We reached Raichuru, Hotel Orange Suits by 12.20 PM.
This is an average hotel and has no covered parking area. So consider this as review if you are looking for options to stay in Raichuru.
After checking in, we went out to explore the town and had authentic North Karnataka lunch at Halli Oota.

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Spotted this shikra on the way

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Lunch at Halli Oota

Post lunch, did some shopping in the local market and returned to the hotel. Took some rest and we got ready to go out in search of flamingos at 3:15 PM.
Our first stop was Manchalapura lake. Here we found many water birds which are regular to any lake and only couple of flamingos.
We saw a lot of flamingos on the other bank of the lake, but couldnt find a route to reach there. We clicked some photos and left from here.

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Manchalapura Lake

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We decided to go to our next destination, Merched lake and try our luck there.
When we reached there we found them in plenty. And the best part is we were the only 2 here. There were few villagers wondering what we are doing near the lake.
A flamingo photo on Instagram from this location was responsible for planning this trip as mentioned in the beginning.
We clicked photos here till the sunset and returned back to hotel at 6:00 PM.

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Merched Lake

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Car waiting patiently for us to return back

Rest of the evening was spent in the hotel room as my wife had stomach upset suddenly. She skipped her dinner, I had had some fruits and we ended the day early.


Day 4: 04/11/2018

Woke up at 5:30 AM, got ready and left for Merched lake at 6:15 AM.My wife was still not feeling well, so she decided to stay back in the room.
Reached the lake right in time for sun rise. However the birds were missing.
Spoke to villagers who informed that birds should arrive soon. So waited patiently and by 7:15 AM, the flamingos and other birds started arriving at the lake.
Today the difference was I was there at the lake before the birds came, they considered me as part of the surroundings and they were not scared of me.
So I was able to get much closer to them to take photos. Clicked a lot of photos till 9:00 AM and returned back to hotel.

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After breakfast, we got ready and checked out of hotel by 10:30 AM.
As my wife was still feeling uneasy, we drove back to home with no break in between and reached home by 5:00 PM.
All in all a very good trip. We had not much expectations from the places we were visiting and all the places exceeded our expectation by a huge margin.
Except for some poor quality road we encountered between Kurnool and Raichuru, there was nothing else to pin point about in the whole of the trip.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 08:41   #6
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Default re: Canyons, Caves & Flamingos

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues section. Thanks for sharing!

Going to our homepage tomorrow
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Old 24th November 2021, 09:59   #7
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Thanks Thirugata for the nice travelogue and the pictures... have been wanting to explore Gandikota and Belum caves. Good to see the Flamingos too...
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Old 24th November 2021, 12:09   #8
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Thanks Thirugata for the nice travelogue and the pictures... have been wanting to explore Gandikota and Belum caves. Good to see the Flamingos too...
You should get to see flamingos here from Nov - Feb, depending on when the rain stops..
Apparently this is the pit stop for flamingos flying from Guj to Pulicat Lake, near Chennai.
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Old 24th November 2021, 14:29   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm2.0 View Post
Wow Thirugata. What a short and lovely travelogue. Last weekend even I visited Belum caves and Gandikota. We werenlucky enough to stay at Haritha resort. Compiling a travelogue is a very daunting task. I hope to compile mine and post it on this forum some day.
Did you book in advance or landed in there? The website is very basic
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Old 24th November 2021, 15:52   #10
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Originally Posted by Logan2007 View Post
Did you book in advance or landed in there? The website is very basic
Hi Logan2007, we booked it through AP Tourism Website 10 days in advance. Considering all the cottages were booked when we reached there, I guess its hard to get rooms on the spot without prior booking.
The property was great and the rooms are decent with air conditioning, LED TV (no recharge in TATA Sky though), modern led lights and modern fixtures in restroom.
But I'm worried it will not last long enough considering the poor attitude of the staff there and no willingness to respond to guest's needs.
The weekend tarrif is around 2.2k per room all taxes inclusive.
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Old 24th November 2021, 16:36   #11
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Wrongly posted, MODS, kindly delete.

Last edited by COMMUTER : 24th November 2021 at 16:40.
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Old 24th November 2021, 16:41   #12
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Wonderful pics complimenting a beautiful place. Cheers and thanks for sharing!
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