Srisailam, the forest and hills surrounding and the Tungabhadra : A cherished trip
I had made inquiries about the route from Kolhapur to Srisailam many months ago. The trip finally took place this month on the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th. On 7th, we started at 6 am from Kolhapur and since it was early morning there was not much congestion on the Kolhapur - Miraj section. After Miraj, the conditions actually improved and I made it to Solapur in good time. After that, the NH-9 was not bad and I had reached Pattancheru by 1:30 pm. Had some work in Lingampally and spent the rest of the day till 7 pm there.
Started from Lingampally and made it to the Bangalore road, where I had dinner at a restaurant called "Parivar" that evening. Proceeded to Jadcherla and spent the night at a place called Balaji Lodge. Would not recommend this to anybody else. It would be better to spend the night in Hyderabad or Shamsabad.
The next day, I proceeded to a place called Binjanapalli and from there took a left towards Achempet. Had a flat tire soon after that when a huge flock of sheep and goats was crossing the road and I was trying to somehow cross to the other side of them. I felt a kid played a prank as a sharp piece of wood or was it bone (not sure between the two) just entered the left rear tire perfectly. On looking back I saw a kid with a sling looking my way. I think he may have done the damage. Put on the spare tire after extracting that piece and proceeded as there was nobody in that small village who could have repaired the puncture.
The drive from that point was bewitching. The hilly ways started and the scenic views were everywhere. Reached Srisailam without any more incidents and spent some time there, had lunch as well. Before starting again, I thought whether I should proceed to Dornal or go back to Achempet. A thought struck me that what I had already seen holds no hidden promises whereas never know what the unknown path had in store. With that in mind, proceeded to Dornal and found the going excellent till there. But after Dornal, the drive to Atmakur was full of broken roads and big potholes. Reached Kurnool before sunset but needed to access an ATM and also needed some diesel. Spent some time doing these things and making inquiries. People said the road to Mantralayam is good and I believed them.
None of you should as there were numerous places where the roads were broken and the darkness did not help. In short, this is not a stretch for after dark.
Nice pics! But I wish you had put a caption on each describing where it was shot.
How was the road from Jadcherla to Bijnapalli and to Achampet,and how long was it?
We are aware of the road from Achampet onwards as it is common to the route we take from Hyderabad.
The road from Binjanapalli to Achempet is fine but narrow in some stretches. The distance from Binjanapalli to Srisailam is 140 kms nearly. The pics were taken mostly in the hills between Achempet and Srisailam except the tea shop is in Binjanapalli and the last picture is from a Maruti temple in Dornal. Pic 5 is at the entrance of the Srisailam shrine itself and number 7 and 8 were on the way from Srisailam to Dornal. I'll now post some pictures showing the road conditions between Jadcherla and Achempet
The adventurous crossing of the Tungabhadra
Reached Mantralayam for the second night halt around 7:30 pm. Put up in a lodge right next to the Madhavaram circle. Name of the place was Arya lodge or something similar to that. Not recommended as there are other places that are better as I discovered later. On day 3, the plan had to be changed as I came to know it was not possible to visit the Panchamukhi temple in a personal vehicle. The bridge that takes you across the Tungabhadra has been destroyed by the great floods of this year. The only way to visit Panchamukhi was to go to Madhavaram, take a boat to cross the river and then take another auto on the other side.
Since it sounded complicated, we decided to leave the car next to the lodge and took an auto from the Madhavaram circle. It dropped us right next to the river and you could see how badly the bridge had been dismantled by nature's fury. I seriously miss pictures of this third day of our journey and find it really hard to describe the various things I noticed. For one, the boats were not boats at all. They were huge baskets rather but were being used as boats to ferry people across. Even though it was so very unsafe, there was no other option in sight and we decided to proceed having reached till there. I'll like to describe the boat a little more at this juncture as I just can not stay from sharing more about this spectacle with all of you.
It was a big basket made of cane strips. The underside had been covered with a tarpaulin folded twice over. The underside of the tarpaulin hhad been fully painted with burnt charcoal, I believe. Please feel free to correct me in my description if any of you know better. Well, there were only two basket-boats ferrying across. We had to wait for nearly half an hour before getting a place on one of them. It took another half an hour to cross the river Tungabhadra in that great device. When we reached the other side, the auto driver waiting there said wait for an hour because the Panchamukhi temple re-opens at 3 pm after closing for lunch around 1 pm or so. Anyway, there was a shack nearby that operated as a tea stall and we could sit there and pass some time. We went when the time arrived and came back to the river side by 4:30 pm. The boatmen had advised on returning before it got close to dark. This time it was a big wait as there were a huge number of people waiting and only one basket-boat working.
Got back to the hotel and rested a bit. I took the car to a tire shop to get the puncture repaired and found that the tube had been pierced at multiple places by that sharp piece of wood/bone. Had to discard that tube and got a new one plus a big patch had to be placed on the inner side of the tire itself. Checked tire pressure in all the five tires and retired for the night. I shall recount the last day's drive in the next post with a few pictures to go with it
Well the boat your talking about is a coracle. Usually used to cross rivers across with currents in them.
Few more pics
The dense forest in between Dornal and Atmakur. It was a very picturesque stretch
A sample of the stretch from Atmakur to Kurnool
Mantralayam to Adoni was beautiful in places as well
Another picture from close to Adoni
A good portion of the Adoni - Bellary stretch
A pretty bad portion of the Adoni - Bellary stretch. The road is basically non-existent and the condition is worse than a paddy field
A temple that I had chanced upon just before entering that paddy field :)
Nice pics again. The forest pic near Dornal looks thick---YSR's coptor crashed somewhere in that belt.
Thanks for the road update. But how far is Binjanapalli from Jadcherla?
This last question is very simple, indeed. Jadcherla to Binjanapalli is in the range of 25-30 kms. Any other questions are most welcome and I would like to help anybody planning on running this route
Thanks a lot for the information, mate. I never knew those basket like boats had a name as well
If one takes your route, then the distance will be around 255 kms (Hyd to Jadcherla 85 kms, 30 to Binjanapalli, and 140 to Srisailam).
The 85 km stretch to Jadcherla is on the 4-laned NH7, so it might take one earlier to Srisailam. The road from Jadcherla onwards seems to be as good or bad as the traditional road via Amangal, Kalvakurthi and Achampet.
It is a pleasure interacting with you like this. I'm more than willing to share any other details that could facilitate your next trip via my route :) You are right in saying that Hyd to Jadcherla goes by like a whiz because the highway is just too good
Thanks Akadian. Waiting for more pics from you. I suppose the left turn to Binjanapalli comes just after the toll gate at Jadcherla, right?
We too had a trip via Raichur to Hampi in September, and we remember seeing a sign board to Mantralayam near Raichur.
By the way dude do something to the dashboard. The image ios the dashboard is reflecting on to the front glass and it will be a problem
I think I never reached the toll gate at Jadcherla. I got off the NH-7 a bit prematurely as I remember a passer-by telling me that I could have continued on the highway for a bit longer. Used a small road running almost parallel to the NH-7 for a short while and then entered the Jadcherla town. I stayed at a place called Balaji lodge, situated on the same road that heads in the direction of Binjanapalli
PS: Shishir, what is the solution?
Nice pics. The bad portion of the Adoni - Bellary stretch is part of SH?
Thanks for saying the pics are nice. I thought I just made an amateurish attempt. As far as the Adoni - Bellary route goes, it is definitely not a national highway. So, I guess it is a state highway even though I don't know what SH number it is.
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