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Old 9th September 2010, 13:24   #16
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: hyderabad
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Originally Posted by venki.bala View Post
The krishnava devaraya statue near the Gopuram escaped and it still remains.
Yes Venki,

The statue is still there and a big photo of the Rajagopuram placed below the statue and some barricades were placed around the empty place where the new gopuram construction is planned.

That was a good amount of Info on the gopuram.

Was a bit busy and could not get time to update the log. Will try to finish off as soon as possible

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Old 9th September 2010, 21:30   #17
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Thanked: 47 Times

travelogue continued ......

Parked my car near the entrance of temple compound and called our agent/guide Purshottam and he promptly arrived, took me to Pushpagiri Mutt, where we plan to stay for next 2 days. Checked the rooms and they are reasonably clean and priced Rs 400/- for non-ac 3 bedroom ( 5 people can stay) and Rs 300/- for 2 bedroom ( 3 people can stay) . It has good parking facility as well in ground floor. But there is no TV. Called up wifey and asked whether she would like to have TV facility, she said no and I payed the advance for next 2 days and booked 2 rooms.

Asked our guide about food. He stared at me and said it will be difficult to get rice items by this time ( its already 10-45 PM) and guided me towards some road side tiffin center. Got some 2 plate idly parcel and checked-in to my room. The tiffin turned out to be a disaster, its not at all good :(. Set alarm to 4 AM and signed off for the day.

Day 2:

Woke up at sharp 4 by the alarm and went straight to Srikalahasti Railway station, came to know that train's arrival is at 6 AM. So pushed back co-passenger seat and slept for good 1.5 hours.

Waiting to receive wifey:

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-30082010029.jpg

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-30082010030.jpg

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-30082010031.jpg

Finally train arrived at 6-30 AM and received wife, her mother and sister. Got back to hotel and slept till 8-30 AM. All of us freshened up quickly and by 10 AM we were ready to explore. Right opposite to our hotel, there was a "Chennai Saravana Bhavan" hotel, which I already visited for couple of times earlier. Again had a heavy breakfast ( Idly-Sambar was good :-) and decided to have Lord Shiva's darshan. Called up our guide and came to know that he was out of town and can only be back again by 2PM. We all decided to explore our own and entered the temple compound.

For reference info on Srikalahasti:

Welcome to SriKalaHasti Website

Srikalahasti - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The moment you enter the complex, many shop vendors ask you to keep your shoes, chappals there and buy some thing for pooja. You can safely ignore these and continue to walk. Just before the entrance to temple there is a free shoe stand maintained by the temple authorities and it is pretty safe as well.

Inside the temple, met some person and inquired about darshan and other details. He mentioned that ticket for special darshan is Rs 100/- per person and 4 of us have to pay 400/- (which goes to temple authority i.e govt of AP ) and if we pay 250/- (which may be shared among the officials there) he is ready to arrange some person and have us the same darshan ( much better). Then we understood the current situation in the temple and anyways decided to try it out. A person accompanied us and we had darshan in less than 15 minutes and its much better than official 100/- darshan I guess.

He showed various other shrines in the temple and everywhere we got VIP treatment :-). Finally we were out of the temple by 12-30 PM and decided to visit Kanipakam Vinayaka temple, near Chittor, and is located around 100 KM's from Srikalahasti.

Reference info on Kanipakam:

:: Kanipakam Vinayaka vari devastanam ::

Kanipakam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We were back to hotel and rested for 1 hour and started to Kanipakam by 1-30 PM.
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Old 9th September 2010, 22:25   #18
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: hyderabad
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I was following the track shown in Google maps. At Renigunta, there is clear Sign board showing directions to Chittor and Tirupathi via Renigunta Bypass, but I blindly followed Google and ended up at a railway crossing. Waited for around 20 minutes in total and there were many vehicles. The other route which I missed at Renigunta had a flyover over this railway line, but that would be a bit long route to Tirupathi, hence many vehicles follow the route via the railway crossing, which is shorter.

Ended up inquiring with multiple people about the route towards Kanipakam and everyone stared at me and asked why I didn't take the bypass at Renigunta. Finally we are on to the highway towards Kanipakam. The road was good ( NH 205) and it joins NH18 at a village Putalapattu.
I was blindly following google track, but wifey asks to stop and inquires with some people at this village and they suggested a route which is single lane and its 18 KM's from the village to Kanipakam.

This route is single lane, but is in good condition, however crossing is a bit difficult for two vehicles in opposite direction and overtaking is highly impossible :( . Finally managed to reach Kanipakam temple at 4-30 PM. It had ample parking space, but may be during Vinayaka chavithi season it may not be sufficient.

Came to know that the temple will be closed from 5 PM till 6-30 PM and quickly we went for darshan. Here, as it is already 4-30 PM, only Rs 50/- darshan is allowed till 5 PM, its called Nijarupa darshanam and for free darshan had to wait till 6-30 PM. Took 4 tickets and went for darshan. The temple was good and the Vinayaka shrine is very nice. Felt glad that we took Rs 50/- tickets and had a nice darshan.


Rs 50/- darshan timings

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-30082010035.jpg

Main temple:

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-30082010037.jpg

Pond near temple:

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-30082010038.jpg

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-30082010039.jpg

My Ride:

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-30082010044.jpg

Started back at 6-00 PM and soon we missed the junction towards Putalapattu and we were cruising on some unknown roads. I stopped using google maps and started seeking help from locals :(. Later after some time we were on NH 18 and there is a sign board saying Kadapa X KM's. Now I was worried as why am I going back to Kadapa . Thankfully at some village local guys helped and suggested to take right at a village Damal cheruvu and then it would join NH 205 towards Tirupathi. Also, I have inquired about the sound and light show at Chandragiri fort. The show is supposed to start at 7-30 ( Telugu version) and 8-30 PM (English version).

At last joined NH 205 at Nendragunta and by 7-45 reached Chandragiri fort. Ticket counter guys said the 7-30 and 8-30 show timings are valid only for Winter Season and normally the sound and light show timings are 7 PM and 8PM. The fort seems to be very nice, but unfortunately as its already night, could not enjoy the scenery.

At sharp 8PM , the show started with a total audience of 6 ( 4 from our group and 2 other ppl). The show was good explaining various events / history related to the fort. Almost in the middle of the show, all of a sudden heavy rain started and we had to rush back to the ticket counter for shelter. All of us decided to continue with our travel and I got into Indica first followed by wifey and her mother, sister.

There were no signs of rain to stop and it is getting heavier. Wifey mother got scared, but wifey tells everything is fine and starts navigating me. Visibility is almost NIL and I turned on fog lamps which somewhat helped me in identifying the road markings. I made sure that I use low beam. Here I must mention that there is a thread in Team BHP ( Say no to High Beams) on which some one mentioned that during rains , low beams help and its very true. Still some idiots were using high beams :( and its very irritating.

Stopped at a road side Dhaba for some time waiting in the car. But soon rain water starts to log and I sense some problem. Decide to start back with the journey. Now I found a nicely driven truck and promptly followed it ( even though its moving at 40 KMPH) till we reach Renigunta. Thanks to the truck. Finally we were on to Srikalahasti road and we bid farewell to the truck. I felt like stopping my car and saying thanks to the truck driver , but carried on. Reached back to hotel by 10-30 PM. Had dinner at Sarvana bhavan and crashed to Bed....

Last edited by sriswe : 9th September 2010 at 22:28.
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Old 13th September 2010, 21:33   #19
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Day 3, 31st August:

Woke up at 6 AM, quickly freshened up and we were ready to go for Abishekam. By 7-15 AM, we were in temple and the Abishekam was really good. We had darshan close to deity and by 9 -30, we were out of temple.Had some sleep till 12 PM and were again in temple for other pooja etc..Finally, after another good darshan, we were out of the temple by 5-30 PM. Wifey did some shopping till 7-30 PM and we decided not to drive in night and would start early morning to Hyderabad.

Day 4, 1 Sept:

All of us woke up by 3-30 and we hit the road by sharp 5 AM. Wifey kept me busy with chatting and she really enjoyed the drive with hills around and beautiful scenery. Soon I was on my way towards Kadapa from Renigunta and by 6 AM we covered a good 60 KM's from origin. After the sunrise, I realized what I missed in my night drive 3 days earlier. The road was too good with ups and downs and the scenery was fantastic. I always love early morning drives as the traffic will be less and it will be really cool to drive ;-). We decided to stop at a point and took a break for around 15-20 minutes and had a small photo shoot.

Some Pics here:

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-dsc00062tbhp.jpg

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-dsc00064tbhp.jpg

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-dsc000651tbhp.jpg

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-dsc00067tbhp.jpg

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-dsc00070tbhp.jpg

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-dsc00074tbhp.jpg

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-dsc00075tbhp.jpg

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-dsc00076tbhp.jpg

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-dsc00083tbhp.jpg

By 8-30 AM, we reached APTDC hotel at kadapa bypass and decided to have break fast there. Taste was good and everyone refreshed. The hotel was full of police as there was a statue opening ceremony ( of AP's late CM Mr. YSR) near the bypass.

APTDC Haritha Hotel:

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-01092010059tbhp.jpg

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-01092010061tbhp.jpg

Tanked up Indica and we were now on NH-18 towards Kurnool. I was able to maintain good speeds and somewhere near to Kurnool we stopped at a small village to buy some fruits.

Pics here:

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-dsc00084tbhp.jpg

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-dsc00086tbhp.jpg

By 1-30 PM we were in Kurnool, had lunch at some small hotel and the food was Ok. At 2-30, we started back to Hyderabad. Google maps here had some problems with Airtel network, but since I came along the route 3 days earlier, I could recollect and drove through Kurnool without any issues. Reached beautiful NH-7 and I was soon speeding to Hyderabad :-). Wifey and mother-in-law checks the time and thought to cover the 200 KM's from Kurnool to Hyderabad it would take 4 hours ( at 50 KMPH) and they tune themselves with the timing. I know we would reach in 2.5 to 3 hours, but decided not to inform them :-).

One final Pic on NH-7:

An Unplanned Trip, executed well - Hyderabad-Srikalahasti-dsc00088tbhp.jpg

Price at Toll gates (at Midway Kurnool - Jadcherla and at Jadcherla) have been increased and I had to pay a total of 55 + 43 + 45 = 143 /-. By 4-30 PM, we were just 60KM's away from Hyderabad and as a sign of nearing Hyd, there were clouds all around and we were sure that it will rain heavily .

5-10 PM, we were at Outer Ring Road diversion, but as I had drop mother-in-law and sister-in-law at MGBS as they plan to leave Warangal. Soon, roads became horrible and I could not dare to drive till MGBS in that condition. Stopped at Zoo Park, boarded M-I-L, S-I-L into an auto ( Rs 70/- from here to MGBS) and we returned back towards ORR :-). But I missed a turn somewhere and ended up traveling via Tolichowki route and finally reached home by 7 PM.

In Summary:

For Me:
It was an unplanned drive, but was excellent. I doubted the road condition, driving alone ( one way), rains etc..but overall the trip turned out to be excellent. The rules I follow had played a major role in the trip success.

For Wifey: She was all surprised to hear me nearing Tirupathi on day1 by 6-30 PM and was all happy that I could join for the trip. She claimed she learn't how to estimate the arrival time at destination and enjoy the drive without getting bored :-)

For Indica: After it got new Michelin XM1's this was the first long drive and it lived up to expectations. It was stable on NH-7 and the ride quality was good. In return journey, with a fully loaded boot and 2 rear-seat passengers with some luggage in the gap between the front, rear seat gap, the car felt very stable and took potholes, speed breakers with ease. Overall its excellent.

With this I end the travelogue. Hope you enjoyed reading this :-)
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