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Trip to Dapoli From Hyderabad An alternative to Goa

November 08, 2017

For us beaches are an ideal place to spend our time with mother nature. After reading all travel logs and video about Dapoli, we were convinced that Dapoli was the right place where everything would come together to ensure that we would have all time in  our hand to relax a lazy holiday. Seeing the beauty and activities, we were sure about the fact that Dapoli would offer lots of good visiting places to cover. As Dapoli was one of the less known tourist spot, we considered it for its unpolluted air, cool breeze and non commercialized Konkon thali over Vizag, Mypadu, Baruva(Srikakulam), Suryalanka etc.
As we  travel Kolkata via road, most of the beaches were just in our route. So either we had already visited those beaches or we had  future plan to cover them. Goa being over hyped and over crowded, we did not opt for this. Rather we thought to venture the same Konkan coastal line through Dapoli.

Dapoli was called Mini Mahabaleswar due to it's cool weather, rain and cloud. Dapoli is a town in Ratnagiri district of Maharastra. There are a lot of history associated with Dapoli. Dapoli is also known as camp dapoli as british set up their camp here. There were many high rank officer's graves present here. Natural beauty of Konkan, truly untouched beaches with rocks, clean sand and lazy sunset under coconut trees with chirping sound of birds lured us to travel such a huge distance from Hyderabad. Dapoli is a offering to all from young to aged, family to single, motorists to bikers. It offered something to everyone. Post monsoon, it is an ideal place to visit Dapoli. Since we are beach lovers, we enjoy serenity, natural beauty of beach. That was the reason why we had chosen this place.
Dapoli could be ventured by train, nearest station was Khed(27KM away from Dapoli), by plane, nearest airport was Ratnagiri(100KM away from Dapoli), by road, there were lots of buses from Pune. As wikipedia suggested that BT buses were omnipresent but might not be convenient so we decided to go to Dapoli via our car.



Things to visit in Dapoli:
Temple:

  1. Shri Ganesh Temple
  2. Keshraj Temple
  3. Parashuram bhumi
Beaches:
  1. Kadre Beach
  2. Murud Beach
  3. Ladghar Beach
  4. Kolthare beach
  5. Tamastirtha Beach
  6. Savane Beach
  7. Anjarle Beach
  8. Palande Beach
  9. Padale Beach
  10. Dapoli Beach
Others:
  1. Beautiful ghat and hair pin bends
  2. Small waterfalls
  3. Panhalekaji Caves
  4. Unhavare natural hot springs
  5. Harnai port and fish market


During last Dasera (2017) , we thought to venture Dapoli instead of Goa from our daily hustle bustle life. Google showed us three different routes around 750KM via sholapur. Travel India's recent update about Hyderabad and Solapur gave us lot of information. As I was travelling with my wife, I rejected all other routes and took Solapur route. I took NH-65. As this was the national high way, it was alive during night. There were lot of hotels, dhaba opened during night. I found that travelling with a female member, was safe.We planned to start 7pm but due to heavy rain and some unavoidable circumstances, we started at 8:30PM. We topped up Diesel from Gachibowli Diesel bunk.

We finally hit ORR at 9 PM. Initial journey was very good. We drove till Exit -3 and took Mumbai highway NH-65. We drove till Zaherabad and then took rest for 15 minutes. Road condition in Telengana was really nice. Within 10:30 PM we crossed the Telengana border.Once we reached Karnataka the real drama started. As Travel India users informed earlier that the road condition was really bad with lots of diversions, we experienced the same. On top of this, the Volvos with lots of lights made our journey miserable. We were hardly able to drive 40 KM/hr. Even though there were lots of diversions, they were marked very clearly. Somewhere the road was great but somewhere it was badly broken.
If you drive carefully, you can drive in this route. At around 1 AM we stopped near a veg dhaba. We took dinner there. We started again at around 1:30AM.With great difficulty, we reached Solapur at 3AM. We rested for sometime here. Initially we planned to travel via Pune, but while taking rest at solapur, we changed our plan and took another road via pradhanpur. Google took us via road which was narrow. After 15 mins of driving , we found that we were the only 3 people in the road. We could not see any village nearby. Solapur to Pandharpur stretch was ofcourse traffic free in the night but it was full of potholes. I must thank Ford for making such a fantastic suspension of Figo. We cruised over small and mid sized potholes with ease. Thank again to figo for it's soft suspension. Pandharpur to Satara road was the loneliest road of India. There was not a single soul along the road. Being late night, it was even emptier. However the road condition was just ok. As it was a single road, we could manage to drive around 60KM per hour.

The road went via paddy field. After driving some time at around 4:30AM, we got into a road which was going through a heavy maintenance. There were lots of diversions, muddy areas. I was very scared to drive through this road. I was driving 20Km/hr. This stretch of the journey ended at around 9:30AM when we touched NH-48. We stopped here for a beautiful breakfast. It offered Dosa, tea and coffee in Maharastra style.
Hotel Name-Hotel Namaste
Place name-Masur Phata, Pune - Bangalore Highway, Umbraj, Maharashtra 415109
Link-https://goo.gl/maps/ZUHBefgVQBE2

After an eventful 18 hrs of drive, the food gave us new life. The Dosa was normal without spice (not like Hyderabad).We stopped here for one and half hour. We used Dhaba's toilet to freshen up.At 10:30AM we started again. We crossed 30 KM via NH-48 and took SH-143 for Patan. Once we diverted from NH-48, the ghat road started. Speedometer was not crossing 25KM/hr. At 2PM we reached Chaplun via Alore. Because it was post monsoon session , we enjoyed different shades of greens everywhere throughout the road.The ghat section was really awesome. It was very difficult for us to drive without capturing those scenic beauty and moments.

Road via khed was average with a mixture of bad or good stretch. We reached Dapoli at around 4PM. We were hungry. We stopped at a hotel situated near the Dapoli market. We had a full lunch with rice, chicken curry, fish and prawn. At around 5:30Pm we started our last span of our journey. Dapoli to Kadre beach connecting road was not in great shape . In some areas it was just muddy. We reached kadre beach at 6PM. Kandepoha, Ghavane, Upma, Thalipeeth, Panagi, Ghatale, Dadpe pohe, Kheer, halwa, shira etc were very nice options as breakfast along with freshly prepared tea. During evening, we got few of these items along with fried aloo,different bondas(onions,aloo,michi) etc. No holiday completes, until we taste the local food. Dapoli was not an exception. We tried to consume as many as local Konkoni dishes during our stay.

By the way, even though, we booked an A/C room but later we realized non A/C would be better as the place was cool.







Kadre Beach:
I booked Omshanti Beach resort via WhatsApp. The owner was kind enough to confirm over Whatsapp. But after reaching there we got the bad news that next two days there was no cancellation that meant no rooms for us. The owner was very good and made an effort to search nearby hotels. Unfortunately he could not find one. We rested for sometimes and ordered tea. After the tea my brother in law went to sea. My wife and I made an effort to search a hotel. We went deep inside kadre beach. Fortunately, we got one nice hotel. Our room was at 1st Floor facing the beach. The hotel had a kitchen also. We verbally booked the room. As this place suffered less internet connectivity and network issue, many of the hotels did not exist online. The few were on internet were charging high compared to others. Other good hotels did exist without internet.

We went to sea to enjoy the sunset. We had very little time to enjoy the sunset.We were able to catch glimpse of the sunset sitting on the soft sand of Kadre. Definitely the soft sand,gentle breeze and gentle wave made our mood.This was the first time,we were seeing the black sand.Initially, the black sand did not look very interesting but the panoramic vista of the sea,horizon,hill were simply superb. The calmness during evening refilled us with great energy.There were not much eating options during our visit. But I trusted that during pick season, there would be many. We roamed around 30 minutes and came back to hotel. Om shanti beach resort had a kitchen too. We ordered konkoni thali along with Fish fry.At around 9PM they served the dinner and at 10PM went to bed for a nice sleep.
The beauty of sea beach and visitors disappeared at 10PM. There were no lights in any of the sea beach. The night life was not as beautiful as vizag,Puri or Digha or Goa. We felt very scary post sunset to stay at beach.We called it for a day.

There was no mobile signal available in the hotel room or around the area. Only vodafone or tata docomo had some network in the sea beach. Airtel,Idea,jio had no presence here.Due to this poor network coverage,credit or debit cards did not work here. Internet provider did not invade this area due to less profit. Few of the hotels had internet facility that too in common area. Due to this we had to deal with hard cash in all hotels or guest houses.

Next day we woke up early.We enjoyed the sea in early morning.After some walk on the sea beach, we came back for a delicious breakfast.  During morning hours, Kadre turned out to be a beautiful,serene and quite beach.There were lot of visitors on the sea beach. As per our visiting, Kadre was the second best beach. It was less crowded,offered a nice sea view. It was also having lots of hotels with different budgets. As we opted for little off season or beginning of the season,we did not get lots of food stalls around sea beach.Since we booked the sea facing room, the sound of wave kept us knocking all day long.

The water was clean so as the beach.One more advantage was no matter which group you would be in, everybody could enjoy here. Nobody was interested in other's area.Sea was calm with black sand.The slope was gradual with no rock or sudden depth. The beach was safe enough and clean for swimmers. We did not go much deeper though. It was absolute clean and fun for bathing, playing and enjoying time with my family.We enjoyed the bath in Sea for 2 hours. Kadre beach offered water sports (speed boat pulling parachutes, parasailing, sea sofa, banana rides pencil ride, jet ski, sand biking, beach football or dolphin seeing activities during pick season). In off season it was not available. Kadre was isolated, not much crowded on weekdays,but during weekends and long leaves, it was little  crowded. After taking bath , we walked to the rocky side of the beach which surprisingly offered a handful of fauna, black crabs, fishes trapped in small species inside the rocks waiting for high tide.


Dapoli being a rural place of Maharastra, it was convenient to have our own vehicle. We opted our own car for near by travel. Being hungry, we were looking for local konkoni dishes. We found one nice hotel at Asud. The hotel was in dhaba style.We enjoyed the ambiance, food. I strongly recommend this hotel for a lunch or dinner.As a foodlover, Dapoli offered us different varieties of fish platters. One thing we noticed that they hardly took any food order (lunch/dinner/snacks) over phone. Our orders were only got confirm when we sat in the hotel and ordered. Kokan Sarbat was something, we never had taken. We liked it so much that we could not resist ourselves to order two glasses extra.

All hotels,guest houses had their own canteen to arrange food facilities. Fish dishes were mostly famous.If you happen to taste real konkoni food, you need to go to the near by hotels or restaurants.We went towards Ladghar beach.  Even though the Kadre to Ladghar had a connecting road just about 3 KM, but it happened to be a broken, narrow one. We had taken the main road via Dapoli Camp.

My wife was not up for the seeing those graves of high rank officers so we left that place. During the visit to the ladghar beach, we took Dapoli Market road which took us to the biggest agricultural university of India. While coming back from here, we visited the birth place of bharat ratna Maharshi Annasaheb Kavre. However it was not maintained properly. But a must visit place to all.

Shri Ganesh Temple:
Next place to visit was Shri Ganesh Temple in Anjarle. It was around 35 KM away from Kadre beach. This was one of the oldest ganapati temple. It was told that the ganapati temple was built in 17th century and was renovated in 1996. Throughout the road there was signboard directing us towards temple. It was always better to use GPS and to talk to locals just to confirm the roads. One thing, we noticed that locals were very much welcoming , friendly and helpful. I loved to drive in ghat and we were packed with photography gears, this area offered a great drive and photography. It was a great road parallel to the sea. During our journey we got lots of spots from where we did some photography. Post monsoon season, it was green everywhere. It was a pure treat to the eyes to watch the green meeting deep blue Arabian sea. While we enjoyed the view , the road was not in great shape. Some places were gentle, some places were very rough.We had to drive very carefully through lots of turns, twists, steep ups and down.We took around one hour to reach there. Once we reached there, we found that the temple was having huge parking space. The Temple was a great sign of ancient sculpture. This was also treated as Jagrut devsthan. The darshan time was hardly 15 minutes. The area was well maintained, clean and calm. One could stay over night.(You need to tell the caretaker before hand). There were few stalls selling puja materials(puja-thali, Haliv ladoos) and food items(flowers,candies,coconuts,kokam,Mango pulp,dried jackfruit,jhunka bhaki).  They used to speak Marathi but understand the Hindi very well. This temple was a must visit for us. Visiting the nearby locations, I was spellbound by the beauty of nature. The picturesque location stopped us many times for photography. Once we crossed the temple and went to the backside of the temple,we could see the Anjarle village along with Anjarle beach. The village was hidden inside greenery and coconut trees.Also in the back side we saw the Shree Ganapati Che paul.(The foot print of Lord Ganesh).

There was a small pond , local referred as turtle pond. We did not see any turtle though!!.Once we came out of the temple , there was a big circular cemented area near a big tree. We sat for sometime. Local shops were offering great tea,kokam,awal,karvand juice. They were also selling Poha and rice papad. We tried rice papad along with tea.The shop keeper showed us the paajpandhari and Suvarnadurga in a single frame.He also informed us that the temple was originally built near the sea shore. Every time when water level of sea used to increase, the temple used to go inside of water made a natural immersed processed. Later along with the locals ,government move it to the top of the hill and made it more significant with the foot steps.His wife suggested us to visit during summer for best mangoes in India. We  started our journey to Keshavraj Temple. Sunset from here could have been a treat to eyes. A must try for all nature lovers.

Keshavraj Temple:
Keshavraj temple was around 10 KM away from Asud market. It was an ancient temple of keshavraj and Shree vyagreshwar.Keshvraj name derived from kadyawarcha Ganapati (Ganapati on cliff). This was ujwya Sondecha ganapati or right trunked ganapati considered to be jagrut diwat or live drity. This was a hidden treasure inside hill and jungle. As usual the road was narrow but the villagers were very welcoming and fun loving.The road was through quite lash green surrounding. We had to park the car outside of the village .

The moment , we parked our vehicle, we entered into the village. At the entry of the village ,  it was indeed a different world. The entire area was very clean,clam and quite. There were few snacks stalls . We had taken tea upon arrival. Then we had to walk down side via a lane. The slope was gradual. The huge emptiness of sound reduced our huge stress and fatigues.  We had to go down or climb down to get the get the stream.The more we walked down on the winding lane through a dense jungle of cocnut,beetel and jack fruit trees.The area was very cool. The jungle was so dense in some places,even the sunlight could not penetrate. The surroundings were filling up with new fresh energy. There were lots of birds near by. The chirping of birds was breaking the silence. It was a true mesmerizing experience.We had to cross the bridge.We stopped for sometime in the bank of the stream just to listen the natural music.The bank of the stream and entire area was full of various trees.It was indeed a great place to relax. The road became very spectacular after crossing a bridge at the river.The view from the top of the bridge was great. We had to climb around 50ft to reach the temple. A bit of climbing was required.The temple was clean but lonely. We hardly found any one there. There were accommodation available by provided by locals.Non veg was strictly not available as almost everybody were Brahmin. Coming back to temple, the temple was small and beautiful. A oil lamp was there to illuminate Lord Vishnu. The experience to see Lord Vishnu was great. The gomukh was fascinating with fresh and cold water.The pure water coming out of the bulls was really cold. We were not sure if that was safe to drink. As the backside of the temple was completely locked and nobody was around, we could not know the source of this holy water. Later the villages confirmed that holy water was consumable.It was little lonely , we could hardly got anybody in the route. Also there were no shops in the route.We carried snacks and water bottles along with us. As it was post monsoon season, nature offered the best view of everything. The round trip was completed by 3 hours as we took multiple breaks during our journey. There was not a single dustbin throughout the journey as a result people threw pet bottles,glass bottles in few places which were the only eye sore.As we had to do lot of climbing or sort of trekking, I would not recommend any heart patient,pregnant women or differently able person to venture this. This place offered lots of photography spots. if you were religious,spiritual or atheist, this was a great and must visit place in Dapoli. The whole journey was much better than the destination. The trail was amazing with all sorts of trees and bunch of horn bills.By the way , this area was famous for Alphonso mango,locally known as Hapus Aam.

Unhavare Natural Hot Spring:
It was charm to drive 2 hours drive from Kadre with the road which was not in great shape.We had to drive very carefully.We had lost roads and direction many times.In the entire road we did not get anybody who could suggest us the correct road.We were fully dependent on GPS which misguided us many times.  It was around 40 KM. We did not figure out if we traveled  in wrong season. It was dirty. It was no comparison with the hot spring of Brakeswar of west bengal or mud volcano of Andaman. They were far far better than this. A thin water was coming out of mother nature. Not sure if it was hot or not. It was so dirty we did not encouraged to touch it. However,while coming back , the darkness gave us a beautiful night drive in off road condition.

Savane Beach:
It was a clean beach with full of coconut trees.When we reached there, there was no tourists venturing the area. It was a scenic beach with unlimited quietness. There were no tea stalls available. The air was very fresh and refreshing. Off course the beach and nature offered private moments but loneliness was killing us. There was no water spots. The Sunset was far better than other beach. We clicked some photos and left the place. We were only three.We wished next time we would come back with lots of friends. We wished that we would be doing a Bonn fire.
Agricultural university:
The Maharastra Govt established this agriculture university on 1972.It was named Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth.Later it was named as Dr Bala Saheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth.The area was as usual very green. As we visited during holidays,it was closed. I was sure that the university provided lots of crops to the farmers of the country.

Harnai Port/Harnai Beach/Suvarnadurga/Kanakdurga/Fish Market:
It was situated around 20 KM away from Kadre beach.It was the oldest port in this area.Uncounted numbers of boats were leaving or coming. There were all fishing boat in the area. Being a market place it was crowded. We did not spend time here.If sea beaches were main attraction to go to Dapoli,It offered us few mores!!!.  It was consisted three forts.We could cover only two. They were as below:
  1. Suvarnadurga- Sea fort
  2. Kanakdurga-- Land fort
It was shore fortress encompassed with great Arabian sea on all sides.It was spread over regions of eight sections and had separated the outer world with high wall(divider). It was one of the naval base of Maratha for was boat building capacity. It could be easily identified by it's dark stoned dividers.
It was told that it was built in Adil shah rule and later captured by Maharaja Chatrapati Sivaji. The locals told that there was route(tunnel) between the forts.The road was not available when we visited.The literal meaning of Suvarnadurga was 'golden fort' as it was symbolized as a pride or the "feather in the golden cap of Marathas".There was almost nothing left in the fort. There was a big lighthouse(almost ruined when we visited). It was a gazing place for local cows.There was no ferry service available to go to the sea fort. We needed to book a local fisherman to carry us. As there was no tourists available to go to sea fort. Also they did not offer us life jackets.We cancelled that plan. However there was a fish market available. Harnai was very famous for fish auction.Seeing the volume of fish auction,we were sure it was the major exporter of fish in Maharastra and neighboring states.Being fish lovers,we were thrilled to see the varieties of fish at cheaper price. If we had booked a home stay, we would have ventured the market.However,Harnai  beach was very popular. It was flat bed beach again with gradual slope with gentle wave.

PanhaleKaji Cave:
It was really hidden wonder in Dapoli. It was around 30 KM away from Dapoli. The cave were built during Buddhist period 3rd century AD and discovered only in 1970.There were 29 caves available.The caves were made by cutting the rock.The area was small and was not very popular.Coming back to cave, the caves were having two rooms. They were not maintained. They were damp,quite. Bats , birds, pigpens made  it their home.It was stinking badly. We could identify the models of Ganesh,Sawaswati and scene from Ramayana and Mahabharata.The caretaker was kind enough to take us to different caves like the buddhists cave, the hindu's cave,the jain's cave. Unfortunately, he was not having much knowledge about the cave. Coming back to road condition, the parts of the road was muddy,narrow. It was around 1.5 hours drive from Ladghar beach. The scenario around cave were beautiful having tall grass,lash green surrounding. There were two small snack shops near by. We did not opt for tea here. I could not only say that it was a neglected golden heritage of India. The road was lonely. We got hardly get anybody through the last 2 hours or 20 KM drive.
Murud Beach:
It was a delicate sand , extended beach with lots of palm and coconut trees.It was sheltered and clean beach.Murud was also famous for Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Kadre.Murud beach offered us lots of restaurant that were serving veg and non veg food items. The freshly prepared fish items were delicious.Murud beach was same like Kadre beach with flat bed sea,gradual slope. It was very safe to swim for hours. Few water sports were also available.Distance between Kadre and Murud  was almost 5KMs. They shared the same coastal line. We could take a morning walk to cover both beaches.
Parshuram Bhumi:
This place was in our plan. It was a mythological place , having monument of Lord Parashuram. It was told that Lord Parashuram created konkan. Konkan was formed when Lord Parashuram fought with the sea which being defeated , moved 50KM away to reveal the land. The road was in great shape with lots of flora and the big trees.However it was a private property. It was a mountain view with dense forest around.We statue was almost 40 ft.It was 21 feet copper finished statue.The architecture was very nice.It was a different and unique experience.The structure was made of fiber glass. A collection of Sanskrit shlokas on Shri Parashuram,on the walls around could be worth seen.The earth like dome was actually a meditation hall. We could hear the echo of own voice.The panoramic view of majestic arabic sea,harnai port in the background and the high tides lashing the coast in forefront made our visit worth.  When we visited the place, there was nobody.So far I remember,there was a single snack shop outside.The quality of the food , specially tea, was tasty.There were three bungalows adjacent to this place. Bird watching could have been a good option.Due to time crunch,we had to proceed further.
Keshav Kavra Photo Gallery:
It was not too big but worth watching some rarest and historic photographs of Dr Dhando Keshav Kavre. Government was trying level best to maintain this area. But we felt the effort was not much.
Kolthare Temple:
The shop keeper of Parshuram Bhumi advised us to travel this. But as the GPS could not determine the route, we lost our route in between. Since we could not determine the path ,we dropped the plan.
Durga devi Temple:
It was a nice temple with rural and ancient interiors. It was having a big hall for pilgrims. The area was clean and few shop keepers were selling  puja items.
Chikhali:
The ancestral house of Lokmanya tilak was near Pankali Kaji Caves. It was told his marriage ceremony took place here. When we visited, there was a memorial and school. Being holiday the school was closed.

Kolthare Beach:
Kolthare beach was one of the virgin beaches available in Dapoli. It was 20 KM away from Dapoli market.Expect locals,hardly anybody knew about this beach.There were two routes towards kolthare beach. We had taken the adventures route..the ghat one.It was narrow but very nice It was truly untouched scenic beauty. There was no network,no live GPS. We had downloaded the offline map.We had to follow that and ask lots of locals for this beach. The drawings,footprints we made during the last day when tried to visit Kolthare temple,were still available next day.The beach was having many rock/stones. We had to be very careful as they might hurt easily. Since it was not commercialized ,We did not see any tourists here.There was no stalls near by. There was no water sports facility.Overall, the beach was lonely, the sand was silver gray,most picturesque beach covered by three sides.But it was clean and clear beach.However we have seen two three options to stay. Hotel Garawa- The location was great but the quality of the food was just ok. We have also seen one nice home stay called Siddi Resort. We have not taken food here.Afternoon season my bother in law went crazy about fishing by hands. He  almost caught few with bare hands. There were many nurseries around Dapoli . We could buy fruit plants,aromatic plants,money plants,flowers etc at a nominal cost.
Ladghar Beach:
Ladghar Beach was the best beach in Dapoli in terms of activities,number of hotels,beach activities(jet ski,Para sailing  via SUV,Quad biking and camel ride). It was three KM away from Kadre Beach.If you would like to go with family,Ladghar would be the best choice. Clean beach with lots of  small black and red stones made us seat for hours. Lots of activities were there through out the day. Morning , they went to see the dolphin.we missed it though. During noon,lots of hotels offered us great food. Afternoon offered visitors a beautiful sunset. The beach was having lots of stalls. It was not blueish water rather it was having reddish brown water.All-through, it was not completely sandy beach, rather a mixture of reddish mud,stones and black sand.There were lots of hotels , home stays available here.During all seasons, all water sports along with dolphin watching. The place became even more beautiful during sunset(golden hue, sun reflecting on the reddish water enhances the color of the sand and of course the water). We tested the local coconut water and soft coconut.However, one thing we noticed that that the locals and tourists threw away bottles,tetra packs,glass bottles and wastage to the sea beach.Local municipal corporation or villagers committee should take proper steps to make it clean.All hotels provided simply good food.It was a worth visit specially for sea food lovers.Nearly all properties were on the beach with just the road was separating them. We did not notice life guard. One thing , we expected that was fancy restaurants or food joints which we did not get.Expected on weekends, ladghar beach was almost like private beach.A simple morning walk along with the sea beach was very joyful with gentle wave,lash green and water birds and crabs, fish.Even though the sand was soft,few enthusiastic drivers took their car to sea. It looked very risky to me.  There was an alcohol shop here,all brands were available. The hotels offered us more or less same menus for lunch and dinner. They offered us Modak,aloo bhaji,solkadi(common in all most all meals),Kuleeth pitale,bhakri,Kaju masala,paneer masala,black pees curry,usal,papad,pickel along with varieties of non veg options-Pomphret, surmai, bangda, bombil, prawn, oysters,crabs,chicken,egg,mutton.For non veg ,we had both the options fry and gravy.

The beach offered a gentle wave, slow slope , no boulders.By the way the beach was clean so as the water. Few enthusiastic people explored the sea during sunset. Once we reached Ladghar,we did not stop at the beach. We went ahead along with the road. After 2/3 KMs of drive, mother nature offered us a small narrow stream. The stream was coming from uphill.Sunset from that clean and pristine stream made our day successful.
Kelshi Beach:
We drove till the sea line. We finally reached Keshi, a small village best known for Mahalakshmi temple, Yakub baba's dargah and sand hillocks.Yakub baba's dargah was built in the peswar era. It was told to us that Maharaja Sivaji visited Yakub baba and sought his blessings. Also the hindu king awarded 653 avers of land to construct the Dargah. Since then it was a famous place for both the community.The history of keshi village from 1300 B.C. was maintained.The connecting road was via the Kelshi village as a result we got few congestion through the journey. Kelshi village showed us the real village life. Apart from few locals, we did not see any other tourists. The beach was very nice with yellow sand.We found few snack stalls around the beach.  There was no good hotels around but we had seen few home stays owned by locals.The local shopkeeper gave us little nice information about the Kelsi naming. It was originally called as Kadaligram then it was changed to Kadali to Kaelshi to Kelshi.Books of Mahalakshmi temple still had the original name as Kadaligram as a reference to this place.It was the chief seaport during the year of 1600.As the Geyar community settled were for business, it was referred as Geyarwade. Second area to visit was Sand dune called walucha dongar.(A result of a Tsunami during 15th century).When we visited here, we did not see much exists.
Dabhol Beach,Dhabol Creek,Dhabol port:
It was suggested by the second hotel owner in Kadre. It was truly an untouched gem. Dhahol beach offered us three different things,Dhabol beach, Dhabol Creek,Dhabol port. The ferry ride around Dhabol creek added more excitement. Dhabol port was not for us rather it was for fishermen.We visited underground temple of Goddess Chandika. It was told that the idol was formed naturally. As the temple was in cave, we did not go inside. Dhabol was again not much crowded.




Tamastirtha Beach:
Once we visited Ladghar beach, we were talking to locals and we came to know about this beach.It was just 2/3 KM away from Ladghar Beach. Overall, it was a red pebble beach with little unclean but non touristy beach. It was mostly for fishermen.The red pebble beach was good for stone collector(Sea memories). Red pebbles were very good for photography.There were few sea creature crawling here.There were few migratory birds around.The clean water, red pebbles, minerals were flowing into sea at the junction created an unique copper hue. May be that was the reason why it was called Tamastirtha . As it was for fishermen naturally, it was not little muddy,dirty. The outfits of locals were not pleasure to eyes. Since it was muddy and dirty, we did not take bath here. Dipping was little dangerous for skin.There were few tea stalls available here.However, we did not find very interesting here, we decided to leave. I believed that seeing Tamastirtha Beach from hills and taking photo from there would be great.



On Dapoli on SH-4 and coastal Highway crossing, there  was a hotel called Nisarg offers beautiful food.The seating was seaview. We tested lunch here. The taste was great with less spicy. After such a beautiful food, we drove along SH-4 to Anjarle beach and Savane beach. They were mainly for locals. We had seen lots of fishing boats,preparing to leave at night. These beaches were rocky not best for swimmers. These beaches were having occasional tourists venturing the sea beach. As we were not in a gang, we did not enjoy much. We clicked photos and left there.


Try to take main road while commuting from one beach to other as beach connecting roads were broken,narrow and full of traffic and visitors.

There were many atms available in Dapoli market. But if you happened to be near karde,Murud or Ladghar beaches, in Asud there were in operational BOI ATM.


Anjarle Beach:
The whitish sand when reflected sunlight during sunset, we felt lots of diamonds were shining. off course the green cover with various trees created an unique karishma along with deep blue sea.


Shriwardhan Beach:
While driving through the coastal line with our car,we found this beach. Actually it was never in our visiting list. One local friendly person helped and guided us to this beach. It was lonely beach with brown sand ,clean and pristine water.It was truly a virgin beach as nobody,except us ventured the beach.There were no snack stalls nearby.We did some photo clicking and proceed to Padale Beach.

Padale Beach:
It was again not so touristy. Few people were venturing the sea when we arrived here. No water sports were available.No much snack stalls were available. The sea offered us a huge sea beach to explore.The sunset was really nice. Chirping birds,endless gentle wave, very few tourists made the sunset as beautiful as we watched in chiriyatapu in Andaman.

There were two routes to Pune. One from Tamhini ghat, another via Varandha ghat. We choosed the second one that was via Varandha ghat. The reason was even through the ghat road was more but the traffic was relatively less.

We did not take the same route as most of the routes were under construction. Dapoli to Mahabaleswar distance was 100KM via SH-12. We thought to reach there by noon (1PM) but the road was not in great condition and being a ghat section, we finally reached Mahabaleswar at 2:30PM
The road condition from Dapoli to Palgad was just okay, It was two way road with occasional tar  came off.
Mapro Garden Mahabaleswar:
while returning to Hyderabad via Mahabaleswar,this beautiful garden was just beside the road.It was on the route on Mahabaleswas to Panchgani road.We did not miss this.The area decoration was also nice. It was a must stop for all nature lovers.The restaurant facility was awesome with pizza, sandwich,french fries,hot chocolate and coffee.It was having its own Chocolate factory.As per the manager there,Mr Kishore Vora Mapro started this business in 1959.Later the business and garden became popular with his name as Mapro. There were many outlets and processing units(Capacity of 30000 tones per year).  It was also a best place to purchase strawberry products and other fruit crushes,flavor milk shakes,jelly.There were many fruit crashes available like-strawberry, litchi,coconut,peach,grendline,hazelnut,blue curaco,mango.I could not remember all options. Along with the fruit products the strawberry ice cream was very famous.There was a huge queue there,we did not opt for it due to our time crunch.Later my friend Madhurima confirmed that it was nice.We missed that.We wished that we would come back again for this. I heard from Madhurima that during strawberry festival ,hundreds of farmers used to distribute their fresh strawberries for free. There was a area dedicated to children, was also attractive with Banjo Jump,play area,lots of fun rides.We purchased two jelly bottles and couple of flavored milk. this place also offered clean toilet facility.During long journey ,we would need more facility along with food options.  During our short journey,we experienced a traditional dance performance by Mapro authorized locals. There were doing so to reduce the stress and re energize the tourist. Indeed , it was a great initiative by them.
Venna Lake:
When we were crossing this lake,it was afternoon.We had really no mood to go for a boat ride.I wished that we would come for one Mahabalewar trip ,I would cover these in details. We saw the lake from outside.Hundreds of tourists were boating in the lake.The atmosphere was cool so it was really pleasant to use a paddle boat.There were lots of food options were available there(inside and outside). As we had to drive another 14 hours,we dropped the visiting option.


But one thing I must say, the beauty of the ghat road was awesome full of scenic beauty. Google diverted us to a narrow road to connect the great Mahabaleswar ghat road. The ghat road was in great condition with a very occasional bad road. Again the Mahabaleshwar ghat road was green and breathtaking. During our journey to Mahabaleshwar, we did a lot of photo shooting. Lots of up and down, we reached at Mahabaleshwar at 2:30 PM. We saw a few small waterfalls in the route. After crossing Mahabaleswar we stopped for lunch.  The Manager of the dhaba not only offered great food but also provided a route map to reach Solapur. We started again towards wai at 4PM. The road became excellent when we reached NH-48. The road was tempting us to go beyond 80KM/hr but we did only 60 KM/hr. We were preserving our energy for great NH 65 till Solapur.   Somewhere before Pune, Google showed us that NH-48 was meeting NH-65. It was also showing a road via SH-143 towards Solapur. But we ignored that road. However once we reached the junction of NH-48 and NH-65, we could not get the entry point to NH-65. Unfortunately, we had to travel some kms inside Pune. It was a huge traffic jam inside Pune. After great difficulty, we finally touched NH-65 at 7:30PM. Once we crossed the busy Pune city, it was a breeze to drive.

After crossing 80KM we stopped for a break. After we start our journey, our speed got reduced to a great extent due to pitch dark night accompanied by a heavy downpour. Heavy rain reduced our visibility. Even though the road was in great condition, we could not drive more than 40 KM/hr. At 12:30AM we stopped for dinner to a roadside hotel. Rain was also stopped. I was driving almost 13 hours, I needed a break. We ordered roti and paneer curry. As I said earlier that Maharastra food was very nice very low on spice. We enjoyed the dinner. After dinner, I took a power nap for one hour in my car. My wife and brother in law were browsing internet and were busy posting the nice pictures. At around 2:30AM we started again to words Solapur. The power nap gave me a new life. We quickly crossed 100 KM and reached Solapur at 3:30AM. I took a small tea break for 15 minutes. Again the horror movie started with lots of diversions, Volvos. The Volvos were having eight to ten light pointed towards oncoming traffic. They hardly gave any response to the small cars like me. Our speed got reduced to almost 10KM/hour in some of the stretches. Once we reached Telengana border , we got the nice road again. thanks to NH authority of Telengana division to make this stretch beautiful. At 9:30 We touched the ORR and at 10:30 We reached home.

Special Incident: During our return journey one funny thing happened. I was following a car and ignored the diversion signal. After some KMs the car took a small road towards a nearby village. I had to stop quickly. It was a cut in the road. The depth was somewhere 15 ft. There was a construction work going on. I was about to take U turn. I found two cars,followed by three volvos actually did the same mistake . Every driver were smiling  to each others by seeing our mistake. We came to the diversion and took the correct route again. I learnt a lesson that we sould not follow anybody blindly and should not ignore the diversion.

We came with a big smile in our face.The time we spent in Dapoli,worth of every single money we spent on this trip.The entire travel made us that we returned with lots of good memorizes with us.The overall experience was nothing sort of fabulous touring experience.
Highlights:



Road StretchCondition TollComments
Hyderabad to ORR Exit-3Very good 40Excellent Road
Hyderabad to Telengana bordergood NoNot pleasure to drive but ok
Telengana border to karnatakaOccasional good path NoNeed to drive carefully
Karnataka to SolapurVery bad NoLots of diversions and bad patches. Diversions were marked clearly.
Solapur to PadhanpurVery good Rs 55(Range 200KM-250KM)Excellent Road
SH-548C SectionMixed -Good and bad 0One way, lots of roads were being made. Lots of Diversions
Padhanpur to NH-8 CrossingPatchy 0Single road, you would hardly see people, car, lorry
Nh-8 to kadregood 0Single road, you would hardly see people, car, lorry , Lots of ghat section
Kadre to Chiplungood 0Ghat road
Chiplun to Dapoligood 0Ghat Section with lots of bad pathes
Dapoli to Kadre BeachBad 0The road was single lane,sometimes very narrow. It was very tough to give pass to oncoming traffic. Some patches were very bad- No road, Need to drive carefully
Dapoli to Ladghar beachgood 0The road was single lane,sometimes very narrow. It was very tough to give pass to oncoming traffic. Some patches were very bad- No road, Need to drive carefully
Dapoli to Mahabaleswargood 0 but only in Panhgani entrance fee Rs 55The road was single lane ghat road,Some patches were very bad- No road, Need to drive carefully
Mahabaleswar to Yaigood 0The road was single lane,sometimes very narrow. It was very tough to give pass to oncoming traffic. Some patches were very bad- No road, Need to drive carefully
Yai to Pune NH-65 crossinggood 0The road was beautifully
Pune to solapur Stretch-1(0-14KM)good 25The road was beautifully
Pune to solapur Stretch-2(15-40KM)good 25The road was beautifully
Pune to solapur Stretch-3(41-102.5KM)good 65The road was beautifully
Pune to solapur Stretch-4(102.5-150KM)good 65The road was beautifully
Pune to solapur Stretch-5(151-200KM)good 65The road was beautifully
Pune to solapur Stretch-6(201-251KM)good 25The road was beautifully




Hyderabad to Solapur- Lots of toll gates but none were operational hence no toll








Trip to Dapoli From Hyderabad An alternative to Goa Trip to Dapoli From Hyderabad An alternative to Goa Reviewed by Animesh Chatterjee on November 08, 2017 Rating: 5

Top ten Places You Must Not Miss While Travelling Srisailam

October 25, 2017
I hope you have seen my two travel logs for Srisailam here and here In this post I have come up with the top 10 visiting places around Srisailam.

They are handpicked and nice to visit in your two days trip in Srisailam.

They are as follows:
Sikhram:
This is the highest pick of Srisailam. It was not so popular when we visited last time. But with the advancement of road , this place can be in your visiting list in Srisailam. It is roughly 233o feet above the sea level. It is said one can attain mukti just by seeing Sikhram. There is also a snmall Siva temple here with hundreds of siva lingams. One can see Mallikarjuna temple from here. There is also a view point here. you can see the Srisailam from here.

Paladhara-Panchdhara:
It is a small waterfall having medical properties. It is believed that this holy water can cure lots of common daises. There is small siva temple here(Not maintained properly). it is said saint sankaracharya meditated here.You can purchase medical oil or holy water from the locals.

Ropeway and Patalganga:
There is a small Arial rope way which takes us to the downstream for a fun ride. Journey is maximum of two  minutes. One can go to patal ganga to take a holy dip and make a scenic boat ride near the dam.Also you need to check the current of the stream before taking bath here.

Akkhamadevi Temple:
There is another flavor of boat journey available through beautiful,scenic hills. You can enjoy the lash green nature while travelling this place. Mostly it starts at 6AM in the morning and comes back 11AM. So this needs to be planned well ahead. A they go through dense forest , I suggest to go in a group due to security reason and time pass. But if you are a nature lover , the majestic view of the river,green trees will surely please you. Akhamadevi temple is in pitch dark so it is better to carry torch light. There is siva linga inside.During 12th century the renowned philosopher ,lyricist and ascetic from Karnataka named Akka Maheswari prenanced in the cave. 


Sakshi Ganapati Temple:
Sakshi Ganapati is a famous temple of Lord Ganesh situated just before Srisailam.It is said Lord Ganesh keeps records of all names of the pilgrims who come to Srisailam. He displays the list to Lord Siva for blessings. If you have an option to stop here,please park your vehicle and visit here first then proceed to Srisailam.If you are travelling in a bus or have no option to stop here,please come back here for registering your name. However you can get down from bus here , ample of autos available to travel to Srisailam.
Mallikarjuna Temple:
This is the Most celebrated temple in the town. It was built by king Harithare of VijayaNagaram in 1599. It is believed that Goddess Parvati cursed sage Bringi to stand as he only used to worship Lord Siva. Later Lord Siva consoling mother Parvati and gave Bringi a third leg so that he can stand properly. One can see Bringi standing in 3 legs. There is also idols of Nandi,Saharsalinga and Nataraj along with lord Siva. There is an option for online ticket booking. I highly recommend to avail that option. It will save lots of time. However there are two types of queue available. One free darshan and another is Rs 150/head paid darshan. Don't forget to get the blessings and prasadam.

This is surely one more attraction of Srisailam. If you are travelling from hyderabad. Forest will come first. This is the largest(having 3508 acres of lands) tiger reserve forest in India. However you don't have to worry much as you will be travelling the 3rd buffer zone. There is a jungle safari available for jungle lovers. Apart from tiger, it is said there could be chital,Sambar,blackbuck,chowsingha,dhol,leopard,sloth bear and monkeys available. It is also infested with King cobra, Indian python,Crocodile etc. One can also find crocodile breeding center in the down stream.


Srisailam Dam:
I must not say more about it. This is one of the major attraction in srisailam . The man made beauty.This is one of the 12 largest hydro electric project in India. It is truely an engineering marvel in the lap of mother nature. View and beauty of the dam when gates are opened is astonishing and treat to the eyes. There are also boating facility available one in the downstream and one in the upstream. Proceed boating with care.

Chenchu Lakshmi Tribal Museum:
certainly not a huge one like Andaman that showcase tribal culture but yes there are few. At least a nice effort to show  the livelihood of Tribal. If you understand Telegu there is a person who can guide you. But for Hindi speaking people, you have to imagine. If you ask more information then nothing for you. Nobody cares about this .Govt should take care of this part. There are few vendors selling honey outside of the museum stating they were fresh and collected from forest.

Dindi Reservoir:
This is not a huge dam but a medium reservoir in Mahabubnagar town.The sunset in this dam is awesome. One can take his car very near to the dam.

Top ten Places You Must Not Miss While Travelling Srisailam Top ten Places You Must Not Miss While Travelling Srisailam Reviewed by Animesh Chatterjee on October 25, 2017 Rating: 5

Weekend Gateway From Hyderabad :: Srisailam Part-2

October 25, 2017
There was a small covering on Srisailam about two paragraphs in a leading newspaper stating that authority had opened two gates during the last two days.During our last visit we could not get the gates opened. We ended up with a dry visit!!. Please refer here for our first visit. Also during with the chitchat with my manager cum friend Sreekar from my organization yielded that it could be a better visit this time as the gates were opened. Accordingly, Friday night I had to convince my wife for this weekend trip. We packed our bag quickly and were ready for our next day visit. The cherry on the top was to have my in-laws who joined  this trip. It was a best option to see Lord Mallikarjuna.

Srisailam is a temple town deep inside Nallamalla forest on the bank of river Krishna in kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh.It is 235 KM away from Hitechcity via ORR.

Next day, (14th Oct'2017), we started at 8AM. We reached HP diesel bunk for topping up diesel. at around 8:30 AM we hit the Neheru Outer Ring Road(ORR). At around 9AM we reached exit 19 and met Srisailam highway.After driving around 10 KMs , we were surprised to see the road condition. It had improved drastically over last 3 years. Clear sign of diversions, bumps and village made our driving joyful.

The road was wide , two ways with newly laid tars made our journey pleasurable. On top of this there were numbers of dhabas to have food. We stopped for a Dhaba for a cup of tea before kalwakurthy. Unfortunately the dhaba was closed but tea section was opened. We took 2 cups of tea. The toilet facility was clean. We had not faced any issue so far with two elderly people . Keeping my last visit in mind, I was cruising at 60-70 KM/hr.

Just before kalwakurthy, We stopped for the major break at Food Village. We had puri and some sweet flavored milk. This hotel was having great ambiance,staff and again neat and clean toilet facility. They had ample of parking. On top this the price was real cheap. Hats off to the owner.

Our next destination was Dindi dam. At kalwakurthy junction, the road was broadened along with clear signboard towords Srisailam. There was no way a driver could make mistake now. I remembered that three years back it was so narrow I left this turning and went to wards Devkarna to Bangalore highway. Once we crossed kalwakurthy junction, the road became almost empty. The journey became a breeze in the lap of mother nature with light or no traffic .Due to Dindi'd height my in-lays refused to climb to Dindi. As we have already ventured Dindi last time. We continued our journey.








Our next stop was just before the forest check point.We had to take a Rs 20 INR ticket to enter into the jungle. I expected a lush green jungle just after crossing the gate. But it was not. There were lot of food stalls in the villages. The remoteness and beauty of the jungle somehow transformed to business oriented area. However after driving some KMs I could still find the hotel at the jungle safari gate. Not sure if that was run by govt anymore. Last time , we visited here , it was run by Haritha. We remembered that it was a deep jungle.We were driving back to Hyderabad. Since it was raining heavily, we did not see any other commuter for almost 1 hour. I was hungry ,thirsty for some tea and some safe shade to take some rest.Suddenly out of no where this tea stall arrived. We took fried moong dal along with tea. This time also we stopped here for cherish those memories.We enjoyed tea here , did some photoshooting of our in laws. 
The safari facility was improved a lot with lots of nature lovers willing to go inside jungle. The guide told us beforehand that there would not be be any animal and it would be a pure jungle safari.I was amazed to see many nature lover ventured to see the jungle . 
So far I remembered that last time the ambiance was not good. The guide was not in proper dress and the jeep was not in proper condition. This time the ambiance was great, the guides were in proper dress. Moreover the car was completely new.We continued our journey again.


Our next stop or rather a forced stop at the first view point from where people could see the man made beauty. We also stopped here saw the man made wonder. This time we realized that there were six gates opened. We thanked Lord Mallikarjuna. Once we came to the second view point, we saw the majestic view of man made rain. I had to pack my SLR. My wife took some with her mobile camera though. Entire road was scenic with lash greenery with full of flora and fauna as that was post monsoon season .



The Man made wonder and man made rain removed all tiredness. Going down further to the hill to cross the bridge was not easy. It was a huge gathering of nearby people who want to drench themselves in the lap of mother nature.
With lot of difficulty we crossed the bridge and went to the top hill again . it costed us 3 hours.Just before entering Srisailam , we got our old hotel which offer non veg. We stopped here for lunch for the first time.The quality of the food was improved so as the Spice.We took veg meal and resumed our journey again. Our next stop was at the Sakshi ganapati temple for a prayer. This time it was more systematic with queue of people ,traffic control police and ample of parking. 
Sakshi Ganapati is a famous temple of Lord Ganesh situated just before Srisailam.It is said Lord Ganesh keeps records of all names of the pilgrims who come to Srisailam. He displays the list to Lord Siva for blessings. If you have an option to stop here,please park your vehicle and visit here first then proceed to Srisailam.If you are travelling in a bus or have no option to stop here,please come back here for registering your name. However you can get down from bus here , ample of autos available to travel to Srisailam.

After 20 minutes we started again for our last leg of our journey. At the gate of Srisailam we had to pay Rs 100 for Srisailam entry.Road inside andhra was also good. So within no time we reached Srisailam.


I completely forgot the road towards the hotel. My wife came to rescue us. After a little difficulties we got the hotrel. We got 2 A/C rooms in top floor. The view was awesome. We rested for sometimes. At evening we went for Srisailam market for some shopping.
 Lord Mallikajurna temple-Night View. The temple looked gorgeous and is a symbol of ancient sculpture.

The main gate of Lord Mallikarjuna.

The market was bigger this time.Lots of shopping options. We purchased lots of items this time. We noticed that there were lots of hotels,food centers,canteens available. Hotel Apoorva was same in taste. We ate meal and some customized food items.One more thing we noticed that time use of coconut was limited in all the hotels.

 During shopping we ate at A1 hotel. It was a great canteen in the heart of the market.Dosa was great. We tasted the aloo bhaji and tea as well.At 10PM we started our return journey to the hotel. At 10:30PM we cam back to hotel.
It was nice to see lots of people in the market at 10PM. And below was the view of the hotel at night.

Next day , we got up at 7:00AM, started preparing for Lord Mallikarjuna darshhan.The morning view was so nice from the hotel that we could not resist ourselves for few snaps.

We took only tea at hotel. At 8:00AM we headed towards the darshan. We parked our car just near the main gate.We left our shoes in the car itself and went barefooted.  Walking down with barefooted was never easy. I suggest to leave your shoes to the clock rooms.The view inside the temple was excellant. there was a huge statue of Nandi to start with.Photography was strictly prohibited inside of the temple. So I had to come back and drop my camera inside of the car.There was no more VIP queue anymore. There were two main queues . One was free and other one Rs 150.Seeing huge queue in paid darshan we took the free dharshan queue.Free queue for free darshan was never easy.They put us in a cage popularly known as platform without the basic facilities like tea,toilets etc. Process was simple once the previous platform was empty the next platform will proceed for darshan. Having two elderly person in team made our darshan very tough. We left the idea of Darshan this time and came back to A1 canteen for food. The food served was very nice. We roamed here and there little bit and at around 3PM we started our journey back to Hyderabad.The return journey was never easy. The news of opening gate spread all the surround areas. 
Being Sunday, people came to see the beauty. It was a huge rush.Locals and police tried their level best to clear the traffic. At around 5PM we finally crossed the Srisailam and stopped for tea at Rajdhani dhaba, just outside of Srisailam. There were light traffic at jungle and we crossed it within 45 mins. We stopped for tea and some snacks at the gate of the jungle. 

We stopped at famous patalganga ghat for this nice snap.

Again the road was scenic and treat to the eyes.
 Govt had setup a beautiful Sulabh complex toilet facility here. All were clean. It was really an excellent move by govt and local. There were lots of food stalls .We used the sulabh complex(Rate was Rs5/head) and came to know that there was a guest house too just for night stay.We took freshly fried aloo bhaji and puffed rice. Later we took freshly made tea too.Oh!! i must say this area was highly invested with monkeys So be careful with your food . We headed towards Hyderabad.
Rest of the journey was very normal. The beautiful road took us home safely at 9PM. It was indeed a joyful journey.
Summary:
Car used- ford figo
Diesel Consumed- 40 lts
Toll- Rs 115* 2
Entry fee-Rs 100
Hotel Cost-Rs 750 (A/C)/day/rom
Trip Duration-2 days
Take Away from trip:
  1. With improved roads lots of dhabas and hotel opened with great basic facilities.
  2. The jungle once being an empty area was full of tourists . So no where we felt that we were alone. One way good but the bad point was the silence and beauty of the jungle really were missing. Which we experienced during our bike ride.
  3. While tourists were having fun, picnic,selfies with jungle they left behind plastics,garbage and uneaten food. That was a pure eyeshore.
  4. The lush green thick forest became less dense with the advancement of human .
  5. People became more business oriented , we never ever experienced the human touch.  I remembered last time it was remote but people valued us. They offered tea,shelters,does and don'ts,route map with their very little hindi knowledge.(Google map was not that advanced last time). More and more technology got advanced , Sadly but truly we moved away from each other. 
  6. While both the govt had put lots of effort to make the way better, we the careless drivers made the journey bad to worse. I remembered that some of the arrogant drivers were never following the traffic rules. They were wrong routing , tried all possible ways to go ahead of the traffic violating the drive rule in ghat. That made the on coming traffic standstill and created a chaos . I must say we never experienced this during our dapoli visit that was allmost 150 KM ghat section. I request all my blog readers to follow the traffic rules. 
  7. The remoteness, emptiness of the road was completely removed. Not sure if the new bikes will enjoy the journey or not.
  8. There was online ticket available for darshan, please use that facility. Trust me that will surely save huge time for you. 
  9. Being a small town , it is well connected with Auto. So you can take hotel anywhere of the town. But I suggest to take hotel near to main temple. 
  10. It is always better to hire a local auto for local site visit. The reasons being they know the route condition ,shortcuts better than us.
Weekend Gateway From Hyderabad :: Srisailam Part-2 Weekend Gateway From Hyderabad :: Srisailam Part-2 Reviewed by Animesh Chatterjee on October 25, 2017 Rating: 5

Trip to KoilKonda and Koil Sagar :: Weekend Trip from Hyderabad

May 07, 2017
Travelling in Telengana,around Hyderabad always give touch to deccan history,every turn of the roads will tell you something or the other. Even outside of Hyderabad, there lays several historical place that will give you the essence of great deccan dynasty.

This trip was arranged by Ujjal and Mangalika (our friend).

Before heading towards this place, we (my wife and me) had no idea , where we were going.Every visit gave us new experiences,new learning and more joy. We did not bother much.We wanted a break. So thought to escape for a day to koilkonda to retreat ourselves.

The travelers:
Ujjal -Behind Alto
Mangalika
Devopriya
Animesh-Behind Ford Figo


Just before going, we got to know the name of the place was Koilkonda. I googled it and found to be a fort.

We started our journey at around 12 noon.
The route was as follows:
TSPA--ORR--Take exit 16(towards RGI airport)--Bangalore route--NH44--Mehbubnagar--Koilkonda fort--Koil Sagar Dam--MehbubNagar--NH44-RGI airport--TSPA

We drove till TSPA via service road and met outer ring road.We took exit no 16 then towards Bangalore highway.we paid Rs 30 toll to the toll gate of ORR and collected two way toll ticket on the Bangalore highway.Cost-Rs 90.
This was the first time , we were travelling towards Mehbubnagar.The Bangalore highway was awesome to drive with excellent four lanes.We took almost 1:30 hrs to reach Mehbubnagar. After Mehbubnagar we took right towords Koilkonda. The road was good.  More we went towards the fort the scenic beauty becomes prominent even at the 43 degree in full summer on April 31st.

Koilkonda fort situated on a hill top of Koilkonda hill. It was a tax collection outpost of great qutb shahi dynasty.Not too many people visit this place compared to other destinations of Telengana. Ujjal asked many people for the correct route. To my surprise , not many locals knew about this place.We had to follow google map and the guidance of very few locals. Finally we reached at the base of the fort.The tax collection point lost its glory and even locals began to forget it.One more experience, we had. That is locals don't know much Hindi. I asked them where is the killa? They could not understand. But when asked where is the Koilkonda fort, they showed us the direction.

Few more observations:
Koilkonda was a very remote place of Mehbubnagar hence offered very basic things.
There was nothing called a proper hotel or restaurant. Few tea stalls were available on the road. We did not opt for tea.
People were mostly poor. They were conservative too.So unnecessary exposing or flashy cloths could draw attention of the locals. All of us were on normal and formals.There were no ATM facilities,even petrol bunks did not accept card!!. Medical shops were available near the koilkonda bus  stop.I had noticed few doctor's name in the dispensaries. Also small puncture shops were available but I did not notice any big garage.I did not notice any hotel or accommodation facilities.From the Koilkonda bustop we had to take left to reach Koilkonda fort. Once we took the final turn, we could see the glimpse of the fort. Till the base of the fort, it was motor able so we drove till last. The fort area was vacant.There was plenty of fort's space available right in front of the base but no systematic parking was available. Just found two good places and parked our cars.No security guards were available. There were no entry fee. We were up for a guide,who could have explained us the history, eased the journey with some hidden path used by locals. But we found none!!!.

 At around 3:05PM we started climbing to the fort on our own.We heard that there were seven gates till we reach to the top.Mangalika and Ujjal had some information about this fort so they started guiding us.There was a clear way leading to the fort. We followed that.At the beginning and till the mosque (situated on the hill), the path was beautiful then the actual adventure started. Near the Mosque there were two roads. One went left and one straight. We took the straight one. We left the other road for future trip.

The steps became slippery and path become narrow. One misstep may cause serious injury.A good trekking shoe was necessary but since me and my wife underestimated the hill thinking Koilkonda would be same as Golkonda, we trekked with a badminton shoe and a chappal. In some places the path became even narrow. We decided that if we were not able to climb,we would sit down and climb. The journey to the hill top was not as easy as we expected. On top of this, scorching sun made us dry. To hydrate and to pump oxygen we took three breaks in total.The breaks were not so comfortable. Sun god was testing our patience and determination. It was like on top 43degree sun and down the rocks were so hot to sit.Since, we were not regular climber , we took little more breaks.
Finally with lot of determination ,we reached to the top.


  As I said earlier, this place was vacant too. No food facilities were available like Golkonda. There were no toilet facilities. We carried our own snacks and water bottle.on the top of the koilkonda we utilised them. In the whole journey,we did not come across any people. There was pin drop silence in the hilltop. Btw, there were two reservoirs, we saw during our journey to the top.From the top the city looked great. The Koil Sagar view was breath taking.The hill had plenty to offer. The medical garden, holy water,observing the life down from such a high altitude, grand hill top made our day.If you are in a group and have sleeping bag, I would suggest to stay here for a night. Crazy idea but worth exploring.Far far away from hustle bustle life,close to mother nature!!

A request to all my visitor-it is our duty to save mother nature.So just because they do not have any security or cleaner, please don't throw away plastic bottles, snack packets or other edibles.


Surprisingly, the weather on the top was pleasant.We sat below the statue of god and started munching our snacks. Vodafone,Airtel and Jio had excellent connectivity  in this area even on the top.
We enjoyed Jio 4G video just to gear up ourselves. We explored some other parts as well.
Now it is time to go down. As I said there were no security and light facilities, we planned to climb down early. The down journey was even more scary. Gravity had played his part. I slipped twice followed by my wife. Ujjal and Mangalike seemed practised it. They had no problem to climb down.
We finally came down to the base at around 6:00PM. Due to security issue, I would suggest to visit the fort in broad day light.

This time we planned  have some drinks to cool down ourselves. Local stationary shop came to rescue us. The shop keeper understood Hindi replied in Telegu and some English.

Next was to head to KoilSagar Dam.Koil Sagar Dam is situated at KoilSagar village of Deverakadra Mandal. There were many roads to go to Sagar. Google was directing us some way. But too much of dependency might spoil our fun. So Ujjal asked a shopkeeper and some local to confirm the route.It was just opposite route what google directed us.We lost almost 30 mins to find the correct route.Locals were helpful to direct us the route.
Journey to the Koilsagar was fun. The route is via a countryside road.While going to the lake,Sun just dipped behind the jungle filled road.The reddish light made the road even nicer. It was a proper dusk to enjoy.The road was having everything that made me remember my village,a few , a few, too few people,herds of cows, dusty road and no traffic. One good thing we observed that the bikers glow their light even in the day time. So it became very easy for us to understand who was coming to our way.

The only picture my camera permitted to capture was the dam gate sequence. We had  to climb up around 100+ stairs to reach to the top of the dam. The dam was started in 1945 and finally made available for public use in 1956. The British govt put forward the proposal and work. It was constructed to save the excess water flowing in krishna river. The dam was surrounded by seven hills. The local name of the river was peddavagu. As it was summer, the water level was low. The gates were closed. It was a treat to the key to enjoy the sunset at dusk with the constant flow of water,ripple sound of the water and chirping birds. This could have been better, if they had a boating facility.

I saw a video on Koilsagar on youtube. This was so beautiful:

This was the other side of the dam. I found it on youtube. We saw multiple headlights from this position.But as it was already dark and we were little late.We did not opt for this place. Surely, next time we will venture this.

Now it was time to return to Hyderabad.It was dark and hardly we found any people in the road. We had to depend on google map. During our journey we saw small villages with people chatting in s groups.In hyderabad we hardly see this.The road was via medium dense forest.The only thing that bothered us that there were many cyclist,bikes even auto with no head light. They came in the road out of no where. We had to drive carefully.After driving almost 30 minutes, we reached to the main road to head towards MehbubNagar.


At around 8PM we stopped for tea to a hotel near to MehbubNagar. They offered double egg omlet and tea. Price was reasonable. Mangalika treated us with home made poha. After such an exercise, we were tired and badly looking for food. These items gave us fresh energy.
We stopped for dinner at around 10PM at a roadside dhaba in Bangalore highway.The hotel had offered us cool lassi followed by roti,egg fried rice and kodai chicken. Food was ok ok.


While returning rain god showed us some mercy. It started raining heavily. It was cherry on the cake. We always enjoyed driving in rain.
It was almost 390KM journey overall , total fuel consumed-35 litres. Overall it was a rewarding experience again. We reached at 12:10 AM. This was truly a hidden treasure. Government could take proper care to grow tourism here. It was having a huge potential to grow.

This can be a very good one day trip:
Timings:
1. Start early from hyderabad.
2. Tea on Bangalore high way.
3. Stop at MehbubNagar for breakfast and pack lunch from here.
4. Reach fort
5. Enjoy fort for 4-5 hours
6. Complete lunch
7. Go towards  KoilSagar  and enjoy swimming.(if you don't know ,don't take risk )
8. Enjoy sunset at Koilsagar
9. Go to Koilkonda main road for tea.
10. Start for Mehbubnagar on the way you will get some dhabas.
11. On Bangalore highway there are multiple dhaba's for dinner.



Trip to KoilKonda and Koil Sagar :: Weekend Trip from Hyderabad Trip to KoilKonda and Koil Sagar :: Weekend Trip from Hyderabad Reviewed by Animesh Chatterjee on May 07, 2017 Rating: 5
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