And so, here we go with the travelogue. I thought I will do it day-wise so that people can get a fair idea of how much they can cover in a day etc.. if they want to visit the place too. I will put the distances, time taken, where you can eat and other such details in red for people who want to make this trip, so that others who are not planning any such thing can be spared of some extra reading 🙂
Posts from our previous trip are here, for any reference:
Note: Click on the pics to enlarge.
We started from Hyderabad at 6.15 in the morning. The idea was to visit Mallela Theertham falls if possible and Uma Maheswar shrine en route Srisailam.
On the way, our driver suggested we also take a look at the Maisamma temple supposed to very famous and truthful. Now, what’s the fun without seeing new places or taking stops in between? 😉 The temple houses Goddess Kali and the idol is self-manifested.
Maisamma temple is located at Gandi Maisi, named after the goddess herself and is about 72 kms from Hyderabad and is just after Kadthal.
Breakfast options on the way were very very limited during our last trip. They are so even now, but one pretty decent joint has been opened 2 years ago, at Kotre thanda (You can spot the same easily, thanks to the very many vehicles – ofcourse everybody is eating here itself 😉 ) Carrying your own breakfast is a good option; there are many good spots, complete with stone benches et,.al where you can stop and relish the same.
Next stop – Mallela Theertham. We had visited the Mallela Theertham during our last trip and were aware of the fact that you will have to descend about 300 rugged steps to get there and ofcourse ascend back too. I was not sure whether I would be able to do that given the knee, but we wanted to visit the place given that my Dad is a total adventure freak and we knew he would love it. Also, the sister was going crazy at the thought of visiting a waterfall and Mom is a total sport who can be happy anywhere 🙂
Mallela Theertham is a beautiful place, totally in the midst of lush green terrain with the gush of water adding to the beauty. The approach road is through muddy roads, with fields and some villages alternating in between, adding more to the rustic charm. Unfortunately, there was very very less water this time (not the season) and the family had fun pulling my legs over the fact that I had told them that I would be taking them to one of the best waterfalls in the world 😛
To reach Mallela Theertham: Once you reach the village Vatvarpally, which is about 182 kms from Hyderabad. Take a left here, travel for another 8 kms and you will reach the destination.
They have boards with names and families on almost all trees – interesting pastime here for those who love Botany 😉 And I do 🙂
Once we were done with Mallela Theertham, we were all set to visit Uma Maheswar shrine. Somehow, we missed the point where we had to take a diversion and were already very close to Srisailam before we knew it. Srisailam is about 230 kms from Hyderabad and takes approx. 6 hours from Hyderabad including your stop for breakfast etc…
One thing to applaud is that the concerned authorities have really tried to keep these places neat and travel-friendly. They have tried to keep the ghats completely plastic-free and maintained very clean. The roads are awesome too all along. What more could you ask for?
We reached Srisailam at 12:30pm, checked in to our hotel rooms and headed out for lunch. I had booked rooms in advance at Haritha, maintained by APTDC and they were pretty decent (one of the best options available in the town actually and you better book the same well in advance because Srisailam is always filled with people)
After lunch, we rested for about half an hour or so and then set out to visit some places locally. I had booked for Abhishekam the next morning and so we were not going to the main temple today. (Online booking for Sevas available at http://www.srisailamonline.com/)
We started with Patalaganga, where you can worship River Krishna. You can either take the flight of 250 stairs or choose to go there by ropeway. APTDC operates the ropeway as well as steamer boats and a combo ticket for the ropeway ride (to and fro) and a boating sojourn over the river will cost you Rs.85/- . You can also choose to rent a rowing boat/ coracle from the local folks. Plan it well because the the boats and ropeway are in operation only until 5.30-6PM.
The view! Wowww!
We also visited Sakshi Ganapathi who is supposed to be keeping account of all the pilgrims to tender an evidence of their visit (‘Sakshyam’). The black-stoned idol holding a book and pen is exquisitely carved and captures all your attention.
It was already getting dark by the time we had visited the above places and so we chose to pay a visit to the Tribal Museum and keep everything else for the next day. We wanted to visit every place at leisure and soak it all in, and not just tick them off the list. The museum is open from 8.30AM-8PM.
The place is very kid-friendly with a nice park. One good way to attract those with kids – what would kids be able to do visiting only the temples?:)
You can see sculptures depicting the lives of the tribals everywhere.
The museum houses life-size sculptures depicting the lifestyle, skills etc.. of about 15 tribal groups with extensive info about all of them displayed. I also loved it that people from these tribal groups are only employed in the museum starting from checking tickets, guiding you around etc… I struck a conversation with one of them, Yeramma and she took us around and enlightened us about all the tribal groups too. She was from the Chenchu tribe and told us that Chenchu Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Narasimha was also born in her family 🙂 One of her forefathers was also the first priest of the Srisailam temple. She also told us about the group Savaras, into which Shabari was born and Kolams, in which the bridgegroom gives dowry 😉
All in all, it was a very satisfying first day with a good mix of nature, adventure, study of diverse cultures and bhakti too 🙂 We had dinner and called it a day, for we had to wake up early next morning for the Abhishekam.
Day 2 coming up soon. Stay tuned 🙂