After the scorching heat of the summer, the monsoon has finally arrived to give us much awaited relief! The romantic misty weather is so very charming. There is no other better way to relish this weather than being with the nature itself. A sudden plan around midnight led three of us (myself-my hubby-a friend), the travel freaks, on a road trip to Vikarabad-Ananthagiri Hills on the following day morning, i.e. on 20-06-2015.
The clouds had already engulfed the city of Hyderabad since morning. We could very well anticipate that rains will be our companion in the journey. We readily packed our bag with rain coat, water bottles and started our journey around 7:45am. As we set off for our journey, drizzling began. Wow! The journey couldn’t have been better! I just love riding in rains! Riding on highway while rain drops sprinkle on your face is such bliss! It drizzled for a very short time. We continued our journey on a cloudy misty romantic weather.
The route was straight and simple. We started from Kondapur – took the route parallel to ORR > Chilkur > Chevella > Vikarabad. Vikarabad is around 75 kms away from Hyderabad. Ananthagiri Hills is another 10 kms away from Vikarabad. The road condition is very good hence the journey was very smooth. We took our first stop at Chevella for our breakfast. Garma garam Idlis & Vadas made an ideal breakfast for us. Having done with our breakfast, we again set off for Vikarabad.
|| Our breakfast||
The picturesque beauty of greenery along the road was so mesmerizing. The monsoon has made the nature all more vibrant. Multicolored flowers have bloomed along the roadside. It was a windy day. Riding against the wind was quite an experience! The green meadows, cows grazing in the field give you a taste of rural life. It’s good to find that you get to experience a different taste of life within barely 50 kms from Hyderabad.
|| En route Vikarabad ||
|| Way to Vikarabad ||
|| Cows grazing on field ||
Finally we reached Vikarabad. Vikarabad is a town in Ranga Reddy District of Telangana. Ananthagiri Hills are the hills located at around 10 kms away from Vikarabad. On reaching Ananthagiri, first we headed to Telangana Tourism Haritha Hotel for a cup of tea and refreshment. After some time, we started our venture for the day.
First we went to Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple around 10:30 am. You come across a huge Hanuman-ji idol in front of the Temple. The Temple is situated at the Ananthagiri Hills. We learnt that Lord Vishnu is in the form of Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy and Ananthagiri is named after Him. The Temple complex is flooded with beggars. Though beggars in Temple area are very common scene in India, yet I am troubled to find too many young boys and girls into begging. I feel NGOs should come forward to assist in their livelihood.
|| The dilapidated Water Tank near the Temple ||
|| Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple ||
|| Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple||
|| Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple ||
When we reached the Temple, there were very few tourists at that hour. On query we got to know that the trail into the Hills begins from the Temple itself. The Temple is located at the forest entrance. The stairs from the Temple leads to the jungle.
|| Stairs leading to the jungle ||
Hence, we three started our trekking from the Temple, through the forest to the Hills. It was fun trekking down the muddy trails of the forest. We came across amazing patterns of roots and branches of the trees.
|| The Cave near the entrance of the Forest ||
|| The Forest ||
|| The Root Bridge ||
|| Interesting trees and roots ||
|| The muddy trail ||
|| Ants Colony ||
|| The beauty of the Forest ||
We could hear the chirping of the birds as well as screams of peacocks. Different kinds of birds are visible in this area. Peacocks can also be seen. We were mostly trekking on plain lands of the forest, which was quite fun in itself. However, we were eager to get a top view of the valley. The best part of the trail through the forest was that there was no guide or direction showing you any route. You just make your own way and get a chance to be lost in the woods. The forest isn’t that dense that you will get lost! In an endeavour to spice up our adventure, we decided to climb up a hilly slope to get a view from the top. It wasn’t basically a proper path and you literally crawl uphill getting hold of tree branches or stones. Once you reach the top, you realize that the uphill trek was a worthy experience. The view of the valley from the top is amazing!
|| The view of the Valley from the top ||
The cool breeze was so refreshing after the uphill task. We spent quite some time at the top and then descended and headed back to the Temple parking. We spent nearly 2/2.5 hrs in the woods. It was nearly 1:30pm. We came back to Haritha Hotel & Restaurant for lunch. The Restaurant offered South –Indian Vegetarian food for lunch buffet. Food is quite good here. It is the only Restaurant in Ananthagiri, else you have to head to Vikarabad to get multiple choice for food. Having done with our lunch, we strolled for sometime in Haritha Hotel complex. The valley view from the backside of the Hotel was beautiful. The calmness of the place and the intoxicating weather infact made us think for a while to stay overnight but then no rooms were available.
|| Haritha Hotel, Ananthagiri Hills Compound ||
|| Lunch @ Haritha Restaurant ||
|| View of the Valley from backside of the Haritha Hotel, Ananthagiri Hills ||
Then we decided to visit the Kotepalli Reservoir, which is situated at 20 kms away from the Ananthagiri Hills. Around 2:30pm, we started moving towards the Kotepalli Reservoir. On our way we came across beautiful pictorial view of the valley. It started raining at that point of time. The rains added to the charm of the place. We halted for a while to enjoy the nature and its beauty. People have literally made it a shooting spot.
|| The Shiva Temple in midst of the Valley ||
|| The way through the Valley ||
|| Statue of Nandi in midst of Valley ||
Thereafter we again started moving towards the Kotepalli Reservoir. We were stopped by two policemen on our way and informed that entry to the area is restricted presently due to a murder. Hence, we had to return sadly. It was nearly 4pm. There was nothing much left for us to do. Hence, after having our evening tea at Haritha, we decided to start our return journey to Hyderabad.
The evening journey was equally fun though we were bit exhausted by our all day biking and trekking. We enjoyed the dusk on our way back Hyderabad. A road trip is so incomplete without road side dhaba food. Hence, we decided to have food at a road dhaba. We stopped by a dhaba near Chilkur and gorged on a plate of chicken kebab, tandoori rotis, dal tadka and chicken kadai. Food was typical dhaba style super spicy food, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Having done with sumptuous food, we started again for Hyderabad.
It was a wonderful day outing away from the hustle bustle of the city – amidst the greenery, meadows, the forest, trails, the occasional rains, the nature at its best in the monsoon. It is an ideal weekend getaway spot from Hyderabad. I would love to visit this place again, preferably in the monsoon.