I am in love with Andhra Pradesh. After spending 4 awesome days at Hyderabad, we decided to spend our Diwali on road. It seemed like a stupid decision. But one after another, we kept on passing by tiny villages, where all the houses were lit up with nothing but diyas, was a delight to watch. Where instead thrill of huge firecrackers, joy showed on the faces of little kids with a couple of phooljhadis. And in some cases, there was no trace of celebrations. We saw a new side of Diwali.
- Roads are excellent everywhere in AP. Highly enjoyable night ride.
- A big city. With hills here & there. As we reached in the night, we couldn't appreciate its beauty the first day.
- The Krishna river here is huge, & makes a complex water system. There are canals, barrages, dams, islands etc. And all this among hills.
- We visited only the main temple of the city, Kanaka Durga Temple. You get a brilliant view of the city from here. We went here again to capture a gorgeous sunrise. Temple opens from 4am to 9pm.
- The food, at least what we found, was awesome everywhere. And super cheap.
- The Irani tea influence from Hyderabad is visible here, as there are 'tea point' shops (big shops) everywhere. These have excellent Irani tea.
- We had Andhra meals somewhere in main market. It was lipsmackingly delicious.
- Since we reached late here. We couldn't find any Dharamshala here. And the rooms are not that economical here.
- An awesome city again. This time, river Godavari does the trick.
- Some very picturesque bridges here. Some 120 years old. And the 2nd longest rail cum road bridge in Asia.
- The Aarti at Pushkar ghats beats any arti in India (yes, even Varanasi's arti looks childplay in front of this).
- Just outside the ghat complex is a huge shivaling with fountain. This fountain works as a the biggest public bath I have ever seen.
- The city is famous for its Mirchi Bhaji. They are delicious & everywhere.
- I also had a dry khichdi, which is nothing but a different (and better) version of our bhel. Its just better mixed.
- We had a lot of trouble finding rooms here. There were a number of Dharamshalas near ISKCON temple, but none accepted us. Had to settle in a lodge again.
- After completing 2 weeks of the trip, we reached Vishakhapatnam.
- Yet to explore around but the city looks beautiful.