The Paatala Ganga lake is the backwaters of the River Krishna and the level of water has been elevated since the construction of the Srisailam Dam for the power project in and around Andhra Pradesh. This lake is situated in the heart of Srisailam hills and Nallamalla forests. The ropeway is connected to reach this lake from the top of the hill to the lake. One must take tickets for both rope way and the boating service on the lake near the counter, which is existed right next to the Paataleshwara Sadanam temple accommodation.
Our whole family around 13 members have visited the Paatala Ganga Lake and all our cousins went for the boating on the lake. The Thing is, one must climb up and get down the mountain rocky steps of around 150 on each way, to reach the Paatala Ganga Lake.
APTDC (Andhra Pradesh Tourist Development Corporation) have collaborated with the Srisailam temple department to provide entertainment and enlightenment for the people who visit Srisailam. There exists around 4 big boats which run on diesel. Two of them are routed for Akkammadevi Caves and remaining two are for boating on the Paatala Ganga Lake. As the lake is very huge, the boating experience would be just fabulous.
As we all got down the rocky steps in a very careful way, we also courted the boat soon after we reached the lake. One must be careful enough, while climbing those mountain steps. They are sort of dangerous. The boat started after everyone has courted and the boating management felt that the boat capacity has filled. The boating timings are from morning 9 to evening 6 and same as the rope way timings. Most of the visitors, court rope way to experience the boating on the lake.
The boating experience is not only about viewing the lake, the hosts actually enlighten people with the facts of Srisailam and the Paatala Ganga lake. They make you explore the whole waters of the Paatala Ganga Lake. They explain you everything about the history of the place and the specialties of the lake. They say many thrilling and interesting stories, indeed facts, which makes visitors feel really excited about knowing about the place.
Near the Paatala Ganga lake, there exists the Srisailam Dam back side and also two power plant houses on either side of the dam. Actually, that dam acts as the bridge between two districts Kurnool and Mahabubnagar. After the bifurcation, this place actually acts as the border of two different states, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Hence, there are two different power houses on either side of the dam, which managed by two different state committees now.
Kurnool's power house situated on one of the mountains near the Paatala Ganga lake and visitors can clearly witness the beauty as it is surrounded by the mountain range, forest trees, the lake and also there's an underground way to reach the power plant in case of any disturbances. Technically, it looks like an interesting project.
The dam gates were shut when we visited the lake and hence the water flow is still. But the people say that the depth of the lake is too much and it could be a life threat swimming in that Lake. Paatala Ganga lake water appears to be green but when we take in our hands, it's quite transparent. That's the beauty of this lake and the reason is the interesting story of the curse removal of the daughter of a king. Like these there are many stories roped with this lake. There also exists a Nandi idol inside the lake where people used to worship in ancient days. Now it's submerged because of the construction of the dam and still people worship by leaving flowers and coins in the lake.
If a person follows the way of Paatala Ganga lake of water, they can reach Akkammadevi caves which are also very spiritual, thrilling and interesting too. The story literally gives you goosebumps. You must listen with your ears when you visit the Paatala Ganga lake and when you experience the boating. Because, these stories will be told by a tour guide who works on the boat and the driver stops the boat in the middle of the lake, where this tour guide makes you sit and listen to the whole facts and stories related to Srisailam and the Paatala Ganga Lake.
While visiting the whole lake, one would literally enjoy the nature and its beauty to the core. The water, the breeze, the mountains, the huge trees, the dam and especially the feeling of being in the middle of the deepest lake in Srisailam hills. The view from the boat is totally different because the lake exists in the underground level and the whole view will be huge in both horizontal and vertical way.
Wherever you see, you find the water and the mountains covered as the borders of the lake. That's the beauty and people may feel scary too. But close your eyes and listen to the voices of the nature and then slowly open your eyes to witness each and every detail of the Paatala Ganga lake. You feel overwhelmed and connected to the nature.
I have done the same and I have captured some beautiful moments from the boat which elevated the beauty through my lens but trust me, witnessing with your own eyes is always inexplicable. So, try visiting this lake and exploring the boating session to know the whole history of Srisailam. Spiritually, a person gets easily connected with the view of the mountain and the water. Srisailam Mallikarjuna Swamy is revered with Bramarambha Devi on the hill and the Ganga as his other wife welcomes visitors to explore the whole mountain range in the Paatala Ganga lake.
All the safety measures are taken by the APTDC during boating and one must be careful enough, while taking pictures from the boat as the present scenario mostly focusing on witnessing the beauty through the lens and not with their eyes. Click pictures, but don't miss out the beautiful moments to see with your eyes. Boating on the Paatala Ganga is worth climbing all the steps from the top of the hill to the lake. Your efforts surely meet your satisfaction levels.
Finally, we bade a bye for the day after visiting the Paatala Ganga lake. We returned the hill through rope way again in the evening, but it took literally one hour of waiting time to reach the hill. Because the rope way queues get overcrowded in the last slot of the day. So, try to wrap up the visit by late afternoon. But the facilities provided by the rope way and boating management didn't make our day uneasy. Totally, it was a great trip and we ended the trip that day.
So, next time, you visit the Srisailam Hills, don't forget to lodge these boats and experience the boating session on the lake and also try exploring Akkammadevi caves by going on the backwaters of the River Krishna.