Did you guess the place already? Yup, Srisailam, India. It’s one complete trip where you can catch high mountains, beautiful views, peaceful roads, various wildlife, a large temple, a wide Dam on the ravishing Krishna river, and lastly dangerous ghat roads. Everything a road trip enthusiast is looking for. Comfortably placed 200 km from Hyderabad, the capital city of Telugu states, it’s one destination to look out for a weekend road trip in South India. Ready with your vehicle? Here are the details worth knowing-
1) Spacious and well-maintained roads are what turns this trip pleasant and gratifying.
Well isn’t it what we look out for on any trip? Srisailam roads make us visit again and again. At least for the most part. After Exit 14, roads might be just two-lane both ways but hold tight, it’s just getting better soon. Riding on NH765 for 5 hours is never boring, for the first part thru little villages and green farms and later it is the most beautiful valleys and mountain views. Moreover, the road signs are precise and decently placed so you won’t miss a road, and no, you won’t be stranded in the middle of thick Nallamala Forests.
Be ready to pay at least Rs.250 as tolls for a 4 wheeler per round trip.
2) Look for no pit-stops. There aren’t any. Feel free though 🙂
Unlike other popular National Highways, there are VERY few authorized restrooms or popular restaurants. Feel free to bring your own food, snacks, water and use any roadside temple with a water source as a Garden restaurant. But please make sure to keep it clean as you probably be already. There are few named restaurants miles apart which might have good restrooms, stay on the lookout. Also, the food places in the villages may not stay open all day but there are places which make to order.
Do not even try to miss Jonna Rotti with Natukodi Chicken(Jowar Roti with country chicken). Find the best in Mallapur amid Nallamala Forest and right at noon is a perfect time.
3) Then the beautiful yet most curvy ghat roads.
After hours of driving on the usual highway and an hour + in the middle of beautiful ever-green Nallamala Forest, there comes the valley road. Sharp turns, steep and blind curves, experienced yet rash bus drivers but pleasant views are all they are about. Exercise extreme caution. Stop only at authorized viewpoints which are available all the way from Telangana side to Andhra side of mountains crossing Krishna river.
Keep in mind that Ghat closes every night 9 pm to 6 am and it is advised to arrive before sunset.
4) Welcome to Srisailam Hydroelectric station, 2nd largest in India.
The first thing one notices once they cross Krishna is the enormous Dam and huge electric lines just ashore. There lies one of the largest hydel power stations generating electricity from Krishna waters. Visitors are not allowed on dams but power stations during festive seasons.
5) Its all in the name – SRISAILAM.
In simple words, it’s the mountain(Sailam) where Lord(Sri) stays and it is one of the most popular Hindu Shrine to Lord Shiva. It has a huge history beyond and this temple is considered to be one of the most sacred places on earth. This place has grown popular as the idol(Sivalingam) can be touched for those who can afford Rs.300 tickets. A valid form of ID is required to visit the temple.
Proper attire is must. Dhoti or shirtless for men and Saree or Dress with dupatta for women.
6) What to see around? Lots.
There are so many places around of every kind, all you need is time. Try not to miss Ishtakameswari temple which can be reached by only hired jeeps as the route is amid deep forest with rocks and waters. Also temple is open only from 8 am to 2 pm. Next, Akkamahadevi caves. Reach here traveling in boat for more than an hour amid huge mountains, classic journey. Apart from these two adventurous places, there are several temples with own history, museum and Tiger reserve. On the way back, there is even safari but good luck spotting wildlife except monkeys.
7) Fertile land it is.
Whatever season it is, Nallamala forest is always green and fun to drive. Also the land is fertile and there are various crops all around. Watch out for street vendors and remember to bargain.
8) Waterfalls anyone?
On the way back, after consuming the delicious food of Jowar Roti and Country Chicken in Mallapur, you don’t wanna drive home with sleepy eyes. Instead, take a road less traveled and head to these waterfalls for eye-feast. It’s around 8 km from the village center and watch for the signboard to take a turn onto mud road. Don’t worry road is not really bad.
Prepare to shed some cash for toll and entry fee for waterfalls as well.
9) Work hard. Play hard.
Here is the fun part before the feast. There are at least 300 steps in between you and the beautiful view. As of today, there is an alternative route being built for easy access. Otherwise, sweat out some calories while enjoying the beautiful mountain views. Steps can be tough for old age people. Guard children properly.
10) There is science to it if waterfalls make you happy too.
Most people won’t miss a chance to visit waterfalls and there is a reason behind it. Well, a scientific reason – Water molecules collide to become positively charged making the surrounding air negatively charged which suppress serotonin levels and correspondingly depressed feelings, leaving us at high note – happy. Now we know why we are always drawn towards beaches and waterfalls. Coming to Mallela Thirtham, these falls are a beauty. Located in the dense forests, fall from a huge rock and the small falls with black-stone backdrop all add up to a pleasant experience.
Dare another little but adventurous hike? You can even drench under the falls. Water in the pool is deep and swimming isn’t recommended.
11) You are never alone even in the middle of the forest. Food-Stalkers on watch. All the time.
Forest is full of monkeys and remember – LOT OF MONKEYS. Near the temple, villages, waterfalls and especially on roads, you will find lots of them. Drive carefully and expect for food to be snatched seconds after opened even though you think there is no sight of these crazy creatures. They are stalking you. Beware!
Do not feed any animals in the forest as per wildlife mgmt. It only cause problems to you and the animals.
Hope you have a great trip. Take good care, follow authorized trails and fun is all yours. Subh Yatra!
There is one other road trip that we consider the most adventurous one. It is on Dalton Highway in Alaska, USA.
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