Shutterbug's Blog

Living with Multiple Myeloma in Hyderabad , India . Random musings .


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Drive from Hyderabad to Annavaram

A wish of mine, which is about travelling to the ‘Kerala of the East’ materialized quite soon. My cousin planned his Son’s wedding in Annavaram. This little town close to the West coast is popular for its Satyanarayana Swamy temple. The temple is on a little hill which is part of the Eastern ghats in South India.

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We drove from Hyderabad to Annavaram , via Vijayawada and Rajahmundry. Started at 7am and had breakfast at N Grill Resto on NH65 .  This place is 50km after you exit the Outer Ring Road . It is a new restaurant, spic and span with good food and well maintained rest rooms.

We didn’t stop anywhere else till we reached Vijayawada. Had lunch at my Cousin’s place in Vijayawada where the ‘Pellikoduku’ event took place. After lunch we started off to Annavaram via Rajahmundry at around 4pm. The road from Vijayawada up to Eluru was very bad ,in-spite of toll being collected on this stretch. Supposed to be one of the busiest stretches in the country.

Took almost 5 hours to reach Annavaram , checked into Hotel Abhay . Not up to my expectations, but we were too tired to crib about the upkeep of the place and crashed for the day. Woke up to a beautiful view of the Pampa Reservoir and the Eastern Ghats , adjacent to the hotel . The reservoir was full owing to the recent bountiful rains.

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This was the best part of our journey.

Went for the early morning darshan. Annavaram Temple is very popular for performing mass ‘Satyanarayana Swamy Vratam’ by couples and also for performing Mass weddings. Saw lots of newly weds all over the place. There are small temporary Mandaps in a few places where the wedding vows are made. Reminded me of an Assembly line production factory where married couples are churned out 🙂 .

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Got back to our room after darshan of Sri Satyanarayana Swamy and got dressed for the wedding , to be held at one of the A/C halls adjacent to the temple.

Met lots of Cousins and their families. Started back to Hyderabad immediately after the wedding via Rajamundry and Vijayawada.

On my way back I noticed stubble burning in the recently harvested fields. All the while I assumed that stubble burning is restricted to Punjab and other states around Delhi , but to my surprise I saw lots of fields being burnt in Andhra Pradesh too.

Mechanical Harvesters are being used all over the country . This is clearly a side effect of using Mechanical Harvesters which leave a stubble one feet in height while harvesting.

The farmers have no time to let the stubble rot in the soil as they have to immediately sow the next crop. Hence burning is the easiest way out  with no cost involved. High time to solve this menace and stop all the pollution.

As we got closer to Rajahmundry , we came across lots of plant nurseries stretching for several kilometers on either side of the road . Did not have the time to stop by as we would get late. All the plant nurseries in Hyderbad are maintained by folks coming from this place.

Had dinner at Hotel Vivera near Narketpally , which is around 55km from Outer Ring Road. One of the best places , closer to Hyderabad , where once can stop for a quick snack or even have lunch/dinner.

This trip almost fulfilled another wish of mine where I wanted to stay by a riverside  for a few days. However, I got the opportunity to spend a beautiful morning by a reservoir flanked by hills and sipping coffee 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Jabali Theertham : Hanuman temple on Tirumala Hills

Suddenly there was this wish to visit a Temple which is located far from maddening crowds and one that has few visitors.

Meanwhile planned a visit Tirumala and made all the arrangements.

Before we actually left for to Tirumala , I was casually scanning the Internet for other sightseeing places located in and around Tirumala. Places that we could visit during half a day.

Came across several interesting places including Akasaganga, Paapanasam, Srivaari Paadalu, Natural Arch formation , Museum etc. We had visited all these places several times during our previous visits. This time I was curious about this temple named ‘Jabali/Japali Theertham’ ,which we had never visited . I might have overlooked this in my previous scans . The place is around 3km by road, from the main temple.It is said that a sage named Jabali meditated here and had the vision of Lord Hanuman.

We had half a day at our disposal and decided to go there.

Reached the entrance to the Temple in a car in less than 10min. Driving through the winding road on the hills with the windows drawn and breathing in fresh cool air blowing through the trees all around was fun. Very soon our driver stopped at this arch .

 

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The temple was not in sight but we saw a lot of stairs .We began walking up the stairs barefoot. Thankfully the steps were not steep :).  After some 50 long steps and no temple in sight , we asked a lady selling raw mangoes and cucumbers , ‘How far before we reach the temple ?’. She replied ‘Around 100 steps up and 100 steps down’.

We took a deep breath and continued till we reached the top and from here we were able to see the steps going down. The walkway is neat and clean and smooth. Appears fresh. Very comfortable walk and enjoyable for those who are young and healthy. A bit difficult if you get tired easily. Take long breaks all along the path and go ahead 🙂

We saw huge wild squirrels , wild hens , monkeys . It was 4pm. Came across very old and tall trees as we got closer to the temple. It was a beautiful sight. We were actually in a valley .

The Golden coloured Temple is ensconced in a little valley , surrounded by lush greenery with a pond (Theertham) in front of it. This pond supposedly receives a continuous trickle of water from a lake situated behind the temple.

There were a few shops and hardly 20 people in and around the temple.

After Darshan of Lord Hanuman , we sat on the steps and that is when I realised that my wish had come true. To visit a Temple which is located away from the crowds 🙂

It was a strange feeling . Woww , my wish was fulfilled so quickly.

The place gives a glimpse of life in a jungle where Rishis and sadhus would have lived and meditated. The feeling is indescribable and ethereal.

We bought a few soveniers from the few shops nearby. It was 6pm and we started walking back. The sun was setting and there was a golden hue all around above the trees. We walked back with background music from chirping birds settling in their homes ,while eating raw mango and cucumber pieces dipped in salt and red chilli powder 🙂

Loved the whole experience .

As I close my eyes I see myself sitting on the stairs in front of the temple and can vividly visualize that I am surrounded by tall trees, the pond and the temple and chirping birds .

It is these places and experiences which get etched in our memories and make life beautiful.

A must visit when you are in Tirumala.