Trip to Rajahmundry
From last two years my colleagues were planning for trip to Rajahmundry , Papi Kondalu and Maredumilli.. Difficult names I know. At that time little did we know about the splendor of the place. The only reason why we heard of it is due to a controversy. There is this 100+ feet height dam proposed to be built in the papikondalu range that will engulf most of the villages due to raising levels of water. An estimated 30 odd villages will be endangered due to this however it is being constructed to bring millions of acres of land into cultivation. It can also be the case that by 2010 or so, most of the places that we are going to visit in this trip, are a history! So this was the last chance to enjoy the natural beauty.
We started early on Friday 1st Feb’08. We boarded Godavari express around 5:30 PM, it was supposed to reach destination around 2:00 AM. Train reached station at time and we got accommodation in one of the decent hotel. Next day we had to start at 6:00 AM. Well that was quite opposite to my idea of vacation as my plan means getting up late in the morning. Somehow for change, I enjoyed the sun rise.
Our first stop was Pattiseema. That was the first glimpse of Godavari river… Oh it was beautiful! So vast, so clean and early morning sun was so refreshing..
Our next stop was Polavaram, where we started our fascinating journey in a small motor boat in the river. The journey was expected to take about 8 hours along the downward stream. One of the challenges in the journey was the negotiation with the drifting sand, that makes the path of the boat extremely dynamic. Check the snaps of our team standing in the front of boat to prevent it from getting stuck.
Clean river water with the reflection of lush green hills, gentle breeze flowing across the river, definitely brings your inner photographer out. No wonder we got more than 1000 snaps for our two days trip. Papikondalu range is especially popular due to their co-existence with the river. Except during summer, the river is full of life with people. However, several tribal communities fill the hills with life from ages in search for their livelihood by agriculture, fishing and handicrafts.
One of the interesting things that can happen in the journey is a possibility to camp on the river side in tents. Pity that didn’t happened though. There were only three stops in whole 8 hour journey.
We reached back to shore around 7:00 PM, Attaching beautiful sun set snaps.
Next day, we started for Maredumilli, 75 km from Rajahmundry, is also known as Andhra Ooty. The place is full of scenic beauty. We almost sighed at each and every turn. It was the road with green forest on both sides. We made our first stop at road side canal which with its clean running water was looking quite invited, Next thing we know was we had our shoes off , jeans raised and we jumped into the water. To add to adventure, we started moving toward its origin. Stones were slippery and at some places water was little deep. We could not reach to the origin but still I enjoyed such kind of tracking after so long.
We excited by our first stop again started toward our next destination that was WWF camps. There were around 10-12 camps in mid of the forest. It was next to beautiful river and there were arrangements for camp fire, food and night stay. That all too was quite cheap. We could see some gang of boys enjoying there. Man I was jealous!!
All this tracking and adventure made us hungry and to our pleasure, rather I should say ‘sone pe suhaga’, we were served Bamboo chicken in Bamboo farm. The chicken is cooked in very interesting way. Small marinated chicken are inserted into hollow bamboo, which is then covered and thrown in fire. No extra oil is added to it. So its very healthy chicken with bamboo taste and smell. That is something I never had before.
Finally after all that fun, it was time to take train back home. When I said yes for this trip, I had no expectation. People had warned me against the food problem, accommodation problem and other things. Infact, I had fully packed my bags with noodles and chips. But at end I can say food was delicious, accommodation was decent and natural beauty was mind blowing. How strange we normally tend to go to all commercialized hill stations looking for luxuries, where we get everything except nature touch. I am glad that I made to this trip. This was my second best trip after Kerala.