Briefly

April 15, 2009

 Last few weeks have been frenetic at work.  Achieved reasonably respectable results for FY 2008-09 in spite of the R word. This was followed by fine-tuning the budget for 2009-10 over the past 2 weeks. So, hardly got a chance to pursue my interests, viz. traveling, movies and eating out. 

The other thing that had my attention these days is the elections for AP Assembly and Indian parliament scheduled to begin on April 16. After trying to assess who is better among the already proven failures, I have given up and went back to my original choice – Loksatta. I have previously decided not to vote for Loksatta because it is very obvious that they will not win even a handful seats, let alone a majority. But then I had successfully shaken off this typically middle class syndrome of backing the winners, and decided to vote for Loksatta which is undisputedly in a league of its own. I am proud that Andhra Pradesh is home to such upright and ideological party which is trying to bring a paradigm shift in Indian politics and governance. In its short existence as a political party, it was previously an NGO, Loksatta has shown that it is capable of walking the talk. The internal processes of Loksatta w.r.t. election of office bearers and selection of candidates for MLA and MP seats were transparent and truly democratic.  Additionally, Loksatta has always been doing its bit to drive for improvement in political governance on various issues.

So, while I am not sure whether my vote will help the local Loksatta candidate win the seat, I am 1000% sure that each vote polled for Loksatta will motivate 5 more, hitherto skeptic, voters to vote for Loksatta in next round of elections. And when (not if) it happens I am sure Loksatta will be a strong political force with a power to change the governance of the state and center.

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Wassup

March 6, 2009

 

Hello again! Been busy slogging to meet the business goals for the current fiscal. On top of it the budget preparations for the next fiscal year are in full swing. So, here is quick log of my life & times in last month and half.

 

v      Went to Warangal in February to visit my alma mater (REC-Warangal). I was there on the 2nd day of “Spring Spree”, annual cultural festival of REC-Warangal. Drowned in sweet memories for some time before wifey rescued me. Stayed overnight, and visited 1000-pillar temple and Bhadrakali temple next day. Photos are at the bottom of this post.

v      Smoked a few times (I have quit smoking in June 2008) in the last couple of months. Was woken upto my senses by something I read on internet, and took a firm decision not to smoke again, even in jest.

v      Am keenly following the AP politics. Its amazing how politicians can be so shameless in justifying their decisions. I feel that the voters are much smarter than what they are credited for. I am sure of surprise results on May 16.

v      Pakistan seems to be on the verge of imploding and playing in to the hands of Taliban. Considering what Shaik Haseena is saying about the conspiracy behind the mutiny by Bangladesh rifles, India finds itself in unenviable position of being surrounded by rogue/failed/weak states. I would think Israel is in a much better position – at least the West condones whatever aggression it unleashes on its neighbours. Also, Israeli citizens are more dependable and responsible than Indians.

 

More later…

 

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1000-pillars Temple

 

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Some parts of temple are under restoration

 

near-bhadrakali-temple-1

 Near Bhadrakali Temple

near-bhadrakali-temple-21

 Near Bhadrakali Temple


A tribute to “evergreen” ANR

September 22, 2008

 

Last week Akkineni Nageswara Rao (ANR) turned 85, an occasion to celebrate the longevity of the “evergreen hero” of Indian Cinema (Dev Anand, one of the other so called evergreen heroes, is really a caricature in the last few decades, whereas Dileep Kumar has stopped acting in films 15 years ago).

 

It is also a sad reminder that ANR is perhaps the last man standing among the golden oldies of those great Telugu movies of 1950’s and 60’s. To my knowledge, Gummadi Venkateswara Rao is the only other person who is chugging along. And, who would believe that Gummadi is 3 years younger than ANR. My father is great fan of ANR. So its natural that from a very young age I was made aware of many aspects of ANR’s films and his persona. Though I had a great liking and love for films in general and Telugu films in particular, in my younger days ANR’s films did not appeal to me as much as NTR’s or “Superstar” Krishna’s. In those years ANR’s films were also pretty formulaic (Dasari was director of most of those movies) and are not among his best.

 

In the later years when I had a chance to watch ANR’s great work in the 50’s and 60’s, I started admiring his acting prowess. It was then I started realizing the gigantic nature his achievements in the years when the Indian film industry itself was blessed with “one in a generation” actors such as NTR, MGR, Sivaji Ganesan, Rajkumar (Kannada), Prem Nazir (Malayalam), Uttam Kumar (Bengali), and Dileep Kumar (Hindi), to name a few. A case in point was his show in Devdas and Batasaari that apparently prompted the likes of Dileep Kumar, Uttam Kumar and Sivaji Ganesan to say “only ANR can better those performances”.

 

Still, it is only in the last 2-3 years that I have made acquaintance with many lesser known gems of ANR (thanks to my home theater system), when I started collecting Ghantasala’s songs in MP3 format. That exercize made me realize the sheer prolificity with which ANR delivered musical hits that had style as well as substance. There was a program in ETV-2 on September 20 (ANR’s birthday) in which the anchor recalled all major hits of ANR in chronological order. Between 1955 and 1970, ANR delivered 70+ major hits (needless to say, most of them are musical hits). Seventy-odd hits in 16 years in no mean achievement. Ask any of ANR’s contemporaries in Indian Cinema. Rajendra Kumar, considered as most successful hero in Hindi films, has 50-odd hits from 87 films. ANR acted in 140-odd films during 1946-1977 and delivered 92 hits, most of them with ANR in the kind of roles that Rajendra Kumars of this world can only dream about.

 

Even NTR, for all his talent and charisma, could not match ANR’s strike rate for most of his career (NTR’s golden patch, in terms of regular hits, began only with Adavi Ramudu).  The reasons are two-fold: 1) ANR is a great actor and was even better in choosing the right kind of production houses to work with, 2) NTR has not been so smart. ANR has always managed to be the first choice for leading production houses of that time, except Vijaya productions who had a multi-year contract with NTR. That’s why ANR is the hero in most of the films made by Bharani pictures (of Bhanumathi), Anjali Pictures (of Anjali devi), Prasad Art Pictures, Annapurna Pictures (ANR’s own production house in partnership with Dukkipati Madhusudhana Rao), Jagapathi Pictures, etc.

 

In contrast, NTR’s best was manifested only in films made by Vijaya Productions (Pathala Bharavi, Missamma, Gundamma Katha, Jagadeka Veeruni Katha, etc.) and his own productions (NAT productions) – Panduranga Mahathyam, DVS Karna, etc., or the films made by Pundareekakshaiah (his brother-in-law) such as Pandava Vanavaasam. Most of NTR’s films in 60’s and 70’s were made by new producers, and the results were disastrous. That’s why among NTR’s 320-odd films, one can not recall more than 30-odd good films (here I am not counting post-Adavi Ramudu hits that were height of gaudiness and overacting).

 

Since late 70’s, as mentioned previously, ANR’s films were more formulaic and thereafter ANR started acting in roles that befitted his age. A shrewd man he is, ANR had slowly eased himself out of films and was last seen in “Sri Ramadasu” in a small but important role of “Kabir Das”. ANR’s greatest achievement must be that he was able to hold his own position in spite of being no match for NTR in looks or physique or voice.

 

Finally, if I were to choose Top 10 of ANR’s best, the list would be:

 

1.       Devadas (need say any thing?)

2.       Moogamanasulu (ANR, Jamuna, Savitri, Godavari theeram, who is best?)

3.       Tenali Ramakrishna (I found ANR quite good looking in this film in spite of him sporting a pilaka; the movie overall is quite good any way)

4.       Vipranarayana (who says an atheist cann’t portray this role)

5.       Aradhana (ANR, Savitri, Songs, who is best?)

6.       Sudi Gundalu (a truly good off-beat movie, well ahead of its times)

7.       Dasarabullodu (ANR in a bubbly character, great songs)

8.       Prem Nagar (a wonderful depiction of  a great heart behind a Casanova life style)

9.       Premabhishekam (its not for nothing this movie was one of the biggest hits in the history of telugu films)

10.   Sitaramayyagari Manavaralu (again, ANR vies with Godavari theeram for the top spot)

 

P.S: There some better entertainers among ANR’s films (such as Iddaru Mitrulu), but the films listed above have showcased various hues of ANR’s talent.


Inexpensive bars and dhabas in Hyderabad

September 13, 2008

 

This post is exclusively for the benefit of Hyderabadis who love their malt or pint. In the past 4-5 years I could not help but notice the steep rise in the liquor rates in all the Bars and Pubs in Hyderabad, and more so in so called “Cyberabad” area of Ameerpet, Panjagutta, Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills, Madhapur and Gachibowli. Agreed that the cost of living in general has increased steeply in Hyderabad in last few years. That still does not justify 3 to 20 times premium that these bars and pubs charge over wine shop prices. A.P. government apparently makes Rs. 30,000 crores per year from the license fees, excise tax and sales tax collections from the wine shops and bars in the state. The bars and pubs in Hyderabad are also doing their bit to complete this loot of poor drinkers.

 

Any ways, I for one never liked to spend large sums on drinking, especially if that means shelling out a few thousands of rupees for a night’s drinks.  I would rather spend that money on my family or on charity. For this reason I have stayed away from the up-market pubs or bars in the last 4 years (thank god I visited all those pubs in B’Hills and Green Lands before they became expensive). Because I drink at least 3 days per week, I have identified a few inexpensive places in the areas I or my friends live in.  Of course, nothing beats “binge drinking” at your home with your friends, when your wife is out of town J

 

Before I list out the inexpensive bars and dhabas that I frequent, time for some trivia. Do you know the name of bar at the Army Golf course in Bollarum? It is called 19th hole (because it is the watering hole you go to after finishing with the 18-hole golf course)

 

Ameerpet Area:

 

Bar One – clean and decent ambience, quick service and large seating area. A large peg of Blenders Pride costs Rs. 80, a regular sized KF beer costs Rs. 75

 

Pujitha Bar near Sanath Nagar Bus stand – simple ambience, reasonable service and large seating area. A large peg of Blenders Pride costs ~Rs. 85, a regular sized KF beer costs Rs. 75

 

Kukatpally/Miyapur Area:

 

Temptations Bar – simple ambience, reasonable service and large seating area. A large peg of Blenders Pride costs ~Rs. 80, a regular sized KF beer costs Rs. 70

 

Sarovar bhaba located on Miyapur-Bachupally road. Simple ambience and good food. Non veg snacks/curries cost Rs. 80-90 per plate, the veg ones Rs. 40-50 per plate. You, of course, bring your own booze.

 

Hamsafar Dhaba – near Bahadurpally junction on Nizamabad/bodhan road, very close to Satyam Technology Center (STC). Simple ambience, large seating area and good food. Non veg snacks/curries cost Rs. 80-90 per plate, the veg ones Rs. 40-50 per plate. Their biryani is yummy. You, of course, bring your own booze.

 

Secunderabad/ Bowenpally Area:

 

Palate Tulips Bar near Apollo-Vikrampuri – decent ambience, reasonable service and large seating area. A large peg of Blenders Pride costs ~Rs. 85, a regular sized KF beer costs Rs. 75

Gurmeet Bar, Diamond point – simple ambience, reasonable service and large seating area. A large peg of Blenders Pride costs ~Rs. 85, a regular sized KF beer costs Rs. 70

 

Bar One, at Tadbund and Suchitra Jn. (off Medchal Road) – clean and decent ambience, quick service and large seating area. A large peg of Blenders Pride costs Rs. 80, a regular sized KF beer costs Rs. 75

 

Basera Dhaba and Classic Bhaba, Medchal highway – Among the best on Medchal highway for quick service. I found the bigger ones (such as Sony Dhaba) to be very slow on service. The food and the prices, in my view, are similar in all dhabas located on Medchal highway. Non veg snacks/curries cost Rs. 140-160 per plate, the veg ones Rs. 80-90 per plate. You, of course, bring your own booze.

 

A.S.Rao Nagar

 

Regale bar – Though the pricing is similar to other bars in the area, this one is by far the best in terms of food and ambience. A large peg of Blenders Pride costs Rs. 100, a regular sized KF beer costs Rs. 80

 

Suraj Biryani point, in Moula-Ali Housing Board Colony – Try this out when you have a few friends with you: order for a jumbo mutton biryani here, and while he prepares the table for you (which takes 15-20 minutes) hop over to the wine shop next door, buy some beers, finish them in a large seating area behind the wine shop, and return to Suraj to dig into piping hot mutton biryani. Trust me this is a good package..

 

The list looks smaller than what I expected when I started this blog post. May be I should drink more often and visit more places J

 

Update:

Few more additions to the list, coutesy www.team-bhp.com

  • Blue King Bar, Sudarshan theater complex, RTC X Rd
    Maharaja Bar,  
    Paradise center, Sec’bad
  • Madhushala, next to haiking in Hyderguda : King of cheap and great food. Blenders Pride 1 Peg is 100 Bucks and you order 2, third is free. So effectively it is Rs.66/Peg
  • Little Hearts,  a Punjabi run bar which is bang opposite to Haiking in Hyderguda. Good Food and cheap booze
  • Gokul, Kacheguda, opp to old prabhat theatre
  • Host, at Daimond point, Sikh village, not very cheap, but amazing food and “Best Biryani in a Bar”.
  • Golden Deer , Ranigunj: before the bridge after crossing the tank bund road. Great Biryani and second best sambhar rice ( next to only Mega City, Basheerbagh)
  • Sudharshan Bar & Resturant, Naryanguda Crossroads. Great food and booze. 

Good begining to the month of August

August 14, 2008

 

Been quite busy past few weeks and hence no blogging.

 

Joined my new job on Aug 4. Really felt good to receive such a rousing welcome (yes, there was a formal reception) from old colleagues who I worked with during 2003-07. As expected there was no formal orientation and not even a honeymoon period, so I had to hit the ground running. There was so much to do, and I am loving it.

 

Seems like this month will be very good to me. A property deal that was dragging its feet for the past 4 months was finally settled this week. Made a quick trip to Tenali to attend to this task, but the public did not notice it because “Superstar” Krishna also was visiting his hometown (Tenali) on the same day J

 

Took a few days off last month to spend some time with my friends at Guntur. I was joined on this trip by some of my Hyderabad-based friends. So we hopped over to Suryalanka beach resort (operated by APTDC) and spent a whole day there. They charged Rs. 1100 per day for an AC cottage with double beds. I believe they charge Rs. 200 more during the weekends. As we were there on a week day there was not much crowd, which suited us very well. The beach was very flat and one can wade into the sea for almost 50-60 meters during low tide. We spent more than 2 hrs swimming in the sea in the morning. Couple of points about the resort that I want to highlight – Outside food is not allowed and hence one has to put up with just-okayish food served by the canteen. Two, the place can get lonely during the week days, so not ideal for a single family even though NO security issues are reported so far.

 

Finally, I join my fellow Indians in doffing my hat to Abhinav Bindra, India’s only gold medal winner at Olympics in an individual sport. No praise is too high for him. Back in 2002 when I and my wife were considering various names that start with Abhi for my first born, I plumped for Abhinav because the guy was already making waves in international sports. I hope that my son will achieve at least 1% of what AB has achieved.


Of Telugu Films and Andhra towns

August 2, 2008

 

I was always fascinated by history. Apart from giving insights into our heritage and the key reasons for the rise and fall of all those great empires and kings – lessons that can be applied to our benefit now – history helped my imagination run wild. In my childhood I used to try imagining the lifestyle, the dressing style and the pattern of human emotions at various points in time, going back to vedic times. For example, I tried to imagine what my great-great-grand-father was doing in mid-19th century, and what his reaction might have been to the major national and local events in his time. Of course, I could not figure out what his reaction was to, say, Sepoy Mutiny in 1857 J But the very mental exercise used to give me a high JJ

 

Given that the human civilization is changing at very fast pace in the past few decades – even India’s maiden cricket world cup triumph n 1983 is a major historical event now – history lovers like me have a lot to ponder over. The most routine study in history for most of us now is wondering at how the cities and towns are changing, more so in post-liberalization India. For example, one of the most common remarks heard in Hyderabad these days is how Kukatpally, Miyapur, Madhapur, and Gachibowli areas have developed into major residential and commercial hubs in a matter of 4-5 years. That’s what people of my generation talk about, whereas my father can’t stop wondering about how desolate the areas beyond Panjagutta (i.e. Ameerpet, Srinagar Colony, etc.) used to be even in 1980’s.

 

Carrying on in the same vein, I get nostalgic when I see movies of 1970’s and 1980’s shot in the cities/towns that I am associated with. In the past 2-3 days I watched a few Telugu movies that took me back to my memories of Vizag, Vijayawada and Amaravathi in those good old days – which is not too far, considering that I am only in mid-30’s J

 

The first movie was Rendu Jella Seetha, directed by Jandhyala in early 1980’s. It was shot almost entirely in an old bungalow on Vizag beach road. You can recognize some of the buildings on the beach road, incl. this bungalow, that have withstood the onslaught of apartment clusters on beach road. And, it makes you feel sorry for the buildings and trees, some of them 100+ years old, that have bitten dust. I get the same feeling when I watch Chantabbai or Babai-Abbai or scores of other movies that were shot at Vizag in early 1980’s, after K.Balachander popularized Vizag as a beautiful location for movie making.

 

 

The next film was Appula Apparao directed by EVV in early 1990’s. The movie was shot in Vijayawada, a city I used to visit regularly to meet my class mates from REC, Warangal. Vijayawada formed the back drop of a handful of movies in 80’s and 90’s, but was lying low since then, till it was showcased again this year in Krishna-the power of Indrakeeladri  featuring Raviteja. This movie earned accolades, of course from Vijayawada folks, for capturing some of the beautiful locales in Vijayawada. But after the repeat watch of Appula Apparao recently, I could n’t help but appreciate director EVV for showcasing many hitherto unknown – some beautiful, some weird – locations of Vijayawada.

 

 

The crown jewel for me was Sapthapadi, directed by K.Viswanath in early 1980’s. Strangely enough, I watched this film for the first time last evening. Apart from a great theme and mind-blowing songs, I was mesmerized by the way Amaravathi was depicted in this film as a quintessential coastal village. Many of the songs captured the beauties of a village such as the early morning dips in river Krishna, cows grazing in the fields, temple on a hillock, and the famous Amaralingeswara Swamy Temple and the pushkar ghat next to it. Amaravathi was featured in many other Telugu films such as Shankarabharanam, Develayam, etc., but Sapthapadi should take the cake for showcasing it so beautifully.

 

Talking of Telugu movies and Andhra cities/towns, other than Hyderabad, Tirupathi is another town that featured in many films, that showcased the Seshachalam hill range.

Picture Courtesy: travel.sunyaprajna.com/India/


Trekking Places near Hyderabad

July 29, 2008

Trekking used to be passion for me when I was in Bangalore. It also helped that Bangalore has so many scenic spots within 100 KM. Comparatively Hyderabad has fewer options, which are no less beautiful.

Let me start with the trekking options closer to the city..

Narsapur Forest

This forest is about 30 KM from Balanagar junction on Nizamabad/Bodhan highway.  This is a very small forest, stretching for 4-5 KM on the highway.  But is has everything, well almost, a mini-ghat section, thick forest, a hill some 4 KM inside the forest, a large lake, a good number of birds, and a lot of monkeys. This makes an ideal spot for trekking for 4-5 hours on a Saturday or Sunday.

Ananthagiri Hills

Located 75 KM from Hyderabad, just after Vikarabad, this mini hill range shrouded by thick woods is another trekking spot that can be motored down to at 100-120 KM speed. The road via chevella upto Vikarabad is flanked by beautiful grasslands and sunflower farms. Apart from “Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple” there is not much to Ananthagiri other than trekking down the hills.  APTDC is planning to build a resort here very soon.

Moving our attention to the other places in Andhra Pradesh, I feel we have quite a good number of quality trekking spots.

Srisailam

Srisailam is known more for its Mallikharjuna Swamy temple, one of the 12 jyothirlingas in India. But, Srisailam is also a beautiful place with thick forests, a large dam-cum- hydel power project  on Krishna river and a good number of waterfalls. Closer to the temple, you can visit the 512 meter-long Srisailam Dam on the River Krishna, that offers magnificent views of the ghats, cliffs and forests. You can also take a brief but exciting trip on River Krishna in an inflatable rubber “dinghy”.

Trekking lovers have 2 options –

1.       A visit to the Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve that is spread over 356,000 hectares, and is the  largest tiger reserve in India. A little over 6 sq km in area, the Rollapadu grasslands near Srisailam are dotted with dry, thorny bushes and is home of about a hundred blackbucks. From a distance, one can observe families of blackbucks out on their breakfast trail, a couple of bustards gazing at the horizon while taking a tentative foot forward. At present, day visits to Rollapadu Sanctuary is permitted.

 Picture courtesy: www.flickr.com/photos/me_haridas/2265597847/

2.       Mallela Theertham –This waterfall is in the middle of dense forest. 40 KM before Srisailam, we need to take a diversion from Srisailam-Hyderabad highway and travel for 8 KM on a bumpy muddy road which is unmotorable during the rainy season. One has to walk down 350 steps to the stunning waterfalls amidst dense jungle. The water comes from a small rivulet and via this place it flows through the dense jungle and then meeting the Krishna River upstream. 

courtesy:   flickr.com/photos/99768206@N00/1257368794 

Talakona forest & waterfalls

Talakona is located in the picturesque Nagari valley, 45 kms away from Tirupati amidst verdant hills of Nallamalai range. The 60 meter perennial waterfalls is said to contain minerals that have curative properties. Talakona literally means head hill in Telugu (tala – head and kona – hill). However, Thalakona allegorically means “the head of the Seshachalam hills” as these mountains are believed to be the starting point of the Tirumala mountain ranges.  

Picture courtesy: www.chennaitrekkers.org/2008/07/talakona-june-21-22-2008_10.html

Talakona can be reached from Tirupathi, 76 KM away, or from Madanapalle (50 KM away) or Bakarapeta (nearest town, 20 KM away) by APSRTC bus or private transport.  APTDC operates a guest house in Talakona that has 12 non A/C rooms, and a very functional restaurant. APTDC also had plans for a tree-top restaurant and Machaan cottages. The Talakona waterfalls are about 45 minutes walk from the guest house. It would be great fun to trek up the hill in search of the origin of the water steam. The views from up the hill too would be breathtaking. There are a number of trek routes available in the forest, but it is advisable to take the help of trained guides who are picked up from local forest protection communities maintained by the forest department.

 Picture courtesy: http://csuvarna.sulekha.com/blog/post/2008/03/talakona-seat-of-sages.htm

Mamandur, located 20 km from Tirupati, is another trekking option available in the vicinity. There is a guesthouse here with two suites, one dormitory with 10 beds, 4 tent houses and two jungle resort double bed suites. Local Community based Eco-tourism project members are running a canteen for catering to the tourists. The spot is picturesque with panoramic view of the jungle spread over miles and miles. visitors stay here and trek downwards to reach a stream.. The tourist attractions near by include; Brahmadevunigundam waterfall, Kaliviletikona, Golladevuni gundam and Tumburu teertham, all situated in beautiful locales in Seshachalam hill ranges. Wildlife available includes spotted deers, sambar, panther, sloth bear and jungle fowls.

Horsely Hills

It’s a good idea to club the Talakona trek with a visit to Horsely Hills which is 20 KM from Madanpalle in Chittoor district. Picture courtesy: smrti.net/archives/105

Picture Courtesy: picasaweb.google.com/…/MmtBhZNEd0JWfKRXWdj9Ig

Horsely Hills has a variety of options for accommodation, incl. the forest bungalow, the P W D inspection bungalow and APTDC’s Punnami hotel. The narrow road to Horsely Hills from Madanapalle is very scenic. It is surrounded throughout its entire length with dense growths of eucalyptus, jacaranda, allamanda, and gulmohar trees. The major tourist places around Horsely hills are Lake Gangotri, Highview seeing place, Gaalibanda, Environmental park and Horsley hills Museum. This may sound a lot, but the fact is that Horsely Hills is a small, sleepy hill station where you can relax for a couple of days for dozing off in an armchair, or by taking short walks around the place, or shedding some calries in the swimming pool in the hotel.

Ananthagiri Hills, near Vizag

Ananthagiri is a breathtakingly beautiful resort sheltered in the lush undulating ranges of the Eastern Ghats.  Driving through picturesque coffee plantations the road to Ananthagiri with its ups and downs on the Ghat route is literally enveloped with mango groves, waterfalls that gush and flow into the ravines. The Eastern Ghats rail route on this stretch is one of the highest broad gauge tracks in the world. 

The journey from Visakhapatnam to Anantagiri offers unforgettable vistas ranging from thick forests to scintillating sunrise and sunset. The entire Anantagiri Hills has a lot of vintage viewpoints that offer enthralling views. Amongst the variety of flora in the forests of Anantagiri are many medicinal plants and herbs. Several swift streams flow through Anantagiri though it is the river Musi or Muchkunda that originates from Anantagiri. The Bhavanasi Lake Anantagiri is referred to as the Badrinath of the South.

Anantagiri is located of the top of the Elysian Tirumala Hills approximately 17 km from Araku valley, which is 112 kms from Visakhapatnam. Anantagiri is the located among the ranges of the Eastern Ghats at a distance of 40 km from Visakhapatnam.

Kondaveedu fort

Kondaveedu Fort is about 25 km from Guntur. It was built during the rule of the Reddy kings. Located on a hilltop, this historical fort offers around 21 structures to be seen. There are also many temples, residential structures, pillared halls and the entrance gate ways worth seeing here. The panoramic view from the summit is awe inspiring and is ideal for trekking. The Gopinatha Temple and Kathulabave at the foothill are other major attractions of Kondaveedu.

(You will find the above photos and an excellent travelogue at kunal.wordpress.com/category/travelogue/kondaveedu)

The road route from Hyderabad is via Narketpally-Miryalaguda-Piduguralla-Narsaraopeta-phirangipuram

While you are there, you may also want to visit Guttikonda bilam. 38 km from Narasaraopet town, Guthikonda caves are located amidst dense forest. The environment here is serene and legend has it that many Rishis meditated here for centuries. The place is also popularly known as Dakshina Kasi.