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.
May 16, 2008
Deciding on the title of this post was the easy part, defining a weekend getaway was not. Should it be a place that has so many sights that you need to spend at least 1.5 days over there. Or, should it be a place far enough from Hyderabad that requires you to stay overnight? Warangal falls in the first category and Amaravati falls in the second category. In the end, I have decided to list both types in 2-day weekend trip category. The other categories could be the places you drive down from Hyderabad and return on the same day, and the clusters of places in the Andhra Pradesh/ South India that you may want do in a 3 or 4 or 5 day trip from Hyderabad.
Also, considering the tremendous interest of netizens in such information, I have decided to make it more elaborate, and spread it over 2/3 posts for easy reading. In this post I will talk about the places that can be done in a single day from Hyderabad.
- Nagarjuana Sagar: A drive of 160 KM from Hyderabad on an uncluttered road. The sightseeing options are Dam, Ethipothala waterfalls, and boat cruise to Buddhist museum. APTDC-run Vijayavihar (guest house & restaurant) offers a beautiful view of the dam and good for overnight stay.
Views of Ethipotala waterfalls
- Ananathgiri Hills (near Vikarabad) – 60 KM from Hyderabad. The hills offer good view of the valley and trees, and not much else.
- Nasrapur forest (on Medak highway) – 35 KM from Hyderabad on Nizamabad Highway. Good for bird watching and trekking. It also has a lake.
- Shameerpet lake & deer Park – 30 KM from Hyderabad. APTDC operates a guesthouse here. The sights are, of course, the lake and deer park.
- Vemulawada near Karimnagar (Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple) – 150 KM from Hyderabad
- Yadagirigutta (Narasimha Swamy temple) – 60 KM from Hyderabad
- Basar (Saraswathy temple) – 200 KM from Hyderabad
Resorts/fun worlds near Hyderabad:
- Near Gandipet Lake: Ocean Park, Dream Valley, Pragathi Resorts and several others
- Vijayawada highway: Ramoji Film City and Mount Opera
- Karimnagar highway: Alankrita Resorts and Leonia Holistic Resorts
- Warangal highway: Srinidhi Resorts
- Near Bhanur: Lahari Resorts