Indian Express travel article


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Indian Express travel article

  1. 1. travel/treks/camps getaways THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, CHENNAI FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2008 detour Pics: Biju Madhav A dash of sin Fresh fish, placid waters and quaint villages — all this and more on a weekend cruise to Papikondalu Hills ed view of the landscape, the water, fisher There are shimmering sand dunes, natur- boats, villages, temples, and hills of varied al rock formations, man-made bamboo shapes and sizes. structures and a blur of activity on the The journey to the scenic Papikondalu coasts of tribal towns, where inhabitants hills and back, together with little earn their living through agriculture, stopovers, can be completed in less than 10 fishing and by making small handicrafts. hours. But I would suggest you take the The religious will find the temples dotting two-day cruise and spend the night either the banks interesting, the most famous at the launch or in one of the cottages mid- one being the Papikondalu Shiva temple. E’RE on a wedding trip to Rajahmundry in way. AP Tourism can arrange for a pri- However, much of journey is free from Andhra Pradesh when I coax my col- vate boat for 40 people for a sum of Rs people or activities. The cruise also goes leagues to make a detour to this little- 20,000 but you can also take private boats upstream towards the town of known destination — Papikondalu Hills for 8-10 people. The best part is that food Bhadrachalam, which was once ruled by on the banks of the Godavari river. The can be made and enjoyed while you are on the Golconda kings and has its share of place has been a well-kept secret for a long the cruise. You can also arrange for a cook temples. time, with even people from the neigh- who will catch the fish on the spot and For those not big on cruises, there are bouring towns not knowing about its exis- make some spicy Andhra curry. trekking options near the hills and guides tence till the release of a Telugu film, While most of my riverside adventures and planned activities can be arranged by Godavari. till date have been in Kerala, Andhra tourism offices at the city centre. Our trip to Papikondalu Hills begins Pradesh offers a total change of scenery. Incidentally, Papikondalu, is soon going from Pollavaram, a small town 40 kms to become history, with the 100-feet Indira from Rajahmundry. People take a cruise Sagar Dam coming up in Pollavaram. from here to reach the trekking area. At This dam will engulf around 30 villages, Sir Arthur Cotton’s launch (a boat jetty), a Did you know? displacing the locals yet making the many neat wooden boat capable of seating 40 acres of land in the surrounding regions passengers floats into sight. With nice PAPIKONDALU, when translated, available for cultivation. I would there- wooden interiors and a Viking-like carv- means ‘sinned mountains’. According fore suggest you make this trip in the next ing protruding from the front end of the to the locals, in the past, the hills gave few months to avoid missing out on an deck, the boat is partially air-conditioned, shelter and security to bandits and oth- unforgettable experience. Cost: Rs 1000 to with a television and an attached wash- er unsocial elements, which in turn is Rs 2,000 each for a group of 5-8. Enquiries: room. But that’s not the most popular spot manifesting itself in this life — with the (040)23450444 on the boat — if not on the front deck, cling- entire range fading into oblivion with ing dangerously on top of the carving, the the construction of the dam. — Vinay Dora top of the deck is great for an unobstruct- indulge@epmltd.come4,.30