I have to go somewhere..I need a break..I have to go somewhere..but where ..is all was going around in my cerebellum. After putting my neurons to work I have decided on Vizag aka Vishakapatnam.
Backpack, packed….Tickets, Ready (Thanks to RedBus I can go anywhere)..So I was all set to start my Vizag trip alone..yep alone..I wanted to spend sometime with me 🙂
Got into the bus at 8.30 pm in Hyderabad. The bus guy started playing some do-not-ask-me-what telugu movie..I think all the movies which people refuse to watch in theaters find their way into these private buses..and you can’t even jump off the bus or crawl under the seat !!
8.00 am the bus dropped me off at a place called DwarakaNagar which is supposed to be buzy junction in Vizag.It had the bus/rail station near by. It was slightly drizzling and windy.I planned to stay at a friend’s place who had an empty house near by. Found my way to the place, Got ready,had some grub and hit the roads.
The plan of the day was to move around the city.I found an AP tourism counter near the RTC bus stop.I did not find any interesting local city tours but there was a amazing Araku-Borracaves tour for the next day.So I booked a ticket and started off to explore the city on my own.
It was drizzling the whole day so my first stop was to buy an umbrella and move around the local markets. I picked up KailashGiri as my next stop. It is well connected by local RTC busses. It is basically a mountain from where you can get a amazing view of the whole city. There are 2 ways you can reach KailashGiri, either by road or by a roap way service. I choose the later as it was a beautiful ride and faster.
It was a nice ride up the mountain with the beach overlooking. Once I reached the mountain I took a train ride which takes you around the mountain from which you can catch a sight of whole of Vizag. The drizzling stopped and the weather was perfect to sit n sip some hot coffee on the mountain with the cold winds blowing down. There is a garden to take a walk down. We can see a huge statue of Shiv-Parvathi. A nice place to click some pictures.
After spending some time there my next stop was the beach. I decided to skip the ship yard and all as I have seen many ship yards n all look the same to me. The road oposite KailashGiri has many beaches .I started walking down the road to find my way in. After asking around I found out that certain RK beach is decent if you want to spend some time which is like some 3kms from KailashGiri.
The beach was nice and less crowded. I took a walk down the beach with waves touching my feet, wind blowing my way, clouds passing over. One word to describe it all was peaceful. I spent an hour just sitting on the rocks with my feet touch the water and staring into the sea. Some students near by were trying to make some igloo sort of structures. I decided to try it out and ended up in successfully building up a pile of sand !! The light began to dim down and soon the lights were lit up along the whole beach road.
I left the beach to go back to my room. There is a RTC bus stop outside the beach from where there is a bus which starts every 5 mins which dropped me off at my place.
Next day I was to go to Araku-Borra caves.
The AP tourism tour starts at 6am in the morning. I was asked to be present at the train station at 6 am. I reached the station and went to the AP tourism counter where I was allocated a train ticket. The train arrived at 6.40am where there were special compartments reserved for AP tourism .I got into the train and sat in my allotted seat number which unfortunately was not the window seat. Our guide gave an over view of our plan for the day and thus our journey started. Breakfast and tea was served with guide telling us about the history of Vizag and the places.
I dint like my seat as I couldn’t see anything. So I finished my breakfast fast, went over to the guide and requested him to give me a window seat. As I was travelling on the weekday the crowd was less, so he took me over to another compartment which was nearly empty and put me up at a nice place.
The journey was a 4 hour ride. We passed through the Araku valley which was like a lush green carpet spread out, with clouds passing over. It started raining slightly as we were going up the mountain. The highest point in the trip was 1900 mts above sea level at a place called Similiguda which is the second highest broad gauge station. We passed through 52 tunnels and bridges,.at one point we were travelling above the clouds. The scenery was a feast to the eyes.It was heaven.
We reached Araku station around 11 am .It was freezing out there. We took a bus took up to a local AP tourism resort where we had lunch. It was followed by a dance show by the local tribes. I joined the group and danced with them for some 15 mins. A great experience dancing to the beat of drums and trumpets 🙂 .
We then proceeded to a biological garden and a tribal museum in Araku. As it was a windy day trees were falling off on the ghat road which slowed down our tour a bit.
We then took a tea break at Anantagiri ( yeah there is another anatagiri in Vizag too..one is there near Hyderabad) from where we started towards Borra Caves. The road from Araku to Borra caves was nice with some view points in between which shows us the whole valley. There were coffee and spices plantations along the way.
Borra caves are natural caves and with all the lights put up by the tourism department it looks beautiful inside. A guide took us inside showing us rocks in shape of animals, gods which were formed naturally. Basically he used to point out his torch to some rock somewhere n say ‘look it’s a lion’ and we were scratching our heads off to imagine a lion out of the rock. We must have done some 500 steps in total.
By the time I came out it was 5.30 pm and bus was going back to Vizag. I said bye to all my friends in the tour as I was going back to Vizag with a friend in a car who drove down to Borra Caves. My bus back to Hyderabad was at 9 so I still had a few hours to enjoy the mountains. We stopped at a near by local village where they were some 10 or so huts near Borra and had some nice local tribal food like natu kodi+garelu, tiyya garelu,usirigaya avakai. We spent a few hours there and then started off back to Vizag. It was a dangerous ghat road, but as we were driving down a thick forest it was an amazing experience. At one point on the way back we couldn’t see any lights ,no moon as it was a cloudy night, forest sounds only, smell of rain. It was the best moment of the whole trip.
I reached Vizag just in time for my bus. I said my farewell to the city which is so small but gave me one of my best trips.
Looking back at the photos of the trip the only things which comes to me is Smile.