Thick forest, small streams, amazing weather, water falls, thick green hills, crisp cool air…It was a perfect setup for an amazing trek.
Maredumilli is a village in East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh. The higher altitude and the surrounding forests makes this place cooler than the rest of the surrounding areas. It was a weekend trip with 13 extraa-ordinaary folks and my first trip as a trainee organizer with GHAC. We started off in a train to Rajamundry which is the nearest city to Maderumilli on the Friday evening. Was a fun train trip with a jerky train, some card games. By morning we landed in the Cultural Capital of Andhra Pradesh, Rajamundry. We booked a couple of cars to take us to the forest which was a couple of hours drive away. Our accommodation was at Vanavihar, the AP tourism’s forest guesthouse. We got a nice pretty bamboo cottage :).
We freshened up, packed our lunch, took a local forest guide to get into the forest. The plan was to trek through the forest and reach a small tribal village, and come back before sunset. It was a trek of 15kms in total. The forest ranger was not quite sure we can do it and advised us to just go see some forest for a couple of hours and come back. But he did not know us GHAC folks, if we plan to trek, we will do it to the fullest :).
The path was a defined path used by the tribals to reach the road. We went up some hills surrounded by such thick greenary, that its just a feast to ones eyes. Passed some streams with some amazingly fresh and cool water. It was such a refreshing experience to splash the flowing cool water on ourselfs. Such small moments sometimes define the best memories of a trip.
By afternoon we reached the tribal village. It was more like a couple of huts deep inside the forest. The folks there have to walk like for 2 hours to reach the nearest road.
We had our lunch and as it was already late afternoon we had to start back soon as we had to get out of the forest before we loose light. The energy levels at somepoint were low but as light was critical and we were in a very deep forest, we had to push ourself’s to move fast. And we made it to the road just in time. I wanted to go to the forest officer and say we did it :).
We then came back to our guest house, had some bamboo chicken which is a local speciality where chicken is barbecued inside bamboo shoots. Then we had a nice camp fire sharing some so called love stories 😉 . A nice way to end a hard day, with a nice warm fire in the cold forest talking about love. Some ghost stories also followed :P…
Next morning it was time to see some waterfalls and me being a water girl was all excited. Our first waterfall was Amruthadara, which to reach, one has to get down deep into the forest. Was a nice fall but was too crowded with other tourists. Our next stop was Rampachodavaram falls. It a couple of hours drive from Maderumilli. As it was a pretty famous waterfall in that area and it being a sunday, it was crowded to its peak. On looking around and going into a bit of off-track routes, we found there were some other small waterfalls around in the forest. We found a whole waterfall to ourselfs behind some rocks and trees :). We got under the falls and what an amazing feeling. My best moment of the whole trip :).
It was time to say bye bye to the forest and move back into Rajamundry to catch our train. We had sometime to kill, so we went off to kadiam which is famous for, acers and acers of flower plantations.
We then took a boat ride to see the sunset across River Godavari.
It was time to leave now, and saying our bye to the beautiful trip we boarded our trains back to Hyderabad.