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Papi kondalu - A travel report by Kiran
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Papi kondalu,  India - flag India -  Andhra Pradesh
17149 readers

mkrkiran's travel reports

Papikondalu and River Godavari

  16 votes
The seeing see little, I continue to be intrigued by that phrase. The feeling is even more emphatic, when you find the unexplored wonders in your own neighbourhood.

I have been in some of the most interesting places in the world, those places that are interesting by virtue of inherent popularity and growing tourism. Coming from a rich historical country like India, there is also no dearth of interesting tourist sites. One great change happened to me while reading several reports (like those from davidx, Jorge etc), is the urge to beat the taken track and explore the under explored.
When we chose Papikondalu for our adventure trip, little did we know about the splendour of the place. The only reason why we heard of it is due to a controversy. There is this 100+ feet height dam proposed to be built in the papikondalu range that will engulf most of the villages due to raising levels of water. An estimated 30 odd villages will be endangered due to this however it is being constructed to bring millions of acres of land into cultivation.
It can also be the case that by 2010 or so, most of the places that we are going to visit in this trip, are a history!

Favourite spots:
Natural stream inside the forest
Natural stream inside the forest
During late December in 2005, together with a group of friends, we set out for an exciting trip that was to take us through the splendours of River Godavari (one of the largest rivers in India, and dominant in South of India) that negotiates the lush green hills 'Papi kondalu' along its journey towards the sea 'Bay of Bengal'. Papi Kondalu hill range is located in the south Indian state of 'Andhra Pradesh' and is at about 350 km from its capital Hyderabad (known for history, pearls and Hitec revolution in India). Day 1: We reached Bhadrachalam by train in an overnight journey from Hyderabad. The train station is about 1 hr from the residential area, so we were transported to a corporate guest house, that is considered to be better than the best of the hotels in that small holy town. We kick started our exploration in the thick forest inside the hills.

What's really great:
A view of the river
A view of the river
On day 2, we started our fascinating journey in a small motor boat in the river. The journey is expected to take about 8 hours along the downward stream. One of the challenges in the journey is the negotiation with the drifting sand, that makes the path of the boat extermely dynamic. It is the skill and experience of the local sailors that makes the journey look easy while in reality it is very tough. Clean riven water with the reflection of lush green hills, gentle breeze flowing across the river, can be your picture perfect setting for sure.
Papikondalu range is especially popular due to their co-existence with the river. Except during summer, the river is full of life with people. However, several tribal communities fill the hills with life from ages in search for their livelihood by agriculture, fishing and handicrafts.
One of the interesting things that can happen in the journey is a possibility to camp on the river side in tents. Pity that we could not do that though.

The scenic beauty is as precious to the locals as to outsiders
The scenic beauty is as precious to the locals as to outsiders
As the journey from Bhadrachalam to Rajahmundry takes about 8 hours on the boat, there are several sights that stand unique in their attraction.
Apart from papikondalu hill range, a small fishermen village of 'peranta palli' is very special. A walk through the village takes you up the hill to the beginning of a very exciting waterfalls. This place is usually very crowded in the weekends with locals taking break with their families.
Pattisam is a small island in the route that is a very famous hindu piligrimage spot. It is named after one of the weapons of Lord Siva and has a temple for Veerabhadra, a warrior of Lord Siva's force.

Something that we can not forget in the trip is the hospitality by the boat crew. Very modest and humble people from the village, they take excellent care of the passengers on thier boat. Expecially the way they cook food (very delicious) in possibly one of the smallest kitchens that we can ever see, adds to the excitement. When you get sumptuous food in middle of nowhere, it beats all the expectations.
We did not hesitate to jump into the clean waters for more than an hour of refreshing swimming. It is so calm and refreshing that you have to try hard to get out of the water. Time and again, it reminds us the motivation to explore the under explored.

Althought we did not do it, the best addition to the trip is a stay in the shores over night in the calm and serene atmosphere in the arms of Papikondalu.

Local restaurant
Local restaurant
Bhadrachalam: On the main road, there are several restaurants that are very clean and serve food hot and tasty
Rajahmundry: Hotel Anand Regency is very good and also have a *** rating. Apart from that, there are several very good eating places.

However, we ate in the restaurants run by locals. They are not hitech but very clean inside and food is very tasty as well.

Other recommendations:
Bhadrachalam: A place that is very famous and popular for its temple of Lord Rama. Millions of people from all corners of the country and various parts of the world pay pilgrimage in this place every year.

Published on Sunday March 26th, 2006

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Fri, Apr 21 2006 - 11:38 AM rating by phanikv

I am really envious of your trip to Papikondalu and for the boat ride on Godavari. At the same time, thanks for sharing the information with all of us. Your description is very good.


Fri, Mar 31 2006 - 05:26 AM rating by gloriajames

thanks for sharing this hidden gem which is being threatened.
a nice report and hope to see more from u!

Wed, Mar 29 2006 - 01:22 PM rating by jorgesanchez

Unusual report. I like it. Please, write more like this one!

Mon, Mar 27 2006 - 10:17 AM rating by sajjanka

hmm good

Mon, Mar 27 2006 - 06:13 AM rating by bear495

This is a wonderful commentary about a unique area of India. Thank you for the thorough insight.

Sun, Mar 26 2006 - 10:05 AM rating by rangutan

A very nice river adventure well reported!

Sun, Mar 26 2006 - 08:03 AM rating by jesusferro

makes nice reading. You write that you have been in some of the most interesting places of the world. Please, tell us more!

Sun, Mar 26 2006 - 01:57 AM rating by davidx

This looks like being your first 5* report and it certainly deserves it for its interest and for the atmospheric pictures. Like others I am left asking for more like it!

Sun, Mar 26 2006 - 12:50 AM rating by terje

Very good report, with a personal touch of reflection and inspiration! Keep it up! :-)

Sun, Mar 26 2006 - 12:24 AM rating by isaacmolina

I have to check in my mapamundi where is this place. Good report. Please, tell us more about all those interesting places where you have been.

Sun, Mar 26 2006 - 12:14 AM rating by marianne

What a beautiful account of an interesting trip. It is good to know about these 'hidden' places. The boat journey sounds a bit like the trip from Alleppey to Kollam, which also takes 8 hours, but the boats are different.

I hope you will write more reports about 'secret places'.


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