The trip to srisailam was always a jinx to me. whenever my parents or family members planned to visit, some or the other thing would happen and I wasn’t able to make go for it. My parents visited it many times, my sisters visited it couple of time and I, none. People say “God calls you when time comes” and mine haven’t come yet. And the call came in a jiff. It was yet again in the cafeteria that the plan came into action. After checking with all our friends, only 4 of them (including myself) agreed for it but Shivaraj opted out at last minute due to some personal work. It was 3-day trip covering places en route to srisailam such as Yaganti, Nandyal, Mahanadi etc. Below is the route map planned for Day-1.
We decided move forward even though we were only 3 in number, and as planned, started our journey on early morning of September 25, 2015. We drove for nearly 2-3 hours and stopped nearby outskrits of Anantpur for breakfast. After a quick breakfast, we were back on the highway. We missed to take one turn which made us take other route i.e. via Dhone to reach Yaganti. We reached Yaganti well ahead of schedule, around 11.30 AM. We decided to get into holy pond and refresh ourselves from the scotching heat. After the bath, we headed towards the temple. One interesting thing about the temple is its “Nandi” which grows 1 inch every 10 years. There is another temple of Lord Venkateshwara inside the hills which has a small opening between two massive hills.
Curvy roads near Dhone
Holy pond, Yaganti
Nandi inside Yaganti temple
Lord Venkateshwara temple
The bridge for the temple
We left Yaganti around 1.30 PM and headed toward Ravalkonda. It’s the place where Veera Brahmendra Swamy wrote “KALAGNANAM”, a book of prophesies which predicted the arrival of Kalki in the form of Sri Veera Bhoga Vasantha Rayulu. Most of His predictions have exactly happened such as Collapse of W.T.C. towers, Birth of M.K.Gandhi in North India, Ruling of India by other countries, Introduction of people’s rule(Democracy) etc. Way to go inside is a steep down way where in you will find tunnels to reach Mahanandi, Srisailam etc.
Temple inside a cave
An Idol inside the cave
Roads inside the cave
Down under the cave
By the time we came out of the temple, we were damn hungry. We stopped at nearby village to have our lunch and resumed our journey. On the way to Nandyal, we visited Chowdeshwari Temple. Weather along with the lush green paddy fields were breezing through our windows, that’s when we stopped at one point and captured few moments from there.
Men at work 😛
Mahesh (Goudru) with his car
Harsh near paddy fields
One of the best clicks of the tour
We reached Nandyal around 6 PM in the evening and stayed at Hotel Shobha where the reservations were already made by Mahesh. We got freshened up and decided to stroll around and have some snacks. We walked around for a bit and sat down at a place discussing personal matters. It was around 8.30 PM when we went to nearby restaurant and had our diner. Harsha and Mahesh were tired as they drove the car and went to many places. They both needed rest as they have to drive tomorrow again so they both stayed in one room where as I stayed in another. The plan for tomorrow was discussed again and we all went to sleep. That’s how the day-1 of the trip concluded at Nandyal.
The plan for vellore Golden Temple was out of the blue. It all came into picture my brother (Praveen) said us about the temple. We checked with our friends and none of them said yes. So we planned to go ourselves where in he will catch the train from Chennai and I catch a train from Bangalore. I was discussing the same with my friends and at the last moment, couple of my office colleagues (Mahesh and Bharath) said yes, when having tea break in the office cafeteria. It was decided that we will go by i20 car (owned by Mahesh) and return back the same day to Bangalore. Praveen would meet us near Katpadi and from there on, we could go to temple.
We (Mahesh, Bharath, Ram and Me) started from Bangalore around 5:30 AM in the morning from HSR layout. We stopped at Dabba Express to have our breakfast but to our disappointment, the food was not good. We were hungry wolves, who had even though it was not good enough. We resumed our journey and were going slowly so that we could pick Praveen from the station. We reached Katpadi station around 1 PM in the afternoon and parked waiting for Praveen to arrive. In the meantime, Bharath, Ram and Myself wanted to explore the vicinity. We strolled around and had some snacks in a bakery and went back to station. Praveen reached around 1:45 PM to Katpadi station. Once all were in, we headed to our destination. We reached golden temple around 3:00 PM and went straight for lunch. We finished our lunch and visited the Narayani temple. The entrance gates were ornate and imposing and we looked forward to stepping inside as quickly as possible. At first, we were all set to go in the general line to visit temple. Once we crossed the maze steps and were about to reach the sections where people were waiting, we decided not to opt for it. We opted for “Seva Darshnam” by paying INR 250/- per person. The provision of taking this ticket is that you can skip all the waiting part and directly reach half the way.
Bharath, Mahesh & Ram
After taking the tickets, we had time to pass on that is when our eyes fell on the 7D Cinema. We took photos near the parking area for a while and went to watched two 7d cinema’s (The Forest and Ghost rider) at the price of Rs. 100 per person. There was a time when a thought occurred to my mind that the sole purpose of the visit was to visit temple but we were doing everything other than that. After coming out, it was around 5:00 PM and we decided to move into the temple. We were immediately whisked in to the spiritual park and reached the main temple around 5:30 and the security in-charge told us to take round of the temple from the outer circle and come back to perform “Go Pooja”. It was around 6.30 when the pooja was completed and we were taken to the main temple which is completely made of GOLD. I have heard of the spectacular view of the temple at night but words couldn’t define it.
The only words that I breathed on seeing the opulent structure was – architectural marvel . The golden temple is surrounded by lush and scenic landscapes with a variety of flora catching our attention. It is amidst a natural ecosystem and is the Pride of Tamilnadu. The 100 acres of land on which this Lakshmi Narayani or the Mahalakshmi Temple stands is a sight to behold. The park is shaped in to a star shaped path in which the visitors have to walk to reach the temple. The pathway is dotted with resting spaces & recreational facilities. The temple itself is situated in the middle of the star surrounded by a holy pond (Sarvatheertham) which contains the Holy waters of all major rivers. The star shaped path is said to represent Sri Chakra. The temple has a gold covering all over and uses more than 1.5 tonnes of the precious metal. We sat before the idol for 10-15 minutes and then walked our way back to the car. It was 7:00 PM when we reached outside and started our journey back to Bangalore.