Date : 24,25,26 Jan 2004
Places : Guntur , Narasaraopet , Kotappakonda , Kondaveedu ,Vijayawada
You people need to know Kota. He joined with us in HCL as an already experienced person. He had worked in the IISC lab where PARAM is kept , where Abdul Kalam had worked. He even showed us a photo that he had taken with Abdul Kalam . He was a very innocent character but very much talkative.
I still remember how Kota used to say to us that "Mama , I am getting old , but my parents are not at all worried" :-). We wished him that he would get married soon. soon our wish became true and Our beloved Kota was getting married. He was getting married in his hometown in Guntur District.
We had made big plans to attend his marriage and then do a short trip of the surrounding places. As the in-house guide , I prepared a list of all the places near Guntur to see and we were all set. The person who booked the train tickets for the journey dropped out in the last minute and he has been missing ever since. He was Sandesh Singh Sodhi .
The trip started with we starting from Chennai and landing in a obscure railway station , the name I dont remember . From there we travelled by bus for 3 hrs to reach Narasaropet . We passed many villages and one of them , we were told was the birthplace of many of Andhras politicians.
The town of Guntur was the headquarters of the Guntur district and the Guntur town wore a very clean and neat look .
The marriage was a regular Telugu Marriage and the only thing I remember now is that we were offered food in round paper plates and not in Banana leaves. I never seen it any other marriage.
Kotappakonda was a small hillock with a shiva temple in it.
On top of Kotappakonda
There was also a small collection of animals housed near Kotappakonda . It included a large variety of birds .
Love Birds in KotappaKonda :
The Photo credits for this goes to Senthilraja .
View of the Plains from Kotppakonda :
2. Varsham - Telugu Film:
Our goal was to effectively spend a evening in Narasaropet , the hometown of Kota . So the thought of seeing a film came . Thiyagu was the person who staunchly voted for seeing a Telugu fim and that too Varsham. I believe , To really enjoy the culture of any state , you need to see a local film in that state. So we decided to see Varsham in Andhra .
It was just then released and we didnt have any Reviews in favour of it. but we went in and at the end did not have a big grudge against it. The HERO looked like a villain is a different matter. But all of it was erased by the fact that the film starred Trisha and had used her beauty fully to its advantage.The film had good melodious songs , good picturisation and a cute heroine to top it .
3. Kondaveedu :
Kondaveedu was supposed to be one of Aurangazebs forts. As soon as we descended at the bottom of the mountain one question raised in everybodys mind. Do we need to do this. And Some barve soul started it by walking towards the mountain .Everybody was sure by the looks of it that this was going to be one hell of a trekking seesion . The fort had a small village at its bottom , where Aurangazeb's soldiers descendants have settled now. We got the company of an old man who told that he would act our guides if we agree to pay him 100 RS .After deciding its ok , we started the climb guided by the old man who trekked like he was a teenager.
I really lost count of how many times we had stopped during the climb, with many people begging to be left .Maadesh was the worst affected ,but was helped by Srijith who carried his bag and Maadesh's bag throughout the climb.
4. Amaravathi Temple :
Amaravathi was nice little town on the banks of Krishna river .It has a special importance in Hindu Mythology being home to one of the Shiva temples where the lingam is one among the 5 lingams which represent the five forces of Nature . It is said to have one of the tallest lingams in india that is still being worshipped.
5. Managalagiri Temple :
Mangalagiri has a old and interesting legend attached to it. The deity here is the Narasimha and the specialty is that whatever the quantity of panaga theertham the devotee offer to the god, he will drink only half ... You give a glass full , he will drink only half glass , u give him a "kudam" full , he will drink only half of that.
On Top of Mangalagiri
Another temple in Vijayawada
6. Kanaga durga Temple :
Kanaga Durga temple is one of the most popular Durga temples in Andhra .It was situated in a small hill in Vijayawada .
6. Prakasam Barrage :
Prakasam Barrage is a dam constructed across the Krishna River in Vijayawada . It was nice picnic spot in Vijayawada.
Krishna River :
It was a tiresome 3 days of travel and enjoyment.
All tired , On the banks of Krishna River .
The guy who missed all the fun in this was Bala , who had to return to Chennai immediately for handling a customer case. I am glad that I was not in the "MOST WANTED" lists.
Places I wished I could have seen in this trip
1. Guthikonda caves : These are natural caves which are thousands of years old and our plans to go to it were destroyed by the fact that heavy fighting was going between Naxalites and CRPF in the caves that time .
2. Amaravathi Buddhist Stupa :
During the last part of our trip we were left with nobody speaking telugu and hence we could not find the way to this and missed this . I regret very much for this. I have never seen a buddhist stupa till now .
3. Amaravathi Museum :
The Museuem is supposed to contain good buddhist relics , but as fate would have it , we reached the town of Amaravathi after 5.00 and by that time the Museum was closed.
Content : Megarajan
Photo Credits : Senthilraja
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