Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Amaravati (near Vijayawada),Andhra Pradesh

Imagine you are standing near the bus stand in Amaravati, a small town near Guntur in Andhra pradesh.Now,imagine that it is the year 639 AD.You decide to take a stroll in the streets of Amaravati.You see the countrymen of the satavahanas exchanging goods with coins which was a first in india.As you are strolling you come across Hiuen Tsang ,the famous chineese traveller wandering here among the many monasteries here.You see him gazing with amazement at the biggest stupa in India then.

That is what amaravati was at the height of its glory.1340 years have passed since then.The glory is gone.There aren't any buddhists in the area,only the stupa with its 3/4th volume gone lies here silently telling the few travellers the tales of a bygone era.To give it some company two museums have been setup.One is run by APTTDC and the other by ASI.The APTTDC museum is right across the bustand.It contains a lot of boards describing the local history and the history of other Buddhist places in AP.It is well maintained and photography is allowed.The ASI museum is a little ahead and is better than the APTTDC museum.It is divided into two galleries and there is a small replica of the original stupa.The galleries contain some really beautiful pieces of sculptures done in the amaravati school of art.The sculptures showcased here were actually used to adorn the stupa.There are also some coins and cosmetics worn by the women of that time.Some sculpture stand out from the rest like the life size sculpture of a bull,a relic casket and the wheel of truth.The model of the stupa gives a fair idea of how the actual stupa looked before the time took its toll on it.The actual mahastupa itself is a little disctance from this museum.It stands in the middle of a big park with neatly trimmed lawns and beautiful big trees.Though there is nothing abt the structure to get excited abt for the uninformed tourist,but if you think about the history behind it you will get its
significance.That the Dalai Lama came here to inaugrate the musuem and the park underlines its importance. Apart from me there was a family,which was sitting at one end of the park,and a youngster who was sleeping under a tree.And on the trees lining the footpath a number of pigeons were
livng.They were creating a ruckus with the sound they were making. So apart from these noises there was
no other sound.I stood at one place from where I could see the whole
stupa properly and took in the whole atmosphere,the pigeons
shouting,the crickets chirping and a few random shouts among the
villagers,and the still stupa of whose only the base, of height maybe about 2metres has survived.This fininshed my visit and i left Amaravati a happy person.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jagityal Fort,Andhra Pradesh

Unknown to most people, even people form Jagtiyal itself,there is a fort in Jagtiyal.

Built by the French during the 18th century,This is the only fort I saw with the entrance still having a bridge on the moat.
But access to the fort is only through another point.

Manair Dam,Andhra Pradesh

Malangoor Fort,Andhra Pradesh

40km from Karimnagar lies the little known Mallangoor Fort.Information regarding this Fort on internet is almost nil.I read about this fort in The Imperial Gazetteer of India,1910 edition.

I was really interested and told Kiran to find out about this fort among the locals in Karimnagar.We knew about its location and the means to go there from one of kiran's friend.And one fine day we set out for it..Most of the fort is in ruins. 
Climbing this fort was the hardest among all the other forts I visited
Contrary to our expectations there were many local people here.

A small Video I made of the Trip

Bhongir Fort,Andhra Pradesh

Nagarjunasagar Dam and Nagarjunakonda,Andhra Pradesh

Bidar Fort

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kondapalli Fort,Vijayawada,Andhra Pradesh

day 3--
As it was my plan to visit kondapalli fort ,so i got up first early in the morning at 5am.After i got ready,i woke up p and afterward swat ,sumant and lastly akram got ready.We were on the road by 7 05am,just 5 mins behind our planed schedule(which was quite an achievement considering akram).We went to the bus sation and after some inquiries we boared a bus to kondapalli village.The bus dropped us at the main road from where a samll road led towards the villagen and the fort.The sun was out in the sky and was beating down hard on us.It was a long walk and on reaching the vilaage we had some drinks and as akram's bag was the heaviest,we kept it in a shop.We bought some snacks and drinks and after getting the directions from the locals we started on the path. I read that it was a 1 km trek uphill to reach it,but nobody wrote how hard it would be on a hot and humid day.The path was lined with stones.

It looked ancient but i dont know who laid it and when.We had to take four stops in between for rest,as the heat was proving too much for us.We were drenched with sweat by the time we reached the fort. I forgot all else as soon as i laid my eyes on the arched hall,it was beautiful,not like in the black and white pictures i saw. I read so much about this fort and its history and to see it in person was an exhilarating experiance.As we entered the fort complex, to the left of us was a lake nestled between two hills.The most striking point of this fort is that,it is located between two mountain peaks,unlike the golconda or the elgandal fort,the fort itself is not on the highest point,it is in between two tall mountains.To the right (inside the complex) is the main arched hall,the face of this fort.As we made our way inside,we saw two boards declaring two wide open spaces to be the diwan-e-aam and diwan-e-khas.The diwan-e-aam ,the court for the general public and the diwan-e-khass for the courtiers. Next came the narket yard.Neverbefore did i see a market yard of the olden times.It was systematic in the shape of a square,with walled spaces or cubicles for the shops at the perimter of the square.Personally, i liked the marketyard the most of all the structures we saw.From the marketyard we moved on to the the rani mahal and the raja mahal.Nothing was left of them, just there were only ruins left now.As we strolled along ,we reached the toop khana and the royal jail.Both were imposing and had the dungeons look about them.Sounds of bats squealing prevented us from going inside.Behind the toop khana,there was an excellent viewpont.

There were some cement chairs there ,but with the scorching sun beating down upon us,we couldnt stand there for a long time let alone sit.The view there was good.We made our way back and saw the dancing hall at the entrance,before we settled down under a banyan tree overlooking the lake i mentioned before.We had some snacks and drinks before we left the fort.Fortunately for us there was an auto waiting in the parking area and we found out that there was a motorable road.That road was an astonishing 6km from the top.The problem with the road was that it takes you away from the base of the fort or the village and drops you many kilometres away from the village.We had akram's bag in the village so we talked the autodriver into taking us there and he reluctantly agreed.We reached there and after taking akrams bag, we went to a shop selling the famous kondapalli toys.(at last i found them and i was determined i would bring back some as souvenirs). p and swat bought some ganesh idols and swat bought a big beautiful fan.I bought a hand fan and a candle holder. After our purchases we walked back to the main road .Just as we emerged on to the main road , a manuguru bus was approaching .so akram and swat boarded it.P, sumant and myself went back to the bus station where we had another one of those finger licking andhra meals.After that hearty meal,p boarded a bus to tenali and sumant and myself catched a bus to hyderabad.Sumant got off at suryapet.Thus ended a wonderful weekend trip for which i was longing for a long time.

Day 2-
The same routine as the previous day followed and the workshop concluded at 5 30 pm in the evening.Before the conclusion there was a short competioin called best flight.We were taught a simulation software and were told the one who flys the plane best would be given an aditional certificate.From our group of five,i was selected for the final round ,involving 5 students selected from 5 other groups.In the final round , 2 students crashed their planes,while the rest of us took off and landed the plane perfectly.To decide the winner without any conflicts,the instructor told us to take off and land the plane once again.This time myself and another student crashed it leading the 1 student remaining the winner. I was dissapointed but not much.Afterwards,we thought of watching the cultural programmes but akram had some work and we decided to leave the campus and head for mg road in vijayawada.At the exit,a short argument started bteween few students and the security guard.(what it was about is along story).As we were in a group(ansd i like to argue when in a group) we too joined in.
After 15mins,we were let off and we took a bus back to vijayawada.At the boarding point,many students had gathered as many events at the KLU had ended.After a long time two buses came one after the other and everyone ran towards them.In the confusion that followed,akram and sumant got sepataretd and they boarded the second bus,while p ,swat and myself boared the first.As akram had work near the railway station he went there,while we went to besant road for some shopping.After his work was finished akram and sumant joined us.Swat bought a pair of jeans at kalaniketan.All the while i was looking for kondapalli toys but coudnt find any in the streets or in the shopping malls.And to my surprise,when p asked a salesman at kalaniketan,if they had kondapalli toys he replied"kondapalli bommala? adi enti?" meaning "kondapalli toys? what are those?" i had imagined that vijayawada streets and shops would be flooded with those famous toys but i was wrong.I made a point to check it out in the kondapalli village we were about to visit the next morning.We had our dinner at a local hotel and i enjoyed every bit the pure andhra meals i had.they were just awesome.We reached our hotel at around 10pm and soon fell asleep


 Posts from my group blog
 Saturday, October 16, 2010

 Vijayawada trip

Day 1
It all started with an email i received two weeks ago.It was about a workshop on aeromodelling to be held in klu in eyes lit up as soon as i saw this because the workshop was for mechanical engineers and our planned trip to vijayawada last time didnt materialise.Sensing a multipurpose visit ,i called up the others and informed them aboit this.P ,Swat and after some convincing Akram agreed.P and swat brought along their friend from suryapet,Samant.
day 1
As p and swat were in the colony,they started from there. While akram and myself started from hyderabad.Samant started from suryuapet.All of us met at the bus station in vijayawada at 4 00am in the morning.we were not sure if KLU would be providing us with accomodation or not.As we were pondering about the plan for the day,to our relief we saw a counter setup by KLU at the busstand.Two or three students were sleeping on the chairs behind it.We approached them and woke up one of the them,gently.He informed us that accomodation will be provided andeverything would be taken care of by the university. By 8 00am,a big group gathered and all of us started off for the hostel where we were supposed to stay.We told them that the five of us wanted to be in the same room and they complied.soon we settled down ,freshened up,had our breakfast and made ourselves comfortable in the bus provided.
The bus took us to the university campus and by 11am,we were seated inside the seminar hall.
The campus was vast and lush with plants and trees.It took us quite a while to find the seminar hall as so many events were takng place.By 11 30am,the workshop started aand though it was good it did not meet our expectations.At 2 30pm there was a lunch break.As we strolled around the campus,we came upon many food satlls like dum ki biryani,fried rice the time we made our decision to eat something,every stall had closed except a roti and dal stall.So we had no other option than that.That stall had a huge crowd and we had to push our way through the crowd to the counter.After a lenghty battle with the crowd,we got our rotis and after eating it,we all agreed on the one thing.Our struggle was not worth the rotis we got.At 3 30pm the workshop resumed and by 5 30pm in the evening , it ended.We learnt the history of aeroplanes, about aerodynamics etc.and we also got to learn a software,foilsim.
In the evening there were some cultural programmes like dancin ,mimicry,ramp walks etc.they brought in a RJ and DJ and they kept the crowd entertained throughtout the evening.At around 8 30pm , we boarded the KLU bus back to hostel.We made our plans for the next day and slept blissfully.

Kinnersani Dam,Kothagudem,Andhra Pradesh

''whew i finally made it.''exclaimed bhanu as he made his way into the bus stand,where akram,abhishek,swat,p,deepanjan(yes!,dippa ,he came here for a two day trip which he somehow turned into a 3 day stay,though we were more than happy for that)and myself were waiting.bhanu made that remark as he somehow(his parents were against this trip)got away from his house and came to join us for the trip.this time we were going to kinnerasani dam on river kinnerasani.we all boarded a bus to palvoncha.there we had our breakfast and proceeded towards the dam by hiring a tata magic(they can be seen almost anywhere in the countryside) the driver dropped us right at the entrance.
no sooner had we walked a few steps , a monkey jumped on bhanu's arm,snatched a pack of packs of chips he was carrying and ran off. bhanu gave a startled cry but soon he regained his composure.we were more careful after this and were on our guard.we walked on the dam and over to the other side.the walk itself was refreshing ,the day was warm and cloudy, a gentle breezing was blowing and it was the right time to visit the dam.we walked on and on till we reached a satisfying place to sit down and have our snacks and drinks.soon we reached the end from where the path went on to some village ahead.
we sat at the end of the embankment,just near the edge of the water and soon began unpacking.after a tiring walk,the cakes and snacks made for a refreshing change.soon we got down to talking and deepanjan told us some of his much awaited stories,which he promised he would tell us.(those stories are not here to be shared.meaning they are a secret)we sat there for ,maybe 2 hours enjoying the beautiful countryside and the mildy crashing waves of the river.

soon it was time to go and we made the long back back to the start of the dam.on the way swat started playing football with a cola bottle.deepanjan,abhi and me soon got into it.we ran on the embankment passing the ball to each other .it was very exciting and made the walk more interesting.the others followed leisurely behind.after a few minutes shoaib came along and hit the ball right out into the water and that was the end of our little game.we were taking some rest when somebody started singing 'all is well' and soon enough everybody was into it.singing,shouting and talking we made our way back.there luckily for us an auto was dropping off some people who had just come.we engaged it and in 20 minutes reached palvoncha. and from there took a bus to kothagudem.there we had our lunch consisting of the usual rotis and biryanis.after that hearty lunch we boarded a bus back to our colony.and that was the end of another fc outing which we finished by shouting "all is well".

Warangal and Karimnagar(Elagandal Fort)

posts from my group blog
date-Monday, March 8, 2010
Just came back from warangal yesterday.we wanted to attend nit sprinspree fest in

NIT warangal. so abhishek came to hyderabad on thursady.the two of us left for warangal early on friday and reached the nit campus by 11am.kiran was waiting for us there along with his cousin.we were wandering around the campus(it was veryyy bigg) when we met our classmate modini ,who is studying at nit warangal.she guided us and soon we got registered for the events. i wanted to take part in theme based a quiz and kiran, abhishek and his cousin went for essay writing.none of us won any prizes though.well it doesnt matter right.participating is more important than winning isnt it?(and no it's not a case of sour grapes).well my brother was also attending a workshop.we spent our evening together and at 8pm we(abhishek,kiran and me) left for jagityal,near karinmnagr where kiran stays.we reached at 1200 in the night.having got refreshed ,we made plans for the next day and soon fell asleep.we got up at 9am the next morning.after getting ready for the day,kiran took us on a bike ride around jagityal,he showed us the clock tower , among other things.our plan for the day was to visit elagandal fort near karinmnagar.we boarded a bus for karimnagar.from there took a bus to sircilla. we enquired about the fort to the
conductor.he gave us the directions and soon dropped us at apoint,from he told us to take a particular road .on taking note of the surrounding it looked as if we were in a desert.we could only some houses here and there scattered around barren land.the horizon was dominated by small gruops of hills.we started on the road which looked as if it lead to nowhere.we could not see what directly lay ahead of us as a hill was in the way. after walking for some time we came around the hill and to our delight we could see the elagandal fort in the distance.this renewed our energy and we stared briskly again.but again, as it was 1 o clock in the afternoon,the sun ovwerhead was burning . it felt as if we were walking on a pan.luckily for us an auto was approaching from behind. we took it and reached elagandal fort in about 10
minutes.whatever i read about the fort in websites,i found out,didnt do justice to the fort.the entrance itself was our surprise we found that we had to take a ticket.this meant that our govt was taking care of the structure. i felt good abt it.we took the tickets along wth a bottle of sprite and made our
way inside the fort.we started climbing the fort and somewhere we didnt know at that time, we took a wrong turn.we went on and on in this direction until we hit a dead end .by this time we were famished.the hot sun didnt help.i wasnt sad though coz we saw some beautiful sights and things that normally others dont see.we retraced our steps back till we found the right track.we follwed the track and reached the top
in a matter of 15 minutes .we had to climb a lot of steps the top of the hill there was a masjid and a temple.we spent some time here taking pics and enjoing the views.we were the only odd people here as others were all couples who came here for the privcy it we left quickly and at the base
took another auto right to karimnagar.from here we took a bus to warangal.we reached nit campus by 7pm and joined my brother. we then trotted off to the stadium where there was to be a group dance competioion. it started by 9pm and went on till 1130.barring 2or 3 all the performances were around 1am abhishek,my brother and myself took a bus bound for hyderabad and kiran took a bus to jagityal.thus ended a memorable weekend.