Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bhutan Trip Day - 2 & 3

Day - 2

19.12.2010 (Sunday) Vijaywada (Andhra Pradesh) to Vishakpatnam (Andhra Pradesh) = 442 kms

  • Starting Place: Vijaywada
  • Starting Km Reading on the odometer of the car: 3200 km @ Vijaywada
  • Starting Time: 8 A.M. Morning
  • Closing Km Reading on the odometer of the car: 3642 km 
  • Closing Time: 11.30 P.M. Night @ Vishakhapatnam

The hotel where we stayed room was decent enough and clean.


After coming out of the Hotel just before we took the highway we saw a good restaurant and a small Anjaneya Temple.

We had a darshan of the Lord of Might, Valor & Wisdom and we prayed to the lord to take us further safely.

Then we had an excellent breakfast. The food was very good. Idly Wada, Masala Dosa & Poori Bhaji.






We hit the highway at 9.10 AM from Vijaywada and destination was supposed to cross AP / Orissa Border but decided to halt at Vishakhapatnam.

The route was Vijaywada, Eluru, Rajahmundry, Anakapalli, Vishakhapatnam.


At 9.23 AM we passed Pottipadu Toll Plaza and drove on NH5.


At 9.45 we passed through Kalaparru Toll Plaza.



We just passed a fully loaded Orissa registered Lorry in the above picture. Jamuna saw the driver and told me that he was a small kid (no jokes) he was a small kid driving and guess what when she told me that the driver was really a kid I did not believe her and said no way may be a short guy.

She asked me to allow the truck to pass me and I saw & wow no jokes he must have been just a little kid growing up to become a man.


I over took him & put some distance between us stopped, got off my car & took photos, unfortunately I could not get a clear shot of his face as I was to his left side. 


I observed he was driving very carefully and with a good judegement and handling the pregnant cow well. He looked very relaxed and singing & humming a song  looking least disturbed. I was wondering if this kid was the cleaner & the main driver was taking a nap or absconding!!!

Looks like he isint new to highway driving and also driving fully loaded trucks aren't new to him. I thought maybe I should just stop him and take a photo, well you never know how he would have reacted.






At 1 PM afternoon we came across a Gigantic Status of Lord Anjaneya - the size of which I have never seen anywhere.

It was so massive & so huge!!!!

It looks so majestic & reassuring to travellers & people by looking at the Abhaya Mudra sign of Don't Worry I am there with you to remove all your fear.

Go with the speed of Wind.




That gave us the added strength to continue on after taking some nice pictures. We could not believe it. The Linea looks like a dwarf in front of Lord Anjaneya.


At 1.23 PM on the highway we came across a very bad accident where a Truck had jumped the divider and crashed on the divider by climbing over the divider fencing.


Either the driver must have been an expert driver to do this stunt or I guess must have slept off at night & was still driving or might have been under the influence of Alcohol.  Imagine at what speeds he was coming down the bridge when this accident happend. Who knows??



On the way we came across Annavaram where you have a famous temple of Lord Vishnu as Lord Narasimha. This is an ancient temple and is considered as one of the 108 major temples of Vishnavite sect.


We did not want to miss this important temple and just then H V Kumar came on line and spoke to us to know where we were and when we said near Annavaram he advised us to visit this temple and told us about the importance of this temple. 


We said we definately would like to visit the temple and then proceed to Vizag. He said very good you should do it as you will not get another chance in near future as we need to take a detour away from the highway.


 So we took a detour away from the highway towards Annavaram Temple at 1.30 PM.





It is written below in Telagu " Ratna Giri Vasa Satya Deva Namo Nama" . 

Ratna means Precious Stone, Giri means Mountain, Vasa means residing, Satya Deva means Lord of the Truth or upholder of Truth / Satya.

Simply put it means "To the Precious Lord Who resides in this mountain and upholder of Truth I salute you"




We passed through a huge lake while climbing on this mountain and you can see huge amount of water in this lake.




The hill is surrounded by a huge lake reservoir and it was just fantastic to see the sheer majesty & beauty of this place.





Check out the picture taken above by Uthamkumar. He also takes good photos and has an eye for details.


Down the hill as you come down you will find a sign board that says Welcome to Boat Shikar.

Both my kids said “Appa Appa Boat Ride” As usual Jamuna was saying No we have to go on, I believe she was more scared of water.

I said common the kids also need a break and we decided to go on a boat ride. The problem is when you arrive first you got to wait for the place to fill.


The waiting was killing as we almost waited more than 20 minutes. As there weren’t more passengers the boat man was waiting.


Finally I said look either you decide you will go with available people or we also leave. Luckily for him or for us we saw some young college crowd coming and soon the boat was full. We had safety jackets strapped on and all 4 were ready.



















Mark my words.. pretty soon you will see him behind this wheels.

I will ensure he is of proper age & get his learning licence. He is already iching for the wheels...



The time spent at the lake & boat ride from 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm 1 hour was fantastic. Both the kids were all charged up.


We were on the highway towards Vishakhapatnam and we again called up HVK and he advised us to take a room at APTDC Hotel at Rushikonda Beach Resort.

He messaged the number. We called up the hotel & told them to block a room for us and we arrived at this resort at 9.00 PM Night.



The hotel details are

Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Limited
Haritha Rushikonda Beach Resort

Bhimili Road, Risikonda,
Visakhapatnam
Tel: +91 891 2788826, 2793973
Cel: +91 9848813581

This resort is located on a hill top with a clear view to the sea & beach.

From the room balcony the scene of the ocean & beach is just wonderful. It really is worth paying here to just enjoy the sheer beauty of this nature which in other such resorts would cost a bomb. Full Value for Money VFM. Full Paisa Vasool. 


Diesel fueld @ Sri Venkateshwara Filling HPCL Kurmannapalem, Vishakpatnam 24.71 litres @ Rs.40.47 per Ltr for Rs.1000/-




S. No
Date
Toll Plaza Name
State
Time
Fees
1
18.12.2010
CHENNAI TADA TOLL
Andhra Pradesh
08.25 AM morning
32
2
18.12.2010
SULLURPET Toll
Andhra Pradesh
10.39 AM morning
40
3
18.12.2010
BUDHANAM
Andhra Pradesh
11.07 AM morning
25
4
18.12.2010
NELLORE
Andhra Pradesh
11.55 AM morning
20
5
18.12.2010
SUNMBATI
Andhra Pradesh
12.34 PM afternoon
35
6
18.12.2010
TANGUTUR
Andhra Pradesh
13.43 PM afternoon
45
7
18.12.2010
VIJAYAWADA TOLL KAZA
Andhra Pradesh
19.04 PM evening
61

 Total Toll Gate Fees paid on 18.12.2010 from Chennai to Vijayawada Rs.258/-






S. No
Date
Toll Plaza Name
State
Time
Fees
1
19.12.2010
POTIPADU
ANDHRA
09.16 morning
15
2
19.12.2010
KALAPARU
ANDHRA
09.36 morning
15
3
19.12.2010
TANAKU
ANDHRA
11.08 morning
55
4
19.12.2010
KVAPAM
ANDHRA
12.52 afternoon
45
5
19.12.2010
BOLAPALI
ANDHRA
14.29 afternoon
40
6
19.12.2010
VEMPADU
ANDHRA
17.10 evening
45
7
19.12.2010
AGNMPUDI
ANDHRA
18.05 evening
15




Total Toll Gate Fees paid on 19.12.2010 from Vijayawada to Vishakhapatnam Rs.230/-


Day - 3

20.12.2010 (Monday) Vishakpatnam (Andhra Pradesh) to Bhadrak (Orissa) = 606 kms

  • Starting Place: Vishakpatnam
  • Starting Km Reading on the odometer of the car: 3642 km @ Vishakpatnam
  • Starting Time: 6 A.M. Morning
  • Closing Km Reading on the odometer of the car: 4248 km @ Bhadrak
  • Closing Time: 12.05 A.M.Mid Night @ Bhadrak

We started from Vishakpatnam at 6 A.M. in the morning.

It was a chilly & windy day. We all were up by 5 A.M itself & kids were also ready by 5.30 A.M and were all having a jolly good time pulling each others leg.

We witnessed an early morning Sunrise from the room.


The early morning of the Ocean & Beach scenery was fantastic.


The Sun cast its Red Hue before it made its apperance in the horizon at 5.58 AM.





We took some pictures with our car and the beach scene in the background.

Please note that it was very chill as you can see Uthamkumar & Shri Meenakshi trying to cover themselves up.







Just as we came out of the Resort the Most Popular Demand from both the kids was to visit the Rushikonda beach. So we went to the beach by 6.35 AM.


We had a whale of a time watching the waves coming to us & kids playing around with Jamuna & all 3 running away from the waves and around the beach like 3 small kids and all in all it was real fun for all four of us till 7.15 AM.









As soon as we started HVK called us and asked us our status. We said we are just coming off from the beach.








He said are you interested in visiting another temple  SIMHACHALAM is near by in Vizag and we could pay a visit to the great Maha Vishnu Narasimha Avatar Temple & have darshan.

We drove to Simhachalam and reached the temple by 8 AM. We had a very good darshan of Lord Narasimha.





It is one of the eighteen "Naarasimha Kshetras" i.e. shrines of Lord Narasimha in India. This is a 11th Century Temple

Simhachalam temple is known as the second richest temple in India (after Tirupati) earning a revenue of Rs. 520 million.

The statue of the deity gives "nijaroopa darshan" (holy appearance in true form) for only 12 hours in a year i.e. on Akshaya Tritiya day, the rest of the time the statue is covered with Sandalwood paste.

The darshan described as 'Chandana yatra' or 'Chandanotsavam' falls every year in Vaisakha masa (May). Some photos taken of the temple from outside the garbha graha. Picture below is where the abhisheka water comes out.








 This temple is associated with the Asura King Hiranyakashipu & his Son Prahalad who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu slays the Asura King Hiranyakashipu in the man-lion Narasimha Avatar.

Hiranyakasipu wanted to become immortal and hence performed austerities (tapasya) to propitiate Lord Brahma.


However, Lord Brahma said that it was not possible to become immortal so Hiranyakasipu asked Lord Brahma to grant him a boon so that he could not be killed by any animal or a man neither in the morning nor in the night, by any weapons, neither in sky nor on the earth.


By doing so he believed he could never be killed.

Hiranyakasipu wanted the entire world to worship him. But, Prahalada, his son, was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu Narayana and always expressed his bhakti towards Him.



In spite of warning him several times, Hiranyakasipu could not alter Prahlada's devotion.This made Hiranyakasipu angry and he made numerous attempts to get Prahlada killed. One of them was to throw him off the top of a mountain.

However, Lord Vishnu rescued him by moving the mountain and made a small path for Prahaladha.

It is said that in the place where the Lord stood to protect Prahaladha is the place where the temple is built.

The most important thing about this temple is that here we can't see the God's feet.

It is said that the feet is buried inside the earth. Lord Narayana came to rescue Parahalada on Garuda and when they threw Parahalada Lord Narayana jumped from Garuda to save him and in this process his feet went deep into the earth.

Simhadri Simhachalam Temple has Sri Varahalakshmi Narasimha Swamy as the presiding deity.


The Simhachalam temple faces West unlike so many other temples which face East. An east-facing entrance, according to religious belief, brings prosperity while a west-facing one brings victory.

After the temple visit we came out and here one can get confused whether to take right turn or left turn, so please enquire and confirm which road leads to the National Highway towards Bhuwaneshwar. I also got confused and took the wrong turn and later enquired and found my way back to the highway.



We hit the highway by 10.30 AM and we had a long way to go. The route was Vishakpatnam, Anakapalli, Sreekakulam, Palasa, Icchapuram, Berahampur, passing through Rambha, Bhuwaneshwar, Bhadrak towards Kolkatta.






We crossed Anakapalli by 11.40 A.M. and Srikakulam by 12 Noon Palasa was 58 kms away, Bhuwaneshwar was 300 kms away.





We crossed Icchapuram at 1.25 P.M.



Enroute we took pictures of the hills, highway and interesting things. We also crossed the dreaded AP Orissa Border without any issue, luckily for us we did not have any traffic jam. Both the kids were asleep.




This place can become totally jammed up & HVK had cautioned us that people were stuck in such jams for half a day and very close to a day.

He even told in case of any traffic jam to let him know he could suggest alternate roads through villages.

Luckily for us we passed through the AP Orissa border at around 2 PM afternnon.






Tanked up Diesel at BP Girisola BPCL, Behrampur, Orissa 27.46 Liters @ Rs.40.07 for Rs.1100/-


Rambha is the first major town we came across in Orissa State at 4.35 P.M. We informed our status to HVK.

HVK joked with us not to associate this name with the Tamil Heroine RAMBHA (known here in Tamil Cinema as Thunder Thighs) and rather associate the name with the Celestial Dancer from Lord Indra's court (he said remember the 3 damsels in the Heaven Rambha, Urvashi & Meneka). We had a good laugh.

You will find a sign board here PANTHANIVAS Rambha on Chilika Lake. Chilika lake (Famous for its special verity of Irawadi Dolphins) is very near from here.

HVK had suggested to us we can visit this lake on our return and we should just drive on.


We crossed 2 railway crossings here. The second railway crossing had a MAHA speed breaker with a pot hole in front of the breaker and I scrapped the bottom of my LINEA it sounded very bad. I was very upset hoping the oil sump would not have got hit or damaged. I was wondering whether the low ground clerance of Linea would be an issue in such cases..

We were quite upset and hoped there would be no damage.

Luckily the undercover protection guard metal plate provided by FIAT is thick enough to withstand such issues & is really very thick to protect the Car's bottom engine bay portion.



At 4.55 PM we had pulled over the side of the road for some Bio Break. I took some interesting photos.

In this part of the world local people use one side of the highway for all their agriculture use, they use the tarmac for cleaning their padddy and seperating the rice from husk by running tractors / bullock carts on the huge mounds of husks freshly brought from the farms.

You can't say anything except be happy that atleast they are kind enough to leave one side of the National Highway to the motorists.

Else it would have been a bicycle ride for all. This is Cycle country.

On one side the Red Sun was setting and going behind a Mountain.

Exactly on its opposite side the Pale & White moon was rising from behind a Mountain. 



















Sun sets around 5 PM in these parts of the world.



At 5.10 PM FIAT LINEA touched the 4000 km mark in its odometer.



At 6.40 PM we completed 4044 kms means 2000 kms of our Trip from home.



At 7.15 PM evening it was dark & we had 30 kms to go to Bhuwaneshwar & 155 kms to go for Bhadrak.

HVK asked us what we are planning to do halt at Bhuwaneshwar or push for Bhadrak.

I said we will push further on for Bhadrak another 3 plus hours of driving.

At 9.50 PM night I still had to cover 96 kms to Bhadrak. It becomes very dark in this part of the world.







HVK was again kind enough to SMS to us Hotel Dixit which is a Motel just on the side of the National Highway. 

I called up this hotel & told him that we are on the way & to keep the hotel door open as well as inform the watchman and we will reach by mid night.

You can clearly see this hotel it is right by the side of the highway.

Finally we reached Bhadrak at 12 Mid Night and luckily we were able to wake up the watchman who also had decided to sleep due to cold climate outside.


We managed to wake up the sleeping on-duty manager and they were polite enough not to curse me for checking in at a ungodly hour with a lady & 2 kids. I was tired.


The hotel was O.K. and the tariff was Rs.550/- per night.


We just came in cleaned ourseleves and crashed in the bed.

Little Shri Meenakshi was in a bit of bad mood as her sleep was disturbed and it took some time for us to settle her down.

There were mosquitoes also in the room for good company and were really rocking.

Make sure carry your own Mosquito repellent like All Out / Good Night etc (liquid/Mat/Cream etc) and also make sure carry a small night lamp else you will be left in total darkness inside a hotel room when all lights are off and you will be doing samba dance with the mosquitos.

Also make sure to remember to take your Mosquito repellent & night lamp before you check out of the hotel.


I was kind enough to leave my mosquito repellent liquid behind during my 1st trip in 2008 - 2009 and got scolding from you know who. Well such small lessons learnt the hard way wont be forgotten that easily in life.


The hotel details are



Hotel Dixit Resort
Motel Chhak, NH-5  
Bhadrak, Orissa
Tel: 06784 - 240174

S. No
Date
Toll Plaza Name
State
Time
Fees
1
20.12.2010
NATHAWAL
ANDHRA
11.10 morning
20
2
20.12.2010
CHKPALEM
ANDHRA
11.44 morning
30
3
20.12.2010
MADAPAM
ANDHRA
11.59 morning
35
4
20.12.2010
LAXMIPRM
ANDHRA
12.40 afternoon
40
5
20.12.2010
PANIKOILI
ORISSA

45
6
20.12.2010
MANGULI
ORISSA

40
7
20.12.2010
GANGAPADA
ORISSA

40


Total Toll Gate Fees paid on 20.12.2010 from Vishakhapatnam to Bhadrak Rs.250/-

Closing kilometer reading at Bhadrak  4247 kms. Picture below was taken on 21.12.2010 morning 7 A.M.



End of Blog DAY - 2 & 3.

Read the Blog for Days - 4. Click on this link.


http://mnlml.blogspot.com/2011/06/bhutan-trip-day-4.html

6 comments:

  1. And just when the TL was warming up to the hills, it is looking like one big pilgrimmage! Good show, I think you paced the long drive very well to relieve boredom and ensure that you got something interesting everyday. It is very easy to chase schedules and I am happy you broke out of the mile-cruncher schedule that we had worked out, it would have been frustrating for the kids especially!

    I hope the undercarriage did not take any serious damage?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Mahesh,
    This is Shankar from Chennai currently in Coimbatore. Am also one of the countless benefited by HVK Sir's highway assistance..!!!! Awesome writing...and I am surprised when you are finding time to write a this much detailed blog with so much of driving to be done each day..!!!

    Your Linea looks drop dead gorgeous with the alloys....!!! I did a AP tour last March and the drive to Annavaram temple terrorised me....nostalgic to see the signboards and the temple...!!!

    Happy and safe driving....happy writing too..!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. HVK Sir - Yes I agree with your point on breaking away from the set schedule as I did not want my wife & kids to start getting bored when I was driving continuously. I had a clear target set by you in terms of start & ending destination, in the end it would mean a lot of discomfort & tiredness to me. I was willing to do that sacrifice. I never fell short of the driving distance targets we had set.

    @ Shankar - Hi, thanks for your comments. I am writing the blog after a month of completing the trip & at late night.

    There is a lot of pleasure in sharing in life!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, You must have wondered what happend to this blog, for some reasons I wasnt able to complete it. Sorry about leaving it half way incomplete & keeping you all wondering. I am sending you all a copy of the DVD movie I have made of this trip Life Mein Linea from Coimbatore to Bhutan. I kindly request you to send me your postal address so that I can send you a copy of this movie. Pl send the mail to maheshnatarajan2000 at yahoo do com. I need address of Shankar. In case if you are in Chennai / Blore I am sending a master copy to some of my friends and can ask them to send you a copy. Have a nice day. Warm Regards, MN

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear Shankar, I had posted a mail on 8th April & am repeating it again. I wish to send you all a copy of the DVD movie I have made of this trip Life Mein Linea from Coimbatore to Bhutan. This DVD is of 4 hour duration & you can see the whole trip as a movie with sub title & background music. I kindly request you to send me your postal address so that I can send you a copy of this movie. Pl send the mail to maheshnatarajan2000 at yahoo dot com. Have a nice day. Warm Regards, MN

    ReplyDelete

  6. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog.book your tickets in Bus Ticket Booking Portal

    ReplyDelete