Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kondapalli Trek

This is the summary of all my Kondapalli visits. This wasn't done in 3 or 4 visits, but I visited this place many times.
The Beginning:
After my Har Ki Doon trek, I was trek thirsty. Traveling places now and then to take part in a trek at far away locations is so tedious. If we have a place nearby our place makes it worth visiting more often. So decided to go Kondapalli Khilla (Fort), which is on top of a hill near Vijayawada. It has two routes to reach. One is by hiking from Kondapalli village which is on NH 218, another one starts from Jupudi village on NH 9. Kondapalli village route was the traditional one, boulder studded, made long ago when it was in the rule of The Reddy Kings dynasty of Kondaveedu. The latter one was a BT road made exclusively for Doordarshan relay trans meter stationed on a separate hill well above the Khilla. I decided to ascend from Jupudi and descend into Kondapalli Village. On the D day along with my friend Mahendra alighted the bus at Ibrahimpatnam, took an auto up to Khilla road on NH 9. We started walking along the road to reach a big fly ash pond. So many big pipes were bringing fly ash along with water from NTTPS (Narla Tatarao Thermal Power Station). The pipes were laid so long in to the pond. We walked on those pipes up to their openings. Came back and started walking towards our destination. I felt the hike was really worthy. Surroundings were giving me a feeling that I was in a thick forest. Green every where green. Had we not been walking on the road we would have thought it as we were hiking in a big forest. Trees were not so high. May be because of rocky terrain. At the second bend we heard a noise of flowing water. Beside the road there was a stream. Wahh....a stream in Vijayawada, I thought. Ascended the winding road with so many bends. Vehicles were passing now and then. We came up to a fork. One road was leading to the Fort area and another one was still going further up to TV relay station. We decided to see relay station first. So went up. A man was guarding the gate and didn't allow was in. Came back in the same way and sat at a viewing point. From that point we saw entire fort area and splendid view of hills. We were sitting on the edge of the hill. It was sloppy towards fort area. After a few feet the slope came to an end. From that point floor was at 30 feet steep vertical drop. If we clear that we will reach fort area. We didn't even think of that. We were chit chatting, suddenly a guy came in front of us from nowhere having his slippers in his hand! He ascended the steep hill from fort area to the place we sat. Started walking another time, decided not to see the fort, boulder hopped up to Kondapalli village.
Second time I came along with my friend Sridhar and my kids on the same route. But in the middle Sridhar lead us into a foot path going inside the jungle beside the road. Another wahhh. We were beside a stream that the current was more than the one i saw before. Trees were thick, surroundings were great, atmosphere was lively. Kids were over joyed. We brought some eatables. Sat on a big rock in the middle of the stream and ate them. Explored the area for some time and moved away.
Mean while state YHAI officials came in to contact with me. In 2006 I did Seshachalam Trek. YHAI,Vijayawada unit was established in the same year. In those meetings I proposed to do Kondapalli Trek. First we did numerous exploratory treks. Marked a route on to the top of Kondapalli fort from Dargah. Thanks to Siva, an enthusiastic guy, who showed us that path. Thenceforth momentum picked up. Treks were done in full swing.
Route #1
One day we saw a waterfall (in 2008) while going for a trek.That was the first time we noticed such a thing. Stopped vehicles at the first bend and followed an existing path. Soon we crossed a stream (after several explorations we came to know that the stream was the one we saw at the second bend when I came here for the first time along with Mahendra). Reached the water fall with delight. Attempted to go upon it was unsuccessful. But the next time water receded a bit, so that we successfully made it. After few more visits we were able to find a way beside the water fall to the top it. On top of the fall there was a big rocky sloppy area which gives a panoramic view. A further walk along the stream takes us to the area Sridhar brought us on our second visit. Here the stream bifurcates. We are going along with one branch and the other one joins the same at the rocky area we just passed. Just after this place we will be at Ishwarya Rai. It is a tree standing tall beside the stream with pride. Mr.Krupakar Rao named it like that because it is the most clicked tree in the area. From here if you go right the road is just 150m and you will be emerged 2 km after the first bend where you left the road. If we continue further along the stream, we will be on the road again just a kilometer before the fort. If you take left at Ishwarya Rai, crossing the stream, you will come on to a hillock. This is a vast flat rocky hill. Beside this there is another high hill. Between these two another stream is flowing. If we go along this stream towards the ash pond, there are two more beautiful water falls. First fall descends fifty feet, and second fall was named as Niagara of Vijayawada. The prettiness of the surroundings from the first fall leaves us enraptured. Here stream is completely covered with trees. Going along the stream for a while, we will come out of the multitude of the trees. Here we take a left and proceeding further takes us to the first fall making a full round or it. This can be done vice versa.
Route#2
This starts from Khilla it self. The trail starts behind Dargah. This ascending trail goes along a scenic path, over covered with wild shrubs netting up on, studded with small boulders which you will never forget. At the end you will descend into a pond with no water. It will have water only in monsoon. Our target is to ascend a smooth rocky dual hill tops from the western face, assumed to be the highest point in the area, having relatively great elevation, extending far upward, which can be seen right from the Dargah area. Take a right toward the hills from the trail after the pond. It looks difficult but it will be a great experience. Take rest and roam on the top for a while and start descending on another way which was well marked by YHAI, Vijayawada Unit. This also can be done vice versa.

4 comments:

Nick Halden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick Halden said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun there. Thanks for sharing your amazing experience with us.I have been there couple of times and I have always enjoyed Vijaywada as there are a lot of places to visit in Vijayawada that can really stun us.

Swathi said...

I love your travelogue,it has great information for the traveller who are planning to trip.The images are really wonderful .By seeing the images we feel like we should travel now nly.Want to go and explore new things and trek then book tickets in Vivegam Travels to enjoy the trip with comfort and ease.

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