Walk In The Woods Vikarabad Part 2
Nestled in the lap of nature and surrounded by forests, hills, waterfalls, fresh water, streams & temples, Vikarabad is surely a paradise on earth for day trippers. There is ample opportunity for trekking, camping, adventure sports, unwinding or just walking in the woods.
This is a quiet, charming, sleepy town in Vikarabad district, very close to Ananthagiri Hills. In fact, Ananthagiri Hills used to be a hunting ground for the Nizams of Hyderabad. Also, it is the birthplace of Musi river which flows through the city of Hyderabad. This place is covered with red soil.
Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple
The main attraction here is Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Tall statues of Lord Hanumana and Lord Garuda greet the pilgrims at the entrance of the temple.
The main temple is believed to be constructed by a Hyderabadi Nawab. This temple is around 400 years old and is situated next to the dense forest of Vikarabad.
Dense forest @ Vikarabad
There is a holy Pushkarini in the temple premises. On the way to the Pushkarini, there is yet another temple. This one is dedicated to Lord Markandeya Swamy.
Further down is the forest trail where one can enjoy trekking as well as look forward to some adventure in the wilderness.
The temple timings are from 7:30 am to 8:00 pm. Accommodation is also available at the temple. Prasad as in laddoo and tamarind rice/pulihora is available at the counter on payment. This temple is very clean and close to nature.
It is very peaceful here. So, apart from pilgrims, youngsters looking for weekend outings can also come here.
This is the Shiva temple which is located at the back of Padmanabha Swamy temple.
After praying and enjoying our prasad, we headed straight for Deccan Trails, an adventure resort. This is located in the middle of the forest.
Accomodation here is most interesting and unique. You can choose between camping tents and wooden huts.
My husband and I decided to put up in a cosy tent with an attached bathroom and a small balcony. We plonked on the two chairs kept in the balcony and what unfolded before us was simply breathtaking.
The good shepherd
The daylight was fading; could hear the peacocks calling out to each other; a shepherd passed by with his herd of goats – he was so happy to be clicked by us and so were his goats as stated by him. After exchanging greetings with us, he waved us goodbye and left for his home.
At the Machaan
Just then we noticed a machaan at the far end. Standing on it, we could see dense jungle stretching for miles together – looked like there was some adventure waiting for us in the woods. Cool breeze was blowing and the swaying leaves were whispering some unknown song. I felt quite at home.
As the machaan and our camp were at a height, we climbed down the muddy lane to enter this big dining area. The walls of this place had some lovely paintings of rural India. There were rows of tables and chairs, but the remarkable thing about this place was the lip-smacking dinner – piping hot, home cooked vegetarian meal with minimum spices, but served with dollops of love and warmth.
Outside the dining area, there were hammocks and sit outs under tall trees.
The moon was shining brightly. The bonfire was lit up for us. The contrast of the dark night against the moon or for that matter, the contrast of the cool breeze against the bonfire were such beautiful moments. In fact, the best feelings come around when you are looking at the best creations of nature and they are greeting you in the best possible way – surely a night to remember in years to come.
Soaking in the moonlight
The next morning I got up at the break of dawn; slipped into my slippers and peeped out of my tent to see people of all age groups bundled in shawls and blankets; gathered under a tree sipping cardamom tea/elaichi chai. We too hurried; enjoyed our morning tea before following our guide into the forest. Well, we had to walk on the forest trail as pointed out by our guide lest we got lost. The ground was muddy with puddles of water here and there. We enjoyed the light drizzle; it seemed to wash away those muddy stains from our clothes as well as the stains of yesteryears from our souls.
At times, the trees grew like an umbrella – hardly any sunlight reached the ground and then again there were open spaces.
We kept walking till we reached the end of the hillock. We climbed down the slopes only to climb up another one – seemed quite like the ups and downs of life – you have to be careful while going down and enjoy the climb till you reach the peak.
The road to success is always uphill
Well, the fun factor at Deccan Trails does not end with jungle trekking. There’s much more to experience right from rock climbing to rappelling to Burma bridge to trampoline to commando nets to balancing board and it goes on.
Outdoor activities @ Deccan Trails
Memorable moments @ Deccan Trails
The least I can say about Deccan Trails is that it has very courteous and smiling staff, always happy to serve us; there is a camp to live in; a jungle to trek in; lots of outdoor activities to perform and hot, fresh, homecooked meals to relish. It goes without saying that there are additional bonuses as in the creation of many beautiful moments and lovely memories to be treasured forever. Leaving Deccan Trails wasn’t easy, but as they say, life has to move on and so we too moved on.
In love with the countryside
The next day we packed our belongings and hopped into our car and were on our way to Dhamagundam Temple. This is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which is situated in the middle of the forest in a village called Nead Pudu. The most interesting thing about this temple, apart from its beautiful setting is that it is situated right in the middle of a water body which never ever dries up, come summer or winter. There are these huge banyan trees and this place is much cooler than its surrounding areas.
Under the Banyan tree
Our next halt was at Kotapally Reservoir. This is the most sought after tourist destination. This place is around 20 kms from Ananthagiri Hills. If one is seeking for some adventure, then it is kayaking, boating and canoeing which can be enjoyed here. You can also relish some goodies at the food stalls in the vicinity. This is a beautiful destination for weekend breaks, picnics or long drives. The best time to visit here is monsoon when everything is lush green and the weather is awesome. It is better to avoid the summer months. The Kotapally kayaking Reservoir timings are from 10 am to 6 pm.
View Point @ Vikarabad
It was time to drive down to Hyderabad; drive down to the mundane realities of life. I had to bid goodbye to those wild flowers, trees, green fields, fresh fruits & vegetable, warm smiles and hearts full of love. This walk in the woods has in fact changed me for the better. I would love to walk in those woods once more; would love to listen to the whispers of the trees; stroll barefoot on those muddy lanes; watch the birds and animals live in harmony; would love to be embraced by the beauty and solitude of the forests; soak myself in the moonlight; inhale some fresh air; would love to find my soul and walk out taller than the trees. So, until we meet again, keep smiling.