There is not much you can do on a weekend in Hyderabad especially if you are single and bored to death. There are only so many rounds of malls, restaurants and pubs that one can make.
A good weekend getaway is what you need to shake out the monotony of the city and Srisailam is the perfect place if you are looking for fresh air and peace.
Located 232 kilometers from Hyderabad, reachable by road, Srisailam is your atypical south Indian temple town. Home to one of the 12 jyothirlingams in India , a trip to Srisailam is worthwhile even if you are not religiously inclined.
Taking the car on the Srisailam state highway, one whizzes pasts lush green farms dotted with bright orange marigold fields. The highway is not really busy and the occasional roadblocks are caused by mats of drying grains or village people doing dishes or laundry on the sides.
Not to be missed is the ‘Malaytirtham’ waterfall that comes some 50 kms before Srisailam. It’s a hidden spot some 8 kilometers off the highway. To reach the waterfall one has to climb down some 100 feet and this is not recommended for old people or people with babies. Remember you will have to climb up too! Though you are not allowed to enter the waterfall you can play around the streams. Completely untouched by tourism or habitation, it’s hard to believe that this place is so near to the bustling city of Hyderabad.
Located at the banks of River Krishna, Srisailam lies in the midst of the dense forests of the Nallamalai hill range. The drive gets prettier as you head towards the Srisailam Tiger Reserve Sanctury which spans across an area of 356,000 hectares and sprawls over five districts of central Andhra Pradesh.
As you enter the forest reserve area, the air gets cooler and the road gets quieter. You often find yourself poking out to the window hoping to catch sign of some exotic wild animal amidst the dense vegetation. The Srisailam sanctuary has safari facility for visitors which is reasonably priced at 500 rs/- per jeep ride. However owing to the nature of wild animals and their unwillingness to appear in front of curious eyes, it’s very rare for anyone to actually spot any living creature at all.
As you near Srisailam , the sight of the long and winding river Krishna takes your breath away. As your eyes fall on the Srisailam dam and the 200 MW hydroelectric power plant that it, you cannot help but be impressed and awed. You just have to get down from the car to drink in the sight before you. A very narrow bridge take you across the river to Srisailam where you drive uphill to reach the town. There is very little to do in the town itself except for walking, sightseeing from several view points and the round of the temples.
Sirsailam is best visited in the October to April time frame and remember, the journey is more fun than the destination.
Some good links that can help plan your trip better
Things to keep in mind
- Carry food for the road, restaurants are few and of highly questionable hygiene
- If you are planning to stay overnight , book a room in the several hotels in SriSailam. APTDC guest house is also a good option.
- To get to Srisailam you will have to cross the forest reserve checkposts whcih have restricted timings for entry. So confirm those before you travel or you might be stranded on the road!