After an ordeal of a trip in the summer of 2005 smothered with some fine memories it was time for another Srisailam trip. This time it was a packaged tour from APTDC. The deal worked out to be 660/- per head inclusive of conveyance and stay in an uber cool resort in Srisailam for one night, altogether I felt it was a dandy of a deal.
Off we set on Friday, Aug 17th an early morning start with overcast sky and benign weather promised it to make it a picture-perfect trip. So I loaded my camera with fully charged batteries and a neatly formatted 2GB card to capture every bling of nature. The travel itself is very pleasurable as the destiny. Srisailam route criss-crosses rustic villages and Nallamala forests which houses Nagarjuna Sagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve. Nallamala forest is the hotbed of Naxal movement and the forest covers are profuse hide outs of naxalites. An avid watcher can easily spot monkeys, deer’s and wild boars enroute to Srisailam.
Srisailam is on a hill top about 2800mts above sea level. Going from Hyderabad one has to hop from one mountain to the second one through a gorge which houses the Srisailam dam between the two mountains. The beautiful spectre of nature unravels when one descends the first mountain pass through a narrow bridge to start the ascend of the second mountain. The bridge runs parallel to the dam at least a couple of kilometers away. Standing on the bridge embers of tranquility engulfed me; all around lustrous tinge of green from the skirting mountains lent a mystic charm to the place. The river – which is a sangam of Krishna, Tungabadra and Bhima rivers – underneath was in full spate thanks to the copious rains and shutters of the dam were open aiding the cataclysmic flow. The sight of water gushing-seething-scuttling out from the dam was mesmerizing and it really pulled everyone into a thrall.
Our first stoppage was at the dam view point. Enthralled by the spectacle everyone was out with their cameras and truly a photographer hidden in everyone was blooming out. Sheets of water were cascading down the dam walls and once it cascaded down, from the sheer pressure the sheets of water ricocheted and transformed to a shape of parabola made from droplets of water. The water gushing looked like infinite lustrous white beads of pearl roiling down in a chain. Because of the sheer force of tumbling water the whole milieu was draped with tiny droplets of water as if an artist has stippled the canvas of nature with tiny white pearls. The atmosphere was engulfed with these sprinkling droplets and from a distance it was as if writhing vines of steam emanating from a hot water stream. It really made my day I was gasping and swooned by these splattered water droplets and splashing river traversing amidst the silent mountains.
The next stop was Panchganga which is a small waterfall amidst thickets of forest cover. A very tranquil and serene place and its believed Sankaracharya scripted Soundarya Lahiri and Sivanand Lahiri sitting here. Our next stop was Padal Ganga which also is the backside of the dam or the reservoir. A rope-way takes one to the bank of the reservoir and a boat ride through the water was a riveting experience to behold forever.
Coming back to Srisailam the destiny – the abode of Lord Mallika Arjuna Swamy, Srisailam holds a high pedestal as is one among the 12 Jyothir Lingas in India. The idol itself is half concealed underneath the earth. One of the most amazing traits of this temple is devotees are allowed inside the sanctum sanctorum and are allowed to touch the main idol itself and one can ever perform pooja on the main idol in their own, which is not allowed in any other South Indian Temple.
Next day morning after a nice darshan and sumptuous breakfast we embarked on the return journey another joy ride through the natures lap bequeathed with charm and greenery. Most of my pictures which I shot in this trip were taken sitting in the moving bus on the return journey and to my surprise they have come out very well, truly capturing the natures best with tactility and are here to stay refurbishing my memory – a poignant travel memoir.