Friday, 30 September 2016

Beautiful South Goa and Gigantic Jog Falls

Visit south Goa and Jog fall were on my list from a long time. We got 4 days breaks from office routine and we decided to visit south Goa. We also planned a day trip to Jog Falls.

Travelers for this trip were I and Wife Renuka

Travellers....

About South Goa and Jog falls
              From the tourism point of view, Goa is mainly divided into 3 zones known as North Goa, Panjim, and South Goa. North Goa is famous for  parties and nightlife whereas South Goa is famous for beautiful beaches and peace. South Goa consist of regions like Mornugoa, Salcette, Quepem, Sanguem and Canacona. Famous beaches are Colva, Benaulim, Cavelossim, Agonda and Palolem beach. Konkani is the local language of a majority of the people in South Goa. English, Hindi, and Marathi are understood well whereas Portuguese is also spoken by few people.
             To reach South Goa from Pune/Mumbai by fastest route is, Mumbai - Pune - Belagavi (Karnataka State) - Mollem (Goa State) - Ponda (Do not confused with Phonda from Maharashtra State) -  Margao - Your selected destination from South Goa.
Another Route is Mumbai - Mangaon (From Pune you can reach Mangaon via Tahmini Ghat) - Chiplun - Sawantwadi - Mapusa (Goa State) - Cortalim - Margao - Your selected destination from South Goa.

Goa International Airport (Mainly known as Dabolim Airport) is well connected by International flights as well as by Domestic flights. Goa is well connected by Indian rail-line and regular trains run between major cities of India to Goa. Margao (Also known as Madgaon) is biggest and busiest railway station in Goa.

Jog falls is located in Shimoga and it is 2nd highest fall in India. It was ranked 13th in the world as per tourist visit count. It is located on Sharavathi River and its gigantic view can be seen during peak monsoon time. Drive to Jog fall from Coastal line of Karnataka goes through Dense forest.

24th Sept 2016: Pune to Sernabatim (Distance: Appro 473km)
              We left Pune by 6 AM in the morning. Our parents joined us till Kolhapur and we dropped them at our relative's place. We had breakfast at Vithal Kamat restaurant near Karad town. After leaving parents, We move ahead for our planned South Goa trip.Drive after Belagavi was fantastic. It goes through dense forest Bhimgad wildlife sanctuary. We reached our Heaven Goa Guesthouse hotel located in Sernabatim.
              The hotel consists of AC and NonAC rooms. Rooms are clean, bed with mosquito net and 24 x 7 hot water is available. It has nice swimming pool. If you are a pet-friendly person then this is the best place to stay. They have 5 Dogs (3 labrador and 2 street dogs) and 6-7 cat as a pet. We enjoyed our time playing with them. View from NonAC rooms is tempted you relax with coffee and book. you get Pool view from NonAC rooms. Hotel runs by Swiss lady Karin.


              For evening, we went on Colva Beach. Due to the monsoon, we decided to avoid swimming in the sea. Colva beach is famous for beach shacks and long stretched beach. Monsoon clouds gather in the sky hence we missed the sunset. After taking a stroll on the beach we came back to the parking area. Beach area have a huge market to buy clothes, footwear, gift articles and much more. Heavy monsoon forced us to visit beach shacks. We had some snacks and went back to Hotel for some rest.

Colva Beach
Colva Beach

               We heard a lot about Restaurant Martins corner Salcettee area. It is a Multi Cuisine a la carte restaurant serving Goan, Indian, Tandoori, Continental Chinese and known especially for tasty Seafood. The place is visited by a celebrity like Amitabh Bachchan, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and much more. you can see the visited celebrity photo collection on the wall. The food was very tasty and live music was played. It was the perfect start to taste Goan dishes.

Expenses:
  • Car Petrol: INR 2000/-
  • Toll 1 in MH: INR 80/- (One way)
  • Toll 2 in MH: INR 55/- (One way)
  • Breakfast at Vithal Kamat: INR 365/- (for 4 People)
  • Toll 3 in MH: INR 58/- (One way)
  • Toll 4 in MH: INR 68/- (One way)
  • Toll 1 in KA: INR 50/- (One way)
  • Toll 2 in KA: INR 50/- (One way)
  • Goa Entry for Car: INR 250/-
  • Heaven Goa stays: INR 2400/- for 3 nights
  • Snacks in Colva: INR 360/- for 2 people (Panner starter, finger fries, and cold drinks)
  • Dinner at Martins Corner: As per your ordered dishes (Approx 1000/- for 2 without drinks)

25th Sept 2016: South Goa
            The day begins with heavy rainfall. We took enough rest and enjoyed our time with Pets in the hotel. Monsoon took a break at 10.30 AM and we left the hotel to explore South Goa. Our first destination was Varca Beach. Due to the monsoon, Only we were on the beach.

Varca Beach

              Road to reach Varca takes a right at main circle near Colva, for Benaulim and go straight till you see an old whitewashed church on your left. Take right to reach Varca beach. The road is surrounded by coconut trees so if you are traveling during Monsoon, the journey is pleasant.Varca beach is famous for its golden sand and flat seabed. Monsoon cloud was dominating over sunlight. We took walk on the beach. Due to the monsoon, there is no shacks were opened on the beach. After spending half an hour we left for our next destination

Varca Beach
Varca Beach

              Our next destination was Mobor beach and Betul Beach. Heavy rain started during our journey to Mobor. Paddy fields, Coconut trees, and rice plantation made our journey pleasant. When we reached the beach, clouds were disappeared and bright sunlight started shining the golden sand. few tourists were on the beach. we went in sea water which was chilled. Caveslossim beach, Mobor beach, and Betul beach appear as one beach. It is logically separated by respective village/town area. In fact, you will find same beach line from Arossim to Betul without any discontinuity. Different names to beaches were given as per nearby village/town.

Mobor Beach
Mobor Beach

Mobor Beach
Mobor Beach

               After spending an hour, we went on Betul beach. You can take a walk towards creek and end portion of the beach is known as Betul beach. To avoid the walk, we went by Car. Road is narrow and frequently use by tourist. Beach was spoiled by locals and not at all maintained. We hardly spend 20 min on the beach and left for lunch.

Betul Beach
Betul Beach

              We heard about The Fisherman Wharf restaurant from Friends and locals.It is located close to River which offers you a beautiful view. Seafood was tasty with good ambiance. We had our Lunch and then went ahead for Agonda beach.

Sal River, South Goa
DND me as its Monsoon time...Sal River, South Goa

              Agonda is one the best beach from South Goa. The hilly roads leading up to the beach is serene with greenery everywhere. Beach is in curved shape covered by mountains from both ends. Sand is golden and soft. The sea is a bit rough here and the beach becomes deep at places so not very suitable for swimming especially during high tide.The water at certain points can be tricky as there are rocks and shells below and one does need to be careful.

Agonda Beach
Agonda Beach

Agonda Beach
Agonda Beach

              Beach consist of many shacks to enjoy the food. As we visited at the end of monsoon hence shacks repair work was in progress.We took a walk on the beach and then decided to return. To avoid the coastal curved road, we took Mumbai-Goa National highway till Chinchinim and then reach Hotel via Varca. Due to Monsoon, sunset view from the beach was not an option for us.

Agonda Beach

Crazy Travellers

              We went to the hotel and spend some time in the swimming pool. For dinner, we decided to visit Benaulim beach. Benaulim beach is extended part of Colva Beach. It has few Shacks located on the beach. Shacks which offers Sea view are Johncy's restaurant, Pedro's Restaurant and Rafael's restaurant. These 3 are open during monsoon whereas few other shacks open after Monsoon period. We went to Johncy's Restaurant. All hotels were hardly occupied with any tourists. We had lovely grilled Snapper fish and some Punjabi meal. Jog fall day trip was planned for tomorrow.

Johncy's Restaurant at Benaulim Beach
Johncy's Restaurant at Benaulim Beach

Expense:
  • Breakfast in hotel: INR 120/- (2 omelet with toast)
  • One Coffee: INR 40/-
  • Lunch at Fisherman Wharf: INR 1142/- for 2 people (Mocktails, veg Starter dish, Fish starter, and prawns Thai curry with rice)
  • Car petrol: INR 2300/-
  • Dinner at Johny shacks: INR 1648/- (Veg starter, Full grill red snapper fish, Veg Punjabi dish, Roti and Cold drinks)

26th Sept 2016: Day trip to Jog Falls
               We woke up by 5 AM and left Hotel by 5.30 AM for Jog fall. The distance between Colva and Jog Fall is around 224km. It required around 4.5 to 5 hours without any break. The best route to reach Jog fall is Colva - Varca - Join Mumbai-Goa Highway - Polem (Goa State) - Karwar (Karnataka) - Kumta - Honnavar - Take a left at Honnavar for Fall - Drive for around 62km to reach Jog Fall viewpoint.
                The journey from Honnavar to Jog fall goes through the dense forest. Keep an eye open while traveling through the forest as it is the home of rare mammal spices lion-tailed macaque. We enjoyed forest journey. Road condition is good to expect few bad patches. To Save time, We purchase fruits and had our healthy breakfast.

Jog fall view from British Banglow view point
Jog fall view from British Bungalow viewpoint

               By 10.30 AM we reached at First viewpoint of fall. It is British Bungalow converted into Government house. You cannot view all 3-4 falls from this place. Jog Fall appears much closer from this place. We saw Fall and then decided to go to Mayura hotel owned my KTDC. You can view entire fall from KTDC hotel premises.

Jog Falls
Jog Falls

Jog Falls
Jog Falls

              KTDC hotel built viewpoint area to enjoy the fall. You can see all 4 waterfall from this place. The view is simply amazing. During peak monsoon, water flow appears much bigger. In Monsoon, most of the time valley is covered with fog or cloud hence better to keep extra time in your hand. You can book a room at Mayura hotel to spend the weekend in the lap of nature.

Jog Falls
Jog Falls

             There are multiple points built to view Fall from different angles. We spend more than 1 hour to capture nature beauty in camera. As I said earlier it is 2nd highest fall in India. It was ranked 13th in the world as per tourist visit count. Fall is beautiful and best to watch in monsoon when it is in full swing.

Jog Falls
Jog Falls

              One can enjoy the falls having a top view or you can opt to take 1500-1600 steps down to reach the bottom of the falls to enjoy the beauty. Entry in water pond is not allowed. Just a caution the climb is a lot steep so ensure you carry water bcoz while coming up you will be dehydrated.

We at Jog Falls

              We left this beautiful place by 1.30 PM and had our lunch at nearby Dhaba. We left by 3 PM. As compare to last 2 days, the weather was clear so we decided to enjoy sunset time at the beach in Goa. We started our journey towards Polem which is the first beach after entering into Goa state.

Polem Beach, South Goa
Polem Beach, South Goa

             We reached Polem before 6 PM. We unable to view sunset because of few monsoon cloud but the weather was just a perfect. Twilight shades in the sky were wonderful. No one was on the beach and it gave us feeling like our private beach. It was a wonderful evening. We left this place after 7 PM.

Polem Beach, South Goa
Polem Beach, South Goa

Lovely Polem beach

               Our last destination was Palolim beach. We have visited this place during our Costal Karnataka Trip. It was our one of the favorite place from South Goa. After some shopping time at Palolim, we went on the beach for Dinner. Hardly 2-3 beach shacks were opened. The entire beach is full of Beach shacks which open after 10-15 Oct or after Monsoon.



There was hardly any tourist on the beach which was an unusual sight for Palolim. Beach is famous for its powdery sand, bluish green waters, and sea facing shacks. The beach is very beautiful and water is peaceful with very mild waves. I found this beach with the decent crowd (both Indians and foreigners) as compared to North Goa beaches.We had our tasty Dinner at Famous restaurant shacks Draupadi. Thet serves delicious seafood. We came hotel after dinner.

Expense:
  • Jog fall car entry: INR 30/-
  • Jog fall entry: INR 20/- for 2 person
  • Maggi at Jog Fall: INR 25/-
  • Lunch at Dhaba: INR 170/- (Veg dish, Roti, and Cold drinks)
  • Goa Entry: INR 250/-
  • Dinner at Palolem: INR 840/- (Mocktails, Fish starter, and Pasta)

27th Sept 2016: South Goa to Pune
               We woke up by 7.30 AM and visited Sernabatim beach. We went to the beach for a walk. It is extended part of Colva beach. We had morning walk and came back to the hotel. We pack up our bags and left heaven Goa guesthouse hotel. We had heavy breakfast in Shivsagar restaurant at Colva. we decided to drive via Amboli ghat as the drive from Amboli in monsoon is pleasant.

Sernabatim Beach
Sernabatim Beach

We took the path as Colva - Margao - Panjim - Amboli - Kolhapur - Pune. We took a pit stop at Amboli waterfall and had some snacks in Amboli. We reached home safely by via same NH-4 route by 10 PM

Amboli Waterfall
Amboli Waterfall

Amboli Waterfall
Amboli Waterfall

Expense:

  • Brunch at Colva: INR 300/- (3-4 South Indian dishes and coffee)
  • Car Petrol: INR 1800/-
  • Maggi at Amboli Ghat: INR 40/- for 1 dish
  • Coffee: INR 20/-
  • Toll 1 in KA: INR 50/- (One way)
  • Toll 1 in MH: INR 68/- (One way)
  • Toll 2 in MH: INR 58/- (One way)
  • Dinner at Vithal Kamat: INR 405/- (for 4 People)
  • Toll 3 in MH: INR 55/- (One way)
  • Toll 4 in MH: INR 80/- (One way)
Contact Number for reference
  • Heaven goa guesthouse: 832 277 2201, 919890698202, 917507660997. Website: http://www.heavengoa.in/
  • Mayura KTDC hotel: 082312 47288.

Drive safe,Someone is waiting for you at Home!

Click here for North Goa Trip Blog

Thanks for reading this Travel Blog.
Happy traveling.

Pritesh Kulkarni 
Pune

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Trip to Explore Hyderabad

I got an opportunity to visit Hyderabad for 4 days. The main purpose of our visit was to attend office colleague’s marriage. We decided to spend 2-3 days more on exploring the city which is famous for market and Biryani.

Charminar at night
Charminar at night

Travelers for this trip were I, Wife Renu and friend Rohan Powar.

About Hyderabad City:
              Hyderabad city is the capital of Telangana State and temporary capital of Andhra Pradesh. A city located on the bank of Musi River. It was established in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah. In 1724, Mughal King Asif Jah I declared his dominion and created his own empire, known as the Nizams of Hyderabad. Hyderabad means "Haydar's city" from haydar (lion) and abad (city).
               One more story says that Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of the city, named it "Bhagyanagar" after Bhagmati, a local dancing girl with whom he had fallen in love. She converted to Islam and adopted the title, Hyder Mahal. The city was renamed Hyderabad in her honor.
              Hyderabad is very well connected to Indian cities by airlines, rail network, and Roads. New International airport “Rajiv Gandhi International Airport” is located around 20km from the city.

Day 0: 5 August 2016: Pune – Hyderabad
              We booked Jet airways airline to reach Hyderabad after office hours. Renuka picked us from her office and board flight at 9 PM. We reached Hyderabad by 10:30 PM. We had our booking at Taj hotel on Abids Road. Check in process was smooth and room was well equipped with all required facility.

Expense:

  • One way Pune to HYD Jet airways flight: INR 5115/- for 3 person
  • Uber cab: INR 170/- (Pune old city – Kalyani Nagar – Airport)
  • Uber cab: INR 520/- (Airport to Hotel)
  • Taj Mahal Hotel room: INR 2150/- for 1 night with Breakfast
  • Water bottles: INR 60/- for 2 bottles.

Day 1: 6 August 2016: Hyderabad:
We woke up by 8 AM and had complimentary tasty breakfast. We decided to explore the old city. Our first destination was Charminar. Charminar is an iconic place of Hyderabad city. It is located in old city. It opens at 9 AM to visit its upper floor and closed by 5 PM. In the evening this place becomes such a lively place where you can see Charminar in a different color and the lights of the street-light as well reflecting on the old-standing structure. Charminar was built in the year 1591-92 fifth ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah.

Charminar

               Charminar consists of four (Char in Urdu/Hindi) towers (Minar in Urdu/Hindi). It is beautifully designed from inside. It is of Indo-Islamic architecture style, incorporating Persian architectural elements. Local says, there was an underground tunnel connecting the Golla konda fort to Charminar. It was built for an escape route for the Qutb Shahi rulers in case of a siege.

Roof from inside Charminar

               The area around Charminar is highly populated and famous for shopping. A lot of shopping items like a pearl; Cloths, bangles etc. are available here. This place gets too crowded in the evening. We kept one evening for Charminar to cover wife’s shopping and night photography of Charminar.

Mecca Masjid view from Charminar
Mecca Masjid views from Charminar

               After Charminar, we went in Mecca Masjid (Also known as Makkah Masjid). It is few steps away from Charminar. It was built between years 1617 – 1694. Mecca Masjid is one of the oldest Masjid from the city. Bricks used for Masjid construction was made from the soil brought from Mecca, the holiest site in Islam. Hence the name of Masjid is given as Mecca Masjid. You cannot carry bags inside due to security reasons. Locker facility is available for visitors inside Masjid.

Mecca Masjid

              Our Next destination was Chowmahalla Palace. This place was official residence place of Hyderabad Nawab. It was said that the construction of this palace was started in 1750 and completed in1869. It took 119 years to complete. Many tourist groups miss this place which is t walkable distance from Charminar. The grand pillared Durbar Hall has a pure marble platform on which the Takht-e-Nishan or the royal seat was laid. Palace is closed on Friday and on National holiday.

Chowmahalla Palace
Chowmahalla Palace

Royal Seat

               Chowmahalla palace is four palace building. Chow stands for 4 Mahal for Palace. The entrance is popularly known as Khilwat, and it was the office of the Nizams, the area in and around it is also called the Khilwat colony in Hyderabad. The Palace is well maintained and you may take minimum 2 hrs. to complete the tour. The inside collection of all the 4 palace showcases artifacts of artillery, garments, and photography from the Nizams era.

Back side of Palace

Weapons

              It was 1 PM in clock and we were hungry. Local suggested us Pista House for lunch. Hyderabad is famous of Biryani so we decided to try different biryani in our 4 days stay. Biryani from Pista House was average (We released it after having meals at famous hotel Bawarchi).

Chowmahalla Palace

                Our next place to visit was Salar Jung Museum. This was the best place to visit in afternoon time to beat bright sunshine. Salar Jung museum is one of the largest museums in India. It consists of the largest collection of antique items. Museum has luggage clock room as bags are not allowed inside. It opens at 10 AM and closed at 5PM. Ticket counter gets closed at 4:15 PM.

Salar Jung Museum
Salar Jung Museum

               It consists of more than 30 Galleries with a lot of collections spread on two floors, displays only a part of the original collection. Coin gallery, Glass work Gallery, painting gallery, statue gallery, and clock gallery are must visit Galleries. It takes at least half day to see the museum.
               The Museum has a famous Quran Collection from around the World in different fonts and designs. Main attraction from Museum is Musical clock. Every hour, a timekeeper emerges from the upper deck of the clock to strike a gong as many times as it is the hours of the day. It is an antique. Other not to miss masterpieces is Double Statue (Front Side is Man, Reverse is a Woman) and Veiled Rebecca Statue.

Veiled Robecca
Double Statue

              By 5 PM, We came out from the museum. All together it was a different experience and we felt like we spending less time in Salar Jung Museum. We decided to visit Birla Temple near Hussain Sagar Lake. Temple is very beautiful made up of 100% marble material with fabulous carving. The biggest drawback is you are not allowed to carry Camera. Temple offers a stunning view of City and Lake but you cannot capture in camera. There is locker facility to keep your bags and foot wares.
              Our next destination was Lumbini Park. Park is mainly built for Children and port to catch the ferry for Buddha Statue Island. Park consists of water lesser show at 7.15 PM. The entire show is 45 min and first 20-25 min is worth to watch. Entry fee for Park and Lesser show is different. After Lesser show, we took to walk around the lake.

Lumbini Park lesser show
Lumbini Park lesser show

Hussain Sagar Lake

               We came back to our hotel for dinner. Hotel Taj has a pure veg restaurant which serves authentic south Indian meal. The meal was tasty and we enjoyed it. After Dinner, we did check out from the hotel and shifted to hotel grand Celeste. Hotel Taj was booked for remaining days and we were not in favor to go for an upgraded room. Hotel grand Celeste was budget hotel located close to Nampally railway station. It was newly renewed and basic amenities were available.

Andhra Thali

Expense:

  • Bus ticket: INR 42/- for 3 person
  • Charminar entry ticket: INR 45/- for 3 person
  • Luggage & Footwear clock room at Mecca Masjid: INR 20/-
  • Chowmahalla Palace ticket: INR 100/- for 2 person
  • Chowmahalla Palace camera charge: INR 50/-
  • Lunch at Pista hotel: INR 480/- (Veg Biryani, Chicken Biryani, and cold drinks)
  • Auto (Charminar to Salar Jung museum): INR 60/-
  • Salar Jung museum Entry: INR 60/- for 3 person
  • Salar Jung museum camera charges: INR 50/-
  • Auto (Salar Jung museum to Birla temple): INR 100/-
  • Auto (Birla temple to Lake): INR 40/-
  • Lumini park entry: INR 60/- for 3 person
  • Lesser show Lumini park: INR 150/- for 3 person
  • Auto (Lumini park to Hotel): INR 40/-
  • Dinner at Taj Hotel: INR 651/- for 3 person
  • Water bottle: INR 20/-

Day 2: 7 August 2016: Hyderabad
               Today, we attended friend's wedding program from early morning till late evening. It was my first experience to attend typical south Indian wedding program. After lunch, we got 3-4 hours time to explore near to wedding hall. we decided to visit Nehru Zoological Park
               I do Wildlife photography hence I avoid visiting Zoo in which animals are caged. Park area is huge and maintained properly. They have multiple vehicle options to explore parks such as Cycle, Battery cars, Toy train or walk. This Zoo consists of a large number of mammal and bird variety I have ever seen in India. Great to see African and American animals.If you have children then do visit this park for sure otherwise, it's fine to miss during HYD trip.



After wedding dinner, we went to the hotel for rest.

Expense:

  • Breakfast: INR 105/- for 3 person
  • Nehru Zoological Park Zoo entry: INR 90/- for 3 person
  • Nehru Zoological Park Camera charge: INR 20/-

Day 3: 8 August 2016: Hyderabad:
              we woke up by 7:30 AM and left the hotel by 8:30 AM for Golkonda Fort. We got public transport bus outside the hotel and reached the fort within an hour. Golkonda fort is also known as Golconda or Golla Konda which means Round shaped hill. It was built first built by the Kakatiya dynasty as part of their western defenses. Fort was the capital of the medieval sultanate of the Qutb Shahi dynasty (1518–1687). Local says, world famous Diamond Kohinoor (Now with British royal family), Daria-i-Noor (now Central Bank of Islamic Republic of Iran) and Hope diamonds (in United States National Museum of Natural History) were in this fort.

Golkonda fort
Golkonda fort

Golkonda fort
Golkonda fort

               Fort is huge in size and needs to climb around 700 steps to reach the top. The Golkonda fort is listed as an archaeological treasure by the Archaeological Survey of India. It is spread across 11km of the area. Fort consists of Kings Palace, Queen Palace, mosques, Fateh Darwaza, royal apartments, Temples, Magazines, stables and other fortification.

Top point of Fort

Steps to reach top of the Fort

               View from Top of the fort is simply beautiful. you can see kings darbar at the top. you can spend more than 3-4 hours to view entire fort. When we were in the fort, around 30% fort area was closed for Malayalam movie shooting. After fort, we saw Qutab Shahi Tombs which is close to the fort.We left for lunch by 12:30 PM by Cab.

View from Golkonda fort
View from Golkonda fort

              We took lunch at Bawarchi which is famous for best Biryani from Hyderabad. The food was simply awesome and mouthwatering. The restaurant is of 3 story building. Parcel is provided on a ground floor, 1st Floor is consist of AC rooms and the top floor is non AC terrace floor.
             We decided to visit snow world to beat bright sunlight. It was an average place where you can get a feel of freezing weather effect. You can spend 1 hour in a closed chamber with freezing temperature and artificial snow. You can play in the snow, sliding rides, snow volleyball etc. They also have 5 min snowfall and some DJ to dance. This huge chamber consists of the small coffee shop.

We at Snow World

               Our next destination was Hussain Sagar Lake and Buddha Statue. You can take a Boat ride from Lumbini Park to the statue and then return by any other boat. Boat service acts as shuttle service which will allow you to spend as much time as you want. There is no fee to visit Buddha Statue Island but have to pay nominal ferry charges.

Hussain Sagar Lake & Buddha Statue
Hussain Sagar Lake & Buddha Statue

               We were all most done with all attraction from Hyderabad but yet one very important thing was pending. Yes, that was shopping time at Charminar bazar. We went after sunset time when the market was at its peak. Wife enjoyed her shopping and we purchased some pearl jewelry. When my wife was busy with shopping, I was capturing Charminar with lighting effect.

Buddha Statue
Buddha Statue

               By 10 PM, we went for dinner at Shabad restaurant which is few meters away from Charminar. From outside appearance, I was skeptical of entering. A person from counter told me to go upstairs for family AC room. Chicken Biryani was very tasty and perfect day for me to taste Hyderabad's two famous biryani.

Charminar in red light

Charminar in Pink light

              It was 11:30 PM and now the crowd disappeared from Charminar. I took an opportunity to click some long exposure clicks of Charminar. We spend around an Hour and local people and police help us so I can capture from Middle of the road. It was one of the best time which I spend in Hyderabad.

Charminar at Night

Charminar at Night

Expense:

  • Bus to Golkonda Fort: INR 30/- for 2 person
  • Breakfast: INR 65/- for 2 people (Dosa and coffee)
  • Golkonda Fort Ticket: INR 30/- for 2 person
  • Golkonda Fort camera charge: INR 25/-
  • Coconut water: INR 25/-
  • Uber cab (Golkonda Fort  to hotel at Nampally): INR 90/-
  • OLA cab (Hotel to Bawarchi): INR 105/-
  • Lunch at Bawarchi: INR 570/- for 3 people (Chicken starter, Chicken Biryani, Veg Biryani and Cold drinks)
  • Auto (Bawarchi to Snow world): INR 50/-
  • Snow world Entry: INR 1350/- for 3 person
  • Mobile locker at Snow world: INR 20/- for 4 mobiles.
  • Snow world camera chargers: INR 10/-
  • 2 Coffee at snow world: INR 40/-
  • Lumini park entry: INR 60 for 3 people.
  • Ferry to buddha statue: INR 165/- for 3 person
  • Uber (Hussain Sagar Lake to Charminar): INR 100/-
  • Dinner at Shabad hotel: INR 730/- for 3 people (Masala Papad, veg dish-Roti, Chicken Biryani and Cold drinks)
  • Uber (Charminar to Hotel): INR 118/-

Day 4: 9 August 2016: Ramoji Flim City, Hyderabad:
              Our day was kept a reserve for Ramoji Flim city. We woke up at 7 AM and left the hotel by before 8 AM. We board public transport bus for Ramoji. After hour journey, we reach the main entrance of Ramoji Film city. Film city is spread across 1800 acres of land. It is the world's largest film studio as per Guinness world record. Many films have completed shooting from the year 1996.
               You have to buy day package tickets from the Ticket counter. Ticket price range starts from INR 1000/- to INR 2500/- as per packages. Once you purchased a ticket, Ramoji Film city’s bus takes you to tourist welcome center which is 7 km from Main gate. This is the starting point of you entire day tour. From this point, you can take the ride of film sets in an open bus. This ride starts at 9 AM and my advice is to take the early morning bus to beat crowd over the weekend. We were at Ramoji on odd day hence fewer tourists were present. Morning ride gives you enough time to complete tour.

Film Set

               This open bus tour shows you film sets and gardens which were used in different films. you can connect to the movie after seeing film set. Indoor sets are not allowed for tourists. they stopped the bus at Ramayana film set and at Railway station set. We clicked filmy shots at the railway station and continued our tour.

Railway station Set from Back side...Beautiful and realistic station look from the front side. This set was used (After customization) in song All the Rajini fan (Lungi Dance) from Chennai Express

Filmy fun on set... Me and Wife

               After film set, they took us to Butterfly park and Bird park. Ramoji's bird park consists of an amazing variety of birds from all over the world. It is definitely not to miss attraction from Ramoji film city. we saw few gardens before we board a bus to reach the welcome center.

Bird Park in Ramoji Film City

              From 12 PM, you can enjoy different shows played in Ramoji. Action show was the highlight as compared to the other shows. Other shows were Sprite of Ramoji (Dance show) and Light camera action. They also have few fun rides for children and adults. Space Yatra (5D film), Filmy Dunia (Miniature film sets), Filmmaking demo were among them.

Action Show

               Ramoji film city also has a number of food joints for lunch and snacks. We had our lunch at continental food outlet (I forgot the name) which was decent and manageable. By 3:30 PM, we were done with most of the activity. We decided to take open bus tour once again to kill the time till 5 PM.

Village Set

               Afternoon open bus tour was not worth as they try to finish it early without providing proper info and no time to take a photo. Bus guide told us about outdoor shooting and took us there. We saw “Tera intazar” movie shoot casting Sunny Leon and Arbaaz khan. It was a different experience to see actual shooting from hardly 12-15 feet. It was good to watch for few retakes and then we left shooting location. We also got to know that shooting of Bahubali part 2 was in progress but no one was allowed to enter in that zone.

Sunny Leon on set of movie "Tera Intazar

               By 5 PM, we came back at welcome center. Buses were ready to drop us at the main gate. We left Filmy Dunia with some different experience. From the main road, we got sharing Auto. He dropped us close to Hyderabad city and from there we got public transportation to reach the hotel.
              we packed our bags and did check out from the hotel. Before boarding Duronto train, we wanted to have dinner at Bawarchi restaurant. We had tasty Chicken Biryani and reached the railway station. Duronto train left Hyderabad at 11 PM and our lovely Hyderabad trip came to an end.

Expense:

  • Bus to Ramoji: INR 60/- for 3 person
  • Ramoji Film City entry: 3000/- for 3 person
  • Breakfast in Ramoji: INR 160/-
  • Lunch at Ramoji: INR 460/- for 3 person
  • Water bottle: INR 20/-
  • Share Auto: INR 60/-
  • Bus to Nampally: INR 51/-
  • Uber(Hotel to Bawarchi): 110/-
  • Dinner at Bawarchi: INR 340/- (Veg starter, Chicken Biryani, and cold drinks)
  • Uber (Bawarchi to station): INR 65/-

Contact Number for reference

  • Taj Mahal Hotel, Abids Road: 914066120601, 66120606, 24758250.
  • Bawarchi hotel: 914027605308.
  • Shadab hotel: 914024561648.

Thanks for reading this Travel Blog.
Happy traveling.

Pritesh Kulkarni 
Pune