Trip to Mantralayam
So, we selected the package tour offered by AP tourism to Alampur, Mantralayam and Pillalamari.
Trip was scheduled to start at 9:30, so we went to the baseerbagh office at 9:00. The "we" here stands for: Ganesh, Vinayak, Ganesh mom and I. Had tiffin there and waited and waited and waited :)... The bus came at 9:45 and left around 10:05.
Bus stopped at 12:30 in some govt owned restaurant. Took some snaps and headed to Alampur (15 kms from Kurnool). We reached Alampur around 3:15. The temple town is good. it's situated right next to the Tungabhadra river and there is a high wall separating the village and the river. It has 9 Shiva linga temples and a jagadamba temple. The jagadamba temple is beautiful and newly renovated. The temple has an entrance fee (Sounds strange isn't it ? :)) and they use it for renovating other temples. About alampur, it looks like a remote village where people are mainly poor. There were literally hundreds of beggars following us everywhere we went :(
Forgot to mention one important thing. My collegue Abhi had taken the ipod for his use, so one of my most treasured timepass gadget on travelling was missing. luckily I had got the "Diary of Anne Frank" from M$ library with me. So started reading it.
We reached Mantralaya(m) around 7:15. We stayed at the punami resort (if we can add the word resort to it). it was an okay kinda hotel (perhaps room rent of Rs 200 or so). We took bath, got ready and headed to the temple. I had been there around 15 yrs back, so there were lots of changes. Unlike the last time where we were able to go right next to the Raghavendra swamy Samadhi, this time there was a huge barricade and we could view only from around 12-15 feet far. Well I am not sure if I should call this samadhi, as the belief is that Raghavendra swamy is still alive there and will merge with God after another 300 yrs. There was also a bhajane going on. We listened to it for sometime and then headed to the temple dining hall for prasada/free food. :). Food was good. Then we shopped for sometime and then my room mates went to the room. I headed to the river to get a glimpse. And then was loitering around the temple when I heard god Archana going on. So went in again & had another "darshana". Reached room at around 10:45 .. Read Anne frank for an hour or so and then slept. We kept the alarm for 5:15 as we wanted to reach the temple before 6 and do some poojas.
Got up at around 5:15 and went hunting for a tooth paste. Couldn't get one. So managed with the little left in mine. Took head bath and headed to the river at around 5:45. Went in a auto to the river bed. Just got legs & hand wet and headed to the temple. We had nice dharshana. Oops forgot to tell one thing. We are required to remove the shirt and banians before entering the temple complex. It's followed in lots of places in south india, hvn't got the real reason/rationale for that yet. After dharsana we took some archana coupons which were believed to start at 8:45. So, we went out - Had breakfast at Sri Krishna Udipi restaurant, went back to the room and lied down. We came back to the temple at 8:30 and stood in queue. We were let in for the pooja at 9:00 but since it would take another hour or so, we came back without getting our archana done.
Bus left from Mantralayam around 9:45 and we reached Kurnool around 12:30 for Lunch. Kurnool punami restaurant looks good. We could not cover pillalamari as the road was being redone and only small vehicles could ply. So we directly headed to Hyderabad and reached here around 7 PM.
So, tht's our journey. Lots of travel - infact around 16 hours of travel and 6 hours of sleep and only around 8 hours in the tourist spots :). Good for once in a while, but there might be better tourist packages. well until we find one more good package to visit, in the coming weekends... Adieu from the travel blog :)