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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Horsley Hills (Chittoor - Andhra Pradesh)

Chilling out in the Midst of the Clouds!!!

It’s been some time now since we went on a family tour. So mom initiated the topic with a wonderful proposal of the place as well. A short 3 days extended-weekend trip to Horsley hills. Things were planned and mom booked the rooms at the resort and the next weekend we were there.

We reached Madanapalle at around 4 in the evening. Madanapalle is the nearest base to the hill station. From there we took a taxi and it was a 29 km ride which includes 20 km on the ground and 9 km on ghat road. The curvy ride on the hair-pin bends was an experience, experienced after years together. When we almost reached the resort at the top of the hills at around 5 pm, it started raining. Only then did I realize the stupidity of not getting an umbrella. It should have been the basic common sense – at the top of the hill, where the clouds graze the soil, of course it would rain often. Ha, my stupidities aside! The temperature was falling steadily right from the hill base. At the top, when it was raining, the temperature would have been 5 to 10 degree celicius. Oooohh!!! Well, guess am cold blooded. I needed that chillness badly. And I was enjoying every moment thoroughly.

My mom had booked the ‘Wild Winds’ resort of the ‘Haritha – Andhra Pradesh Tourism Dept’. It was a beautiful building. As such the resort has several buildings to serve clients of different group no.s and budgets, starting from Dorms, then Cottages, Wild Winds, Wind Whistle, right till the heritage building called Governer’s Banglow.

We went to the room and changed and freshened up and came out of the room at around 6 pm. I had never ever seen such a dark, chill and eerie 6 pm so far in my life. See the pic above, believe me - it was taken at 6 pm!!! We just walked around till 7 or so and had dinner and retired for the day.

Next day as usual mom woke up first and pulled me out of the bed and dad wouldn’t nudge a bit. Well, the plan was ‘to do nothing at horsley hills’. So we left him and went for a nice refreshing morning walk. The pic above was at 7 am.

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The place had several Eucalyptus trees, that were taller than the rest of the trees and they blew violently. My dad got seriously scared that we were gonna be stranded at Horsley. Reason – Cyclone was crossing the shores of North Andhra and we were at South!!!

Once I and mom came out and took a stroll we realized, since the Eucalyptus trees were too tall they only shook violently and the rest were peaceful. I enquired at the Reception if I could get a guided trek and hell fell on my head. He said that it’s been dropped recently due to the fear of - Tigers!!! Now, I didn’t want to come face to face with any hungry tiger!!! We walked about in the resort and I found this person called Badhri with his equipements. Hmmmmmmm. Na na na... This is a surprise!!! Wait for the next post to know about him and his equipments!!!

There is a little ISCKON temple atop and we took off to it. The temple is not a big or old one. Just a small dome with a single Lord Krishna statue built in 1956.

But the route to reach it was a trek indeed. And as I reached there, thanks to the height the wind was blowing so wildly.

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The video atop is not edited or kept at 2x speed. The grass is blowing in the wind. Would you believe the fierceness of the wind that blows here!!! This point is the highest point in Andhra Pradesh at 3845 yards. Even higher than Tirupathi Balaji Temple!

Later by noon, we took off to a good trek on the ghat roads (note: not in the forest!!!). We got down the ghat road by 2.5 km to reach Gangothri - An amazing scenic water point. But more serene than Gangothri was the route to reach it.

The curvy roads with shying away from sunlight, with tall trees on either sides, it was amazing. I was seeing images of lifetime in front of my eyes. Enroute, was a micro-mini waterfalls.

video

It’s actually a little water originating region that falls as a little water fall and flows as a mini river. I couldn’t resist my temptation to drink it. It’s actually far more healthier than any water as it was just coming out of the earth and the taste was heavenly. Never have I tasted water so pure and pristine.

The whole 5 km up and down trek was so fulfilling to heart and opposite to the stomach. As such walking in ghat road has its own pressure. Walking up the hill, we were working against gravitational pull and it needs more energy. When we reached the resort at 2:30 pm we were really hungry. A typical Andhra Meals (read – spicy) was heavenly and I was off to noon nap.

At 5:30, we started off again to Gali Banda to watch sunset. Gali Banda is a rocky terrain (Yes, you need good shoes to hold grip onto the downwards slope of the rocks). The valley view to too good here and to watch the sun set here is so so amazing and tranquil. This place is a haven for drunkards and it is quite evident here. The whole terrain is filled with broken glasses of alcoholic beverages. Now, dare not venture to Gali Banda with bad footwear, unless you want some ‘Povoma Oorgolam’ Kushboo effect! (Ahem, for those who don’t relate to it, it’s a scene from a Tamizh movie where the heroine Kushboo walks on broken glasses).

A good North Indian meals and I was off to a deep slumber. Next day we didn’t have much to do. We walked about. This place was earlier called the Enugu Mallamma Hills, with the presence of the little temple to Enugu Mallamma. After the advent of the English, this place was re-christened as Horsley Hills after the collector’s name, Mr. W.H.Horsley.

We walked upto the Valley View Point above the Governer’s Banglow. Again a breathtaking view.

Also there was another viewpoint near the Green Meadows, a resort building. We went there and sat there for I dunno how many hours. It was the most pleasing family moment since quite some time I guess.

On the way to the Green Meadows is a small zoo that has the local animals, a coffee plantation,and some amazing marvels of nature. One was a Fusion Tree. It’s actually 2 trees that had fused into one in halfway! There is also a 150 yrs old Eucalyptus Tree that had won the Mahavriksha Puraskar!

There was another tree that had an inward groove throughout. A nature study centre aka museum is here which was under renovation and we couldn’t see it. Among the houses in Green Meadows is also a house in which Horsley himself lived. A specimen of a tile made in the year 1865 is also seen here.

Coming soon with that surprise as said above!!! Wait and watch!!!


TO GET THERE:

To Madanapalle:

From Chennai: 250 km via Vellore, Chittoor, Palamaner, Punganur

From Bangalore: 150 km via Haskote, Kolar, Srinivasapur, Gownipalli, Rayalpadu

From Hyderabad: 550 km via Kurnool, Nandyal, Mydukur, Cudappah, Rayachoti

To Horsley Hills:

From Madanapalle: 29 km. (20 on ground and 9 on ghat roads).

The last lap requires a local bus or car at around Rs.400.

Rs. 15 in auto from Madanapalle Bus Stand to Taxi Stand.

Ph. No. of Chandu – a taxi driver at Madanapalle: 09703465593


ACCOMODATION:

Ph. No. of Horsley Hills Resort: 08571-279323,24

Ph. No. of APTDC at Chennai: +91 44-24353373.

Ph. No. of APTDC at Bangalore: +91 80-22385513

Ph. No. of APTDC at Hyderabad: +91 9848540371

Ph. No. of APTDC at New Delhi: +91 11-23381293


Reservation of rooms is necessary as the total no.of rooms available is only 34.

Rent at different rooms and no.s available:

Dorm (30): Rs.100

Wind Falls (4): Rs.2200

Wild Winds (8): Rs.1200

Whispering Winds (8): Rs 800

Cottage: Double(4): Rs.1200, Single(4):700

Governer’s Bangalow (5): Rs.1800

Governer's Suite (1): Rs.2000


Dedicated to Mom & Pop

42 comments:

  1. cute pictures.. and beautiful write up... tantalizing it is for me :)

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  2. Hi Phivos,
    Thanks a lot dear.. :)

    Hi Sow,
    Thanks di. Thanks sweetheart...

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  3. Tigers will not eat bones...So for yourself no need to fear..

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  4. Lovely photos and very interesting trip. Its always fun to travel with the family.

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  5. i guess u have created a niche out here in your blog..... :D ...
    the pictures are exceptional and the videos... its a great addition...
    i still cant find the time to write mine... :P

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  6. This is more through described and more beautifully presented than a guide book. I love the pictures taken in the mist.;)

    I want to thank you for often stopping by my place and leaving such nice comments, they warm my heart every time.;)

    xoxo

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  7. @Jiju,
    :( Idhu romba over..!!!
    I just realized, I missed out taking a pic of that resort..!!!

    @Krish,
    Thanks a lot dear. That's so flattering!!! Thank you.
    Do find some to write it. You have a good writing skill..

    @Protege,
    Thanks a lot dear. :) That's so kind of you to appreciate my blog. :) Thanks a lot for your kind comments. :)

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  8. @Aysegul,
    Thanks dear.. :) Its absolutely true that its fun with family..

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  9. Oh thats a well written Travelogue.. The places in ur blog is for sure a list to be checked for me.. Too good. Great work posting the places with the contact numbers and routes..

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  10. simply beautifully captured shots & lovely reading...wonderful travails!

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  11. Hey.. thats a lovely descriptions and love the pics....

    Domain registration india

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  12. Hello my friend:)

    Greetings:)

    Wonderful narration of your trip. It looked like I was there with you on all your trips. I really got frightened at the way the eucalyptus trees were swaying with the wind. They looked like devils dancing. I can see the speed of the wind from the way grass was bending. You really had the courage to go out in a time like this.

    The waterfall is also interesting. You have captured all the videos very beautifully. I heard some one saying- THANNI in the waterfall video towards the end.

    The photos were lovely and speak the story of your tour so vividly and graphically.

    Have a wonderful day, my friend:)
    Joseph

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  13. Nice photos! Makes me miss India...

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  14. @Lahari,
    Thanks a lot dear.. :) Thanks for your appreciation. :)
    And, welcome to my blog. Seems to be your first visit here.. Do drop in often. Would love your comments.. :)

    @Kalyan,
    Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Thanks for your appreciation. :)

    @Joseph,
    Thanks a lot for your kind compliments. I love em all. :)
    Yes, that's my mom telling 'Thanni' which means water. That water was so tasty that I couldn't stop drinking it. :)

    @Joel,
    Thanks a lot for dropping by and commenting. Do drop in often. Would love your visits and comments. Do visit Incredible India too!! :)

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  15. Hi Friend, here I am after another absence, much longer than I wished...
    It looks a bit misty, but what would you expect so early in the morning... ;)
    Lovely pictures, wondeful travelogue!!

    Blogtrotter is now at an old spa in Turkey. Enjoy and have a great week!

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  16. This is a wonderful blog. Horsely Hills has been captured very well. I am glad you added video to this post because the wind speed when it is gusting can be seen on your video and it seemed wild! One thing though, the altitude of the hills is usually measured in meters or feet, not in yards. I am guessing the figure you gave is in feet?

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  17. Hi GMG,
    Thanks a lot for your kind comments. It was cloud that forms that misty appearance. At that altitude, I was living among the clouds. Thanks a lot again dear. :)

    Hi Capt,
    Thanks dear. :) I finally found a software to reduce my video size so I could post em on my blog. :) I guess it should be in feet too. I enquired a localite and he said this size. May be mere English problem.. :)

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  18. wow! u had an awesome time there. I was there at Tirupati for 8 years and never managed to go to Horsley Hills.. :(
    Good information you have provided.

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  19. Hey Neelima,
    Oh no. Do find time to go thr. Its a great place and not far from Bangalore too.. :)

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  20. my comment disappeared?! :(

    just wanted to tell you awesome post! the most exhaustive i have read on this place!! am planning to go next weekend and very excited!

    i have also read about some adventure sports here. did you indulge in any? or even see any?

    how was the aptdc acco?

    great stuff!

    cheers!

    abha

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  21. ps: you should also add Horsley Hills in your tags along with hairtha / Punima resort etc so that it shows up right in the beginning on google! this deserves to be right up there! :)

    cheers!

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  22. @Mama Mia,
    So sorry that your comment got lost... First of all, welcome to my blog. Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting.
    Have a great trip next weekend and do share your experiences. Yeah, the place has a great deal of adventure sports. My next post is on it. The accommodation is great.
    Thank you so much for the appreciation. :) Do drop in often.. :)

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  23. Hey,
    We were planning of this trip since a long time now. Your blog is very detailed and heart felt, i could feel all that you have experienced. We are going to this place this weekend and hope we too have the same kind of atmosphere as you had. I hope all my friends bundle up many nice memories with them after this trip...

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  24. @Ekta Lal,
    Thanks dear.. :)

    @My Journey,
    Great.. Have a great time... Visiting this place with friends is the best way to enjoy!!! :) Do lemme know your experiences.. :)

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  25. Do you have idea on how many people will they allow in wild winds room and in cottages double room type.

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  26. Nice post. It is very much useful.

    Did any one book the accommodation through APTDC website in online. Is there any difference in booking online and booking through AP tourism counter.

    http://www.tourisminap.com/weekend_getaways/wg_horsleyhills.php

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  27. @Adithya,
    Thank you so much dear for the appreciation.
    I have no idea sweety. Why don't you call them up and ask them. The ph. no.s are in my post above.
    And I did not book online, so I have no idea of the difference.

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  28. What a lovely post. Came here through a search for Horsley hills :D Am almost convinced I should go there, especially after seeing the phone numbers you have posted. Very useful. Thanks.

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  29. @Vidya Sury,
    Oh wow... That's nice... Did you visit Horsley by now??? Do share your pics and experience there...

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  30. Hey, thanks to your blog, we visited Horsley. We also stayed at Wild Winds - oh, we had a superb trip. I've uploaded some 200-odd photos in my picasa album. I've also linked to your blog in my post today at Going A-Musing. I'll be writing a more detailed post about my experience there - will let you know when I do.

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  31. @Vidya Suri,
    Wow... Fabulous post...
    Thank you so much for the mention...
    Awaiting for your experience post... :)

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  32. Hey, thanks to your blog
    Great Post

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  33. Hey, thanks to your blog
    Great Post

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  34. @Hi,
    Thanks for visiting and am glad you liked. Do drop by often... :)

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  35. Thank you for sharing your lovely family trip.

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  36. I dont know if you will read this comments. in case ...

    Any inputs on the stay in the year 2012.. you seems to have captured this hills stay some time long back.

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