Amazing Borra Caves


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Start of Travel Thoughts:
It's been a long time (almost 6 months ) that I went on long drive. Hence, I was thinking of doing some long drive.

It's 20th Sep and I was very desparate that I need to go somewhere to beat my travel thirsty. I was googling to see which is the place that I need to go this time.

My plan is to travel out of Chennai for 4 days. I was tossing between Karnataka and Andhra. I need to choose one of the states so that I can decide which is the city/town that I need to visit.
As I visited last time Rajamundry, Andhra, this time I am more inclined towards Karnataka. However, again I started thinking that if I choose to go Karnataka, then if I ever shift to Bangalore back, Andhra might become a distant land.

Thinking multiple times and talking with my wife about the tour plan(actually I was telling her that I will take her to some place for touring but never wanted her to take a decision on the place :)).
Finally, decided to visit Vizag to see Araku Valley which I heard from my colleagues that it is really a good place to visit.




Preparation:
There was no special preparation that I did for this drive. The only preparation that I did was requesting my dad to search for some hotels in Vizag so that we can stay there.
We are kind of people who do not want to spend more money on accomodation as we want to enjoy the place where we visit rather than where we stay. Hence, our criteria was to look for hotels that are economical.
Dad was doing his search. He shortlisted couple of hotels in Rajamundry and Vizag. He short-listed some hotels in Rajamundry because he felt we may not be able to make 900km drive in a single day.
I did not say anything to my dad that I should be able to drive the whole day and we can reach Vizag on the same day.


Day before travel:
4:00PM
As usual there was lot of work for my wife and I was really not having much work (as I just returned from onsite and have not been allotted to any projects). So, the other job which I had was to give my car for water service so that atleast the car will look fresh when we go on tour.
In the evening went to car service center and gave for complete wash. As usual I was there in the service center till my car is washed. It took almost 2 hours to clean the car completely.
When the car looked fresh I started feeling that I am ready for the tour.


6:00 PM
I called my wife to check whether she is ready to leave the office so that I can pick her up. But, she did not pickup my call. She was cutting my phone. I thought that she would be there in a meeting and because of that reason she could not pickup her phone.
I gave her another 30min so that she can come out of meeting room and call me back. However, even after 45min she did not call me. This time, I tried again. When I called her she told me that she is busy and she will call me back.
I started realizing that she is going to come late from office. Hence, I need to pack all the stuffs for myself and her for the travel. My dad had packed all the necessary things required for the travel for himself, my mom and my kids.
So, now, I am the only one who need to pack the stuffs. When I looked into my cupboard I realized that there is no dress which were iron-pressed. I was feeling guilty that I was not even checking whether my dresses were ready for travel.
Immediately I went down to check whether Iron-wala is there to press my dress. And to my bad luck, he left the apartment. Now, it is time for me to do iron-pressing myself.
I started feeling that I will not be able to do for all the dresses. Hence, took pair of jeans and some T-shirts for the travel. I told my dad that I have packed all my things.


9:00PM
I called my wife again and checked whether she is ready to come back from ofTrafice. She told me that there is some deliverables and she will take another hour to return. I decided to pickup
GPS from my friend. I brought Garmin GPS from US and still I have not activated it. Hence, I had to call my friend to give his GPS for the travel. HE immediately agreed and asked me to come and collect from his home.
His house is closer to my wife's office. So, I decided to pickup GPS when I am going to pickup my wife.


10:30 PM
Finally, I got a call from my wife and started to pickup my wife from her office. Collected the GPS from friend and pickup my wife from office. It gave confidence that I can start for tour now :)



Travel Day:
5:00 AM
This was the time we planned to start from home. As usual we got delayed due to kids. They were in sleepy mood and does not want to take bath in the early morning. I was insisting that they should take bath because it is whole day journey and we may not be staying in between anywhere before Vizag.
After lot of requests, kids agreed to take bath. While they were taking bath, my dad prepared car for the travel. He packed every bags, water bottles, napkins, snacks bag and other necessary items which essential for the travel.
He arranged everything properly inside the car. So, I was actually happy and relieved that I don't need to do anything other than making kids to take bath :)


6:00 AM
We all excited to start our trip. I was the one who first stepped out of apartment. Being September, in Chennai, it used to be hot. But, I was feeling chillness in the breeze. It reminded me that there could be rains while traveling. Hence, need to pack umbrellas. I told my Dad to bring umbrellas. He said immediately that he has already kept in the car. I was really impressed with his preparation. I never thought he can make arrangements pretty well. I was happy...

In fact, Everyone was very eager to see the Borra Caves. We started our journey from home and started towards Chennai Bye-pass that connects to Kolkatta Highway.

The route that we have taken is
Chennai-Nellore-Guntur-Vijayawada-Rajamundry-Vizag

Here is some pictures that can give you details about what can be expected [This was the tip that I received from our T-Bloggers who writes well. Kudos to them for providing such tips :) ]

Will be posting the travel experience in the following days...
 

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Thread Starter #4
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No good restaurants on NH-5 from Chennai to Nellore (at least we could not find on the highway itself)

We started our journey with a chill breeze. The journey from Chennai was on the Kolkotta Highway (NH5). We covered this highway with lots of stops for foods and sight-seeing during our last trip to Rajamundry.
Hence, this time we did not want to stop here and there to take pictures rather we want to drive directly to Vizag.

This highway is pretty cool and less of traffic during day-time. I believe this highway is primarily used by all Truck people from Chennai/Nellore/Vijayawada to go Bhuvaneswar/Kolkatta. Hence, during the day-time we never saw lot of traffic.
As the personal car traffic is very less compare to the busy routes like Chennai-Bangalore

As we crossed Chennai, we thought we can break for breakfast at Nellore. But, on the highway, near Nellore, we could not find any good restaurants.
We stopped near Nellore Toll Plaza for taking short break. We enquired the people at Toll-Plaza about the restaurants and they informed that there are Dhabas available.
We found difficult to get good restaurants for breakfast in the Highway. We did not want to take breakfast in Dhaba as we wanted to take Idly/Dosa for breakfast. Being a south indian, we prefer to have Idly/Dosa for breakfast.

We started driving further from Nellore in search of restaurants. What we encountered on the way was typical road-side eateries. We did not want to take a chance at road-side eateries as we want to drive for the whole day.
It might be good in some of the road-side eateries but why to take a chance. Hence, dropped the idea of stopping in any of the road-side eateries.

We saw board for couple of restaurants but when we stopped our vehicles to get into these restaurants we were told that the restaurants are not functioning and it is closed.
Surprised to see that there is no good restaurants on the highway.

Attaching some of the pictures that we have taken en-route. (I am still finding how to insert images in between paragraphs to make the photo speak in between the lines)
 

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Akash

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Excellent pics rajscorpion. The third last pic of your first post is wall paper material. Keep the pics coming.

OT: What camera do you use?
 
Thread Starter #6
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View before reaching Vijayawada
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It was around noon-time we reached Vijayawada and we were feeling hungry. Kids wanted to have lunch in a A/C restaurant. For some reason they were adamant and wanted to have in a good restaurant. There was as a sign board showing "Vijayawada".
We decided that we will not go inside the city and wanted to see the hotel only on the high-way.
We started looking out for restaurant on the way after we crossed this little mount. We could not find anything. We thought we have crossed the vijayawada city and we will not going to get the restaurant.
To our surprise, after looking at the traffic ahead, we realized that the actual city has not yet. So, we got hope that we should be able to get good restaurant.
Now, we entered into the City limit (where the NH crosses the city) we did a quick search with GPS. However, as the GPS was having old data it was not able to show us restaurants.
I believe we have to update GPS atleast once in 2 yr to get update information.

Finally, we found a restaurant called "Bawarchi" in the service lane. From outside it was looking very normal. But, when we entered inside it was really good. The ambience is the one which I liked most here.

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Let me share the details about food. We ordered "Special Chicken Briyani" and "Tandoori Chicken". The quantity of food was more and we thought the quality may not be good. On the contrary, the food was so tasty that I felt it was even better than what I had in Hyderabad.


After had a heavy lunch, I was feeling sleepy. So, now, I asked my wife to drive the car. She started driving the car and I wanted to sleep. To cut the story short about our first day trip, we reached the hotel at 9:30PM in Vizag.

I will continue about my trip to Araku Valley (Borra Caves) and a waterfall shortly....
 
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Rajscorpion,

Excellent Narration, I felt like that I'm in travelling [:D].

Waiting for more pics and don't forgot to Post your car Pic.
 
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Borra Caves

We started our day with fine cup of tea. As usual I don't start any work before I have tea in the morning. I went to the hotel reception and was casually chatting with the Hotel Manager about the option to visit Borra Caves. He recommended that the best way to visit Borra Caves is by catching a train from Vizag and travel upto Araku Valley. But, the problem with the train is that it has only one train in the morning that leaves by 6:30AM and the same train return to Vizag by 7:00PM. He also told that most of the people who comes along with the driver, they board the train and the driver will take the car to the Borra Caves. He mentioned that the train journey from Vizag to Borra Caves goes via forests and valley which is very similar to the one you have in Mettupalayam-Ooty Heritage train track. As this location is not so popular, people are not aware that there are such beautiful option exists to visit Borra Caves and Araku Valley.Now, I realized that I missed the option of catching the train to visit Borra Caves :(. Anyway, I consoled myself that "Always there is Next Time".


We prepared ourselves and wanted to leave by atleast 7:30AM in the morning. As usual, the plan is delayed by 1Hr due to kids. We started by 8:30AM from our hotel.
We decided that we will eat on the way to Borra Caves. I went to the car parking and cleaned car little bit so that it won't look too much dirty due to the rains that the car was exposed yesterday before we reached Vizag.

Here is my beauty....
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Some of the en-route pictures. It was Green everywhere on the route to valley. I started feeling that there are places in India where it is really green and only Kerala is making good attempt to market their tourism.
(This is not to hurt any sentiments of Kerala people, but really want to give thumbsup to other states as well. So that the travellers like me can consider other destinations also for touring )

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We took a short break here to take tea. It was a local tea shop. We took a break here because there was a deviation in the road and wanted to make sure that we are catching the right road to Borra Caves.

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A View from the place where we stopped the car.

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Thread Starter #10
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Visiting Borra Caves

Next we started our journey enjoying the natural beauty across the roads. "When you see the green, you will feel really fresh". I was experiencing the freshness in my mind. Everyone was happy seeing greenary.
Kids were enjoying the chill breeze in the valley. We were heading towards Borra Caves. As I have never seen the caves before, I was having lots of expectations. At the same time I was feeling if there is nothing in the caves, then our total journey of 2000km will become useless.
[I have seen the caves (Guna Caves - The name was dervied from a Tamil movie called Guna.) from outside in Kodaikanal. I have travelled multiple times to Kodaikanal, but unfortunately I have travelled all the times during rainy season. Hence, I was not allowed to go inside the caves.]


I thought this place might not be crowded. But, when I was reaching near the caves, there was lots of tour vehicles which were returning. This gave little confidence that there will be something in the caves.

Here is the road that leads to the entrance of the Borra Caves.
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Kids - Looking around the place
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Running towards the entrance
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Borra Caves Entrance
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History about Borra Caves
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Thread Starter #11
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Entrance to Borra Caves - This is the first view that you will encounter when you step into Borra Caves
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As soon I stepped into the entrance I was amazed by the size of the caves and the number of stone steps that has been laid to get inside the cave.

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After getting inside the cave, I looked back to see the outside view


We went further inside and found the rocks that were formed by water.
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Some more views
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Inside the cave some places have been disconnected. Looks like our people has laid bridge to visit that part of the caves also. It was really amazing to see such a huge caves. In a single word "Marvellous"

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Some more views....

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Wait for more......Let me take some break as I was trying to write continuously, I started feeling that I need to take some rest before continuing....

Stay tuned please [:)]
 

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rajscorpion wonderful t'log and beautiful pictures. let it flow. hows the nh 5. since you had mentioned that there was only trucks were you able to maintain good average speeds.?
 
Thread Starter #13
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Excellent pics rajscorpion. The third last pic of your first post is wall paper material. Keep the pics coming.

OT: What camera do you use?
Hey Akash,

Thanks. I am using Panasonic Point&Shoot camera. Don't remember the model name now. Let me check and update you [:)]
 
Thread Starter #14
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rajscorpion wonderful t'log and beautiful pictures. let it flow. hows the nh 5. since you had mentioned that there was only trucks were you able to maintain good average speeds.?
Hey smooth rider, Thanks.
NH5 is really good except some distance from Tada to Nellore and some 60km from Ongole to Vijayawada where there are road widening project is happening. Hence, there was lot of deviations in the 4 lane road. As I don't drive too fast, still I was able to maintain an average of 60kph (this includes short break, lunch, tea time etc). I believe once the 6-lane is completed then it will be excellent to drive.
 

sethumurugan

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How I missed this thread. Great t'loug as mentioned. Keep writing. I think you are one of travel enthu we have here in TAI. Even I like travel but due to various reason I could n't execute it.

I think this place is really worth for 2000KM Travel.
 
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