We had a weekend to spare so we planned a quick road trip to Warangal. Warangal is the closest major city from Hyderabad and an easy destination for a day or weekend trip. It is famous for the thousand pillar temple and the fort. However, we were more interested in countryside and lakes close to the city.
Warangal is around 140 kms. from Hyderabad city. The road to Warangal is good and the highway distance can be covered in 2.5-3 hrs. But we had to spend additional hour (and a half) in the city traffic which was frustrating. We drove to Warangal on Saturday evening to stay overnight so that we have the full next day at our disposal.
The next morning was bright and sunny. The morning was pleasant but as the day progressed, it became rather hot.
Our first destination of choice was Pakhal lake. This lake is about an hour ride from Warangal. The roads are country roads and a bit patchy. As was expected, before monsoon season lake was partially dried out.
However, the benefit of the dried lake was that we were able to drive right up close to the water. We drove off the road and on the lake bed for a good distance to reach the lake at close range. Driving off road is always a bit tricky as don’t know if the ground is firm or not. But it was fun anyways.
We had reached the lake rather early so there was no one at the boat jetty. So we waited at the park near the lake for some time. The park was small and populated with monkeys. But we were hit with a wave of nostalgia by the swing in the park. It was reminiscent of the childhood when we used to ride these all the times. The boat person never came but it wasn’t a wasted time after all.
The next stop for us was going to be the Laknavaram lake, about another hour ride from Pakhal lake. This stretch was more likable for us as we drove through the countryside with spans of cotton plantations and paddy fields along the way. The sowing season for paddy was just getting over so we were lucky to get stretches of lush green fields.
This road was still under construction so it was a combination of good and not-so-good stretches of road.
The Laknavaram lake was pretty dried up as well. It is a popular tourist spot and has a Haritha (state tourism) resort on an island. The water level was low and one could easily reach the island on foot on the lake bed (but that was not allowed). We had to cross the famous bridges which were hanging over land instead of water. It would have been a good sight if only water levels were high.
We had reached here post lunch and the sun was burning on our backs. Near the Haritha resort, we found a perfect natural shelter- the trees in addition to providing shade had bent to form a hammock-like structure.
From the island we were not allowed to go near the lake. The area was fenced off and guard was keeping an eye over those who tried to jump over. In the distance we could see cattle grazing off. The green pasture on the lake bed with water bodies around was a beautiful sight. Alas! it was far away.
Our final target was to visit the Ramappa lake and the Ramappa temple. We really enjoyed this 40 min drive through the countryside. We found picturesque scenes of coconut/palm trees rising tall over lush green paddy fields. We also found some chilli plantations along the way, which was a first!
We finally found a lake with decent water levels at Ramappa lake. It is an old reservoir with ancient monuments and harbor near the banks. We took a relaxing boat ride on the lake (which was long overdue since our trip to Pakhal lake in the morning).
The Ramappa temple has a rich history behind it. This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva was built in 13th century and is named after the sculptor. The intricate carvings on the temple are reminiscent of the grandeur of Kakatiya dynasty. It is one of the temples which has survived the numerous attacks and wars over the years. The repair work was under progress when we visited. There is something about such ancient temples that spending time there brings an inner peace.
We were on our way back to Hyderabad shortly after the visit to the temple. The ride was smooth till we hit the city traffic again.
Do you have a story to tell about your Warangal experience? Drop in a comment or send us a mail. We will definitely reply. All the interesting tales will be published in a special feature.