The Land of the Thunder Dragon (BHUTAN) – Day 2

19.12.2010 (Sunday)
Vijaywada (Andhra Pradesh) to Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) = 442 kms

Starting Place: Vijaywada
Starting Km Reading on the odometer of the car: 3200 km @ Vijaywada
Starting Time: 8 A.M. Morning
Closing Km Reading on the odometer of the car: 3642 km
Closing Time: 11.30 P.M. Night @ Vishakhapatnam

The hotel where we stayed room was decent enough and clean. After coming out of the Hotel just before we took the highway we saw a good restaurant and a small Anjaneya Temple. We had a darshan of the Lord of Might, Valor & Wisdom and we prayed to the lord to take us further safely. Then we had an excellent breakfast. The food was very good. Idli Wada, Masala Dosa & Poori Bhaji.

We hit the highway at 9.10 AM from Vijaywada and destination was supposed to cross AP / Orissa Border but decided to halt at Vishakhapatnam. The route was Vijaywada, Eluru, Rajahmundry, Anakapalli, Vishakhapatnam. At 9.23 AM we passed Pottipadu Toll Plaza and drove on NH5. At 9.45 we passed through Kalaparru Toll Plaza.

We just passed a fully loaded Orissa registered Lorry in the above picture. Jamuna saw the driver and told me that he was a small kid. I did not believe her and said “No way! May be a short guy!”

She asked me to allow the truck to pass me and I saw & wow, no jokes! He must have been just a little kid growing up to become a man. I overtook him & put some distance between us, stopped, got off my car & took photos. Unfortunately I could not get a clear shot of his face as I was to his left side.

I observed he was driving very carefully and with a good judgement and handling the pregnant cow well. He looked very relaxed and was singing & humming a song, looking least disturbed. I was wondering if this kid was the cleaner & the main driver was taking a nap or absconding!!! Looks like he isn’t new to highway driving and also driving fully loaded trucks. I thought maybe I should just stop him and take a photo. But you never know how he would have reacted.

At 1 PM, we came across a Gigantic Status of Lord Anjaneya – the size of which I have never seen anywhere. It was so massive & so huge!!!! It looks so majestic & reassuring to travellers & people by looking at the Abhaya Mudra sign of Don’t Worry I am there with you to remove all your fear. Go with the speed of Wind. That gave us the added strength to continue after taking some nice pictures. We could not believe it. The Linea looks like a dwarf in front of Lord Anjaneya.

At 1.23 PM on the highway we came across a very bad accident where a Truck had jumped the divider and crashed on the divider by climbing over the divider fencing. Either the driver must have been an expert driver to do this stunt or I guess must have slept off while driving or might have been under the influence of Alcohol. Imagine at what speed he would have been coming down the bridge when this accident happened. Who knows??

On the way, we came across Annavaram where you have a famous temple of Lord Vishnu as Lord Narasimha. This is an ancient temple and is considered as one of the 108 major temples of Vishnavite sect. We did not want to miss this important temple and just then H V Kumar came on-line and spoke to us to know where we were and when we said near Annavaram he advised us to visit this temple and told us about the importance of this temple. We said we definitely would like to visit the temple and then proceed to Vizag. He said very good you should do it as you will not get another chance in near future as we need to take a detour away from the highway. So we took a detour away from the highway towards Annavaram Temple at 1.30 PM.

It is written below in Telugu “Ratna Giri Vasa Satya Deva Namo Nama”. Ratna means Precious Stone, Giri means Mountain, Vasa means residing, Satya Deva means Lord of the Truth or upholder of Truth / Satya. Simply put, it means “To the Precious Lord who resides in this mountain and the upholder of Truth, I salute you”.

We passed a huge lake while climbing on this mountain and you can see a huge amount of water in this lake. The hill is surrounded by a huge lake reservoir and it was just fantastic to see the sheer majesty & beauty of this place.

Check out the picture below clicked by Uthamkumar. He also takes good photos and has an eye for details.

Coming down the hill, you will find a sign board that says “Welcome to Boat Shikar”. Both my kids said “Appa Appa Boat Ride”. As usual Jamuna was saying “No, we have to go on”. I believe she was more scared of water. I said “Come on! The kids also need a break.” And we decided to go on a boat ride. The problem is when you arrive first you got to wait for the place to fill. The waiting was killing as we almost waited more than 20 minutes.

Finally I said “Look, either you decide you will go with available people or we will also leave”. Luckily for him or for us we saw some young college crowd coming and soon the boat was full. We had safety jackets strapped on and all 4 were ready.

The time spent at the lake & boat ride from 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm, 1 hour, was fantastic. Both the kids were all charged up.

We were on the highway towards Vishakhapatnam and we again called up HVK and he advised us to take a room at APTDC Hotel at Rushikonda Beach Resort. He messaged the number. We called up the hotel & told them to block a room for us and we arrived at this resort at 9.00 PM Night.

The hotel details are

Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Limited
Haritha Rushikonda Beach Resort

Bhimili Road, Risikonda,
Tel: +91 891 2788826, 2793973
Cel: +91 9848813581

This resort is located on a hill-top with a clear view to the sea & beach.

From the room balcony the scene of the ocean & beach is just wonderful. It really is worth paying here to just enjoy the sheer beauty of this nature which in other such resorts would cost a bomb. Full Value for Money VFM. Full Paisa Vasool.

Diesel fuel @ Sri Venkateshwara Filling HPCL Kurmannapalem, Vishakpatnam 24.71 litres @ Rs.40.47 per Ltr for Rs.1000/-

Total Toll Gate Fees paid on 19.12.2010 from Vijayawada to Vishakhapatnam Rs.230/-


  • once again congrats and thanks for writing such beautiful posts …………………..

    your passion for travelling , driving and detailed posting is amazing………………………

    Keep Travelling and Keep Posting………………………

  • Nandan says:

    Great going.

    It appears to me that you didn’t plan to spend much time at the places where you are taking a halt (Vijaywada, Vijag). Is my reading correct ?

    Usually when we plan a long trip, we always try to make most by finding places where we can spend 1-2 nights and do local sight-seeing. May be for such a long trip, one needs to avoid that temptation and be sole focussed on close-to-continuous driving.

  • Onil Gandhi says:

    @nanadan….correctly noted … long distance travelers can’t afford such short breaks…

  • Onil Gandhi says:

    @MN… waiting for more…

  • MN says:

    Hi Nandan & friends @ Ghumakkar,

    In any long distance travel it is the journey that makes it more interesting than the destination. The program from start to finish was air tight and I had contingency plan as back up in case if something went wrong and I had the start place & destination place confirmed everyday.

    So there was no way I could fall short of kms in my trip as I was on a very tight budget with time. I had just 16 days and I had to do close to 7400 kms up & down. I had to be back in Coimbatore latest by 2nd Jan 2011 (Sunday) so that my kids could go to school & I could be back at work on 3rd Jan.

    So in such long distance trips I knew both my kids would get bored along with my wife just sitting & doing nothing so I had discussed with my friend HVK who was helping me that I will break from the mile crunching schedule and visit some of the interesting places like some major famous temples, some lake & boating etc. When I did these breaking away from the start to end drives I lost time and that meant a lot of discomfort & tiredness to me and reaching the destination at mid night hours everyday. I was willing to do that sacrifice to see the smile & happiness of my 2 kids & wife. They had a whale of a time in all such detours and HVK was very pleased & happy I still stuck to the time schedule.

    So I used to pace the journey by keeping in mind I had to do a minimum of 60 to 70 kms per hour to maintain the average.

    Day – 0 Coimbatore 10 PM night 17.12.2010 & reached Chennai 18.12.2010 morning 7.30 am covered 554 kms. I Continued from Chennai to Vijaywada without any halt on 18th Dec morning at chennai except for a brief stop for breakfast

    Day-1 Chennai 7.30 AM 18.12.2010 & reached Vijayawada 18.12.2010 night 10 pm covered 520 kms

    Day 0&1 from Coimbatore to Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) I did non stop 1074 kms

    Day – 2 Vijayawada to Vishakhapatnam (AP) 19.12.2010 covered 442 kms

    Day – 3 Vishakhapatnam to Bhadrak (Orissa) 20.12.2010 covered 605 kms

    Day – 4 Bhadrak to Malda (West Bengal) 21.12.2010 covered 713 kms

    Day – 5 Malda to Mala Bazar (West Bengal) 22.12.2010 covered 379 kms

    Day – 6 Mala Bazar (WB) to Phouetsholing Thimpu (Bhutan) 23.12.2010 covered 281 kms one of the most dangerous roads – anytime landslides can happen & very hilly mountain road need experience to drive. One mistake & it will be a very long way down.

    Day – 7 Thimpu (Local) 24.12.2010 – covered 23 kms

    Day – 8 Thimpu & Paro Bondey Airport Bhutan 25.12.2010 covered 139 kms

    Day – 9 Thimpu, Dochu La Pass, Punakha & Wangdu 26.12.2010 covered 165 kms

    Day – 10 Thimpu to Siliguri (WB) 27.12.2010 covered 340 kms

    Day – 11 Siliguri (WB) to Bakkeshwar NTPC Power plant (WB) 28.12.2010 covered 473 kms

    Day – 12 Bakkeshwar (WB) to Bhuwaneshwar (OR) 29.12.2010 covered 655 kms

    Day – 13 Bhuwaneshwar (OR) to Chilika Lake (OR) 30.12.2010 covered 227 kms

    Day – 14 Chilika Lake (OR) to Vishakhapatnam (AP) 31.12.2010 covered 365 kms

    Day 15 Vishakhapatnam to Coimbatore NON STORP via Chennai 01.01.2011 started at 6 AM morning from Vishakhapatnam & reached Chennai midnight 10.30 PM covered 846 kms & continued driving from Chennai to Coimbatore without stopping at Chennai towards Coimbatore

    Day – 16 Chennai to Coimbatore 02.01.2011 started at 10.30 midnight of 1st Jan and continued on and reached Coimbatore at morning 10 AM covering 572 kms –

    Vishakapatnam to Coimbatore non stop total 846+572 = 1418 KMS

  • Vibha says:

    Wow. This kind of trip requires perseverance and planning. But in spite of the need to stick to the schedule, you seem to have taken your time at places like beaches and temples. Way to go!

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    “On the way, we came across Annavaram where you have a famous temple of Lord Vishnu as Lord Narasimha. This is an ancient temple and is considered as one of the 108 major temples of Vishnavite sect.”

    The temple referred to is the Simhachalam shrine, on the outskirts of Vizag (Vishakhapatnam). It is quite ancient, built in the 11th Century CE and is popular with pilgrims from Odisha too.

    Annavaram is about 120 Kms. south of Vizag, on the NH-5. The presiding diety is Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy. This temple is of relatively recent origin, having been built by a local zamindar in 1891, which makes it 120 years old. It is, however, a very popular temple in Andhra Pradesh and definitely worth visiting. Some songs and scenes from the award winning Telugu classic “Shankarabharanam” were shot here.

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