Rushikonda Beach Vizag
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Four Days in Andhra and No Andhra Food in Sight

When travel turns to be an ‘industry’, it comes with all the perils of standardisation. ‘One-day package’, ‘two-day package’ with a set list of things to see and do. Hotel staff rarely knows places other than these. Most taxi drivers insist there are no other interesting places. Not to mention the standardised Punjabi menu most restaurants offer.

After returning from Araku valley to Vizag city, our choice of Rushikonda beach resort turned out to be a good. On a hillock overlooking the beach, this APTDC resort offers comfortable stay. We had figured out a few places in and around Vizag to explore from our web search while planning the trip. The hotel reception has not heard about half of those. After booking a car for the next day, we kept the rest of the day for the beach.

The beach is clean and long enough for one to avoid the weekend crowd. At one portion of the sea, a lot of surfers were enjoying the waves. At the more crowded areas of the beach, public announcements kept on reminding people about the danger of venturing into the sea but no one was paying attention. We roamed the beach until the sun went away for his shift at the other part of the world.

We woke up to the pitter-patter of rain and realised we don’t have any raingear other than hats! Our plan to take an early morning stroll on the beach just got washed away. And it was just the beginning! Almost the whole day got washed out! Our self-rating as travelers too just went down. How can we do an east-coast trip in November without preparing for the rains?

The taxi driver was convinced that he knows all the places worth seeing in and around Vizag. The remains of Buddhist monastery in Thotlakonda were in our list and he reluctantly agreed. But it was disappointing since the remains were recreated using bricks. The driver had an ‘I told you so’ smirk. The only saving grace was the beautiful view of the coastline from the top.

Ramanaidu Film City was next in his list and we decided to give in. It was fun in a silly sort of way. We, who never bothered to visit the film city close to our house, looked in awe(!) at the hollow buildings with the façades of police stations, temples, schools, restaurants, bungalows and what not!

We were then looking for the Kambalakonda National Park spread across 70 sq km and at about 20 km from Vizag city. And no one had a clue about it.

After a futile attempt to convince the driver that such a place exists in Vizag and that we should ask a few for directions, we headed to Simhachalam temple. With no patience to wait in the long queue (even the paid fast-track queue didn’t work out), we just ended up getting drenched in the pouring rain. Thoroughly bored, we asked the driver to take us to a place where we could have Andhra meals. Finally, we got our fill of Andhra meals from Sri Sairam hotel. The sumptuous meal was just enough to let us not feel that Vizag was not all that disappointing. Afternoon had better things in store for us …

3 Comments on “Four Days in Andhra and No Andhra Food in Sight

  1. LOL….yeah we Punjabi’s rule the Kitchen the world over now 😉
    And why need an umbrella. If you have to stroll you have to stroll….rain or no rain. And drenching in rain is better, isn’t it.
    And about Andhra food….I had it once at a Darshani in Bangalore. But I am not well versed with the Southern part of the country…have only seen Kerela and Bangalore…but the pics are amazing and I know where I will be going next. (P.S. It was going to be Kerela but I changed my mind, since I have already seen that state once)

  2. Interesting trip. Vizag has very good beaches. It seems that you could not find a restaurant serving authetic Andhra food. Like in Kerala, here the food is served on round stitched leaves.

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