It was a long time I had traveled anywhere and the craving to go on a long drive was keeping me on the toes to think for a location which can be covered in a weekend. I was exploring the destinations near by Hyderabad for a longtime and finally I decided to go to Suryalanka a weekend getaway from Hyderabad. A small beach 9 kms from Bapatla town in Guntur district.
There are 2 routes which Google maps suggest
- Hyderabad -> Suryalanka via Nalgonda -> Narasaraopet SH 45
- Hyderabad -> Suryalanka via Vijayawada – Guntur via NH 9
Since we were accompanied with families, we decided to take the longer but more comfortable route via NH9. Our journey was planned to have a stop for breakfast at Food Court 7 at Suryapet. So we started as 5:30 am from Hyderabad on Saturday half an hour before the dawn and by 8 am we reached the 7 food court. The food court is a well maintained place and a major food joint on en-route Vijayawada. It serves all sorts of North Indian & South Indian foods in addition to this a Subway & Baskin Robbins outlets are also available. Food court has ample parking space with some fun activities for kids. In case you feel like having some confectionery or you need to buy some music CDs then this is the place. After having a sumptuous breakfast and some re-creation of my kid we started for Vijayawada.
After the breakfast with roads well lit by the Morning sun and clear roads we cruised at the speed of 100 KMPH on the NH9. This is a very well maintained set of roads varying from 2-3 lanes. Leaving apart few places where the NH9 goes through some populated stretches where some barricades would popup without any prior warning one can easily touch 120 KMPH. A steady ride on the NH9 kept us all energetic and fun filled the road has some good view points specially when reaching Vijayawada one can see the scattered collection of hillocks from the eastern ghats and lots of beautifully built and maintained temples.
We reached the KanakaDurga temple around 12pm after being forced to take some alternate routes in Vijayawada due to ongoing repair work at NH9. Kanakadurgamma temple is situated on the banks of river krishna, in Vijayawada. Sri Kanakadurgamma (kanaka durga) is swayambu (self-manifested). It is one of the largest temples in India. and 2nd largest temple in Andhra Pradesh. Temple commonly called as Vijayawada Kanaka Durgamma Temple, in the Krithayuga after killing Mahisasura, the goddess Durga shined on the Keela mountain with eight arms in the form of MAHISHASURA MARDINI as she had given boon to keela. On this mountain, goddess Durga was seen glowing with the lighting of crores of suns, with golden colour. Since that, Indra and all the deities praised her chanting “KANAKA DURGA” and they had been worshipping her daily.
After the darshans we finished lunch around 3 pm and then we continued our journey to Suryalanka. Vijayawada being a major city, there was no problem for food as there are quiet good restaurants available. After leaving Vijayawada we took NH 5 – Guntur – Ponnur road for our destination the NH5 till Guntur is same as NH9 but after getting on the Guntur – Ponnur road it is a normal road 2 lane road and it goes through villages so drivers need to be careful on the road. The conditions of the road is good for most part with some bad stretches.
We had booked the room at Haritha resort, which is a decent place to stay for a day or two. The resort provides both Ac & Non Ac rooms some of the rooms are sea facing cottages (to be occupied on first come first serve basis) since we reached the place in the evening around 4:30 pm we had to settle down with a backside room built as duplexes. The resort being built at the sea shore, it was also ok to stay in these rooms. However, the room service and restaurant services are just okay. The restaurant and the kitchen are in 2 separate buildings due to which there is huge time lag in serving the order. The restaurant has a very limited menu based upon the rush and If you have kids along with you then you may have to think for their food. Normal water is a big no for anybody staying there.
We quickly set down our luggage in the rooms and rushed to the beach, having very less time left for the dusk we did not ordered any evening snacks and soon we were all in the sea playing around, some enjoying the waves of the Bay of Bengal, some walking down the sea shore and kids playing with the sand. With the sun setting down we moved back to the rooms to change and then gather in one of the rooms for dinner and some recreation. Around 11pm we called it a day with a word to meet up at the sunrise. After a day long journey we were sure that not all of us would go for the sunrise.
Next morning couple of us went to see the sunrise but to our disappointment we were late and the sky was cloudy but we still managed to witness the sunrise. We woke up around 7 am and decided to go to the beach again, a pleasant Sunday morning there were more people than compared to last evening may be some locals would have also visited the beach. This time there was a AP tourism Jet ski available for people to enjoy a ride, it charges 250 per person for a round or two. We did not go for it as we had to start for the return journey.
We had the breakfast at the resort itself which was a nightmarish experience for us, all the options were over except for paper dosa and egg dosa with a very sluggish service and a non responsive staff who was busy collecting cash and orders over phone. During return we took the same route via Vijayawada and our first stop was 7 food court for lunch. This time we tried the North Indian food and the taste of the food was good, after having the food and some relaxing moments around the food court we started back for Hyderabad 5 pm. We bid good bye to each other and dispersed for our homes cherishing the memories of the trip and discussing the events with each other, only to thing of planning the next trip.