A Road Trip to Nagarjuna Sagar Dam from Hyderabad
There are many nice trips from Hyderabad that you can take, we visited Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and stayed in Haritha Vijay Vihar hotel situated right on the bank of Nagarjuna Sagar Dam reservoir. Nagarjuna Sagar is one of the largest masonry dams in the world and supplies water and electricity to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Our visit happened around Christmas when we were looking for some family time together. It is very easy to book rooms in all APTDC properties using their website and you can pay online and they will send confirmation immediately. I lost the same and sent them an email and even on holiday somebody responded within an hour.
We started around 9:30 am in the morning from Hyderabad and reached there by 1:30 pm, driving slowly and enjoying the scenery on the way, stopping at places to take pictures and have a cup of tea. The road is nice but has villages on both sides so drive carefully as there is no divider on the state highway.
Statue in the Garden of Haritha Vijay Vihar
How to reach Nagarjuna Sagar Dam from Hyderabad
Take the Nehru Outer Ring road and use Exit 12 towards Ibrahimpattnam on Saidabad road ( Google gives more than one route please follow the one we took as it is good and safe and shortest) that will lead you straight to Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, and the Haritha Vijay Vihar Hotel is right on the bank of the reservoir. The total distance between Hyderabad and Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is about 180 KM and can be covered easily in 3-4 hours depending on traffic conditions. We stayed at Haritha Vijay Vihar hotel that must have seen very glorious days some time back as the building still looks magnificent and at one point of time it would have been beautiful. It has huge lawns, playing area, gym, pool etc, and on first looks appears a great place to stay. We have visited Nagarjuna Sagar earlier while coming back from Srisailam Shiva temple, but that was a blink and you miss kind of visit, this time we stayed for 2 nights. You can cover most of the surroundings areas in one day but since we were planning to take full advantage of Christmas holidays so stayed for 2 nights.
The APTDC does a decent job of maintaining the gardens around the building, but the rooms are really in bad shape. We were staying in a suite ( INR 2500 per night on a weekday and INR 3500 weekend including breakfast for double occupancy) that offered a beautiful view of the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and reservoir plus the valley right from our hotel room balcony. Unfortunately, the water level was low due to fewer rains and we could see the white mark on stones where water must have reached in earlier years. The facilities in the room were all in bad shape, the fridge and the intercom was not working, the WC was broken and the power went off many times during our stay. The staff in the two days we stayed there were not able to rectify even one of them. The towels actually stink and later I learned the reason for that, instead of using a modern laundry to clean the linen the hotel has washerman ( dhobi) come and wash it right next to the lawns, talk about washing dirty laundry in public! But we were prepared to rough it out as my experience with government hotels normally can be summarized below for majority of them.
“Great Location, bad maintenance, lousy service and pathetic food”
But as a traveler as long as I get a good view, a bed to sleep and functional bathrooms I am willing to look the other way. The sunrise and sunset from the hotel look amazing with the reflections in water and fog slowly rising to make the view mysterious.
Like I said you visit the Haritha Vijay Vihar hotel for the view and stay for the view rest of the things just have VERY LOW EXPECTATIONS, especially for the food. The restaurants serve Indian and some Chindian dishes, with a large dose of chilies. I needed some tissue paper to clean my tears from the chilies, but I was told that the restaurant does not give tissue paper! Either somebody is taking the tissue papers home or the staff was telling lies, as every APTDC hotel I have been to or even the roadside dhabas have given me tissue papers. ( not necessarily to wipe tears)
Anyways let us come back to the view from the Haritha Vijay Vihar Hotel near Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is just superb. You get to see the azure blue waters of the reservoir with round Coracles appearing every now and then, and the steamers going to Nagarjunakonda belching smoke from their chimneys in the horizon. I noticed and clicked pictures of some Green Bee-eaters, Sunbirds, and Indian Silverbills right in the garden of the hotel; the stray pigs were not flying nor were they photogenic so were passed by me , a father pig felt offended at this clear discrimination and looked at me disapprovingly for clicking pictures of only birds and not of pigs in the hotel lawns.
There is a staircase from the garden that will take you right to the bank of the reservoir and I noticed some more birds there, most interesting was an Eagle who forced this little cormorant to abandon its place and captured it. I guess humans are slowly corrupting birds for seats of power! Also be careful when you are venturing down as this is a wooded area and it seems the hotel is dumping all its waste including discarded broken glass here as I found heaps of trash right from the boundary of the hotel till the edge of the reservoir. I wonder if senior people in APTDC are aware of this practice of throwing trash in the open wooded area.
Unfortunately, there are not many choices to stay around Nagarjuna Sagar Dam in Nalgonda district and like I said the great view and the ease of approach to the main Nagarjuna Sagar Dam make this hotel a good choice but go with limited expectation. For food we found a hotel just before the Haritha Vijay Vihar when you are coming towards the dam called Hotel Siddhartha, they have much better food and service is very responsive but what I liked the most has they had tissue papers on every table for you to use. So my suggestion would be to stay at Haritha Vijay Vihar in Nagarjuna Sagar and eat at Hotel Siddhartha and you will get best of both worlds.
This is the first in series on a visit to Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and surrounding areas, and more posts will follow. If you have liked reading the post please feel free to share it with your friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter and Google+.
Other Posts in this series:
- Visit to Ethipothala Waterfalls
- Boat Ride to Nagarjunakonda Island
- Buddhist museum on Nagarjunakonda Island
- Joyride in Coracles in Nagarjunasagar
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