Saturday, March 31, 2012

Trip to Visakhapatnam & Araku Valley (23rd - 25th March' 2012)

Long time,no posts. Life is going so smoothly that nothing had stuck in my mind so far,which I would want to pen down. Somehow today,I am willing to share one of my travelling experiences, happened last week. The recent long weekend because of the Ugadi festival, celebrated as new year in South India .However, I am not sure what you can take from it, but this was one of the best travelling experiences I had, actually I rarely had any. :)

So it all started on the last day of Ora-Ovation 2012. Okay, here we need some background info. Ora-Ovations is a week long event , which is conducted every year for Oracle employees and sadly, from this year on wards it will be conducted biennially. After joining oracle the only negative impression which I was carrying about it's work culture was, lack of networking...the number of people you know...Honestly, working for a consulting firm can be blamed for this thinking of mine, but I don't regret about it :). I had rarely known 10-12 people informally in last 5 months, that too a few because of Go+ and a few because of Christmas's celebrations. 

But Ora-Ovations changed the entire scenario and I ended up making much more friends than I had expected in less than 2 weeks. Events like dancing and singing which I almost had left after school, became a medium for me to connect to a new set of people. And I somehow realized, I like this thing, making new friends. :) So back to the last day of Ora-Ovations : It was 3rd march and all of those who were part of step up dance had come for a last practice session early morning. The main event was going to take place on the same evening. Once the practice was over we were supposed to wait for our costumes. We were sitting behind the main stage, trying to escape from the sun rays. There,one of us said that this all is going to end this evening. Tired but aware of this fact, the other one said, that why don't we all go out somewhere to keep the fun on after the Ovations as well. All of us agreed :) but then post event forgot too :P. After such a tiresome event people were not having enough energy left with them , to think of any outing or something like that.

But as we say, some things just happens..and a set of few enthusiastic people dint let this thought die. We met, decided who all are interested, the place and the dates. We decided to go to Vizag and near by places. One guy collected the information and the money and booked 11 tickets in total.

After the tickets were booked, the next exciting thing I could see in my schedule was this trip. I personally was very excited because I first of all, had never seen any beach in real, so far my life and secondly my other set of friends had already been to that place, and I had assumed that I wont be ever going that place again, so this was like a perfect trip plan for me :D :P Sadly few people had to drop the plan because of some other engagements and the number dropped down to 10 and then finally 9.

22nd evening, around 4:30pm, we 7 people started from our campus, remaining 2 joined us at the MMTS station and we finally reached Yatri Nivas. The place from where we were supposed to get in, in the Andhra Pradesh Tourism bus. We had taken packaged tour to Vizag and Araku valley, to make sure that we visit all the must see places during the trip.We had little evening snacks at Yatri Nivas hotel, and then got into the bus.The journey began and we all started literally. Believe me we were non-stop fun throughout the journey. I, in fact heard one old uncle saying to his son, "Where are these people from, they have too much of energy." We took it as a compliment :D We all started with the game of Antakshree, the best way to start any journey.."songs"..and then followed by few games of playing-cards. Got to learn some new games, which lasted till the last time we were there in that bus. :) By 10 bus stopped at some hotel, and we stuffed ourselves with some more food since it was the last stoppage for the remaining journey for that night .Again Antakshree + cards.We were loud and full of enthu..At last, one couple, sitting behind us, asked us to lower down the volume level and we realized it was around 12:40 midnight and people wanted to sleep..unlike us :P. However, we continued talking and singing,  trying to keep our decibel levels low enough and I remember when last time I saw my watch, it was somewhere around 3:00 in the morning. :)

23rd March, first day of the trip, started with the Annavaram Temple!! Photo-session had started from the guest house itself. We had our breakfast at some lake side restaurant and then went to the temple.Few of my friends did the main pooja, which is the main attraction of the temple and few of us went in directly for darshan. This temple is famous for married couples, who usually comes post wedding to do poojas. That day because of Udagi celebrations there was lot of rush. It took us at least half hour, just to have darshan. Meanwhile our friends were doing pooja, we were busy clicking photographs :P and yeah, had some tasty prasad from the temple  :) Spend some time near one of the bhavans where marriages were going on, and rest here and there. Those were the longest hours we had to spend in this trip, for rest everything, we were running short of time :) Our friends and other people were back during lunch time, and then we all reached at the same place where we had our breakfast. Had lunch. Now the bad part, we had only rice in lunch, no rotis :O Still everyone managed to be stuffed, to stay strong enough to not skip any fun except 2 of  our friends. One (She ;)) is extremely energetic but eats nothing..some hidden source of energy..:) and may be the other one wasn't hungry enough then, but I don't think he skipped any other meals  later...:P

Next we reached Rama Krishna beach..The main attraction of the whole trip. :) I enjoyed that evening fully..Sea side, waves coming one after the other, generating a musical sound, you would love to hear. Though when the first time,  I was drowned into that water, I was freaked because of it's taste and also as I don't know swimming I was scared a little. But later I could manage to jump whenever waves hit, and at times tried to hit them back. :) It was all fun..What all I had expected..It might sound kiddish but I did write my name on the sand, wiping off due to coming waves.Made those little sand-houses, saw them falling with the force of waves.Walked on the beach side, and turned to see my footsteps..excited with what I was seeing... All I had wanted to do :) A great evening it was. Moreover, the people, with whom I was there made it more special. :)

Next to this, even though we were all wet and feeling cold inside that AC bus, we convinced our tour guide, no..not the CM :P go to the Submarine Museum, the one and only submarine museum in whole Asia. The guide tells you the history of the submarine, interesting facts and information, while walking through it's start to the end. It was worthy, knowing that it belonged to the history. One funny thing happened there. Since the height of the submarine was very short I asked that guide, that how navy people used to manage, assuming that they all are tall. That guide, without any change of expressions said.."Madam, ek din sar pe lagega...dusare din lagega, teesare din apne aap jhuk jaenge.." My whole group burst into laughter. Even that guide smiled a little, giving us company. May be, for him, it was a regular question, but for us it was an unusual answer. :) Next to this we reached another guest house, better than the previous one. Freshened up, because you have lots of sand everywhere after you have been to the beach.. Gathered for dinner, had a little walk for tea+coffee at some place near by and then to one of the rooms. Fun begins again...we started playing Dumb Charades..calling it Dumb C.. In the beginning it was strange for me to see, how few of them could enact anything so easily but I was no less, :P I followed and started developing my Dumb-C skills ;) The first movie I got was "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay", and I somehow want to remember it..It was fun trying to enact it :) Later we had lots of funny moments, I will just name those movies so that the people involved could get the level of fun I am talking I can't describe it with just words..the movies were "The Adjustment Bureau" & "Jurassic Park" ....:D :D it was late night, around post 2:00 in the morning and I had to be at the beach by 5am to see the sunrise..The second attraction for me in the trip. I slept and rest of them continued to play, thinking that sleep will lower their energy levels so better be awake. :) 

24th March, I did reach the beach side by 5 in the morning, but unluckily could not see the sun-rise..:-| as we were supposed to be back by 5:30 to start for second day places. Never mind, I saw it from the bus though :P Hahahaha...and yeah, got severe cold too :-/
We were in the bus again, few sleeping, or say taking power nap ;) and few of us playing Antakshree again..We reached at the vizag railway station had tea+coffee and got into 6:50am train to Araku valley. We had our breakfast inside the train itself, and then all set to enjoy the joy ride. This journey was meant to be in train because this train line passes through 84 bridges and 58 tunnels. Doesn't it sound exciting..?? It did..:) All of us enjoyed, singing(I told you, we were non-stop :D) ,screaming loudly duing tunnels and those photo-sessions by one of our photography-maniac friend :) Reached Araku velly, and post lunch everyone was so tired that we decided to take some rest to recharge ourselves. When woke up, we came to know that we were going to some garden..yes, "Padmapuram Gardens" followed by Araku Tribal Museum which showcases culture, tradition, handicrafts and fine arts of the ancient tribes of India. Few of us tried archery, 3 shots for just rupee 5/- ;) :P  Went to a coffee house there. By that time my cold was on it's peak..Hot chocolate helped me a little. :) We had bicycle rides then, took one round of the resort area, and finally on the roof top. Some chit-chats, masti and of course photo-sessions :D Went back to one of the rooms and then back to cards. No body was willing to sleep, though tired, we wanted to do something or the other. Finally played Dumb-C and the fun continued. I could not control taking little naps in between, as I was feeling too sleepy at times, but one of our friends..(everyone knows :P) was as if destined to make everyone burst into huge laughter, with his acting skills :P and I kept waking up with the those sounds again and again :) This continued till early morning, we went to our respective rooms, slept a little and then the last days began. Back to our buses, ready to leave by 8:30. 

It was 25th March, and since because of some political issues we could not visit Borra caves the other day, our bus went straight to the caves, residing in the Ananthagiri hills of the Araku valley. Borra caves are one of the largest caves in India, found by William King George.Apart from beautiful side scenes, coffee gardens, small-small monkeys, a few bats and trekking inside the cave, had one of the best coconut water over there, and yeah of course photo-session- fever never died a bit :D 

After this, as we had very little time left for the day to cover remaining places. We quickly went to visit Kailshgiri Park, situated on hill top having panoramic sea-view.We also managed to see Shiva Parvati's huge statue, Titanic View Point and yeah had that awesome and my first rope-way round trip, small but exciting..:) Post this, we had lunch at Anantgiri resort, and continued to the next destination which was Simhachalam Temple.This time when we got into the bus, YSR, our guide, had to indirectly request us to keep quite and not sing songs anymore.. :P We had dinner post temple and we all started reviving and talking about what all good and bad things we faced during this trip. Though while writing this blog ,none of the bad things crossed my mind..may be because all is well, if end is well...and this time if the company(people) is well :D 

We first time took long sleep during this trip.The next morning, woke up and found out that the bus is gonna be late by 3-4 hours. Who cared, we played cards again :D. This time we had one more thing to explore, and iPad of one of our friend, and everyone started playing some or the other game from it, one by one. Few of my friends watched one horror movie, while I took a small nap, so that going back to office wont become difficult. But somehow it had to be..Not just me, but everyone had hangover of last few days and the fun we had..

I made very good friends during 2 weeks of Ovations and this trip...have collected  lots of memories to cherish.Lucky to have been part of it. :)
And yeah, in the end we named everyone w.r.t their special qualities, 

Kranthi - Photoshetty - Thanks a ton for the amazing pics :)
Bharath - Adjustment Borrows - Thanks a ton for entertaining us :P
Tony - Phonu :D
Subbu - Sotu - Whenever you turn to him, he is sleeping :P
Mukesh - SICK-tu..No no, he isn't Sick..but he might make you feel Sick :P LOL
Deeksha - Sistu ;) - You dint let me sleep at all...truly Sister-like..haha :D
Ishita - Dumbtu - Dumb C Godess ;)
Payal - Payaliya..ho ho ho ho...I know you don't like it..who likes it :P
Dishi - Ohhh, I planned not to mention here..but some people threatened to kill me if I don't, so here I go...Baniyan Harishchandrika Bistu.. :O

Note ** - Don't try to interpret anything from anyone's name..and I apologize if I have hurt anyone's sentiments..!! Please accept the apology :)

At last, thanks everyone for not letting me feel like a newbie in your group, for the lyrics of the song..."Sir Osthara" :) , for bearing my "Aaanchhhuuu" sound and little but scary (for few :P) impulses I had..Had so much fun :)

The GANG!!



  1. u pasted Kranthi's pic.......
    1000 likes for this pic :D :D :D

  2. Wow, it seems to be a very exciting and joyful xprnce. Just reminded of mine Vizag trip... :-) Wishing u many more wonderful trips ahead... :-)

  3. Good to see that people have so much fun :)
    Have more such moments in ur life

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  8. Vizag and Araku are my favorite holiday spots! Recently i have been to araku with my family and had a great time. I thank for offering the best vizag araku tour package.

  9. Your post is very useful and very interesting with ur gang. I liked it very much because the description of ur trip was very realistic and easy understanding. It would be good if you please add some more photos here about ur trip. The pic u posted is awesome. See more information about Destination in India to ur trip with ur friends. Happy Hop Around India..................

  10. Is it not too hot in march ? How was weather ? I am planning to go this year in March end, but everybody says its not good time. Since you were there in march , just wanted your views on how it was ? I am planning a trip with 5 year old.

  11. Hi Dishi,

    I was actually searching for places to visit in Araku & Vizag and found this blog. Amazing write up! Though i moved from Oracle, i really loved Ora-Ovations especially 2012 :-)

    Kranti is my dear friend whom i had met in SFO and had a lovely time with his photographic skills ;). I'll check with him on the places to visit. Thanks again!


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