Belum -> Gandikota -> Alampur -> Yaganti
Continued from here
After a good night’s sleep, we had a relaxed morning and got ready while ordering breakfast at the same time. I warned Anand not to order something called MM mega dosa, but the ‘adventurous’ soul that he is, he had to do just that. And then the dosa came to our door. It took 3 plates to carry it horizontally.I noiselessly picked my own order of a masala dosa and spent the rest of the time there snickering at the determined fellow.
We had 2 places on our agenda that day, Alampur and Yaganti. We headed off to Alampur via endless fields of various crops and the mainstay of our road trip- herds and herds of goats everywhere. We finally saw a single temple but were promised a bunch of them. We saw this one and decided to drive further ahead to find the rest, the APTDC guest house next to it, consoled us that there was a possibility of finding more nearby. A drive ahead and there we were.
At the entrance, there was a museum with a fee that seemed like it hadn’t been revised since the last few 100 years, at Rs.3. A few minutes spent admiring the sculptures there and we headed to the actual temples.
Interestingly there was a dargah right in between them. There was also a group of people attending a tonsuring ceremony for a little boy. The temples were clustered in a small area and quite a few of them were functional. We wandered around each of them and its numerous deities and idols, very few of which I recognised. My favourite where the uncommon idols of demon-like entities at either side of the main deity at one of the temples. There were quite a few fauna- monkeys, dogs, goats all over the place.
We entered the dargah as we passed by it and were of course, blessed/whacked with the peacock feathers as customary too. We also took a liking, as always, more to the temples that were not functional and therefore had no crowd nor remnants of dead flowers and noise, to the others. The ones we saw that matched this description were the ones with Shiva lingas and that reminded Anand and me of Pattadakal. It was supposed to be the meeting point between the Tungabhadra and Krishna rivers but we didn’t see any water source around while we wandered there.
We next decided to head off to Yaganti. It was quite hot by now and we picked up some tender coconut from a store that also had a shy kid in a hijab who gave out lovely smiles and straws It took us another good 2 hours to reach Yaganti. I love temple ponds and we had come all the way in anticipation on seeing the picture of a temple pond on the phone. Yes, the temple pond was lovely though small. What utterly ruined it for us was the humongous number of people shouting and playing around in the water and diving into it from all sides making it more of an amusement park you didn’t want to enter.
Quite heartbroken, we went on ahead to the other section of the temple. It housed an over-sized, out-of-proportion Nandi that we later read up was believed to be growing in size due to some property of the stone out of which it was carved.
We continued exploring the place and came across a small catchment of water where people had thrown some coconut pieces in. Unexpectedly that turned out to be the highlight of the trip with us spending several minutes observing the entertaining simians there!
They dived into the water just for fun, playfully fought each other and even gathered coconuts from within. I just sat them and watched them for a while after which we left the temple eager to explore the area atop the hill taking the flight of stairs leading to it.
However, just getting to the exit of this area caused my feet to almost burn and so there was no way I would have survived the climb up the steep hill and those steps barefoot. I was quite curious about it, but Anand too decided to give it a miss and here we were at about 3PM completely famished. We did notice however that there were absolutely no restaurants anywhere on the way here so we decided to try the shack near the temple as it was our only option. The lady only had dosas/paddus both made with the same batter. The dosa was served nice and crisp but as I bit into it, I realised it had gone extremely sour in the heat! Same was the case with Anand’s order. I just managed to force myself to eat half of it and we went on our way. We picked up some bananas at a store that made a much better and satisfying lunch. A long drive back to Bangalore was interrupted only by a stop for something that we had not encountered throughout our trip,“Andhra style food” !