Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A day Trip to Penukonda

Don’t get Penukonda confused with Penugonda, I did and I was shocked. How am I supposed to reach this place in 3 hours from Mekhri circle, how is a KSRTC or an APSRTC bus gonna travel 800+ kms in 3 hours? Was Ramesh joking? Ramesh is so dead! Hey, hold on, was it Penugonda or Penukonda? He said it’s near Ananthpur, oh, hmm… my bad! Its penukonda and it’s only 140+ kms from Banglalore on the way to Hyderabad. Stupid me.

So, the occasion was my dear sweet neighbor Ramesh’s wedding. I had to go, and I did, today.

Got up at 5:30, (planned was 4:30!), tried those 2 dresses that I thought I would still fit in and I could not breath when I wore them. The third one did fit in and that’s the one for the day. Should I take a shawl? Yes, no, yes no, ok, forget it, am going to a dry area, no need of warm clothes. So, I was ready and was at Mekhri circle early enough.

‘There is a bus once every 10 minutes, take the one that comes through Bagepalli and not Hindupur, you will reach in two and half hours”, I waited and waited and waited, no bus at all. ‘Ramesh, you are so dead’. Well, how long did I wait? I was still home at 6:15 AM, and I might have left by then, would have reached the bus stop only by 6:30 or 6:40 and I got a bus at 7. God! That’s not too long! Bangalore has made me impatient, or was it the lack of music in my ears? Well, whatever, it felt as if I waited for hours to get that bus.

It was an APSRTC luxury bus. Is it still called APSRTC? Guess so. So, I have boarded this bus and it goes through Bagepalli. Nice start! The journey I started long back on the Hyderrabad highway, that was unfinished, was restarted today, but just to reach till Penukonda.

New route, I did not want to sleep, as I wanted to enjoy the beauty of the journey. I felt it was a dry area. It was a cloudy day, and chill at 7. I did doze off for some time. Read Oh Manase on the way, holding a Kannada magazine in an APSRTC bus where everyone else was reading Telgu granted me some gazes.

Ramesh told, ‘I am going to handover my phone to Anil, so, as soon as you get down at the bus stop, call me, I will get someone sent to the bus stop to get you picked’. So, I thought I would inform him am coming, so, I called, and called and called, no one picked up. Next option was to call Mani. I did and a lady picked up and said, ‘sorry wrong number’! Holy! What am I gonna do now? I do not have an invitation as he ran out of them when he invited me, a sms is what I have and it just says alight at penukonda stop! No! Ramesh, you are so dead! Ah! I remember the wedding is at vasavi kalyana mantap. I think I should be able to reach there!

Help came in the form of my build owner, as I called her, she gave me Mani’s other number and told that the venue is close to bus stop and any auto guy would take me there without much of trouble. Now I was sure that I will get there.

When my friends put up picture of their speeding car at 160 or 180 and mention that it was on the Hyderabad highway, I wondered, but now I know how and why they do that. Road is amazing, also it’s very boring, as its very dry, or is it because it’s almost summer and it’s dried up? Well, in any case, for the ones like me who are from the typical rainy regions of Karnataka, the Western Ghats, everything else is dry.

When I googled Penukonda, I knew there is a fort, but did not search enough to find more about it. I regret that now. As I got there, I saw boards indicating ‘way to the fort’. When I asked Anil if it is a place to visit, he laughed at me. I hope he was right, but if you tell me now that he was wrong, am gonna feel bad and am gonna make another trip.

Also, I wish I was there with my dad. Where ever we go, me and dad, we ensure to roam around the city to whatever extent we can and visit places there. I missed you Dad.

I reached the venue; the wedding was done in due time, met them and wished them, done. Lunch was done by 1:15, met the bride and groom again, said bye and left the place at 1:30.

I reach the APSRCT bus stop. I asked to get dropped there because I thought that is “The Bus Stop” and all buses would come there. Well, I do not know Telgu, I hope you all know that. So, am at the bus stop, I go the enquiry section and ask the person there ‘when is the next bus to Bangalore’, he says, at 2:15 or 2:30. Holy! Why, again! Ramesh had told there is a bus every 10 minutes, he is so dead. I ask again, what about KSRTC buses, the APSRTC person makes a face and says I have no details on their timings.

I was disappointed and went and sat, but hey, why are those people waiting outside the bus stop, oh, there comes a bus, let me see where that goes, it’s a KSRTC bus and yeah, it goes to Bangalore. As I sat down, I understood, the KSRTC buses won’t come inside an APSRTC bus stop and if I had waited inside, I would have been a real fool. Thank god!

Again, Hyderabad highway, because I had dozed off coming here, I decided again to stay awake. Oh Manase and music for my company. I saw Mango orchards but trees without any sign of any fruits. Also, there were many Vineyards, and the agriculturist in me got inquisitive. I wish I get to go to a vineyard, understand the cultivation process, eat some grapes there and come. I really want to do that, but how? Whom to contact? Many questions! Hopefully I will figure that out soon.

I did doze off on the way back too and I think I did not miss much. Was back at Mekhri at 4:30 PM! A short, nice, memorable trip to Penukonda was over like this!


1 comment:

Sarvesh said...

There's a vineyard on Mysore road which offers wine tasting courses.