Road Trip to Chirala & Bapatla

Last couple of months, in fact a year almost, I have been extremely busy. Every time my family or friends asked me out, I’ve always had some work or the other. Going out for movies, outings, vacations had ย become a a distant dream. And I was in desperate need of a break. So when Henry (my brother) asked me to join them for this trip, I just couldn’t say no for few reasons –

  • He never got tired of asking me everytime he went out – be it some outing or a movie
  • I was tired of saying no
  • I wanted to get out of here for a few days and forget all about work

I didn’t even know who all were coming, until I actually left. I had to take a day off on Friday and when it did get approved, I was on the top of the world (all the more because my one-week vacation got approved just a week ago, so this was like a bonus)!

The plan was to leave on Friday morning (16th Jun) at 05:30 AM. the time I reached home after work on Thursday evening or rather Friday morning, it was almost 1:30 AM.

Since there was no point in sleeping past 2 AM and then getting up at 4:30-5 AM, I decided to do a night-out. So I sat watching lots of old songs…all thanks to 9X, Mastii and B4U Music ๐Ÿ™‚

At 5:30 sharp, Henry came to pick us (Di and me) up. We went together and picked up Venkat and Rahul (friends) and off we went. We stopped at Tarnaka at around 6:15 for breakfast.

Half the time we debated on which route to take – Vijayawada Highway or the Nagarjun Sagar Road. Just as we reached LB Nagar (that’s where we need to take the diversion from), we finally decided to take the Nagarjun Sagar Road and off we sped.

Located at a distance of 350 kms from Hyderabad, Chirala is situated on the shore of Bay of Bengal. Chira means Sari in Telugu. Anuradha, a friend/teammate of mine, who hails from that placeย  had told me that the Chirala is famous for the saris made there. Considering the fact that it’s a major textile hub, it’s not surprising that the town is named after the textile (Saris in particular). It was earlier known as “KSHIRAPURI” (“Here the sea looks as white as milk”) but later was renamed Chirala.

We randomly stopped at few places to stretch our legs and at Nagarjun Sagar to click few pictures. It was so windy there that we almost flew away with the wind.

Me, Henry, Di, Venkat (Left to right)

We even saw a rainbow!

We reached Chirala at around 1pm. Vardhan and his friend Venkat (II) were there to receive us when we reached there. Vardhan is Venkat’s, Rahul’s and Henry’s friend, and now our friend too, who’s basically from Chirala.

There’s only one lodge in the town, Hotel Siva Hari, which is located exactly in front of the Railway station. We checked in there.

We freshened up and had lunch. Chicken Biryani there is – normal veg biryani sold with a separate dish of chicken. So we had biryani loaded with cashewnuts and chicken for lunch. And by the time we finished lunch, it was well past 4pm.

We set out for the beach next – Ramapuram Beach. There were around 10-12 people when we reached there. They left soon after and we were all alone.

It felt like we were on a private beach. It was just 7 of us on the beach at sunset.

Though the water wasn’t all that blue and crystal clear. It looked quite muddy in fact due to the rain and the sand blown in by the wind. But since it was sunset, it looked very beautiful. The color of the sky and it’s reflection were changing with the sinking orange mass of glow every few minutes.

It was so calm and peaceful. The only sound we could hear was of the splashing waves, wind and occasional chirp of a bird. And the view was just amazing.

Apart from playing in the water, the other thing I love the most about a beach is just standing still at the shore and letting the waves play along my feet. I love the sensation of water splashing over my feet and the sand moving underneath along with the water when the wave comes in and on its way back into the sea, the same water depositing sand over my feet, making me sink deeper and deeper in the sand. Though I am standing still I get that feeling of having travelled across the world….Main thehri rahi, zameen chalne laga wala feeling.

On our way back we went to Vardhan’s house, sat in the backyard in the open air, under the clear sky shimmering with stars and moon. We came back to our hotel at around 10. We had dinner and then sat down to collate the pics from all the cameras. We had around 850 pics! We had forgotten to take the (camera’s) cable so took out the memory card to copy the pics from our camera to the laptop. We had two laptops with us. The card got stuck in one laptop first but Rahul turned it upside down and kept hitting on the laptop and the card fell off. We then tried copying the pictures into the other laptop, so put the memory card in it and it got stuck there too. No amount of hitting helped in this case. Couldn’t find a pin anywhere. We found a nailcutter and tried to use the file to dig and get the card out but it was of no use. Next we bent the hook of my earring and tried using it as a safety-pin but that didn’t help it either. All of us tried our hands at it and finally Vardhan and Venkat managed to take it out with the help of the make-shift pin and when the tip of the card came out with the force of the pin, Venkat caught it with the nailcutter and pulled it out. It was a hilarious episode!

We somehow ย managed to copy the pics and by the time we finished seeing them all, it was almost 2:00 AM! We wanted to go to another beach at sunrise, so we decided to leave by 5:30 and retired for the day. We got up and left at 5:45 but itย turned out to be a cloudy day, so there was no sunrise!

But that didn’t dampen our enthusiasm. We dived into the water and we played and played! We were neck-deep in the water and would jump with every wave that came and hit us…it was such an amazing experience. It felt like we were flying in the water. The name of this beach wasย Katarepalem.

And then we went for a walk in the the direction of the wind, so that our clothes dry. We climbed on a harboured boat and posed for pics and almost got blown away. We were upto so much nautanki early in the morning that we got tired and finally dropped down on the sand.

We returned to the town for breakfast and found Pramod (a friend who had just arrived from Hyderabad. As he couldn’t get a day off the previous day, he joined us on Saturday morning) waiting for us. We quickly had our breakfast and went to Chirala port. ย This was crowded as it was the peak time. The fishermen were returning with their catches and auctioning fishes and crabs and prawns. It was so bloody cheap that I almost decided to quit my job and set up a sea-food stall there. They sold a basket full of prawns for 15oo bucks. If I had to buy that much prawns in Hyderabad, it would cost me over 4000. And crabs were 30 bucks each. My sis was saying they were ย selling crabs at 3100 each in Goa when she had gone there last month.

We went boating on a fisherman’s boat, sat on top of the fishing nets and had lots of dead fishes rolling all over our feet. We must have gone 1.5 kms into the sea. The boat would rise and fall along with eachย wave sparying sea water all over us. The saltwater would get into our eyes and we would just finish wiping it off when the next bout of spray would attack us. There was just vast expanse of water all around us, making us feel so tiny and vulnerable. The only sound we could hear was that of water, wind and the roaring motor. But once we reached a point, where the water was calmer, the fisherman switched the motor off and we were still and everything was so peaceful and serene. There was no other sound except for the occasional roar of neighbouring boats. And then there was a sudden splash. One of the fishermen dived and disappeared for a moment and resurfaced again. I just gazed at him open-mouthed. The way he dived and swam…he would easily give a tough competition to the world-champions.They know so much about the sea, storm and the techniques of swimming and diving. ย It’s a means of survival for them, ย through which they earn their livelihood.ย The sudden realization of that fact hit us quite hard. We spoke to them and found out that they are a group of 8 and with the fishes they catch in every trip, they make around 40K.

We all were so relaxed and at inner peace with ourselves that we didn’t realize the time slip away. And before long it was time to return back to the shore. How I wish I could have stayed there for some more time.

There were fishes being slit open, sprinkled with salt and put out to dry. There were so many people selling and buying them. The place was stinking of fish all over.

It was around 12:30 when we left the place. We were invited to Vardhan’s place for lunch but we had a tough task of choosing between lunch and going to Suryalanka beach. We finally tossed a coin and went to Suryalanka.

Suryalanka is the name of a beach in an adjacent town called Bapatla. It’s promoted quite a lot by AP tourism and they’ve even built cottages there. But I somehow didn’t like it. It was too crowded and being commercialized it was dirty as well. We just spent an hour there clicking pictures and left. Nobody (from our group) even dared to touch the water here.

That's the Beach Resort in the background

The entire group - Me, Vardhan, Venkat2, Rahul, Henry, Di, Venkat1, Pramod

Our next stop was Vardhan’s house where we had royal lunch of prawns cooked in coconut gravy and tangy fish curry made in local ishtyle. It was yummy!!! And we all ate so much that we were not even in a position to move once we were done. We all were high on food! ๐Ÿ™‚

We went to see Vardhan’s family farm next. They have cashew nut plantation. There were lots of palm trees and cashew nut bushes and wild berries around and lots of cows and buffaloes. The way upto the farm once we left the main road had a freshness about it. We could hear cows moo-ing here and there, could feel buffaloes stare at us, few places smelt of dried cow had such a desi-village feel to it. There were still little children playing around in the sand, one pulling the other on a coconut/palm leaf. It was a picture of simplicity. Life now, at least in the cities have become so sophisticated that it was kind of fascinating to see the slow pace of life.

We went back to the hotel, washed away all the salt and sand and fatigue and went back to Vardhan’s place for dinner again. Had amazing dinner – chicken, rasam, rice, curd, fishes, prawns….We saw some old pics at his place, the real, physical photos like the good old days and finally left. We sat down to see the photos again once we reached our rooms.

We wanted to leave early next morning, so that we would reach back on time and take some rest. But uncle and aunty (Vardhan’s parent) wouldn’t hear of us leaving without breakfast.

So, we had a delicious breakfast of puri, chicken, aaloo ki sabji and semia. And we finally left at midday.

We gossiped all the way and reached back at 9PM and were dead tired and sleepy by then. The thought of having to go to work the following day was kind of depressing. But I must say I am feeling more refreshed and active active at work this week. So this proves that we all should take a break once in a while.

A big thank you to all of you for making this trip so memorable. You all were so sporting and made everything so adventurous – be it jumping in the water, or taking the local fisherman’s boat and just setting out into the sea or searching for the farm or burning the cashew nut shells where it was dangerous even to strike a matchstick. Special thanks to Henry – love you dear! I came for you and I had an amazing time. It was great knowing the rest of you.

It was a fun trip! And I really think we should get all those people we discussed about married. It would be so much fun to see them together. They make such perfect couples!

Smita already admitted on facebook after seeing the pics that she has realilzed what she missed. And Geeta, if you are listening, though you were not physically present with us, you were virtually there. Everybody was missing you so much! They all were feeling so bad that you couldn’t join in. Hope someday, we get to go to some place together ๐Ÿ™‚

Introducing –

My lovely sis

Henry darling - The future politician ๐Ÿ˜‰

Venkat, the model

Vardhan, the king of expressions

Venkat, the silent observer

Rahul, the photographer

Pramod, the Photographer

Re-introducing myself ๐Ÿ˜‰

More pics coming up on facebook tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚


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69 Responses to “Road Trip to Chirala & Bapatla”

  1. Anshuman Says:

    awesome pics! I didnt read all the text sorry, but I did check every pic like thrice ๐Ÿ˜€ well deserved break!

  2. ved4u Says:

    Hey Archana,

    It’s such an amazing blog. I just started reading through it and couldn’t stop finishing it. When I started I thought itโ€™s long enough and I might need a week to complete it lol ๐Ÿ˜‰
    By the way you must be wondering who am I..? Iโ€™m a Loyolite..Woooo it makes me feel proud introducing myself this way..

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Welcome on-board. Thanks for dropping by and thanks for the compliment!
      Loyolite….That’s a great way of introducing yourself – Inspire, Aspire & Achieve!
      Which batch and which stream are you from?

      • ved4u Says:

        2001-2004 Batch & The Most Pungent Stream , Chemical Technology ๐Ÿ˜‰
        I think both of us passed out in the same year…Ahhh, I miss those days, beautiful campus, fun filled days…
        Have you ever wondered how did I get to this blog..;-)

      • sunheriyaadein Says:

        The most pungent stream – Good that u said it urself. I didn’t have to take the effort of doing so ๐Ÿ˜‰
        Since u mention it, go ahead and tell me how u landed here? ๐Ÿ™‚

      • ved4u Says:

        Just to make it more interesting, Scan through your brain and guess who might have referred me here….I know the first name came into your mind is Rosmin lol ;-), Thank god itโ€™s not Nelson AmalRajโ€ฆ
        Okay let me put this straight, Hymu gave me the link stating โ€˜you should read this blog written by my friendโ€™ and I was told that it was very well narrated.
        No wonder she said that, You really did a good jobโ€ฆ.

      • sunheriyaadein Says:

        Well, when you said you are from CT, I thought it must be Swathi but was a little surprised coz she doesn’t visit my blog herself. I forgot Hima could be the missing link across all the streams ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. rajnbrpalan Says:

    You have a beautiful way of putting words on paper and this makes every article of yours – awesome!! You (with the gang) literally took me there and I could smell those fishes on the beach (of course the money part too).. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yes, you said it towards the end – everyone does need a break – once in a while!! By the way, did you have a chance to listen to Rafi / Lata / Mukesh or their gang anytime during those long drives… that would have added spice to it am sure!!

    Keep writing – looking fwd to your next weekend.. ๐Ÿ˜›

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed this ride. That makes me feel like I succeeded in what i set out to do ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks a lot for all the appreciation ๐Ÿ™‚
      I didn’t get to listen to old songs much. For a change, I was listening to all the latest songs most of the time. But knowing my inclination towards old songs, Henry did let me play songs of my choice for a while. So listened to Kishore, Rafi, Asha & Lata.
      I’m looking forward to my next weekend as well, as I’ll be going home on 1st ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. dustedoff Says:

    Your descriptions of the food made my mouth water… and those sunsets are out of this world. Lovely!

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚
      We forgot to click a pic of our royal lunch. We all were so hungry that it completely skipped our mind.
      And the sunset…it makes me go dreamy everytime I think of it. It’ll always remain one of the most magnificent sunsets I’ve ever seen. Kudos to the photographers for capturing the moment so beautifully.

    • bollywoodeewana Says:

      I second you dusted off, that sunset is indeed lovely and those bites at the beginning made me hungry instantly, oh beautiful India, I can’t wait till i come and behold your beauty

      • sunheriyaadein Says:

        It makes me hungry everytime I see the pics ๐Ÿ˜‰ I haven’t even gone to 10% of the places here. There’s so much to see. Come soon, India beckons ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Amit Kumar Says:

    This is the first time I read a complete article of your blog. Its amazing…the way you have narrated the trip and the synchronization of the pictures makes sure that whoever reads it will feel that he/she was with you on the trip.
    Amazing pics, amazing description….and seriously…so happy for you that you had a break from the damn Toad, Oracle apps, Lotus notes and many such things….
    Keep rocking the way you are…and yes….will definitely want to go on such a trip with you..even though you don’t want to see me after office…. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      You really read the whole article??? That’s quite hard to believe. Well, I must say that it’s a great achievement on my part if I have actually made you do that ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Shhhhhhhh…dont mention any other tools. You might get booked for security violation ๐Ÿ˜›
      Thanks a lot! It was really a pleasant surprise to see your comment here.
      Let’s see if we can ever go on a trip together. Plan something…on a weekday, of course. You know I dont enjoy hanging around with office folks on weekends ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Srijana Says:

    Loved reading every bit of was like re-living the entire trip.

  7. anup Says:

    It was superb reading the small vacation. the way u expressed was simply awesome. Wish u more happy journey. Keep enjoying ๐Ÿ™‚ regards/AJ

  8. Sharmi Says:

    You are one pretty damsel!! Loved the pictures! Shows that you had fun!!! Good

  9. Archana Says:

    Good..u really had a fun time after ur such a hectic schedule..good for u ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Renuka devi Says:

    Hi Archana, this is Renuka aunty. You made me envy the trip with your words, I did not join as I had been to Uppada beach a fortnight ago. I wanted to visit Chirala with my family however I compensated by eating fish & prawns while you all where there.

  11. Jacinta Joseph Says:

    Awesome pictures.

  12. Hima Says:

    woww babby,,,awesme snaps,,,goood post,, read thru ur diary halfff…to be continued tomw once i will b in a good shape, rite nau, gn.

  13. Vardhan Says:

    you must be kidding !!!!! YOU are A serious observer and Narrator do u know that, which u don’t look by the way ๐Ÿ˜‰ but seriously this stuff uve described with every smallest detail, wow !! that is some talent… I fully enjoyed reading ur ROAD TRIP to my place & i am reliving the moments… I appreciate ur work i seriously do..

  14. Aren Says:

    Well written and very awesome pics!!

  15. Divya Says:

    Archuuuu…very well written, i’m in luv with you all over again!!after nutella of course! ๐Ÿ˜› new found respect (take a bow) ..but seriously awesome!!!

  16. Srujana Says:

    Very Nice post! I enjoy ur posts very much.. u always make me feel the place thru them!!

  17. Preeti Says:

    lovely….enjoyed your blog…..

  18. Saurav Says:

    super ga bagundi ..and idi bapatla beach ….ok ok

  19. Henry Says:

    Ur the Best!!!

  20. Sunetra Says:

    Loved readin ur blog…da smallest details r so beautifully made me nostalgic 4 a while though..reminisced da beutiful tyms v used 2 hve in hyd..hehe,,:):)

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      That’s why I keep telling u to come back to Hyd ๐Ÿ™‚
      Oh, I miss those hostel days! Especially searching for 25np and 50np coins to make 5 rupees and running for panipuri every evening, our visits to Champa’s stores (eclairs and hajmola candies), going to the church, sitting on the terrace for hours doing nothing, washing clothes in the backyard, getting chased away from Manisha’s room (the only room with a tv) by Binodini, getting soaked in the rain and going all the way to Lifestyle to watch a cricket match….woh bhi kya din the!

  21. harveypam Says:

    goooooooooooooood fooooooooooooooooooooood!
    Love food!
    Am so glad, you had your well-deserved break!
    abhi picture dekho review likho! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    nahin, nahin, do what you like to do best!

  22. Rajbabu Says:

    wow!! i really cherished the pics,Awesome!!

  23. Unknown Says:

    Sometimes I read your blog.I really don’t have any clues how I started. I find many things while I read ur travelogue. Although physically distant, I’ve felt I’m in India.
    How abt trying Pacific beach next time?
    Perhaps it might appear interesting to express urself more in this kind of writing.
    I find u as a good writer when I read ur lines.
    Great work!
    The unknown

  24. Sudheer Says:

    very good post, liked it…
    got here from Google as I was planning to visit Ongole-Chirala-Bapatla next week…
    photos are really very nice…

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Thanks for dropping by.
      It’s a nice place, a good weekend get-away. And like I mentioned in the post, I loved the lesser known beaches in Chirala rather than the more famous Suryalanka beach.
      Have a wonderful time!

  25. Vishnu Says:

    Today we are going to Chirala after reading your blog. will see how much i will enjoy. i will post one more message once am back with my memories….

    Bye and happy week end

  26. vinay Says:

    hi my name is vinay this is the best site i like it very much i lived in chirala but i dont know famous of this place by seeing this ill understand thanks for publishing this site

  27. Ramana Says:

    Nice to know about your trip to chirala. I was planning with my wife and 9 years kid to chirala and bapatla from hyd this week end. Thanks for your inputs and your presentation is amazing. You can become a good narrator.

  28. Nitya Shree Says:

    Hey thta is a great post with some great pictures. Thank you so much for sharing. do come up with more of such posts. The list here should be very useful for travel overs like you.
    Keep blogging !!

  29. Naveen Kumar Says:

    I have never seen a travelogue with such an exquisite detail…..really thanks to you….actually I am going today evening to chirala with my family….I have no words to say about the pictures, they are awesome.

  30. Lawrence Walker Says:

    very well narrated….you have expressed your experience in an amazing way…well i just landed up `going through your blog while searching for a nice place to visit during this weekend…and you actually took me on a trip within 15 min lolz…by the way good luck, dont know if I will ponder over any blogs again but an awesome 15 min experience…looks & sounds like a doc movie…lolz…great job !!!

  31. udit mahajan Says:

    Cool.nice description..very nice…

  32. baaxess Says:

    The photographs are awesome. I’d been to Suryalanka as a kid and I cant wait to go again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Pandu Says:

    Hail from the small town called Chirala.. You gave LIFE to that small village. The visualizing capacity of your two photographers is awesome. The photographers maintained their sanity by putting in good stuff, as normal themes of Holiday snaps are about people going mad and doing CRAZY things. The story telling techniques in your blog are good too. Searching in goggle and accidentally found this BLOG. Bless you..

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