Friday, July 9, 2010

Hyderabad - III

It is taking me forever to get motivated to write the final part of my Hyderabad trip (its the laziness of typing on keyboard that I am fighting and not the trip!) and I really wonder how do the film writers write the script?? They have to cover at least a couple of years in 2 hours, without breaking the flow (I am talking about the good scripts!).
We had about a week in hands and loads of things to cover. The most important places like Golconda Fort and Charminar were still left (like some one said, leave the best things for end..) Since we had just one temple left in our list, we decided to cover that up first and also it was in the outskirts of the city, which meant long drive away from the traffic on the streets.

The morning was bright and sunny and the ladies were even brighter in their silk sarees (if you are reading this article and you know about it, please tell me what is the fancy in wearing silk saree on a hot day, where you are visiting a temple, so obviously people will not notice you and on the top of all, you know you will be sweating like pig!!). Yadagiri Gutta hosts a beautiful, well spread, off-white temple building which is the abode of Lord Narasimha (remember him from Hiranyakashyapa - Prahlad - Holika story?) 
Yadagirigutta view from Raigir Station
yadagiri gutta
The temple sits on a small hilltop and presents a nice picturesque of the low lying village. We entered the temple, the queues were arranged by the temple people and they were still building the roof tops for the people standing. Sun and sand were making their point clearly, in contrast to how we enjoy them in beaches. Long queues are nothing for the people of Andhra Pradesh, who are accustomed to stand in queues for so long in Tirupati.. As we were nearing the temple, we could very well smell ghee and sugar (Yummmmmm....)!! I could not help but notice that it was not my mom and aunt only who wanted to sweat themselves off... almost all the ladies were like that... bright and flashy oranges, greens, yellows, reds, blues, pinks..(phew)!!! My uncle was telling us the stories related to the lord as in how he had so many avatars and in each different form, he would accomplish a different task, (you cannot simply ignore mythological stories, they are so fascinating..). It took us about 30 minutes to reach the main room in which lord resides. People kept chanting (and shouting) the various names of Lord (which unfortunately, I do not remember now, but the next time I go there, I am going to update this!!). The good part about that is you just get immersed in the devotional aura which the devotees makes there. After we came out of the main room, it was time for laddus (If u are visiting an Indian temple, there is no better prasadam than that..) The sun was right on the head, shining (read scorching) and we were walking on naked feet. That was the hardest part of the whole Hyderabad trip. The laddu and (sweet) coconut water did help us a bit, but still we were hungry. The driver suggested a small, restaurant in the town, which was surprisingly very filling and tasty (Surprising because we totally despised the look of it... but we were so hungry!!). This ended yet another destination but me and my sister were all the more exited, because, now everything that we have been looking forward for was in the queue. 

Nehru Zoological park, the only zoo park in the city
We relaxed that evening at home because the next day was going to be the longest journey of my life (till then) by walk - It was the Nehru Zoological Park (NZP) time. NZP is one of the biggest zoos in India (which I realized after walking in it) which hosts a wide variety of flora and fauna like fierce lions, white tigers, bears to milder hippos, rhinos to the exotic butterfly parks and multi colored parrots and other birds. If you are going to the zoo in summer, expect a lot of shade and humidity.
The zoo is covered with a lot of tall trees and walking therefore doesn't seem all that bad. There are train tours from the exteriors to the interiors of the zoo (which will be a good option if you have kids, so that you don't have to carry them in your shoulders while walking..), but we chose to walk. NZP is definitely a "must" for people who like animal photography. I have always loved the sight of tigers, jaguars and leopards (they look so beautiful..),  and we had a plenty to see here.
White Lions
PEACOCK IS GOING TO DANCEWe took the jeep safari and it was one of the best that we had ever been to. The zoo also hosts an effortless place for bears and deers from all over the world. My favorite place was the cage of peacocks. Peacocks are simply the most beautiful bird on earth. I mean there is no better combinations of blue-green-purple than the one that exists in its feathers and no better sight than watching it dance (Never miss a chance if you get to see it..). Even white peacocks look so elegant! The air was filled with the sound of birds, sometimes musical and sometimes not so much..And I definitely hated the smell of raw meat near the animal section (arrgghhh.. the reason why I stopped going to zoos - may be..)Going further, we reached the giraffe section. The OZ native was at home here... having his own sweet time with the tall trees around.. We then reached the monkey kingdom filled with all kinds of monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees. I was not particularly excited about this section, since a lot of them were Indian natives and wasn't a new sight to me. My mom and aunt were bored to death, it was only me, sis and uncle who were enjoying the trip. But with the  monkey section approaching, even I was not in a mood to go further. I have never been an animal lover, I like seeing the colorful plants and flowers, they soothe my eyes and the only thing that kept me going here was greenery that is not so visible in the rest of the city.
zoo park,hyderabad We then came to the section which I absolutely hate - the reptile section. No animal from the reptile family has ever fascinated me. They had all sorts of reptiles here, water crocodiles, all kinds of snakes, cobras, chameleons and others. I was totally uninterested but my uncle and sister wanted to go ahead and the ladies were wearing the same expression of boredom, with no change. We took a lot of breaks in between and were not particularly tired, but it was enough for us. We wanted to go back.. go to house.. change in to something better and sit somewhere with some aromatic scents filling in air. It was a good day, I enjoyed walking for such a long distance for the first time and was more like a jungle walk and if I remember correctly, I never went to a zoo again...(till Singapore happened, and that will come up later!!)
The day ended and we were back to home.. I never realized that night how I just slipped in to sleep until I woke up the next day only to find out it was raining and that too heavily..But worth a watch in Hyderabad because the smell of bajjis, pakodas, samosas and garama garam (hot) irani chai can simply take the creases off your face any day...