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Dusk time..

Dusk time..

Dusk time in village..

Hello friends, Wish you a happy, prosperous and healthy new year! I wish all your valid dreams come true. Hope you enjoyed your New Year celebrations. I had a great one indeed. It was one of the memorable trips I had. Our team included Pranav, Jeevan, Naveen, Prajwal, Dinesh.

Amidst the dilemma about the release of Sri Krishna Report and anticipated agitation, we had off to Vishakapatnam (Vizag) for three days, starting from Dec 30th (evening) to Jan 2nd. We haven’t booked any tickets well in advance. As our trip was very dynamic in nature (not sure how many gonna join and when). Our biggest challenge was about the date’s synchronization. As all of us were working, we had to decide days which every one agrees upon. Naveen did a wonderful job in making his dates flexible. Our initial itinerary was some thing like this.


Day 1 – Visit all places in Vizag-harbor, RushiKonda beach, Kailasgiri, museum, beach road drive, and New Year celebrations.

Day 2 – Train journey to Araku. Drop at BorraCaves, hire a vehicle and visit all the places along the way to Araku. If possible (based on availability of accommodation) night stay in Araku.

Day 3 – Off to Simhachalam, visit temple by mid day and visit any other places if possible and make it to station by train’s departure time.

Good part of our journey is – we almost had stick to our plan. 😉 It’s a great accomplishment eh??  I really appreciate my entire team for being part of this great journey and making it a memorable one.



Borra Caves Railway station

Team at Borra Caves

After reaching Vizag on 31st morning, engaged couple of lodge rooms (a decent lodge near RTC Complex), refreshed and out to visit city places. We had been to RK beach (RamaKrishna beach) at around 10AM.  Beach was good but not that great enough. As this beach is very much in the city, it’s very crowded and hence, obviously not maintained cleanly. Waves are not that stronger. No winds at all. Its quite a sunny day. After successfully completing the photo session in beach ;), we engaged a vehicle and went to fishing harbor.

Kali Maatha Temple near RK beach in Vizag

Kali Maatha Temple near RK beach in Vizag


All the way along, you will experience a pungent smell of dry fish, which are being dried on road itself. Take care of your nose.  Unfortunately, the cinema shooting spots of the harbor had been closed for visiting, as there was a death mishap that happened recently. We had a boat riding there. Duration of the boat riding was around 30 mins @ 40/- per head. Not so exciting when compared to NagarjunaSagar boat riding we had around 4 months back. But, it was good. After this, we set off to museum. Submarine museum was off. Its timings are from 2PM to 8PM. Later, went to Vishaka Museum, where the museum displays the importance of INS(Indian Navy Service) and impact on National Security and variety of ships available since history. After extensive photography session in the museum gardens, we went to a restaurant, had lunch there. The dhaba was almost neat to Rushikonda beach, (right after the Gitam University). The place is crowded by tourists. So, hardly you can expect good quality food. We were interested in sea food items, but it dint tasted awesome. Had cb, pb and few veg dishes and the bill for 6 was around 850/-. We then kicked off to RushiKonda beach. Comparatively, this is better than RamaKrishna beach. Crowd is still there, but is maintained clean and neat.

A pic of dry prawns on road to harbour beach

Dry prawns on road to harbour beach

Tides are stronger and you feel windy here. We had a bath for around 2-3 hours. We had a great fun time playing with waves. Waiting for a huge wave and when it hits us, we try to get on top of it. Woow!! I believe, kids can enjoy a lot more here. Then we headed to Kailasgiri. We had opted the ropeway route. This is my first experience with ropeway but, it was not so exciting when compared to some rides in exhibition. 🙂 We had some relaxing time on the hill. One can have a good view of the almost entire Vizag city from the kailasgiri hill.  Pretty cool place to hand around with family during evenings.


View of partial Vizag city from harbour beach

View of partial Vizag city from harbour beach

We then headed to our lodge rooms, had bath, took a very short break and headed to RK beach. We heard that entire vizag meet there to celebrate New Year celebrations. We had dinner, had some fun time in beach. The only attraction that entire vizag has then was – beach road. People gathered in beaches, huge crowds, I say!  On the other side, there are New Year special programs that are being conducted in gardens, parks, hotels and restaurants.  Youth running, bike racing on roads, boozing, eating, playing, shouting..what not… one can see, how important, the new year festival is to Indians. 🙂 I and pranav almost lost our mobiles in the crowd there, but, my friends managed to find it back to us. Cheers!!  We stayed there till 12 midnight, greeted each other with new year wishes and left to room.  We had to catch early morning train to Araku.. !!!  Uhh.. !!!

Train journey to Araku Valley

Train journey to Araku Valley

Well, I managed to get up at 4.30 in the morning. I woke my friends up, asked them to get ready by 6.30 and come to station. Myself and Pranav reached station by 6. We had booked tickets but failed to get seats. But, thanks to localities, who are selling each window seat for 30/-. We got 4 seats for 120/-. One issue what that – we got window seats to the left side of the boogie, to which side – you only get to see only forest and waterfalls. If we had got seats the other side, we get to see deep valleys of Araku hills.  However, this was not that bad, we had a good experience.  You get to see train going thru many tunnels. Almost 12!  We got down at “Borra Caves” and engaged a jeep for around 2K. The program planned this way – Visit ABC waterfalls (half distance by jeep and then trekking for around 30 mins), spend some time there. Water there is so chilling that we could not stand in water for more than 1 minute. Yes, really! But, my crazy friends managed to stay in water for more than 20 mins for pics to be taken! 😛 hehe..






Ropeway in Kailasgiri

Ropeway trolley in Kailasgiri


We got back to borra caves, had lunch. Well, I wanted to say some thing here. Do not order food anywhere before going to caves. Food in Borra Caves is pathetic. Of course, at least where we ordered. I do not remember the hotel name, but, we had ordered 1kg of ‘native chicken’ for lunch, but, it did not taste good at all. Here I took New Year resolutions – not to eat non-veg outside, especially and strictly in tourist places.  We then left to Borra Caves.

Borra Caves is one of the best tourist spots I have ever seen. Its really amazing, fascinating and worth seeing.  You get to see huge formation of stalagmites since some lakh years old. According to me, it’s better to hire a guide available there. I really cannot certify the credulity of the information he provides, but , you can really enjoy the guidance. You get to know, few interesting points.  There is a trekking path available there, thru caves, which takes you to the bottom of the hill, where, Gosthana River takes birth. We didn’t take ticket for camera for which we repented later.




Way to Araku Water falls

Way to Araku Water falls

After which, we set off to Araku. The journey from Borra Caves to Araku is very pleasant and even more enjoyable during evening time.  On our way to Araku, we had visited coffee plantations, few cinema shooting spots and ‘Galikonda’ view point. By the time we reached Galikonda view point, it has become slightly dark (around 6.30PM). On the way to Araku, you get to see good valley views of Araku hills on to your left side.   Then we entered Araku. We had not booked any rooms in any hotel, but we are lucky enough that we managed to get two rooms for us. Rooms are not good / neat enough, but we had no other option but to go for it. We are so exhausted, that we had no plans to make any parties in the night. We walked to near by center, had tiffins, rushed back to room and slept like hell.  One thing I wanted to mention here – we got really a good jeep driver, sharat, who is very friendly, he provided good information about local places, had provided valid suggestions about hotel rooms and food available there.





Train running thru fields in Araku

Train running amidst fields in Araku



Next day morning, we had a good time. I had got up early and got ready to leave Araku. While I was waiting for my friends to get ready, myself and two of us left out to have a good view of Araku. Since, its early in the morning, between 6 and 7 AM, we had a good greenery snapshots in fog. Later then, we had another outing with other two friends, where, I had a good snap of the train track in midst of fields.  After a good photography session, we had breakfast and then we left to Simhachalam, in a jeep. The return journey is very cool; we had some good views of the Araku valleys and hills around. The journey in jeep is cool, as we get to see a good view of the sight seeig. We had never stopped anywhere for a long duration because, we had to visit Simhachalam temple in time, and the temple is scheduled to get closed by 2PM.  We made to temple by 1PM. Since, there is no crowd, we had directly got into main temple, and had darshan of Lord Narsimha Swami. We had the prasadam  as our lunch, then set off to RishiKonda beach, where we missed to see ‘erra dibbalu’ on day 1.




A pic of Erra Dibbalu

Erra Dibbalu in Rushikonda

Internal details of Marine Museum

Marine Museum - Complex Internals

We reached ‘erra dibbalu’ by around 4PM, which is around 15-20KM away from main city.  ‘erra dibbalu’ is quiet a good place to hang around. Its on the other side of the sea shore.  You will be walking thru a channel of red mud, covered by sand. As per history, the Gostana River that took birth near ‘Borra Caves’ used to flow thru this channels, and used to get merged into Sea. You never know, where you are heading to and you cannot easily track the path that you traveled, until you had put some marks or pointers on your journey. We had a good time there, walking with bear foot, feeling the smoothness of the sand is a pleasant feeling I experienced. Back to main road by around 6PM, on the other side of the main road, watched violent waves in sea shore for about 15 minutes and then, left to the city. We got down at beach road, precisely at ‘marine museum’. We had train at 8.30PM. So, we decided to visit it ASAP and then rush to railway station. But, the ‘Marine Museum’ is a must visit place. The engineering & technology used inside a marine is absolutely wonderful. Outside the marine, there was a board displayed great facts of the marine. We had some time spend there, took some snaps in and around marine museum, and then rushed to railway station. Our train was at 8.30 and our trip lasted till 8PM. 🙂 🙂  It was a pretty exhaustive one.


So, what’s next??  We set off to our home town the same night, to get back into our so called IT life. Happy new year folks!! 🙂

If you are fan of a opensource products, this is for you!

Today,  I learned about a new db design tool, which is open source and free of cost. More importantly, its light weight and easy to use. Its just 92KB size and you can start using right after extracting it. Awesome.

WWW SQL Designer is a OSS tool hosted on Google Code. You can download the latest version of it from here.

Here is the sample diagram that I made with the help of this tool. This is just for your understanding.

Sample ER diagram

you can generate SQL script for the above tables on fly and  create them on a db – mysql etc. Not all databases are supported but most of the Opensource db’s are supported with this tool.  mySQL , SQLLite , PostGRESQL are supported.

More to be added here when I get more time to investigate with this tool.



A trip to NagarjunaSagar

Hi there, I wanted to share my experiences of one day trip to Nagarjuna Sagar with my good old college friends which was on Sept 5th 2010.

Image at Sagar tiffin center

Bagga mekkinam vaay..

It all started when my friend Harsha called me to check if I will be joining their ‘still planning’ trip to Tirupati. I said OK and we were checking all possibilities to make out the trip. But, due to some reasons, we were unable to make the tirupathi trip. As a alternate, I suggested a one day trip to Nagarjuna Sagar dam ( this is good choice considering the rain fall this season.. ).    Naveen joined us from Warangal,  Jeevan, Pranav and Harsha from Infosys are in Hyderabad itself and are OK with the trip. Interestingly and accidentally, Manish joined us in the very last minute.. (almost just before he going to sleep on saturday.. ;-).  I confirmed a Cab on Saturday afternoon for 7rs for km. Finally, we managed to get 6 ppl on board.

Day started for me at 4.15AM.  We got ready by 5.30 and on road to catch a bus to koti, where the cab driver will be waiting for us.  Manish joined us in koti. Funny thing is that, Manish is not aware that the day is actually a band due to some discrepancies in APPSC(Civils) exam. He saw that road was hit by too many police and was shivering to continue further. I assured his safety and then he managed to come with us.. ;-).  Harsha and Pranav joined us in Dilsikhnagar and we had breakfast in near by tiffin center ( at LBNagar, name was some thing like raghavendra sagar) . Bad service but good taste.

We started there (LB agar) at around 7.30.  Climate was awesome. Blue sky with few clouds here and there.  Road was average. Its not a NH quality but its OK.  For some time, it was very bad but otherwise, its OK ( when compared to other roads). Since the day was actually a Telangana bandh, we are first hit by telangana activists at a place which is around 1 hr from Sagar.  We escaped there intellectually, asked driver to drive sideways and crossed the barricade.  After 20-30 mins of drive, we are again stopped. This time, we cannot escape but the road-stop was doing by a bunch ok teens, headed by a tall teen ;-).  We disguised our selves as reporters, ( as the Telangana activists are more interested in reporters and we got a digi camera.. thats it) and reached to barricade. We got down and started taking pics of the activists. Surprisingly, they turned towards us ( opp to the vehicles and showing their love towards the new state ) . We had a arguement with them and managed to get them out of our way. Now, huge  barricade is on our way.  this time, its being done by a bunch of politicians. They were cooking upma on middle of the road.  A poor bridegroom reached their and participated in the harthaal( just to make sure that he is not badly hit by the road harthaal, as he needs to rush to marriage hall). Watch out pics here..



Jai Telangana

Barricade on Telangana Band

Jai Telangana

Some how, we reached Nagarjuna Sagar and rest of the story is Wonderful. We enjoyed the site at Dam – 22 out of 26 gates are opened!  Eye-feasting site that was! And also exciting boat trip to the NagarjunaSagar Museum. Pics are followed.

Folks, I am glad that I got introduced to word-press with the help of Vyas, my college friend. Today morning, after giving sendoff to sateesh ( who is leaving to Delhi to pursue MBA for next two years) , I met vyas casually. During our discussion, I asked him about the presentation that he is supposed to give me regarding drupal. But, after having a brief intro about Drupal, we started talking about WP. Vyas logged into WP and showed me, how easily and effectively can posts be created in WP. So, I decided that very moment to use WP and is the way to GO!!

WP – a web  based CMS – a blog management software. I have created my id today and started creating this post. I will use this extensively in very near future and will let you know more about it.

Vikram K Ponnoju

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