Papi Kondalu – The Best Experience

Papi Kondalu Travel

Combined Andhra Pradesh has a vast geographical area combined with rich historical and cultural heritage, which are excellent conditions for further growth in the tourism sector. The state has created waves in the Indian tourism industry with its arts & crafts, beaches, cuisine, festivals, Kuchipudi dance, fairs & festivals, pilgrimages, wildlife and many attractions across the state.

Governments of Telangana and Andhra have come up with a brilliant plan to promote tourism in the state by bringing back the nostalgic era of river cruises. These eco-friendly and affordable river cruise packages on Godavari are an ideal way to explore Telangana’s stunning geography and rich culture.

We call it the perfect summer getaway with your friends and family or just by yourself. The best part is that there are multiple packages to choose from depending on how many days you want to stay or how tight your budget is. These cruises are available from Rajahmundry from April to June. Here is a quick look at some of these places that you must visit if you want to take this cruise package while visiting Papi Hills.

“Papi Kondalu” or “Papi Kondalu” is a mountain range on the Bhadrachalam Godavari River in Khammam district of Telangana or Rajahmundry in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. Papi Kondalu mountain range flows along one of the largest and liveliest rivers in India, the Godavari River.

The mighty river narrows along the Papi Hills and flows with twists and turns. Papi Hills tours on the Godavari River are attracting more and more public attention in recent years and the number of tourists visiting and experiencing this amazing natural mountain range has increased rapidly.

Read: Tourist Destinations in Kerala

Take a cruise on the Godavari River


Papi Kondalu cruise journey in Godavari River
Papi Kondalu cruise journey in Godavari River

There is no direct launchi or boat service from Rajahmundry to Bhadrachalam. Godavari River travel by launchi boats.

All boats start from Purushottapatnam (30 km from Rajahmundry) at around 10:00 AM, so reporting time at Rajahmundry is 7:30 AM. A tourist can reach Purushottapatnam by road.

Similarly, on the other side, the boat goes to Sriramagiri (2 hrs 35 min (130.7 km) from Kothagudem – Yellandu Rd to Bhadrachalam or Koonavaram (55 min (49.7 km) from NH30 to Bhadrachalam. No direct service to Bhadrachalam).

River Godavari originally flows from Bhadrachalam towards Rajahmundry.

A boat trip or cruise on the Godavari River from Rajahmundry to Sriramagiri or Koonavaram is one of the best tourist attractions in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Tour packages covering half the journey and returning to the starting point of Bhadrachalam or Rajahmundry are also available.

The trip consists of about 100 km of driving (driving with a diesel engine) from the start. The total travel time from Rajahmundry to Sri Ramagiri is around 12 hours. If travelers are willing to travel to Kunavaram for the same start, an additional half hour journey is required.

The road passes through various temples and hill stations and is very scenic for the beautiful greenery around the river Godavari. Some of the important places to visit on this river trip are Pattiseema, Maha Nandeswara Temple, Polavaram Project Area, Gandi Pochamma Temple, Papi Kondalu (Papi Konda), Shiva Temple, Perantala Palli, Sri Rama Mandir on Sri Ramagiri.

Papi Kondalu (Papi Kondalu) is the main attraction, this range is mostly covered from Rajahmundry side. So, the benefits of traveling from Rajahmundry are high.

There are plenty of launchi services available in Rajahmundry and Bhadrachalam. In Rajahmundry, launchee booking offices are available close to the river bank. For those starting from Bhadrachalam side, reservation should be made only at Bhadrachalam, even if the initial service starts from Kunavaram or Sriramagiri.

Different experiment organizers have different schedules. But this service is available on most days. Many people prefer to travel on Fridays. Reason can visit Bhadrachalam temple in the evening. They can visit the local site the next day and return on Sunday by road or by the same launch service. Breakfast (tiffin), coffee, tea, lunch, evening snack are included in the package.

Best time to visit

The usual time to plan this trip is from September to December and continues to February – March. October is the best time as the water in the Godavari River is optimal. If it rains, it is better to avoid the road. If the water level in the Godavari River is lower, the launch service will be limited to Perantala palli. One third of the starting distance will therefore be missing. October is also a depression season in the Bay of Bengal, so be careful.

Read: Best places to visit in Goa and How to visit?

Places to see during the journey

After boarding the ship, breakfast will be served. The boat departs from Purusothapantam around 10:00 AM. These ships have two floors and the lower flower has air conditioning. Upstairs is an open deck with a canopy above to control the sun. At first, all tourists prefer to sit on the top of the ship, but as the journey progresses, it is the lower deck where everyone gathers to enjoy various organized entertainment programs.

Details in Telangana Tourism Website for Papi Kondalu please CLICK here

Andhra Pradesh Tourism Packages for Papikondalu please CLICK here

Sri Uma Maha Nandiswara Swamy Temple

There is a small temple on top of a small hill. Sri Uma Maha Nandeswara Swamy Temple is located here. According to history, this temple was built in 12th century. The Polavaram project undertaken by the Andhra state government can be seen from the area behind this temple.

Gonduru, Gandi Pochamma temple

The second stop is in Gonduru, just an hour away from Pattiseema. The temple of Goddess Gandi Pochamma can be seen here. The view of river Godavari is also pleasant from the premesis of the temple. The ticket has to be taken for INR 2 and for special darshan (Sunday and Tuesday only) INR 5. Another amount has to be paid for special puja. Photography is not allowed near the temple premises.

There will be one more stop at the checkpoint before entering the Papi Kondalu (papi hills) area. This one is for a very short time.

Papi Kondalu

The ship slowly enters the hilly regions where the Godavari flows through large hills on both sides. Then the road goes through Papi hills which is very scenic. The road leads through a dense forest surrounded by hills on both sides. The atmosphere is very pleasant and quiet. This part of the journey is quite a longer distance and also the main one.

At Rajahmundry the width of the Godavari is nearly 5 to 6 km but at Papi Kondalu the width reduces to nearly 500 feet only. The water depth is greater here. With rocks and hills on both sides, passing the boat is hard work. The Godavari River is joined on both sides by small water streams flowing from the hills.

Bamboo huts of Kolluru


Kollur Night Stay Bamboo Huts Papi kondalu
Kollur Night Stay Bamboo Huts Papikondalu

After lunchi the boat will pass by Kolluru Bamboo Huts. These huts are built over the river sand on the right bank of the Godavari. Each cottage can accommodate 4 people (one family) and there are almost 100 cottages available in these places. Perantalapalli hill can be seen from here. Similarly colorful bamboo huts are visible from Perantalapalli.

These cottages can be booked for one day inclusive of boat journey from Rajahmundry for Rs.2000/ per person. This package includes vegetarian and non-vegetarian food for 24 hours. While staying here, tourists can enjoy the atmosphere of the jungle by staying in traditionally built cabins. Tourists reach here around 1:00 PM and enjoy the evening sunset here. A campfire is held here. The next morning, the tourist visits a local indigenous village and bathes at a nearby waterfall.

This is a mixed experience of local hospitality in the jungle. (They are not included in the one-day package and you have no chance to get off the boat at Kolluru Bamboo Huts)

Perantalapalli

On the left bank of Godavari River, this place is just 2 KM from Kolluru Bamboo huts. People are served lunch at this place or sometime before reaching this area depends on the timing. Tourists have to climb steps to exit the river bank, the path passes through tribal huts and reaches Sri Krishna Munivaatam. Balananda Swami established it as a temple and ashram. Photography inside the ashram is prohibited. Sri Ramakrishna Hermitage is the main attraction in Peranta Palli You can carry your tools but never try to use them. The mobile camera is also not allowed to be used. Streams of water flow along the sides of the temple.

Local tribes sell beautiful handmade flowers and crafts made from bamboo leaves and slices. There will be some special occasions during Vijaya Dashami (Dasara), Mukkoti Ekadashi and Maha Shivarathri (February or March). Sri Balananda Swamy was started this hermitage.

Your ship will give you 20 minutes to complete the journey and return to the ship. From the top of the river bank there is a magnificent view of the Godavari. There is a cameraman who can take your photo and give you a print when you return after visiting the temple.

This is the last point for a tourist who has come for a day trip from Rajahmundry and back. Others may continue their journey beyond Perantalapalli to reach Bhadrachalam.

There will be no stops after Peranta Palli. Some people from the launch services are considering another stop near some of the resorts built recently in the Koneru area. This area is also surrounded by Papi hills. People reach Sri Ramagiri around 4:30 PM. Evening refreshments will be served beforehand. Some launch services continue up to Kunavaram. It is better to consider Sri Ramagiri as the end point. Because a Sri Rama temple can be seen here which is said to be older than the Bhadrachalam temple. Temple Darshan can be availed.

If passengers have not booked a vehicle from Sri Ramagiri to Bhadrachalam, it will be difficult to proceed as direct transport is not available. One or two APSRTC buses do come but there is heavy rush during peak season. If vehicles are not pre-booked, one can consider traveling towards Rekha palli (Rekapalli). Rekhapalli is just 6 km from Sri Ramagiri. Auto rickshaw is available at nominal cost. Lots of buses available from Rekapalli to Bhadrachalam. One and half hour to two hours journey from Rekhapalli to Bhadrachalam.

The price for the whole journey for an adult is INR 650 for an adult (above 12 years) and INR 400 for a child above 5 years. This includes travel between Rajahmundry and Sri Ramagiri (or Kunavaram) and food.

Bhadrachalam


Bhadrachalam Temple night
Bhadrachalam Temple night

There are many temples in India which are known for their scenic beauty, architectural splendor and the fact that they are very rarely visited by tourists. One such temple is the Bhadrachalam Temple in Telangana. This ancient temple has a great significance in Hindu mythology. Let us take a look at some more details about this temple, its location, history and other related information.

Some of the important places to see in Bhadrachalam, Bhadrachala Sri Rama Temple and Parnashala.


Parnashaala Badrachalam
Parnashaala Badrachalam
Conclusion

These are some of the places that you must visit if you’re planning on taking this cruise package when visiting Papikondalu. The cruise is a great way to explore the Godavari River and its rich culture and history. You can also enjoy the scenic beauty of the East Godavari district while on the cruise. So, this summer, make sure you book your tickets for the Godavari Cruise and visit some of the most famous tourist attractions in the area.

Image Attribution: 

  1. Launchi in Godavari Papi Kondalu(Feature): ShravyakalaveniCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  2. Papi Kondalu journey in Godavari: Vinay kumar malyam upadyayaCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  3. Kolluru Night Stay Bamboo Huts Papikondalu: ShravyakalaveniCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  4. Bhadrachalam Temple at night: Bcmnet (talk) (Uploads)CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  5. Parnashaala Badrachalam: Image Source flickr.com, By Sourabh Chattarjee

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