Sunday, November 16, 2008

Haritha - 7 Kms

Typical Hyderabadi weekend when cyclone hits the coastal AP, especially in early winter - cloudy skies, light drizzle, chill breeze - perfect weather for snugging up in the cozy corner of one's home, snacking on some hot tea and muffins, perhaps catching up with some reading as well. This time I wanted to do something different since I badly needed a break from daily chores, especially that inevitable visit to Ratnadeep for vegetables and other stuff.

None of us wanted to remain indoors, just felt like unwinding, may be go for a refreshing long drive that would take us away from the din of the city, at least for some hours. We started and drove towards NH7. Sandip was keen on some bird-watching, armed with his camera and binoculars. We could not see many birds though, mainly due to the inclement weather. We crossed Medchal and were about to reach Toopran, I badly wanted to have some tea, so thought we would stop at Reliance Plaza, unfortunately it was closed. We were unable to see any tea vendors around, then Sandip spotted a signboard on the right pointing to Haritha (the APTDC restaurant). I took a turn and entered into a road that showed Haritha 7 kms. To our surprise it turned out to be a lush green driveway that connected to Gajwel about 25kms away.

Serendipity - was my word of the day for this splendid Sunday!!!

This lovely road had some green and golden paddy, potatoes and other vegetables farms lined up on both sides of the road, neatly interspered with sugarcane and some mango orchards. There were some ponds too, that make it look even more picturesque. We stopped for a while, since we found some rare birds near the waterbodies. The panoramic view was simply exhilarating. However, we could not find Haritha anywhere on this road. Half way through there was a temple, wondered if it was a famous pilgrim spot, and concluded that the restaurant would be in the temple complex. We were not sure about it, coz the temple did not seem big enough to be promoted by APTDC. Nevertheless, we did not slow down near the temple, the place was too crowded with people since it was an auspicious day for vanabhojanam. We reached Gajwel and took a right turn to state highway that connected to Shamirpet. It said Hyderabad 60 kms. Towards our right we spotted a big Haritha restaurant, but we weren't prepared to turn back. Was this the restaurant that the signboard pointed to, we speculated ? It was exactly 27 kms from that point? May be the '2' before '7' got erased from the signboard? Were there two restaurants by the same name within such a short distance? We were just wondering trying to solve the Harita puzzle, but thanks to the Haritha signboard we got to drive through some pleasantly serene avenues, full of rustic charm, that made us hard to believe that we were just 60-70 kms away from Hyderabad.

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