Nyros – Escape to Araku:
(Dec 7th – 9th 2007)
Finally…Away from the works, clients, hot coffee, files and computers…to a very high altitude place with lots of beautiful greenery soothing our eyes and thoughts…We would say, it was really a memorable experience!!
We, Nyrosians had a trip to Araku, a lovely hill station in the mid of (cool) December last year (2007). It boosted up our energies and the trips leveraged our unity and integrity. We set off early (? 8am) morning by a private bus we had booked. All the way, we played jokes, quizzes, anthakshari (song game), and dhamsharads and discussed views of the company. Not to mention, we recently added a batch of 6 fresh Nyrosians and seniors had a real nice time ragging them. The buddy Nyrosians are very sportive and they enjoyed pulling the seniors nose too!! Soon, we were in the outskirts of the beautiful steel-city Vishakapatnam and its lunch time too! We dropped at a near-by inn. The inn is located in Gajuwaka – known as a highest populated area in the city. The hotel has great ambiance and the food served was brilliant. After we had a finishing, we started over again!!
In the midst of all the fun, we reached the beautiful valley by 5pm in the evening on the same day. Software professionals (as we say) with spectacles on the nose, files in the lap, fingers on the keys, concentrating seriously at the monitor…Finally, are out of that world, chewing chips and chocolates, cameras in hands to click off and capture the most scenic beauties all around, standing and just gazing out of the windows not to miss the village people (girijans – the local people are called so), deep valleys with terrace farming, healthy cows and sheep, ponds & lakes and charming bright yellow flowers all over the valley. The sun is peeping out of the bluish black clouds to say Hi & Welcome!! To the Nyrosians.
The climate spelled a magic on us and we had relax feeling over our spine. We dropped at our reserved cottages and spent the night curled up in the cozy blankets. Early next morning, we visited Chap rai – A tiny-winy waterfall and lots of people having sun bath was all that we can see. We had taken a couple of photos, of course in various viewpoints. We spent around 2hrs having fun in the midst of slippery rock slopes and water until we are exhausted. Took rest for another hour and started our way to the most famous and huge Borra caves. It was more than an hour journey from the Chap rai. Obviously, our belly started growling with hunger and we started searching for some nice food place as soon as we got down near the caves. All we can find is just few huts welcoming the tourists with hot piping sambar and the spicy fries. The aroma of the rassam made us walk into one of the warm hut and we had a nice lunch altogether!! As we had our fill, we turned to walk towards the caves and purchased the tickets to enter the adventurous area.
It was a long rocky way to enter the caves but it served as a walking after the good helping we just had 😉 Soon, we are on the underground steps to enter the huge dark caves. There are lots of dim lights red and blue set up all over the caves. People around were making scary noises for fun and perceptibly Nyrosians joined the scary team to amplify the echoes. Guides narrated the history to us as we saw the breath-taking caves and it was quite interesting: These limestone caves are naturally formed and are one million year old!! The caves were formed as a result of the action of the Gosthani River; the river which now flows through the caves was once upon a time flowing over the limestone area. Due to the pressure exerted by the river water on the mineral deposits, the lime stones dissolved and gradually the caves were formed. It was a two-way process. The dissolved limestone trickled down drop by drop on the floor of the cave. These solidify to form lots of stalagmites and stalactites. (This made us remember our science lessons in the tenth standard.? ) Also, according to a popular legend, a cowherd lost his cow while it was grazing. He soon realized that the cow had fallen into a 200 feet deep hole. Assuming the cow to be dead, he peeped into the cavity. To his utter disbelief, he found the cow alive and feeding on the grass deep below. This was the first time that the tribals discovered the existence of the caves.
When the cowherd went into the caves to retrieve his cow, he found the calcium deposit in the shape of a Lord Siva linga. He immediately attributed the survival of the cow to the presence of God. From then on, people started worshiping the linga. Later a small temple was built outside the caves where pujas are performed regularly. There are several other interesting structures inside the caves. These include a mushroom formation, a temple, a mosque, a church and many more. Along with the calcium deposits, there are traces of yellow-colored sulphur deposits on the ground. The Borra caves are brightly illuminated by sixty-three lamps of mercury, sodium vapor and halogen lamps, which make the interior of the caves colorful and spectacular!
The caves really made our day and we headed back to our cottages. As we traveled, all of us were talking about the stories of the caves. We reached the cottages by 8pm. This is not the end of our enjoyment for the day…for all of our surprise and excitement; our management arranged a camp-fire and dhimsa (popular tribal dance). After enjoying a nice dinner, we wrapped up ourselves into the snuggly warm clothes and headed our way towards the camp fire. Each one of us had a digcam in our hands just not to miss and capture the fun moments. We formed a circle around the fire. Soon, the tribal ladies arrived. The ladies are decorated with the heavy silver colored ornaments all over their neck, hands and legs. Drum beaters men also accompanied them. In few minutes, the much awaiting dhimsa started with a huge hum and the drum bangs. The ladies formed a chain with their hands and started turning like a snake round the fire. The ladies were yelling different sounds in between. It was great fun to watch!! Not to mention, very soon Nyrosians joined the dance and this added more fun. It was then we understand that the dance is not as simple as it appears and keeping up hold of the chain is not too easy for us. But, this did not stop us and we had great fun dancing with the ladies 😉 This went on till midnight and we ended the show with few photo sessions. All of us dispersed to our cottages and had a relaxing night just dreaming about our next day at this beautiful place but little sad because we had to start our journey back…
The morning dawned…all the plants are filled up with fog and all of us had to wrap up into our woolen jackets. The dew drops on the green leaves added mystic energy to our eyes. We all gathered soon near our bus with luggage. Packed up everything soon and started. We first dropped at a near by hotel and had a light South-Indian filling. Our next plan was to visit the beautiful waterfalls at the edge of Lord Shiva temple and then start our journey back via Paderu – a fantastic deep ghatty way back to home ? . It was a one hour journey before we reached the waterfalls but it did not seem so. The atmosphere near the temple was so soothing and as it was Sivarathri, lots of local village people came to perform puja to Lord Shiva. We visited the temple and made our way to the much anticipating waterfalls. We had to walk over lots of huge rocks and this gave us a feeling of mount trekking ? we spent around 2 pleasurable hours in the cool water and started our way back to Kakinada. On the way back to our town, we stopped to see the beautiful deep valleys, tiny waterfalls, tea plantation and never-seen breath-taking scenic beauties. Amidst all these, we reached our destination by 8pm in the night. We now have lots of sweet and wonderful memories to recollect.