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Anantaghiri Hills, Vikarabad, India

A few weeks ago we decided to leave the city in search of nature. Not just any nature. Forest. Green nature. The rainy season was going to be ending any day and we wanted to see something green before the dryness set in. If you take the Outer Ring Road toward the airport and take the exit for Vikarabad (and watch the roundabouts -- the signage is not clear), then drive for another hour or so and take a left at the T intersection, you'll get to Vikarabad. If you go another ten kilometers beyond the center of town, you'll reach the temple with the big Hanuman statue in front. Park at the temple, follow the sidewalk down the hill into the woods, and within a few minutes you'll find yourself surrounded by more trees than people. Once we passed the huge banyan tree after a few hundred meters, we didn't see any people at all anymore.

It was wonderful. We let Muffin run on the path for an hour, then we turned around and let her run back to the car for an hour. There was a little bit of road noise and at one point we veered off the main path and found ourselves nearly in the middle of the road. We could forgive being close to the road for all of the fresh oxygen we were breathing from the trees.

Stop and park at the Hanuman.
Go down the steps.

These giant spiders were everywhere, mostly in webs over our heads. 

Back at the car for peanut butter sandwiches and apple juice.
One of the AP tourism resorts is out there, so you could spend the night and explore other trails, but it's perfect for a day trip. We brought lunch but there's a small restaurant across the road from the temple where you could probably get edible dosas and drinkable chai. We arrived around 10:00 and by the time we left around noon it was getting crowded with holiday folks visiting the temple. It might be worth a try to get there even earlier, but I don't know if there's a time the parking lot technically opens.

It was a perfect one-day getaway from the city.


Dani said…
What a perfect little day trip--except for those damn spiders! Yeesh I have the heebie jeebies all the way from here! Reminds me of the time I went walking with a friend through that big park in the center of Hyderabad (down the road about 5-10 minutes from GVK 1?) with an Indian colleague who spent our entire walk describing her childhood growing up next to a snake temple. Omg I never knew how traumatizing it could be just to talk about snakes!
Stephanie said…
I mentioned on another forum that every time you go outside in India you risk encountering something from India Jones and the Temple of Doom, at least as far as bugs and bats are concerned.

Do you mean KBR park?
Yeah for time in nature under trees!!

I have to say, that spider is SO cool!
David Moon said…
Although your post got me excited about exploring nature in India, it also got me to Google, "poisonous snakes and spiders in India" and I didn't exactly enjoy the results. I know, you just go about your normal life and there's probably nothing to worry about, but cobras, vipers, tarantulas, and black widows. Come on!

That spider reminds me of the camel spiders we used to see in Iraq. How big were they?
Stephanie said…
We haven't seen a snake yet! And we've been lucky with spiders, too. Our housekeeper says that because our house is on a hill, snakes can't come up to it!

Mike says he never saw a camel spider there. He said these spiders a little smaller than the banana spiders in Okinawa, if that helps any.
Thanks! My husband and I are coming to Hyderabad in March (he'll be working at the Consulate) and I've loved reading through your posts!

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