Friday, June 16, 2006

Mini Adventure

My friend Annie and I had a sort of an adventurous time a few days ago. We decided to go to Taramati Baradari, an old ruin a few kilometers away from Hyderabad, in the cantonment area, on my trusty Scooty! :D

Taramati Baradari was where courtesans danced for the kings of Golconda fort. I think it was named after a favoured courtesan, Taramati, but am not sure about that. Anyway, this ruin has recently been developed by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Board. A restaurant, a sort of arena and, a souvenir shop have been added.

I love ruins! I’m a great ruins buff, if you will. So I just had to check this place out. And who else to take along, but my partner in, well not crime, but silly antics, Annie!

So we started out bright and early in the afternoon (!) at about 12:15 or so. We soon reached Taramati Baradari (TB). We decided to eat first as we were starving. After lunch we set off for TB. We had to climb up a few steps after which I was left quite winded, just showing how out of shape I really am! There were quite a few tourists around too. Annie and I thought about playing a prank on some unsuspecting tourists by posing as tour guides and making up some convoluted history about TB! But we soon abandoned the idea, as I just could not stop laughing. So we just climbed up and took a look around. The view from the top was quite amazing. We could see Golconda fort in the distance, and another Baradari just a few meters away. It was a perfect day for outdoor activity!

We then started clicking pics of the beautiful surroundings as well as ourselves. We struck up silly poses, which had both of us in splits! We both struck up dance poses and spent an hour or so sitting on the lawn just beyond TB. We tried our hand at trick photography; in one of the pics it appears like Annie is hanging off a rock into nothingness!

After a while we decided to go for a short ride. On the way we came across a bunch of army guys sitting by a gate. All of them just got up when they saw us approaching. We wondered what that was all about! Probably hadn’t seen many girls riding around those parts on a Scooty! LOL!

We were a few kilometers away from the Gandipet dam when we decided to turn back and go home. After passing TB we came across another bunch of army guys who were jogging by the side of the road. We hooted and yelled out, “Keep it up!” as I speeded away on my Scooty! We just collapsed with laughter at our juvenile antics!

We then came across the road that leads to Golconda fort, and on the spur of the moment decided to go there too. We raced some RTC buses to the fort! He, he!

At the fort we actually forgot to buy the tickets at the entrance and had to go back and buy them!

There are always many guides hanging around over there, looking to make a quick buck. Some pestered us to hire them. Annie, who is a Tam Bram, doesn’t speak Hindi too well. So she went around saying, “No thank you!” to all of them. This just made them even more persistent! I told Annie that they probably think that she is a firang and that she should just learn to speak in Hindi. So there I was shooing away all the guides in Hindi, assuring them that this was not the first time that we had been to the fort. But one really persistent guide actually launched into his spiel, saying that he would give a free introduction! Man! These guys sure are enterprising!

As a child I had been to the fort quite often, so I donned the role of tour guide and explained a few features of the fort to Annie. We passed through this hall full of extremely noisy bats, with me cowering beside Annie, and covering my ears and almost jogging to get out of there as soon as possible! This hall smells really bad and I have always hated it! An uncle of mine had once commented that it smells like moldy cheese!

Anyway, we then made it to the area where a Sound and Light show is held every evening.

There is a fountain in the center, surrounded by beautifully carved walls. People visiting Hyderabad should not miss the Sound and Light show. It is truly breathtaking! The Hindi version gives the best effect, and is voiced by Amitabh Bachchan himself.

Anyway, there was still a long way to go to get to the apex of the fort, but as Annie was too tired we decided to sit and ogle at a good looking foreigner we spotted! I’m sure he could make out what we were up to! ;-)

After a while we decided to head out and buy some water, as we were dying of thirst! We settled for a Fanta and Limca instead. We then headed for home at last.

Just before you enter the fort area, you have to go through this narrow enclosed passage like road. It is so narrow and curving that there is a signal at each end indicating when you can drive your vehicle through, so vehicles coming from the opposite directions do not collide with one another. Just before this passage was a nasty speed breaker, and I tried going as carefully as possible, but it was really bumpy. Annie bounced on the seat behind me and banged her ankle on the side of the bike and yelled out in pain. I was of course very apologetic, but jokingly said that it is a must to get injured somehow on trips like these! She threatened to do some serious hurting from behind if I did not shut up! :-))

On our way back, I was the first in line waiting to pass through the narrow road. As I was making the first bend, Annie suddenly asked me to stop by the side. She sounded really urgent and I wondered if she was going to throw up or something. I tried telling her that I didn’t think that I could just stop, but she sounded really insistent, so I stopped and tried to park the Scooty as close to the wall as possible. But there was a bus behind me and it could not pass until I was totally out of the way. So I had to leave poor Annie standing by the side while I had to zoom out of the passage. I stopped a bit away and went back to see what the problem was. Turns out that while trying to adjust her pants her leg had cramped up. I then told her that I was only kidding when I said that an injury is a must on such trips, to which she showed my her fist and told me to start the Scooty if I didn’t want a knuckle sandwich! Annie sure does have a way with words! LOL!!

We got back to her home at about 5 o’ clock in the evening and just collapsed on the couch. We were thoroughly drained! But both of us decided that it was a day well spent indeed! We want to go back someday to Golconda fort for an entire day and explore every nook and cranny. But that will be another story for another day.

I’m going off on my tour of Chennai, Pondicherry, Kanyakumari and other places tomorrow, well actually, today if you take the time into consideration (which is 2 AM right now)! I’ll be gone for about 2 weeks, after which I’ll resume my blogging with gusto, hopefully! :D


Anonymous said...

hey affy! really enjoyed the narration of TB!! really brought back the day vividly (well, it happened only 3 days ago!!)but still a testament to ur storytelling abilities!! but, hey, u left the part about the jatakthi aatma at punnami, the gal who swayed like a drunken elephant and walked!!heehee!

niki yokota said...

wat a beautiful lady and fort!!
eh? full of bats and smell like moldy cheese!? lololol
Phoenix-chan will be gone for 2 weeks? wheeeee(>_<)
we are looking forward to your next travel journal!!
thanks and have a great trip!!!

Manish said...

Well I have been to Golcunda fort once but I couldn't see the light & sound show as my return tkt was of same evening.
Hope u will share the funny tit bits of ur chennai tour too.

s0ulasylum said...

heyyyy you girls had some fun there! well .. i have travelled on those very roads.. every single day .. for 4 yrs!! to go to college.. cbit is right by gandipet.. you could not have missed it! :) and i cant belive they made up tht place.. from wht i rem it was just a ruin.. that no one really cared about... but its nice tht they did somethg abt it!enjoy the rest of your trip!

markiv said...

ok... jus please tell me tht chennai pondicherry kanyakumari trip is NOT on your scooty........

Phoenix Rises said...

Hi A!
Hehe! I completely forgot about her! How could I??! Well, thanks for reminding me of her! What a sight that was! LOL!!

Hi Niki!
Thanks a lot! I'll be putting up my new blog sometime soon now along with pics!

Hey Manish!
If you are ever in Hyd again, you should check out the Sound and Light show!
And I'll be putting up a new blog as soon as possible.

Hi Soul!
Yup! WE had loads of fun! It was a ruin, one which I had wanted to visit for as long as I can remember. The people seem to have restored it quite well.

Hi Markiv!
Ok, I'll tell you that the chennai pondicherry kanyakumari trip was NOT on my Scooty! :D

Kitarp said...

You have an amazing travelogue, but more than that, your way with words is truly awesome!
I shall definetly return to read your next post!

Arz000n said...

Awesome snaps Phoenix!!!

And I read u leaving for chennai too..pls mujhe bhi leke chalo :)

Ash said...

Hey Phoenix ...

I love th Golconda Fort....
been there so many times that i could picturize every road, rock and fountain on the way up and down
light and sound show ....yes guys a must see, but not for me any more as i have been acting guide to a whole lot of people ever since i landed in hyd....been through it a million times and gets me irritated....

and hope you have or should i say had a good trip.


Phoenix Rises said...

Hey Kitarp!
Thanks sooo much!

Hi Arz000n!
Thanks a lot!
I went to Chennai and came back too, a week ago in fact! Should have checked the date of this post! So, sorry!

Hi Ash!
Golconda fort does have a charm all of its own. I've not been to it all that many times, so am not tired of it. I can't imagine ever being tired of it!