An overnight trip to Annavaram, Andhra Pradesh, India

Annavaram is a temple town in Andhra Pradesh known for its famous temple dedicated to Lord Sri Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy.  For many Hindus, Lord Satyanarayana is known to help fulfil wishes and this is one of the well known temples in India where devotees from all over India visit to wish or to say thank you once their wishes are fulfilled.  We had a family function taking place near the temple and since I had never visited the temple town, we thought – why not?!

We were traveling from Hyderabad.  The nearest airport is about 2 hours away from Annavaram and since it was the holiday season, air tickets were very expensive.   Train tickets were also impossible to arrange.  So, for the first time in my life, we decided to travel by an overnight “sleeper bus”.  I was used to traveling in buses where the seats reclined but here, it was beds arranged in a configuration.  It was an interesting travel experience — but not for me unfortunately going forward — I felt too claustrophobic.

We started from Hyderabad around 7pm and reached Annavaram around 6:15am the next morning.  We had a room arranged at “Hari Hara Sadan” which is a rest house located up hill from the temple.  The rooms at Hari Hara Sadan had all the basic amenities, including A/Cs in some of the rooms.  After a refreshing shower and getting ready, we headed to the temple to attend the event.

In the middle of the event, we had some time to visit the temple.  There is a general darshan line as well as one where you can pay Rs 100 to go into the shorter line and reach the inner sanctum faster.  Since the general line was short during our visit, we decided to use that line.  As you enter the line, you are asked to hand over your phones for safekeeping and a receipt is issued.  While it was annoying, at least they did not ask you to go back to your car and leave it there!  They charge Rs. 5 per phone but luckily, all our phones were kept safely and we were able to retrieve them easily at the end of the visit.

The idol within the temple is spectacular.  Please do check out the picture enclosed that shows the depiction of the idols.  After a nice darshan, we headed downstairs to see the “yantra”. This “yantra” is located right underneath the idols upstairs.  We were able to purchase a Rs 50 ticket to get a closer look.  It was nice.  Afterwards, we purchased “prasadam” which was quite sweet and tasty.  We had no idea that the prasadam was as famous as the temple itself…. our friends and family back in Hyderabad were thrilled that they had an opportunity to taste it upon our return.

After spending about an hour exploring the rest of the temple, we headed back to our family event.

After a late lunch we spent some time catching up with family before heading into town to spend some time exploring the town.  It is a very typical temple town.  There is a lake (Pampa Reservoir) with a nice park next to it.  We briefly spent some time enjoying it.

After an early dinner, we headed to the bus stop to board the night bus back to Hyderabad.

Final thoughts

Annavaram is about  1 1/2 hours to 2 hours from Rajahmundry, Vishakapatnam (Vizag) or Kakinada.  So, if you are planning to visit one of these places and have a day to spare, then definitely consider visiting this beautiful temple town… may be you will experience some magic!  Happy 100th!

 

 

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