It was almost a year now where we never ventured any trips in my car and as a driving enthusiast, I felt of missing something. So, we were planning and immediately we narrowed down to Horsley Hills. It is a small hill station which is situated near Madanapalle at Kadapah district, Andhra Pradesh. The distance is around 280 kilometers from Chennai. The next challenges are getting holiday in my job and booking the accommodation. I tried and got my holiday approved for 12th which was a Monday and meanwhile my wife made the booking at Haritha Resort. Haritha Resort belongs to AP tourism and we got our bookings in Wild Winds at Haritha Resort. There are different types of rooms, cottages and blocks such as Wild Winds, Whisper Winds, Wind Knock, Wind Fall, etc., are available with Haritha Resort and as the name suggests, we stayed in Wild Winds which is near to the valley side.
August 10, 11 and 12 – 2019 – A Drive to a hill station to spend time leisurely
August 10, 2019 – Saturday
We started near Adyar on 10th August at around 6 AM and planned to take the following route:
Adyar – Sriperumbudur – Ranipet – Chittor – Palamner – Madanapalle – Horsley Hills
As we are heading for trip after almost an year, there was lot of excitement and I was driving leisurely due to morning traffic at Porur and Poonamalle and soon we hit Chennai Bangalore highway towards Sriperumbudur. The highway was filled with lorry traffic and I was driving slowly and cautiously. We crossed Sriperumbudur at around 8 AM and soon traffic got eased out a bit and I was cruising at around 100 kilometers per hour in my car. The were lot of potholes in the road and it is not worth to call it as a highway. Almost for last few years, the condition remains same with Chennai Bangalore highway till Arcot and nothing got changed and one has to be careful while driving in negotiating the potholes.
We crossed Kancheepuram at around 8.30 AM and we were searching for a nice restaurant for breakfast. We tried with a few restaurants and everywhere we saw a huge crowd waiting and we knew that it would take more time for our turn to come, so I kept on travelling and we even crossed Kaveripakkam toll and time also crossed 9 AM. So, we finally decided to stop at a small restaurant and completed our breakfast at around 9.30 AM. We soon headed towards Arcot and I was searching for the turn on the right, which will take us to Ranipet and Chittor route. There were good sign boards available for directions and one has to follow those carefully to enter Ranipet and missing the turn will take us towards Vellore. The distance between Ranipet and Chittor was around 60 kilometers and it was 2 laned road, hence we had good amount of traffic at opposite direction as well. After travelling around 20 kilometers, we found the road extension work were in progress and hence the entire traffic was diverted to single lane. The roads were badly damaged and I was driving only at 1st and 2nd gear for next 40 odd kilometers till Chittor. It almost took 2 hours to cross this stretch to Chittor due to road repair work. At around 11.45 AM, we reached Chittor and we entered the connecting Bangalore Chittor highway to Palamner. The roads were excellent and scenic and I was driving at around 120 kilometers per hour to compensate the time we lost due to bad roads. We almost reached Palamner and we need to take a right turn to travel towards Madanapalle. I was searching the sign boards in Bangalore Chittor highway and there was one small piece available on left top corner and I completely missed out. We further travelled around 10 kilometers and took U turn and returned back. Google maps were also misleading and We took the locals help in identifying the turn again which leads to Madanapalle. The roads were scenic with trees on both sides and of course there were a few bad patches due to road repair works and we crossed these 90 odd kilometers in next 2 hours.
We again lost the route to Horsley Hills at Madanapalle due to bad directions from Google maps and we took the locals help. They guided us and we found a sign board towards Horsley Hills which was around further 16 kilometers and we reached the footsteps of the Horsley Hills. We paid an entry fee for the car and started climbing the hair pin bends which were not steep or complicated. We switched off the AC and opened our window in the car to get good breeze. The climate was normal and not hot and finally we reached Haritha Resort at around 2.45 PM. We were hungry and we straightaway headed towards the restaurant attached to the resort and ordered the available food. We quickly completed our lunch and got our keys for our accommodation at Wild Winds block. The room allocated was situated near to the valley and as the name suggests, the winds were really wild and strong and we felt it in our accommodation.
We rested for around 30 minutes and started venturing out. We first went to the view point situated behind the Haritha Resorts by walking down the slope. Wow, what a view… It was amazing the see the valley and the wind was heavy which literally throwing us into the valley. We were holding each other and stayed there for some time and the gusty winds were pushing us out of the place. We never witnessed such a wind anywhere under the normal climate, which was amazing. We took a few pictures and slowly climbed up and started exploring the other areas.
The entire place is small and we can easily explore through walk. As the time was ticking, we found the temperature was getting dropped slowly. We then had ginger tea in road side shop and had a few biscuits. We then went to a small zoo available where we could see a few animals. Kids were enjoying and jumping on seeing those animals and after a walk inside we came out of the zoo.
We then went to a place call Gali Bandalu, a plain which leads to valley. We had an excellent view point and we spent around an hour and viewed the sunset. We then walked back to our accommodation which was nearby and it was completely dark and cold. Climate was excellent and we felt really cold. As we were tired, we ordered our food in the restaurant belongs to Haritha Resorts and asked them to deliver in our room. We then entered our accommodation which was dark, cold and winds were hitting fiercely. At around dinner was delivered in the room and we ate and headed for much needed sleep.
August 11, 2019 – Sunday
We got up at around 6 AM in the morning and was exploring the resort in chill climate which was wonderful. We got ready and went to the attached restaurant for breakfast. Soon we completed our breakfast and went to Malamma Temple by walk as all the sightseeing places are nearby to Haritha Resort. We then went to adventure sports arena which was organized by AP tourism. There were variety of adventure games available and it was safe to venture out and cost were also economical as these were run by AP tourism.
We ourselves were playing like a kid and kids were also playing their games. Overall, it as a wonderful experience and we spent around next 3 hours at adventure sports arena. We then completed lunch and went to our accommodation for some rest. Soon after an hour rest, we were out and again we repeated the same like previous day spending time at view point under gusty winds which were literally throwing us into the valley and it was mesmerizing. We then explored a few places inside zoo and finally went to Gali Bandalu for sunset viewing. We then returned back late in the dark and ordered our food to be delivered into our accommodation.
August 11, 2019 – Monday
We got up at around 7 AM and had a lazy walk inside the resort and we were also provided provision to use the swimming pool attached to the resort. As the climate was cold, we hadn’t used the swimming pool and we just entered the place and spent some time. We then got ready and completed our breakfast in the same attached restaurant and went to near by rocks and spent an hour. Soon at around 11 AM we reached our accommodation at wild winds and we vacated and started our return journey towards Chennai by saying bye to Horsley Hills.
We again travelled in the scenic route from Madanapalle to Palamner by negotiating the road blocks and after crossing Palamner, we were heading towards Chittor and after reaching Chittor, we again got into the challenge of driving slowly for next 40 odd kilometers, due to road expansion and repair. We reached Ranipet at around 4 PM and from there it was a regular route for us in Chennai Bangalore highway. The lorry traffic was bit heavy and after reaching Sriperumbudur, it become heavy and we finally reached our home at around 8 PM.
Overall, it was a wonderful and memorable trip for us to keep ourselves away from busy schedule. The places inside Horsley Hills were limited, but the view points and experiences were mesmerizing.