If you are one of those people who may not have had the time to visit the irrigation projects like Priyadarshini Jurala project and Srisailam project during the last couple of weeks when heavy inflows into Krishna River from Karnataka kept filling them one by one, being released through the gates of Jurala and Srisailam dams, there is still nothing to worry.
As the irrigation officials kept almost all the gates of Jurala project which is the lifeline for all the lift irrigation schemes in the region, the entire Krishna belt starting from Krishna mandal in Narayanpet district to Nagarjuna Sagar project were literally flooded with water, as well as tourists who swarmed the project sites to witness the spectacle which happened for the last time in 2009.
Last weekend being a long weekend, not only roads leading to these project sites were busy with heavy traffic, even the roads on these dams had witnessed traffic jams. Many tourists who expected to see the wonder of irrigation and the beauty of the raging Krishna River were actually disappointed due to the heavy tourist flow.
So, it goes without saying that the best time to visit these places would be right now, when the water levels have come down and dam gates have been closed at these project sites, giving the tourists another look of Krishna River which still appeals to many travellers. While you’re there, here are a few things you could do:
Wanaparthy and Nagarkurnool districts have become a hot spot for rare species of birds – especially at sites like Ramanpadu reservoir, Saralasagar project, Jurala project, Srisailam and near the reservoirs and canals of the various lift irrigation projects like Bhima, Nettempadu, Kalwakurthy and Koilsagar, which are located in Palamuru region, fed by the heavy inflows from Krishna River and brimming with water presently. People who have some leisure can not only see some of the rare migratory birds, but also get to capture the avian beauty in their cameras.
Paradise for food connoisseurs
As the temperature has come down due to recent rains and inflows into the projects across the region, weather has become apt for some delicious non-vegetarian food, especially fish preparations for which Palamuru region is well-known. Especially at Jurala project site, there are many food joints where raw fish of many varieties and cooked fish dishes are available. Not just at Jurala, one would find fishermen busy near Athmakuru, Gopanpet and other villages where local streams flow, selling live fish for half the price as compared to their price in cities like Hyderabad.
Another prominent culinary feature of Palamuru region is the availability of chicken and mutton grill in many villages, where fresh meat is marinated with pepper, spices and grilled to be served hot to guests. They can be eaten with Jonna rotte, Ragi rotte and Sajja rotte available in dhabas, in addition to the elaborate courses of meal being served.
Forts and temples
For those who wish to venture into times when kings used to rule this region, some of the forts like Beechupally Fort located on an island inside Krishna River (presently surrounded by flood waters), and Chandragadh Fort located close to the Jurala project give stunning views of Krishna River and the scenery at these sites.
Though many temples lying on the banks of Krishna River were inundated with flood waters, as the water levels have come down, they are being opened again for devotees to visit. Buddharam Anjaneya Swamy temple in Gopalpet mandal of Wanaparthy district, Sreepada Vallabha Dattatreya Kshetram in Makthal mandal of Narayanpet district, temples in Nandi Vaddeman village in Bijinapally mandal and, of course, all the temples located on the way to Srisailam, on the banks of water bodies, can be visited by the spiritually-inclined tourists.
The magic of irrigation
For youngsters, especially students, this time of the year provides a wonderful practical experience on how irrigation actually works, as water flows from river, to dams, to reservoirs, to canals and ends up in the agricultural fields of 12 lakh acres of ayacut across Palamuru region under various lift irrigation projects. Another addition to the invaluable knowledge base for students is the rich diversity in crops being cultivated across the five districts of Palamuru region.
On the way back home, a visit to Mayuri Eco Park in Mahabubnagar town can also be a delightful experience for tourists of all age groups.
So, pack your bags and your adventure gear this weekend and head to Palamuru region, if you really want to witness what Palamuru region, one of the favourite tourist destinations across Telangana, has in store.