The treasure that is Pillalamarri

The place is a little off the beaten track for those looking for a quick weekend getaway with a twist

By Author  |  Saurabh Chatterjee  |  Published: 23rd Apr 2017  12:06 amUpdated: 23rd Apr 2017  2:46 pm
The entrance of Srirajarajeshwara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva at Mahabubnagar. Photo: Saurabh Chatterjee

After a hectic week, a quick break was what I needed, a long drive but something still interesting. So we zeroed down to Pillalamarri in Mahbubnagar. Old Banyan trees and a Buddha meditating under one was the first image came to my mind when I thought of the place.

Pillalamarri is a 700-year-old banyan tree located in Mahabubnagar which has flourished for centuries. Its name comes from the original trunk akin to a mother and its prop roots coming out of it, like children, hence the name. It’s why the tree is called the living legend of the district. Since the park which houses the tree opens at 9 am, we started at 6:30 in the morning to reach by then.

A 700-year-old banyan tree which is the origin for many other trees in the park

The weather was perfect and we witnessed another rising sun, something which city people miss seeing, due to hectic schedules. We took frequent breaks for taking pictures and one for tea. While travelling towards the park, the entire road was covered with corn kept for drying and we had to meticulously maneuver the bike to avoid the corns.

Pillalamarri is just three kms from Mahabubnagar, so a lot of locals come here for their weekend breaks. By the time we reached, parents with kids had already started coming in, some with big lunch boxes for the whole family. The low lying branches provided good opportunity for the children to jump and swing around them while the parents sat under the shade and chatting.
Besides the banyan tree, one can also visit the 16th century Srirajajeshwara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple’s garbhalaya, arthamandapa and Mahamandapa are built from white granite and black granite respectively. The temple is well maintained and has retained its pristine glory owing to efforts of the Archaeological Survey of India. Previously, it was originally located somewhere in the Mehboobnagar district. It was shifted in 1981 and reconstructed two years later with modern foundations when the original structure got submerged under the water of Srisailam reservoir. The Archeological museum set up by the tourism department has many statues and sculptures found near the temple which is worth a visit. There is also a small deer park and a mini zoo that people can see if time permits.

How to Reach
Pillalamarri can be reached by road and is at a distance of 6 km from Mahabubnagar town. Mahabubnagar is 100 kms from Hyderabad and can be reached by road and rail. Decent food can be had at the eateries in Mahabubnagar town. There is not much in the way of accommodation here so it’s best to come back to the city during the day.

What to buy
Tourists can buy locally grown fruits, few handicrafts and some of the rural (home made) coffee and snacks here.