Overview of the city
Srikakulam district has the longest coast line about 193 km (120 mi) in the state of Andhra Pradesh according to Wikipedia. Srikakulam town, the headquarters of the district, is located on the east bank of the River Nagavali. Towards the east is Bay of Bengal and towards the South East is Vijayanagaram district and towards north is state of Orissa. Srikakulam was formerly known as Chicacole. Srikakulam has a vast coastline, natural resources, granite fields worth crores of rupees, historic temples.
Srikakulam is also known to many as Uttarandhra and Kalingandhra. Srikakulam, the northernmost district in Andhra Pradesh and it was ruled by Chedidianasti kings, Satavahana kings and Golkonda nawabs in the olden days. (source: srikakulaminfo.com)
We have been there for the first time. Its nearness to Bay of Bengal and ancient temples attracted our attention. We started from Rayagada in Odhisa and reached here covering a distance of about 140 kilometers. The route had beautiful view of the mineral rich hills and forests area.
What caught my attention in Srikakulam city is the number of movie theaters. You can come across two or three on the same road with mostly Telugu movies. The posters showing the number of days the movie is running in the theater.
We didn’t get much time to hop in the city market as we were more attracted towards the beach and the temples which is outside the city.
The day we reached, it was Hanuman Jayanti. Earlier I thought Hanumanji was more worshipped in the North but I was surprised to found the ape God being worshipped in very village I had crossed during my trip. Huge idols of Hanumanji dorned the temples and the entire village had assembled to seek blessings on this auspicious occassion with community meals and cultural activities.
Kalingapatnam Beach was our first halt which is about 25 kilometers from the city.
The beach is pristine and completely undeveloped.
Even the beach resort, Haritha Hotel, of Andhra Pradesh Tourism is under construction. However, they offer stay in non-ac room with no generator facility. So one had to stay in Srikakulam and come down here to enjoy the beach, mostly in the evenings.
The most scenic beauty of Kalingapatnam is of the River Vamasadhara merging in the Bay of Bengal.
The meeting of the two waters is distinguishably a scene not to miss. Undoubtedly it is one the safest and cleanest beaches in Andhra Pradesh. The most beautiful view is of the dancing waves of the Bay of Bengal that fall so silent where the river meets the sea. Other than that there is the light house which is way inside the village from the sea shore.
Ideally you can spend time playing in the sea waves for couple of hours but there is no food shop around or rather no shop around on the beach. The place also talks of Buddhist excavations but we could not trace it as the locals had no idea or rather they could not understand us.
Arasavilli Temple is the Sun God Temple which is located about 3.5 kilometer from the city.
There are many sun temples all over the world. However, this is the only temple in the country where Sun God, “Sri Surya Narayanswamy” is worshipped. All the other sun temples do not have deities. The temple is built by Kalinga King and is as old as 7th century.
Srikurmam Temple is another must see place during the trip. The temple is about 18 kilometers from the city and is dedicated to the Kurmam Avatar i.e the tortoise Avatar of the Lord Vishu.
The temple dates back to 2nd century and is the only of its kind in the world. The premise is big with a pond in the front and which is home to numerous tortoises. This is the only temple where the deity is facing westward and is in the form of a tortoise.
The beach is about 6 kilometers from the temple. We headed for the beach again and this time it was amid the coconut and palm tree grooves.
We also crossed a small fishermen village on the way and reached the beach which was completely naïve of any living being.
We started from Srikakulam to Raipur on road at 12.00p.m the same day. The route was Srikalum – Pondulu- Simliguda-Koraput- Jagdalpur- Dhamtri – Raipur.
The road is very smooth and so is the scenic beauty of the South Odhisa. The area being home to several tribal communities among the hill ranges of Deomali and Chandragiri mountains is a beautiful destination to visit. However, it is not advisable due to the Maoists troubled area too. One can enjoy the beauty while travelling through the curves of the mountains while on the way to Jagdalpur.
We took break for lunch in Koraput, dinner break in Makdi, enroute Kanker and reached Raipur at 00.00a.m. It was completely unplanned tour but it surprised us with so many beautiful memories for life.