Nov 2, 2015

Travel | Horsleys Hill - When destination does not matter

Endless playing time, uninterrupted sleep and travel plans....the word vacation brings with it the joy of indulging in activities we all love.
First day of holiday for my children begins after the end of mid-term exam and we were deciding on a small weekend getaway near Chennai. And the next thing I knew, we were already on our way to Horsleys Hill. 
With no particular destination in mind and no prior bookings required, these weekend getaways are a perfect way to rewind. I love these quick weekend trips for the sheer joy of traveling with my family, when destination does not matter to us and we travel just to be together for some time.

Forget your long to-do-list, take deep breath and just soak up the nature. Take time to discover and appreciate the small wonders of nature which are hard to find in city….tiny dew drops on leaves, colourful insects on ground, collect wild flowers and berries or listen to birds and animals in silence. 
It’s good to shuffle your plans at times and slow down. These weekend trips rejuvenates and gives you new perspective on how to deal with what is ahead of you.

Please don’t read further if you are waiting for a Taj Mahal to unfold as you walk through or waiting for a Shikara to take you for ride.
Like many other weekend destinations we have been to, this place also has nothing much to offer. But then, the destination does not matter, it's the entire process of getting started for the trip and the long travel together, which gets us excited. 

As always we woke up at 3.30, took bath and started our journey around 4.30am. 
We planned to visit Kanipakkam, one another temple dedicated to lord Ganesha en route. The deity here is seated in a well and the temple is said to be thousands of years old. 

After a wonderful darshan at Kanipakkam temple, we had our breakfast in a highway restaurant and started our journey towards Madanapalli town.

The large boulders resting precariously on the slopes of hills near Madanapalli, make a spectacular view. As I peep out of the car I get the whiff of wild flowers and chilly mountain air.

Located at about 1,300 mts above sea level close to Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, this quaint hill station of Horsley Hills is a perfect place for weekend travelers. 

The hillock got its name from W H Horsley, a British servant who served the collector of Cuddapah during 1863-1867 and built this beautiful summer retreat there. The entire Bungalow is occupied by the government now and is converted into a resort called Haritha.

The resort has a good swimming pool, spa, Kerala massage center, restaurant and many outdoor activities for children in its premises. 
There is a small environmental park which has a museum and a few caged animals and birds.

The Wind rock view point right behind the Governors’ Bungalow is a wonderful place to spend time. One can walk down the hills and rocks and enjoy the sunset and heavy wind.

We reached the resort around noon, had out lunch and relaxed for a while. The property is situated on a very high altitude which 
provides it with cool weather all round the year.
Children played cards with their day and went around the resort clicking pictures and enjoying the nature.

We went for an early evening walk to a small environmental park which has a museum and a few caged animals and birds.
And then proceeded to 'Wind rock' view point right behind the Governors’ Bungalow. 
Children walked down the hills & rocks and enjoy the sunset and heavy wind with many other travelers present there.

It rained heavily in night and we woke up to see thick fog and dense cloud covering the entire hill.
The mist and the clouds surrounding the entire valley….is famous for red sandalwood plants.

Nest day morning we went for a misty morning walk and it won’t be an exaggeration if I say that the whole trip was worth just that walk!
The city sleeps early and gets up late and the roads were empty and silent at 6.30am in morning.
We were shivering in the crispy chilly air, walking hard in dark clouds against heavy winds.

As we reached the wind rock, we could hear the sound of many people but could not see anyone, as the visibility dropped to near zero in the morning.

With mist and clouds swirling us, and the  visibility dropping to zero we were scared to venture down the steep valley and returned back to our resort. 

We decided to check-out around noon and visit the popular international residential school Rishi Valley’, near Madanapalli.

We bid farewell to the hills and started our journey back home. 

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