By Vijayshree Kurumilla
In 2007, after visiting the Ramappa temple, when, I came to see the Ramappa Lake, I observed for the first time, that there were beautiful cottages, opposite the lake, with a dense forest, behind them. I thought I must stay there, if I would come again, on another visit. So, in December 2012, when I was planning my travel itinerary, I asked my relative-a twenty six year old nephew, who had stayed there, with his friends, about his experience. He said, ‘You would easily get frightened. They are completely isolated and surrounded by the forest.’
Remembering my own recollection of their sight, I asked him, ‘Were you scared?’ and he immediately denied, ‘No, I thought I must warn you, before you go there. Don’t tell me later on, that I didn’t.’ I went ahead and it was evening, by the time, we reached the place. Including the said nephew and his friend who drove the car, we were six of us, staying in what was described, by my nephew, as a scary place-the cottage.
The cottage was lovely and it had a beautiful view, of the lake. They were not newly built, by the Haritha, management. They had been there, from quite, a long time. That is the reason, why, I think, it retained, a strange old world charm and is very spacious, with wide glass windows and equally spacious, balcony.
The only problem was: There were a lot of monkeys, there and very aggressive ones, at that. Even as we looked out, through the glass windows, they came up and bared their teeth at us. We were literally besieged by them, as they would not, let us, open the window or the door, to the balcony.
One must count oneself lucky, in one aspect; they maintain very strict timings for taking their nap. From 7’o clock in the evening to 7’o clock in the morning they retired, to their homes, in the forest, for sleep and we were left alone, to come out, for a stroll. My sister was feeling tired and stayed back in the room, while the rest of us went for a walk, by the lake side.
I asked my nephew, what was so frightening, about this place and the real story was that, he was bitten by some insect or had an allergic reaction, with rashes appearing, on his face. He along with a friend went out looking, for getting, some medicine in the darkness and he was horrified, by the wilderness, in the night.
When we went back to the room, I found it strange, that my sister was looking out the window and awaiting our return. I asked her, if anything was wrong and she said, ‘I heard someone trying to open the door and was a bit scared.’
I could not sleep in the night, as the Television opposite our bed, kept getting, switched on and off, by itself. I looked at the others, who were deep in sleep and to beat the time, I got up, drew a chair, close to the glass window and spent the night, looking at the lights getting, reflected in the lake. I must say the sight, was worth spending, a sleepless night over.
The next morning, everyone went for a walk by the lakeside and I watched from the balcony, at the birds which came for fishing, in the lake. There were some fishermen, who were paddling, in a boat and were gathering their haul, of the fish from the nets, placed, in the water. The birds were following, the fishermen and having, a good haul too. You could see by the silvery glint made by them, as they made their flip-flop in the air, that there were plenty of fish, in the lake.
We then ordered for the breakfast, which you must remember, if you fail to do, the previous night, you will have no choice, excepting for poori and upma. As they said, it will take some time for the poori to be made; we left, to have a look at the ruins of a temple, located close, to the cottages.
It was already 7.30 in the morning and our friends came back. One started tugging at my bag and after I tried to shoo it away, it only got bolder and put its head inside the bag. The person who was going to take us, boating, came with a stick, and chased the monkey away.
We went for boating and it was really good (Quite reasonably priced too). We had the lake for ourselves, as no one else, was there and it is, a massive one. You would wish the ride would go on, for a long time, but it doesn’t and you are back, after a short time, with a feeling of happiness rushing inside.
We finished our breakfast, which was bad, to say the least, but you don’t have a choice, there are no eateries anywhere, close by. We then, went to the main Ramappa temple and I never fail to be amazed at the beauty, of its intricate art work and the sculptures. It is just astonishing and you have to look, closely at each and every space of the temple, which has been, carved into such a fantasy, come alive.
The Perini dance form which has been rendered in the stone work, for posterity, on the walls of the temple, should be given its due place of honour, when Telangana is formed.
Near the entrance door to the main deity, you will find a hollow sculpture; in the shape of a tree. This one gives out the sound of the saptha swaras or the seven ragas, if you gently tap on it. It is an engineering marvel, and mirrors, the architectural wonder that this ‘Poetry in stone’ is. (Since it is not easy to discern, always ask the priest, where the musical pillar, is located).
At the temple premises, my nephew was carrying a blue bag, and one monkey came and made a threatening noise and he quickly, surrendered the bag to it. My five year old niece got furious (It was their bag) and yelled at it, while stamping her feet and the monkey gave up the bag. Last seen the monkey was sulking, for having been scared by a child.
Before checking out of the cottage, we had one final look, at the Ramappa Lake and thought, it was always good to come back and stay there, once again.
Information that you could use:
1. The best time to visit is October to February.
2. Travel options: The best way to travel is: By reaching Warangal through bus or train and then hire a car from there, as most of the places are not well connected by the bus route. Always make sure that, the driver of the car knows the complete terrain of Warangal, well.
3. Stay options: Apart from the Haritha cottages, there are no other places to stay.
1. The cottages are pretty much cut off from the outside world, so don’t forget to carry some essential medicines.
2. Don’t mess with the monkeys, and be careful not to let your children alone or if you have a nephew like mine, don’t leave them alone. My nephew went walking, right, into a group of monkeys, and we saw him falling down and then come running back, to us.
3. Torchlight, mosquito repellents, candles, matchboxes, hand wash, comfortable footwear, are some of the things, you must always carry.
4. In the winter, carry your sweaters, shawls, some rugs and throw in some small pillows.( These are forest areas and it will be quite chilly in the nights)
5. Always carry some snacks with you and do not litter the places..