Rivers and sunsets are always a feast for the eyes and when the two decide to come together, the beauty simply hurts your eye because there is only so much beauty that your eye can take ! Such was our state as we neared Rajahmundry at sun down. The course of Godavari has some amazing scenes and where better to behold her beauty than at Rajahmundry where she flows in all her might as the Akhanda Godavari. Even before we reached Rajahmundry where we were to camp for the night, we got a sample of what was coming. As you enter the Godavari districts, you become familiar with these sights. The scenic Godavari country side with green fields bordered by canals. There air is filled in freshness of the greens and the blues.
We took the Dhavaleshwaram route on NH5 to Rajahmundry. Dhavaleshwaram is a huge barrage on the Godavari, the river spilts up beyond Rajahmundry city and the Barrage has been built in four sections across the four channels of the river. The Dhavaleshwaram Barrage was built around 1850s by Sir Arthur Cotton, a British Engineer and was probably the first attempt to harness the Godavari. Until the barrage was built, Godavari had a free hand with her fury ! Taking inspiration from Sir Arthur Cotton’s efforts, rail bridges and later road bridges were built across the river. Sir Arthur Cotton holds a special place in Rajahmundry’s history and close to the barrage there is a museum dedicated to him. A part of the original structure built during his time still remains near the present barrage.
Sunset at Rajahmundry
When we reached Rajahmundry, the sun was winding up for the day. The man in the driver seat hails from Rajahmundry and knows the city inside out. He took us through unknown road along the bank for some breathtaking views of the sunset. We got off the road and walked down the sand banks which also had some fishermen’s settlements. Standing on the banks and watching the sun take a dip in the Godavari is an experience !
The orange bulb in the sky threw up varying shades of crimson and grey. At moments like these, you feel the oneness with the universe, don’t you? We then moved ahead to catch the famous Godavari bridges at sunset. As we reached the Rail-cum-road bridge, we heard a train approaching and we got out from the car excited. For some reason, it is highly fascinating to watch trains pass by, one cannot understand how they manage to kindle the childlike joy in us ! This time it was the Shalimar-Nagercoil Gurudev Express. One of the guys was delighted, the train was heading to his hometown – Nagercoil. It also turned out to be a GK lesson for us because none of us knew where Shalimar was. For those who don’t know, Shalimar is a railway station near Howrah/Kolkata. After a quick break at our PAC member’s ancestral home, we checked with our travel agent regarding our Papi Hills plan for the next day and then walked down the river ghat for this fantastic view of the Godavari Arch Bridge at sunset. The bridge must be getting tired of all the countless pictures we taken of it in the last three years, yet this photographer doesn’t seem to have enough of this view ! Such beauty ! This is another angle we clicked and clicked ever since we got hold of a decent camera ! The old rail bridge and the arch bridge together.
As the dark night took over, we set out on our favourite thing to do at Rajahmundry – eating Bajjis !