How often have wondered about our urban lives, about how mechanical things have become, how life has become a mad rush and how the world is becoming too advanced for its own good? While the world is going to hell, as many people believe, there are still some places that take you right back to the basics !
One such place is not too far – Kolluru, a teeny little village on the banks of the Godavari, that is slowly becoming a popular tourist spot but has, thankfully, retained all the virtues of an untouched village.
Essence of Kolluru
Papi Kondalu, Godavari, mountain streams, sand banks, bamboo huts on those sand banks, silence – this is the essence of Kolluru. This picture says it all.
This remote tribal village technically falls under Khammam district, though East Godavari promotes under its tourism ! Kolluru can only be reached by boats. There is no electricity, there are no fans, lights run on solar energy and are lit up at night as long as the solar energy back up works, no mobile signals and no other means of entertainment. You have the mountains, the river, the sand and yourself for company.
Forget your apartment, huts and tents are the in thing !
Our boat dropped us off at Kolluru at 3.30 PM. One of the boat attendants, Kishore, was to be our guide during our stay at Kolluru.
From where the boats anchor, it is a short walk on the sand to the huts but the March sun and the humidity, thanks to the huge water body, the walk was tedious.
The bamboo huts are extremely cute. They can accommodate 3-4 people and come with bedding and an electricity bulb.
There are around 25 huts and another 20 odd tents. These tents are super fun.
For the next 24 hours, these tents were home. We did not know about the tents and had initially tried for the bamboo huts but our irritatingly witty guide, Kishore told us the huts were too close to the ground and since they had no doors, there was a risk of dogs wandering inside at night ! The tents had log pillars and though it was easy for dogs to climb onto the tent, they came with a canvas sheet that could be locked with ropes !
Kolluru Bamboo Huts resort was the idea of a senior citizen, Mr.Kaigala Satyanarayana, who hails from Tadepalligudem but has settled in this village. He owns the resort and is a very respected person in the village. He lives in this pretty looking cottage on a small mound overlooking the resort, which also serves as the administrative office.
The rest of the village is also located further up this mound.
The resort employs the locals who help in the maintenance and service.
There are absolutely no mobile phone signals, not even BSNL landlines. Mr.Satyanarayana somehow managed to obtain a router that catches signals and transfers them to a WLL phone which can be used in emergencies. A 1 minute phone call costs Rs.10/-
Mr.Satyanarayana and all the people of the village are very friendly, polite and warm. They are hospitable but also ensure that you do not disturb their lifestyle.
Every 15 minutes, you will hear a message from the public address system, warning you against venturing into the river because it is dangerously deep, unpredictable and is crocodile infested !
When the Godavari is in flood, post monsoons, the river floods right up to the place where the huts are located. It seems they dismantle the huts and tents every year during the monsoons and rebuild them when the flood recedes ! The best time to visit Kolluru is September – March.
The place is usually full on weekends and the peak season sees very large crowds at Kolluru, there are times when close to 300-400 people stay at Kolluru in one single night !
Far from the maddening world
Away from the humdrum of life, Kolluru gives you the peace and quiet that people always yearn for. There is no TV connection, no radio, no power to play music. You have all the time in the world to entertain yourself. You can read as long as you want, go for walks along the river, chat with your family and friends or simply sit and stare at the sky. Willian Henry Davies would have loved this place for it would give him time “to stand and stare” !
There are two volleyball courts for a game of sand bank volley ball. You can borrow the volleyballs by paying a deposit of Rs.500/-
Shower in the open !
Restrooms? What restrooms? There are no attached restrooms. They have built makeshift ones at the edge of the rows of huts. These are decent enough but there are better ones near the owner’s cottage, if you are willing to climb up and down !
There is a tap out in the open, in the middle of the resort attached to a Bamboo pole, this serves as a wash basin !
If you want to take a shower, you will have to climb up the mound. There are 5 cubicles to take a shower, these do not come with a roof. Trust us it is great fun to have a shower looking up at the sky !
Back to the basics, didn’t we tell you?
We’ll be back with more stories from Kolluru, after the break !