Staying at the Kolluru Bamboo Huts feels like being transported back in time, say atleast a 100 years back because even villages of today have power supply and access all modern means of communication and entertainment.
So what do you do in a place like this?
First, we savoured the tea and the bajjis that were served as soon as we settled in our huts. It was hot, humid and stuffy, in places like these, the river breeze starts after the sunset. Our guide, Kishore, very somberly told us not to ask him about breeze till sunset !
Within no time, the young men busied themselves in a game of sand bank volleyball !
Others decided to take some rest.
We decided to take a walk around the place. We walked up to the owner’s cottage, guarded by a huge but ageing Great Dane, its bark was enough to send a shiver down this writer’s spine !
Our urban background seemed forgotten as we excitedly used the only available phone to make a call home. The place around the cottage with very pleasant with a swing, hens trotting here and there, a thatched shelter where you can sit and relax looking at the river below. There are a few more huts here.
We walked to the other side of the mound that took us to the edge of the village and down to a stream flowing beside the resort. The stream that flows here is picturesque but not very clean because people cook the famous “Bongulo Chicken” (Chicken cooked in bamboo shoots) on the bank, a few yards is strewn with feathers and bamboo shoots ! A few people bathed in the stream, we spent a few minutes in the stream, chatted up with a two men, preparing the Bongulo Chicken for dinner, placed an order for it and walked back.
While we huffed and puffed up the mound, we found a tribal woman, coolly walking down to the river to fetch water.
Halfway up, we encountered an angry bull that charged at the other cattle, we stood rooted to the spot but thankfully, the bull calmed down and then we ran for our life !
We met some women and Mr.Satyanarayana’s wife cutting vegetables for dinner.
We offered to help them but they laughed and told us to enjoy our stay while they did all the work. The owner’s wife personally takes care of the food.
Gossips by the Godavari
As the sun was winding up for the day, we walked down to the river and settled down on the sand banks.
We chatted and gossiped to our heart’s content. Slowly, the sun went down and twilight took over, we couldn’t get to see the sun setting because of the hills but we did catch them turning black and the river, pink. The few boats bobbing in the river became silhouettes.
The evening calm was a balm for the soul. We watched launch boats pass by in the fading light
until we could only see the lights of the boats, lighting up the dark river.
It was bliss.
We walked back to resort and freshened up. We then sat outside our tents on the soft sand for another round of chatting. We drew on the sand, revisited all those sand games we played as kids, in addition to the breathtaking landscapes, unique experience, this trip back to childhood will be one of the many memorable moments at Kolluru.
Away from the harsh city lights, the sky was pitch dark and one could see countless stars twinkling happily.
At 7.30 PM, Bongulo Chicken was served for those who had placed orders. Half an hour later, dinner was served. There is a shelter in the middle of the resort where dinner is served in buffet style. The dinner has both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes and the taste is as amazing as the Godavari !
By 9 PM, we were done for the day, most lights around the resort were turned off and people were turning in for the day. This is how the resort looked in the darkness.
“Vennello Godari Andam”,
so goes a famous Telugu song, it translates to mean Godavari’s beauty in the moonlight ! When we planned for this trip, one of the things that excited us was that it would be two days after the full moon and a real treat to see “vennello Godavari”. Since, the moon wasn’t going to show up till late in the night, we went to bed hoping that we would some how wake up to see the moon.
Was it our instinct or did the moon wake us up, for we found ourselves awake at 10.30 PM with the bright moonlight streaming inside our tent and falling directly in our eyes. Ever heard of moonlight blinding the eyes? Experience it at Kolluru !
Not to miss a chance, we tried our best to click the moon peeping out from the hills but it was way to dark for the camera to catch any images. Anyway, no camera can match nature and so this was the best we could come up with.
We woke up again at 3 AM to find the moon further up in the sky, the sand, shining under the moonlit sky. In the dead of the night, we took our our torches and walked in the silent night, a bit wary of stray dogs. Though the purpose was to use the washroom, we finally got our chance to see the river under the moonlight, even if it was only the stream of Godavari. We did not dare to walk upto the river in the darkness and had to be content with the stream flowing nearby. Nevertheless, the silvery stream, silver sands, cool breeze, silence, sleeping under the moonlit sky with the river by your side – it was beyond bliss !
When we finally went back to bed, we kept our tents open to feel the moonlight on our faces. We could feel ourselves smiling in our sleep.