The months of August-September saw us travelling on 7 consecutive weekends, some for a vacation, visiting family and some to spend time with friends like our trip to Hills and Valley Resort, in Anantagiri.
A mini hill station near Hyderabad
Anantagiri near Vikarabad, located 90 kms from Hyderabad is a hill and forest range and a nice weekend getaway from Hyderabad. The place has grown in popularity in recent times as resorts and adventure camps have come up around the place. Being a hill range, the weather around Anantagiri is definitely pleasant, offers lovely trekking and camping spots or you can sit back and relax on a weekend, in short, a it is a mini version of a hill station for those living in and around Hyderabad.
We have been visiting Anantagiri on and off as day trips or simply on long drives but never stayed at any of the resorts. This time, thanks to a friend who wanted to take time off while visiting India, we decided to head to Hills and Valley Resort in Anantagiri.
The initial plan was to meet our friends, travelling from Rajamundry, on the ORR by 4 PM and head to Vikarabad together but as it always happens, they were delayed by several hours and we reached Anantagiri by 8 PM. It turned out that the direct road to the resort was blocked due to some local issues and the resort owner had to send his jeeps to ferry us to the resort. We parked our vehicles in a property belonging to the resort owner on the Anantagiri main road and took the jeep ride to the resort. The bumpy jeep ride was through some dirt track and deserted woods, it was pitch dark except for the lights of jeep, an absolutely thrilling experience, our friends had a few jittery moments though, wondering if we were being kidnapped !
When we entered the resort, it was an entirely different world. We were greeted by neatly built cottages, well maintained lawns, dining area, indoor games area, swimming pool and fresh air of Anantagiri. We quickly sat down for dinner, met the the friendly owners of the resort, had a brief celebration of two of our friends and retired to the our cottages. We asked for a campfire that was instantly arranged for us and we spent a couple of hours chatting and walking around the resort before calling it a night.
A beautiful Anantagiri morning !
While the rest of our gang slept on, two of us were up early in the morning for a walk around the resort. When you visit such resorts, early morning is the best time to explore the place.
The morning freshness is all you need to feel ready for the tasks ahead in life ! All was quiet except for the sound of trains passing by, the resort is very close to the railway track, the only thing that seems to remind you of the world outside.
The sun was just rising, we could see zip line slowly lighting up. We had climbed up the tower the previous night, it looked a little creepy up there but now the sun seemed to throw a different light on it !
We walked down a path leading to the woods beyond the resort, a refreshing walk in the green !
On the way, we also spotted a play area for kids, should be fun for the kids to toss about in the mud.
The path lead us outside the resort where the woods got thicker, we could hear the early birds busy with their morning chores.
After walking for about 10 minutes, we arrived at a flat, grassy patch, it was amazing to stand here and feel the cool breeze on your face.
The patch then sloped slightly and beyond the slope, we could see the Anantagiri Hill range.
We did a U-turn and walked towards the resort, we spotted some neat vegetable fields with our cottages in the background, sylvan delights all around !
Further into the woods, we walked, stopping here and there to hear a bird call. We could hear a peacock somewhere, we even spotted one or two flying about. A short while later, we saw one seated royally on a tower quite far away, overlooking the hills and the valley.
It didn’t move all the time we stood there changing our lens and trying to click pictures. We didn’t venture too close, it seemed to be enjoying the morning too and we did not want to disturb it.
As we kept walking, the woods became denser and greener but we were watchful not to stray too far away from the resort. Though, we were very close to civilisation, the greenery around felt like we were transported to some enchanted world, far away from our daily life.
After close to an hour of walking, we decided to head back to our cottage. The sun had risen by now and the dew drops on the grass shone under the rays, perfect scene to end a morning walk in the woods !
Strolling around, we found this interesting meeting place, car seats used for seating, innovative ideas for recycling !
Back at the resort, the rest of our group was up and ready for a swim.
Coffee party in the pool
One of the best parts of the resort is the swimming pool. Splashing around in the pool under the open sky with the hills as a background is a delight !
Taking a plunge in the cool water with the warmth of the crisp morning is our favourite memory of our stay at Hills and Valley. To add to the effect, we even sipped our morning coffee while splashing in the pool ! The resort is flexible and allows you to take a swim even at night and there is no rule that you have to buy/hire swimwear from them.
We were in the pool for more than an hour and had to leave reluctantly because we had other things to explore. After a hearty breakfast, we lazed around the dining area which offers pleasant views of the resort and train sounds for company.
We also tried our hand at the indoor games area playing carrom, table tennis and hitting a tennis ball tied to a pole, some kind of a stress buster game !
Then, we took out the bicycles and rode around the resort, this writer finally learnt to ride a bicycle after 34 years of existence ! While we were busy cycling, the zip line was made ready for us. The adventurous in our group had a whale of a time zooming down the zip line and doing a “flying fox” !
The zip line here is for beginners and totally safe with a safety net stretching for most part of the steep slope of the zip line. Zip lining done, we moved on to Burma Bridge and other activities and even played around in the kids’ play area.
The major attractions of the resort are Kayaking and Paragliding. There is a small lake nearby and the resort arranges for Kayaking but unfortunately for us, there was big corporate group visiting the resort that morning and they had already booked the Kayaking activity which meant we had to wait till after lunch. As for Paragliding, we were told, August was not the season for it. We decided to give both these activities a miss.
Then, we turned towards Quad Biking. It was fun riding on the ATV track in the resort, some tracks were quite challenging, it was almost like climbing a scaled down model of a steep hill !
By the time we finished having all the fun, it was time for lunch and then pack up. Lunch was again a simple but tasty spread. A little chat with the resort owners later, we checked out of the resort and were on our way back to the property where our cars were parked. The jeeps took us back on the same dirt track that scared some of us the previous night. The track was wide enough for a jeep to pass with thorny bushes poking you at every corner.
The only traffic on this bumpy road was this pair of cows, the jeep had to be reversed to let them pass !
The journey back to Hyderabad and the rest of the evening was filled with recounting the fun-filled stories of our time at Hills and Valley.
– Anantagiri is 6 kms from Vikarabad, you can find buses/trains from Hyderabad to Vikarabad. The resort is located a short distance from Anantagiri town, if you do not have your own vehicle, you can check with the resort for pick up and drop at Anantagiri.
– The tariff for cottages is between Rs.3500/- and Rs.4000/-. This includes food, accommodation, access to swimming pool, zip line, kayaking. ATV charges are Rs.500/- for a 15 minute ride, paragliding is also charged extra. If you wish to visit the resort as a day trip, the charges come to Rs.800/- per person.
– The resort is a good place for corporate outings and team building activities.
– The check out time is usually 12 Noon, you could extend it for an hour or so.
– Food is simple, do not expect an elaborate spread.
– You can drive around Anantagiri, there is a nice sunrise view point in the hill range near the old TB Hospital. You can also visit the Ananta Padmanabha Swamy temple in Anantagiri and Kotepally reservoir nearby.
– There are a few other resorts around Anantagiri including Telangana Tourism’s resort.
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