Getaway to Godavari – II – Yanam – A slice of Puducherry in AP

When we woke up at 7 AM, the following morning after our adventure filled drive the previous night, Rajamundry was still drenched in rain, it hadn’t stopped raining even for a minute for over 12 hours. Citizens of Rajamundry couldn’t remember the last time they had witnessed something like that ! Rajamundry felt like the best place to be in even if it was summer, that is something unbelievable !

The iconic Madatha Kaja

After a happy meal at home, we decided it was time to hit the road to Yanam, a tiny town, technically part of Puducherry but located in AP’s Konaseema. Scenic beauty apart, Yanam, being part of Puducherry, is a Union Territory which means everything comes at a cheaper cost. Our trip to Yanam was pre-planned, so when our diesel tank was empty somewhere near Suryapet, we got it filled with enough fuel to take us till Yanam !

Yanam is around 65 kms and roughly 1.5 hours drive from Rajamundry. With the heavy rain cutting off some roads, we had to take make several deviations but each turned brought before the beautiful rain-washed villages of Konaseema. Finally, we reached Tapeswaram, birthplace of the famous Tapeswaram/Madatha Kaja sweet. Of all the sweet shops in the village, the Bhakta Anjaneya Sweet shop is the most popular one, popular in the whole of AP and Telangana !thumb_IMG_2424_1024

Their Madatha Kaja is the iconic sweet of this region, evident from the fact that a they have a “statue” for the sweet outside their shop !!

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We love it when people show such respect for food !

Proceeding further to Yanam, we were enveloped by the ever familiar but ever mesmerising greenery of Konaseema. We have already lost count of the number of times we’ve clicked pictures of the green canopy over the road !thumb_IMG_3065_1024

Driving through such rich green scenes, we reached Yanam.

In Puducherry but in AP !

The first thing that struck us about Yanam was the clean and well laid out road at the entry point of Yanam, the walls on either side of the road were beautifully painted, first impression – we were floored !

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We drove through the town appreciating the efforts of Puducherry administration, Yanam definitely looks much more well taken care of than most towns in the region.

In one of the streets, we found this hotel name board in Tamil.

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Tamil in Telugu heartland – what a wonderful mix of cultures and language our country is ! The administrative set up is amusing though, we were in Puducherry but also in AP !

Another thing that we found “cute” was the police uniform, especially the unique cap. We haven’t seen such a cap anywhere else in India. We wanted to click a picture but thought it would be rude of us, you can find pictures on the internet.

The Godavari Sea !

Next, we drove to Yanam Beach way, they call it the beach way but you cannot find a beach anywhere nearby. All you can see is the mighty Godavari filling up the entire landscape !

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For a moment, we were even confused if we were looking at the river or backwaters of the sea or the sea itself ! The fact is, one of the branches of Gautami, meets the sea a few kilometers from Yanam and where a river meets the sea, it is at its widest, that you can no longer distinguish between the two.

The road running along the river bank has been beautified into a nice walk way.

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The place is perfect for an early morning or evening walk. On that particular day, the winds were very strong and as we got down to click pictures, it was almost pushing us off walk way !

The walkway is dotted with statues. There is a huge Siva Linga with elephants worshipping it.

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Further up, a statue of Mother India.

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And finally, a mini version of Christ the Redeemer !thumb_IMG_3101_1024

Right next to the statue is the huge Balayogi Varadhi, the bridge across Godavari connecting Yanam with Amalapuram and the rest of Konaseema. We had planned to go for a drive on this bridge but it was getting dark and we decided to head back.

Full tank, please !

We took a tea break at the popular Hotel Anand Regency. Armed with their piping hot Onion Pakoda, we proceeded towards Rajamundry, not before completing the main mission of our trip to Yanam – filling our diesel tank to the brim ! Diesel cost on Rs.53 in Yanam, atleast Rs.4 less than AP or Telangana. Petrol, at Rs.65 was lesser by Rs.5 as compared to AP/Telangana.

The attendant at the fuel station laughed when we told him we drove all the way from Hyderabad to Yanam to fill diesel but he said it was not surprising. He told us they hardly get a minute off because people from nearby towns and villages come to Yanam for the cheaper fuel ! It took us back to our Kerala trip in 2012 when we had a similar experience at Mahe, again part of Puducherry jurisdiction.

By 6 PM, we were back on the road, driving back to Rajamundry. The Konaseema belt looked no less than God’s Own Country !

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All we needed was a houseboat !

It was late evening by the time we reached Rajamundry and a dinner of Bajjis and Rose Milk followed, this has become our ritual now ! Our trip to Yanam was just for half a day and we did nothing much except drive round the place but it still felt like we had been away from routine for several eons, that is the beauty of travel !

Info tidbits

  • Yanam is well connected by road from Rajamundry, Kakinada and most towns in coastal Andhra Pradesh. Kakinada is the nearest city/railway station, 32 kms away.
  • Technically, if you are looking for a tourist spot, there is nothing much but the drive through the town, the Beach way and spending some time on the Godavari bank is a must do. If you ever travel to Rajamundry or Kakinada and get some time off, drive to Yanam.
  • You can combine Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (11 kms away) with a drive to Yanam if you plan a day trip. You can also make it a weekend trip including Rajamundry, Antarvedi, Dindi, Pancharama Temples, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Yanam and Kakinada.

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