Independence Day, this year, was a long weekend but we surprised ourselves by not making any travel plans because we had just got off from our Konaseema trip 2 weeks before that. We did not want to end up needing a break from breaks ! So the idea was to chill in Hyderabad, enjoying the empty roads and may be make a short trip somewhere close by because it is mandatory, as per our policy, to hit the road on a National Holiday !
We hadn’t decided where exactly we wanted to go, we simply took the car out on Independence Day afternoon and began listing the nearby places and fixed on Pocharam Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary on the Medak route.
Post monsoon time is one of the best times to drive on this route. After about an hour’s drive from Hyderabad Outer Ring Road, you pass through the Narsapur Forest area, a totally enjoyable drive with good roads and lush greenery on either side of the road.
The weather was lovely with light rain clouds and the moment we saw greenery and the grey clouds, we immediately regretted not carrying our camera and had to be happy with our phone’s camera.
We arrived at Pocharam Dam around 3.30 PM. When we say Dam, don’t imagine a serious dam, Pocharam Dam is more like a barrage, built in the 1920s on the Alair River, a tributary of the Manjira River, which again is a tributary of the Godavari River. To reach the Dam spot, you pass through this narrow road bordering the reservoir.
Beside the road is the wall of the check dam, during peak monsoon season when the reservoir overflows, water flows over the wall like a mini waterfall.
We only had this dry view but there are pictures on the internet with people driving here with water overflowing from the wall, it must be fun !
Further up is the reservoir and the dam which looks like a huge wall, we call it the “Great Wall of Pocharam” !
Take a walk on the wall, feel the cool breeze on your face and savour the views of the reservoir.
Pocharam Dam is a popular camping site for adventure groups in Hyderabad. There is an abandoned project bungalow on the banks of the reservoir that adds to the special effects, if you are looking for something eerie while camping in the wild !
The wall is almost kilometre long, so a walk up and down the entire stretch works like a nice morning/evening walk and comes with pleasant views of blue and green on either side.
At the end of the walk you will arrive at the gates of the dam, old gates, reminiscent of the British times.
It was a nice, leisure stroll on the dam and then we walked back to the parking area, be a little wary of the monkeys here. Pocharam Dam is an ideal picnic spot and where there is a picnic and food, there will be monkeys ! A few were jumping on cars and trees but didn’t seem to disturb the people much.
Pocharam Wildlife Sanctuary
Our next stop was Pocharam Wildlife Sanctuary, 3 kms from the dam. This small sanctuary is a drive-in sanctuary, where you can take your car and drive inside the forest area accompanied by someone from the Forest department.
At the ticket counter, we spotted this board with some interesting information about animals in comparison to man !
Reading the information is a humbling experience, just because we have more intelligence, humans think, we own this world ! Some of the points are not clear in the picture, to know more, visit Pocharam Wildlife Sanctuary.
We bought our tickets and set off the car safari, a 4 km drive on a pathway to some permitted parts of the sanctuary.
A person from the forest department got into our car, the idea is ensure that people do not venture into prohibited areas, disturb the animals or even worse poach ! The person who accompanied us shared stories of how despite all the security and night watches, people kill deers in the sanctuary. He told us just the previous week, they had caught someone who had killed a deer and was taking it away on a two-wheeler !
We drove through the sanctuary and spotted a few spotted deer, we were allowed to click pictures as long as we didnt disturb the animals and that includes not getting down from the car or going near the animals.
We loved the drive through the greenery and quiet forest but badly missed our camera !
You can see a lot of Spotted Deer and Sambar here and there. We also spotted a family of wild boars crossing the path.
This guy was relaxing under some shade and when we slowed down to click a picture, he sat up alert and ready.
It is fascinating to observe animals, they seem far more aware and sorted out about their lives than us humans ! Do animals find humans fascinating?
Towards the end of the drive, there is a small pond, which is the only water body in this part of the forest. The pond was actually dug up by the Forest department and we were told that they pump water from the reservoir.
After a 20 minute drive through the beautiful environs of the forest, our visit to the sanctuary ended. We hadn’t expected to go on a drive inside the forest and it was a pleasant surprise and made the trip feel wholesome !
When you are short of leaves at work or can’t take time off for a longer vacation, find time to make a short getaway to places like Pocharam, short trips but those that linger on for a long time !
- Pocharam is about 120 kms from Hyderabad on the Medak route, the drive would take roughly 2 hours.
- If you do not plan to drive down, you may find buses from Medak but even those, we are not sure if they ply all the way to the Wildlife sanctuary. You could try and find an auto from Medak, which is around 15kms.
- Pocharam Dam and Wildlife sanctuary are 3-4 kms apart.
- The Dam site is a nice place to hang out by the lake, you can even try some cooking in the wild. The best time would be post monsoon or winter.
- There are adventure groups that camp at Pocharam lake, we suppose it is safe if you are camping with a large group or with an adventure club.
- Pocharam Wildlife Sanctuary is open till 5-5.30 PM, we forgot to note the opening time.
- If you are driving inside the sanctuary, a forest department person will accompany you. Do not disturb the wildlife by making noises, getting down from the car or frightening the animals. Do not litter.
- If you plan a day trip from Hyderabad and start early you can visit Medak Church, Medak Fort, Edupayala Durga temple and Singur Dam. There is Telangana Tourism’s Haritha Hotel at Singur Dam, if you wish to stay overnight. We have not been there, so we are not sure how good the place is.
“The content and pictures on this blog are owned by the authors of http://www.highwayonlyway.com and are not available for copying or reproducing elsewhere without any written consent from us.”