27th of January, 2017: The closest beach to Vijayawada is at Machilipatnam, which is about 75 km from the city. I wanted to take my bike as close to the beach as possible and for that, Machilipatnam beach was not an option as the vehicles will have to be parked at a distance from the beach. I checked other options on the map and found Hamsaladeevi beach. It was about 95 km from Vijayawada city. I read more about it and found that it was an open beach, with no restrictions and also no safety arrangements. I was not planning to get into the water anyway so I decided to go there to spend some time by the sea.
The road from Vijayawada to Hamsaladeevi is amazing. It runs parallel to a canal for almost 80 km with lush green villages on either side. I started early in the morning as soon as the light was sufficient to see things around. There were thousands of insects flying around along the way as it was early in the morning but I was wearing my helmet so it was not much of an issue. I stopped many times on the way to click photos beside the beautiful scenery and a few times to pee 😛 (I was wearing shorts and it was cold!). There are numerous small bridges over the canal along the way and one can get very beautiful views of the sun if it isn’t foggy.
I took my bike off road at a few places for fun and to get better views and I wasn’t disappointed. There are also places along the way where you can take your bike into the dry patches of the Krishna river if there isn’t much flow. I continued riding and was asked for lift by an old man once and another younger guy later, to which I obliged. The second one was very excited about my bike and the relatively high speeds at which I was riding on those roads. He was also inspired by my travel stories few of which I shared with him along the 11 km drive for which he was riding pillion. He got down at Avanigadda, from where Hamsaladeevi was another 26 km approximately. I rode ahead along the scenic roads and about 10 km short of Hansaladeevi, I found a board which showed two different directions to Hamsaladeevi – one showing Hamsaladeevi to the left at about 9.5 km and another showing Hamsaladeevi straight ahead at about 8 km. I went straight and the road took me through some breathtaking views of paddy fields, which extended up to as far as I could see. Towards the end of the road, a few kilometres short of the beach I could see some backwaters and short mangroves with waterways between them which was a pleasing sight.
I reached the beach in about 3 hours from the time I started from Vijayawada and there were only a few fishers there. I asked if it was okay to take my bike into the sand and they said it wouldn’t be a problem. I went ahead, drove for some time in the sand, which is great fun with the bike swiveling and no risk of injury even if I fall. And then I clicked a lot of photos at the edge of the sea. There was not much area of firm sand as it was still early in the morning and the tide was strong. The fishers told me that the water level would recede at around 10 AM and they even drove tourists on auto-rickshaws along the edge of the sea to reach a place called Sagara-sangamam, which is where the Krishna river merges into the sea. I regretted missing that opportunity but was happy that there were not many people at the beach yet and I spent some time by myself there having fun on my bike.
I then started back to Vijayawada and offered lift to one of the auto drivers who lived in a nearby village on the way back. He was the one who told me about Sagara-sangamam and the drive to that place. As I rode back to Vijayawada I found increasing oncoming traffic, of probably tourists going to visit Sagara-sangamam or may be the beach. There are two or three garden restaurants on that route which mainly served lunch as most of the visitors reach there around lunch time. I had breakfast at one Keertana garden restaurant (the good lady there offered to cook breakfast especially for me since I was the first customer that day). She cooked chapati with potato curry and it was quite good. I then drove back to my cousin’s place at Vijayawada, had lunch and took rest for a while.
After lunch, my cousin and I visited Undavalli caves. They are small caves, which take about 20 minutes to see and it is a good place to spend some time if one has company. From Undavalli caves, we drove to Kondapalli fort, which is about 30 km from Vijayawadda city atop a hill. The drive up the hill is exciting as always but the road is good but narrow and unprotected. It was a hot afternoon and we didn’t spend much time at the fort.
I am keen on driving to Sagara-sangamam from Hamsaladeevi beach along the sea edge and would love to join anyone who is interested in doing the same. So get in touch if you are okay with me riding along.