It took less than an hour one afternoon, to plan, reach a consensus, pack our backpacks and jump in and loosen our flabby frames to adjust in a six-seated SUV. I’m living alone, and I long for the bonhomie among our six buddies gelled intimately and have weathered fifty long years of chumminess: as straining and enjoyable as a roller-coaster ride.
Three of us, I included, the younger lot spiced up to move closer to the dusk of retirement and the other older three are as free as clouds to tutor us on, ‘how to enjoy the afterglow of retirement.’ We headed to one of the religious sanctuary, a holy abode of Lord Shiva, ‘Kotappa Konda.’ It is a two-hour drive on the highway connecting the Vijayawada and Chennai.
Kotappa Konda is a small sleepy village yet to wake up and grab the tourism worthiness of the steep, green canopied mountains and sacred Lord Siva. Barring a few choultries, finding a place to stay overnight limits our adventurous zeal.
Perched on the top hill circled by winding mountains, the temple speaks of pious ambiance, ancient history, monumental architecture, menacing mobs of monkeys. Their spectacular surroundings grab a sparkle in the eye of any photographer.
(I thank K.Suryanarayana, IFS (Retd.) my good friend and classmate at Bapatla Agricultural College, who is the Officer on Special duty for Ecotourism project at Kotappa Konda, for his guidance and assistance)
Kotappa Konda is a holy hill situated in Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, India.