I have always preferred South India for the culture they are able to offer which is significantly different from the other parts of India. Being a nomad at heart (if spending half of my money on travel proves that), I visited south India repeatedly and it never disappointed me. Hyderabad, apart from the Charminar and the Biriyani (I will name it, Shadab restaurant near Makka Masjid, don’t be surprised to see even foreigners queueing up on the street to find a table), it is also a centre-spot from where bikers can easily go out during weekends to visit some really awesome tourist attractions.
I have selected 4 spots, based on personal preference but with strong hopes that you will love these places as well. And, these places are-
This erstwhile capital of Andhra Pradesh is situated on the banks of Tungabhadra river and the Neeva and Hundri rivers also pass through the region, making it one of the most picturesque regions near Hyderabad.
There are a few too many places to visit here. Start with the beautifully cut rock structures of the Oravakallu rock garden. Then there are the famous Belum caves which are the second largest cave in India and literally, centuries old. The history buffs, better couple it up with a visit to the Konda Reddy forts and have a closer look at the Persian and Arabian inscriptions inside the fort which would remind you of the grandeur of the Mughals. If you are more of a nature lover, Kurnool will not disappoint you either as there is Rollapdu wildlife sanctuary where you can see wild animals, some exotic birds (we don’t get to see anything except crows and sparrows nowadays, anyway). Kurnool is an ‘all-rounder’, in cricketing terminology, when it comes to tourist attractions.
Driving direction: Kurnool is around 220 km from Hyderabad so you can make it within 4 hours, driving at a sane speed. Take NH44 to Kurnool which is in good shape and the journey is comfortable.
Accommodation: There are some hotels here and rates are around Rs 1,500 to 2,000 per night.
Badami is also called Vatapi and you should visit this place now when we are trying to impose own religion on everyone else as not only it has the four sandstone temples (which differ from each other in architecture) but also has Jain temples and a famous dargah and there is no communal tension in this little gateway, a little far from Hyderabad.
The four temples are situated around Lake Agastya which is a tourist attraction by itself. Then there is the Badami fort, situated on top of the Badami hill, which offers a far-reaching view of the stupendous surrounding. There are many rock cut formations which will make your camera click non-stop. There are also the famous Mallikarjuna temple, the Bhutanatha temple and the Dattatreya temple. In short, the lake, the temples, the rock formations, the fort, the caves and the inscriptions would make this trip totally worthy.
Driving Direction: Badami is approximately 420 kms from Hyderabad and it should take you 7 hours of driving, plus whatever break you take. Take SH4 which leads directly to Badami. While it’s a bit far to go out on a whim, a well-planned trip to Badami is highly recommended.
Accommodation: You can find hotels and inns for different budgets, ranging from Rs 1,300 to Rs 5,000+ per night.
Gulbarga is known for the combination of natural beauty and Islamic architectures, thanks to the Nizamat (Nizam dynasty of Hyderabad) rule and if you are proud of the heritage of our country, you should surely pay a visit here. The Gulbarga fort which has seen better days, is still a great attraction. Inside it, you can find the 14th century Jama Masjid with no less than 80 domes! Just beside that, get some blessing from the Sufi saint, Khwaja Bande Nawaz. You can also see the tombs of the ruling Bahmani kings here, among other interesting architectures.
Once done with the fort, try the island near the Bhima river where you can participate in adventurous activities like trekking and camping (the latter would be fun for bikers). Pay a trip to the famous Sharana Basaveshwara temple and you can also run to the Chandrampalli dam just to check out the serene beauty of the place.
Driving Direction: Gulbarga is actually in Karnataka now and you need to drive around 230 kms to reach it. A drive of 4 hours non-stop should allow you to reach Gulbarga safely.
Accommodation: Thankfully, hotels are not as costly here with the average hotel cost per night varying from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000.
Nagarjuna Sagar is culmination of the modern India’s architectural prowess and the natural beauty which God bestowed upon this country. This place has a lot of rivers and you can simply take a stroll along the banks of the dam/river or hire a boat, pretty affordable, to reach the Nagarjunakonda valley island. You can also check out the Ethipothala waterfalls which is majestic and enjoyable all round the year.
Once done with the natural beauties, check out the local museum which has a rich display of the Buddhist heritage of the place. Keep your camera handy for when all the 12 gates of the dam are open and the water come gushing out.
Driving direction: This is the closest of all the destinations and is only 160 kms from Hyderabad. Even a safe biker would reach there in 3 hours, comfortably.
Accommodation: Don’t expect starred hotels but decent accommodations are available easily and near the dam. The rates per night vary from Rs 800 to Rs 1,500.
All these places are well-connected by roads, which was a major reason why I included them in this list. You can drive with a sole partner, your biking group or if you are loner like me (eagles don’t flock, pigeons do!) go alone. However, please, be safe. Drive safe, don’t drink and drive, don’t over-speed, respect the traffic signal, wear a helmet and more. Also, keep your bike insured as any breakdown on these roads wouldn’t be a great experience. A properly insured bike will not only have protection against repair costs or spare parts cost, it will also have RSA (Road Side Assistance) which is a lifesaver during these trips.
There are various good bike insurance policies in India and you can select any of those and the best part is, you can buy those even online. If you don’t have a bike insurance, I strongly suggest that you get one before you leave.
That’s it boys and girls, we will discuss more options for weekend bike trips once you are back from these destinations. Signing off…
“Ruchir Chauhan is a creative story teller (because someone has to get their hands dirty) who has dispersed his words around topics like technology, travel, health, auto content and home improvement. His work reflects a grin of knowledge, imagination and a fun element. Lover of road trips, animals, pizza and peanut butter, he is often found reading on the beach while sipping his favourite drink.”