Historic Beauty around Kakinada >> Godavari Cruise

Godavari Cruise

A Travel Comfort on the Second Longest River in India


Godavari, a mighty river, a haven of beauty and tranquility, brimming with mountains, rivers, grasslands and abundant breathtaking landscapes has since the days of yore, always enchanted and awed one and all with its beauty. From dawn to dusk, it is a myriad of captivating and stunning colours with the sky and the river competing with each other. A feeling of warmness spreads allover when one watches the sun rise and one can literally feel The Godavari stretching out its legs. It looks surreal at sunset when the moon comes up over the horizon and the scarlet sun melts little by little into the river and the placid river is tinged golden by the setting sun, merging with the colorful sunset sky.


Its vastness touches our souls to the very core and the right chord in our hearts. It would seem like you can never have enough of it and no lens in the whole of the world can ever capture its serenity, tranquility, and beauty. You can spend hours in the evening on its banks, sitting on the nicely done up stretch by the riverside, and gazing at the moon reflected in its still waters. Star gazing on its banks will surely bring out the romantic and the poet in you and a boat ride, a memorable cruise, on the mighty river Godavari, would be one of the most beautiful experiences and would perhaps do justice to our eyes.

Then why not do just that!!??One can go on a cruise; usually early in the morning, during summers and during other seasons also. During summers the cruise starts at Polavaram because of low water levels and during other seasons, starts at Pattiseema and usually ends at either Papikondalu or Perantapally and back again. The journey to Papi Kondalu is about 6 hours while the return journey is just 3.5 hours.

As the cruise moves on from Pattiseema, one can see on the left side of the Godavari the beautiful Sri Veerabhadra Swamy Temple, which is picturesquely located on a hill known as Devakuta Parvatha in the middle of the Godavari River. A bumpy ride on a crude motorboat gets you to the little island temple. Considered to be one of the Panchakashi Kshetrams of the Shaivites, the temple has a beautiful Nandi statue. Carved images of dancers adorn the temple walls. An awe-inspiring life size sculpture of Devi Bhadrakali bedecked with ornaments and a sword immediately catches your eye.

And soon, one will be lead on to a different world where the nature delights one and all with the hilly countryside bespeckled with tiny farm plots in a patchwork pattern, breathtaking landscapes with dotted tribal habitats, river banks forested with timber reserves.

After that, comes the first stopover, at Gonduru, a rustic village, just one hour journey from Pattiseema where there is a Goddess Gandi Pochamma temple. The view of river Godavari is as pleasant as always from the temple premises. People get down here to pay their obeisance to the deity in the temple at this rustic village.

Then comes, Chintapalli, a village where the freedom fighter Alluri SitaramaRaju was supposed to have attacked a British India police station. Although the cruise does not stop here one can see the old police station that stands testimony to that historic moment and also its new avatar (a new police station) side by side. A wave of choked emotion and patriotism overwhelms the tourists while listening to his gallantries.

At no point in the journey, you can keep your head still: expect many look left, look right, look there, look here. Thats because, theres a story at every turn and an anecdote at every bend. From that popular scene from that popular film of that popular hero was shot here to the different versions behind how the name Papi Kondalu came about, these narratives are continuous, engrossing, and very engaging.

Suddenly one can see the Papi Kondalu, majestically rising on both sides of the river and giving away an illusion of a horizon. It is part of the Eastern Ghats through which Godavari pierces and flows in twists and turns towards east. From a distance, one would feel that the hills are merging together. The width of the mighty river Godavari at Papi Kondalu reduces to a few hundred meters and it almost resembles a

narrow gorge. Papi Kondalu with its greenery, pristine views of the river, magnificent waterfalls and pleasant weather all year round, is often compared to Kashmir. These hills are the abode of numerous tribes, and still vibrate with tribal chants and rituals. According to local legends, Sri Ram and Sita lived here during their 12 years of exile. Entire area of Papikondalu is covered by tropical rain forests and deciduous rain forests. For those wishing to spend a night in this serene atmosphere, there is a campground on the bank and serviced by the boats.

Finally, it is Perantapalli, also known as Perantalapalli, a small hamlet, the final destination of the Godavari cruise. There is a "Sri Krishna Munivaatam" (Hermitage) constructed at this hamlet by Balananda Swamiji who preached the essence of all religions in the year 1927 which is now a major attraction at Perantapalli. There is an idol of Shiva under serpent shade here. People have to walk a little distance to reach the Hermitage. A small waterfall in front of the hermitage flows from the hills where the water is chilled and people get lot of relief taking a dip in the water. One can see beautiful butterflies are seen fluttering all around in the area. This hamlet is very calm and neat. One has to take bath if one wants to enter inside the hermitage. Worshipping any other God near the Hermitage is not allowed. A variety of mind boggling and exquisite handicrafts made of bamboo are available at this hamlet which is made by local village people.

Though the price is a little on the higher side, it is worth purchasing some. There are some special occassions like Vijaya Dashami (Dussera), Mukkoti Ekadashi and Maha Shivarathri (February or March) which are celebrated here. This Sri Krishna Munivaatam (hermitage) is now being maintained by a tribal sect Konda Reddys and daily poojas are being performed by them.

And the time comes for the return journey and the mood suddenly changes among the tourists as to what was most joyous, and yet serene moments of their life comes to an end and now, one has to depart with a heavy heart. As one disembarks, one keeps on glancing back, again and again hoping for one last glimpse of the mighty breathtaking and yet serene and gentle river Godavari.

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