Weekend Getaways

I’ll be quite amazed to hear from people who complain about no weekend getaways from Hyderabad when compared to other cities. Yes, I do agree for some extent as there are not much adventurous destinations where you can enjoy with your family sparing one or two. But there are certain places within 200 to 300 kilometres from Hyderabad where you can spend your quality time on your weekends. So guys, here are the few places where I have been to and gathered some valuable information.

Weekend getaways from Hyderabad within 100 Kilometres

Narsapur Forest

An easy weekend getaway from Hyderabad with infinite beauties and  beautiful landscapes
Path leading to Narsapur Forest

Well known to the locals but least visited place. An easy weekend getaway from Hyderabad where you can enjoy your quality time and quiet adventurous as well. The green lush leaves you with a remarkable visual experience. The scary yet adventurous walk through the narrow forest paths is worth a mention. The stunning greenery with huge trees alongside the walking paths gives you a visual delight. One can enjoy the infinite beauties of the flora and fauna. The migrant and resident birds are worth a watch.

A beautiful isolated lake of Narsapur Forest amidst greenery
Infinite beauties of Narsapur Forest

The narrow forest paths lead you to an isolated lake called as Narsapur Forest Lake. The lake is hidden amidst the dense green forest. Definitely recommended place to have a quality time and relax on your weekends. The only con is you will not find a single food joint in the entire forest range spread over 30 sq kms. The early monsoon that starts in the middle of June is the ideal time to visit the place as you can enjoy a cloudy morning with a slight drizzle alongside witnessing mesmerising sight-seeing. You can also visit the place during the months of November- February where the mercury dips to 16 degrees. Situated in the north of Hyderabad is very close to other weekend getaways from Hyderabad such as Bonthapalle Veerabhadra Swamy Temple and the famous and well known Medak Church.

Distance from Hyderabad: 45 kilometres

Bonthapalle Veerabhadra Swamy temple

Weekend getaway from Hyderabad- the holy shrine of Shri Veerabadhra Swamy temple
Bonthapally Veerabhadhra Swamy temple

Hindu mythology suggests that Lord Veerabhadra swamy originated from the wrath of Lord Shiva. Dakshayani or Sati Devi, mistress of Lord Shiva was anguished with the gesture of her father Daksha for not inviting Lord Shiva for Daksha Yagna. She self-immolated in the fire of the yagna. This irrated Lord Shiva and created the super power, Shri Veerabadhra Swamy to destroy the Daksha Yagna which he carried effortlessly and courageously.

At a village called Bonthapally, close to Narsapur forest, there exists holy temple of Lord Veerabhadra swamy. The ancient temple is believed to be existent from Kakatiya period. The apart from the main shrine of Shri Veerabhadra Swamy, the shrine of Bhadrakali co exists. The temple is visited by many devotees from Hyderabad and nearby Medak to seek the holy blessings. Opens at 05:30 AM and closes at 08:30 PM.

Distance from Hyderabad: 41 Kilometres

Medak Cathedral

The beautiful structure with divinity- Medak Church
Astonishing architecture of Medak Church

Medak is one of the popular towns which is situated just 96 kilometers from Hyderabad. The ancient, popular and the largest church in India, The Medak Cathedral is another easy weekend getaway from Hyderabad. The large church with beautiful interiors replicates the Italian style of construction. The church was constructed during the British regime. The spacious and well maintained church attracts many devotees. The sainted glass window representing various stages of Christ’s life is one of the attractions here. It is the second largest church in the world, only next to the holy Vatican. It was inaugurated in the year 1924. Photography is restricted inside he premises. One can easily find accommodation and delicious Telangana cuisines as Medak is one of the populous towns in Telangana.

Distance from Hyderabad: 97 Kilometres

Trip planner: Medak Cathedral, Narsapur Forest and Bonthapalle can be covered in a day or two. It is advised to take an accommodation at Medak and visit the Medak Cathedral. On the return journey to Hyderabad, you can witness the infinite beauties of the nature at Narsapur forest while taking the holy blessings of Lord Veerabhadra swamy at Bonthapalle. You can also cover all the places in a single day but hectic though.

Ananthagiri hills

An easy weekend getaway from Hyderabad- Green landscapes surrounded by scenic hills
Ananthagiri Hills

on a gloomy morning with slight drizzle, going on a short trip is amazing right? Ananthagiri hills is the right choice then. The beautiful greenery in the dense forest in the small ghat road gives you an immense joy. The adventure lovers can enjoy the trekking on a trekking trail. Nagasamudra lake is also worth a visit. The Muchkunda River or Musi River originates from this place. The place derived its name from Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple located on the hill. The devotees gather and offer poojas. Ananthagiri hills is also famous for Karthika vana bhojanam (lunch in the forest or an open area surrounded by trees), a tradition practiced by south Indians during the holy month of Karthika (October- November). Altogether an easy weekend getaway from Hyderabad.

Distance from Hyderabad: 81 Kilometers.

Trip planner: Ananthagiri hills is the only shortest weekend getaway from Hyderabad on the south border of the city. So you can visit Chilkur Balaji temple on the way to make a full-fledged trip.

Yadagirigutta

The famous Yadadri temple near Hyderabad
Shri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple

A famous shrine also known as Pancha Narasimha Kshetram and Rishi aradhana kshetram in the state of Telangana is the abode of Shri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy.  We are blessed to have such a wonderful shrine which is just 62 kilometres away from Hyderabad. Devotees offer prayers and get their head tonsured here. The deities include the main shrine of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha alongside Yogananda Narasimha (Narasimha swamy in meditation), Jwala Narasimha (serpant shaped), Ugra Narasimha, Gandabheranda Narasimha and Lord Hanuman. The temple on a small hillock is getting renovated and was renamed as Yadadri. The idol of the main shrine, Shri Lakshmi Narasimha is placed in a cave.

The temple legend states that there was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu named Yada Maharshi performed penance. Pleased with his devotion, Lord Vishnu appeared as Narasimha swamy (a half man and a half Lion) and manifested into five forms; Lord Lakshmi Narasimha , Yogananda Narasimha, Jwala Narasimha, Ugra Narasimha and Gandabheranda Narasimha. The self-less Yada maharshi requested Lord Vishnu to stay on the hill in the manifested form and full fill the devotee’s wishes. Lord Vishnu was very much impressed with the self-less motive of Yada Maharshi, instantly agreed his wish after which the temple came in to existence.

Distance from Hyderabad: 62 Kilometres

Bhongir Fort

Weekend getaway from Hyderabad- Bhongir Fort
A view of Bhongir Fort on hillock

Another weekend getway which falls on the way to Yadagiri gutta. The fort was built by the Chaluky ruler, Tribhuvanamalla Vikramaditya. The place Bhuvanagiri (previously known as Tribhuvanagiri), also known as Bhongir attained its name after the ruler. It is situated on a hillock with steps from the town. The beautiful fort was later conquered by Kakatiya rulers. It is said that there is a secret underground passage to Golkonda fort. A must visit place if you love adventurous trekking and visiting historical places.

Distance from Hyderabad: 46 Kilometres

Kolanupak Swetambar Jain Mandir

One of the best weekend getaways from Hyderabad
Kolanupak Swatambar Jain Temple

Situated at a little distance from Yadagiri gutta. Kolanupak Swetambar Jain Mandir is another divine tourist destination. The 2000 year old temple was renovated with beautiful interiors and exteriors. There are certain restrictions to be followed for devotees belonging to other communities. You can expect huge number of devotees on Sundays. The temple was built with beautiful architecture on large premises with ample of parking space.  We are not allowed to capture the snaps of such an architectural wonder is an only disadvantage. A must visit place.

Distance from Hyderabad: 79 Kilometres

Trip planner: You can visit Bhongir Fort, Yadadri temple and Jain mandir in a day as they are very close to the city of Hyderabad. Some devotees prefer an overnight stay at Yadagiri gutta so as to participate in the rituals.

Weekend getaways from Hyderabad within 200 Kilometres

Bidar Fort

The historical and beautiful architectural masterpiece- Bidar Fort
Beautiful approach to Bidar Fort

Ahmad Shah Wali Bahman of Bahmani dynasty built the fort which was later conquered by Mohammed Bin Tughlaq. The fort has 7 gates namely The Mandu darwaza being the main gate alongside other gates Kalmadgi darwaza, unnamed 3rd and 4th gates, Delhi darwaza, Kalyani darwaza and Carnatic darwaza. Bidar fort and Bidar were a part of erstwhile Hyderabad state. Even now, locals refer Bidar and surrounding districts as Hyderabad-Karnataka. Gardens, arches, pavilions, bastions on the fort walls are all eye pleasing. Karez water supply system is also worth a mention.

Bidar Narasimha Jharni or Jala Narasimha swamy temple

A thrilling experience- approach of temple through water
Narasimha Jharni- Bidar

The cave temple with the idol of the main shrine Shri Lakshmi Narasimha swamy is placed under water till waist. We have to walk through the water to attain the holy blessings of Lord Narasimha swamy.  The reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, Narasimha swamy (half human and half Lion) after killing Hiranyakasapa also killed a demon Jalasura. Before death Jalasura prayed Narasimha swamy to stay here and bless the devotees for which Narasimha Swamy instantly agreed. Later Jalasura took the form of water.

Distance from Hyderabad: 143 Kilometres

Manik Prabhu Temple

Manik Prabhu emple located at Humnabad is considered as an easy weekend getaway from Hyderabad. Manik Prabhu is reincarnation of Shri Dattatreya Swamy
Manik Prabhu Temple

The temple of forth reincarnation of Shri Dattatreya swamy is located at Manik Nagar, Humnabad in Bidar district. The main motive of the avatar was to envision peace between the Hindu- Muslim communities. There was a political and communal uncertainty prevailed during his period. Similar to Shirdi, this temple is also open to all communities. On an auspicious day of Ekadashi, he took Samadhi and handed over the gadi (spiritual seat) to his brother’s son as his successor. There is a spiritual tree known as Audumber tree under which it was believed that Akalkot Maharaj (Shri Swamy Samarth) and Shri Manik Prabhu used to have spiritual discussions. On the way home after visiting nearby shrines including Bidar, one can also visit this holy place.

Distance from Hyderabad: 170 Kilometres

Trip Planner: Bidar being a noted town, you can plan a stay here and visit all the places in the town including Bidar Fort and Narasimha Jharni. While returning, you can visit Manik Prabhu temple.

Warangal

The second largest place in Telangana with fastest growing economy and IT sector offers you some of the best places to visit and an easy weekend getaway from Hyderabad. Previously known as Orugallu or Ekasilanagaram is famous for Red chilli. It was ruled by famous Kakatiya dynasty. Let’s have a brief look at the tourist attractions of Warangal which is just 146 kilometres away from Hyderabad.

1000 Pillar Temple

A weekend getaway from Hyderabad- Veyyi Stambhala Gudi or 1000 Pillar temple
1000 Pillar Temple

Renowned temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is considered as heritage structure due to its architecture and eye catching interiors. The temple was believed to be built by Kakatiya rulers. Deities here are Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Surya (Sun God). The temple derived its name as it has 1000 pillars and it is also called as veyyi stambhala gudi (1000 pillar temple in Telugu). The sculptures, the walls and pillars add the beauty to the masterpiece.

Warangal Fort

A Heritage site of Warangal Fort built by Kakatiya rulers. Worth a drive on weekends
The Warangal Fort

It is believed to be constructed by Ganapati Deva of Kakatiya dynasty. The well-known Rani Rudrama Devi was the daughter of Ganapati Deva. It was considered as golden age when Kakatiyas were ruling Warangal. You can enjoy the infinite beauties of relics of the fort alongside the gates, bastions, circular walls etc. The fort forms a part of official Telangana state emblem. It is also recognized as one of the world’s heritage centres along with 1000 pillar temple and Ramappa temple.

Ramappa Temple

Another heritage site of Ramappa temple- an easy weekend getaway from Hyderabad
Ramappa Temple

77 kilometres away from Warangal, there exists a shrine of Lord Shiva known as Ramappa temple. A huge nandi in front of Lord Shiva idol is worth a watch. The interesting fact about the temple is that the roof was constructed with bricks that are very light and can easily float in water. Never miss this masterpiece when you visit Warangal.

Distance from Hyderabad (to Warangal): 145 Kilometers

Trip Planner: Warangal being one of the largest cities of Telangana, it is recommended to stay overnight in order to have a glimpse of the above mentioned destinations and other local attractions.

Weekend getaways from Hyderabad within and beyond 300 Kilometres

Basar

An easy weekend getaway from Hyderabad- Gnana Saraswati Temple
Basar Gnana Saraswati Temple

Basar or Basara is another important pilgrimage destination which is an easy weekend getaway from Hyderabad. Visited the shrine when I was a kid and recently in 2016 as well. It hardly took four hours for us to reach the destination. It was believed to be constructed in 17th century. Goddess Saraswati is the main shrine here, who is also considered as mistress of Lord Brahma (the creator) and also as the goddess of education. The devotees visiting here will be seen conducting “Aksharabhyasam” (rituals before kids being induced to education). They take a holy dip in Godavari River adjacent to the temple. Special poojas and ritual are conducted during Maha Shiv Rathri and Dussera. Temple opens at 4 am.

Another attraction near Gnana Saraswati temple. Vyasa Maharshi cave
Vyasa Maharshi Cave

Vyasa Maharshi and Vishwamithra were in a search for a cool and serene place to perform penance and prayers after the heated kurukshetra war. It is believed that they chose this place to carry their rituals. As they made the Dandakaranya (Dandaka Forest) their home or Vasar (home in Marathi), due to its close proximity to Maharasthra, the place attained Marathi name Vasar which was later turned to Basar.

Saraswati being the main shrine, there are also Goddess Lakshmi and Mahakali shrines adjacent to the main idol. Devotees visiting the shrine can also visit the Veda Vyasa cave beside the temple which is an added attraction and gives you a visual delight alongside being adventurous.

Temple opens at 4 am and abhishekam, alankarana, poojas, archana, aarti, sarva darshan are offered till 12:30 PM after which the temple is closed till 2 PM. After 2 PM, the same rituals are carried till the temple is closed at 8:30 PM. Devotees visiting the temple for Akshara Bhyasam can visit from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm.

Distance from Hyderabad: 208 Kilometres  

Kuntala Waterfalls

An easy weekend getaway from Hyderabad offers you a mesmerising infinite beautiful and natural landscapes
The eye catching view of Kuntala Waterfalls

The serene waterfalls located in dense forest are another noted weekend getaway from Hyderabad. The forest is inhibited by a sect of people called Gonds.Kunta in Gondi or Telugu means pond. The water falls originates from the amalgamation of several ponds. The ideal time of visit will be after moderate to heavy rains as one can enjoy the breath taking paths of dense forest alongside the eye catching waterfalls. It is a must watch where you can enjoy with your family especially with kids. Kuntala waterfalls are at a distance of 113 kilometres from Basara.

Distance from Hyderabad: 270.3 Kilometres

Trip Planner: It is advised to have a stay at Nirmal, a town in Telangana. First it is recommended to visit Kuntala Waterfalls which is at a distance of 41.7 Kilometres from Nirmal. While returning back to Hyderabad, you can visit Basara temple which fall at a distance of 72 kilometres from Nirmal and on the way to Hyderabad. You can find quality hotels and restaurants at Nirmal.

Pandharpur

Best weekend getaway from Hyderabad. The Vitthal- Rukmini Mandir at Pandharpur
Pandharpur Temple view from outside

I heard about the place when we were at Shirdi but couldn’t make it through. But this time we started a little early at 5 AM to reach out to the shrine and also cover Tuljapur to take the holy blessings. Our first destination was Pandharpur. We stood in the que for almost two hours to have a darshan of Lord Vittal (Lord Shri Krishna). One interesting fact about the temple is they allow us to touch the feet of the idol which nowhere else is allowed at least in the pilgrimage centres.

The legend as per my research holds that there was a person named Pundalika who was very rude and arrogant. He did not mend his ways even after getting married. He used to torture his parents. Later his wife also joined him in torturing his parents. Vexed with their behavior, the elderly couple moved to Kashi as it was believed that the one who leaves the physical body (death) in Kashi would achieve Moksha (salvation). But the ill-fate of the elderly couple continued. Their son, Pundalika and his wife were also moved to Kashi.

Pundalik at Kashi saw a few ladies sweeping the floor and later vanished. He wanted to know whether he was dreaming or it was a reality. Later the ladies appeared again and informed him that they are no one else but the Indian rivers namely; Ganga, Yamuna, Narmada etc. They are sweeping the sins committed by Pundalik. Later Pundalik realized his mistake of ill-treating his old parents and mend his ways and started serving his parents. Touched by his service, Lord Krishna appeared in front of his house. The wise Pundalik was at the service of his parents requested Lord Krishna to wait for a while and threw a brick to stand. Lord Krishna was standing with hands holding his waist. Pundalik and his family were pleased with Lord Krishna’s posture and requested him to stay as is forever. Now the place is a famous shrine of Rukmini- Vithoba temple.

Entrance to Pandharpur Vitthal temple
One of the entrances to Shri Vitthal- Rukmini Mandir

When we visited the temple, there was a large number of devotees gathered which is as usual. We have to submit our gadgets outside the temple premises and join the crowd. There is a huge foot over bridge on which we have to reach the temple. One good thing is that there is no VIP darshan, paid darshan etc.

Everyone who visits the shrine should join the crowd for free darshan. The darshan will take a maximum time of 3 hours.  The temple operates from 4 am to 10 PM all days.

Distance from Hyderabad: 382 Kilometres

Tuljapur

The holy shrine of Shri Tuljha Bhavani mata temple at tuljhapur- an easy weekend getaway from Hyderabad
Tuljha Bhavani Temple

Another famous shrine that falls 300 kilometres away from Hyderabad. We started at 9:30 in the morning and completed the darshan within an hour. As per my personal experience, beware of the pandits standing outside the temple who offer you a quick darshan in return they charge you a hefty sum. But all in all, had a divine experience.

The historical temple of Tulja Bhavani is a swayambhu. Chatrapathi Shivaji always visited the shrine for divine blessings of Mata. It is said that Bhavani mata gifted Shivaji with a sword before he entered battle field. The temple is an architectural wonder. An astonishing fact is the idol is not stationary here. The shakthi Peeth is considered very powerful and the wishes come true for those who visit the holy shrine.

Legend says that a Brahmin named Kardama passes away. His beautiful wife Anubhuti decides to take sati sahagamana (self-immolation along with husband’s corpse) which was practiced in the ancient period. But was stopped by Akashavani. Later Anubhuti took penance and was in a deep meditation. A king named kukaar was attracted to her beauty and started physical abuse and assault on her. Helpless Anubhuti prayed the goddess and immediately goddess appeared and saved her from wicked King and killed the king. Tulja in Marathi means quick. As the goddess will full fill the wishes of her devotees very quickly, the place was named as Tuljapur. The tradition of celebrating Vijaya Dashami, the tenth day of Dussera is conducted with great devotion and dedication.

Distance from Hyderabad: 300 Kilometres

Bhadrachalam

A weekend getaway from Hyderabad- Bhadrachalam, a beauty with divinity
Sri Rama temple amidst the natural beauties

Towards the east of Hyderabad, at around 315 kilometres, there stands a popular pilgrimage destination; Bhadrachalam. Situated on the banks of river Godavari and abode for holy destination of Sri Rama temple. The temple’s history is well-known to one and all. Kancherla Gopanna also known as Bhakta Ramadas was an ardent devotee of Lord Sri Rama. Based on his uncles’ (Akkanna- Madanna) instructions he worked as a collector in the administration of the Nizam. He used the public funds in construction of Sri Rama temple at Bhadrachalam for which he was imprisoned. Impressed by the devotion, Sri Rama and Lakshmana appear in the dream of the Nizam ruler and offers him the precious ornaments in return requests to release Sri Ramadas unconditionally. Later when the Nizam ruler woke up, he could not find Rama and Lakshmana but the ornaments were left as it is. Astonished by the events, Nizam ruler instantly released Sri Ramadas and apologised.

I visited the place way back in 2013 due to which I couldn’t remember much but the deities are Sri Rama along with Lakshmana and Sita Devi and Abhaya Anjaneya. Sri Rama Navami is celebrated with great dedication. Sri Sita Rama kalyanam is conducted every year and is also aired live on Television. Devotees visiting the temple take a holy bath in the river Godavari before visiting the shrine. You can enjoy the boat rides to the nearby places.

Distance from Hyderabad: 315 Kilometres