Trek to Kondaveedu Fort

The office Traveler’s Club sent a mail a month back with a proposed trek to Kondaveedu Fort near Guntur. I jumped at the opportunity for a trek after a long long time and pulled the better half on the wagon too after getting to know that it would not require proper rock-climbing skills for those who do not desire it 🙂

So the 4th night saw 30+ people assembled at the Secunderabad Railway Station catching the overnight fast passenger to Guntur. We reached there at 4:30 in the morning and roamed the streets, “Can you imagine! Andheri raat me Guntur ki sadkon par….” (remember Jab We Met?). After freshening up we took the State Transport bus to Phirangipuram (nice name 🙂 ), where we changed to another bus to take the final 4 kms to the base of the mountains where the Kondaveedu Fort is located. This place is so offbeat that had it not been for Sridhar (the karta-dharta of the whole trip) who has done this trek before we would have never been able to do anything, leave alone finding the place.

The trek started and soon we split into two teams, one group trying to find their own way to the top of the mountain to the Fort, and the other group which had people who knew the way. Initially the path we were following was quite straightforward. Simple climbing on rocks – ok, granted some were not that easy, needed manipulations to find the way. The trek was as easy, or as difficult, depending on the route you chose. After following the sane path of taking the easy route, I chose insanity and did some serious rock-climbing, although I have to admit that I am a novice compared to many people who were following the insanity path since start 🙂 The best part was following Ravi over a tree to breach the walls of the fort. Once inside the walls of the fort, to get to the top of the fort required some more serious trekking. I tried to find a path on my own, but was unable to find a way through a 15 feet dense foliage. I retraced my path back to where I had left others, followed them and eventually got to the top of the fort after crossing one of the steeper rocks that required good grip and a nice sense of balance.

Once on top we took a breather, actually the break was quite long to be termed a breather. A rest was paramount at that time, even though we had trekked for just 2 hours by that time, but an uphill climb is surely tiring. The view from top was amazing. Fields stretched to the horizon with very few villages scattered around. Few kilometers away we could see some many more hillocks. But we left those for another day and started towards our next destination. Till then few apples, juices, and 2 liters of water had already been consumed 🙂 By the way, did I mention that everybody was carrying 4 liters of water, packed lunch, fruits and juices apart from other miscellaneous stuff that was collectively weighting around 6 kg. Carrying 6 kg in your backpack while walking on a rocky terrain was a first for me and I surely enjoyed it.

Once we got down from the fort, we did not go all the way down but proceeded further in the mountains. The plan was to cross the range and get out on the other side of the mountains. We crossed another small hillock, and a plain land – that gets filled completely with rain water during monsoon, but was dry right now – and many other ruins of the Kondaveedu Fort. Had time not been a precious commodity at that time, I’d have loved to explore all the ruins. But we already running late. The humidity had left almost the whole group tired and it was time for lunch. That one hour break refreshed us immensely. After lunch again we split the group into two. One that was planning to climb a 300 feet tall rock face to get on top of another mountain, and the other that was going ahead to search for the path to the village on other side. Mercifully Kondaveedu Fort is not a tourist place, and hence there are no specific paths that take you from point A to point B. You are on your own to find the way. Luckily for us Sridhar knew almost all the ways.

We went ahead searching for a way to get out of the mountains, and luckily found a group of woodcutters who knew the way. We waited there for quite a long time waiting for the other group to join us. Once they were back, we commenced the trek back to civilization. Many breaks interrupted the almost 3 hour descent. We crossed over 3 more mountains, and passed many wallpaper material places. Without a doubt the best place to be dead tired is within the nature’s lap. Those small breaks of 5-7 minutes were more refreshing than anything else. The return hike was a test of water management – we had grossly underestimated the humidity – the juices had been drunk long back, apples had been munched to the last morsel, and just a single bottle of water was remaining. Using that water optimally, sometimes running on auto-pilot, and always on the back-up fuel, using sticks to support your weight , and reminding yourself to walk “lift one leg, lean forward, plant it down, lift other foot, repeat process” we made our way back. That time I was so tired that I was relying too much on the stick, and not concentrating enough on the path forward. 1-2 minor slips, and a shirt riddled with thorns was what it took for me forgo the stick and just surge ahead, concentrating on the path, relying only on myself. After what seemed to like years, we finally reached the mountain base, and started the 3 km walk to the village where we would get a auto/bus.

Walking on a straight path, with no rocks strewn around was so easy as compared to the walk on rocks. I had never been more relieved to be walking on a path made by man. A ride in a luggage auto – 10 of us standing in it, many pouches of buttermilk, and another bus ride later we were back in Guntur at around 6pm. Our train was not till 10:30, and we had to pass the time somehow. There had always been a plan to watch a movie, but what I had not bargained for was watching a Telugu movie, even though my Telugu vocabulary does not extend 3-4 words, me and the wife enjoyed the movie thoroughly 😀 The air-conditioner did wonders, we felt good; few samosas later, we were ready to enjoy the movie – much hooting and clapping followed whenever the hero was fighting the villains, or whenever he was dancing around with any of the two scantily clad heroines – which was all there was to the movie 🙂 The hero did only two things – fight and dance, rinse and repeat.

At around 10 pm we reached the station and to our dismay found the train to be 90 minutes late. The waiting hall of Guntur was converted to an impromptu dormitory by all. Around 15-20 people were sleeping on the floor at one time. The train made an appearance at midnight and luckily was right on time when it dropped us off at Secunderabad to end the best and most tiring trek I have undertaken till date 🙂


30 Responses to “Trek to Kondaveedu Fort”

  1. 1 pkj July 7, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Aaaah … i am tired just by reading 😛 … guess net is where i trek =:).

    We, ppl who trek the net, need such excellent summary to remind us that we are great as is 😉

  2. 2 Chandu July 7, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Well written kunal…

  3. 3 Krishna July 7, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Gr8 one Kunal… I could actually climb those mountains again 😉

  4. 4 lakshmi July 7, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    it was really an unforgettable experience….

  5. 5 lakshmi July 7, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    it was really an unforgettable experience…

  6. 6 Sangfroid July 7, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Nice!! trekking + a telugu flick 🙂
    A birds eye view of the civilization always gives the kicks! Makes me wanna contribute to Google Maps n the likes 😛

  7. 7 Manish R. Varma July 7, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Hi, Nice article.
    We just returned from the same trek. Infact we did trekking on the next day of your trek. For us too Mr. Sridhar acted as the guide.

  8. 8 mythalez July 8, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    a picture of the shoes is a must for every trekking kind of travelogue 😛

  9. 9 Chittaranjan July 9, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Nice Travelogue!

    The fort’s name kinda reminds me of ‘Kondaveeti Donga’ a Telugu Flick 😛

    I saw a fort-on-a-hillock as I was returning via Train today….in a town called Bhongir. I realised later that the actual name of the town is ‘Bhuvanagiri’.. “bhuvana” I guess stands for fort and “giri” for hillock!

  10. 11 Kunal July 15, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    pkj, come on man it was not that long, just 1200+ words 😛

    Chandu, thanks.

    Krishna, so could I 🙂

    Lakshmi, it sure was.

  11. 12 Kunal July 15, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Gaurav, dude now you can chart the Leh pathways 😀

    Manish, that’s great 🙂 Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did ….

    Rama, since it is my trekking kind of travelogue, I wouldn’t know 😛 but yeah the post seemed incomplete without it…

    Chittaranjan, Bhongir is about 50 kms from Hyderabad, I am planning a trip there some time soon 🙂

    Phatichar, thanks 🙂

  12. 13 Himank July 23, 2008 at 1:41 am

    Hey tagged you…

  13. 14 xeon September 17, 2008 at 3:34 am

    Very nice photos, thank you for sharing 😉

    Have a nice day.


  14. 15 sandhya srinivasan October 21, 2008 at 10:53 am

    hi! i have just moved to guntur and was very pleased to come across your blog when looking for places to go to close by. will you please tell me how to get in touch with this wonderful mr sridhar who seems to have to been guide to your group and to others too.


  15. 16 Kunal October 21, 2008 at 11:08 am

    sandhya, I think that may be a bit difficult as Sridhar is my offoce colleague and we are based at Hyderabad.
    anyway reaching the fort is not that difficult, you just need to find someone who has knowledge of the local area…

  16. 17 bhageerath December 13, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    you inspired me to have a trip to kondaveedu fort though i am in guntur i have never been there

  17. 18 Nature July 8, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Very nice article on this subjects, you explained while you trek, very interesting to read, i visited some websites that explains good descriptions, here one of them

  18. 20 srdvv September 14, 2009 at 1:46 pm


    iam the lover of the fort build there…i written an athmagosha of the fort in telugu…ok..we may meet again..

    all the best….

  19. 21 Turbo November 2, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Hey Kunal!
    We, the Hyderabad Adventure Club, just finished this trek! And your detailed description here helped us a lot. We stayed overnight and slept on the roof of one of the broken fort structures. Fought monkeys snatching our food and took turns to guard during the night. Trekked back to the village in the morning and then explored Guthikonda Caves. It was an awesome experience!

  20. 22 Kunal November 10, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Turbo, glad to know this travelogue helped 🙂

  21. 23 Ajay Reddy November 12, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Hi Kunal, i’ve taken a few excerpts of your blog post and written an article on TripNaksha here – Do let me know if it is ok?

  22. 24 Kunal November 12, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Ajay, it seems perfect 🙂

  23. 25 srdvv September 12, 2010 at 11:00 am

    మాస్టర్ srdvv
    తేదీ: 12 Sep 2010 9:50 am
    ఆనాటి కవి సార్వబోవ్ముడు శ్రీనాధుని మాటల్లోనే ” పర రాజ గిరిదుర్గ వలవైభవ హెల గురుతైన ఉరిత్రాడు కొండవీడు” ……… అనిపించుకొన్న గొప్ప వీర స్థలం అది ….ఇస్కాన్ పుణ్యమా అంటూ తిరిగి వైభవోపేతం అవుతున్న సందర్భంగా ఇవే ఇవే ఇవే నా అభినందనలు ఇస్కాన్ వారికీ మరియు ఆ కొండవీటికీ…….

    • 26 srdvv September 12, 2010 at 11:01 am

      మాస్టర్ srdvv
      తేదీ: 12 Sep 2010 10:12 am
      మౌంట్ కొండవీడు ….నేను తొలిసారి ఆ నేల పై కాలిడిన వేళ నాకు స్పురించిన జాషువా పద్యమిది ….ఆనందించండి…….. ఆసింతు భువన కళ్యాణ కాముకులైన త్యగివీరుల గాధ లాలపించ , పరువులేత్తెద క్రుపాపరుల పాదముల కెన్ధూలిలొ ధూలిలో ధూలినై తురగలింప, వలతునేప్పుడు శాంతి పదికయోదుల రక్త మోలికిపోయిన నేల కొలువు దీర, కామింతు నజ్ఞాన కదన వీరుల ప్రాత ఘోరీల మీద కన్నీరు నింప….” ………..అవును మన పురాతన వీర స్థలాలివి ….కనీసం దర్సించుకుందాం…రండి రండో రండి …..

  24. 27 kiran January 20, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    kondaveedu is the great place when you see the places top of the hill it is very nice and grate. now iskan is developing that place im very happy that. but they were till now they were not started that work, we hope that place development and the grate tourist spot of the guntur district.

  25. 28 sirisha May 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    hai nenu ma family and my friends andaram 3yrs back kondaveedu velam akadi vatavaranam em baledu anta padu padipoyindi anati raja vybavalanni matti palayayi. okasari paper lo chusam deviop chestunnarani chusam chala santhoshinchamu thanks 2 all

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I write! Topic does not matter, can be my life, or my travels, or any match I saw, or the Hyderabadi life, or reminiscing about Raipur, or penning Short Stories & 55s.

I can be contacted at kunalblogs[at]gmail[dot]com.

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