At Laknavaram, kayak, swim, play in the water or simply choose to sit-back and enjoy the view says Vishnupriya Bhandaram
When the temperature is just about right and the month of November brings a cool breeze your way, you should pack your bags and head out for a weekend getaway. In and around the bustling town of Warangal, are various lakes and temples that offer respite. Laknavaram Lake is situated about 80 km from Warangal and 8 km from Mulugu. En route, stop over for fresh vegetables, locally grown corn-on-the-cob and soak in the sight of a bright blue sky in contrast to lush green fields swaying in the gentle breeze. The countryside also has cotton fields and ever so often you can spot huge rock formations.
To get to the lake, you have to traverse through the forest, a rather unsafe ghat road on the side of the hill that overlooks the lake. The dry and deciduous forest offers a visual worth sketching. Laknavaram Lake is spread over an area of 10,000 acres; as the car goes along the bumpy road, the imagery of a seemingly endless lake fills the horizon. The lake has about 13 small islands scattered amidst the forests. There is a suspension bridge that connects three islands of the lakes; the remaining islands are largely unexplored. You could either walk over the bridge and do the ‘touristy’ thing or you could walk around and look for paths leading directly to the lake. It is however unfortunate that the areas surrounding the lake are heavily littered with broken glass, candy bar wrappers, chips packets and plastic bags. If you can manage to look away, you can have a relaxing picnic by the lake.
Away from the hustle and bustle, enjoy your moment alone with Nature. The shoreline of the lake is muddy and one wouldn’t recommend getting into the waters. The best way perhaps would be to go kayaking. Tread through the bulrush and cattail and you’ll find a broad spot of dry land, perfect for setting up a camp fire. If you want to map the end of the lake, several jetties and boats are available on hire. If you’re lucky, you could treat yourself to hot mirchi bajjis after the boat ride. Laknavaram offers plenty for bird watching enthusiasts; you’ll be able to spot flocks of migratory birds in and around the lake. There are many trails and pathways in the forests available for trekking.
If you keep going further on the road to the lake, you could go to the ‘waterfalls’, which in actuality is a gush of the lake water that streams downhill from man-made tunnels, worth a quick detour. If you walk away from the tunnels towards the stream, you could actually walk up to the origin. You can get your car close to the spot, but as you go further, the road narrows. The fun part lies in driving through the gushing river onto the other side.
Be sure to also visit the Ramappa temple and lake. If you decide to camp, you have the chance to watch the sun kiss the waters of the lake at the crack of dawn.
From Hyderabad head towards Warangal on NH 202. Warangal is 146 km from Hyderabad. From Warangal, take the NH 202 road towards Mulugu. From Mulugu drive for 8 km. From Karimnagar, Laknavaram is at a distance of 120 km and can be reached via Parkal bypass.
WHEN TO GO:
The lake is rain-fed. Anytime between October and March is the best time.
WHERE TO STAY:
Laknavaram doesn’t have any facilities for accommodation. It is advisable to stay in Warangal. The lake doesn’t have any restaurants, so be sure to carry water and food.