Godavari river on A/c Boat journey: Rajahmundry to Bhadrachalam by boat
The launch journey or cruise on river Godavari from Rajahmundry to Papikondalu trip
to Sriramagiri or Kunavaram is one of the best tourist attraction in Andhrapradesh state of India. The journey covers approximately 100kms of travel by launch (diesel motor cruise). The total duration is nearly 12 hours from Rajahmundry to Sri Ramagiri. Another half an hour journey is required if travellers are willing to travel upto Kunavaram by the same launch.
The journey is through various temples and hill stations and very scenic for the beautiful greenery surrounding the river Godavari. Some important places which can be seen in this river journey are, Pattiseema, Maha Nandiswara temple, Polavaram Project area, Gandi poshamma (Pochamma) temple, Papi kondalu (papi hills), Shiva temple, Peranta Palli, Sri Rama temple at Sri Ramagiri.
Details of trip package
Godavari river flows towards Rajahmundry from Bhadrachalam. So, the total duration of the journey may get reduced if one travels from Bhadrachalam in the launch to reach Rajahmundry. It is preferred to arrange the trip from Rajahmundry though it takes two hours more than the other way. The reason being, the Sun rise is gorgeous to see from river Godavari at Rajahmundry. If some one starts from Bhadrachalam, it takes one and half hour to two hours to reach Kunavaram or Sri Ramagiri where actual launch journey start. Tourists will be missing the magic of early hours beauty. Trip packages are also available to cover half of the journey and return to the starting place, either Bhadrachalam or Rajahmundry. Papi Kondalu (Papi Hills) being the main attraction, this hill range is covered more from Rajahmundry side. So, consider the trip from Rajahmundry as the advantages are more.
So many launch services are available at Rajahmundry and Bhadrachalam. At Rajahmundry, Launch booking offices are available nearer to the river bank where Launch service starts. For those who start from Bhadrachalam side, though the launch service start either from Kunavaram or Sri Ramagiri, booking is to be done only at Bhadrachalam, Plenty of services available. Different launch operators have particular schedule. But the service is available on most of the days. Most of the people prefer travelling on Fridays. The reason being, evening they can have darshan at Bhadrachalam temple. Next day they can have local site visit and return back on Sunday either by road or same launch service. Breakfast (tiffin), coffee, tea, lunch, evening snacks are included in the package. Travellers can consider carrying sufficient water if they want.
The normal time period to plan this trip is during September to December. October is the best time as the water in river Godavari is optimum. If rains occur, better to avoid the journey. If the water level is less in the river Godavari, launch service will be limited to Peranta palli. So one third of the launch journey will be missing. October is also the season for depressions at Bay of Bengal, so take your precautions.
The launch service at Rajahmundry start at early hours 3.00 am. Launches with 50, 80 and 120 members capacity are available. One can purchase the ticket near the starting point in the booking office. Advance booking is also available if people are travelling in groups. If the entire launch is to be booked exclusively, minimum 75 members are needed to operate on any day of the week. APTDC also conducts the same Godavari launch service trip package but the days are fixed. Better consider your journey to start at 4.30am. This makes people to be in the river away from the city area when sun rise starts. They can enjoy the atmosphere. If it is early people would miss it while sleeping and if it is late, it would not make any difference but for seeing the Sun rise at Rajahmundry.
At Present due to low water level at Rajahmundry, all boats starts from Pursathapatnam at around 10 AM , so reporting time at Rajahmundry is 7.30 AM. Tourist will be taken to Pursathapatnam by road ( one and half hour duration , 35 KM )
Places to see during Boat journey
After starting of the launch journey at purushotapatnam (9.30am) . Breakfast is also served here. A small temple is located on top of a small hill. The temple is for the god Sri Uma Maha Nandiswara swamy. There is some information saying that there was an under ground way to reach kashi from this temple. The temple is constructed during 12th century. The Polavaram project can be seen from the temple area at the back side.
The second stop is at Gonduru, just one hour journey from Pattiseema. Goddess Gandi Poshamma temple can be seen here. The view of river Godavari is also pleasant from the temple premesis. Entrance ticket is to be taken for INR 2 and for special darshan (only on Sunday and Tuesday) INR 5. Additional amount is to be paid for special pujas. Photography is not allowed near temple premesis.
There will be one more stop at a check post before entering into Papikondalu (papi hills) area. This one is for a very short duration. Then the journey is through Papi hills which is very scenic. The journey is through thick forest surrounded by hills both the sides. The atmosphere is very pleasant and quiet. This part of the journey is quite for a longer distance and also the major one.
The fourth stop will be at Peranta Palli. People are served lunch at this place or sometimes before reaching this area, depends on the timing. Sri Ramakrishna Hermitage is the major attraction at Peranta Palli. People have to walk a little distance to reach the Hermitage. There is a small water fall in front of the hermitage flowing from the hills. The water is chilled and people get lot of relief taking a dip in the water. Beautiful butterflies are also seen in the area. The area is very calm and neat. One has to take bath if want to enter inside the Hermitage. Worshiping any other God near the Hermitage is not allowed. Variety of handicrafts are available which are made by local village people. Though the price is a little at the higher side, worth purchasing some. There will be some special occassions during Vijaya Dashami (Dasara), Mukkoti Ekadashi and Maha Shivarathri (February or March). The Hermitage has been started by Sri Swamy Balananda.
After Peranta Palli, there will not be any more stops. Some launch service people consider giving one more stop near some resorts constructed recently at Koneru area. This area too is surrounded by Papi hills. People will be reaching Sri Ramagiri around 4.30pm. Before that, evening snacks will be served. Some launch services proceed upto Kunavaram. Better to consider Sri Ramagiri as the end point. Because the temple of Sri Rama can be seen here which is supposed to be older than the temple at Bhadrachalam. Temple Darshan can be availed.
If travellers have not booked the vehicle from Sri Ramagiri to Bhadrachalam, it will be difficult to proceed as the direct transportation is not available. One or two APSRTC buses come but during peak season heavy rush occurs. If vehicles are not booked in advance, one can consider travelling towards Rekha palli (Rekapalli). Rekhapalli is just 6 Kms from Sri Ramagiri. Auto riksha facility is available at a nominal price. Plenty of buses available from Rekapalli to Bhadrachalam. One and half hour to two hour journey from Rekhapalli to Bhadrachalam.
For the total trip, the cost for an adult is INR 900 for an adult (above12 years) and INR 600 for a child above 5 years. This includes journey between Rajahmundry and Sri Ramagiri (or Kunavaram) and food.
To know the accurate and exact route map for this cruise click on the first image at the top of this page.