Mahabub Ghats

A ride on the picturesque 3 km long Mahabub ghat road near Nirmal and the 6 km long Kerameri ghat road near Kerameri mandal headquarter is a treat for travellers. These roads with their sharp bends can be likened to a necklace, a feature that sets them apart from the rest.

A forlorn ‘mahabub' (lover) is what the famous Mahabub ghat road in
Adilabad district looks since heavy vehicle traffic was diverted on the four lane NH 44 Nirmal bypass road some two years ago. Despite being in a state of utter neglect, the picturesque bends on this road are a feast to the eyes.
Mahabub Ghats watch tower helps one see the reservoir of the SRSP and the landscape right up to Nirmal town. It is a visual treat to watch vehicles making the arduous climb up or speeding down the famous ghats.
The two watch towers located at strategic point on the Kerameri and Mahabub Ghat road have been repaired by the Forest Department which comes as good news to travellers on these roads. Nature lovers will now be able to take a break from the tedious drive to watch nature in all its splendour from atop these watch towers. The thirty-foot plus tall towers loom over the landscape on the top most ghat curve at both the places. The height of the watch towers makes it possible for getting a panoramic view of the spread of greenery below or whatever is left of it.

“Proper upkeep of the ghat section can attract local tourists to this lovely spot in the lap of nature. Followers of Sufi philosopher Shaikh Mahabub, after whom the ghat is named, will especially be thankful for improved maintenance of the road,” opines Tummala Dev Rao, a teacher and amateur historian from Nirmal.

The ghat road, located on one of the hills in the Sahayadri range about 14 km from Nirmal town, was used by travellers to access other important places in North India. Locals believe this road to be in use since the times of Emperor Ashoka.

It was, however, during the period of Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam, that a proper road seems to have been laid extending up to the Penganga river at the northern end of Hyderabad State. The year could be 1932 when the old bridge at Soan across the mighty Godavari was constructed. “The ghat section would have been first cut in the hills manually. Imagine, hundreds of workers toiling for long duration to slice the hill,” says Mr. Dev Rao, trying to envision the times.

For many years, travellers negotiated the ghat bends on a single lane though the road had acquired the status of a national highway. It was in early 1970s that the road was widened to incorporate another lane making it easy for the drivers to take the four hairpin curves. In tune with the growing importance of NH 7, the road was widened further in the 1980s to facilitate smooth passage of vehicles including the long trailer type lorries. Authorities kept on improving the condition of the road not to allow traffic jams due to accidents.

An idyllic haven for bikers

What is a perfect haven for avid bikers or a getaway destination for the overworked and stressed urbanite? Riding, perhaps, on a long stretch of a deserted road in a vast spread of different hues of greenery, taking in the sounds and sights en route and fresh unpolluted air to breathe.

There is abundant greenery and long stretches of less travelled curvy dirt and asphalt tracks, especially in its hilly tribal area, for those who love offroading and riding across country stretches.

Scenic stretch

One of the best stretches of roads here is the one that links the mandal headquarter of Jainoor and Tiryani almost in the geographical middle of the district. The drive on the 50-km road could often be bumpy, but that is part of the game.

Jainoor is about 320 km from Hyderabad by road via Nirmal and Jannaram and Tiryani is about 340 km from the State capital, coming from Mancherial town. The journey can be undertaken from either side but the first option offers a lot more to see on the way to Jainoor.

The journey from Hyderabad to Nirmal will turn out to be smooth affair as the entire 200-km drive will be on the four-lane NH 44. The drive to Jannaram, about 65 km from Nirmal, will be a pleasant one in itself as it involves passing through a section of the Kawal Tiger Reserve.

Good accommodation

The Tourism Department offers excellent accommodation at Jannaram in the shape of cottages which come at a reasonable tariff of Rs. 800 for an AC double room. The journey from Jannaram towards Jainoor can be resumed the next morning and it will take a rider through 30 km of the Indhanpalli-Utnoor road, again in the Kawal Tiger Reserve.

Food is no problem until Jannaram as there are some modest hotels and dhabas serving good food, but the biking or travel enthusiasts need to carry their own food and water for the journey from Jainoor. After Sirpur (U) they are unlikely to even come across a tea stall.

Drivers need to take a left at the fork in the road at Alliguda, about 11 km from Jainoor and 6 km from Sirpur (U) mandal headquarter. The next big village is Lingapur and from here the road becomes almost deserted with an auto or a motorcycle coming your way every 10 minutes or so.

The curvy road takes you to the steep ghat road near Pangdi Madaram but not before feasting on the greenery surrounding Chinna Dampur, Loddiguda, Modiguda or Raghapur. You can find some unpretentious tribal temples in the wilderness abutting the road. The road exits into Tiryani mandal headquarter from where the nature-loving bikers can reach Mancherial for their onward journey to Hyderabad.