Just about a 60 km drive from the city, cradled in the foothills of the Eastern Ghats is the picturesque Kondakarla Ava Lake. Kondakarla Ava is the second largest fresh water lake in the state and one of the natural wonders of Vizag. It has been recognised as Eco Tourism Destination. A favoured spot for migratory birds and innumerable exotic Indian species, the tranquil waters of the lake surrounded by coconut trees on one side and green hills all around provide a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis.
This lake was once a popular vacationing spot for the Vizianagaram Maharajas and the British officials in the pre-Independence era. Not surprising considering the natural wonders that draw the beuty seeking eye. Testimony to that is the lone guest house which was constructed during the British time in Kondakarla village, which is situated some distance away from the lake. Other than that there are no lodges or hotels in the lake’s vicinity for tourists to stay. But should the local’s efforts bear fruit, resorts might soon come up in the vicinity.
As of now, during peak season, (Kartik masam, and October/November- February when migratory birds flock) there are a few houses in the village converted into cottages with cots and fans. Rustic, but can be fun. A word of caution for the ‘game’ enthusiasts, the Forest Department has posted a guard at Andalapalli village to prevent the shooting down of birds by hunters and tourists. Shooting bird here is an offence. The local fishermen use palm logs converted into canoes to ferry villagers across and take tourists on joy rides, quite an experience.
Not just serene and picturesque natural wonders but more abound here. Atop the hillock situated close to the lake, on the Vadrapalli side, is an ancient temple of Lord Venkateswara. Though the temple is in a state of neglect, a trek to the top is worth the effort as it offers a bird’s eye view of the lake and its picturesque surroundings. About 2 km. away from Vadrapalli village is the ancient temple of Sri Dakshina Kasi Visweswara Swamy. The Shiva Linga here is the is the biggest crystal lingam in the world. This temple draws good crowds during the month of Karteekam.
This picturesque locale draws can be approached from Vadrapalli village or from Kondakarla on the other side. The distance from Vadrapalli main road to the lake is less than a kilometre, a narrow pathway passing through the village. APSRTC operates a bus Gajuwaka to Vadrapalli village in the mornings and evenings daily. This lake lies on the Sankaram (Buddhist Place)- Etikoppaka (Craft Village)- Kondakarla Ava Circuit.