Hyderabad is a fascinating city, and we don’t think anyone would disagree with that. It’s a splendorous place brimming with history, culture, characters and food. But what does one do when one has already partaken of pleasures like biryanis and Osmania biscuits, and seen the Charminar and the Salar Jung Museum?
So, we asked young and hip – and car-loving – Hyderabadis where they go when they wanted to escape their splendid but chaotic city for a short while. Several of them pointed towards Ananthagiri Hills, above Vikarabad, and shared that, at a 90km distance from Hyderabad, it made for a perfect day trip. This is just what we were looking for, and the arrival of the new Toyota Yaris only encouraged us to wake up early and set out for the hills. The trip was a good decision, as the Ananthagiri Hills rise gently to about 700m, the road is single-lane but smooth, and the new Yaris was the perfect steed to take us there.
Diamond-cut alloys accentuate the car’s good looks.
For those not in the know, Toyota Kirloskar Motor launched the 2019 Yaris last month; and from the looks of it, they really know how to make a solid product even better. There are a bunch of things that you’d be interested in knowing about the updated Yaris, in case you are in the market for a midsize sedan. Among them is the dual-tone option and other classy new touches that include premium leatherette seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and new diamond-cut alloy wheels. The Yaris waiting for us was an inviting proposition – and so, off we went.
Driving the Toyota Yaris on a gently winding road to Ananthagiri Hills made for a therapeutic experience.
Ananthagiri Hills is the kind of place that makes you want to head out of the city more often. Along the way, we saw gurgling streams straight out of a poem, ate freshly made idlis and vadas at a roadside stall, and revelled in the transformation the rains had effected on the landscape. The Yaris’ 107hp, 1.5-litre petrol engine has been widely acknowledged as a refined, versatile unit; and on the drive up to Ananthagiri, we realised why. Mated to a 7-speed CVT-i transmission, it delivered linear power across the rev range and made driving a pleasant experience.
The Yaris’ rear seat is quite the plush experience.
Talking about pleasantness, the updated cabin is also a great place to be in. Like with all Toyotas, past and present alike, the Yaris’ interiors exude quality, and one can see young achievers and couples appreciating the (among other things) roof-mounted air vents with ambient illumination, and the totally plush interiors. Our friends who occupied the car’s rear seat only had good things to say about the experience. They were especially impressed by the fact that ingress and egress was convenient and the roof-mounted air con’s precise airflow.
The Yaris takes a break near the Anantha Padmanabhaswamy temple.
We were welcomed into Ananthagiri by Anantha Padmanabhaswamy temple, with a spectacular statue of Hanuman acting as a sort of doorkeeper. If you are not into temples, we’d suggest you take the path that leads out of the temple straight into a heavily wooded area. Out here, we found root bridges, trails, a variety of birds – and peace.
More fun was to be had at the Kotepally Reservoir, about 20km further up the hills. The road to Kotepally was as scenic as the one that got us to the temple. What added to the appeal of our destination was not just the placid body of water, but the fact that it offered an opportunity to kayak on it. If you’ve never kayaked before, don’t worry, there’s always a first time; and at the end of it, you’ll agree that it’s a pleasant experience – very similar to what we had on our drive in the Toyota Yaris up to the Ananthagiri Hills.
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