We enjoy shopping for fruits, vegetables and curios along NH7; close to Hyderabad, as often as possible. It is a drive away from the hustle and bustle of the city and a different shopping experience of fresh produce direct from the farmers in most cases and artisans at reasonable prices. But before I say any further on this shopping let me explain about this very important Highway in India.
National Highway-NH7 is India’s longest highway starting from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and ending at Cape Comorin; the southernmost tip of India in Kanyakumari, Tamilnadu. It passes through Hyderabad from a distance of less than 500 mtrs from our house in Secunderabad. This very important National Highway connecting North and South India is 2,369 kms long (1,472 miles), passing through seven States - Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and through major cities and towns that is Varanasi, Rewa, Jabalpur, Nagpur, Adilabad, Nirmal, Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Kurnool, Anantapur, Chikkaballapur, Bangalore, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Salem, Namakkal, Velur, Karur, Aravakurichi, Dindigul, Madurai, Virudhunagar, Kovilpatti, Tirunelveli and Cape Comorin/Kanyakumari. Another important International Highway, the Asian Highway AH43 which is 3,024 kms long (1,879 miles), connecting the city of Agra in UP to various cities in Sri Lanka via Palk Strait up to Matara, shares a large route of National Highway 7 that is from Nagpur and Hyderabad up to Bangalore.
For a hassle-free and enjoyable drive and shopping on this Highway we have to reach NH7 at Paradise Crossroads and travel Northwards via Bowenpally towards Medchal Town on this Hyderabad-Nagpur section of NH7. And as you cross the city limits, you will find a number of roadside shops in groups; on either side of the Highway selling seasonal fruits, vegetables and a variety of curios and nurseries. Like us you will find many people attracted to the merchandise on this Highway. At whatever speed they may be cruising and however hard pressed they are to reach their destination they stop by these shops and buy items at will for themselves and to share with friends and neighbors.
The attached photographs are from one such very recent shopping experience on this Highway. Being summer you can see that most items on sale are seasonal. You can see Lalitha purchasing Mangoes, Raw Mangoes, Watermelon, Snake Cucumber, Carrots and Palmyra Palm Fruits. Apart from these you will see many other fruits and vegetables on sale. You will find earthenware, porcelain, terracotta decorative items glazed and unglazed, plastic containers and colourful plastic flowers and many more items. Another interesting sale you will find is Coconut shops also selling Caps! This is to quench the thirst of travellers and help those on two-wheelers to protect themselves from scorching Sun! Or Vice versa!