Picture an Eastern Ghats Valley resplendent with greenery, mist, mountains, winding pathways and a horde of natural attractions that draw innumerable tourists round the year. There you have it! It is none other than Araku Valley, one of Andhra Pradesh’s biggest attractions by all means. I checked out places to visit in Araku Valley when planning for a trip as part of my vacation in Vizag or Vishakhapatnam whichever you call it. I was hooked right from the outset and eventually, while on vacation, we had our hotel hire us a car and drove straight to this natural paradise.
Araku Valley was a balm for my soul with all hectic schedules of the past simply melting away into the fresh mountain air which I tried taking in to the best of my ability (think big mouthfuls!). As I later learnt, Araku is roughly 112 km away from Vizag which makes it easily accessible by road.
Best Time To Visit Araku Valley
I visited this paradise in the month of October which is actually perfect for visiting. The peak tourist season here is between September and May which is also the best time to go since winter seasons ensure comfortable sight-seeing. For those who are into activities like caving and trekking, stick to winter. Trust me, it is more comfortable than you think!
Top 5 Places To Visit In Araku Valley
I was overjoyed on hearing that Araku Valley stands at 2990 ft. high with the majestic Eastern Ghats mountain range creating a spectacular ambience all around. Here are some of the places to visit in Araku that you must not miss.
1. Chaparai Waterfalls
This was loved by my entire family including my kids for the sheer ambience. The Chaparai or Dumbriguda Falls is one of the biggest attractions here and is surrounded by thick forest cover. It is situated approximately 5 km away from Araku Valley and makes for a great day outing. Of course, I loved the selfies I took here in large numbers!
2. Ananthagiri Hills
26 km away from the Valley is this quaint and tiny hill station which is positioned between Vizag and Araku. This is filled with charming coffee plantations and also waterfalls. The sight of the hill station is something that will fill any photographer’s heart with joy, like it did mine.
3. Araku Tribal Museum
I made sure that my family got a taste of Araku Valley’s traditions, cultural history and lifestyles through the visit to the Araku Tribal Museum which I had planned well in advance. Boy were they thanking me later! This museum is the best place to learn more about the people of the Valley and their rich history.
3. Borra Caves
Probably the primary attraction in Araku Valley, the Borra Caves go back all the way to 1807 and are the biggest in the country, positioned at 705 m high. The caves are created from karstic limestone as I learnt which lend them a surreal aura. Exploring these caves is a fun experience that I will never forget!
4. Padmapuram Botanical Garden
After all that excitement, we were ready to relax and recharge our batteries. Our guide suggested the Padmapuram Botanical Garden which turned out to be a magical place with the lovely trees, huts, plants and more. I was thrilled to learn that during the Second World War, this garden supplied vegetables to soldiers.
Landmark hopping done for the day, we feasted on some local Bongulo Chicken which is the prime delicacy here. This Araku Valley dish is famous for its novel method of cooking and also its unparalleled taste! I distinctly remember the taste even today! The Bamboo Chicken made here is top notch and so is the Teepi Avakaya and Madugula Halwa.
Araku Valley is not just a natural, cultural and gastronomic wonder as I found out. It is also the best place to really let your hair down and relax with your loved ones just like I did. The trip to the Valley is itself so beautiful and we had a thrilling ride back down in the evening as well. All in all, a complete experience for every traveller.
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