When one thinks of a vacation in the southern states on India, usually Kerala, Coorg or even Pondicherry come to mind. And all these are spectacular places, mind you. Home to stunning temples and history, rolling clouds of mist and beautiful beaches, South India has much to offer the eager traveller. But there is another hidden gem that not many people know of and we were wondering if you’ve ever been there.
Have you heard of Araku Valley? This mesmerising vacation destination in Andhra Pradesh is simply waiting to be explored further by discerning travellers for whom a typical vacation just does not cut it.
Let’s Discover Spectacular Araku
Nestled deep within the heart of Andhra Pradesh, Araku Valley is without a doubt a spectacular holiday in the making. Keeper of the ancient traditions, the rich culture and glorious heritage of south India, Araku is replete with several unexplored and untouched places. And yet not many are aware of the beauty this amazing place to go on a vacation, whether with friends, family or even on a solo trip.
What makes Araku so great? It is just the right mix of majestic mountains, verdant forests, low-hanging clouds and a pleasing climate all year round. If you are looking for a break from the daily grind that never seems to change or end, then may we recommend a quick getaway to the Araku Valley? We are sure that you will find peace and tranquillity in these surroundings, allowing you to head back to your life recharged and revived. Soothe your mind and make the inner you happy.
Six Experiences You Must Enjoy in Araku Valley
Araku Valley is primarily the perfect getaway for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The towering mountain ranges of the Eastern Ghats stand at a height of 2,990 ft, and envelop the Araku Valley in a snug embrace. Within this is contained a treasure trove of natural attractions that will leave you spellbound.
So, now that we’ve sold you on a vacation to Araku Valley, what can you expect to enjoy while on holiday? Here is a short list of six experiences that you must seek out.
If this is your first visit, do keep this guide handy to make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the fabulous experiences that your trip to Araku Valley holds the potential for.
1. Plan a day out at the Chaparai Waterfalls
No trip to Araku Valley can be complete without being mesmerised by the Chaparai Waterfalls. Also known as Dumbriguda Falls, the beauty of this water body has to be seen to be enjoyed. Surrounded by lush green forests on all sides, it is just the right spot for a picnic with the family. Barely five kilometres from the valley, you can plan the day’s activities around the waterfall without worrying about spending too much time on travel.
Further away, about 26 km from Araku Valley, is Ananthagiri, a quaint hill station that is a throwback to a time when life was slower and simpler. The hill town is nestled between Araku and Vizag, and is possibly considered to be among the most beautiful hill stations of Andhra Pradesh. Spend hours walking through coffee plantations located alongside waterfalls, a sight that you are unlikely to come across anywhere else.
Araku Valley is home to many exotic species of flowering plants and trees that are indigenous to this region. Visitors to the valley can feast their eyes on the whole range at the Padmapuram Botanical Garden. What makes a trip here even more interesting is the garden’s history. Back in World War II, the area of the garden was actually used to grow vegetables for soldiers. However, later, the garden was converted into a fully-fledged botanical garden. Besides seeing plants and trees that are not found elsewhere easily, the garden also has beautiful tree huts for you to rest while at the garden.
4. Araku Tribal Museum
If you are a seeker of knowledge about new cultures and traditions, then make a beeline to the Araku Tribal Museum. The area in and around the Araku Valley has a rich heritage and the museum takes the visitor through the region’s rich historical past. Several sections have been demarcated to focus on the lifestyle, culture and habits of the local people of the Araku Valley. What makes the installations interesting is that this is exactly how the local tribes in the Araku Valley continue to live. The museum showcases the lifestyle in motion, starting with the kitchen and taking the visitor through all facets of the local life. The museum is open all days from 10 in the morning to 6 in the evening.
5. Borra Caves
Looking for a little physical adventure? Then might we interest you in Borra Caves? These caves are believed to be possibly one of the best experiences while in Araku Valley. The uniqueness of the caves is that they are the largest caves in the country found at a height of around 705 meters. The caves are located in the Anathagiri hills and are made of karstic limestone and have a fair share of stalactites and stalagmites, which can be best enjoyed in natural skylight. The caves are relatively recent, dating back to 1807.
6. Do try the Bongulo Chicken
What must you eat when in Araku Valley? Ask around for the Bongulo Chicken. A local delicacy, you will find it prepared at almost every restaurant. Besides the chicken you must also try the Madugula Halwa and Teepi Avakaya.
Where Should You Stay in Araku Valley
Before you begin packing for Araku, you must figure out where to stay. There are several resorts, hotels, lodges and inns in and around Araku Valley. You can pick one as per your budget and preference.
Balaji Hotel: This is a budget-friendly and conveniently-located option near the Garden Road.
Haritha Valley Resort: If you are looking for a bit of luxurious pampering, then the Haritha Valley Resort offers you the right mix of comfort and greenery. The resort is located close to main attractions making it easy to commute to and fro.
Ananthagiri Haritha Hill Resort: This hotel, with its majestic mountains and green meadows, provides the perfect backdrop for a laid-back vacation.
Punnami Yatri Niwas: A budget accommodation option, this will offer you all the basic amenities required for a comfortable stay while in Araku Valley.
Best Time to Visit Araku Valley
There can be said two best seasons to visit Araku Valley. Most tourists prefer the winter which is from December to February. The land looks beautiful in the near-freezing temperatures. The weather is great for sightseeing; just add on the layers to keep the cold away and you are good to go.
However, if you are keen on indulging yourself with some outdoor adventure activities such as trekking and caving, along with sightseeing, then the best time to visit is from September to May. The weather is pleasant all through the year and the sun is a warm companion on your excursions in the valley.