Travel time: November 2015
Travel from: Hyderabad to Vizag
Mode of transport: Flight+cab
Total expenditure for couple:20,000 inclusive all(for couple)
Flight time: 55 minutes
Araku to vizag in cab: 2 hours 40 minutes
Araku is a dream valley , enriched with beautiful locations and exotic climate. Located in Vizag, Araku is said to have huge bauxite and the government is planning to mine the bauxite for a long time now. Araku is setting livelihood for thousands of tribal’s in the area. Go visit the place before the bauxite mining ceases the real beauty of the valley.
Grabbing only 2 days weekend holiday, we as a couple managed to go to this striking beauty of Andhra Pradesh. This experience stills gives me nostalgia and I remember every moment like it happened yesterday. I managed to lock this beautiful place in my eyes to remember always.
This piece is to let the viewers know how to manage the best of your time if you are planning a short visit to this place.
We had exactly one and half day in hand for our flight timings were unusual from Hyderabad to vizag.
We booked spicejet flights 2 months prior and hence we could get tickets for 10,000 inr to and fro for both. This we felt was a good deal as my husband could not make it for long bus rides due to his busy schedule.
This was my first experience in flight and I had all Goosebumps over when I boarded the flight for the first time. My husband has been travelling and he was cool and was enjoying my excitement and guiding me through
Day 1: We landed vizag at 9:10 am in the morning: The AP tourism package was not possible as we need to be there at 6 am in vizag to avail the same: I was looking for the exotic train tunnel journey from vizag to araku which should not be missed . But theres only one train which starts at 6 am in the morning from vizag railway station: Having no other option, we had breakfast and booked a cab for two days ( one an half day to be precise)and started our way to Araku.
The valley is so beautiful that I got indulged in the scenic environment, cool breezes of araku . Either sides of the valley are filled with huge trees, windy environment, slopy roads , Wooah : I felt the life in me has come back again. Here are some of the pics on the way to araku
Location 1: Borra caves
Time: 12:30 pm
We have feasted our eyes for close to 2 hours, stopped at borra caves , one of the must see locations in araku
These are ancient caves and known for the depth of the caves and the ancient history.The humic acid in the water reacts with calcium carbonate in the limestone and dissolves the minerals breaking the rock gradually. The perennial water flow over a period of time results in the formation of caves. Stalagmites are formed due water percolating from the roof containing calcium bi carbonate and other minerals from mounds. Same way stalactites are also formed and because of their different shapes tourist and locals have given different names to them. One can see different formations of the stalactites and stalagmites as Shiv-Paravathi, Mother-Child, Rushi's Beard, Human Brain, Crocodile, Tiger and Cows udder.
Adult Rupees 40/-
Child Rupees 30/-
Cameras allowed at fee of Rupees 25/- and
Video and Digital cameras at a fee of Rupees 100/-
Timings: 10 AM to 5.00 PM ( 1.00 to 2.00 lunch break)
Here are some pics
Must Try: Food outside borra caves
You would be exhausted upon this borra excavation , you would like to have some food once you come out:
Chicken prepared in bamboo is one of the things you want to try if you are non vegetarian.
We were exhausted and had some quick meal , and headed for Katiki waterfalls near borra caves
Location 2: Katiki waterfall near Borra caves
Before one KM from Borra caves at Gatevalsa you will be stopped by Jeep drivers offering you a trip to Katiki water fall. This water fall is nearly 7 KM from this point. You need to change your vehicle as rugged Jeep is required to cover the narrow muddy road passing through Jungle and by the side of Gosthani river. Jeep will take you upto the railway track nearly 6 KM from Gatevalsa point and from here you have to trek half KM and climb up after crossing the railway track. Your Jeep driver will tell you to return within one and half hour from the dropping point. The last 15 minutes of the trek upto the base of the waterfall is stiff climbing. Steps are there upto the water fall for safe climbing. You can take bath at the base of the waterfall. On your trekking rout to water fall there will be temporary shops setup by the local tribes selling biscuits and most important is Bamboo chicken. Marinated chicken is backed by keeping them inside Bamboo trunks and offered to tourist. It is Chicken Kabab but prepared by using bamboo sticks and cooking is done by keeping them inside Bamboo tree trunks. Locally collected Honey is also available in bottles in these shops.
Both way share Jeep trip cost is Rs 100 / - per head. The price may go up to Rs 120/- in busy seasons. Usually Jeep will take nearly 10 persons on share basis. If you are group of five or more, then one full Jeep you can use and bargain for Rs 550 or Rs 600 for the full trip. Never try to venture with your luxury car in this Jungle road as there are ditches and big boulders on the road. This trip to Ketiki water fall from the Jeep Point at Gatevalsa and return will take minimum 2 hours. This water fall is not a big one in height and this is not big stream of water. The water fall may go dry in summer months. So if you have enough time and ready to take last half KM trek ( with 15 minutes climbing ) then visit this waterfall. While coming from Visakhapatnam by train , before Borra cave railway station this water fall will be at your left side and is visible before entering a tunnel. If you have enough time and energy then visit this waterfall, otherwise go straight to Borra caves.
We were exhausted after this and planned to retun to araku as the road was steep and the winder chilling up: On our way back to the resort, we saw the shooting point, coffee plantations and the chilly and windy roads drifting me to a deep sleep.
We halted in the resort at night , I wake up to find myself amidst chirping of birds , many of the birds actaully and ound solace in the eternal and peaceful place. The view of the mountains from the resort was beyomd exotic, we started early in the morning to the remaining destinations of araku
Location 3: Padmapuram Botanical Gardens
One of the main attraction is tree top cottages located in the middle of green surroundings of Araku valley. These tree huts are ten feet above the ground level and one can experience rare swing along with trees. Huts are attached with washrooms and water supply. Tribal welfare department has one Horticulture nursery cum training center at Padmapuram . It is open from 8 AM to 12.30 PM and again on 2.00 PM to 5.00 PM. There is a toy train in the Padmapuram garden for the tourists
"The Padmapuram Gardens have a historical past - they were created in the early 40s to supply vegetables to soldiers who fought for the Second World War! Now a botanical garden, it is home to a horticultural nursery of rare species of flowers and trees. The star attractions here are the rose garden, the exotic varieties of plants (you can also buy these) and the toy train express, which is an obvious favorite with kids."
Location 4: Coffee House
At the Araku town behind APRTC bus stand there is a coffee House. Here you will get all variety of Coffee. This is more of a museum of coffee plantation and production of India and world. There is a light and sound show on coffee plantation for 15 minutes with an entry fee of Rs 25. Inside you will get history of coffee plantation in Africa, Europe and India. You can buy chocolates, cakes and different of coffee related products under one roof.
Location 5: Araku Tribal Museum
There is a tribal museum on tribal heritage, living system and culture. Near the museum boating facility is also available. Ticket cost is Rs 10/- & Rs 5/- for child Opening time 8.00 AM to 1.30 PM 2.30 PM to 6.30 PM
We has to catch the flight to Hyderabad at around 6 pm: we had to start to vizag during 3:30 to reach the airport for check in and other formalities:
We started our way back to vizag where we stopped at shooting location once again just to take few snaps and filled all the beauty in our eyes
We reached airport around 5:30 , had final sip of coffee in vizag airport and bid Adieu to vizag, my most dearest destinations so far.
I do not want this to be just a memory which fades out as the time passes: Hence Im passing it out on the internet to preserve this memory: The best part is travelling with my husband… Needless to say , it made the trip more striking!!
See ya folks with the next journey!!