Dark clouds roaring up the sky, colourful umbrellas everywhere, gentle breeze, and the smell of earth. As the monsoons make the weather cooler, long drives to far off places with your friends or family, sound much more promising. Sip a masala chai en route, grab a plateful full of Pakodi while watching the raindrops and make the most of this season. Here we get you the list of 12 tourist places to visit in Andhra Pradesh.
12 tourist places to visit in Andhra Pradesh in the monsoon season:
#1 Hope Island
If you thought that a holiday on an island meant planning a trip to the Andamans, then here’s good news. A small tadpole shaped island situated off the coast of Kakinada is much closer home. A relatively young island known to be formed in the 18th century, this picturesque destination offers an enchanting view of sandy shores and is home to a great variety of plants. You can just sit there and relax, build sandcastles, play Frisbee, and go hiking as well. However, this one’s mostly about the ride to the island, more than the destination itself.
Tip: With few touristy facilities available, one may want to go prepared with food, water and tents, if they plan to camp here. However, it isn’t recommended for night stays.
Highlights: Keep a lookout for Olive Ridley turtles, as the sandy shores and the adjacent Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, provide a home for these beautiful creatures.
How to get there: It is suggested to take a bus or train to the Kakinada shores. APTDC operates boats to the island.
#2 Ethipothala Falls
Situated in the Guntur district, this alluring waterfall is located on Chandravanka river, a tributary of the river Krishna. Surrounded by lush green forest, this is a much-admired destination throughout the monsoons and winters. Waterfalls down the cliff from a height of 21m, and you can get to see crocodiles at the crocodile breeding center. However, this may not be a good destination for summer travelers, as the intensity of the water often reduces at the time. Also, be prepared that a dip in these waters isn’t allowed, as it is a popular crocodile breeding center.
Tip: If you’re visiting here, then you can also plan a trip to the nearby temples of Sri Dattatreya and Madhumati Devi.
Highlights: Rooms with a view are available, and you can plan your stay overlooking the waterfall.
How to get there: A 12-hour drive from Guntur, and a 20-minute drive from the Nagarjuna Sagar dam. You can also take a train till Guntur, and a bus/taxi to the waterfall.
#3 Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary
Next on our list of tourist places to visit in Andhra Pradesh is Coringa. This destination is located close to Kakinada and is a treat for nature lovers. One of India’s largest and well-protected mangrove forests, its abundance of flora and fauna makes it a perfect place for a forest safari. Interestingly, if you wish to carry a plastic bottle of water, you may be asked to deposit some money, and collect it while leaving, once you’ve shown the bottle.
There are seats provided to relax and immerse in the greenery, freshness, peace, and echoes of birds chirping. You can opt for a boat ride that takes you along the river as it unites into the sea. To be planned as a day trip, it is recommended to have a vehicle, either owner or hired, as the sanctuary is located in a remote area and transportation is difficult.
Tip: The park staff is extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife and bird species present, so do not hesitate to ask them about these.
Highlights: The second-largest mangroves after the Sunderbans, you can also opt for a ride from here to the Hope Island.
How to get there: Drive down to Kakinada, and this place is approximately 20 km from there.
#4 Horsley Hills
A series of hills at Chittoor district make this verdant valley and woody forest a sight to behold. With its name inspired by WD Horsley, a British Collector, who built his house here during 1870, the area is quite a pleasant contrast to the hot and dry surroundings. Known for its amazing views during sunrise and sunset, this hill station albeit small has the Koundinya wildlife sanctuary and elephant reserve in its vicinity. You may also spot the Sambar deer, on a lucky day. This hill station is a favorite destination among nature lovers, and the scenic drive along the Ghat road makes it well worth your time.
Tip: While there are a handful of accommodation options available, they offer basic services, and do not offer anything luxe.
Highlights: Do visit the Gali Bandalu, a point where gusty winds blow through the year.
How to get there: You can fly or take a train to Tirupati and take a taxi from there to the hills.
Tropical rainforests, three beautiful hills and the blue Godavari River snaking through it, makes Papikondalu one of the breathtaking tourist places in Andhra. Accessible by A/C boats, the ride usually lasts for the entire day, starting from Rajahmundry up to the hills. The journey promises verdant greenery on both sides, and it’s fascinating to sit and enjoy views of the different shades of green. The destination has picturesque cottages and bamboo huts, and you can camp and trek here. Alternatively, a day trip can also be planned here, and you can return in the evening. Don’t forget to try the scrumptious breakfast served in the boat.
Tip: Do try the local food, which is available on the boat, and is often prepared in one of the villages en route.
Highlights: You can also plan a trip to Bhadrachalam from here, as it is in the vicinity.
How to get there: Take a train or drive down to Rajamundry and take a boat to Papikondalu from there.
#6 Belum Caves
Located around Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh, and easy to pair with a trip to Gandikota, this is the second-largest cave in the Indian sub-continent. With spacious and long passages formed over tens of thousands of years, it is popular for its stalactite and stalagmite formations, making it one of the frequently visited tourist places Andhra. With extended chambers, outstretched shafts, freshwater galleries, and siphons, this place is well maintained, drawing in many tourists. With a musical chamber, meditation hall and many other attractions, this one makes for a great underground adventure and discovery experience.
Tip: Carry a bottle of water with you, as the 3km walk inside the cave can be tiring. Also, be prepared to adjust to the lower availability of air here.
Highlight: The riverine cave system, has good lighting and ventilation. You can find out about the research that was undertaken to uncover its history.
How to get there: Drive to Belum Village in Kolimigundla Mandal of Kurnool district and the caves are 3 km away from this village.
A small village known as the ‘Indian Grand Canyon’ is situated on the right bank of the river Pennar in the Kadapa district of AP. With beautiful landscapes, greenery, wild forests, natural resources and deep valleys, this place is suitable for jeep safaris and trekking. With a stunningly scenic view, there’s much to do here, and one can visit the Gandikota fort, the Madhavaraya swami temple and the Raghunatha Swami Temple too. There are no shops in Gandikota village for buying snacks. Resorts are the only places to get food, so you may want to pack in some goodies for your trip. One can choose to stay overnight in the resort or opt for staying in the tents as well.
Tip: If you’re visiting here, do throw in a trip to the Belum Caves which are closeby.
Highlight: This mini grand canyon is also home to some fascinating heritage, that you must take the time to find out about.
How to get there: Drive down to Jammalamadugu village of Kadapa district and this place is a 15kms drive from there.
#8 Araku valley
Next on our list of tourist places to visit in Andhra Pradesh is a lovely hill station. Araku is a beautiful valley in the Eastern Ghats situated around 115 km away from Vizag. This exotic natural beauty will add joy to your vacation for sure. There are many cosy cottages around to accommodate. It is surrounded by beautiful caves, waterfalls, and streams flowing by the side of the roads. Do not miss out on the Borra Caves, coffee plantation, Tyda, Ananthagiri and the Tribal Museum. You can plan either a day-long trip here or even stay overnight, as the options for staying are plenty. Do try to take the train ride from Visakhapatnam, to witness the green hills around you and travel through the many tunnels en route.
Tip: Try out the bamboo chicken which is a specialty here, and don’t forget to shop for spices, honey, and coffee.
Highlights: There are many scenic spots in the neighbourhood, and the highest point at Anantagiri offers a breathtaking view.
How to get there: Travel by train from Vizag, so you do not miss out on the rail passing through tunnels, hillsides, and streams.
At the intersection where the river Godavari meets the Bay of Bengal, is a little village that is both scenic and serene. Known for coconut plantations and comfortable resorts, book your stay here to experience beaches, fresh water lakes, greenery and serenity. An often unexplored destination, the cleanliness and pristine beauty of this place can amaze you. The presence of good resorts and stays, makes the deal even sweeter. With many places of worship, do visit the temples in the region. You can also rope in a trip to weaving villages that lie in the vicinity of Dindi.
Tip: A short drive can also take you to Narsapur, a town known for its lace-work. Do visit, and watch the artisans at work.
Highlight: Go on a boat ride in the Godavari river, or visit Antarvedi to see the point of confluence between the river and the sea.
How to get there: Best experienced by a road trip, you can also travel to Rajahmundry by train and take a taxi to the destination.
Next on our list of tourist places to visit in Andhra Pradesh is Lepakshi. Located close to Bangalore, this destination in Andhra Pradesh offers an amazing visit for the history buffs. Lepakshi village is home to architectural wonders that look even more striking after the rains. With temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Veerabhadra, it is known to have been built by kings of the Vijayanagara Dynasty. Windy and blessed with pleasant weather, the temples in the region, may look small from the outside, but can take up to three hours for exploring. Built in the sixteenth century, the temples are beautiful, while a large Nandi made of granite is the main attraction.
Highlights: Do check out the Hanging pillar and view the detailed carvings in the Veerabhadra Temple and courtyard.
Tip: Try to avoid visiting here during the hot months, as it can prove difficult to enjoy the views in the scorching heat.
How to get there: An eighteen-hour drive from Vizag can take you to Lepakshi. Trains and buses to Hindupur are available too.
#11 Pulicat lake
India’s second-largest brackish water lagoon, right after the Chilika lake in Odisha, this important wetland extends between the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu. With a major part located in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, it is home to many aquatic birds and an important stopover for many migratory birds. Lucky visitors can feast their eyes on flamingoes, kingfisher, heron, terns, hornbills, and other birds. While the best time to visit is from October to March, off-seasons allow you to explore the scenery as well. With relatively fewer tourists, there are many boatmen who can take you for a trip. Some of these people are well versed with the species that can be sighted in the region too.
How to get there: 86kms from Tirupati by road
Highlights: Various resorts, lodges and hotels are present in the vicinity and you can prebook your stay in one of these.
Tip: Besides boating; trekking and bird watching are other activities one can indulge in here.
The final entrant on our list of tourist places to visit in Andhra Pradesh is Marredumilli. With vibrant greens, rivulets, coffee plantations, and even a waterfall, Marredumilli is a scenic destination. Located in East Godavari district, the drive to this hill station becomes lovelier on cloudy days, where you can feel like you’re going through clouds. Lush views, inexpensive stays, good tribal food and a place that hasn’t been tarnished by many tourists yet, it keeps its pristine nature intact. Freshwater rivulets snaking along the road, make the drive even nicer. With plenty of freshwater streams, and fewer tourists, you may want to pre-book your stay here. Also, as Marredumilli is located in the Ghat region, be prepared for a lack of signal on your phone.
Highlight: One can also plan a trip to Bhadrachalam, as it is closer to the region.
Tip: Do try out the bamboo chicken and other local delicacies in the region.
How to get there: A 90 km drive from Rajahmundry, there are few buses to this place, which is best visited by road.