As people in Visakhapatnam enter 2020 and the winter sets in, weekend getaways like Araku Valley are on everybody’s New Year Celebrations list. But one particular tourist spot has remained in the dark. Far from the noise of Visakhapatnam, lies a place where the water does the talking. Sitting on the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border, Duduma waterfalls is every bit the magnificence as its name. Originating from the Machkund river in Odisha, Duduma is a band of three waterfalls in three different directions, each beautiful in its own way.
Due to bad accessibility, Duduma doesn’t attract a lot of tourists, especially from Andhra Pradesh. When you do reach the site, you have to up-down a huge assortment of weakly-built steps to view the waterfalls. But the sight of the waterfalls is totally worth the effort. As you gradually go down the steps, you can hear the water falling over the rocks. Once at base level, the tourists have to negotiate slippery, hard rocks to embrace the feet of the three waterfalls. It can take about 2-3 hours to sufficiently cover the whole area and view everything. Visitors can play with pebbles in the river, take a bath in clean albeit, cold waters and capture photographs with each of the waterfalls at Duduma. One can also experience echo when shouting into the valley.
How to get there?
As one of the least accessible tourist spots near Visakhapatnam, it doesn’t find much attention. The nearest railway station is Padua railway station, nearly 54 km from the waterfalls. Public transportation to the place is not recommended as buses to the waterfalls are few and far between. By road, the waterfalls are about 5-6 hours away from Visakhapatnam and one has to then go down at least 1000 steps by foot to reach the base of the waterfalls. Travellers can either take their own cars or hire cars in the city. The route to the waterfalls is not in the best condition and basic amenities like bathrooms are difficult to find. There is no appropriate accommodation near Duduma waterfalls for the tourists. Hence, it is recommended to not spend longer than a day.
When to go?
Winter is the best time to visit Duduma waterfalls, specifically the months of December and January. Sunrise is the recommended time to arrive at the waterfalls as the sunrays falling on the waterfalls at an acute angle make for a beautiful sight. This requires those travelling by road to depart from Visakhapatnam at late hours. The road is dark, isolated and foggy but the high altitude allows for clear skies, a delight for stargazers.
Things to consider
As the road to Duduma is on the Eastern Ghats, travellers won’t get network on their mobile phones for most parts of the journey. It is recommended to download the route prior to the journey. Travellers are advised to stock up on food, water and prepare for the cold weather. The potholes on the road can degrade the tyres and it would be wise to carry the spare tyre. Those with severe lung ailments are not recommended to take the journey as it can be very taxing.
In a way, the road to Duduma waterfalls is the road less travelled and those who choose to visit these waterfalls pick the experience of a lifetime.