Surrounded by the majestic Eastern Ghats, Araku Valley is a quaint hill station in Vizag. Perched at an altitude of nearly 600 meters above sea level, the valley is home to a picturesque landscape, aromatic coffee, and indigenous tribal communities. To truly experience the essence of this beautiful location, here are 7 places you must visit in Araku.
7 must visit places to visit in Araku:
#1 Coffee Museum
Detailing the history of the aromatic beverage, the café-cum-museum remarkably stands out in the tribal settings of Araku Valley. Marketing an impressive 60 varieties of coffee, including select coffees like Luwak coffee, bird parchment, and monkey parchment, the café also offers a variety of coffee chocolates. Open throughout the year, this unique museum also provides educational entertainment, in the form of dioramas, showcasing the history of coffee.
#2 Sunkarimetta Church
Built in the Gothic style of architecture, the church was constructed between 1936 and 1939 by the British. The church was designed by Canadian architect, Ralph Edward Smith. Located exactly 12 kilometres away from Araku, the spot is often adorned by tourists for its architectural brilliance. Since the hilltop church renders a beautiful view of the scenic surroundings, with green pastures and winding roads of the Eastern Ghats, shootings of several Telugu films have also taken place at this premises.
#3 Borra Caves
A visit to the Araku Valley is never complete without a trip to the Borra Caves. It features a variety of natural cave formations – stalactites and stalagmites – in various sizes and shapes. Formed around 150 million years ago, the caves are believed to have originated due to the erosion of the subterranean surface. Mainly by mountain streams that flowed to join the Gosthani River. Enhancing the visual pleasure, the colourful lighting, set up by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC), breathes life into the interiors of the caves.
#4 Tribal Museum
Those who love to explore the local culture of the region must visit the Araku Tribal Museum. The facility reflects the tribal lifestyle with ease, meandering through the cultural norms and customs. The clay murals and figurines, installed at the museum, depict the everyday lives of the locals, their works of art, and textiles.
#5 Katiki Waterfalls
Originating from the Gosthani River, the overwhelmingly beautiful waterfalls here offer visitors an unforgettable experience. To reach the starting point of the falls, one has to endure a bumpy and off-road drive. From that point, the tourists have to trek for around half an hour to reach the waterfalls. Despite the strenuous journey, the euphony of the cool and pristine water, gushing down from a steep height of 50 metres, is worth the effort.
#6 Chaparai Cascade
Situated about 15 kilometres away from Araku, en route Paderu, this well-known picnic spot has a charming water cascade and lush green surroundings. Unlike in conventional waterfalls, the water here meanders over a series of rock steps thereby making it a unique experience. While the currents can be strong in the monsoon, the waterfalls are fun otherwise, though caution is advised.
#7 Padmapuram Gardens
This botanical garden houses a colourful assortment of trees, plants, and tropical flowers. A toy train takes the visitors around the garden. The well-crafted tree houses set up inside the area are the most distinct features of the Padmapuram Gardens. Also, you can purchase exotic species of plants from here.