Araku is one of the prominent reasons why a lot of tourists come to Vizag. This popular hill station is nearly 100 km from Vizag and is easily accessible. The people of Vizag love this place as an ideal weekend getaway since they can reach there within 4 hours. But not many realise that the journey from Vizag to Araku is itself mesmerising. Your surroundings transition smoothly from the plains to the valley. The city noise disappears and the quietude of the valley takes over. And there are two very different, yet equally amazing, ways to cover the distance from Vizag to Araku. Either by rail or by road, the journey to Araku Valley is just as wonderful as the many tourist attractions you will visit there.
When planning your trip to Araku, do consider how to travel and the route you’re going to take. Here are the two ways you can cover the 114 km distance from Vizag to Araku and have a wonderful time in the valley.
#1 By rail
With any popular hill station, there’s also a relaxing, scenery-filled rail journey attached to it. Take Ooty or Darjeeling, for example. And Araku is not far behind in this aspect. This hill station has its own rail service and it comes with a lot of charm.
Train no. 18514 Kirandul Express is more of your traditional rail experience, leaving Visakhapatnam daily at 9:35 PM to reach Araku railway station at 12:50 AM. This train travels further till Kirandul in Chhattisgarh, with stoppages at Koraput, Jeypore, Jagdalpur and Dantewada. This train takes about 3 hours 15 minutes to reach Araku.
Train no. 58501 is the Visakhapatnam-Kirandul passenger train. This train is your choice if you want to leave for Araku in the morning, with it departing from Visakhapatnam at 6:50 AM everyday. But this train takes 4 hours 10 minutes to reach Araku, reaching the valley railway station at 11 AM.
Your best option though is train no. 00501 Visakhapatnam-Araku AC Passenger, which is India’s first Vistadome train. The train is ideal for tourists who wish to explore the scenic valley on the way to Araku. It leaves Visakhapatnam at 6:50 AM and arrives at Araku at 10:45 AM, taking about 3 hours 55 minutes. The vistadome coaches are fixed with reclining chairs that can be rotated 360 degrees.
#2 By road
While the rail journey is ideal for foreigners and families travelling to Araku, the road trip appeals to the youngsters. Particularly, those people who love bikes can enjoy a thrilling ride to the valley. The distance from Vizag to Araku by road is about 114 km. Travellers have options as far as the route is concerned. But the most popular one is the route passing through S Kota (Though in peak season, one may come across traffic jams on this route). A more comfortable, and less-congested, route is through Paderu which makes your journey longer. But it also gives you the chance to visit more places, like Vanjangi and Madugula (the village that houses a famous halwa).
If you are interested in saving money and travelling cheaply to Araku, public transport is not a bad option. APSRTC frequently operates buses from the City of Destiny to Araku Valley, with the fare being around Rs. 150. Their first bus leaves as early as 5 AM from Visakhapatnam. It takes about 3 hours 25 minutes to travel from Visakhapatnam to Araku by bus.
So, these are the ways in which you can make your journey to Araku. Be it a long-planned trip or a simple weekend getaway, make your trip memorable and have a lot of fun with your friends or family. Here are the 10 offbeat experiences you can have on your trip to Araku Valley.
Disclaimer: The Visakhapatnam to Araku train timings are subject to change as per the Indian Railways schedule. Also, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, travellers are requested to wear a mask, maintain social distancing and regularly sanitise themselves.