A weekend getaway from Visakhapatnam to Araku Valley: Araku Valley is a small hill station in Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. It is situated at an altitude of nearly 600 meters above sea level at a distance of around 115 km from Vishakapatnam town. People usually travel by train to reach Araku.
The drive from Vishakapatnam to Araku is beautiful with mind-blowing scenic views. Just hire a car on rent in Visakhapatnam and set off on a relaxing and laid-back holiday to the gorgeous Araku Valley. Listed below are some of the best spots to visit in the town.
Araku Valley is famous for its coffee plantations and the amazing varieties of world-class coffee produced here. The Araku Valley Coffee House located behind the main bus station is a major tourist spot in the small town. The museum here educates you on the history of coffee plantations in India, Africa and Europe through an interesting light and sound show. You can end your tour by enjoying a hot cup of fine coffee.
Head to Padmapuram Gardens next for a relaxing picnic. The garden is beautiful with a colourful assortment of trees, plants and exotic flowers. Do not forget to check out the tree top huts or tree houses installed in the garden. Also, there is a toy train in the park that takes you around the garden.
The Tribal Museum which is located close to the Coffee Museum is a must-visit place to know more about the people and culture of Araku. The museum exhibits rare artifacts, utensils, paintings etc which belonged to the native tribals of the region. At the museum, you will get an insight into the lifestyle and culture of the tribals who inhabited the region and surrounding Ghats area. Models depicting the traditional Dhimsa dance is an interesting exhibit to look at.
Once you are done exploring the hill station, you can explore some of the places outside the valley.
Borra Caves is one such popular spot for sightseeing at a distance of about 35 km from Araku. These are a cluster of naturally formed caves which is estimated to be about 150 million years old. The huge caves are well illuminated, and guides are present to give you more information on the natural wonder. You will have to trek around 350 meters to reach the interiors of the caves. There is a small temple within the caves dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple attracts a heavy crowd during the time of Shivaratri.
You can conveniently combine your trip to Borra Caves with a visit to the nearby Katiki waterfall. One has to endure a bumpy, offroad drive to reach the starting point to the falls. From that point, you have to trek for around half an hour to reach the waterfalls.
Besides the fine coffee of Araku Valley, do not miss to try the delicious bamboo chicken, which is a tribal delicacy of the region.
After spending a weekend in this charming little town, you are sure to return home with a relaxed soul and mind full of sweet memories of the beautiful valley. If you are keen to travel by road, you can easily travel from Visakhapatnam to Araku by Car.