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Araku Valley Tourism And Travel Guide
20° C / 68° F
November to March
2 to 3 Days
Visakhapatnam International Airport (120 kms)
Visakhapatnam Railway Station (131 kms)
Araku Valley, or simply Araku, is a scenic hill station located at about 115 km from the primary city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Because of the beautiful weather and majestic landscapes, it is often referred to as the Ooty of Andhra Pradesh. Along with Vizag and other tourist places in Andhra Pradesh, Araku is second to none and can be a perfect spot for spending splendid winter holidays with your special ones. Along the lines of the Eastern Ghats, Araku is located at an altitude of 900 - 1400 m above sea level. Wondering what makes Araku the perfect destination for tourism? Well, lush greenery, pleasant climate, stunning waterfalls, streams, high hills, trekking are just a few things that make Araku Valley special. So sit back as we provide you a travel guide of this incredible place.
How To Reach
The first thing that one should know before planning a trip to Araku is how to get here. All three options (railways, roadways, and airways) are available but not directly. To reach Araku the only convenient way is to reach through Vizag that is 115 km away. Trains will be the best way to get here while airways will help you reach quickly but you will have to shell out more.
As said above, there’s not direct connectivity from Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and other prominent cities in India to Araku. However, the neighboring city, Vizag, is a prime Indian city that’s extremely well-connected with all major cities in India. From Vizag, 3 direct trains run between Araku and Vizag and take about 3 hours to complete the train journey. They run daily and provide a stunning view as they pass through several tunnels and valleys. Don’t forget to click memorable pics of your train journey to Araku from Vizag.
Even by road, you’ll have to reach Araku through Vizag. APTDC and some private bus operators run buses but the frequency cannot be relied upon. The majority of tourists prefer hiring a cab from Vizag and riding for 3 hours to reach Araku. We suggest the same as you get a perfect opportunity to click some amazing pictures of your journey. The roads are well-maintained but have sharp turns. Therefore, exercise caution if you’re self-driving.
There isn’t any airport in Araku, so the nearest airport is at Visakhapatnam. It operates both international and domestic flights. So you can get down at Visakhapatnam airport from anywhere in India or from abroad. Araku is some 120 km away from Vizag airport. So you can prebook a cab or after getting down at the airport. A 3-hour ride to Araku from Vizag can be stunning because of the view and pleasant climate. So check online and get your tickets booked to Vizag from your city.
Being a hill station, public transport is not that developed. So don’t rely on them. To visit the tourist spots in Araku, the best option is to hire a cab. There are several local auto-rickshaws available at the Araku railway station but they usually demand more. That doesn’t mean you have to accept what they offer, negotiate and strike a deal that works best for you. Hire a cab for the day and avoid the hustle of transportation, roam freely, and just admire what Araku is famous for.
Weather And Best Time To Visit
The weather of Araku is adorable and that’s what it is famous for. Araku has a moderate climate and experiences all three seasons: summer, monsoon, and winter. These seasons remain active for a period of four months respectively and offer different experiences to locals and tourists alike. Although you can visit Araku at any time of the year, the winter season is the best time to visit the place because the weather at this time is at its most pleasant and you can explore & enjoy Araku to its fullest.
Summer (March - June):
The summer season starts from the month of March and extends till June. It gets quite hot here and humidity adds to difficulties. However, you can still visit this place in summer because the weather is not unbearable. Just avoid visiting places during mid-day as it can get scorching and exhaustive. The maximum temperature can go as high as 40 °C. On average, the maximum temperature remains at 35° C with a minimum of 25° C.
Monsoon (July - October):
Araku receives rainfall through the south-east monsoon that generally starts from the month of June or early July and remains active until September. August receives severe rainfall and it’s suggested to avoid traveling to Araku in late July and August. If you do, carry raincoats and umbrellas to avoid inconvenience. The temperature becomes quite pleasant in the monsoon and goes down, reducing heat and the difficult time. The max temperature during monsoon remains at 28° C on an average, whereas the minimum temperature stays around 22° C.
Winter (November - February):
The end of monsoon in September marks the beginning of the most pleasant time of the year — the winter season. It generally starts from October and extends until February and early March. This is when you’ll love being in Araku with your family, friends, and loved ones. If you are lucky, you might also see movie shooting as Araku in winter is the preferred spot for shooting movies, especially, Telugu. So just enjoy the beautiful weather, waterfalls, greenery, hills, and streams. The maximum temperature during winter is 26° C with a minimum of 14° C.
Things To Do
Now that you know how to reach and the best time to visit Araku, let’s move ahead and discuss the exciting things that you can do here. Araku has some really interesting places for tourists including caves, waterfalls, museums, gardens, coffee plantations, and so on.
Heritage Site Visit — Borra Caves:
At just about 36 km from Araku, Borra Caves are fascinating ancient caves that are considered to be as old as 1 million years. They are also the deepest caves in India and are at an altitude of 1400 m. The caves are filled with stalagmite and stalactite formations of calcium deposits. The caves were formed due to the flow of the Gosthani River over the limestone area. You can see different formations of the stalactites and stalagmites such as Rushi's Beard, Human Brain, Shiv-Parvathi, and so on. there ‘s a small temple outside the cave that has religious significance. So a heritage visit to Borra Caves should be your top-most thing to do in Araku.
Experience the Sensation — Chaparai Water Cascade:
Chaparai Waterfalls is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Araku at a distance of 13 km. Also known as Dumbriguda Waterfalls, this majestic water stream is surrounded by dense forest and offers a scenic view of the surrounding. This area around the waterfall has become a popular picnicking site due to the lovely stream that flows through wide rock formations. The interruption from the smooth slanting rocks causes a huge natural water slide. And therefore, this waterfall looks attractive and drives numerous visitors towards it. It’s also one of the most preferred locations for Telugu filmmakers and this waterfall has featured in many movies. So experiencing the sensation of the Chaparai waterfall should be one of your top things to do in Araku.
Get Adventurous — Tyda Nature Camp:
Tyda Nature Camp is the perfect spot for an adventurous outing in Araku. It’s also one of the most famous things to do for tourists during their stay in Araku. This place isn’t that far from Araku and the trains that run between Araku and Vizag have a stoppage at Tyda Railway Station. Also known as Jungle Bells, this beautiful nature park is situated in a small village in the Eastern Ghats. Wondering what you can try here? Well, trekking, rock climbing, target shooting, bird watching, learning the jungle language are just a few of the things that can be done here.
Learn Tribal Culture — Araku Tribal Museum:
Araku Tribal Museum is an ideal place for those who look forward to learning more about tribal culture and lifestyles. Built in the year 1996 by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC), this museum is able to create awareness about tribal culture and lifestyle. It’s not a historical museum but rather a place that has a lot of information about the 19 tribal communities that live in the Araku vicinity. The best part of the museum is the exhibition of the local Mayur and Dhimsa dance which you cannot miss during your stay in Araku.
Fill Your Bags with Araku Items — Shop At Local Markets:
No trip to any place is complete without shopping. And we know you will look forward to filling your bags with the local items available in Aruaku. Besides being a fabulous hill station on the Eastern Ghats, Araku also serves as a great medium for people who love shopping. Although the markets are not completely developed, the range of items for shopping is pretty good. So when you are in Araku and enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery, don't forget to buy some famous silk cloths from shops such as Jeegiram Jute Mill, Image Ready-made, Chandana Silk Palace, and Shrinivas Chits. Besides, other craftworks, jewellery pieces, and bronze antiques are also quite famous amongst tourists as souvenirs.
There’s nothing better than enjoying a scenic view with mouthwatering food, isn’t it? Apart from enjoying the heavenly valleys of Araku, the next good thing about the place is the delicious Araku cuisine. Although there aren’t too many restaurants in the area, the ones that operate in the region are simply outstanding. All local restaurants in this pristine hill station serve great quality food that has a taste of the local flavor. The famous, Bamboo Chicken is something that you cannot miss. People come here all the way from Vizag to try this delicious food item, so it’s worth a try. Besides, you will also get Odia, Chinese, North and South Indian meals in the local restaurants. The roadside food stalls also offer good quality food, especially the famous one — Odia Dhaba — that serves tasty food with good hospitability.