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How To Reach Araku Valley
Araku Valley is one of the best tourist places in Andhra Pradesh, undoubtedly. Not being far from Vizag, most people who visit Vizag generally spend a day or two in Araku. Some end their vacation in Araku while many start their Andhra trip from Araku. It all depends on your preference and timing. Whatever you decide, it’s crucial to know how to reach this place especially if you’re visiting for the first time. You can get here through trains, buses, or flights. The most convenient option is the railway while airways are expensive but quicker. To your surprise, there’s no direct connectivity to Araku through trains and flights. So how can you get here? Sit back and continue to read further to know more.
Being a hill station, reaching Araku directly from anywhere in India is not an option. You have to get here via Vizag. But the good things is that Vizag has brilliant train connectivity from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, and other prominent cities in India. And Araku from Vizag is hardly 130 km, — that means in just 3 hours from Vizag. So train travel isn’t that inconvenient. There are 3 trains from Vizag to Araku that run daily at different times. A special train Vistadome Glass-roofed Train (Number 08517) offers a stunning view from inside as the train-roof is made up of glass. The train passes through 65 tunnels and hilly areas during its journey so you can get a stunning view of the amazing valleys.
Reaching Araku through the roadway is possible via Vizag. There are a few bus service providers in Vizag that ply bus service to Araku from the city. Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) also offers a bus service that can be booked once you reach Vizag. However, a bus journey is not recommended as the frequency is not that great and therefore, buses get a little crowded and you might not enjoy the view from a crowded bus. The best option is a self-drive or you can book a private cab. This will give a chance to look through the stunning view of the valleys. The roads are good but have sharp curves. So if you are self-driving, be very careful and avoid driving at night. Generally, start your journey early morning, just before the sunrise, from Vizag and you should be able to reach Araku in some 3 hours. The view of the rising sun will just be awesome and indescribable. So plan accordingly and book a cab or a bus for a majestic joy ride.
Araku Valley doesn’t have a dedicated airport because of it being a hill station. However, the nearest city, Visakhpatnam has an international airport that offers domestic and international flights at regular intervals. So you can reach Vizag from anywhere in India such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru by flight. Air India, SpiceJet, IndiGo operate regular flights to Vizag so reaching Araku Valley via Vizag through flight is not difficult. Once you get down at the airport, you can hire a private cab to reach Araku Valley which is at a distance of 115 km by road and usually takes about 3 hours. So check online for more information about flight availability and ticket costing.
Araku Valley is a small village in the hills. So if you get down at Araku Railway Station the only options you have are the local auto-rickshaws and private cabs. And this could be quite challenging. The local language is Telugu, so you might find it difficult to converse with them if you don’t know Telugu. Because it’s a hilly region, the local-transport facility is not fully developed. So public buses are not that good and frequency isn’t that great. So to move around in Araku, it’s suggested to avail of the package which includes sightseeing along with a cab in your plan. If you opt-out of it, you’ll have to negotiate for the best price for rickshaws and cabs as they usually charge more because of the monopoly. Cabs are suggested as the most convenient option to avoid any discomfort for sightseeing.