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Tourist Places To Visit In Araku Valley
There are many beautiful hill stations in India, especially in the southern region. We all know about Ooty in Tamilnadu state, which is the highest hill station in the whole of South India. Similarly, Araku Valley is the Ooty of Andhra Pradesh and many people call it the “Food Bowl of South India”. This majestic hill station is in the Eastern Ghats at 115 km away from Vizag. When you drive through the fabulous valleys of dense flora and fauna, you’ll see the appealing land of the coffee plantation. This beautiful landscape is home to 19 different tribal community and you can only learn about their culture and lifestyles when you visit this place. Let’s discuss some of the best places to visit in Araku Valley.
Tyda Nature Camp
Araku is a place surrounded by forests and valleys. This gives a perfect opportunity for people who enjoy adventurous outings. And Tyda Nature Camp is just about ideal for such outdoor activities with nature. At a small distance of 40 km, Tyda is actually a small tribal village that nestles in the wooded hills of the Eastern Ghats. It is also famous by the name Jungle Bells and offers different adventurous activities such as trekking, bird watching, target shooting with bows and arrows, and rock climbing. You can also learn the jungle language (identifying calls, marks, and so on) from naturalists or guides available in the camps. Tourists can find a comfortable stay in the log huts and tents in the tribal environment. Sounds exciting, isn’t it?
Borra Caves are a stunning creation of nature near Araku. At some 34 km away from Araku, Borra Caves are one of the top tourist spots in Araku and Vizag. It is said that these caves are very ancient — one million years old. With an altitude of 1400 m, they are the deepest limestone caves in India. This natural marvel was discovered by William King George in 1807. According to local stories, these caves were found by a cowherd who lost one of his cows. He realized that the cow had fallen down and he came across a linga inside the cave.
So the locals built a small Shiva temple outside the caves. It’s said that the caves were created due to the Gosthani river that used to flow between the formations over the limestone area. When you are here, you will see different formations of stalactites and stalagmites such as Human Brain, Tiger, Cows udder, Crocodile, Shiv-Parvathi, Mother-Child, and Rushi's Beard. These formations have a religious significance, plus you can enjoy the food at the local restaurants outside the cave.
At about 26 km from Araku, there’s a small but beautiful hill station known by the name Anantgiri Hills. It’s situated between Vizag and Araku Valley and can be reached by train. It’s not only one of the top places to visit in Araku but also one of the best hill stations in the state of Andhra Pradesh. A popular weekend getaway located at an altitude of 1168 m, Anantagiri is renowned for numerous waterfalls and extensive coffee plantations. The striking part of Anantgiri is a special viewpoint on the main road. It offers a breath-taking view of a coffee plantation on one side and the deep valleys on the other side.
You’ll fall in love with its scenic beauty and amazing weather. If you admire nature and love coffee, Ananthagiri is a paradise for you. The village is enclosed by coffee estates releasing the rich aroma of coffee and the stunning waterfalls that erupt from the surrounding hillocks can blow anybody’s mind. The famous Borra Caves and Tyda Nature Park are within close proximity. Experiencing the majestic view of the sunrise, thick forest, sunset, and mountain ranges are all that you’ll enjoy at Ananthagiri.
Matsyagundam, or the fish pool, is an impressive lake located in the Matham village at a distance of 35 km from Araku Valley. This place is basically a barrier of rocks running right across the Machkund river. The stream falls into a hole and disappears. To your surprise, the stream reappears again at about 100 yards lower down. Right at the place where it emerges again under the barrier, a puddle is created that’s get crowded with fish all different sizes.
The local management has now constructed steps making it easier for anyone to go up to the pool straight. You can feed the fishes from your hands and people say that they are wonderfully tamed letting you pat their backs. The local tribal community and other people revere the fish. If you are interested, you can visit the Shiva temple that is built on the bank of the Machkund river. So it’s a good and exciting place to be that’s quite famous amongst tourists.
Padmapuram Gardens is yet another famous tourist spot situated at a small distance of 3 km from Araku Bus Station This botanical garden was developed in 1942 during World War II in an area that spreads over 26 acres of land. The intention behind this was to supply vegetables to the soldiers who fought in the war. After the war, the gardens were transformed into a Horticultural Nursery cum Training Center. Now, this is filled with trees, tree houses, rare species of flowers, orchards, and stone sculptures that greet the eye.
One exciting way to see the garden is to get on the Araku Express toy train. This activity is very famous amongst tourists, especially kids, who visit the garden. Now comes the best part, besides the toy train, you can book tree-top huts which are also known as the Hanging Cottages. These cottages are built 10-feet above the ground and it’s a thrilling experience to stay in a hanging cottage. When there’s a heavy breeze, the tree sways giving the cottage a rare swing. You can also admire the beautiful rose garden and exotic varieties of plants in the area.
Tribal Museum in Araku is a wonderful place to explore the tribal culture of Eastern Ghats. At just about 200 m from Araku Bus Station, APTDC established this museum in 1996 for people to learn more about the tribal culture and their lifestyles that prevail in the area. There are about 19 tribes that live in the vicinity of the town and it’s just fabulous to know more about their history. This museum is not historical, rather just a source of information about the tribes that currently live here. The museum has over 2 levels and is built with mud and real metals simply to portray tribal life.
It showcases their kitchen, displaying utensils made of mud and iron with an exclusive series of 10 photographs that capture the tribal wedding ceremony. The primary section of the museum is the one that exhibits the local tribal dance — Mayur and Dhimsa. Besides, you can explore several clay monuments, artifacts of the tribal people (hunting tools, jewelry, and kitchen utensils). The museum arranges several Tribal Art and Crafts Centers allowing you to purchase the tribal handicraft items from a stall in the museum to patronage tribal art.
Chaparai Water Cascade
Chaparai Water Cascade also known as Dumbriguda Waterfalls is a famous and majestic place that’s surrounded by forests. It’s undoubtedly one of the best tourist spots located at 13 km from Araku Bus Stand. Many visitors flock in to see the endless stream cutting huge rocks and making its way in the region. This looks stunning and therefore, many choose to spend time with family and friends for picnicking due to the presence of this beautiful stream. Undeviating inclining rocks obstruct the stream that makes a huge natural water slide.
Owing to its natural beauty and phenomena, this place has attracted many filmmakers to shoot several romantic scenes of their movies. If you are here and lucky enough, you might see them shooting a few scenes here. You will simply admire the beauty of the water flowing through natural rocks. A lot of people prefer swimming here as the water flow isn't that heavy. But if you are here during the monsoon, avoid gong in the waters due to strong water flow. So be here and enjoy the beautiful scenes surrounding this place.
Araku Waterfall is one of the most remarkable waterfalls in Araku Valley that is situated at a distance of about 5 km from the Araku city center. This famous waterfall is also known as Ranajilleda falls and it’s one of the little known waterfalls around the Ranajilleda village. The sweet sound of water falling from a height of over 60 feet makes Araku Waterfalls as one of the best waterfalls in the whole region. Araku Waterfalls is located on a mountain peak and to get there, you’ll have to trek for about 10-15 minutes from the nearest motorable road.
These 10-15 minutes can be exciting and thrilling and people who love such activities will have a great time reaching this waterfall. For you to reach the falls, a straight drive from Padmapuram Gardens is required until the Ranajilleda village. After getting there, you can trek and reach the falls. To have blissful time at the falls, try visiting this place post-monsoon and see for yourself, and you’ll know why this fall is one of the best in the region.
At a small distance of 3 km from Ananthagiri village and about 30 km from Araku, the Tadimada waterfall is yet another famous tourist spot in the Araku region. This marvelous place fall is also known by the name Anantagiri Waterfall. Similar to the Araku waterfall, the Tadimada waterfall offers the best view just after the monsoon season. So you know the best time to visit this place to have a scenic view of the water falling from a height of about 100 feet.
The most convenient way to reach this waterfall is by trekking or walking from Ananthagiri for about 1-2 km from the main road. The road that leads to the falls is quite narrow and bumpy. And therefore, only vehicles such as SUVs can handle the tough road. Hence, if you aren’t using an SUV, it’s suggested to walk to these falls from Anantagiri - Araku main road and only going to take some 20 minutes. A note of caution, due to the rocks being continuously submerged in the waters, they are very slippery and therefore you need to be careful while you get onto the rocks. Although swimming is possible, it isn’t suggested because of the water here being a bit dirty.
The last on our list of best places to visit in Araku is situated a little away from Araku Valley. At about 65 km from the city, the Tintatipudi reservoir near Srungavarapukoda — which is also known as S Kota — is a beautiful pool that is visited by many tourists when they happen to visit Araku. This reservoir was constructed in the year 1963 on the Gosthani river with the intention to provide drinking water to the city of Vizag. This surrounding area is amazingly beautiful with lush green mountains on all sides.
Here, you also get an opportunity to spot some migrating birds especially in the month of April and May. So you can click some nice pictures of these rare birds. Plus, you can enjoy the time with your loved ones boating on the water stream. You can visit this place during your return trip to Vizag from Araku. It’s suggested to hire a private cab from the S Kota town to reach this place.