“We are bored, we are bored” that is what we hear from our friends often. Fed up with the work life everyone feels to go for a holiday trip leaving everything behind. Visakhapatnam, is always the best choice if we are looking for something nearby. Reach Visakhapatnam a day before,so that you can cover a few places like Kailasagiri, Yarada beach, Simhachalam temple and light house. One day is not enough to witness the beauty of Visakhapatnam. Araku Valley, popularly known as Araku, is a scenic hill station in the Vishakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. At an elevation of about 3200 ft, Araku is famous for its coffee plantations surrounded by beautiful gardens, streams, waterfalls and valleys that are covered with lush green forests.
6:00 am – Train to Araku
We have to get-up early in the next morning, if you prefer to leave for Araku Valley by train. The train journey will be a life time experience. The journey to Araku valley is most enjoyable when you travel by both rail and road. While the road, covered by thick jungle on both sides, snakes through the Anantagiri range, the rail takes you through 58 tunnels and over 84 bridges. The engineering marvel of the Kottavalasa-Kirandul line will leave you awestruck. The train went through the Similiguda Railway Station, the highest broad gauge railway station in India, located close to 996 meters above sea level. Everyone starts with an attempt to count the tunnels but soon loose count as they get lost in the views and small stations that come on the way. Thankfully the tunnels are numbered and you can start again. There are 58 tunnels on the route, the longest being 896 meters and shortest being only 26 meters, and average length about 400 meters. Keep an eye out for Tunnel No 10 where the train enters at a right curve and you can actually see the train entering the tunnel from the window.
11:30 am – Borra Caves
Since it’s a single track, the train usually runs late. Get down at borra station and head towards Borra caves. Borra Caves is a gift of nature that is 150 million years young and is a marvelous collection of stalactites, stalagmites and around it, man’s imagination. It is a wonderful experience to visit these caves. The caves are well-lit and have stairs and paved walkways making the caves easily accessible.Have your lunch at Borra,and then head towards Katiki water falls.
1:30 pm – Katiki Waterfalls
It will be one hell of a ride from Borra to Katiki. The Jeep drivers will take us to edge of death. After 20 min of an adventurous ride we have to get down at a point. From there we have trek down to the waterfalls. There is a rail track on the way also a tunnel where we can take some good pictures. Bamboo chicken is also a must try here. After a walk of 10min we will get a glimpse of the water fall. Enjoy their to your fullest and get back to Borra.
2:45 pm – Araku Valley
Now head towards Araku valley. There are a lot of view points, shooting spots on the way. Galikondalu viewpoint, located at a height of about 3,800 ft above sea level, the highest point in the Anantagiri range offers a fascinating view of the entire valley. Padmapuram Gardens, a and the Tribal Museum at Araku are also a must-see. Apart from showcasing the lifestyles of the primitive tribal groups, the museum also features tribal art.
With gushing rivulets, surging waterfalls, plantations and swathes of green fields sprinkled with small villages, Araku Valley is balm for the soul. The Araku Valley Coffee house is located opposite the Tribal Museum where you can relax with a Mocha or a Capuccino or whatever you suits your taste. You can also buy freshly ground Araku coffee and coffee flavoured chocolates, which are simply scrumptious.
5:30 pm – Thatipudi
Thatipudi reservoir, which is located near Araku is one of the best places to visit. With its freshest air and breath taking view, this place makes a very beautiful spot for all the family picnics, a get out with friends or a romantic drive with Bae/Boo. A boat ride is one of the best things available at the reservoir. Get into a boat and take a ride to the Island in between of the reservoir. Feast on the beautiful sceneries of water touching trees, scenic running clouds and small fishes and birds.
7:30 pm – Muntaj Biryani
One should not forget to feast on the lip smacking biryani served at the restaurant named ‘Muntaz’ in S.Kota . This restaurant has been serving authentic biryani since a decade and is pretty famous in the neighbouring districts. This will sum up to be a good weekend drive with your loved ones while being in touch with the nature.
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