Araku Valley situated in the Vishakapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh is a scenic and beautiful hill station. This hill station is surrounded by lush green everywhere and is very famous for its gigantic and alluring waterfalls. It’s a perfect weekend spot for you if are a nature lover or want to experience the beauty of nature. This valley is situated around 115 km away from Vishakapatnam and is perched at about 1200 meters above sea level in the Eastern Ghats.
The Borra Caves (Borra Guhalu) one of the largest deepest cave of India is situated in this valley. This truly tranquil hill station of Araku Valley is very famous for its coffee plantations and is an escape for the people of Vishakapatnam tired from the sweltering heat of the sun.
Its terrain is so beautiful and has been used by many Telegu directors as a location in their movies. Araku is one of the most famous tourist spots in Andhra Pradesh and has a plethora of eye-catching tourist destinations like Borra Caves, Chaparai cascade waterfalls, Tribal Museum, Katika waterfalls, Ananthagiri Hills, Araku Waterfalls, Tyda Nature Camp, and Tatipudi Reservoir.
Borra Caves – One of the main attraction of the valley
Borra Caves ( also known as Borra Guhalu) is one of the largest and deepest caves of India. A variety of cave formations can be seen there ranging from stalactites to stalagmites. There is also a very famous tale associated with this place.
Once a cow fell from the roof of one of the cave but surprisingly survived. The cowherd when found his cow notices a ‘Shiva Lingam’ shaped stone in the cave and concluded that Lord Shiva saved his cow and it is because of this reason tribals constructed a temple of Lord Shiva outside the cave.
Waterfalls – Heart of the Araku Valley
This valley is most famous for its alluring waterfalls that are worth watching. These waterfalls make this place overcrowded with tourists and adds to AP tourism.
Some of the famous waterfalls of Araku Valley are –
This waterfall originates from the River Gosthani that is 90 km away from Vishakapatnam. This waterfall is situated near the Borra Caves and is a perfect spot for nature lovers. The landscape around this waterfall is lush green and also suitable for trekking. There also many food hubs in the way that serves delicious food like Bamboo Chicken and fresh Coconut Water (specialties of Andhra Pradesh). The cool breeze around and soothing sounds of this waterfall give so relief and peace.
This waterfall looks so pleasing when seen from a distance. The river water is so cold and the chirping of birds around gives one a lot of calm and peace. It is one of the best places to chill with friends and family. The best time to visit this place is the monsoon. In monsoon season the vibe around this waterfall is so amazing and pleasing and rejuvenates the souls. Katiki Waterfalls are extremely beautiful and natural plantations in this region make it more tempting and interesting.
2. Tatiguda Waterfall
Tatiguda Waterfall is situated in Ananthagiri village,3km away from Borra Caves near to Virag-Araku main road. This waterfall is an integral part of the Gosthani River and has an altitude of 3100 feet.
The view around this waterfall is so serene due to its blooming green vegetation and water flows throughout the year from this perennial fall. The water here comes down several steps over the rocks making the view eye-catching. Reaching this place is also very simple. Reach Anantagiri market through bus and walk 2kms to reach the destination. You may have to pay the parking fee of INR 15 to reach the site.
3. Chaparai Water Cascade
Dumbriguda Waterfall or Chaparai waterfall is the most famous waterfall in this valley. It is located at a distance of 15 km from the valley and is one of the most visited places in the entire Vishakapatnam. To reach this waterfall you have to hire an autorickshaw or a taxi. Chaparral waterfall is a popular picnic spot with dense forest and incessant streams trickling down large rocks. The entry fee for this waterfall is INR 10. Swimming is enjoyable in this waterfall especially during the times of monsoon but beware of the monsoon currents.
4. Dharagadda Waterfalls
Also known as Aluru Waterfalls or Aluru Kona Waterfalls, Dharagadda Waterfalls are situated near Kesali Village. After visiting this waterfall you can also go to the Peddaged reservoir near the Vegavathi River. This reservoir is located very close to these waterfalls. The crystal clear water of the waterfall flowing through hard rocks makes the view serene and beautiful. A very famous temple Aluru Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple is located on the hilltop and is a must-visit if you wish to gain some religious experience.
5.Kollaput Jala Tarangini
Kollaput Jala Tarangini is one of the most charming and peaceful places in Araku Valley. Water coming down the slopes and silence all around makes the surrounding so pure and calming. The water here flows mostly in the monsoon season so winter and summer seasons are not the right seasons to visit this place.
This place is a very good picnic spot and you can even pitch a tent and stay here overnight. The indigenous tribal people here are very friendly and you can definitely interact with them and can even learn about their culture, lifestyle, and traditions. The freshly made homemade food is also provided by the villagers at a nominal price.
Kothapalli waterfalls are located around 100kms away from Vizag main town. This waterfall is surrounded by other famous tourist destinations like Madugula Mandal, Paderu Mandal, Venus Bayalu Mandal, and Gangaraju Madugula. This waterfall is not an old one. It was recently discovered by a local village kid ‘Vanthala Abbi’.
Other famous tourist destinations –
Tyda Village located 70 km from Vizag is also one of the most popular places in the valley. An eco-tourism resort is run by AP Tourism here. This village is also a very famous campsite called Bells Camp or Tyda Nature Camp. The camp is surrounded by rich flora and fauna and offers many mind-blowing adventurous activities like trekking, hiking, and bird watching. This a perfect place for you if you are planning a short vacation with your family.
How to reach Araku Valley?
It takes only 3 hours(drive) to reach Araku Valley from Vishakapatnam airport.’Glass Trains’ are also available for passengers for computing purposes. After spending quality time at valley autorickshaws present their drop the visitors to their place of stay.
Where to stay?
The options to stay are very limited. Mostly the government establishments are available. They are clean and are well maintained. The food served here is authentic south Indian cuisine. The best in this valley is served by the tribals living around. The taste is so raw yet delicious. Their Bamboo Chicken is worth eating.
What’s better than visiting this splendid Araku Valley for a chilled out short -trip that too in your budget? Nothing. So plan a weekend trip with your friends and family to Araku Valley and experience the beauty of this hidden heaven in Andhra Pradesh!!!