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Hi friends! We all head to hills to escape the city rush and summer heat but come summer and all the hill stations are brimming with tourists and you are back to square one as far as city rush is concerned. You go to hills to unwind and rejuvenate yourself and to be away from the madness of the city for some time.

However, if you find the same madness at the hill station of your choice, it will spoil not only all your well laid out plans but also your mood and mental peace. But there are still a few places which are unspoiled by human invasion and still retain their natural beauty and calmness. One such place is Araku Valley.

Araku valley is located at an altitude of 3000 feet in the Vishakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. It is a beautiful hill station as well as a vacation spot. Lush green surroundings, mesmerizing waterfalls, natural caves and misty clouds over the hills make Araku Valley a dreamy place. It is an ideal place to re-energize yourself.

The tranquility and serenity of the place act as food for your soul. Nature lovers and adventure seekers among you, in particular, will love this place as it has so many naturally beautiful places to see and a lot of options to indulge in adventure. The best part of Araku Valley is its weather, which remains pleasant throughout the year.

You will see small villages with large open fields in Araku Valley, which present a picturesque sight. The village folks are simple and you can experience the village life interacting with them. If you have not visited Araku Valley yet, it must be in you bucket list for 2019. Let's have a look at some of the most beautiful and important places to see in Araku Valley.

places to visit in araku valley

1. Padmapuram Botanical Garden


This garden was built in the year 1942. In fact, it was developed as a farm for supplying vegetables and fruits to the soldiers who were fighting the world war II. Once the war got over, it was converted to a full-fledged nursery and botanical garden. You will find many rare species of flowers and trees here along with orchards. There is a rose garden also inside Padmapuram Botanical Garden that will truly enchant you.

For kids, there is a toy train which takes them around the garden and they can enjoy its ride in the midst of lush green surroundings and a clean environment. Adults can also hop on to the train. And then there are treehouses. Situated 10 ft above the ground on trees, these will interest the adventurer souls among you. You can stay in these treehouses and experience periodic swings as these houses sway due to the wind.

Padmapuram Botanical Garden is located just 2.5 km from Araku bus station and can be reached easily. The garden is open from 9am to 6pm and there is an entry fee of INR10 in Padmapuram Botanical Garden.

2. Chaparai Waterfalls


One of the most beautiful and scenic falls you will find anywhere, Chaparai Waterfalls is located just 5km from Araku Valley. Situated on Paderi-Araku road, it is also called Dumbriguda waterfalls. Surrounded by green forests from all sides, Chaparai Waterfalls is an ideal place for a fun outing with family or friends.

The tranquil atmosphere of the place will go a long way in helping you to unwind. The breathtaking spectacle of water falling from a height of 3000 ft with a big noise and then flowing on to different sized rocks will leave you spellbound. There are many streams here cutting through rocks and many rocks interrupting the flow of these streams.

You can spend endless time wondering man can never match the work of nature. You can also take a bath in the waterfalls provided water flow is not very fast. Chaparai Waterfalls is one of the most popular spots in Araku Valley and it can be reached by hiring a taxi from Araku in case you don't have your own vehicle. There is an entry fee of INR10 for Chaparai Waterfalls.

3. Borra Caves


To get a dose of history, you must visit Borra Caves. These are ancient caves and are one million years old. Borra Caves are supposed to be the deepest caves in the country. These are limestone caves and are situated at a height of 1400 m. Spread over an area of 2 sq. km, these caves were discovered in the year 1807. There is an abundance of Stalagmite and Stalactite formations in Borra Caves.

You can identify these formations with some of the deities like Shiva-Parvati and other living beings like crocodile and tiger. There is a formation of even the human brain. Earlier, river Gosthani used to flow between these formations and the caves were created due to its flow over limestone. There is a legend about these caves.

It is believed that a cowherd lost one of his cows while grazing and went to search for it. He soon realized that his cow had fallen down. It was during the process of the search for his lost cow that he came across these caves and found a Shiva Linga inside.

Borra Caves are located at a distance of 36 km from Araku. You can reach here by taxi. The train from Vishakhapatnam to Araku has a halt at Borra Caves station from where Borra Caves are just 5 km away.

There are quite a few restaurants outside Borra Caves which offer lunch and snacks. These include those run by AP tourism department. The entry fee for the caves is INR40 for adults and INR30 for children. There is an additional charge of INR25 for still camera and INR100 for the video camera.

4. Araku Tribal Museum


Curious about the culture and lifestyle of local tribals of Araku? Go and visit Araku Tribal Museum. This museum gives information about as well as showcases various facets of the living style of local tribal people. Also, it will give you a peek into the history of this place. Araku Tribal Museum was established by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation in the year 1996 to showcase local culture and traditions.

There are about 19 tribes living in and around Araku Valley. This museum provides a glimpse of their lifestyles. Clay replicas of tribal people going about their daily chores are displayed in the museum, which also has a collection of colorful outfits worn by local tribal people. The art and craft of these people are also on display in the museum.

There is another section that displays the utensils, hunting tools and jewelry of the local tribal people. There is a stall inside the museum which sells the handicrafts and other items made by tribal people. A very special feature of this museum is that it is built in two levels with mud and actual metals.

Araku Tribal Museum is located just 200 m from Araku bus stand. It remains open from 10 am to 6 pm. There is an entry fee of INR10 for adults and INR5 for children.

5. Tyda Nature Park


Adventure lovers among you must be wondering that there has been no mention of any adventurous place in this post so far. Well then, this is the place for you. Located between Vizag and Araku at a distance of 40 km from Araku is this wonderful small village called Tyda. Situated in the wooded hills of Eastern Ghats, Tyda is an ideal place for adventure seekers.

This is one of the most amazing places to see in and around Araku Valley. The nature park here, also known as Jungle Balls, has all the facilities that you will need to satisfy your lust for adventure. You can go trekking on various trails around this area or go for rock climbing. And the icing on the cake is target shooting with bows and arrows.

Who would like to miss this? And when you get tired of these physical activities, sit quietly in the serene environment and indulge in bird watching. You can see so many beautiful birds around this area which will mesmerize you. And if you are interested you can also learn the language of the jungle from local guides

You can stay in log huts and tents inside the camp which are set in a natural tribal environment. The charges for these vary from INR800 to INT1800. You can reach Tyda Nature Park by taxi. Alternately, trains running between Vizag and Araku have a stop at Tyda.

How To Reach Araku Valley

BY AIR - The nearest airport to Araku Valley is Vishakhapatnam, which is situated at a distance of about 120 km from Araku. Vishakhapatnam is well connected by regular flights to various Indian cities. From here, you can hire a taxi to reach Araku. Alternately, buses are also available from Vishakhapatnam to reach Araku Valley.

BY TRAIN - Araku has a railway station by the same name. A daily train from Vishakhapatnam runs to Araku. Vishakhapatnam is a major railway station and trains from all major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Pune are available to reach here. It takes around four hours to reach Araku from Vishakhapatnam.

BY ROAD - Araku Valley is well connected by road. Regular bus service is available from Vishakhapatnam to Araku and you can get state-run buses to reach this place.

Where To Stay In Araku Valley

Araku Valley has a number of hotels and resorts. You can choose from them according to your budget and requirement. There are government-run hotels also which offer accommodation at reasonable prices.

The landscape and beauty of Araku Valley will make you fall in love with it. The beautiful falls, amazing hills and lush green forests of Araku Valley beckon you. So plan a trip to Araku Valley today and to plan it in a better way, here are a few tips.

HAPPY TRAVELING!

Vimal Bhatia, a passionate traveller and keen travel blogger writes about some really stunning but unexplored places. A solo traveller so far, he hopes to find his travelling companion someday, maybe on one of his sojourns. He is already planning his next trip. Suggestions are welcome. Which place you would like him to go to and write about? Mention in the comments.

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