Araku Valley is a pristine hill station of the Andhra Pradesh state in India that is also fondly known as Araku. The place is surrounded by beautiful waterfalls, enchanting valleys, splendid gardens and lush green forests. The coffee plantations of Araku are world renowned. The natural beauty and scenic charm of this quaint hill station attracts tourists from India and other parts of the world. Araku Valley boasts of rich traditional and cultural pasts. The popularity of this place in South India is also due to the fact that the beauty of Araku Valley has been showcased in numerous Tollywood films.
Location : State/District
Araku Valley is located in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in the district of Vishakhapatnam. The latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates of Araku Valley are 18.3333⁰ North and 82.8667⁰ East.
Araku Valley is a popular hill station destination of Southern India. The natural beauty and hilly surroundings of the place lures both domestic and International tourists.
Family vacation, Vacation with friends
Araku Valley is a perfect holidaying spot in the company of your friends and close families. The splendid beauty of the place is a major pull for nature lovers. It is an ideal summer retreat for city dwellers to break free from the humidity of the plains. Araku Valley is a mountainous region making trekking a popular activity of the place. Adventure enthusiasts from all over the world come to this destination every year.
Araku Valley experiences pleasant climatic conditions all year round. Summer season is hot with maximum temperature during day time being recorded at 30⁰C. The days are hot and nights are cool. Monsoon season in Araku Valley is marked with sporadic rains and lasts from June to September. The winter months from October to February are comfortably cold and the climate is very enjoyable. The best time to visit Araku Valley is from October till March as the weather is ideal for sightseeing and enjoying adventure sports like trekking, hiking and rappelling. In April tourists can participate in the festivities of Pongal, an important festival of South India.
Travelling to Araku Valley is easy for Indian citizens without the need of taking any permission. For foreign tourists however, the need for visa permission is mandatory. Foreign nationals must submit an application stating the reason and duration of the visit. Only after clearance from the Indian government they can visit Araku Valley.
Places to Visit
Araku Valley has some very interesting places, some of which are given below.
Borra Caves are also known as Borra Guhalu is spectacular caves located in the eastern coast of India. These caves are found at a height of 2300 feet and are among the largest caves in the country. Borra Caves are excellent example of speleothems and also contain beautifully shaped stalactites and stalagmites.
Tribal Museum in Araku Valley displays an artistic collection of clay figurines and traditional artefacts. The museum provides livelihood to the local tribes of the valley. The display in the Tribal Museum gives an insight into the lifestyle of the local people. Some of the must pick items in the museum are jewelry, kitchen accessories, utensils and hunting stools.
Sangda Waterfalls is a beautiful and natural waterfall situated amidst the hills of Eastern Ghats of the Araku Valley. This waterfall is named after Sangda, a small town located close to the falls. The splendid surroundings of the waterfalls attract tourists to this place. The sound of cascading water in the silence of the surrounding dense jungle is simply awe-inspiring. Sangda Waterfalls is a beautiful picnic spot to be visited by friends and families.
Tyda is a small yet scenic village nestled in the Eastern Ghats of India. It is surrounded by dense green forests and beautiful coffee plantations that add to the natural beauty of the place. The idyllic location of Tyda makes an ideal getaway from the stresses of city life.
Padmapuram Botanical Gardens are located on the Araku Road. The garden was initially built to provide vegetables to the soldiers during the time of World War II. However, over years, the Padmapuram Botanical Gardens is a spot for growing rare and exotic species of flowers along with vegetables. The toy train that gives a tour of the garden is a prime attraction for kids and adults alike.
Coffee Plantations of Araku Valley are very famous and any sightseeing is incomplete without visiting the wonderful coffee plantations. The most visited coffee plantations of the place is the one located on the Ananthagiri Hills. This coffee plantation is spread over several acres of land and the smell of strong coffee greets you as you enter the valley. The organic coffee of the Ananthagiri Hills is branded as Araku Emerald and is extremely popular in all corners of the world. Working in these coffee plantations is the main source of earning for the local tribal people. While visiting the coffee plantations of Ananthagiri Hills do not forget to take away these aromatic coffee beans along with you.
Araku Valley offers all sorts of adventurous activities to travellers. Rock climbing, trekking, hiking, bird watching and wildlife viewing are some of the thrilling activities enjoyed by the tourists.
Simhachalam is a quaint village located at 104 kms from Araku Valley. This site is of great religious significance for Hindu devotees. Simhachalam has 18 shrines that are dedicated to Lord Narasimha, an incarnation of God Vishnu. This village is also referred as ‘The land of Narasimha’. Thousands of Hindus particularly of the Vishnu sects visit this destination every year.
Visakhapatnam or Vizag as it is fondly called is an important tourist destination of South India. It is the largest city and industrial hub of Andhra Pradesh. Vizag is surrounded with scenic hillocks, beautiful beaches and lush green landscape. This pristine destination is located at a distance of 145 kms from Araku Valley.
Jagdalpur is situated at 195 kms from Araku Valley is a wonderful destination known for its natural beauty. This place is bestowed with picturesque waterfalls, streams, enchanting valleys, green mountains, magnificent monuments and natural parks. Jagdalpur is a must visit tourist spot for nature freaks.
Food and Accommodation
There are not many options when it comes to eating out at Araku Valley. There are only few restaurants scattered in the place that serve excellent food to the guests. However their ambiance is not very pleasant and is priced on the higher side. Guests can also enjoy in the in-house restaurants of their hotels. The Orissa type Dhaba located in Araku Valley are highly recommended.
Finding accommodations to suit our budget is not a problem in Araku Valley. The place is flooded with hotels, resorts and cottages. There are also state-run lodges, resorts and hotels in Araku Valley that offer accommodation and other services at very basic rates. Some of the good accommodations that offer good facilities and services to their guests include Haritha Mayuri Resort, Rajdhani Hotel, Araku Valley Resort and Punnami Yatri Niwas. For budget conscious travellers there are options like Dhimsa Resorts, Padmapuram Hanging Cottages and Punnami Hill Resort. The room rates in these cottages and resorts are priced at INR 800 or less per night.