One of the best ways to get close to nature is by going on hikes and treks. Plus, it’s easy to incorporate treks into your lifestyle and execute them anywhere in the world. India has some amazing hiking trails that are suitable for both experienced and beginner hikers, and Andhra Pradesh is one of those places. You can discover your inner hiker and immerse yourself in the serene blues and lush greens. So let's have a look at some of the best places to trek in Andhra Pradesh.
Ahobilam is located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh and is surrounded by the beautiful vegetation of the Nallamala forest. This is one of those treks that involves a dash of spirituality and history. Ahobilam is a well-known pilgrimage site in South India and is also referred to as Nava Narasimha Kshetra or the residence of Lord Narasimha.
Along the way, you can enjoy the stunning vistas of the Eastern Ghats, as well as gurgling waterfalls and ancient caverns. There are nine temples along this trek - Jwala Narasimha, Ahobila Narasimha, Malola Narasimha, Kroda Narasimha, Kaaranja Narasimha, Bhargava Narasimha, Yogananda Narasimha, Chatravata Narasimha, and Pavana Narasimha.
While some of these temples are easily accessible, others will need you to trek through dense jungles and rocky terrain, which is best left to experienced hikers. But, if you too want to experience a simple trek, you can cover a few temples that have easier hiking routes to get to. Covering all of these places within a day’s time is difficult for sure, but if you pick and choose some of the temples, it’s possible to finish the trek in a single day.
Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult
Duration Of The Trek: 1 to 2 days
Starting Point: Foot of Ahobilam hill
How To Get Here: Hyderabad - Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is the closest airport which is 333 kilometers away from this location. Nandyal Railway Station is just 66 kilometers away. You can get cabs or rickshaws from these places that will directly drop you off at the starting point of the Ahobilam trek., Lower Ahobilam Bus Station and Allagadda (25 km) are the closest bus stations from where you can get buses that drop you off at the location.
Best Time To Visit: October to March
Also read: Visakhapatnam Travel Guide
If a weekend getaway amidst nature is on your bucket list, you must visit Tada or Ubbalamadugu Falls. It’s located in a tribal village halfway between Oneness Temple and Sri City in the Tirupati district. Along with picturesque vistas of the Eastern Ghats, it also offers you a variety of nature-friendly activities like bird watching, hiking, and trekking to engage in. This will certainly leave you mesmerized and you’ll forget the stress of the daily grind.
The waterfall is located at an elevation of 100 meters above sea level and provides two incredible hiking paths. The first path takes you through the forest into the mountains after a 40-minute hike. The trail ends in a rocky outcrop from where you can observe the Eastern Ghats shrouded in clouds and the morning sun sifting through them.
The second is an exhausting and slightly challenging hike at the magnificent Kataki waterfalls located very close to Tada. The trail is 12 kilometers long and will need you to hire a tribal guide as the path is rough and full of dense overgrowth. So whether you like to take a simple route or a difficult one, Tada Falls has it all.
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult
Duration Of The Trek: Half a day
Starting Point: Tada village’s main road
How To Get Here: There are no well-connected railway stations that can get you to Tada Waterfalls. So, you will have to first reach Andhra Pradesh and then find your way to Tada Falls or Ubbalamadugu Falls. From Varadaiah Palem, the Tada Falls Forest Department checkpoint is easily accessible by cabs, rickshaws, and buses. So you can choose to opt for any of those modes of transportation to get to Tada Falls.
Best Time To Visit: October to January for the pleasant weather
Also read: Experience The Zanskar Trek, Leh
The Gandikota Fort is located on the edge of a breathtaking ravine created by the Erramala hills and the Pennar river. The fort has been dubbed the ‘Grand Canyon of India’ by hikers and trekkers across the globe. Additionally, it has stunning views of entrancing valleys, dense forests, and sloping hills.
It is said that the king of the nearby town of Bommanapalli, established a fort here in 1123. And since then, the canyon has served as a center of power for a number of ancient ruling dynasties.
The hiking experience that Gandikota Fort provides you is one of the best in the state. The trail from the gate of the fort leads to a mosque and further to the main fort area. Once you’ve explored enough of the fort, you can move ahead to where the ruins of the Ranganayaka Swamy temple can be seen. And if that’s not enough either, you can extend the trek to about 18 more kilometers to the Mylavaram dam.
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration Of The Trek: Half a day
Starting Point: Gate of Gandikota fort
How To Get Here: Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is the closest airport to Gandikota Fort which is 359.3 kilometers away. The fort is well connected with this airport via roadway, so you can book a cab or take a bus to get here. There are frequent buses from Jammalamadugu and cabs are easily available from around the city, that you can book to get here. When it comes to traveling via trains, there are no direct trains that drop you off at the fort. It could be a tedious task as you’ll have to take connecting trains and will take up a lot of your time.
Best Time To Visit: Between June and February
Situated near Chittoor, this waterfall is at a height of 82 meters and is reputed to be the tallest in Andhra Pradesh. The trail leading to Talakona waterfalls is a 2-kilometer long, intriguing journey of an unmatched trek through the forest.
The hike to the waterfalls, which splits into two directions, takes around 40 minutes of your time. The lower path glides down via several streams along the rocky path, while the top route passes through a rock hidden in the dense, misty clouds. In any case, you’ll find yourself taking photos in amazement and awe of this stunning view.
This trail suits anyone who enjoys hiking since you get to take various turns and routes to get to the waterfall. Trekkers will also come across the dry and uneven river bed with sharp cliffs. This cliff has lush greenery around it which blocks the sun’s rays along the trail. So if you’re hiking in the afternoon, you won’t feel the heat burning your skin. Once you reach the waterfall, you can go for a swim and take advantage of a free fish spa treatment here.
Difficulty Level: Beginners to difficult depending on the route you take.
Duration Of The Trek: Half day to full day
Starting Point: Checkpoint behind the Siddeswara Swamy Temple
How To Get Here: The fastest way to get to Talakona Waterfalls is from the Chennai International Airport which is 203 kilometers away or The Chennai Egmore railway station which is about 192 kilometers away. There are ample cabs and buses that you can avail of from both these locations to get to your destination. Another way to get to these waterfalls is from Talakona Bus Station, where you will get direct buses that take a stop at the checkpoint of the Talakona Waterfalls.
Best Time To Visit: September to January
Also read: 5 Best Treks to Experience in August
Kadalivanam Caves are some of the most ancient and historical caves located close to Srisailam. You reach these stunning caves after a fantastic and demanding 12-kilometer trek through the mountain ranges. These caves have religious significance and have been mentioned in ancient literature. For instance, Kadalivanam has been mentioned in the Skanda Purana, Shiva Bhaktha Vijayam, and other Hindu literature pertaining to Lord Shiva. Legend has it that fierce followers of Lord Shiva, including Akka Mahadevi and Allama Prabhu, have meditated here.
The largest tiger reserve in India, the Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reverse, is located in the jungles of Kadalivanam. You will find many different animals, including turtles, panthers, bears, crocodiles, and more, as you trek along the rocky roads of the trail.
The start of the trek is one of the best, as you sail through a mini boat and cross the stream of river Krishna. The trek comes to an end as soon as you reach the caves that hold idols of Akkamahadevi and Narasimha Saraswati. The serene routes and the view from the top make Kadalivanam an absolutely fascinating trekking experience.
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Duration Of The Trek: 5 to 6 hours
Starting Point: Banks of river Krishna
How To Get Here: The best way to reach Kadalivanam Caves is via Rajiv Gandhi International Airport which is 165 Kilometers away. It will take about two to three hours via cab, rickshaw, or bus to reach Srisailam which is going to be your drop-off point. From there, you then take a boat that drops you off at the banks of river Krishna where you start the trek. Kadalivanam Caves are not well connected to other cities via railway so getting here via the international airport is the only way.
Best Time To Visit: November to February
Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary is a 353-square-kilometer expanse of lush green land in the districts of Kadapa and Chittoor. It is a haven for outdoor and nature enthusiasts. Other than being a popular place for trekking, it’s home to tigers, jackals, panthers, ibex, deer, bears, bonnet monkeys, and other animals. Other than these animals, it’s also home to more than a hundred species of rare birds, like the White Bellied Woodpecker, Crowned Finch Lark, etc. which makes it a popular destination among bird watchers.
There are multiple trekking trails within the sanctuary and each of them is going to take you anywhere between half a day to three full days to complete the trek. One of the routes is via Tumbura Thirtham, which lies within the sanctuary and can be reached from Papanasam (another location within the sanctuary) in about 4 to 5 hours. Another well-known trail for this trek begins at Talakona Falls and ends at Papanasam Bridge, allowing visitors to spend the night in the sanctuary. Although it is often a two-day walk, it can possibly turn into a three-day adventure.
Since the paths are not properly marked, hiring a knowledgeable guide is strongly advised. Within the sanctuary, there are many streams and waterfalls, including Gunjana and Gundalakona. So, access to clean water will not be a problem. Another well-known trail begins in Talakona and concludes in the village of Koduru, which is located on the Tirupati-Rajampet Road.
Difficulty Level: Difficult
Duration Of The Trek: From half a day to three days
Starting Point: Papanasam Dam on Tirumala Hills or Talakona waterfalls
How To Get Here: The most effective and easiest way to get to Sri Venkateswara National Park is to drive or take a bus from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. It is just 70 kilometers away and will only take about an hour and 30 minutes. But here’s the catch, the buses are not going to drop you off at the national park and you will have to take a cab ride here anyway. So it’s best if you hire a direct cab in the first place.
Best Time To Visit: November to February
Even if you’re not a trekking enthusiast, Andhra Pradesh’s trekking spots are worth all the hype! It’s truly one of the best ways to discover a new location and take in some of nature’s hidden beauty. As mentioned above, there are numerous places in Andhra Pradesh where you can enjoy trekking and hiking. So make sure you give at least one of these destinations a try when you visit Andhra Pradesh next.
Which Is The Coolest Place In Andhra Pradesh?
Chintapalle in the ASR district of Andhra Pradesh is the coldest place in the state. In the past years, the lowest temperature recorded here is 1.5°C.
Are There Any Hill Stations In Andhra Pradesh?
Yes, Andhra Pradesh has a plethora of hill stations for you to explore. Here is the list of some of the best hill stations:
Which States Are Best For Trekking In India?
Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Maharashtra are some of the best states for trekking in India.
Which Is The Cleanest Town In Andhra Pradesh?
Vijayawada is among the top 10 cleanest cities in India, according to the Swachh Survekshan 2022 ranking. Its win is a true testimony to how well-planned a city it is in the state.
Where Are The Most Beautiful Places To Trek In Andhra Pradesh?
Some of the best places where you can hike in Andhra Pradesh are Ahobilam, Talakona Waterfalls, Gandikota fort, and Kadalivanam Caves.
Can We Go To Tada Falls?
Yes, you can definitely visit Tada Falls for a nice getaway into the wild. It's a perfect picnic spot and also a great weekend getaway destination.
Which Is The Toughest Trek In South India?
Meesapulimala, a UNESCO-certified World Heritage Site is one of the best and toughest treks in South India. This peak is 2,640 meters above sea level and is located in the Idukki district of Kerala.
Which Month Is Best For Trekking?
The months from November to February are great if you’re looking for winter treks. But if you love monsoon treks, the months from June to September are the best ones to experience the beauty of nature.