Believed to be a must-visit destination for all the wanderlust travelers who have planned a trip to Vizag, Araku Valley is a quaint hill town cuddled in the laps of the Eastern Ghats. Located just around 120 km away from Visakhapatnam, Araku Valley mesmerizes all tourists with its evergreen thick jungles, raging waterfalls, endless coffee plantations, and lush green valleys enveloped in thick mist.
Unsurprisingly, the romanticism infused in its atmosphere ends up making it alluring for couples, nature lovers, and thrill-seekers alike. Wouldn’t it just be simply wonderful to leave all your worries behind and spend some quality time in a green misty wonderland? Well, that’s what you get when you visit Araku Valley. Let us help you to immerse in the beauty of this hill town with our list of the 5 places to visit in Araku Valley.
The Borra Caves or the Borra Guhalu (local name) are hidden away in the Ananthagiri Hills just about 36 km away from Araku Valley. The picturesque hill ranges, breathtaking landscape, diverse wildlife, and the cool deciduous jungles add to the charm of these caves. Believed to be one of the largest caves in the country, the Borra Caves rest at a staggering height of 705 meters. The karstic limestone formations that formed these caves stretch to a depth of 80 meters which makes Borra Caves the deepest caves in India.
The mix of light and darkness along with the cavern’s natural skylights conjures up colorful shadows and imagery that gives these caves a mystical vibe. Those who love exploring caves will have great fun spotting bats as well as golden geckos hiding the nooks and crannies of the caves. The hiking trail that leads up these caves tends to be equally enticing and enjoyable.
Don’t forget to interact with the locals and learn about all the fascinating stories that are associated with these caves. The locals believed that these caves were actually discovered by a cowherd while searching for his cow who accidentally fell down into these caves. As he discovered these cave formations, he came across a Shiva Linga. He believed that it was indeed Lord Shiva who had saved his cow and established a Shiva Temple just outside these caves.
Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh offers you some really unique and intriguing experiences and visiting Matsyagundam is one of them. Matsyagundam or the fish pool is an intriguing pool located on the Machkund River that runs nearby the Matham village. Rocky barriers stretch across the river and the river water disappears into a huge hole, only to re-emerge from a point that’s about 100 yards lower from the barrier. This entire process has led to the formation of a pool at the bottom of the barrier.
What’s interesting about this pool is that it is home to a large variety of fish, big and small. You can simply go near the pool and feed the fish from your hand. In fact, the fish are so fearless that they even let you pet them. This location also houses Sri Matsyalingeshwara Swamy Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The locals believe that a terrible fight broke out between the Matsyarajulu (fish) and the Singarajulu (snakes) at a location known as Gemmili. As a result, all the fishes were then rescued by the Mother Fish and were brought to this safe location. The location derives its name from these fascinating stories. Till today, the tribal and as well as non-tribal locals revere the fish and refrain from killing them even for food.
Those who plan a vacation to Araku Valley ensure that they spend some time in the Padmapuram Botanical Gardens. Located just 2 km away from the Araku Bus Station, this botanical garden sprawls over 26 acres of land. Established during World War II for cultivating vegetables and supplying them to the soldiers, it was later turned into a training center and a horticultural nursery.
Filled with wonderful orchards, vibrant flower gardens, exquisite plants, interesting stone sculptures, and trees like pine and eucalyptus, this garden is bursting with all kinds of colors. Out of these, the rose garden is especially a visual treat for all visitors.
One of the main attractions of this Garden is the tree-top huts where tourists can choose to stay for an exhilarating experience. Also known as the hanging gardens, these huts hang roughly 10 meters above the ground and sway gently along with the breeze. Not only this, you can explore the botanical gardens by enjoying a ride in the toy train that winds its way throughout the entire area covered by these gardens.
Originating from the Gosthani River, the Katiki Falls tend to be the next stop for all those who visit the Borra Caves. The picturesque landscape dotted with the gushing waters, lush greenery, and the uneven trekking trail enhances the appeal of this waterfall. This waterfall particularly tickles the fancy of picnickers and adventure seekers as it can be reached after trekking through some really picturesque trails that are appropriate for beginners and intermediate-level trekkers.
Sway along with the cool breeze, sing along with birds, and dip your feet in the cold water of the waterfall make this entire trip a heavenly experience. Those who wish to soak in the waters can definitely go ahead and do it. Known for being particularly ravishing during the monsoons, do ensure that you carry an extra set of clothes if soaking in the waters is your idea of fun.
Once you’re done with that, you can feast on some really delicious food items like the Bamboo chicken and enjoy fresh coconut water and other beverages at the food stalls that are located around the waterfall.
Established in the 1990s, the Araku Tribal Museum is maintained by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation. It is famed for acquainting tourists with the rich cultural legacy of the tribes native to Andhra Pradesh. This museum is essentially a 2-storied tribal building (indigenous materials were used to build it). It displays a variety of traditional tribal artifacts like hunting tools, jewelry, masks, wedding photos, musical instruments, utensils, and so on.
Not only does this museum offer the tourists a peek into the history of the region, but it also works towards educating tourists about the tribal culture and tribal life. It does this by showcasing the lifestyles of about 19 tribes that reside around this museum. While some of the most beautiful tribal paintings decorate the walls of this museum, you can also witness the traditions of Dhimsa and Mayur Dances being performed by the locals in some parts of the museum.
What will make this entire experience unique for you is the fortune teller and his parrot that are part of this museum. It is believed that this parrot who speaks only the native language always makes the right predictions for those who seek to know their fortunes. Don’t forget to enjoy a tranquil boat ride in the nearby pond and a cycle ride on the trails that surround the museum. You must also buy some fascinating souvenirs from the museum as this makes your trip memorable and also helps the locals to generate some income for themselves.
Now that you know all the top places to visit in Araku Valley, quickly pack your bags and head straight to this charming hill town! Trust us when we say that a weekend trip here will certainly help you get away from the hustle and bustle of the cities and melt your stress.
What Is Famous In Araku Valley?
Here are some of the most famous places in Araku Valley:
What Is The Best Time To Visit Araku Valley?
The best time to visit Araku Valley is from September to February. However, you should expect this location to be filled with tourists in these months as it tends to be the peak season.
How Many Waterfalls Are In Araku Valley?
There are 6 main waterfalls around Araku Valley namely, Katiki Waterfalls, Chaparai Waterfalls, Tatigua Waterfalls, Kollaput Jala Tarangini, Dharagadda Waterfalls, and Kothapalli Waterfalls.
How Far Is Araku Valley From Vizag?
Vizag is roughly 115 km away from Araku Valley.
Does Araku Have A Beach?
Araku Valley is located well away from the eastern coastline. But you can visit Bheemili Beach that’s located about 113 km away. It’s untouched by mainstream tourist crowds and offers you solitude to be with yourself.
What Is Special About Araku Valley?
Araku valley is famous for its coffee plantations that are surrounded by gardens, waterfalls, and streams. This scenery, combined with the verdant forests are the biggest attraction to the people coming to Araku Valley.
What Can I Buy In Araku?
Handmade chocolates and local coffee are the main commodities to buy in Araku.
Is Araku Valley Safe?
Yes. The town of Araku is idyllic. There isn't much happening beyond the very defined stops. However, given the fact that it is slightly disconnected from civilization, we wouldn't recommend staying there through the night.