The drive from Visakhapatnam to Araku Valley is so picturesque and rewarding you will want to stop constantly just to soak in the spectacular views that you start wondering if the low-lying, presumably underwhelming (when compared to the Western Ghats) Eastern Chats could offer you anything further. That is when the Araku Valley presents itself, with its pine trees, green meadows, awe-inspiring views of the hills beyond, salubrious climate and unique tribal culture.
Owing to its calm and relaxed air Araku is Vizag's favourite weekend getaway. It is also the most famous hill station in all of Andhra Pradesh as the state doesn't have terrain of this kind in many other places. The small hill station which is actually a valley, is nestled & amidst the Ananthagiri Hills of the Eastern Ghats and has several natural wonders located closeby. The Borra Caves are worth visiting for their spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. The area also has several coffee plantations and museums.
The three hour long train journey from Vizag to Araku is also worth considering the train passes hills, valley, bridges, waterfalls and several tunnels before it reaches the Araku station. However, even if you book your tickets in advance, the train compartments can get quite crowded, especially during weekends and holidays.
Araku is about 114km from the centre of Vizag. En route to Araku is APTDC's Jungle Bells Camp in Tyda. Ahead of Tyda, a 6km journey off route will lead you to the famous Borra Caves. On the way from Borra Caves to Araku is the APTDC resort in the Ananthagiri Hills. The last spot before Araku is the Galikonda Viewpoint, which is located just before the road descends to the Araku Valley. Araku itself is a small place, surrounded by several small villages. The APTDC properties in Araku provide beautiful views of the Valley and the rolling hills surrounding it.
Araku is great for leisurely strolls, You can walk around, breathe in the refreshing air and explore various museums and gardens here. During your walks, you might stumble upon dancers performing tribal dances known as Dimsa and Mayura. Street performances are especially common during festivals and special occasions. Note that it may not be very safe to walk around alone in Araku after sunset.
The nearest airport is Visakhapatnam which is 120 km from Araku.
The nearest railway station is Visakhapatnam.
The drive on the Vizag-Araku, Road takes about 3hrs through the Ananthagiri Hills.
"Best time to visit Araku is November to February, as the temperature drops down to five degree Celsius."
Coffee Museum-Araku Valley is famous for its coffee plantations.
Tyda-Area has a natural bounty of flora and fauna and has several waterfalls
Tribal Museum-It showcases the daily life of the tribes, their culture and food habits
Borra Caves-It derives its name from a hole in the roof over its central area (borra means hole in Oriya).