For nature lovers "Araku Valley" is best place to travel. It is a Hill station in visakhapatnam district in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. It is a valley in the Eastern Ghats inhabited by different tribes and located 114 km from visakhapatnam, close to the Odisha state border. The best ways to reach Araku valley from visakhapatnam - by train, as the train goes through many bridges and many many tunnels (50 plus and the longest tunnel is 520 meter long).October to March is the best season to visit Araku Valley. This is the season most suitable for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
Coffee plantations -
Araku is popular for its famous coffee plantations. India’s first tribal growers' organic coffee brand was launched in the Araku Valley in 2007. The premium organic "Araku Emerald" brand of coffee sells globally.
Padmapuran Botanical Garden -
Initially, the purpose of this garden was to provide vegetable supplies to the soldiers, who fought in the Second World War. Simply called the Botanical Garden now, it acts as a horticultural nursery and contains various rare types of flowers and trees.
Another important highlight of Padmapuram Botanical Gardens is a toy train, which gives a tour of the garden to the visitors. Along with the toy train, the garden also contains tree top huts, which can be booked by the tourists. The garden also encompasses a rose garden. From the garden, varied species of plants can also be purchased.
Borra Caves -
William King the British geologist discovered this million years old cave in the year 1807.
Breath taking hilly terrain, beautiful landscape, semi-evergreen moist deciduous forests, and wild fauna of the area are a visual feast. This cave is the biggest in India considering the area it has spread geographically.
Katiki Falls -
Another sight to enjoy time with family and friends, offers opportunity for trekking as well as a tribal delicacy of bamboo-chicken.
Sangda Waterfalls -
In Eastern Ghats near the village of Sangda is located a fall which also has got the name of the same village due to the proximity.
Events / Festivals in Araku -
Dhima dance: This is an age-old folk dance of the aborigines which is performed in the region at the time of Itika Pongal which is conducted every year in the month of April.
Visakha Utsav: Every year in the month of January, from the third Friday to Sunday, this festival in Araku is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm. It is mainly organized by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism.
Araku valley has one of the best hikes in India. There are plenty of hills, thick forests, and waterfalls in the Araku Valley. The valley is spread across an area of 36 kms.The hiking trails in Araku are moderately difficult. When in transit you will see the tribal habitation and their culture in full display. Hiking routes take you through these tribal villages. Along the trail you can also see the Barezolla Park. Then there are the Bora Caves which is a popular spot. The Bora Caves to Katiki Water Falls hiking trail is a popular one too. In the Araku Valley that you will see the Jindhagada Peak. This mountain is the highest in Andhra Pradesh and is one of the top hiking destinations in India. There are separate hiking trails to this mountain and beyond.
Accommodation in Ararku -
There are hotels, resort and guest houses in araku but no luxury hotels in Araku Valley.
There are many options for eating out in Araku Valley with restaurants and food stalls serving North Indian, South Indian, Odiya and Chinese cuisine.
How to reach Araku -
You can catch train, bus or cab from visakhapatnam. There are priviate as well as state buses and cabs found from visakhapatnam that charge a very less amount.