OT Itinerary: Your Two-Day Guide To The Beautiful Araku Valley

A weekend getaway to Andhra Pradesh's most famous hill station beckons
Araku Valley is a hill station and valley region in the southeastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh
Araku Valley is a hill station and valley region in the southeastern Indian state of Andhra PradeshShutterstock

The Araku Valley is located in the majestic landscape of the Eastern Ghats and is a popular weekend getaway with residents of Andhra Pradesh. It has pine trees, green meadows, a lovely climate and a unique tribal culture. It is arguably the state’s most famous hill station and visitors can enjoy its refreshing air while taking leisurely strolls around town.

Here’s your weekend guide to the Araku Valley.

Day 1


Entrance to the Coffee Museum
Entrance to the Coffee MuseumCreativesam/Shutterstock.com

Start your first day by visiting the Padmapuram Gardens. The place started out as a 26-acre fruit and vegetable garden during the Second World War in 1942. Now it is a horticultural nursery and popular with tourists because of its rose gardens, pine trees and eucalyptus trees. The hanging cottages, also known as tree huts, are raised 3m above the ground. Ride the toy train for a whimsical tour of the garden.

Next, head to the Coffee Museum to learn about the valley’s numerous coffee plantations. It was established in 2006 after shedding its previous role as a catering business from the 1950s. The museum features tableaus with dolls depicting the coffee-making process while the Sampoorna Coffee Gallery exhibits dioramas about the history of the coffee bean. Murals highlight the coffee-making journey from berries to being brewed in a cup.


Exhibits at the Tribal Museum
Exhibits at the Tribal MuseumCreativesam/Shutterstock.com

Buy some sweet treats from the Chocolate Factory next to the Padmapuram Gardens and choose a spot for lunch among the Star Annapurna Restaurant, the Royal Darbar Restaurant and the Rajadhani Restaurant.

Afterwards, visit the Tribal Museum to learn about the region’s indigenous culture. The main gallery has dioramas of their dances, rooms depicting their rituals and hunting scenes. Also on display are household articles, musical instruments and local art. A second gallery showcases jewellery worn by tribespeople during festivals or while performing dances. There are also several masks on display—featuring animal faces and that of Hanuman—which are worn during celebratory occasions. Visitors can try their hand at archery, pick up hand-made souvenirs and avail of boating facilities at the site’s pond.


The Galikonda Viewpoint, like the Madagada Viewpoint, have sweeping views of the Ananthagiri Hills
The Galikonda Viewpoint, like the Madagada Viewpoint, have sweeping views of the Ananthagiri HillsS Ravi Kanth Reddy/Shutterstock.com

Wrap up your evening with a visit to the Madagada Viewpoint. While it’s best to catch the sunrise from here, the scenic vistas of the surrounding landscape look particularly charming at dusk. The Araku Valley stretches before you with its rolling hills and dense forests. Bird watch and listen to their music as the sun sets.

Day 2


The Borra Caves are millions of years old
The Borra Caves are millions of years oldHamza Indian/Shutterstock.com

Rise up early to head to the Borra Caves. On your way there, stop at the Galikonda Viewpoint to check out the panoramic views of the mountain ranges and valleys peeking out from cotton candy clouds. Eat some roadside food if you wish and continue on your journey to the caves.

The Borra Caves are located in the Ananthagiri Hills at a height of about 705m. They are one of the largest caves in the country with a distinct variety of speleothems, stalactites and stalagmites. The caves were formed due to limestone deposits and local legends say they were discovered by a cowherd who later built a temple at the site. This temple attracts many pilgrims today but if you want to explore the Borra Caves in greater detail then it’s wise to book a tour in advance.


The Katiki Waterfalls
The Katiki WaterfallsVENKATA PRABHAKAR/Shutterstock.com

On your way back, stop at the Katiki Waterfalls. You will have to trek through a lush green forest to see the roaring waters fall from a height of 15m into a pool below. The water is clear and white, and a dip here is a refreshing way to energise yourself. The waterfall gets its name from the Katiki village and originates from the Gosthani River.

Next, head to the Chaparai Waterfall, also known as the Dumbriguda Waterfall. It is a prime filming location for the Telugu movie industry and you will see why. Its serene environment is marked by dense forests, waterways and rocky pools. Snack at some of the roadside stalls if you want and take a dip in its pristine waters. As the noon heat wears off, consider having a picnic, strolling along the shoreline during sunset, or setting up camp to witness the stars at night.


Bamboo chicken is a tribal delicacy in the Araku Valley
Bamboo chicken is a tribal delicacy in the Araku Valleyaparajitha joseph/Shutterstock.com

Spend your final evening in the Araku Valley tucking your face into a hearty meal and walking in the town centre. Pick up handicrafts and souvenirs to take back with you and make plans to come back here in another season.

Where To Stay

Bansi Resort and the Casa Holiday Resort are good for a luxurious stay. Consider the Sri Laahari Bamboo Resort and the Ushodya Resort for budget-friendly stays. The Dream Valley Residency and the Sandhya Campground are suitable for backpackers.

Getting There

The closest airport is in Visakhapatnam (107km). Araku has a railway station (ARK) which you can reach from Visakhapatnam (VSKP), 111km away. Hire a bus or taxi to the Araku Valley from Visakhapatnam.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Traveller