INTRODUCTIONAraku Valley is situated close to the Odisha state border in the Visakhapatnam district of the Andhra Pradesh state. It is located at a distance of about 115kms from Vizag and is spread roughly over an area of 36-km and the altitude is between 600 and 900m above the sea level. This valley promises the tourists a very pleasant and cordial weather and engulfs you with its natural beauty which comes alive with its rich landscape. The thick forests on either side of the valley with its rich flora and fauna makes the trip very interesting and leaves you back with an unforgettable memories. The way to the valley also drives you into the gorgeous coffee plantations. The tribes living in this valley wear colourful dresses and costumes and were untouched with modern civilizations. Their rhythmic songs and tribal dances, the Dhimsa dance in particular are just marvelous. The journey to Araku Valley is quite interesting by a rail as it through 46 tunnels and bridges only to get you lost in the nature of this valley.
ORIENTATIONAraku is located at 18.3333N 82.8667E.It has an average elevation of 911 meters (2992 feet).It is located 115 km from Vishakhapatnam, close to the Odisha state border.
HISTORYThe history of Araku valley is that it s the home of nearly 19 tribes who are always in their colorful attires especially women. They perform the Dimsa and Mayur dances especially during 'Itika Pongal' - the popular hunting festival in April.
Best time to visitThe best time to visit the valley is during March-April when the silent night echoes to the sound of music and dance
This festival falls in the month of April and the main celebration of this festival is that it is a popular hunting festival of this area. During this they stop all their agricultural activities and undertake hunting expeditions to nearby forests using spears, bows and arrows.
On their return the hunters are accorded a hero?s welcome by the women. The entire village revels through the night drinking and dancing.
Apart from this the tribes of this village celebrate everything from the onset of the monsoon to the simple toils of daily life.
PLACES OF INTERESTS
This is a tree top guest house or more of a hanging cottage which is about ten feet above the ground level and has continuous water supply for the toilets.
The main attraction of this garden is this tree top houses. The garden also entertains the tourists by a toy train.
For cottage booking here you need to contact Manager Padmapuram gardens Phone No:08936.49615.
This museum educates the tourists about the culture and the way of living of the tribes there.
The Tribal Museum has 3-D installations of village life scenes along with other artifacts. Village women form Chompi performs the Dhimsa dance at Punnami Yatri Nivas almost every day.
Anantagiri water fall
Anantagiri water fall is another prime attraction of this place which is at a distance of about 30 Kms from the Araku valley. You can very clearly here the sound of the waterfall on a peaceful day which will take you away miles away from the buzzling city noise.
Dumbriguda Waterfalls is also referred as Chaaparai.
This picnic spot is located at a distance of about 15 Kms from Araku.
Smooth slanting rocks interrupt a stream, making a huge natural water slide.
This nature camp is located at a distance of about 75 Km from Vizag and is ideal for bird watching, rock climbing, trekking and over night stay. It is an eco-tourism project run by the state government.
Jungle Bells is spread over 15 acres. About 50 km away near Boddavvara is the Thatipudi Reservoir. The lake here is surrounded by hills.
Boats can be hired and it?s a good place to swim and fish.
Apart from the above sightseeing one can visit the nearby places in the city of Visakhapatnam
This is run by the tribal welfare department which also has its training center at Padmapuram.It is open from 8 AM to 12.30 PM and again on 2.00 PM to 5.00 PM
The 25km stretch of road literally hugging the coastline from Visakhapatnam to Bheemunipatnam has a view that is simply breathtaking.Bheemunipatnam known as Bhimli is the second oldest muncipality in the country.
Dolphin's Nose and the Port
The captivating symbol of Vizag that charms the young and old alike is the headland Dolphin's nose. At 358 metres above sea level, with a lighthouse atop the hill, Dolphin?s nose is aptly named.
It is Vizag's favourite evening sojourn. An aquarium, the Kali temple, Visakha museum, a rare submarine museum and roadside restaurants offering seafood are the other attractions.
This park is a place for leisure and amusement for the urban dwellers. A well equipped gym; pleasure rides on horses and camels, skating rink, boating, musical fountain are the enticing attractions of the park.
Indira Gandhi zoological park
Spread over 450 acres, the Indira Gandhi zoological park houses exotic species of birds and animals in natural habitat.
This beach is just 8kms from Vizag and has goden sand and surf with sea and has hill cottages overlooking the grand ocean.
Cottages, Inspection Bungalows, hotels and tourist guest houses, catering to different ranges are available in Araku. APTDC also provides comfortable accommodation in its Mayuri Tourist Complex.Padmapuram Gardens also offers accommodation.
HOW TO REACH
The nearest airport is Vishakhapatnam at a distance of 112-km.
Araku Station (136 km from Viskhapatnam).
One can drive up from Viskhapatnam or take any of the buses plying here. (117 km from Viskhapatnam).