Araku Valley is a famous hill station located in the Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. It is situated amidst the mighty Eastern Ghats, 116 km from its district headquarters. It lies in very close vicinity to the border of Orissa. The valley has a very rich biodiversity due to the presence of Ananthagiri and Sunkarimetta Reserved Forests. There is also a Galikonda Hill, 5000 feet in height, is the tallest hill in the state of Andhra Pradesh. This place is also known as the “Food Bowl of South India”.
The valley is mostly popular for its coffee plantations. The coffee plantations are a boon for the local tribes to a large extent who lives in and around the valley as it generates their source of income. India’s first organic coffee brand by tribal growers was launched at Araku Valley in 2007. The brand was named “Araku Emerald” and soon it became popular in domestic circuits and is now exported to abroad also because of its high demand. This valley has a pleasant climate throughout the year and is bestowed with lush greenery, scenic landscape, exotic waterfalls and streams. It is a sight to etch and an experience to engrave forever.
Araku is also famous for its mustard flowers which change the whole landscape of the valley from green to yellow during the months of November and December every year. The main attraction near Araku Valley is Borra Caves, the deepest caves of India, situated just 35 km away from the valley.
Major Attractions in and around the Araku Valley are Sri Matyalingeshwara Swamy Temple, Araku Tribal Museum, Coffee Plantations, Padampuran Botanical garden, Tyda Village and Park, Dumbriguda Falls, Sangda Waterfalls, Katiki Falls, Matsyagundam and Bheemunipatnam Beach.
Accomodation with all the modern facilities are available in this valley. AP Tourism also runs a resort called Yatri Nivas (Punnami Resorts) here which is well known for its lodging and service.
Taluka : Araku Valley District : Visakhapatnam
State: Andhra Pradesh Languages : Telugu and English
Best Time to Visit : October-March Weather : 16°C to 30°C (Max)
STD Code: 08936 Pin Code: 531151
Visakhapatnam Airport is the nearest one, 109 km away from Araku and is well connected to major cities of India and abroad.
Araku has its own railway station and is well connected to Visakhapatnam. It lies on the Kothavalsa-Kirandul rail route. Major railway junction is at Visakhapatnam which is well connected to major cities of India.
The train journey between Visakhapatnam and Araku is a soothing and memorable experience. The train line passes 54 tunnels and 84 bridges on a broad gauge track. It also passes through Shimiliguda Station (996.32 feet above sea level), which is presently the second highest broad gauge station of India, after Qazigund of Jammu and Kashmir. The train also passes over the Borra Caves. There is a 100 feet thick rock support over the caves above which the tracks are laid. You will be enthralled by this rail experience which will give you a picturesque view of valley at one side and mountains with waterfalls on the other side. There is a special coach in the train for Rail cum Road Package Tour offered by AP Tourism. Under this package the upward journey from Visakhapatnam is by this train and return trip is by road covering some local tourist places and famous Borra caves.
APSRTC operate regular bus services to Araku from Visakhapatnam. The best way to reach Araku is by your own car or by hiring a taxi.