9. Araku Valley:One of the lesser known hill stations, Araku Valley is a valley inhabited by indigenous tribes in the Eastern Ghats. One of the most visited tourist places in Andhra Pradesh, Araku is also famous for its coffee plantations. One must also visit the tribal museum, Borra caves and Ananthagiri Hills while at Araku. Araku can be reached from Visakhapatnam, from where there are regular buses.
How To Reach
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Araku valley and Borra Caves
Known as the "Food Bowl of south India", the Araku Valley is one of the most prominent tourist destinations of Andhra Pradesh. The Borra Caves are the major attraction over here. The pristine sceneries and the marvellous views make this place a hot favorite of nature lovers and photography buffs. The coffee plantations are a sight to behold as well. the other attractions in this beautiful valley are the Padmapuran Botanical Gardens, Tyda Village and Park, Dumbriguda Fall, Sangda and Katiki Waterfalls, Matsyagundam village and Bheemunipatnam Beach. The Araku Tribal Museum is a place where you get detailed information about ancient tribes, their culture and lifestyles in a very organized manner.
Now Padmapuram Gardens are quite popular among tourists and that’s why perhaps I was being gently nudged to visit it. And visit I did. The gardens are certainly beautiful and mostly famous for the adorable hanging huts! I spent about 2 hours here and most of my time was spent around these absolutely gorgeous huts.
Araku Valley Coffee Museum
Next I went on to visit the Araku Valley Coffee House. Located behind the main bus stand, this popular spot is quite a charmer. Housing various varieties of coffee, it takes your through the history of coffee not only in India but other countries including Africa. I was surprised by an enthralling sound and light show taking place here and immediately signed up for it. And what a pleasant surprise it was!The best part of course is the best cup of coffee you will ever sip along with the best bite of chocolate cake ever! Yes, ‘best’ really is the only adjective for this absolutely enlightening foodie moment (it is said that good food can instantly increase the happy neurons in the brain)!There is a tribal museum here that helps one understand the culture, the lifestyle, the traditions and also the way of life for tribals. Unintentionally the museum also awakens feelings of sadness and helplessness as one realizes how dependent the human race is on technology and how unnecessary it really is.