Filed under Locations
People who are thinking of unwinding or taking in history and culture together with unspoiled and back to basic nature usually fare well when choosing India as their destination. And in India, no one can go wrong when going to hill stations to relax. Hill stations are towns that are placed in higher elevations and in India, most hill stations have an altitude of at least 1,000 meters (roughly equivalent to 3,500 feet). For people who are living in temperate climates (of which includes India), such a place’s refreshing temperature and climate is a welcome change.
Araku Valley is one such hill station in India. Located in the district of Visakhapatnam, some 120 kilometers from the district headquarters, the station is elevated at a height of 911 meters above mean sea level. It is a part of Andhra Pradesh, and is currently the home of 19 tribes. It is usually visited by a lot of people, especially during the summer due to its pleasant weather and natural, scenic beauty that extends over an area of about 36 kilometers.
A rich landscape is what lures most people to this site. A visitor can experience lush green forests, verdant sloping hills and, beautiful valleys all set in the backdrop of the pleasing sounds of waterfalls. While the area may sound small at 36 kilometers, it slowly unfolds itself to the visitors in a grand and beautiful manner in such a way that one will forget the size and will instead be overwhelmed by the splendor that the place has been carrying for decades.
Aside from the scenic beauty, the valley also has other attractions for the more curious visitors. One of the more popular places the station offers is the Museum of Habitat, which shows the lifestyles of the tribal people that live in the area. The museum is housed in a beautiful, red-roofed bungalow style building. There are rooms that showcase realistic statues of the tribal people as they go on their daily lives: a tribal lady cooking an evening meal, for example, or a tribal man watching over his sleeping family, while a clutching a spear in his hand. There is also another display that shows the weapons of the tribes as well as the many ornate and elegant jewelry, which is shown in the main atrium of the museum.
Another attraction is the Borra Caves, located in the Ananthagiri Hills of the valley. The caves were discovered in 1807, by William King George, a member of the Geological Survery of India. A spelunker’s dream come true, they are among the largest in the country, at an elevation of about 705 meters. They also happen to be the deepest caves in India, extending to a depth of about 80 meters. At the entry, one is greeted by a cave that is 100 meters wide and 75 meters high. Going in displays interesting stalagmite and stalactite formations and a walk around the cave gives a tourist an impressive view of the area, which is rich in flora and fauna.
To those who are planning on going to Araku Valley, it is recommended to take the Shimliguda Railway Station as going there by train is something that must be experienced. The beauty of Araku Valley starts not as one steps in the place itself, but from the journey getting there.