Back in 2012, I had set my foot in the hills of Araku valley – a hill station in the eastern ghats of Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. As I had frequently visited various parts of western ghats across the south belt in Karnataka and Kerala, we instead wanted to experience how the brother on the eastern side appeared.
We travelled to the Araku valley via train (Kirandul passenger) which passes through the Kottavalasa Kirandul line. The journey is absolutely scenic and the train adventures to climb up the hills through numerous tunnels (around 50) and bridges (around 80) and passes through the lush green valley and gushing river stream. After a fascinating green journey containing an awestruck backdrop, we finally reached the Borra guhalu.
Being one of the largest cave wonder in India, they are known for their stalactite and stalagmite formations and have been celebrating it’s birthday across millions of years. The entrance leads to a passage of steps, down to the caves.
The irregularly shaped formations are the resultant of water seeping from the caves roof breaking the minerals of the limestone, forming stalactites on the top and stalagmite at the bottom and the massive cave does offer a stunning view to its guests.
The caves are pitch black dark and are deep with no sunlight penetrating them. The reach to the formation needs a walk inside the caves which has been lit up by halogen lamps that illuminate the path and ultimately showcases break taking views of the formation to the tourists.
The caves do house a small place of worship where the ancient primitive tribe of the region frequently visit to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva (naturally formed lingam by stalagmite).
The borra caves attracts thousands of tourists providing a great visual treat to the eyes and tickling their brain to wonder how the formation got created over the years but one will for sure appreciate beauty of the mother nature and it’s unexplained wonder.
Completing a fascinating day at the caves, we headed to visit galikondalu and enroute noticed a group of mountains were silently relaxing and enjoying the sight of the roll ball calmly setting and shying away behind the mountains, opposite. There are many cascading waterfalls, green plantation that one could catch a glimpse of enroute and additionally the interested could also visit botanical garden and a tribal museum, which showcases lifestyle of the tribe and their art.
The Haritha resort managed by APTDC, where we were put up during our visit was well maintained and appears to be one of the best available choices in the valley and it does offer a great view of the valley around.
After completing our stay at the valley, we headed to explore the city of Vizag the next day. Checking into a hotel nearby to the beach, we quickly headed to hit the clean serene but for – a raging sea water. The sea was quite rough but would it conquer my fear, No!, I headed on advancing further.
We then headed to explore the city and firstly visited the port where we noticed numerous boats, ships piled up for their maintenance work. The sun was so scorching hot that I repented for taking a bath back at the hotel as the sun was bathing me 24/7 (every minute) as I walked through the city.
We also visited a Submarine (functioning since 1969 and decommissioned in 2001) which is placed on a concrete foundation at the beach road. The Submarine is 91.3 m in length and 8 m in breadth. The Kursura Submarine houses a museum that educates the visitors the functioning of a submarine, the complicated engines, huge machines within and also invites one to some interesting facts and the history of its existence.
Finishing our time at the submarine, we moved on to visit Kailasagiri park which is placed in the hilltop at 360 feet above that overlooks the city of Vizag. One can reach the hilltop through the cable car which offers a jaw dropping view of the Vizag city atop the hill. The park has a beautiful garden with large statue of Lord Shiva and Parvathi.
It was indeed beautiful moments spent in the Vizag city, the only drawback being I had to frequently bath in the tears of the sun with my clothes on, making the enthusiastic traveler in me tired and tired.
Before bidding goodbye to the city, I decided to catch a calm sun in the early wee hours and taking the last walk in the beach that threw out pleasant fresh air to an orange world.
An absolutely beautiful trip to cherish for memories and yes, it did find its place in the blog diary after 6 years.