This was in 2014, when we planned a trip to Visakhapatnam and Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh.
Beaches has a special fascination for us and our son and we decided to spend a few days at The Gateway Hotel in Vizag and then leave for Araku Valley.
Places we stayed:
Vishakhapatnam – The Gateway Hotel, RK Beach Road
Araku Valley – Haritha Valley View Hotel, Andhra Pradesh Tourism, Govt. of AP
Part One: Visakhapatnam
Planned this trip for the birthday of my better-half and we took the train from Hyderabad to Vishakhapatnam in the first leg. Gateway Hotel was happy to allot a room to us in the morning itself for an early check-in.
We spent a couple of days at Visakhapatnam, and on the day of the birthday, the hotel surprised us with a bunch of roses and a birthday cake. We are surprised, taken aback, loved this experience with Taj properties.
We then on one of the evenings, took a boat ride into the sea (managed by APTDC). With a few extra bucks, the personnel, took us a bit deeper into the sea as the water started getting a bit more rough when we had to ask him to turn back.
Part Two: Araku Valley
On day two, we visited, Kailasagiri (Hotel Gateway arranged for a cab). The trip was good and the toy train on top of the hill was a good ride giving you a wonderful view of the sea and the surroundings.
On Day Three, we took the morning train to Araku Valley from Vishakhapatnam. This train has 2S, SL and FC coaches in 2014 which are now replaced by Vista-dome coach until Araku.
This train is now a ICF rake and runs with EC, 2A, II, SL and the Vista-dome is detached at Araku.
The journey by the train is scenic and took around 4 hours to reach our destination.
We spent a good time at the Haritha Resorts managed by APTDC and some sight seeing around Araku Valley.
We took a cab from Haritha resorts to visit local attractions – Tribal Museum, Araku Valley, Coffee Plantations, Borra caves (also known as Borra Guhalu) en-route.
All in all, was a good trip covered in 4 days.
For those of you who are looking at a road trip for this, below would be my recommendation:
Hyderabad – Vijayawada (Bhavani Island) – Rajahmundry – Lambasingi (is known for being having sub zero or near zero temp. in Winters) – Tyda (Jungle Lodges) – Araku Valley – Visakhapatnam – Annavaram – Vijayawada – Hyderabad
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