Araku Vally - Bora Caves - Visakhapatnam

About Visakhapatnam: Visakhapatnam or the place of Visakha, is named after the deity of valor, the second son of Lord Shiva. The other story is that the beauty of the place was compared to the beauty of Sakhi Visakha. The legend is that Radha and Visakha were born on the same day and were equally beautiful. The local people believe that an Andhra king, impressed by the beauty, built a temple to pay obeisance to his family deity, Visakha.
Visakhapatnam (Vizag) is second largest city in Andhra Pradesh with an area of 550 km². It is primarily an industrial city, apart from being a port city. It is also home to the Eastern Naval Command. Visakhapatnam has seen rapid development in the past decade. Apart from this one of the most upcoming tourist places in India with number of attraction for the tourist.

Duration of the Trip: It is a 4 days and 5 night’s trip from Bangalore. We started at 8:10 PM on Wednesday and return back to Bangalore on 7:30 AM on Monday.

Transportation: For this trip we had to have train, bus and package tour. We started from Bangalore by Yeswantpur-Howrah Express (2864) which we had board from KR Puram station at 8:10 PM on Wednesday and reached Visakhapatnam at 4:00 PM next that i.e. on Thursday.
For returning back to Bangalore we had board the same train i.e. Howrah-Yeswantpur Express (2863), at 10:40 AM from Vishakapatnam and reached KR Puram at 05:58 AM.
Ticket cost Rs 367 for Sleeper classes, Rs 977 for 3 tiers AC and Rs 1332 for 2 tiers AC for each.

Details of The Trip:
Day 1:
After reaching Vishakapatnam station, we booked an auto and went to hotel. There are two Haritha Hotels which are undertaken by APTDC. These hotels are very good. These hotels have bar, restaurant and ample parking facility.
1) Haritha Hotel, Vizag
Opp. Appughar Site,
Beach road, M.V.P Colony,
Visakhapatnam
Tel: +91 891 2562333, 2788824
Cel: +91 9848813582
Room Type                          Tariff per day
A/C Suites                               2000/-
A/C Room                               1300/-
A/C 4 Bedded Room               1750/-
Non A/C Room                        900/-

2) Bhimili Road, Risikonda,
Visakhapatnam
Tel: +91 891 2788826, 2793973

Room Type                           Tariff per day
A/C Suites                               2750/-
Delux A/C Room                     2200/-
Standard A/C Room                1600/-
New Suit Room                       2750/-
New Executive Room              2000/-

There are other private hotels also throughout the city which are also very good. The best place to take accommodation is the hotels near R K Beach.
After getting into the rooms, we preferred to take some rest. We went to sea beach in late evening.

Day 2:
We went for Bora Caves and Araku Valley on the second day. We had board the train VSKP-KRDL-PASS ( 58501) from Vishakapatnam station at 6:50 AM and reached Araku station at 10:50 AM. Ticket cost Rs. 80/- for Sleeper classes. The way to Araku from Visakhapatnam is full of natural beauty. There are 18 tunnels in the way. If you love nature's own beauty there is lots of things for you.
View of the way to Araku from train

We hired a cab from outside of station for the local sightseeing in Araku which cost us Rs. 600/-.
First we went to the Botanical Garden @ Araku Valley. This is a nice place with lots of tree, sculpture.

Entrance of Botanical Garden

Sculpture @ Botanical Garden

Sculpture @ Botanical Garden
Here we got to see a Tree House which I really liked a lot. This tree house can be taken for rent to stay also.

Tree House
 One most interesting kind of tree which I liked is Fish Tail Palm. The leaves of this tree are like the tail of fish. For kid’s one nice play ground is available there.
Fish Tail Palm

From Botanical Garden we went to Urban Museum. It is a very good collection for the things used and made by the urban people of that area. Inside the museum photography is prohibited so I can’t share the images of that place.
Entrance of Urban Museum
Then we started for Bora Cave, on the way there was a beautiful view point. From where you can have a beautiful view of Araku.
On the way to Bora Cave from Araku

View of Araku

Bora Cave is one of the most wonderful caves in India. Inside the cave there are lots of sculptures which are made naturally by the rain water. In the entrance of cave we hired guide who is trained by APTDC. It is must to have a guide with you to visit this cave. Otherwise you may miss the rain made sculptures due to darkness.
Bora Caves

Bora Caves

Bora Caves

Bora Caves

Before entering into the cave you can see “Gostani River” which is treated as very Holy River among the local tribal
Goshtani River

From Bora Caves our cab driver drop us to some bus stand from there we got a bus for Visakhapatnam. We reached Visakhapatnam by 7:30 PM.

We didn’t book any package for this tour. But if you want any tour packages, you can have any of the following two from APTDC:

1. ARAKU RAIL CUM ROAD TOUR
Dep. 6.00 am Arr. 9.00 pm
Daily (one day tour) Araku Via Borra Caves, Rail cum road
FARE : Adult Rs. 650/- Child : Rs. 550/-
Including Transport by Train & Bus, Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Snacks

2. ARAKU RAIL CUM ROAD TOUR
Dep. 6.00 am Arr. 9.00 pm (Next day)
Daily (Two days tour) Araku Via Borra Caves, Rail cum road
FARE : With A/c suite Adult Rs. 2200/- Child : Rs. 1760/-
FARE : With Non A/c Room Adult Rs. 1900/- Child : Rs. 1500/-
FARE : With Deluxe Room Adult Rs. 1500/- Child : Rs. 1200/-
Including One day accommodation at Araku, Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Snacks & Train Fare

Day 3:
We went for Visakhapatnam local sightseeing in the third day. We booked the “Heritage Tour” package from APTDC. This cost us Rs 300/- per person (for child Rs. 250/-). We took our break-fast and board the bus from Visakhapatnam bus stop and started for the rich heritage tour of Visakhapatnam. Main attractions are:
Simhachalam Temple is a temple of Lord Narasimha which was built in 11th century. This temple is situated at top of a hill. There are plenty of artworks which have elements of similarity with that of Konark. Elephants, flowers and plants are portrayed in plenty.
Simhachalam Temple

Kailasa giri is located on a hilltop and is a must visiting place for all people visiting Vishakhapatnam. There is a Shiva Parvati Murty located in Kailash giri which is the main attraction of this place. There are other attraction of kailash giri are Cyclone Centre, Titanic View Point, Floral Clock, Rope Way and Children Park.
Entrance of Kailash Giri

View of city from Kailash Giri

Cyclone Center

Children Park

View of City from Rope Way

View of City from Rope Way

Floral Clock
Titanic View Point
Shiva Parvati Murty

Thotlakonda is a Buddhist Complex which was active between the year 200 BC and 200 AD. The complex has number of Stupas, chaityas and viharas. There are many rocks cut troughs available. Telugu name Thotlakonda is derived from the Thotti (tub) and Konda (hills). There are 12 tubs around this complex which are used for stroing the rain water for drinking purpose. Out of the 12 tubs four are available within the complex and others were little outside.
Stupa

Vihara

Tub to store rain water

Rishi Konda Beach is ideal beach for swimmers, water skiers, and wind surfers. It is a golden, un spoilt beach, washed by the sun-warmed sea .Tourists can enjoy a holiday in picturesque settings.
Rishi Konda Beach

We took our lunch in the “Haritha Hotel” nearby Rishi Konda beach.

Visaka Museum has some of the best and finest artistic items put on display. Portraits, some of them even at life-size depicting the members of the Royal family of the Vizianagaram and Bobbili, Two Armour suits, two stands of spears and muzzleloading guns, several ancient weapons such as steel bows, handguns that date back to the British-rule times are some of the things one should not miss. The Visakha Museum also showcases some of the artifacts collected from other institutions. These include the 250-lb bomb that was dropped by the Japanese during the World War II. The shell bomb did not however explode. The shell bomb is now put on display at the Museum.
The Submarine Museum - Kurusura being set up at the Rama Krishna Beach in Visakhapatnam has a specialty which is the first one of its kind in this subcontinent. INS Kusura is a Russian built submarine. It was built on Dec 18th 1969 and began its journey on Feb 20, 1970 via the Baltic Sea and reached Visakhapatnam on the 11th of May, 1970. Since then INS Kusura was being used by the Indian Defense. The Navy developed it as a War-Memorial with a project cost of Rs.5.5 crores. The length of Submarine is 91.3 miters while the breadth is 8.00 miters. This is the first of its kind in Asia and second in the world.
Submarine Museum

The Rama Krishna Beach, or RK Beach as it is commonly called, is one of the best tourist spot in Vizag. The beaches of Vizag enthrall the tourists and the clean beaches attract tourists in great numbers. It is Vizag's favorite evening sojourn. An aquarium, the Kali temple, Visakha Museum, Roadside restaurants offering seafood is the other attractions at this beautiful beach.
Rama Krishna Beach
Rama Krishna Beach

Fishing Harbor: There is a nice fishing harbor situated in Visakhapatnam. Boating facility is available in this harbor to go inside the sea and see how the fishermen bring fishes from there.
Fishermen making their net

Fishing Boat

Fish Market

Dolphin’s Nose is a strange but popular tourist attraction, Dolphin's Nose is a huge rocky headland 174 meters high and 358 meters above the sea level, jutting out into the sea, resembling the shape of dolphin. The rock juts out into the sea, forming a headland on which is the lighthouse. The nation's powerful beam of the lighthouse directs ships.
Day 4:
If you already haven’t forgotten, it was a ‘4 days and 5 nights’ trip among which 3 days and 4 nights are passed just like that. So it is time to come back home. We board our train from Visakhapatnam station at 10:40 AM and reached Bangalore next day 6:00AM.

Disclaimer: We went for this trip in July’2009. So the rates and timing might have changed by the time. Please check with hotel, travel agent and Indian Railway about current timings and rates.
I tried to provide as much as details is possible for the trip. For any further clarification please feel free to contact me @ dutshilpi@gmail.com. You can also refer to APTDC official website:
http://www.aptdc.in/
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Reactions: 
46 Responses
  1. Manoj Says:

    The overall explanation was really good..

    Me too have heard much about Bora caves and there are some more about it which needs to gathered in google.

    Great work..



  2. Anonymous Says:

    @ Manoj: Please put your queries here.. I will answer if I have knowledge about them...


  3. Manoj Says:

    Here is my question..whether we can go to otherside of the cave without the help of guide and also whether we are allowed to do so...


  4. Anonymous Says:

    @Manoj, going to other side is not at all allowed. Guide will take you to the places which r allowed to go.


  5. Manoj Says:

    But in Sun tv they went to other side with the help of the guide..but its highly dangerous..its totally dark and without fire we cannot see anything inside it and there s a chance of missing the route..


  6. guddi Says:

    Thaks for information


  7. Anonymous Says:

    Dear Abir Bhai,
    At last i got a well informed details of the tour which u undertook. if u can provide me with some extra information, then i shall be very happy. myself a bengali would like to visit vizag-arakku & jagdalpur during durga pujas 2011. we r a 5 member family + 1 child.
    is sufficient transportation available from araku to vizag (return journey) & what may be the cost. also did u visit jagdalpur? if so, pls. mention. pls. mail me at chandra_shub@yahoo.com

    regards,
    Subhashish chandra


  8. Hi Subhashish,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I didn’t visit Jagdalpur during my trip to Araku and Vizag. There are sufficient transports from Araku for coming back to Vizag. AP road transport busses are available in a regular interval (fare is below Rs. 30/ person). These buses are not any luxury coach or something but like the busses we have from Karunamoyee to other places in West Bengal.

    There is an option to coming back to vizag by train as well.

    Timing is

    Train No : 58502
    Train Name : KRDL VSKP PASS
    Start from Araku : 15:30
    Reached @ Vizag : 20:40
    1st Class fare : Rs. 218
    Sleeper class fare : Rs. 80

    There is another option for hiring personal cars too. But I am not aware of the charges for that.

    Please let me know if you have any more queries.

    Wish you a very very Happy Durga Puja and Happy Journey in advance… 

    Thanks and Regards,
    Abir Mukherjee
    mailto : ShilpiAbir@gmail.com


  9. Swapnil Says:

    Any other option to go from araku to Vizag other than train....?
    how much time will it take...?


  10. Anonymous Says:

    araku train tour package cost how much ? iam having a child of age 3 years...do we need any ticket for him towards araku train trip...pls reply


  11. @Swapnil : There are buses from araku vally to vizag... Which takes 3-4 hrs.. and you can hire cars as well and that will take 2-3 hrs max...


  12. @Anonymous (July 18, 2011 8:04 PM) : There are two packages for 1 day and 2 days respectively. But none is for only train. The cost are,
    for 1 day:
    FARE : Adult Rs. 650/- Child : Rs. 550/-

    for 2 days:
    FARE : With A/c suite Adult Rs. 2200/- Child : Rs. 1760/-
    FARE : With Non A/c Room Adult Rs. 1900/- Child : Rs. 1500/-
    FARE : With Deluxe Room Adult Rs. 1500/- Child : Rs. 1200/-

    If you want to travel through only train you can book that personally. Ticket cost Rs 367 for Sleeper classes, Rs 977 for 3 tiers AC and Rs 1332 for 2 tiers AC for each.

    For the child the fare rule is same like other trains.

    I visited the place during July 2009. So the fare might have changed. You can refer the IRCTC.co.in for current fare..


  13. Swapnil Says:

    Thanks yar Abir.
    Thanks for ur prompt response.
    :-)


  14. Anonymous Says:

    i want 2 kno what is the expense from vizag to araku without guide or rs.650 package.


  15. If you don't want a guide, u can customize the expense for Vizag to Araku. Like if you want to go by train it will cost you Rs 80/- for Sleeper class and Rs 218/- for first class for one way. After reaching araku you can hire a personal cab. For coming back to vizag again you can hire thew same train or any bus which cost Rs 20/- per head max.

    One more way is there to hire a card from Vizag itself. That will cost you nearly Rs 2000/-


  16. Rizwana Says:

    I have heard that the bus service from araku to vizag is not very good. It is not easy to get bus from there. Is it true?


  17. Yes it's rare a bit...you car hire a cab in that case.

    With love,
    Abir


  18. Indranil RoyChowdhury Says:

    Very nice narration Abir..I am planning a vist to Vizag and Araku in January next year with my family and found your travelogue quite informative.However, can you comment on how the following places are (I am planning to visit them from Rushikonda)
    - Indira Gandhi Zoological Park
    - Bheemunipatnam (Bhimili Beach)


  19. sumanth Says:

    we are planning araku weekend? we have a doubt....just 600 for entire day at araku(taxi) ?? how many people went along with u?


  20. @Indranil: I haven't visit the places. So can't provide my experience on them...

    sorry for the inconvenience..


  21. @Sumanth: We were four people. Me, My parents and My sister.. Yes Araku is not very expensive..


  22. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Abir

    Very good description of your tour. Indeed very informative. Can u pls tell me the bus fare from Araku to Vizag and also if we hire a cab what is the fare approx?

    Thanks & regards
    Dhruba Jyoti Banerjee


  23. @Dhruba Jyoti: Bus fare was approximately Rs 20/- per head when we visited.

    Cab will cost you nearly Rs 2000/-


  24. Anonymous Says:

    Abir da

    I had 1 query.. We are booking train up down VskpArakku .. On our own.. Not any package..
    Is there any communication available for araku side swing and bora caves, which will drop us back to arakku

    Thanks
    Sayak Mukherjee


  25. @Sayak : Outside of the Araku Railway station, lots of personal cars will be available for hire. They will take you all the places to visit in Araku and Bora Caves and will drop you in the Araku Bus stand / Araku Railway Station / Bora Caves Railway Station.

    We can board your train from Bora Caves railway station as well.

    Regards,
    Abir


  26. Anonymous Says:

    Dr Subhas Chandra Sarkar
    jadavpur, kolkata-32.
    Hi Abir,
    It's a very good description. I will visit Vijag & Araku 0n 31st March to 3rd April,2012,your description will definitely help us.
    thank you.
    Subhas.


  27. Thanks Dr. Sarkar... Wish you a happy holidays...


  28. Arvind Says:

    Hi Abir!
    That was a wonderful description, proven by the fact the fact that this post still merits discussion after 2 yrs! Iam planning to visit Araku - Vizag in August, 2012. We are group 9-11 people visiting. I have a query for you -
    1) Can we book a Tempo traveler from Vizg itself? if so how much does this cost? As we plan a 6 day feast, touring some other parts of Andhra too.
    2) Travel from Vizag to Araku - which is better - Train or Road?


  29. @Arvind:

    1. yes you can book tempo traveler from Vizag.. sorry I cant give you the cost of it. As I didn't use it.

    2. For Vizag to Araku, it will be better to travel one way by Train and one way by Road.... So that you don't miss the scenic beauty of any way...


  30. Bratin Says:

    Good description. Quite informative.
    Is there any good hotels on RK Beach like the ones in Puri?
    Bratin Choudhury
    Kolkatachoudhuryb@gmail.com


  31. @Bratin : Yes, there are lots of good hotels in RK Beach.. But right now I dont have any numbers with me for them. Well, actually there are quite a lot, so you can directly go there and book as well.


  32. Hii Abir da,

    Thank you for giving these detail information.
    And I just have some more question that is this good time to tour at vizag?
    how much day is necessary to visit vizag and nearest all place(like araku, jagadalpu...)?
    how I book the packages to visit the vizag?

    -Snehasish Chakraborty(snehasish.bdn@gmail.com)


  33. Niharika Says:

    Hi Abir,
    Really very good explanation along with pics. Thank you verymuch..

    Niharika..


  34. @Snehasish: Thanks for your interest in my blog and I am sorry for replying so late..

    Vizag will take one day and Araku, Bora Caves will take one more day.. So if you plan to stay for three days in Viza, that will be enough for visiting these two places. I didn't visit any other near by places, so I have no idea..

    Puja vacation is the good time to visit Vizag and you can book the package from the APTDC website, mentioned in the blog.


  35. shankarsen Says:

    Hi Abir
    Really nice depiction of the traveller's diary punctuated with photos.
    We are heading to Vizag & Araku tomorrow.

    Take care
    Shankar


  36. Hi,
    Can you please give me an approx cost of per day car rental at Vizag.

    Thanks
    Daipayan


  37. @Daipayan: Sorry, but I dont have the cost.. You have to get it from Vizag itself or you can check with APTDC...


  38. excellent description and good presentation


  39. Anonymous Says:

    Very good....got a some good idea about Vizag/Araku and I am planning on the year end...Thanks for the info


  40. Anonymous Says:

    Good explanation! Thanks. Is there buses available frequently from Borra Caves to Vizag? Is there any places available around borra caves?


  41. @Anonymous: Yes there are frequent buses available from Bora Caves to Vizag..


  42. Anonymous Says:

    MORE THAN EXCELLENT WORK DONE !!!! IT"S A CLEAR PICTURE FOR
    THOSE WHO ARE PLANNING FOR ARAKU-VIZAG TOUR !!!!!!


  43. Anonymous Says:

    good work keep it on it will help lots of people who wants to see this beautiful world


  44. ram ana Says:

    Thanks for your journey post. It helpful more for me . I planed to visit araku end of December 2014. I booked both up and down ticket by passenger train. Kindly guide me, availability the local sightseeing facility in the Araku. If you any cabs contact number kindly inform me to the below mail id as soon as possible.
    ramanantn@yahoo.com


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