AMAZING PLACES TO SEE IN INDIA - THE UNEXPLORED LAND - ARAKU VALLEY

Araku valley is a perfect escaping place from a stressful life. A hill station and a vacation spot, it has beautiful and unexplored landscapes to enchant every visitor. Araku valley is a scenic place with high mountains, lush green forests and vast coffee plantations. 

Hi friends! I am back with my latest post. As you have already read above, this time I am taking you to the south eastern part of India, to a place which is both, a nature lover's delight as well as unspoiled by commercialization. Araku valley is a hill station which is full of nature's gifts. 


Way to Araku Valley
WAY TO ARAKU
Pic - tripsaround.in

ARAKU VALLEY, Vishakhapatnam
ARAKU VALLEY
Pic - go2india.in
Araku valley is situated in Vishakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. At an altitude of 3000 ft., it provides calm and soothing environment. Araku valley is rich in natural attractions like misty clouds, greenery all around, natural caves, waterfalls etc. And the icing on the cake is pleasant climate throughout the year. Large open fields and small villages with simple folks are the sights to behold. Waterfalls and streams flowing by the sides of rail tracks and roads will simply take your breath away.


Araku Valley, Vizag
VIEW OF ARAKU VALLEY
Pic - vizagtourism.org.in
Places in and around Araku Valley:

1. CHAPARAI WATERFALLS - Located around 5 km(3 mi) from Araku Valley, Chaparai Waterfalls are also known as Dumbriguda falls. Nestled in the midst of lush green forests, these falls make for breathtaking scenery. Water falling from a height of more than 3200 ft with big noise and then flowing on different sized rocks, is a sight worth watching. Chaparai waterfalls is an ideal place for picnicking. The whole area has many streams nearby which cut across different rocks. You can spend hours admiring the work of nature in a serene and peaceful environment. Water gushing through rocks, smooth slanting rocks interrupting the streams, making natural water slide will give you ample ammunition to unwind. Chaparai waterfalls are in fact water cascade and are sure to provide you with great soul soothing experience.


CHAPARAI WATERFALLS, Araku
CHAPARAI WATERFALLS
Pic - trawell.in

Chaparai Falls, Araku
PEOPLE ENJOYING AT CHAPARAI
Pic - go2india.in
2. BORRA CAVES - If you go to Araku valley, visiting Borra caves is a must. Sitting at a height of more than 1400 m, these are the largest caves in India. Situated 36 km from Araku, these are very old caves made of Karstic limestone. Borra caves have an area of 2 sq. km. These caves were discovered in the year 1807. Stalgamite and stalactite formations from Calcium deposit can be found in abundance in the caves. These formations take various shapes and the interpretation of these shapes is left to one's imagination. Various formations are identifiable as Shiv Parvati, Crocodile, Tiger and even human brain. There are formations of religious significance too, like a Shiva Lingam and the shape of Kamdhenu cow.


BORRA CAVES, Araku, Vizag
BORRA CAVES ENTRANCE
Pic - stylesatlife.com

BORRA CAVES, Araku Valley
BORRA CAVES
Pic - famousplacesinindia.in
Locals believe that a cowherd was once grazing his cattle when he realized one of his cows had fallen down. He came searching for the cow and found these caves and a Linga, the sacred sign of Lord Shiva and believed that Lord Shiva had saved his cow. Since then, a temple of Lord Shiva has been built right at the entrance of the caves. Borra caves are among some of the most amazing places to see in India.

3. ARAKU TRIBAL MUSEUM - If you are curious and wish to know about the local culture and traditions, just head to Araku Tribal Museum. You will know about the history of the place and the living style of local tribes. Situated just 200 m from Araku bus stand, this museum was established by the state government in the year 1996. Araku Tribal Museum is a place which will provide you with information about the 19 tribes currently living in Araku valley. The colorful outfits worn by tribals are displayed here along with their daily chores, made in clay. Art and craft of different tribes is also displayed here. Various aspects of their routine, including hunting tools, utensils and jewelry are also on display here. Built in two levels, Araku Tribal Museum is made of mud and real metals and showcases real tribal life. You will have an amazing experience, looking at the lifestyle of tribal people. 


ARAKU TRIBAL MUSEUM, Vishakhapatnam
ARAKU TRIBAL MUSEUM
Pic - tripadvisor.in

TRIBAL MUSEUM, Araku Valley
TRIBAL MUSEUM
Pic - arakuvalleytourism.in

Inside Tribal ARAKU Tribal Museum, Vizag
INSIDE TRIBAL MUSEUM
Pic - arakuvalleytourism.in

4. PADMAPURAM BOTANICAL GARDEN - Built in the year 1942, during World War II, the purpose of the garden at that time was to supply vegetables to the soldiers fighting the war. Later on, it was converted to a horticulture nursery. You will find rarest of rare flowers and trees, which you won't find anywhere else. Padampura Botanical Garden boasts of orchards and stone sculptures. You can enjoy going around the garden in a toy train. 


PADMAPURAM BOTANICAL GARDEN, Araku, Vizag
PADMAPURAM BOTANICAL GARDEN
Pic - hellotravel.com

Toy train at Padmapuram Garden, Araku
TOY TRAIN
Pic - excitingindia.in

There are tree huts also available in the garden. These huts are situated on the top of the trees. You can book these huts and stay in them. You will enjoy swinging in the air as these huts sway with trees due to winds. These huts are also known as hanging cottages. Padampuram botanical garden also has a rose garden to mesmerize you. It is situated just 2.5 km from Araku bus stand.


Tree Huts at Padmapuram Garden, Vishakhapatnam
TREE HUTS
Pic - trawell.in

Shiv Parvati image at Padmapuram
SHIV PARVATI AT THE ENTRANCE
Pic - famousplacestoseeinindia.in

5. ANANTHAGIRI HILLS - Located between Vishakhapatnam and Araku is this very small hill station, which is full of coffee plantations and waterfalls, making it a breathtakingly beautiful place. It is 26 km from Araku and is situated at an altitude of around 1200 m. Traveling from Araku to Ananthagiri is a thrilling experience in itself. You will see valleys on one side and coffee plantations on the other. The scenic beauty and enjoyable weather of Ananthagiri is sure to keep you in high spirits. You can smell rich aroma of coffee all around. The quiet and serene place is a heaven for nature lovers among you. You can relax and rejuvenate in the unexplored and peaceful surroundings. Watch the glorious sunrise and amazing sunsets in the valleys and admire the thick forests and lush green mountains.


ANANTHAGIRI HILLS, Andhra
ANANTHAGIRI HILLS
Pic - en.wikipedia.org
6. TYDA NATURE CAMP - For adventure seekers among you, this is the place to be in. You can satisfy your lust for trekking and camping here. Located about 40 km from Araku, Tyda is a small tribal village turned into a picnic spot. 

In the nature camp you can go for rock climbing, trekking and even enjoy target shooting with bows and arrows like tribals. And on top of it, you can do bird watching. Tyda nature camp is destination to various birds and animals and is home to many species of them. You can stay in log huts and tents, set in tribal environment. Tariff varies from INR 800-1800. 


TYDA NATURE CAMP, Araku
TYDA NATURE CAMP
Pic - holidayiq.com


Jungle bells camp, Araku
TYDA CAMP
Pic - tripadvisor.in
Also read - 5 PLACES ON MY BUCKET LIST IN 2019

REACHING ARAKU VALLEY - 

AIR - Nearest airport is Vishakhapatnam, which is about 110 km (75 mi) away and is well connected to all the major airports of the country. You can hire cabs or board buses to reach Araku from here.

RAIL - Araku has it's own railway station and a daily train is available from Vishakhapatnam to reach Araku. It takes around 4 hrs to reach Araku from Vishakhapatnam. 

ROAD - There are direct buses available from Vishakhapatnam to reach Araku. It is well connected by road to Vishakhapatnam.

WHERE TO STAY - Araku has a number of inns, resorts and lodges to stay. You can choose according to your budget.

In short, Araku Valley is one of very few amazing places to see in India, which are unspoiled and relatively less explored. Full of natural beauty, Araku Valley is a not to be missed place.

So, when are you traveling to Araku Valley?

HAPPY TRAVELING!!

AMAZING PLACES TO SEE IN INDIA - SURAJKUND INTERNATIONAL CRAFTS FAIR 2019

Surajkund International Crafts Fair, Faridabad
SURAJKUND CRAFTS MELA


Surajkund International Crafts Fair is held in the first fortnight of February every year in Surajkund, Faridabad, near Delhi, the capital of India.

Hi friends! Hope you all are doing very fine. Welcome back to my blog, bringing to you the most amazing places to see in India. Well, I am excited to report that I have been able to tick one of the five amazing places, I listed in my bucket list for 2019, which I had mentioned in one of my earlier posts this year. I am here to share with you all, my trip to Surajkund International Crafts Fair 2019. 

Surajkund International Crafts Fair boasts of being the largest crafts fair in the world. This fair is held to celebrate and bring out the best works from craftsmen from India and the rest of the world. This is the 33rd edition of the fair and this year the duration of the fair has been increased by two days and is being held from 1st February to 17th February. 


SURAJKUND INTERNATIONAL CRAFTS FAIR, Faridabad
SURAJKUND INTERNATIONAL CRAFTS FAIR

33rd Surajkund mela, Faridabad
A VIEW OF SURAJKUND CRAFTS FAIR

HISTORY OF SURAJKUND - The name Surajkund means reservoir or pond of sun. King Surajpal of Tomar dynasty, who was the devotee of sun God, built the reservoir in 10th century. This explains the name. The embankment of the reservoir has an amphitheater type shape with steps. People can sit there and enjoy the view. It is built in an arc which is as per the direction of movement of sun i.e. east to west.

THE FAIR - Surajkund International Crafts Fair was started in the year 1986 by the government of Haryana state, adjacent to Delhi. The fair complex is spread over an area of more than 40 acres. Every edition of the fair has a theme state from India and a partner country. This year Maharashtra from western India is the theme state and Thailand is the partner country. More than 1100 craftsmen from India and 20 other countries are participating in the Surajkund International Crafts fair this year.


Thailand pavilion in Surajkund mela
THAILAND PAVILION

Thailand pavilion view at Surajkund mela
ANOTHER VIEW OF THAILAND PAVILION


Maharashtra at Surajkund mela
IN FRONT OF RAIGADH FORT REPLICA


Raigadh fort, Maharashtra
REPLICA OF RAIGADH FORT, MAHARASHTRA
Chattrapati Shivaji was crowned here and ran his kingdom from here

The fair is organized in a rural ambiance. Stalls are designed in hut style with mud platforms to display wares and thatched roofs to cover them. This gives a distinct identity to the fair and brings to the fore, rich Indian cultural traditions.


UTTARAKHAND DWAR AT SURAJKUND MELA
UTTARAKHAND DWAR

Entrance door of Surajkund mela
ONE OF THE ENTRANCES TO THE FAIR

Haryanvi pagdi at Surajkund crafts mela
APNA GHAR
Surajkund International Crafts Fair is a confluence of crafts and diverse cultures of different Indian states as well as the participating countries. The local and ethnic craftsmen get a platform to showcase their skills and enhance their businesses. The fair or mela(in Hindi), is visited by more than one million people during the period in which it is held, from India as well as abroad.


Egypt stall at Surajkund mela
EGYPT STALL

Art from Egypt
EGYPTIAN ART
Netherland stall at Surajkund mela
NETHERLANDS STALL

Netherlands art at Surajkund Crafts Fair
ART FROM NETHERLANDS

When I went to visit Surajkund International Crafts Fair, the venue was jam packed. People from all sections of society could be seen there, mingling and enjoying the colorful extravaganza. Students, families, businessmen, villagers, foreign tourists, all could be seen basking in the winter sun in the open and excitedly walking through the celebration of crafts and cultures, that is Surajkund Mela. I could see people of all ages getting amazed by the crafts displayed at the fair.People were dancing to the beats of local bands. It was a riot of colors all around.


Haryanvi girls in Surajkund mela
LITTLE GIRLS DRESSED IN HARYANVI ATTIRE

FOOD - There is a separate food court in the fair. This food court has stalls offering delicacies of different Indian states. You can relish Chole Bhature of Delhi, or a Rajasthani Thali, Jeleba and Tandoori tea, Vada Pao and Pao Bhaji from Maharashtra or Dosa, Vada from south India or a Punjabi thali and much more.


Surajkund International Crafts Fair food court
FOOD COURT

Food court in Surajkund Mela
ANOTHER VIEW OF FOOD COURT

ENTERTAINMENT - There is a Chaupal (an open air theater) to enthrall you with cultural presentations by troupes from India as well as foreign nations. There are programs during the day and special presentations every evening. Many renowned artistes give performances at the chaupal every evening from 6 pm onward.


Chaupal at Surajkund Mela
CHAUPAL - THE OPEN AIR THEATRE

Badi Chaupal at Surajkund International Crafts Fair
PEOPLE WAITING FOR PERFORMANCE AT CHAUPAL


Maharashtra folk dance at Surajkund
FOLK ARTISTS FROM MAHARASHTRA PERFORMING AT CHAUPAL

A separate and special area is available for amusement and adventure activities.


Amusement at Surajkund Mela
CAMEL RIDE AT SURAJKUND

Surajkund International Crafts Fair holds it's own place in the international events calendar and brings together, the crafts and cultures of different and diverse places. 

Do not miss this fair or you would be missing viewing the largest amalgamation of different cultures as well as the richness of India's craftsmanship.

You may also like: 5 PLACES ON MY BUCKET LIST IN 2019

HAPPY TRAVELING!!

AMAZING PLACES TO SEE IN INDIA - ADVENTURE AND RELIGION - KUDREMUKH

Kudremukh, Karnataka
KUDREMUKH

Hello friends! There are so many amazing places to see in India. What kind of places to travel do you like? I know, most of you will raise your hands if I asked about your love for traveling to hills. Kudremukh in Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka in south India is a small hill station which is also an amazing trekking site and is a place to travel for those seeking natural beauty and adventure at the same time. Meaning 'horse face' in local Kannada language, it is the second highest peak of Karnataka. Kudremukh is called so because of a peak here that looks like face of a horse.

Kudremukh is a part of the western Ghats and has a wealth of bio diversity and minerals. One of the most amazing places to see in India, it is a perfect location for trekkers and nature lovers alike. The charisma of the place lies in the lush green meadows all around. Surrounded by dense forests, Kudremukh is blessed with rare varieties of orchids and rivers.


KUDREMUKH, Karnataka
KUDREMUKH
Pic - conservationindia.org
There are so many amazing places to see in and around Kudremukh that it is difficult to write about each one of them. However, I have tried to bring to you, some of the most important and sought after places to visit in Kudremukh.


Kudremukh image
BREATHTAKING VIEW OF KUDREMUKH
Pic - karnataka.com

1. KUDREMUKH NATIONAL PARK - Spread over an area of 600 square km, this is the secong largest protected wildlife park. Kudremukh national park is set in the midst of mountains and has a mesmerizing scenic beauty. Granted the status of national park in the year 1987, this is one of the most well maintained national parks. Adorned with natural beauty, it has a variety of flora and fauna. It is also home to various endangered species of plants and animals. Kudremukh national park is a natural habitat of many animals like Sambhar, Giant squirrel, spotted deer, common langur etc. Endangered species like tigers, leopards and wild dogs can also be found in Kudremukh National Park.


KUDREMUKH NATIONAL PARK, Karnataka
KUDREMUKH NATIONAL PARK
Pic - sunsetvalleyhomestay.in

Rope bridge at Kudremukh national park
WALKING THROUGH THE ROPE BRIDGE
Pic - traveltriangle.com

Kudremukh national park, Karnataka
ANOTHER VIEW OF KUDREMUKH NATIONAL PARK
Pic - hillstationboss.com

2. GANGAMOOLA - Considered to be the source of three rivers namely Tunga, Bhadra and Nethravati, Situated at an altitude of 1460 m, this is also known as Varaha Parvatha. Gangamoola is a UNESCO world heritage site. Temple of Goddess Bhagawathi is a major attraction here. A Lord Varaha temple is located in a cave, from where one of the river originates, with a 6 feet tall idol. Gangamoola is located within the limits of Kudremukh National Park. You will have to trek for about 2 km from the road between Sringeri and Kudremukh to reach Gangamoola.


WAY TO GANGAMOOLA, Chikamagalur
WAY TO GANGAMOOLA
Pic - holidayiq.com

GANGAMOOLA WATERFALLS, Kudremukh
GANGAMOOLA WATERFALLS
Pic - holidayplanet.com

GANGAMOOLA CAVE, Gangamoola
GANGAMOOLA CAVE
Pic - maintrawell.in

3. KALASA - Just 8 km from Kudremukh is beautiful Kalasa town, situated on the banks of river Bhadra. Kalasa means pot. This beautiful town in Chikamagaluru district is known for Sri Kalasheswara temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Kalasa is believed to have come into existence during Lord Shiva's marriage to Parvati. The temple showcases the architectural heritage of south India and has different designs. It is visited by a large number of pilgrims. Kalasa is surrounded by rainforest and is any nature lover's delight. Kalasa town boasts of sprawling coffee and ayurveda gardens. Do not miss to see this beautiful place.


KALASA, Karnataka
KALASA
Pic - fiveprime.com

Pilgrimage at Kalasheswara temple
PILGRIMS VISITING KALASHESWARA TEMPLE
Pic - davishunter.com

KALASHESHWARA TEMPLE, Karnataka
KALASHESHWARA TEMPLE
Pic - raveeshkumar.com

4. HORANADU - A small quiet village about 17 km from Kudremukh, Horanadu has pristine natural beauty. It has temple of Adi Shaktyamaka Annapoorneshwaridevi. The statue of the deity is made of pure gold. It is believed that devotees, who visit this temple, never face shortage of food. The area is full of tea, coffee and spices plantations. You can buy these items in bulk from here. The prices are much lower than those in the cities. The scenic beauty of Hornadu is itself a reason to pay a visit.


ANNAAPOORNESHWARIDEVI TEMPLE, Kudremukh
ANNAAPOORNESHWARIDEVI TEMPLE
Pic - holidayiq.com
5. TREKKING - First thing first. You will need permission from the forest department for trekking in Kudremukh. At an altitude of 1900 m, Kudremukh offers variety of trekking trails according to level of difficulty. Of all the treks here, Kudremukh trek is most exciting due to it's flora and fauna. The excitement lies in the myriad landscapes on the route. The bamboo shrubs, rolling hills, water streams and rolling hills, all make this trek a memorable one. The trek is nearly 20 km long and covers tropical green forests and coffee farms. The view from the top of Kudremukh peak is breathtaking. You get an amazing view of the Arabian sea and varied landscapes from the top.


Kudremukh peak image
KUDREMUKH PEAK
Pic - bmcadventures.com

Kudremukh view
VIEW OF KUDREMUKH PEAK
Pic - getbeyondlimits.com

Trekking on Kudremukh peak
PEOPLE TREKKING KUDREMUKH PEAK
Pic - incrediblemalnad.com

Route for Kudremukh trek
KUDREMUKH TREK ROUTE
Pic - tripadvisor.com

You may also like - ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LOCATIONS OF INDIA - NANDI HILLS
HOW TO REACH - 

AIR - The nearest airport is Mangalore which is about 130 km away. You can take a taxi or bus from here to reach Kudremukh.

TRAIN - The nearest rail station is again Mangalore.

ROAD - Kudremukh is well connected by road with major cities of Karnataka. You can get state run buses including AC and non AC buses to reach Kudremukh.

Kudremukh is one of the most amazing places to see in India. Do not miss a chance to visit this place full of natural beauty.

HAPPY TRAVELING!!