Waterfalls To Museums, Here's What To Do In Araku Valley

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Araku Valley is possibly one of the nearest getaways from Hyderabad, to escape the sweltering heat. Often regarded as the 'Ooty of Andhra Pradesh' this hill station offers respite from the urban jungle, thanks to its slow lifestyle, picturesque hill-top views of the Eastern Ghats and coffee plantations. From waterfalls to museums, here's what to do in Araku. 

Borra Caves

Starting with the must-dos—a visit to Araku is incomplete without Borra Caves. These million-year-old naturally formed limestone caves are supposedly the deepest caves in the country. Filled with natural stalagmite and stalactite, the caves are usually lit up with the light forming gorgeous patterns on the interiors of the caves. Local guides will help you spot familiar formations like Shiva-Parvati's images, a sage's beard, a mother and child, a crocodile, and a human brain. To think these are all naturally formed over the years will wow you! We recommend heading here wearing comfortable footwear since parts of the caves can get slippery. A staircase leads you to the shrine inside; also, the caves are usually super crowded over the weekends so plan accordingly. 

Ananthagiri Hills

Offering one of the best views of the Araku Valley, Ananthagiri Hills has several waterfalls and coffee plantations. There are numerous viewpoints that offer a view of the coffee plantations on one side, with ghat roads, tiny waterfalls and hairpin bend roads on the other. It's no wonder that this spot is a favourite place for riders in South India. You can also camp at some of the safer parts of the hills—just ask a local and they'll guide you. 


Did you ever want to feed fish? Mastyagundam is where you should head to. Many rocks form a barrier around a tiny pool (it's a river) where plenty of fish gather. Here, you can sit atop the rock and feed the fish without an iota of fear, it's fun and an experience worth having. There's a small Siva temple on the banks of this river, while the surroundings are well-maintained with steps for walking. 

Coffee Museum

If you love coffee, then Araku's Coffee Museum offers a great insight into what goes behind making your cuppa' joe, right from growing the coffee beans to roasting them. The museum offers a step-by-step representation of the journey a coffee bean takes. They also have a tiny café where you can taste some great filter coffee with fresh grounds, or even shop from the store, which has an impressive variety of coffees. They also have the Kopi Luwak or Luwak coffee, known as the most expensive variant of the hot beverage. 

Tribal Museum

Learn about the local Adivasi tribes and their lifestyle at the Araku Tribal museum. You get to see life size sculptures of indigenous communities, their eating habits and recreational activities. Go upstairs, and there's a photo gallery of the indigenous tribes of Araku and their customs. There's also a few stalls at the Museum where you can pick up coffee grown in the estates nearby, spices, toys, home decor accessories and souvenirs. 

Chaparai Waterfalls at Dumbriguda

Situated on the way to Paderu, this well-known spot has a charming water cascade and lush green surroundings. While they're called Waterfalls, the Chaparai area in Dumbriguda is more of a picnic spot with streams of water flowing between rocks, allowing you to dip your feet in for a bit and enjoy some snacks. Like most places in Araku, the rocks here get slippery during the monsoon, and with the heavy current of waters flowing, we'd recommend you to be careful here if you're visiting during the rainy months. 

Tyda Nature Camp

If you've got an extra day on hand, we recommend a stay at Tyda Nature Camp, which is around 40km away from Araku. Tyda is basically a tiny tribal village that's carefully tucked between the forest ranges of the Eastern Ghats. This camp is equipped with trekking, rock-climbing, birding, and bow-arrow shooting. The stay options are sorted and you have a choice between log huts and tents, which are priced under INR 2,000. Here, you can also hire an expert guide to learn the jungle language, identification marks or calls. 

Madagada View Point

One of the newer viewpoints around Araku that's just begun to get discovered, Madagada View Point offers a stunning view of the hills, with a carpet of clouds early in the morning. Head here around 5 AM to catch the sunrise; you can stay here for a couple of hours exploring the local tribal culture, sipping on some hot coffee from street vendors or even savour a hot breakfast. 

Sunkarimetta Church

Designed by Canadian architect Ralph Edward Smith, this Gothic-style church was inaugurated in 1939 during the British era. If you're lucky enough (or visit on a Sunday), you can get a glimpse of the church's interiors. Several movies have been shot at the church owing to its geographical and aesthetic advantage. You get a beautiful view of the scenic surroundings, with green pastures and winding roads of the Eastern Ghats from the church. 

Devour Bamboo Chicken

You may have heard of several places that serve Bamboo Chicken in Hyderabad, but there's nothing quite like the variety you get at Araku. You can devour great bamboo chicken here practically at any street vendor here. They sell starters (the Bamboo Chicken) and a Bamboo Chicken Biryani as well. What's cool is that no water is used during the cooking process, since the bamboo's moisture suffices to cook the chicken through and through. If you're heading out to nearby spots like Lambasingi, you can get your portions packed right in the bamboo itself, so your food stays warm for longer. 

Visit a Honey Bee Farm

You get to spot several stores selling natural, freshly harvested honey in Araku. You can now check out how honey is farmed using the apiculture method of rearing bees for honey. It's fascinating to see how worker bees organise and work together, and just for that insight, we'd recommend this cool experience in Araku. You can also witness the centrifugal process used to extract the liquid gold. You can pick up bottles of honey in various flavours and varieties here. 

Katiki Waterfalls

A roughly forty minute drive from Araku will take you to Katiki Waterfalls, originating from the Gosthani River. While the 20 km ghat road is slightly arduous, the waterfalls more than make up for it for their pristine beauty. We recommend packing an extra set of clothes when you visit, so you can change after frolicking in the water. The trek up is slightly tricky in parts, with slippery rocks in some spots, but it's fairly easy to navigate. 

Padmapuram Botanical Gardens

Padmapuram Botanical Gardens is where you can spot a colourful variety of trees, plants, and tropical flowers. Do spot the cute tree houses inside; and if you're too tired to walk, there's a toy train that takes you around the garden.  You can also buy exotic species of plants for your home garden here. 

Go Stargazing and Camping

We love that Araku offers so many spots to stargaze and set up camp. There are several trekking guides and stargazing groups in town that offer overnight camping experiences, complete with campfires and food. There are also resorts that offer a glamping experience. 

Chai and Biryani run in my veins. Currently obsessed with my cute face. I promise that wasn't intended to rhyme. Please read more in your free time?