OK for the sake of this blog and to convince my readers. Let me admit “I am a middle class Indian”, who in his lifetime aspires to see the Niagara falls and also experience the Trans-Siberian train or Rocky Mountaineer train journeys (Pls note – Middle class but with aspirations!).
What if I say, that until you muster the Moolah’s (and loads of them) to spend on these exotic trips. I have a suggestion for you, and that too here in India? And to add icing on the cake, I will combine the two experiences into one single trip! Will also add some cave exploration, exotic tribal dances and tribal shopping. Would you be interested???
I know half my readers are already thinking of trashing this blog.
But if you have been game thus far. Let me share with you a ‘desi trip’ details, it may be a bit rustic but the experience would be etched forever. Of-course, I leave it to you whether you would like to gloat over it in your FB account.
Vizag to Araku
To start this journey you have to first reach Vizag/vishakhapattnam.
And from Vizag you must book your train ticket to Araku. At the time of my journey there was one early morning train (best suited for this journey and the experience). And the best class available on this train was first class coupe.
The train journey from Vizag to Araku, 120km taking 5 hours, is an amazing experience. Britishers built this Railway line to ferry various ores from mineral rich Chhattisgarh and Orissa to the port city.
After leaving Vizag the train ascends its way 910m up the Ananthagiri hills. In doing so it has to go in circles and pass through 58 tunnels and 84 bridges. Those who fancy train journeys would be literally hanging from the door, watching the hills, green valleys, waterfalls, tunnels, culverts and high bridges.
At Shimliguda station our train stopped and a 70+ bogey goods train passed us with three electric engines. Reached Araku at 1pm.
Checked in the ‘Hill Resort” of AP tourism. It is well spread property on a hill top, surrounded by forest. The cottages are spacious with balcony and good view.
Araku local sightseeing
One can just stroll out of hotel and go for a pleasant walk through the countryside.
We went to the main road and found a Vikram. A good experience for the kids. First visited a water fall crossing a train line and saw a tunnel as well.
Next was a million year old Borra caves. These caves are huge with a variety of stalactites and stalagmites rock formations. But off course there were mythological stories of Lord Ram having spent some time of their banwas in these caves.
The last point was Galikondalu viewpoint. At 3800 ft it was the highest point of Anantagiri hills and you get fascinating view of entire valley from there.
Araku to Chitrakot waterfall
This 180km train journey takes 5 hours and is very pleasant. The ride through green fields, lakes and hill views are awesome.
Jagdalpur to Chitrakot falls was another 40kms. We took a cab to reach our destination ‘Chhattisgarh tourism’s cottages’ just next to the waterfall.
Cottages were descent with awesome view of water fall from the rooms.
Next day we spent lot of time near the waterfall. With recent rains, Indravati river had huge volume of water and the fall was in full bloom. Enjoyed the sunrise and played in the waters. Some awesome pics capturing the fall and the property.
Chitrakot to Jagdalpur
Post lunch we checked out and proceeded for night stay at Jagdalpur.
Enroute went to Tirathgarh falls. These falls were like multiple casacading waterflows with amazing patterns. There is a temple in the middle of the waterfall landing and from there the water falls into a deep ravine. The rocks, the waterfall, the sprinkle and the greenery. All in all it was a great combination and the atmosphere+view was electric.
Spent the evening in the market scouting for some Bastar’s artefacts and souvenirs.
Jagdalpur to Vizag
Boarded the morning train from Jagdalpur to Vizag and stayed the night at Vizag beach.