Again the smell of salt waters… again those foaming waves breaking on the shore… again the trailing foot prints on wet sands… I am talking about my recent trip to Vizag. The feel of cool seawater touching my feet was so refreshing… after a l-o-n-g time! I had waited eagerly for this trip for the last few months. The thought of going closer to nature always thrilled me. It was a short but much desired break. We started planning for Sikkim and ended up in Vizag… 🙂
The port city has a rare combination of sea kissing the foot of the hills.
We were a large group of eight. Some of my dear friends were there in the group to make the trip even more memorable for me. Starting from Howrah at 8:35pm, February 25 we reached Vizag the very next day at 10:20am. And to my astonishment it was 20 minutes earlier than the scheduled time (quite unnatural for Indian Railway!).
Destination Rishikonda Beach
An SUV was waiting for us outside the station. We reached the hotel only to keep our luggage and a take a bath. Rest of the day we were busy in enjoying at Vizag’s famous Rishikonda Beach and Kailash Giri. Unfortunately, it was not a sunny afternoon with the sky partly clouded. Still, the beach looked beautiful with roaring waves of Bay of Bengal thrashing the rocky shore!
Toy Train Ride at Kailash Giri
The hill of Kailash Giri (‘Giri’ in Sanskrit means mountain) has a well maintained garden, food courts, ropeway and toy-train rides on the top of it. The breathtaking view of the entire coastal curve and the city was what I think the best thing we had at Kailash Giri.
I tried to capture the beauty of this gleaming harbor city at night.
Inside the Submarine
That evening we also visited the submarine museum, a must-see in Vizag. It was a real submarine called INS Kursura. After more than thirty years of service to the Indian Navy the submarine has now been rested. It has been transformed to a museum and is open for visitors.
The Journey to Araku
When you are in Vizag a day trip to Araku Valley is a must. We booked tickets for Araku as soon as we reached Vizag. The train to Araku will leave from Vizag as early as 7am next morning. The journey through the hills of Eastern Ghats range was remarkable. The train passed through a total of 52 tunnels with the picturesque Araku valley on one side and the steep rocks on the other. Though it took a long 4 and ½ hours to reach Araku it was never tiring, rather an interesting journey all through.
At Araku we boarded a tourist bus that took us along the winding hilly roads only to stop over the tribal museum and the Gala Viewpoint.
Insight into the Tribal Lifestyle
The collection at the Araku tribal museum tells the tale of local tribes – their culture and customs, their art and occupation. I liked the tribal jewelry, especially the necklaces made of one and two rupee coins. The wood crafts by tribal artisans are simply amazing. Wooden bowls, toys and showpieces are perfect blend of simplicity and uniqueness … ideally reflecting their plain-sailing, free from complicacies rural life. Kudos to them!
Viewing Araku from Gala Viewpoint
The view from Gala Viewpoint, the highest point on Araku hills, was awesome. The entire Araku valley bathing in the sun, was visible from there. The vista of lush green valley in the lap of the mountain and the clear blue sky over the top was so captivating, so beautiful that we stood spellbound for a few moments.
Borra Cave: the Natural Wonder
Our next and final destination was Borra Cave, a wonderful creation of Mother Nature. Until we reached there I had no idea of what was in store for us. It is a 150 million year old cave that contains naturally created stalagmite formations inside. Exploring Bora Cave was once in a life time experience for me.
Stop Over at RK Beach
On our way back to hotel we decided to stop over Rama Krishna Beach or more popularly, RK Beach. The moon was in full bloom and we were dying to see the beauty of moonlit beach. But much to our disappointment it was all neon and halogens that flooded the beach with a dimmed moon over the pitch black sea. However, I couldn’t ignore the glittering garland of neon lights along the promenade. Here is a glimpse.
The city, the hotel and the journey everything was so nice except the food. It was ‘awe’-some. .. 😛 :). Anyway, the next day afternoon (February 28) we boarded the train to Howrah to get back to our routine life… to get back to work again with sweet memories of Vizag in mind.