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Visakhapatnam - 2012

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Visakhapatnam - 2012

Postby suryajit » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:12 am

I have strong affinity towards mountains since childhood. Every time we planned for a trip, my compass points towards mountains, especially Himalayas, or at least small hills. But, if you are not alone on your trip, you should listen to others too. Swati opted Vizag as our next destination since our Kolkata Puri Road Trip in August-September 2011. I postponed Golden Quadrilateral and asked her to plan this trip. As dates get confirmed, we reserved for two in Howrah Channai Mail, for both sides. The travel day 14th Feb 2012 arrived, I started from office unlike Swati, who joined me from home. The departure time was 11:45 pm, awkward! The train departed on schedule and we ended the day and started our trip.

DAY 1
In the morning, crossing Orissa, the nature was extremely kind to show her best to us. The train journey, which I thought, is not going to be a good one as the train’s departure time was too late in the midnight, was not bad at all as we were running in through the mountains. It fact, it was actually converting into a lovely and exciting one as we saw Chilika Lake on our left and mountains on our right. Ohh! “How they’ve created the nature?” I asked myself. By that morning I was already lost in the beauty of nature. I knew that many more are yet to come, I don’t know whether I was little nervous or too much excited? Actually, both the feeling was increasing my heartbeat and this is how I felt the new place that day. The Lake continued his company for next 15 to 20 minutes and then handed us over to the Eastern Ghats, the Mountains again.
A view of Dolphin Nose from RK Beach - Vizag
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Well, getting into the informative part again, we reached Vizag by 1:50 in the noon. The first thing we did was the booking of Rail-Cum-Road trip via APTDC office in VIZAG Railway Station. Two tickets for that trip includes Morning Breakfast, Vizag to Araku on train journey, Midday Meal, Visit to Tribal Museum, Araku Coffee House, Araku Botanical Garden, Suicide Point and Borra Caves on APTDC Bus and back to Vizag. This plan was best suited for both of us but a little modification we made there. We booked APTDC resort Jungle Bells at Tyda. We planned to leave the bus on Tyda and stay there and spent one day and one night in Jungle. So this was all about the booking. Then we hired an Auto to Hotel. We hired the Auto for 80 INR and asked the driver to arrange the hotel of our choice. We were planned to stay just for a night since next morning we’ll be leaving for Araku and on return we’ll stay at Tyda. So, there was no chance of getting back to Vizag City before two days. We got one cheap hotel, Hotel Surya Inn, to spend our night. Room was quite clean including the bathroom. They charged only 500 INR for a night, surprised! Then we went for a small evening walk to Rama Krishna Beach. Just beside the hotel, a full-fledged Bengali restaurant “Nimantran” attracted us to have our night meal. Hot Chapati and 2 Sabzi billed only 110 for both of us.
We ended the first and a bit tired day by this home like food lie-down a bit earlier to get-up earlier.

Twinkling lights of a luxury hotel at RK Beach - Vizag
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DAY 2
Fresh morning, we were ready to leave. By 6 am we were requested to reach APTDC office in Vizag Railway Station. By 6:15 we were there. Two guides took us to the train. A complete coach reserved for APTDC guests. We buy 2 Idli and 2 Vada from station for 20 INR. Just after the train departs, the APTDC guys were present with the breakfast along with Tea and a water bottle. These are included in the package. Just after the train leaves the railway station, you will see hills here and there. But bigger things were yet to come.

On the way to Araku
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Tribal Museum - Araku
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Tribal Dance arranged by APTDC at Haritha Resort - Araku
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Let me tell you one thing before continue any more. I was actually planning this trip on my Bike. One of Swati’s friends was at Vizag for Naval Training. She called him and got the information on carrying Bike through train. Since there is no train starting from Vizag, the probability of getting free space in the wagon reduced to zero at first shot. The freight charge is too high for Courier companies. Railway will decide, depending upon available space, when to parcel it. Limited leave from office restricting me from riding back to Kolkata. Overall, I change my mind and opted for the train.
After googling I found that train journey to Araku from Vizag is a pleasant and unforgettable. So this was something which I had to go with as I had no other option after leaving my bike at home.

Outside Coffee House - Araku
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Borra Caves
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Borra Caves
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Borra Caves
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Tyda - Jungle Bells
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Tyda - Jungle Bells
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Tyda - Jungle Bells
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Tyda - Jungle Bells
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Tyda - Jungle Bells at night
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We got the right side on seat in the train coach. I suggest getting the RIGHT SIDE SEAT as most of the beauty will be on the right side. After an hour from Vizag and crossing long fields, endless Palm trees, hills and lush green sights, suddenly you will find yourself climbing heights and entering into Eastern Ghats. Ohh! It’s very difficult to explain in black and white that how colorful the nature was. Bright sunny day, sparkling green jungle suddenly became black and dark and again after few seconds splashing sunlight entered in the train introduced the first Tunnel and henceforth the existence of all the 48+ Tunnels there for which this Train journey is famous about. Around 11:30 we reached Araku where the guide took us to the Bus. The first place we visited there was Tribal Museum. There is entry fee but it was included in the package. Then we visited the Coffee House and tasted hot Arebica Coffee. There after we were taken to Araku Botanical Garden, which is not that special but, we collected some plants from there for our garden. The best way to roam there is having a toy train ride; it’s not a train though. After that we were taken to have our lunch at Haritha Resort at Araku. The lunch was traditional Andhra Veg meal. However it was surprisingly tasty. At the same place APTDC arranged for Tribal Dance too. From there trough coffee garden, we were taken to the highest view point in Araku called Suicide Point. Then comes Bora Caves – a beautiful creature of Nature, a must visit kind of place. Finally the bus started from Bora Caves to Vizag and we get down at Tyda. We reserved a Wooden Log Hut which charged us 900 INR for one day. This includes the complimentary breakfast. The resort was simple awesome and the location is full-fledged Jungle and our room was top most. Room service is available with a service tax of nominal 15 INR. In the woods, a different form of silence, horrible or adventure, in fact both.

Tyda – During trekking
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Tyda – During trekking
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Tyda – During trekking
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Tyda – During trekking
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Tyda – During trekking
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Tyda – During trekking
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Tyda – During trekking
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DAY 3
It was 5 in the morning; I woke up and get dressed for a short trekking arranged by Jungle Bells Resort. However for this they charged INR 100. It will give you another thrilling adventure and completely incomparable beauty. After coming back to the resort, we spent around 2 hours sitting in the balcony enjoying the beauty of Jungle. After having our breakfast, Idli, Sambhar, Upma, we headed towards Vizag. Waited half an hour, we got a local Bus for Vizag. It took 2 hours to reach Vizag. This time we found a different hotel;Hotel Parivar Grand. Good enough to stay and clean. Charge for the Non-AC Standard room was INR 800. That was the hotel for rest of the days.

RK Beach - Vizag
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That evening we visited RK Beach once again and had some Roasted Baby Corn and Steamed Ground Nuts. Then visited the Aquarium in RK Beach and did some photography out there. Like before we moved back to Nimantran for dinner and back to the hotel.

DAY 4
Woke up early and had some Coffee just opposite the Hotel. The Coffee shop is basically a very good, small restaurant. It’s reasonable too. Then we decided for roam around and see Yarada beach. We met a guy out there and he suggested us not to hire a vehicle but to go through Bus. From Vizag Bus No. 400 will take you to Dock Yard and from there Bus No. 16 will go to Yarada Beach. Let me tell you something about Yarada Beach. There is nothing special except the mind storming beauty with Blue Ocean opposite white sand and Palm Jungle and surrounded with mountains, nothing else. And the way to Yarada cannot be expressed in a travelogue where one side you can see the entire Vizag City and on other side Bay of Bengal. Only I and Swati were there at that point of time. The way to the place is surrounded by huge cactus and palms. This is a must visit kind of place. And on next turn the city comes to other side and the same happens for the Ocean. On back, we went to RK Beach again and ended the day by having dinner at Nimantran.

Yarada Beach - Vizag
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Yarada Beach - Vizag
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Aquarium at RK Beach - VIZAG
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Aquarium at RK Beach - VIZAG
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DAY 5
We had reserved 2 tickets for City Heritage Tour from APTDE at the Vizag station for this day. As usual, early morning, by 6:00 we knocked APTDC office In RTC Complex in VIZAG Dabagarden. Both the hotels I mentioned earlier were in Dabagarden. APTDC has arranged an AC Bus for this ride. Per heat it will cost INR 450 which includes visit to Simachalam, Kailasagiri, Thotlakonda, Rushikonda beach, superb Veg Midday meal at Haritha Beach Resort at Rushikonda, Patnaik Art Gallery, Visakha Meseum, Fishing Harbor and Submarine Museum. I’m not explaining each pace in detail but suggest taking this package to see all the places in detail. We didn’t stay at Rushikonda but strongly suggest staying there if you want to enjoy the beach and play with Blue waves.

Rushikonda Beach
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Fishing Harbour
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Fishing Harbour
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This overall package is superb and must take this if want to see all the places. Our guide Srinivasan, was the same guy who guided us during the Day 2 Araku Rail Cum Road Trip. On return we leave the bus at RK Beach and spent some time for the last time of our trip and then moved towards the same restaurant for our dinner. That evening I met one of my Collogue Ujjal, roming around with his leady and co-incidentally staying at the same hotel.

Dolphin Nose - Vizag
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Submarine Museum - Vizag
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DAY 6
Next morning we were ready to go home, home – sweet – home. As per our reservation, we had our train at 1:20 Pm. On time we reached Vizag station and waved to say bye to Vizag. The train moved on time and we were refilled with energy when we saw Mountains again, moving with us to give us company.

Somewhere in Orissa near Chilika. A shot from train.
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