Vizag holds a very special place for us. Why you ask? Because it was the first trip we had taken after coming to Hyderabad.
The plan was made completely on the fly. In the morning we were thinking let us go somewhere and by evening we had booked one way bus tickets to Vizag. We didn’t know if we would stay for 2 or 3 days, so we didn’t book the return journey. And we hadn’t booked our stay either. (In hindsight, it was a bad choice!)
Day 1: Vizag
We reached Vizag in the morning, body a bit stiff from the semi sleeper bus and went for the first hotel on our list. It was a budget trip so we weren’t spending high amount on the stay. We were back on road after a quick lunch (Yes, it had taken so much time to reach Vizag).
We hit the Ramakrishna beach first. Clean-ish beach but crowded on a weekend. The waves were strong so we couldn’t spend much time in water.
Nothing outstanding about the beach. We would suggest better go for more famous Rishikonda which has an added advantage of being on the outskirts of the city.
As we moved to Kailashagiri, it started getting overcast with the looming threat of rain on the corner. Kailashgiri is a nice park with several slides for kids. However, the distinguishing feature are the huge white statues of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
The place also gets its name from the gods as Kailasha is the abode of Shiva. We enjoyed the peace by avoiding the play areas and the picturesque view of the Vizag coastline.
INS Kurusura Submarine
It was already dark by the time we came down by the short rope-way. But we had to stop at INS Kurusura Submarine. Where else would you get a chance to go inside a real submarine? I don’t think anywhere in India. It was a unique opportunity to hear about the history of the sub and go from one end to the other.
Day 2: Araku and Borra caves
We couldn’t get the reservations for train ride to Araku. OMG! Well, the only option was to reach early and try to get a place in the general compartment. Have you ever traveled in crowded general class? If not then imagine traveling in a crowded local or metro, but for 3-4 hours. That is how it is. You would hardly get a place to sit and when you do, you share it with as many people as can fit. Apart from the crowd, the journey was fun. The views of the valley and the hills were beautiful. And we had good company of chit chatting school girls who were on school trip.
At Araku, we went to the coffee museum first. The museum attractions were closed, but we had one of the best coffees we ever had. The only other attraction in Araku town is the tribal museum. The museum tries to recreate tribal life with tribal mannequins in their natural homes. It is worth a short visit. There are a few craft shops if you are interested in those trinkets.
The journey to Borra caves on a three wheeler was cool (literally). We stopped at coffee plantations for photos and also had good view of the valley from numerous viewpoints on the way.
Near Borra caves there are several small restaurants serving local food. We had a good Bengali lunch at one of these places.
You cannot imagine the size of the caves from the surface. Borra caves are huge! And they go so deep, that there is actually a point in the cave above which there is a railway line. This you wouldn’t even suspect.
Full marks to the management for maintaining and lighting up the caves. Simple amazing. This was the high point of the day. One of the best caves to visit in this part of India.
We couldn’t catch the train back as it was scheduled earlier in the evening. We waited at the bus stop for the buses from Araku to Vizag. Few buses which did come, were completely stuffed. After waiting for a couple of hours, we shared a taxi. We missed our bus back to Hyderabad by the time we reached Vizag. So, stuck in Vizag for another night!
Day 3: Vizag
After last night’s charades, we weren’t too excited to stay in Vizag for another day. But given that we had a day to pass, we went to visit the Simhachalam temple. We also had an option to go for Yarada beach but decided against it as we weren’t sure if we could get back in time for our bus.
Simhachalam temple is dedicated to Lord Narasimha, the half man half lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Big and beautiful temple on top of a hill. The place is peaceful.
We came back and caught the sleeper bus to Hyderabad. But that was a nightmare journey. Somehow we reached Hyderabad the next morning completely exhausted. What a trip!
But the whenever we think back, the trip always brings a smile on our faces. Whatever adventures we had in traveling all added to the experience.
Do you have a story to tell about your Vizag experience? Drop in a comment or send us a mail. We will definitely reply. All the interesting tales will be published in a special feature.