It is not often during the work year that one gets a string of holidays around weekends. And on the rare occasion that this happy coincidence does take place, it must definitely be made the most out of. With the upcoming holidays for Rakhi, Eid-ul-Zuha, and Varalakshmi Puja all clustered around the weekend, a getaway plan along the Eastern Ghats is exactly what you need to unwind, leave work stress behind and take time out for yourself and your loved ones. Here are TrawelMe’s best picks of some irresistible spots in Andhra Pradesh and Telengana where you can take in the rich culture, enrapturing flora and fauna, amiable people and delectable cuisines, and make the most of this Monsoon!
Godavari Houseboats: An ambitious project of Andhra Pradesh tourism, the Godavari Houseboats, inspired by the extremely famous backwater rides in Kerala, has captured the hearts of tourists to the state. The boats themselves are quite luxurious and will make sure your stay on the river is smooth and comfortable. Be a part of moonlit cruises along the river, enjoying ethereal visuals and cool, refreshing gusts of winds. Find yourself stopping by and exploring uninhabited islands of Konaseema that hide some of nature’s most pleasant gems. The houseboats also take you around some of the district’s more popular stops like the Kakinada Beach and the Antarvedhi Temple. Additionally, the burgeoning Monsoon near the Bay of Bengal should only make your stay on the river all the more exciting. A fitting way to beat the rigors of daily life, indeed!
Vijaywada: This captivating town in the heart of Andhra Pradesh has more to offer in terms of absorbing tourist spots than one would expect. One can find several cozy resorts along the beachside to stay the weekend and explore the city. Take the day off to drive to the historic Kondapalli Fort, once a training camp of the British Empire, now one of the most popular tourist attractions of the state. Lay your hands on some on the inimitable Kondapalli toys, made of a special light wood, depicting some well-known epics and characters. The Undavalli Caves are yet another must-visit site if you are in Vijaywada. The handiwork of the ancient Viswakarma Sthapathis, these caves are a meticulous formation carved out of solid sandstone. The inner portions of the caves are decked with frescos and paintings that bring to life the stories and the times of the 7th and 8th Century AD. Apart from these tourist spots, one can also wander around the streets of Vijaywada. The city is really a manifestation of the pace and the methods in which small town India is slowly evolving into a cosmopolitan melting pot of cultures and embracing diversity on a much higher scale.
Horsley Hills, Chittoor: This quaint hill station in Andhra Pradesh was once a summer getaway for a British collector is now one of the most graceful places of relaxation one can find in the south of India. Rolling hills, quiet surroundings, pleasant rivers and a wonderful climate, all make Horsley Hills a fitting contender for a weekend wind down plan. One can also enjoy treks among the hills and along the riverside, which will only be made better by the seasonal rains. Whilst you are in Chittoor, you simply cannot afford to miss the Kailasakona waterfalls located in the Narayanavanam mandal. Although this unique waterfall is active all throughout the year, it is a sight to behold in the Monsoon, as it rolls down the green hills. A temple dedicated to Shiva and Parvati is located nearby, and if you venture a little further, you will discover to your delight, a couple of smaller waterfalls that pool into a small water body, where bathing is allowed. Quite a literal way to wash away your worries, one would say!
- Bhadrachalam: If road trips are your thing, then Bhadrachalam is the destination for you. Plan a trip from the city to this celebrated little town in whose forests, according to a legend, Lord Rama and Lakshman took refuge in during their exile. Apart from being a pilgrimage site, Bhadrachalam offers activities like boat rides along the Godavari and treks through its forests. Do not miss the hot pool located near the temple dedicated to Lord Rama.
- The Araku Valley: A place that perfectly embodies the natural treasure bestowed upon the Eastern Ghats, the Araku Valley in the Vishakhapatnam district offers the best monsoon experience one can ask for. Replete with coffee plantations, and surrounded by entrancing mountains like Galikonda and Sunkarimetta, the Araku Valley is not only a treat for all nature-lovers; it’s also a blessing for those willing to take on the rough treks. Enjoy the 12 hour ride from Hyderabad, and find yourself a cozy accommodation in this budding tourist destination as you set out to explore the mysteries of nature.