Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
Human life is too short. It seems more short when it comes to explore the world. Our world is full of Natural beauties like Rivers, Mountains , Beaches, Oceans, Glaciers, Plateaus ,Canyons , volcanoes and what not. But in this short span of human life , it’s almost not possible for a human being to visit each & every beautiful place in the world.
But it’s not always necessary to travel across 7 seas to visit these awe-strucking natural beauties. Our country, India, is full of amazing yet less visited tourist spots that are truly a “Voyager’s paradise” .In words of Rabindranath Tagore, The famous Bengali poet, there are plethora of mesmerizing places near our own vicinity , but we usually overlook them.
So, in this article ,I’m going to present 6 hidden tourist spots which are not only full of serene atmosphere & unmatchable natural elegance ,but also located in the states of Andhra Pradesh &Chattisgarh of our very own country, India.
1. Yarada Beach
Located at a distance of 15 Km from the Visakhapatnam city ,Yarada beach is definitely one of the most serene & tranquil beaches in Andhra Pradesh. It’s quite different from the mainstream beaches in Vizag like RK Beach or Rushikonda Beach as it is very crowded than these beaches. This beach is completely surrounded with the Eastern Ghats Range. This deadly combination of beach & hills make the beauty of this beach more exceptional & charming. Due to it’s less crowded nature, it is a favorite place of shooting for the Telugu filmmakers.
The chirping of the birds, the beautiful sunset & the calm atmosphere of the beach adds a different dimension to a visitor’s mind. Although swimming is strictly prohibited here due to the extremely rough nature of Bay of Bengal here, it is definitely one of the undiscovered gems of Indian Tourism.
2. Araku Valley
One of the most serene vallies in India,ArakuValley,is located 111 km away from the Visakhapatnam City.TheAnanthagiri and Sukarimetta forest are part of Araku Valley.Highmountains,foggyclouds,lush green forests & pleasant climate make Araku Valley makes it a must-visit for the wanderlust people.Bongu Chicken(Bamboo Chicken),a traditional cuisine of the Tribal people of Araku, is a must try.
The chicken is fully cooked inside bamboo shoots in a Barbeque style,an unique delicacy that adds to the flavor of the whole trip.KatikiWaterfalls,Galikonda view point,Araku Tribal museum & Coffee Museum, ChaparaiFalls,Padmapuram Gardens are some of the enchanting tourist spots that you can.
You’ll definitely experience a true blend of Adventure & Tribal Beauty & Legacy in ArakuValley.The 130 Km Long Vizag-Araku rail Journey,lying on the Kottavalasa-Kirandul Division of East CoastRailway,is also an unforgettable experience,with almost 58 tunnels & numerous curves &turns.This Line also consists of World’s highest Broad Gauge railway station,Shimiliguda.
3. Borra Caves
Another truly Adventurous Spot of Andhra Pradesh is the Borra Caves or BorraGuhalu(బొర్రా గుహలు).It’s almost 90 kms away from the Visakhapatnam City(By road),located in the Ananthagiri hills of ArakuValley.These caves are one of largest of it’s kind in India and it distinctly exhibits a variety of Speleothems ranging in size and irregularly shaped Stalagmites.
These caves are basically Karstic Limestone Structures,extending to a depth of 80m(260 ft),making it to the deepest caves in India.It’s truly a paradise for Adventure Lovers as the journey through the stairs and rocks of the caves brings sheer thrill & chill.The bats at the top of the caves,the watery walls,the slippery stairs & rocks,all add to the Awkwardly beautiful nature of the Cave.
Recently,colourful lights has also been installed inside the caves.Though it somehow kills the thrill a bit,it also helps the visitor’s to find their way easily,thus avoiding unnecessary injuries. There’s also a Shiva Idol on top point of the Cave,though you have to go through almost 400-500 stairs to reach there,so Physical Fitness is a must.
The elders are strictly not recommended to venture borracaves,but it’s really enthusiastic and charming for the young tourists to explore this wonderful creation of Nature.
4.Kanger Valley National Park
Located in the 34 km long KangerValley,a biosphere reserve,inJagdalpur,Chattisgarh,Kanger Valley National Park is one of the most picturesque national parks in India.The dense forest,wide range of flora & fauna and the rugged environment of the jungles willsurely unleash the thrill within you.Besides many animals,it’s also home for the Bastar Hill Mayna,the State Bird of Chattisgarh.Private cars are strictly prohibited inside the jungle,so the forest Department conducts a jeep safari to explore the 200 sq km jungle.
Though the visitors aren’t allowed to visit the core zone of the jungle and also it’s very unlikely fpr the visitors to get a chance to see a rare animal,the amazing jeep safari through the Lush Green Forests,the red dust soils & the dangerous roads will surely enlighten the Explorative side of the visitors.
You can also visit KangerDharaWaterfall,Deer park and Kutumsar Caves if you come to visit this gem in Bastar,Chattisgarh.
Wanna have some real thrill?ThenKotumsar Caves(कोटमसर गुफा) might be the perfect place for you.Located almost 35 kms away from Jagdalpur,Chattisgarh,Kotumsar Caves is one of the most biologically explored caves in India.The cave is 330 meters long and 70 meters wide.
The darkness of the cave,Tremendously slippery rocks and the long journey through the cave is equally horrific and mesmerizing.There are numerous Stalagmites & Stalactites inside the cave,some nearly existing from the roof to the bottom.There is a Natural Shivling at the very end of the cave.Though the cave is sufficiently broad inside,the entry passage& stairsare extremely narrow,steep&dangerous.The rocks are also slippery.
Unlike the BorraCaves,the inside of the caves is completely pitch dark.A guide from Chattisgarh Tourism always remains with you till the entire tour & carries an emergency light,but that’s barely enough to see anything.Children & Elderly people may not go to the cave in any circumstances. But for the adventure seekers,this nearly unexplored gem is nothing but heaven.
6.Chitrakote WaterfallsSituated almost 38 kms west to Jagdalpur,Chitrakote Waterfalls is literally a hidden gem of Indian Tourism’s “Pandora’s Box”.IndravatiRiver takes a horseshoe shape & falls from almost 98 meters above of the ground,creating the most serene &amazing waterfall of India.
It’s the widest waterfall in India,around 300 meters(980 ft) wide,making it the “Niagra Falls of India”.In Rainy seasons,Indravati river flows in her full flow & the true vastness of the falls is unleashed at that time.On a clear,sunnyday,one can see the elegant reflection of light on the falling water,creating a massive rainbow through the falls,which is truly a one-in-a-lifetime experience.
Boat services are also available to take visitors very near to the dropping site of the falls.A truly unforgettable experience of Natural beauty and Enchanting atmosphere,created by the sound of falls.
In this pandemic situation, it’s not possible to explore these gems at all.But when everything comes back on the track,when Mother Earth gets back her own rhythm,then it’s highly recommended that you visit these unexplored yet charming places of India.
It will really help to boost up the nation’s economy as well as it’ll provide an international fame to these well-deserved spots which are still known to a handful of tourists.
Author: Rtr Swapnamoy Das
Rotaract Club Of Calcutta