In Pictures: Eastern Ghats in full Monsoon Glory - Araku Valley & Tatipudi Reservoir

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Storm clouds in Araku valley
Wired to ignore what we have readily available to us, we travel far and wide in search of the elusive as well as the obvious. But what should be really obvious is the charms of our hometowns and our villages, the beauty of our ignored backyards.

I've made it abundantly clear over the years that Himalayas may be my first love but it was Western Ghats that inspired me to take the offbeat path. But what about Eastern Ghats? I grew up in the shadow of these forgotten mountain ranges along the east coast and lived amidst them for almost 75% of my life so far. Yet, it never occurred to me to go back to these mountains once I started travelling. I've explored nooks and crannies of the country but I have somehow found it very hard to return home and explore the surroundings I knew so well. 

I remember watching the green slopes of seven hills of Tirumala covered in low hanging rain clouds during monsoons from the roof of my school in Tirupati. I distinctly remember elatedly counting the number of cascades that would trickle down the slopes after a torrential downpour. Back in Vishakhapatnam, I remember watching streams form out of nowhere after every squall or downpour. I have known this all along yet these memories were tightly wrapped up in some obscure corner of my brain, refusing to surface every single time I marvelled at the Western Ghats. They are certainly not the same, but older than the Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats are unique have their own charm. We do not crave for duplicates anyway. 
Of late, I've been taking time out to explore Andhra Pradesh and I'm happy to report that I'm pleasantly getting surprised at how much awesomeness is hiding in plain sight. There is very little zero tourist infrastructure to be fair but I'm having fun anyway. When a recent assignment required me produce images on a short notice, I decided to chase monsoons in the wonderful vicinities of city of destiny, aka Vishakhapatnam. 

Here's a glimpse of the amazing landscapes that welcomed me around Araku Valleys and Tatipudi Reservoir. 

An idyllic church in the rustic countryside of Araku

Lush greenery of Araku Valley
Stunning roadside greenery on the route to Araku Valley

Boating on Tatipudi Reservoir near Vizianagaram, Eastern Ghats in Monsoons
Lost in the glorious view unfolding in front of me at Tatipudi Reservoir

View from a hilltop near Tatipudi Reservoir
A vantage point reserved for gods with the most gorgeous view of Tatipudi Reservoir

Lush green valleys on the way to Araku
Dark storm clouds tease the mountains, on the way to Araku Valley

An old church sitting pretty on a hilltop in Araku valley
Cannot get over the beauty of this church in Araku Valley

Beautiful green fields of Araku
The tribal belt of Araku Valley thrives of agriculture, gorgeous fields dot the entire valley

Hairpin Bend no 6
Hairpin Bend no - 6 with a stunning view of the mountains of Eastern Ghats

Monsoons replenish the forests of Eastern Ghats
Look at them layers, Eastern Ghats have officially staked out a claim in my heart forever

Gorgeous storm clouds looming over a roadside stream on the way to Araku
A beautiful stream and a lovely view of the mountains beyond on the way to Araku Valley
Eucalyptus and pink wildflowers
Eucalyptus, water guzzlers and nothing but an invasive species. But hey, they smell lovely. 

Grasslands on the banks of Tatipudi Reservoir
Lush greenery on the banks of Tatipudi Reservoir near Vizianagaram

Arriving boat in Tatipudi Reservoir
Tatipudi Reservoir, best find on the recent recce trip. More to follow for sure!

A nice curve in the ghat section towards Araku Valley
The gorgeous curves on the winding road to Araku Valley

So, tell me, how green is my valley? ;)

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10 comments

  1. You watched seven hill from your school roof! :O
    I have a thing for the Himalayas and Western Ghats myself. But thanks to your post, I guess on my next visit to Andhra Pradesh I will make a trip to Araku valley!

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    1. Ha ha, not sure how the situation is now but about 15 years ago, you could see Tiruamal hills from any rooftop in Tirupati. :) And yes, Araku is amazing, but only on a weekday when the crowds are absent, preferably during monsoon or worst case winter.

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  2. Thanks for writing such a good article, I like your style of writing and knowledge. I also want to introduce one more travel blog know as travelwithrohit, a personal collection of my best experiences, favourite places in India and around the world, along with random thoughts and opinions.. Kindly give us your valuable feedback & Idea

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  3. Every one of them is so beautiful...

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  4. Awesome pics,would love to visit the place soon

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  5. Wow beautiful place and photos Neelima! Love the photo of the hairpin bend.

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  6. All the photos are stunning, especially the gorgeous curves on the winding road to Araku Valley.

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  7. awesome pictures....ARAKU VALLEY & TATIPUDI RESERVOIR is awesome place to travel.

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    1. Indeed! Also, I was quite surprised to learn that these two places are very popular with Bengalis. Any idea how that happened?

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