There are many amazing international destinations for hot air ballooning. But if you want to try this amazing experience right here in India, there is a beautiful place, very close to Vishakhapatnam.
Located at an altitude of 4,590 feet, Araku Valley is probably Andhra Pradesh’s best-kept secret. It is so scenic, that it is even compared to Ooty.
Image Credit: vizagtourism
Lofty mountains, colourful fields, gushing waterfalls and serpentine rivers, the view can be very great. And you can enjoy all this from the vantage point from a hot air balloon. Fields of paddy, mustard, sunflower and spice paint the valley into a colourful canvas. The drive from Vizag itself is mesmerising, passing across Anantagiri hills and coffee plantations.
In fact, the Araku coffee is sold as a premium beverage in the Paris cafes. And you can get this international sip from the roadside stall, and that too, with a great panorama in front of you.
Image Credit: tripoto
Araku Valley is flanked by Galikonda, Raktakonda, and Chitamogondi. If the drive does not seem enticing enough, you can try taking the train, which also provides a great ride, passing through lush mountains and 46 tunnels, providing a classic Indian railways experience.
Image Credit: hiqcdn
The place is made more enchanting by the different tribal communities that stay here. Some of them still maintain their primitive lifestyle, and can provide a culturally immersive experience.
Apart from the coffee, Araku is known for its smoky bamboo chicken with locally grown spices. And foodies must not leave this paradise without trying this sumptuous meal.
Image Credit: trawell
There are also the 150 million years old Borra caves in the valley. The caves have been formed by an underground river, and carry rich value among the local folklore.
So, visit the Araku Valley, and try to time your trip during the Araku Hot Air Balloon Festival in winter.
So, if you have still not planned your winter sojourn, this is where you must go.