Road Trippin’ Vizag to Araku- Where the Sea Meets the Hills

“Since the 70’s cars have been symbolizing freedom and not much has changed now. A classic road trip with your friends is the penultimate solution to escape the watchfulness of daily routines”

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As a young and carefree college gang tired and burdened with the end-sem exams, all we needed was a break from the stress and the one month of torturous studies. The Christmas and New Year break came as a boon in our lives becoming the perfect window for our long awaited road trip.

They say that a group of three best friends is the best gang to have, and ‘they’ are absolutely right! On top of which if the other two friends are like mine, it becomes absolutely perfect! We three had been dreaming of this road trip since the college began and it had been two semesters and we still couldn’t get a chance to execute our dream. Now was the perfect opportunity; while everyone else was leaving for their hometowns, we three started prepping for our road trip to the beautiful city of Vizag which was an 11 hour drive from Hyderabad.

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The Road Trip Culture

With much excitement and little sleep in the previous night (thanks to the excitement and prepping), we had a light breakfast and began our journey in a rented hatchback, early in the next morning. Thanks to the slightly cold weather, we had the perfect, slightly foggy, chilly winter morning to start our journey with.

The road was smooth, clean and covered with tress on both sides, highways were well maintained and while we took turns at the driving seat, the movement of the sun was captivating us with the hues it was spreading in the sky. The sunset however was the most beautiful and serene sight of the day. The sun absolutely round, perfectly spherical and mesmerizing red in color, sat like an old fat lady at the horizon like a guiding light at the end of our road, and the sky was splashed with colors that cannot be named easily. While in city, we never have time to stop and cherish such beauty and intricacies of nature, and this road trip was giving us the blessing of witnessing and appreciating such sceneries.

VIZAG

In the pursuit to be well in time, we only stopped once in our journey for lunch at a roadside ‘dhaba’ and also quickly refueled our car at nearby petrol pump. We reached our destination well in time and the journey took approximately eleven hours.

Vizag, more popularly known as Vishakhapatnam, is a very bustling city overlooking the Bay of Bengal. The city is famous for its steel plant and also for having one of the biggest naval bases of the country. It is also one of the best tourist attractions of the country and is popular for its spectacular beaches. After completing this eleven hour journey we soon found ourselves stretching our tired legs and backs inside the warm confines of our hotel room and having listened to all praises about this place, we were much excited about what Vizag had in store for us!

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RAMAKRISHNA BEACH

Next morning we took our time to take a warm shower so that we could stay refreshed all day! We put on our casual outfits and to be comfortable as well as stylish all day, we put on our Powerflex shoes from Red Chief. You can literally never get tired with your feet in them! All set and prep’d for the day, we decided to start with sightseeing at the local beaches and Kailashgiri Hills.

We got in our car and drove to Ramakrishna Beach and that drive gave us a glimpse of the hustling and bustling city of Vizag. There were many foreigners on foot, walking down the streets and enjoying the weather as well as soaking the sun to add some color to their pale skin. As soon as the ride started becoming bumpy and the breeze picked up its speed, we could guess that the sea was not far off and indeed we reached the destination within 45 minutes, encountering mild traffic here and there.

The beach was serene, calm and beautiful. Walking down the shore with our supplies in hand, we selected a peaceful and quiet corner and had a mini picnic there. With the sun coming to its zenith, the weather started becoming clammy and since we did not want to get too drunk so early in the day, we packed our things up and planned to go for a drive, have a light lunch and maybe visit the museum.

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ARAKU

The same afternoon we decided to leave for the Araku Valley which was hyped by the locals in our minds. It was a 3 hour drive with absolutely gorgeous roads and no traffic. It was the best drive we had yet had on this road trip and that made me not give up the wheel for the entire drive and my buddies craving for it!

After covering those spectacular 115kms, we reached and even more spellbinding destination: Araku Valley. The valleys were spread as far as your eyes could see an were covered in flowers with colors so beautiful and mesmerizing that it made the location the most romantic one I had ever seen! To add awesomeness to the already existing beauty, we halted at coffee plantations and got lucky to have our fair share of locally brewed coffee. With a ‘never-want-to-return’ nostalgia, we began our return journey with a plan of stopping at the Borra caves.

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BORRA CAVES

The Borra caves was a one hour drive from Araku valley and the path was all wilderness, with fruit studded trees on both sides and the cold weather just added to the beauty of it. When we reached the destination we saw a stream flowing through a ravine near the caves. The caves however were very dark, dingy and extremely huge. The insides were illuminated by fluorescent lights here and there to help tourists soak in the awe striking marvelous beauty of the natural rock formations (scientifically called stalactites/stalagmites). We also got to know that ‘Borra’ in Oriya meant a hole. The caves were absolutely captivating and spooky too. There were some cold spots inside that really gave us the chills. Since the clock was ticking, we decided to leave so that we could get back to the hotel in time and have a little fun time and a good night’s sleep to be able to enjoy the next day.

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YARADA BEACH

Since it was our last day in Vizag and we had to make the most of it, we decided to visit the Yarada Beach, which was very popular for being secluded, mesmerizing and clean. We woke up early and got ready to leave for the beach at 7 in the morning. It was 15kms from the city and the drive was smooth. When we reached, we found the beach to be true to the praises that we heard. It was indeed very clean and secluded. We went on top of the light house to have a scenic and absolutely captivating view of all the boats and ships arriving and leaving the port. Meanwhile the sun shone making the sea sparkle like a million diamonds. It was an absolute Bollywood rhetorical movie scene for us guys and we were proud of our decision to come to Vizag for our road trip.

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The melancholy return

We started our return journey soon after climbing down from the lighthouse and having a heavy meal, it was an eleven hour drive once again, but this time our hearts were filled with happiness and contentment instead of the rush of excitement and anxiety. Vizag was an undoubtedly serene and calm place to be for relieving you of stress and I hope I inspire my readers to visit the place and if not then at least I hope you had a pleasant reading experience from my account. Whatever it is, do let me know in the comments.

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