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Old 22nd August 2011, 19:38   #1
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Talking 2000+ KM Drive: Hyderabad - Vizag - Araku - Vizag - Hyderabad

Planning for very long drive holidays from Hyderabad is not easy. Living in the city for nearly 3 decades you end up covering most of the long distance [500KMS-800KMS] holiday spots. With few options I decided to do Hyd - Vizag - Araku - Hyd trip. Had been to Vizag before but not to Araku.

Days: Aug 14th to Aug 18th.

Reason:

- Wanted a beach
- Wanted a hill station.
- Stay as close as you can to a beach
- At Hill station stay in the valley
- Well this circuit perfectly covers all the requirements.

About Resorts:

Booked Rushikonda APTDC beach resort in Vizag - I highly recommend this property.

- Perfect holiday location.
- Excellent view from balcony. You can see the sea and the beach from the room.
- Clear view of the sea under full moon light is a delight to watch. You will feel as if you are on the beach.
- Rooms are average: you can forgive it for the above two points.
- Average meal for 2: lunch or dinner will damage you pocket by INR 400
- Taste is reasonably good.
- Room service is reasonably fast.
- Due to off-peak time food menu was limited.
- You have to pay INR 500 as deposit.
- They will ask for service tax. They didn't collect some part of tax while booking the hotel online.
- Breakfast is complimentary
- You can walk to the beach from the resort.
- Not all the activities are available in this season when compared to peak season.
- The resort have a decent Bar and restaurant.

Booked APTDC Haritha Valley resort in Araku - I highly recommend this property

- Best property if you want to stay in Araku valley.
- There are other properties of APTDC like Jungle bells [just about half way on the hill] and Haritha Hill resort, right on top of the hill.
- I preferred to stay in the valley. Any time of the year this part of the world is cooler compared to the hills.
- Room service is terrible. Not that you need much here.
- Breakfast is complimentary.
- This resort has a swimming pool and some adventure activities stuff.
- Food is below average.
- Average meal for 2: lunch or dinner will damage you pocket by INR 400
- Due to off-peak time food menu was limited i.e they don’t serve all the items mentioned on the menu.
- No bar so you will have to get your stuff from outside.

Travel from Hyderabad to Vizag:

Before planning the road trip, had a lot of discussions with family and friends [incl bhpians] and finally decided to take the following Route.

Hyderabad - Warangal highway [diversion at Jangaon] - Suryapet - Vijayawada – Rajahmundry - Vizag

- Started from Hyd a little late around 7:30 in the morning. Please start at least by 6 AM to beat the traffic and timing your breakfast and Lunch will be perfect.
- You have Café Coffee Day just outside Suryapet attached to gas station. Best place for refreshing. Point to note restrooms are well maintained.
- Checked into the room at 8:30 in the evening.
- Total distance from my residence to Rushikonda beach resort is 710 Kms.
- Took us around 13 hours including all the breaks.
- Roads are good and you can drive at very good speeds most of the times - 90 KMS -120 KMS.
- On this route you will pay around 5-6 tolls don’t remember the exact number. Damage to the pocket around INR 300/-
- You will have to factor in time for Breakfast, Lunch, tea breaks and waiting time at toll booths and refuel : approx 2Hrs. 30 mins.
- City driving at Vijayawada and Vizag: approx 1- 1.5 hour [I was struck in Vijayawada traffic Jam]
- This route is a delight to drive though you will add 40-50 extra kms to the total distance when compared to the shortest route.
- Shortest route is -> Hyd – Suryapet – Vijayawada – Rajahmundry – Vizag.
- You will have to watch out for potholes at the far end of Jangaon – Suryapet road – this distance is approx. 80 Kms of which bad road+ potholes are on one stretch of 8-9 Kms.
- I didn’t feel tired after driving on this route for 13 hours.

Travel from Vizag to Araku:

- Total distance is around 120 KMS from Rushikonda beach. With lot of breaks it took me around 3.5 hours to reach the resort.
- Started late around 9 PM. City traffic for around 30 Kms after that it’s a delight to drive.
- Nice ghat roads…scenic beauty is amazing.. You feel like stopping at every place and want to take pics.
- Try bongu chicken – local delicacy. You will find some of the locals selling this on your route.
- It rained heavily for about 30 min. the visibility was not more than 10 feet so had to stop the car till the rain got cleared.
- Enjoy the drive it is very good. You will see clouds passing by.
Travel from Araku to Vizag:
- Overnight stay at Araku – back on road to Vizag.
- Stopped at Borra caves for a while. This is something you should not miss if you happen to go to Araku.
- The total time it takes for you to check this site out is around 1.5 hours. Make sure you take a torch with you.
- There is an entrance fee of INR 20/- per person and additional fee for digital camera is INR 100 . You will have to pay even for your mobile phone camera [the fee is substantially less though]
- The caves are open from 10AM to 5PM so plan your travel from Vizag or from Araku accordingly.
- The distance from Araku valley to Borra caves is around 40Kms. Travel time is around 60mins there is a railway gate that you need to pass thru.. you may be held up if the gates are closed.
- The distance from Vizag is around 80 Kms

Stay at Vizag [Rushikonda beach]:

- All I can tell you is just stay on the beach and do nothing. Alcohol is not allowed on the beach so don’t get ideas.. this is not Goa.
- Best time to be on the beach – morning 5:30 – 10 and evening 4:30 to 8.
- It’s better you plan to visit other places during noon time or plan your afternoon siesta [you will be totally refreshed]
- Beach in the evening is delight. Tried setting up the tent. Was a total flop as some of the accessories were missing. Walked all along the beach till it got really dark and came back to resort by 8 PM IST.
- Could see some cops on the beach, but they seems to be enjoying their stroll rather than checking out activities on the beach.
- Being off-peak time you can drive your car all the way to the beach. No one will stop or object.
- Holidays and Sundays are best days to avoid these beaches.
- Even on holidays or on Sundays there are very few people on the beach during morning and evening time as this beach is far from the city.
- Beach is littered and you will have to really walk far way to get to a place which is neat and clean.. both the walk and the time spent to find a perfect seating location is worth the pain.
- You can watch fisherman boats and fishing all thru the day.
- This beach is not well lit so staying anytime over 8 PM is a compromise on security unless it’s a Sunday or a holiday as some people tends to stay late.
- After 8 PM it’s the bar or your room is the best place to enjoy the sea.
- APTDC resort location is perfect. Your room turns into a nice evening sea lounge if you want to. All you have to do is use your balcony.
- Weather was humid so stays close to you’re A/C.
- I stayed in Executive Suite.. here the balcony is A/C as it is totally covered and extends to drawing room and bedroom. Look at the pics you will understand.
- The Bar and restaurant gives you unobstructed view of the sea, hills and beach.
- This resort is full most of the time during long weekends or holidays.. so do your booking in advance.

Stay at Araku Valley:

- One reason I stayed at the valley resort was to visit some villages and drive in the serene environment of the valley. Walk on those empty roads and just relax.
- As perfect as it could get the weather held up, the rain stopped and slowly the clouds engulfed the valley.
- Checked out Araku railway station – except for few railway employees it was empty, just me and wify and picture perfect view of the mountains from the railway bench. Felt like heaven on earth. There are just two trains that stop.. don’t remember the name one at 10:55 AM and other at 3:15 PM.
- First time in my life I ended driving on the road that ended in a village and no road whatsoever to drive thru the village.
- After dinner did a small walk on the empty streets around 10 PM not a great thing to do considering that there is near zero population on the road. The resort is very very close to the police and gas station so there is some activity. I was very surprised to see women walking to their homes at this hour all alone. So I guess the security is fine in this area.
- In the morning you wake up with sweet sound of birds, quick realization of the price we are paying for lack of respect to environment in and around our cities.
- Took long walks on the empty roads and I felt the feeling was very similar to walks I did in Switzerland [was on business trip].
- Please note there are some places for sightseeing but none of them were interesting to my taste so just relaxed.
- The roads have very nice curves not sharp turns that pass thru villages and mountains. I truly missed my CBR 250R.
- You will feel the change in air and the smell of land. Both look very pure and serene. No littering any were, people here have better civic sense then people in cities. I was impressed I couldn’t find a single plastic bottle or covers on these roads or on the wayside. They just have one dumping place where all the trash is put.
- Villages have around 4-10 houses only.
- Interacting with locals is not easy though I am Telugu speaking, but they were very helpful people.


Travel from Vizag to Hyderabad:

While coming back took a different route just to try something new and wanted to avoid Vizag traffic
Vizag –Rajahmundry – Khammam – Warangal – Hyderabad
- Total distance around 660+ Kms
- Travel time 11hours 30mins including breaks for breakfast, Lunch, tea and refuel
- Road is bumpy in some parts.
- Vizag to Rajahmundry is a breeze to drive – you will pay around INR 150 for tolls
- Rajahmundry to outskirts is a pain to drive – around 25 Kms
- Some truck traffic from Rajahmundry to Khammam.
- You will pass thru all the villages and small towns.
- Bypass road is nice to drive [not a breeze]. You can maintain good speeds.
- We started around 6:30 in the morning and reached Secunderabad by 6:00 in the evening.
- With the above stated start time you will hit Rajahmundry around breakfast time 9:00 AM.
- You end up reaching Warangal around late lunch time: 3 PM
- Traffic from Uppal Bus depot is horrible and it takes more than an hour to reach Secunderabad from this place which is hardly 20Kms.
Other notes
- Not all gas stations in Vizag serve Diesel
- Some of the gas stations that serve Diesel will not have the stock most of the time. May be it’s a coincidence or it is that way.
- Don’t panic if you don’t get Diesel in the city you will get it once you are out.
- Reliance Diesel is very expensive please skip this.
- You will not get South Indian Thali in most of the restaurants.
- My Blackberry Google Maps are accurate and really helped us in navigations. They are very accurate and perfect for travel like this.
- I highly recommend you to install this app in your compatible phone.
- Carry car charger, with real time GPS you can see yourself moving on these maps and you will not miss a single turn. Like me if you are driving on these roads for the first time this will inspire confidence.

Enjoy!

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Last edited by bblost : 29th August 2011 at 14:35. Reason: Please refer forum rule 11. Thanks.
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Old 22nd August 2011, 21:06   #2
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Default Re: 2000+ KM Drive: Hyderabad - Vizag - Araku - Vizag - Hyderabad

Nice pics and narration! I feel homesick whenever someone undertakes a trip to Vizag from Hyderabad.

By the way, which route would you recommend to Vizag---the one on your onward journey or the return? I am concerned about the return journey route as I heard it has huge craters on the road. Is that correct?
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Old 22nd August 2011, 21:37   #3
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Default Re: 2000+ KM Drive: Hyderabad - Vizag - Araku - Vizag - Hyderabad

Hi NikhilReddy,

Wow nice trip I must say. However I did not see the mention of Bhimli beach area. This is about 40 kms approx from Rushikonda area. I was there in Jan this area,if you don't mind,I am putting up pics in this thread. One of the attractions is the Dutch cemetry,that still has tombs inscribed with details that are over 400+ years old now. Uploading some pics of the scenic APSTDC resort also.

Andy
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Old 22nd August 2011, 22:32   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grace View Post
Hi NikhilReddy,

Wow nice trip I must say. However I did not see the mention of Bhimli beach area. This is about 40 kms approx from Rushikonda area. I was there in Jan this area,if you don't mind,I am putting up pics in this thread. One of the attractions is the Dutch cemetry,that still has tombs inscribed with details that are over 400+ years old now. Uploading some pics of the scenic APSTDC resort also.

Andy
Andy! all people who visited Vizag and surrounding areas can use this post to add more content and pics so that it can become a complete package for people who want to visit Vizag and want to have a preview of areas before deciding on them.

Bhimil is a great place.. your pics tell the story. Was too lazy to move away from Rushikonda beach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
By the way, which route would you recommend to Vizag---the one on your onward journey or the return? I am concerned about the return journey route as I heard it has huge craters on the road. Is that correct?
Take the route Hyd-Warangal - Diversion at Jangaon to Suryapet road. This is a very good drive but in the last leg of this route there is absolutely no tar road, very very small stretch but please be aware.

Again the only problem with this is you will have to drive thru Vijayawada. Not a bad idea considering that you hit this place around lunch time.

Last edited by mobike008 : 23rd August 2011 at 11:08. Reason: Back to Back posts
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Old 23rd August 2011, 11:34   #5
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Default Re: 2000+ KM Drive: Hyderabad - Vizag - Araku - Vizag - Hyderabad

Thanks Nikhil. Someone said Bheemili is 40 kms from Rushikonda, but actually it is only 25 . The total distance from Vizag to Bheemili is around 38 kms. I've driven that route more than a dozen times when I used to live in Vizag.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 12:10   #6
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Default Re: 2000+ KM Drive: Hyderabad - Vizag - Araku - Vizag - Hyderabad

Quote:
Originally Posted by NikhilReddy View Post
I decided to do Hyd - Vizag - Araku - Hyd trip. Had been to Vizag before but not to Araku.
Nice narration and informative post. Will be of good reference for people planning Vizag / Araku trip.

What is the condition of ghat road enroute to Araku. Please share the vid/ pictures of the ghat road if you have.

Thanks
NH
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Old 23rd August 2011, 13:13   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Night_Hawk View Post
Nice narration and informative post. Will be of good reference for people planning Vizag / Araku trip.

What is the condition of ghat road enroute to Araku. Please share the vid/ pictures of the ghat road if you have.

Thanks
NH
The ghat road is very good if you want to enjoy the drive. Speed is a big no-no. You will have to plan well if you want to overtake a vehicle. I did come across some aggressive MUVs.. let them go past you.. you will enjoy every bit of this drive as one turn or the other offer a nice scenic view. I didn't take many pictures as it was raining most part of my drive.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 16:59   #8
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Default Re: 2000+ KM Drive: Hyderabad - Vizag - Araku - Vizag - Hyderabad

Nice Travelogue Nikhil.
Pls let us know about your ride and what mileage you got at these average speeds.

Also, what the APTDC charged you at all these locations per night stay.

I am planning a trip in 2nd week of Oct. Thinking of driving from Pune to Hyd. Take a break and then to Vizag.

Regards,
Maverick79.
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Old 30th August 2011, 15:57   #9
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Originally Posted by Maverick79 View Post
Nice Travelogue Nikhil.
Pls let us know about your ride and what mileage you got at these average speeds.

Also, what the APTDC charged you at all these locations per night stay.

I am planning a trip in 2nd week of Oct. Thinking of driving from Pune to Hyd. Take a break and then to Vizag.

Regards,
Maverick79.
The following site will give you information on accommodation and you can also book the rooms online. I have paid around INR 3k for the suite room. As it was holiday season this was the only room available. This room has a drawing room, dining table and independent bed room. I guess most of the rooms also have fridge. If you can carry some rugs then this can accommodate 4-6 ppl.

My suggestion is make your booking in advance as this property has good demand.

AP tourism website link
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Old 30th August 2011, 17:28   #10
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Nice and crisp travelogue Nikhil. I am impressed with your style of giving important info and points to be noted in crisp form.
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Old 27th September 2011, 12:17   #11
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Default Re: 2000+ KM Drive: Hyderabad - Vizag - Araku - Vizag - Hyderabad

Thanks Nikhil. Now this made me home sick (I am just back from a trip to Vizag, but still). Now that inspired me to drive from Pune, may be for Diwali!!
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Old 27th September 2011, 14:29   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anilisanil View Post
Thanks Nikhil. Now this made me home sick (I am just back from a trip to Vizag, but still). Now that inspired me to drive from Pune, may be for Diwali!!
Hey Anil, are you really game for it? I am planning the route from 22nd Oct. Pls PM me if your dates match with mine.
The Pune sholapur road should be improved further, meanwhile.

Nice write up Nikhil. Its of great guidance. Thanks for the fine details about the stay too.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 16:50   #13
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Hi Nikhil and other mates!

I am going to do this trip on 8th and return back on 10th.
Actually starting from pune on 7th at 4.00pm to reach Hyd around 12.00 or 1.00am on 8th. Take rest and move to Vizag.

I would be travelling with my better half from Pune. Parents may join from Hyd to Vizag or in the return journey. No Kids. So expecting limited short breaks.

My plan from Hyd is as follows,

Start atleast by 7.00am (if not by 6.00 as you recommended) from Chaitanya Puri.
Route proposal is Hyd - Suryapet - Vijayawada - Rajamundry - Vizag.
Most probably, Food will be packed from home. (Atleast breakfast, if not lunch.)

Reach Vizag by 8.00pm atleast.
Attend the marriage in the early hours of 9th.

Return from Vizag :

Start back from Vizag by latest 12.00 noon on 9th
Reach Hyd late night or in early hours of 10th.

Pls let me know the density of traffic and road conditions. Also request your guidance in any other alternate route and road conditions.

Take rest and Hit back to pune latest by 7.00 am on 10th to reach by 8.00pm.

Yes, the schedule is a bit tight.
But, no other way as of now due to the ongoing strike in A.P.


Thanks in advance.
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Old 4th October 2011, 16:32   #14
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Default Re: 2000+ KM Drive: Hyderabad - Vizag - Araku - Vizag - Hyderabad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick79 View Post
Hi Nikhil and other mates!

I am going to do this trip on 8th and return back on 10th.
Actually starting from pune on 7th at 4.00pm to reach Hyd around 12.00 or 1.00am on 8th. Take rest and move to Vizag.

My plan from Hyd is as follows,

Start atleast by 7.00am (if not by 6.00 as you recommended) from Chaitanya Puri.
Route proposal is Hyd - Suryapet - Vijayawada - Rajamundry - Vizag.
Most probably, Food will be packed from home. (Atleast breakfast, if not lunch.)
Looks like a good plan. Look out for the following:

1. Hyd - Suryapet road is under construction and its a very slow moving traffic compared to highway speeds.

Also note Suryapet to Vijayawada is also under construction and truck traffic is plenty.

Alternate: Hyderabad - Warangal - Khammam - Rajhamundry - Vizag

Watch out for pot holes now and then but drive is stress free.

Hyd - Warangal road is also under construction but the traffic is very less.

you will love NH 5 which in this route starts from Rajhamundry.


2. Lot of Highway blockage by people due to political movements in the state.

3. Bandhs are very common and gas stations are shut on most of these bandhs.

My 2 cents:

If its just for the marriage than pls fly in and out of Vizag and ask your parents also to do the same.

In fact I will be going upto Kodad a place after Suryapet and before Vijayawada on Oct 5th by road and most likely may not take the Warangal - Khammam road as the difference in distance doesnt justify. But as I will be in village the next couple of days I may not be able to update the thread.

You can call me if you want to for the latest road condition from Hyd-Suryapet - Vijayawada road. PM me I will give you my number.
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Old 5th October 2011, 13:24   #15
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Default Re: 2000+ KM Drive: Hyderabad - Vizag - Araku - Vizag - Hyderabad

Thank you Nikhil,
Quote:
Originally Posted by NikhilReddy View Post
Looks like a good plan. Look out for the following:

Alternate: Hyderabad - Warangal - Khammam - Rajhamundry - Vizag

Watch out for pot holes now and then but drive is stress free.

Will follow this route then. Actually, I don't feel any major issues while going. Touch wood.
It's only while returning, there could be a major issue.
The total distance is coming to 663kms if I take the above route. Hope I will be able to cover in 12 hours atleast. What do you Say Nikhil?


Hyd - Warangal road is also under construction but the traffic is very less.

you will love NH 5 which in this route starts from Rajhamundry.


2. Lot of Highway blockage by people due to political movements in the state.

3. Bandhs are very common and gas stations are shut on most of these bandhs.

My 2 cents:

If its just for the marriage than pls fly in and out of Vizag and ask your parents also to do the same.

Flight tickets are touching sky high. Tried that too. 12grands per PAx on way.


You can call me if you want to for the latest road condition from Hyd-Suryapet - Vijayawada road. PM me I will give you my number.
My mobile NO. PM sent to you.


Also, how is the road condition and possible speeds from khammam to Rajamundry. I feel I need to be careful only in this route as this is the main border for possible agitations.
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