There are few more refreshing Andhra moments than boarding a bus in the heat-soaked plains and disembarking in the sharp pinch of a Lambasingi night or morning. This misty hill station, located at an altitude of 1025 meters above sea level in the Chintapalli region of Arakku Valley, has experienced winter snowfall in the past. That’s right. Temperature does not go below 0° C every year, but when it does, Lambasingi gets an all-white snowy cover!
In fact, Lambasingi is also known by another name, Korra Bayalu, which, in the local language, means “if someone stays out in the open they would freeze like a stick!” Nearly four years ago, on January 15, 2012, due to a local weather condition, Lambasingi experienced snow fall. Retired meteorologist P.V. Rama Rao, a former director of the Indian Meteorology Department, says that the near zero temperature seen in Lambasingi is on account of an odd cooling effect of the hills.
The little hamlet of Lambasingi, nestled in the beautiful and lushly forested Eastern Ghats, is also home to an isolated tribal community. It is also known for its tasty organic coffee and lovely green countryside. Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, this picturesque village is now being developed by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) as an ecotourism destination.
Literally Andhra’s coolest village, Lambasingi can make any winter retreat look pale in comparison. No wonder its called the ‘Kashmir of Andhra’ !
So, if you are planning to visit this offbeat destination soon, here are the things you can do in and around Lambasingi.
1. Stroll through Cloud-Kissed Gardens
The main occupation of the residents of Lambasingi is coffee and pepper farming. In winter, the verdant orchards around the tiny hamlet are peppered with an enchanting sprinkling of wildflowers and laced with silvery clouds. An evening stroll through the winding trails of these cloud-kissed plantations is as romantic as it gets.
2. Wake Up to Misty Mornings
In Lambasingi, not just in winters but throughout the year, the temperatures stay below 10°C. As a result, the tiny village is almost always blanketed in an ethereal white mist that swirls and moves with the wind. In winters, the sun can only be seen after 10 am! Interestingly, places just 4-5 kms away from Lambasingi have temperatures that are typical of a normal south Indian winter.
3. Explore Pristine Forests
Untouched and unexplored, Lambasingi’s primeval forests will remind you of Robert Frost’s beautiful lines, ” The woods are lovely, dark and deep.” A bird-watching trek through these ancient forests is a perfect way to luxuriate in the lap of nature.
4. Visit a Cascading Beauty
The Kothapally waterfall lies at a distance of about 27 kms from Lambasingi. Wrapped in the lush embrace of a tropical rainforest, the waterfall cascades over tiered rocky drops into a pretty plunge pool. A popular picnic spot for locals and visitors alike, this beautiful little waterfall is the perfect place for a relaxing dip.
5. Enjoy Adventures Galore
From recreational rock climbing and rappelling to trekking and overnight camping, there are a horde of activities for those craving more adventure. Lambasingi also offers much for those who enjoy more leisurely pursuits. Observe the beautiful vagaries of nature, let the birds serenade you, and savour the refreshingly cool breeze as you soak in the charm of this tiny mountain hamlet.
Best time to visit: December to January
How to reach: The nearest airport is Vishakhapatnam Airport, 107 km from Lambasingi. State and private buses and taxis can be availed to reach Lambasingi from Vizag. It is well-connected via NH 5. The nearest railway station is Chintapalle, which is situated 19 km from Lambasingi.
Places to Visit within 1oo kms: Hope Island, Bojjannakonda, Seemachalam, Uppada Beach and Araku Valley.