From the Araku Valley to the Tatipudi Reservoir, explore the stunning Eastern Ghats in pictures.
Wired to ignore what we is 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 the Himalayas may be my first love, but it was the 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, from the roof of my school in Tirupati, the green slopes of the seven hills of Tirumala covered in low hanging rain clouds during the monsoons.
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, the Eastern Ghats are unique and have their own charm. We do not crave for duplicates anyway.
Of late, I’ve been taking the 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. To be fair, there is very little tourist infrastructure, but I’m having fun anyway. When a recent assignment required me to produce images on short notice, I decided to chase monsoons in the wonderful vicinities of the city of destiny, Vishakhapatnam.
Here’s a glimpse of the amazing landscapes that welcomed me around Araku Valley and Tatipudi Reservoir.
An idyllic church in the rustic countryside of Araku
Stunning roadside greenery on the route to Araku Valley
Lost in the glorious view unfolding in front of me at Tatipudi Reservoir
A vantage point reserved for gods with the most gorgeous view of Tatipudi Reservoir
Dark storm clouds tease the mountains, on the way to Araku Valley
A beautiful old church in Araku Valley
The tribal belt of Araku Valley thrives of agriculture; gorgeous fields dot the entire valley.
Hairpin Bend No. 6 with a stunning view of the mountains of Eastern Ghats
Look at them layers! The Eastern Ghats have officially staked a claim on my heart, forever
A beautiful stream and a lovely view of the mountains beyond on the way to Araku Valley
Eucalyptus, water guzzlers and nothing but an invasive species. But hey, they smell lovely.
Lush greenery on the banks of Tatipudi Reservoir near Vizianagaram
Tatipudi Reservoir, best find on the recent recce trip. More to follow for sure!
The gorgeous curves on the winding road to Araku Valley
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All images courtesy of Neelima Vallangi.
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