Haritha Valley Resort Ananthagiri,near Araku Valley

Midway through the Ananthagiri Hills, about 60 kilometers from Vizag on the way to Araku, a right turn shows up a long driveway that leads to tall gates and the glass paneled reception-cum-lobby of Haritha Hill Resorts. The structure spreads open to watch-towers on the periphery, meandering pebble-stoned pathways, green lawns and flowering shrubs, a small children’s park, a central dining area and quaint cottages that overlook the valley. The only sound we hear is that of guests speaking in respectful whispers, perhaps not wanting to disturb the quiet that stays in these hills.

A part of the APTDC chain of hotels and restaurants, Haritha Hill Resorts beckons local holidaymakers and tourists alike to spend a relaxing weekend away from Vizag. Haritha has 16 cottages that are comfortable and clean, and come with a tiny sit-out in the front, a double-bedded room with a television (Dish TV connection) and an inter-connect phone, an attached bath and a large balcony, which has an HarithaBalcony-view-Vizagamazing view of the surrounding hills and the valley. Of these, ten cottages are air-conditioned (Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 150 for an extra bed) and six are regular (Rs. 1,600 and Rs. 100 for an extra bed). Haritha also has three luxury suites for Rs. 3,000. These rates exclude taxes. You have to check-in and checkout by 12 noon. You also need to book your room well in advance at the APTDC city office.

Haritha has a conference hall (seating for 75) and a restaurant that serves vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals (North-Indian, South-Indian and Chinese cuisines) with room service. In fact, the hotel staff personnel HarithaRoom-Vizagmake it a point to call you up in your room to take the order. Food (delicious, but spicy) is served in clean cutlery, with a waiting period of about 15 minutes. Haritha is also close to tourist hotspots, the Katiki waterfalls (12 kilometers) and the Tatiguda waterfalls (two kilometers), in the area. For those interested, the resort organizes trekking trips to a tribal hamlet and also a display of the traditional Dhimsa tribal dance by a bonfire under a star-lit sky.

Haritha Valley Resorts is scenic and refreshing. The cottages are beautifully done-up and staff and dining service are good, so it definitely makes sense to spend Rs. 2,000 for a day of rest and relaxation, away from home.

the resort is well spread out, we would suggest a blissful evening walk, followed by a hot cup of filter coffee and some nicely done, spicy pakodas (that the restaurant serves).

MetroMela suggests you drive down to the resort and begin your ‘rejuvenation package’ from the ghats itself as the drive, although tiring, would be splendorous. The resort has its own parking space both in front and at the back end of the hotel (near the dining area).

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