If you are in the Vishakapatnam area, then an easy day trip is to visit Katiki Waterfalls and Borra Caves in the midst of the Eastern Ghats. These gems are located about 3 hours from Vishakapatnam.
We started from Vishakapatnam after breakfast. The beautiful winding roads and the hills gave us an incredible insight into the Eastern Ghats. Most of the villages along the way are not easily accessible (unlike the Western Ghats) but the roads are nonetheless very good.
By the time we reached Katiki Waterfalls it was about noon. There is point beyond which private vehicles cannot go and you have to hire a local jeep to take you closer to the waterfalls hiking start point. So, be prepared for the extra fees (about Rs. 200 per person). The jeep takes you on a very rocky road (could potentially be paved within the next two years or so) and in about 20 minutes we reached the start of the hiking path.
The path itself is not too bad, a few steep inclines but can be easily managed with a good pair of shoes. We went up about 3/4’s of the way up before we stopped. The rocks were quite slippery but more importantly we were running a bit short on time. So, after getting some nice views, we headed back. Our jeep driver mentioned that normally people spend out 2 hours at the falls… we spent only 1 hour.
Once we got back to the starting point, the kids ate some bamboo chicken — the speciality of the area before we headed to Borra caves.
When we reached Borra caves we were told we could not carry backpacks inside. The on-site storing process took a while. So, if you can, leave it in the car. We then started walking towards the cave… after climbing down a few flights of stairs, we reached the opening of the cave. Spectacular! Reminded me of the entrance to Carlsbad Cavern in New Mexico, USA.
We spent the next 2 hours exploring the caves. There is adequate lighting inside the caves… however, it could be improved when lighting up the walkways. Depending on how eager you are to explore, you can climb up to visit a Shiva temple or down to explore amazing formations or do both like we did.
After exploring thoroughly, we headed back towards Vizag. We reached our guest house in Vizag around 7pm and declared the trip a success!
Bottomline: IF you are looking for short trekking opportunities in the Eastern Ghats, then both Katiki Falls and Borra Caves are places you should consider. Beautiful places in the middle of nowhere!