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Araku Valley is undoubtedly one of the most scenic regions Andhra Pradesh is blessed with. The beauty of the place is so mesmerizing, the more you go, the more you want to go. Following are some of my pictures from one of my trips to the valley.

A farmer walks to his field to start his day.

How to go: Araku valley is located at a distance of 114kms from Visakhapatnam and is well connected by road, rail and air from all parts of India.
Nearest Railhead – Araku
Nearest Airport – Visakhapatnam
What to see in Araku Valley: The beauty of the landscape, the tribal people and their activities.

Where to stay:
There is lot of hotels of all budget range available. Haritha Valley Resort is run by the Tourism Department and is an awesome place to stay.

When is the best time to visit Araku?
Araku is wonderful in every season. Winter is more popular for tourists. October is also a great time when the flowers are in bloom. The harvest season is when the place is bustling with activities.

Winding up for the day as the sun sets.
A winter morning in the Araku valley.

Tips for Photographers
Araku has opportunities for photographers for all genres. You will find amazing landscapes. You can also shoot the tribal people in the villages.
Getting up early is the key to great landscape and most other kind of pictures. The water bearers also flock around the wells early in the morning.

What lens to use?
If you want to shoot landscapes, a wide angle lens is recommended. For taking portraits, my favourite lens is a 50mm or an 85mm.
For the above pictures I used a D600 and the following lenses: 24-85 f4.5-5.6 lens (the kit lens), 20mm f/2.8, 80-200 f/2.8 and occasionally a 50mm 1.8 lens.

Water bearers. Its not just an act of taking water home, its the time to socialize, catch-up with friends and some gossip too… I guess.
Harvesting activities in Araku valley.

How to Approach People
I always practice and advise others as well – remember the two words – RESPECT and EMPHATHY. It is very important to connect with people before taking pictures. Once you build a good rapport, the subject will be comfortable and any picture is possible. It takes some time, so be patient. You can’t just take a quick portrait and run away.

Some people find it difficult or are hesitant to approach their subjects. Well, a good way to improve your comfort level is to introspect and ask – what are your intentions to take the picture? As for me – I want to showcase the beauty of India to the whole world. And, there is nothing wrong in it, so why fear? I am respectful to the people and their culture and that clears my conscience.

Click on the images to view

A Humble Request:
Araku is a ecologically sensitive region. With the increasing popularity, the influx of tourists is increasing exponentially. Nature is there for us to enjoy but it is our responsibility to preserve it for the future generations to relish.
Please take care of the following points to help preserve it in its pristine condition –
1. Do not litter. Take back the garbage that you brought. (It was disappointing to see a lot of cold drink, beer bottles and wafer packets.)
2. Don’t make noises – listen to the sounds of nature.
3. If you have kids, please teach them the etiquette to respect nature and preserve it.

About the Author:

Most Fascinating travel photographer from India. He is the owner of SIA Photography, Hyderabad. Saurabh has two missions in his life – to see INDIA and to make every camera owner a great photographer. He has travelled far and wide across the country capturing the flavour of the place he visits. He holds many degrees in photography. He is official trainer, conducted workshops and courses at various Universities and Multinational Companies. His works have been published in several national and international publications. He has won several national and international awards for his works.
Know more about him here:

Smile Art Beats
Beats of Artistic Hearts. A Magazine from Dinesh Dinu & SMILE ART Creations team, which recognizes the hidden talents in the field of Arts & Photography.