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Don't let road construction spoil your Araku Valley vacation - be prepared for muddy conditions!

The Green Corridor project on national highways running through parts of Andhra Pradesh gained momentum when the Union of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) recently launched a tender to improve improving roads from Koyyuru to Chaprathipalem section in Visakhapatnam district.

The scope of work includes the restoration and upgrading of the Koyyuru to the Chaprathipalem section of NH-516E in Visakhapatnam with the assistance of a loan from the World Bank. The value of the project is Rs 273.53 crore.

NH 516E starts from its intersection at NH 6 near Rajahmundry, and connects Bhupathipalem road where it meets SH-38 near Rampachodavaram to East Godavari, Koyyuru, Chintapalli, Lambasingi, Paderu and Araku in Visakhapatnam district and Bowadara, Tadipudi and ends at QL-26 intersection at Vizianagaram. According to NHI sources, a total of 406.17 km will be converted into a two-lane highway.

If you’re planning to visit the picturesque Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh, then be prepared for some muddy conditions on the roads thanks to ongoing road construction works in the area. The good news is that once you reach your accommodation and begin exploring, you’ll soon forget all about being covered in mud! Here are some things to keep in mind when planning your visit to Araku Valley to ensure that you don’t get stuck in muddy conditions while you’re there and keep having fun!

Travelling by Bus or Train?

If you are travelling by bus or train to Araku Valley, get down at Borra Junction, Anantagiri or Sunkarametta. If you plan to travel by train, you can drop off at Borra Junction Railway Station. If you are planning to reach Araku by bus, you can get down at Anantagiri or Sunkarametta. Even though it is located away from the main town of Araku Valley, Borra is closest to all the tourist attractions in Araku Valley. If you reach the main town of Araku Valley after alighting from the bus or train, a major part of your travel time will go into reaching these tourist destinations. Always check if the roads are under construction before starting on any long journey by road. The travel might seem very ordinary at first but soon enough you will realise that all these bumps along the way might make your vacation messy and disappointing. You can plan your stay at Anantagiri or Sunkarametta. If you ask us, We would advise you to stay at Maryland Resort.

How to prepare your car/bike before driving to Araku

If you’re planning a trip to Andhra Pradesh and you want to go off the beaten track, then we highly recommend visiting Araku Valley. In order to get there you’ll need to travel through the mountainous region of Visakhapatnam. When driving in these mountains, it’s important that you keep an eye out for road construction (i.e. mud & rocks). Thus, any rain can lead to detours and unexpected potholes along your route.

The Perfect Road Trip Checklist

If you can't rely on your car, even a nice road trip can go badly. A car breakdown is a frequent accident that occurs when travelling by car. So what should you do if you find yourself stranded on a road you don't recognise or miles from a town? Car maintenance is one measure of prudence. To take care of all the routine maintenance chores, servicing your automobile is a year-round operation that you must complete before your road trip turns into a disaster. However, to avoid hassles, you must also follow this checklist in addition to having your automobile serviced:

1. Examine the battery

It's crucial to check your car's battery's expiration date. Replace it if it has been more than three years. Additionally, confirm that the battery's electrical charging system is in good working order. The battery life of an automobile can be significantly harmed by both overcharging and undercharging. A battery that is corroding or failing may be the cause of a car starting that occasionally sounds sluggish. If corrosion is the cause, clear the white, chalky substance outdoors before continuing to drive.

2. Check the tyres

The tread and tyre pressure must both be examined when inspecting the tyres. When it comes to the air pressure in the tyres, ensure sure they are neither over nor under-inflated since this can cause several problems, including early wear, a bumpy ride, overheating, and, worst case scenario, a rupture. Your tyres will wear out more quickly and have less chance of acquiring a grip on the road if the treads are not deep enough.

3. Refuel the Vehicle

Make sure your automobile has enough engine oil before starting a road trip. A dipstick can be used to accurately measure the engine oil level. Fill the tank properly before setting off on your excursion to ensure a hassle-free journey.

4. Verify the amounts of additional fluids.

For an automobile to operate properly, fluids are like its lifeblood. The radiator, brakes, windshield, transmission, power steering, and other fluids should all be inspected. The amount of these fluids your car needs to be lubricated with often relies on how far you want to drive on your next road trip and how far you've gone since the last time. If you lubricate each of these components, your car will run consistently.

5. Replace Air Filters

The roadways are covered in dust, insects, and trash. Air filters are therefore installed inside cars to stop dust from entering the engine's interior. These further maintain the car's interior air quality. However, after reaching the top, it becomes blocked, potentially impairing the engine's performance, the condition of the fuel, and the purity of the air within the vehicle. It is necessary to update air filters every 12,000 miles.

6. Check the lights and wipers

To provide optimal visibility when driving, particularly in the dark and early hours, wipers and lights must be in good working order. If there are streaks, replace the old or worn-out wiper blades so that you can see well while it is raining, foggy, or otherwise precipitating. Analyse the external and interior lighting accessories as well, and make any necessary changes.

7. Modify the Suspension and Steering

Before you start driving, fix any loose steering, worn-out bushings or mounts, damaged shocks, and bouncing or swaying vehicles. These issues can throw off your adventure plans and make the trip a bumpy one.

8. Verify the exhaust system

Additionally, we shouldn't ignore the exhaust system. Through diminished power, poor fuel quality, and inappropriate venting out of harmful gases created by the engines, a defective exhaust system might cause problems on the voyage. If you hear any popping or hissing noises, inspect the exhaust system. You should think about having your car's exhaust system serviced by experts if it is older than five years.

9. Verify HVAC

The proper cooling system is made possible by heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), which is crucial for interior comfort. Depending on the inputs from electronic sensors and operators, the system's objectives include cleaning, cooling, heating, ventilating, and dehumidifying the air flowing from the cabin.

10. Give the brakes a rest

Your car's braking system is its most important safety feature. Check the brakes before getting in the car with your family for a long drive. Squeaking, grinding, shaking of the steering wheel, and sponginess of the brake pedals are among the early warning indications of a defective brake. This necessitates checking its add-ons, including the braking fluid, hoses, drums, and rotors.

11. Inspect the windshield washers on the front and rear.

Check to see if the windshield washer jets in the front and back are dispensing water equally. Adjust the jet sprays as necessary if they become clogged. In some cars, this angle can also be controlled appropriately.

12. Keep A Spare Tire on Hand / Stepney

To prevent a flat tyre accident on the road, it is also advisable to have a fully inflated spare tyre with you. Put on your work gloves to protect your hands from the tyre filth.

13. Inspect the first aid kit

Include items like flares, jumper cables, warm blankets, flashlights, a first-aid kit, and water in your emergency supply kit. If any of the goods are out of stock, replenish them all.

14. Before the journey, test drive your vehicle

Before setting off on your much-anticipated road trip, take it for a quick test drive to spot any potential problems and give yourself a chance to fix them.

15. Are You Carrying the Required Documents?

After running our checklist through all the technical aspects, now it is vital to get familiar with the concepts of legality. The mandatory vehicle documents that every car owner must possess are:

- Driver’s licence,

- Car insurance

- Vehicle registration certificate

- Pollution under control (PUC) certificate

- Make sure to carry all the important documents with you before moving out of your house.

How to escape those roads under construction

Beginning at Araku Railway Station and going to Bhalluguda are certain roads that could cause you problems. So, in order to avoid those routes, you just tour the local attractions, such as the Araku Tribal Museum, the Coffee Museum, and the Ranajilleda Waterfalls. Another choice is to make a stop before Bhalluguda, perhaps in Sunkarametta or Anantagiri, and explore popular sites like the Katiki Waterfalls, Borra Caves, Gosthani River, Anantagiri Waterfalls, Thatiguda Waterfalls, Galikonda View Point, Mardhaguda Adventure Park, as well as some lovely lodging choices like Maryland Resort and Treksome Camping Ground.

Take care while driving along the ghats

Despite its beauty, roads in and around Araku Valley can get difficult to drive on because of erosion and mud. While roadwork is on at many places, it is important to stick to designated paths if you are looking forward to a safe and comfortable journey. Do not attempt any adventure until you are completely sure about how stable those paths will be; otherwise, it could disappoint all of you during your visit. Driving through the rain in these areas can also pose another problem as rainwater tends to accumulate over potholes on these roads which make them more slippery.

When you are done with the fun and you need to head back home, here are some tips

The roads in and around Araku are generally good. But when it rains, they are bumpy, some sections get very dusty and sometimes even muddy, especially after rain. The roads in places that are being newly surfaced or repaired can get extremely bumpy as well. During monsoon season you might encounter some tough travel conditions on these roads. Be prepared to use first gear in places if you have a manual car to keep from going airborne off large bumps. You will also need to drive slowly through worksite speed bumps and while there may be a shoulder to drive on it is typically not big enough to sustain safe driving speeds.

Happy Exploring. Take Care!

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