The monsoon’s a wonderful time to visit the hill station of Ananthagiri. On the menu at this time of year are atmospheric clouds, great weather and green mountain slopes.
Ananthagiri is known for its coffee plantations. Take a tour of the plantations with one of the locals selling coffee powder, peppercorns, cinnamon and soybeans at the roadside stalls near the APFDC milestone. This is also the place to enjoy a cup of freshly-brewed coffee
Go beyond the coffee. A few kilometres away from Ananthagiri is Galikonda, a vantage point that offers great views of the valley below, and, sometimes, wild honey on sale.
And then on to the highlight of a trip to Ananthagiri: the Borra Caves. Said to have been discovered when a cow fell through the hole at the top, these caves are a treasure trove of stalagmites, stalactites and underwater streams, and it makes sense to hire a guide even if just to hear all the different names the formations have been given. It’s best to visit the caves on a weekday, or early in the morning, to avoid the crowds.
Don’t miss taking a dip in the pool at the base of the Katiki Falls. They’re not easy to get to – a bone-shaking 7km jeep ride and then a 12km hike up near araku valley – but the pool is very worth the effort. Again, the weekday and early morning guideline works.