Tuni is a small town of 60,000 on the east coast of India in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The nearest major cities are Hyderabad to the west and Chennai to the south. Only 11 kilometers from the ocean (Bay of Bengal), Tuni has a quiet and relaxed feel unlike that of the large Indian cities which can often feel overwhelming.
To reach Tuni, the fastest way is to fly into the port city of Visakhapatnam (AKA “Vizag”) in the state of Andra Pradesh, where our Coordinator will meet you at the airport then accompany you on the 2+ hour train ride to Tuni. International flights to Visakhapatnam connect in major Indian cities such as Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, and Mumbai.
Telugu is the predominant language, with Hindi second. English is widely taught in schools and used throughout much of the area.
Volunteers stay with local host families within walking distance of the volunteer work. If you prefer to live independently in a hotel or guesthouse situation, you are welcome to do so. Your program fee would include the cost of the hotel / guesthouse and meals.
If you enjoy spicy Indian food, you’re in for a treat in Tuni and all of Andhra Pradesh. Aavakaaya. Rice is the staple food, either boiled or made into crepe-like dishes called dosas. These are served with meat, vegetables, and greens, all cooked with spices (“masalas”). Andhra Pradesh is the largest producer of chili peppers, which are a staple in local cuisine. Also popular are pickles and chutneys (“pachchadi” in Telugu). The mango pickle Aavakaaya is perhaps the most popular one.
The most popular mode of transport around Tuni are auto-rickshaws and buses.
Tuni is very safe in terms of personal safety as well as health. Volunteers should not drink tap water. Drink only bottled water and carbonated drinks. The most common ailment is an upset stomach as you adjust to the food and water. There is a risk of malaria, so you should discuss with a travel doctor the possibility of taking anti-malarial medication. If you do become ill, there are hospitals and clinics in Tuni.
Tuni is hot and humid year-round. Daytime temperatures average 95 F, with high temperatures in April/May rising to 104-113 F. The rainy season is from the 2nd week of June to the 2nd week of October. The best weather is from late October to early February when it is dry and not quite as hot.
The most popular local tourist attraction near Tuni (9km) is the pilgrim center Talupulammalova. There is also a waterfall which locals consider sacred. Annavaram has another famous temple, located 18 Km from Tuni. There is also Araku valley which is about 12 Km from Vishakapatnam City and Kanakadurga temple in Vijayawada which is five hours by express train. Around the state of Andhra Pradesh you can also visit Tirupati, the most visited religious center (of any faith) in the world; Belum Caves (2nd largest cave in India) and Horsley Hills (a famous summer hill resort).