A relaxed weekend at the Rishi Valley

The Rishi Valley residential school had always sounded very inviting. For long, there was an interest to visit the place. However, in the last year or so, with our increased interest in schools and the education system and while running our pet project, Zeeksha.com, the husband and I have been running into many folks in the education sphere.

Some of the folks whom we have met were teachers at the Rishi Valley. So, this past weekend, which we realised was a long one, we figured why not visit the campus! After a few quick phone calls, we understood that the school had their vacation now, but the guest house was open for us – what better way to experience the campus! We had the entire campus in its pristine best – green and rustic after all the rains and we also had the wonderful opportunity to meet and talk with the teachers and admin officials who were on campus. We enjoyed the wholesome and very good food at the school’s dining hall through out the stay. Our daughter especially loved the healthy meals and breakfasts. The food tasted authentic, fresh, and yum!

The entire stay was wonderful. Now, of course, to go back when the school’s in session and to see the activities and the school life there.

I will have to write multiple posts about just this trip. Let me reserve this post just to share our experiencing the beautiful space.

With a large campus spread over 350 acres in the Rayalseema area of southern Andhra Pradesh, Rishi Valley was chosen by its founder Jiddu Krishnamurti for its atmosphere of peace and serenity, centred around a large banyan tree, one of the oldest in India. This old, magnificent tree is now in decline, and has already lost several of its main branches.

The school is nestled in an ancient valley under the Rishikonda hill where, as folklore has it, a well-known sage (‘rishi’) used to meditate. The Rishi River, a rain-fed stream, that flowed down the hill has long since dried up, but Krishnamurti retained the name for his first school. Rishi Valley is surrounded on all sides by ancient granite hills with striking formations.


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This was one of the best seasons for us to have visited the campus – green with mild drizzles, the place was pristine and idyll.

Rishi Valley School - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Nice long walkways – the first day, we wore ourselves out walking from morn to dusk – walking its length and breadth, running in its large playgrounds at the foothills and hiking the nearby rocky surrounds.

Rishi Valley School - Chitra Aiyer Photography

That’s the husband on the swing at the far left. He really seemed to enjoy the peace and quiet the most.

Rishi Valley School - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Rishi Valley School - Chitra Aiyer Photography

The beautiful seating areas, and the kids running to one of many under the tree gathering spots – notice the stone benches and tables.

Rishi Valley School - Chitra Aiyer Photography

At the sunset point, the Asthachal, the kids putting their feet into some collected rain water. She even has a frangipani in her hair. Like mother, like daughter – she shares my love for the beautiful flowers. Will dedicate a separate post about these at the valley (Read here – Our love for the frangipani).

Rishi Valley School - Chitra Aiyer Photography

The daughter hiking the rocky terrains – she really fell in love with the campus.

Rishi Valley School - Chitra Aiyer Photography Rishi Valley School - Chitra Aiyer Photography

The kids under umbrellas, avoiding the tiny drizzles; but not losing their spirit to enjoy the closeness with nature. I especially love the pic below – and will probably treasure it for a lifetime.

Rishi Valley School - Chitra Aiyer Photography

Rishi Valley School - Chitra Aiyer Photography

We also drove up the lovely Horsley hills. As can be imagined, I have many many pics from the entire visit. I don’t know how many I will get around to sharing. I am yet to write from some of our trips of last year, this summer, and our recent Kerala visit. And not to mention, I need to share more about the campus itself. Hopefully, I will do them all!

PS: All pics used here are mine. Please do not use them in any way without asking me. Thanks.

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Overview of the school: The school accepts students from standards (grades) 4-12. It is known for focusing on a holistic approach to education which includes developing an appreciation for nature, art and music. The school also runs the Rishi Valley Institute for Educational Resources (RIVER) program and a rural school and health center.


9 Responses to “A relaxed weekend at the Rishi Valley”

  1. Wow! These are lovely pics.

  2. nice narration n useful info

  3. A lovely write-up about the school and the place, Chitra. The pictures are just apt and blend well with the content. I am aware that the Horsely Hills is a rather pleasant hill-station. I had been quite lucky to have visited this place sometime back, on my way to Tirupathi. Thanks again for those lovely snaps.
    I do agree with you Chitra, that it would be really great to view more picture postcards of the location.
    I shall now eagerly wait for your upcoming review about the School curriculum and other activities pending your next visit to Rishi Valley…
    Keep us posted Chitra…Excellent narration..

  4. When schools these days are run in duplex and independant houses., Here’s a school with such lovely atmosphere. Lucky are the children of this school. BEautifully captured through your lens.

    There is a school similar to this though not as big as this in space called siddhartha village school in hosur, My sister’s daughter studies in this school.

  5. […] the Rishi Valley campus (about the visit in the previous post), as we started our little trek up to the sunset point of ‘asthachal’, the daughter and I […]

  6. Thanks Rajat, Rajesh.

    Thanks Anuradha. Sure will post more.

    Glad you like the pics, Asha. Also good to know about the school in Hosur. Will look it up.

  7. Love this post, Chitra

  8. […] at Rishi Valley, on one morning after breakfast, we drove up Horsley Hills, which is not too far away from the […]

  9. Hi,

    Your write up is beautiful and so are the photos. I am an alumnus of this beautiful school. I joined in 7th std and I completed my 12th from there. I fell in love with the campus when I had gone there for my entrance exam and interview. And in 6 yrs that I stayed there, I couldn’t get enough of that place. Rishi Valley School does more than educate its students. It teaches them to live, to identify themselves .
    I am sure any one who visits this place will love it. And those lucky ones to study there will cherish its memories forever.

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