789Best of both ancient and modern worlds

Primarily an industrial city, Visakhapatnam, as per Hindu mythology, is the city named after the god Vaishaka and is popularly known as Vizag. Visakhapatnam city, headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command, has the biggest ship building yard in the country. The major port in Vizag handles huge volumes of Cargo every day. It is an industrial main centre in South India.

Visakhapatnam has a rich cultural and historical heritage. Once part of the ancient empire of Kalinga, it has been ruled by eminent kings such as Ashoka and Krishnadeva Raya. It had also been a Dutch colony in the 18th century. Now a comfortable urban hangout, the city offers the best of both ancient and modern worlds.

It is a paradise for tourists of all kinds, whether nature lovers, environmental lovers, wild animal enthusiasts, bird watchers or those who look for physical modern entertainments. Natural beauty is abundant in this majestic city, with ranges of pretty big hills, golden beaches along the Bay of Bengal coastline and natural valleys. The city has maintained its greatest appeal to tourists all along the centuries. The beaches are against a setting of low ranges of scenic hills and lush greenery spotted with quiet coves and creeks.

Vizag is surrounded by three amazing hills, Sri Venkateswara Konda, Ross hill and Dargah Konda. Each hill carries the legacy of housing the shrines dedicated to three different religions. Venkateswara temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva on Venkateswara Konda; Church of the Virgin Mary on Ross Hill and the tomb of a Muslim saint, Baba Ishaq Madina Dargah on Dargah Konda.

The popular tourist attractions are Kailasagiri Hill Park, VUDA Park, Mudsarlova, Dantapuram, Simhachalam Temple, Rushikonda Beach and Araku, a scenic hill-station. The city boasts of a submarine museum known as ‘Smritika’ at Rama Krishna Beach, the first of its kind in South Asia.

Tourist Attractions

Buddhist Excavations: Bhavi Konda, Thotla Konda, Bojjana Konda, and Salihundam located around Visakhapatnam are places of Buddhist excavations. These were hamlets of Buddhism during the second century AD. Excavation during 1906 in these places brought out many Buddhist monuments such as stupas and chaityas. It is believed that some of the corporal remnants of the Buddha were conserved at these sacred Buddhist places.

The visitor is blessed with the view of architectural remnants of the Buddhist period dating from 200 BC to 700 AD, one of the earliest of its class in South India.

War Memorial: A memorial, also known as ‘Victory at Sea’, dedicated to the great soldiers who sacrificed their lives to the cause of national integrity and border protection, renowned as War Memorial, is located in Vizag on the left of the beach road and facing the submarine museum.

Bheemli Beach: The calm and serene Bheemunipatnam Beach is located at the confluence of Gosthani River and the Bay of Bengal. Bheemunipatnam is featured by the ruins of a 17th century fort and cemetery, and history reveals that this was a Dutch settlement earlier period.

The beach, known also as ‘Bheemli’, is renowned as the safest and calmest location for swimmers.

Dolphin’s Nose: Dolphin’s Nose, a mammoth rocky headland of about 174 meter high, is situated in the southern part of Visakhapatnam city. The rock resembles a dolphin’s nose is nicely placed at an altitude of 358 meter with its projection to the Bay of Bengal in Visakhapatnam. This is a verdant attraction for many visitors as it is nature’s gift in its rarest form.

Gangavaram Beach: Simply spectacular, is the one word to describe the scenic Gangavaram beach located on the south of Vizag near Visakhapatnam steel plant and the beach. It is beautifully lined up with palm trees. This beach attracts many film and TV serial makers as it provides natural picturesque spots.

Kailasa Giri: An attractive and local favorite hill station, Kailasa Giri offers a spectacular view of the sea. It has serene and beautiful Rushikonda beach and RK beach on the left and hillock on the right. As the name suggests, the hill is Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva and Parvathi, massive sculpture of Shiva and Parvathi is seen here.

Kondakarla Ava Beach: Kondakarla Ava beach in Kondakarla village is located in Achyutapuram mandal, a short distance from Vizag. The beach is scenic and beautiful. Those who look for calm away from the stress and strains of the busy city life can spend their holidays here.

Lawson’s Bay Beach: Lawson’s Bay beach, also called as Pedawaltair beach, a calm serene and secluded cute beach with lusting greenery and golden sands is located close to Ramakrishna beach in the way to Kailasagiri Mount from Visakhapatnam.

The majestic sea with shallow crystal clear water and calm waves here is ideal for swimming, sun bathing and surfing. The beach attracts tourists due to its picturesque and stunning scenic beauty. Many tourists use the wheatish sands as a resting place and for sun bathing in day time.

Ramakrishna Beach: Located at the east coast with a largest stretch of seafront, Ramakrishna beach is a favorite and nice spot to spend the time relaxing on the softy sand. The twin beaches – Ramakrishna Beach and Lawson’s Bay present the tourists will mind-blowing scenic view of the nature, especially the reddish setting sun. The submarine museum, Rishikonda Beach, the Kali Temple, VUDA Park, statues of prominent personalities, Matsyadarshini, road side restaurants and parks – all attracts visitors to this beach.

Rushikonda Beach: The lovely Rushikonda beach in Vishakhpatnam with golden sands and vast stretch of water is the best beach in Vizag. Rushikonda Beach, an ideal location to engage in water sports, is spectacular with its golden sand and the tidy waves of Bay of Bengal. It attracts a huge crowd of tourists day by day and many of them enjoy swimming, water skiing and wind surfing.
Simhachalam: A famous pilgrim centre Simhachalam, also known as Simhagiri, has its importance in its 11th century ancient Sri Varaha Lakshminarasimha Temple. Devotees coming over here steadily growing, the west facing temple has the credit of having lots of revenue making it the second richest temple in the country after Tirupati.

VUDA Park: Taraka Rama Park, popularly known as VUDA (Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority) Park, is a majestic attraction in Visakhapatnam and many tourists visit here mainly due to its amazing musical fountain. The park is designed and constructed by the VUDA and is in the close proximity of Ramakrishna Beach.

Yarada Beach: A perfect beach to have a holiday out, Yarada beach, is located very close to the main city Vizag and offers wonderful scenery with the magnificent greenish around and soft golden sands. The beach is surrounded by picturesque hills on three sides with Bay of Bengal provides the exotic waves the fourth side.

Indira Gandhi Zoological Park: The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Visakhapatnam is located in the midst of the Kambalakonda Reserve Forest and was opened for public on 19th May 1977. Named after former Prime Minister of India, Mrs Indira Gandhi, the park is home to more that eighty species of animals. Surrounded by Eastern Ghats on three sides and Bay of Bengal on one side, this park is a delight for nature lovers.

Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary: Spanning an area of 70 sq km with dry evergreen forest together with meadows and scrub, Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary is established on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam. The Sanctuary houses many rare species of wild life animals such as panthers, sambar deer, spotted deer, barking deer, jackal, wild boar and wild dog. To have a rare view of precious animals in its habitat, Kambalkonda provides the worthy opportunity to its visitors.

Ramanaidu Film Studio: The Ramanaidu Film Studio in Visakhapatnam is a major tourist spot. Spreading on an area of 33 acres of land, it was inaugurated on 17th August, 2008 by Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, the then Chief Minister of AP. It is a tourist hotspot and a major film making centre and till date has produced hundreds of movies in various languages. The film studio is owned by Dr. Daggubati Ramanaidu, who holds the Guinness world record for producing most films.

Best periods to visit here are from October to March.

How to reach

By Train: Visakhapatnam has an important railway station on Chennai – Delhi main line. This station is connected with all cities in India by rail.

By Air: Visakhapatnam airport is connected to many cities in India including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad. It is nearly 16 km away from the heart of the city.

By Bus: Vizag is well connected by road transport public bus services. Many tourist bus service providers offer deluxe, super deluxe and A/C bus services from Visakhapatnam to many major cities in South and Central India, including Chennai, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bangalore and Mumbai.

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