Visakhapatnam also known as Vizag and Waltair is the largest city and the financial capital of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Vizag mainly comprises of Bay of Bengal at Andhra Pradesh, small villages of fishermen and the hills of Eastern Ghats. Vizag is guarded by three hills those are Sree Venkateshwara Konda, Ross Hill and Darga Konda. From the main town of Vizag around 24 km is Poturolakonda, 47 km Bamun Padu Beach and 75 km is Tyda. During 11 century the king of Andhra visited this city while his way to Benaras, the geographical location of this city attracted him so much that he built a temple of Visakha Swami and named this city Visakhapatnam, later in 1768 Visakhapatnam came under the British rule and in short they named it Vizag. Today Vizag is one of the largest trading ports of the country. But apart from this Vizag attracts tourists not only from India but also from rest of the world due to its clean and some untouched beaches. The main attraction of Vizag or Visakhapatnam is Ramakrishna Beach also locally known as R.K. Beach but apart from this Vizag also attracts tourists round the year for it other local watchable like Rishikonda Beach, Navaratna Temple, Kali Temple (lies on R.K. Beach), Marine Aquarium, Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, Kailash Giri, Visakha Museum, Appu House, Ross Hill, Yarada Beach, Dolphin Nose, Vuda Park, Bheemli, Sunbmarine Museum, Tyda Nature Park, Lawsons Bay and many more. Vizag is the administrative headquarters Visakhapatnam district and also the state headquarters of Indian Cost Guard. The history of Vizag stretches back to 6th century BC when it was a part of Kalinga Kingdom, later it was ruled Vengi, Pallava and Eastern Ganga dynasties. According to archaeologists Vizag was built around 11th and 12th centuries with control over the fluctuating between the Chola dynasties and Gajapati Kingdom, till its conquest by the Vijayanagara Empire. Vizag was later conquered by the Mughals during 16th century. French rule come under control during 18th century and they set up trading interests in the city and later came under the British around 1804 until Indian Independence. Vizag is home to the oldest Shipyard and the only natural harbor on the east coast of India named Visakhapatnam Port. Vizag is also home to the headquarters of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Command and South Coast Railway Zone. Many referred Vizag as the ‘The City of Destiny’ and ‘The Jewel of the East Coast’. During the British rule in India, they called the city as Vizagapatam and also as Waltair that derived from a British colonial name, later the name shortened and called as Vizag. Vizag was ruled by Andhra Kings of Vengi and Pallavas. The city is named after Sri Vishaka Varma. The locals of Vizag are mainly Hindus by religion and also Islam and Christianity. Buddhism is also practiced in some parts of the city. The language mainly used is Telugu along with Tamils, Malayalis, Sindhis and Kannadigas. Though English is the common medium. During the 5th century BC, the Visakhapatnam region was part of Kalinga territory, which extended to the Godavari River. Relics found in the area also prove the existence of a Buddhist empire in the region. The Bavikonda site is considered one of the oldest Buddhist sites in Asia. It is a reminder of the Buddhist civilization which once existed in southern India.
Places of Tourists Interest (Local Watch-able):
Ramakrishna Beach (R.K. Beach): Ramkrishna Beach or R.K. Beach is around 4 km from Vizag railway station. Ramkrishna Beach or R.K. Beach is the main tourist’s attraction of Vizag. There is a Kali Temple established by Dayanath Bandhyopadhyay that lies on Ramkrishna Beach of Vizag. Bathing and smoking at Ramkrishna Beach is strictly restricted. The right hand side route from Ramkrishna Beach has connected to Dolphin Nose and further towards Visakhapattam Port. Near the Ramkrishna Beach there is Visakha Museum that has wide collections of antiques of Pallab and Chole dynasties.
Rishikonda Beach: Vizag is also famous for another Beach named Rishikonda Beach. Rishikonda Beach is a half moon shaped Beach and is about 16 km from Vizag. All over Rishikonda Beach tourists get to see reddish, blackish and yellowish coloured stones lying on the beach. Andhra Pradesh tourism Development has arranged boating on Rishikonda Beach from 10.00 am to 05.00 pm.
Yarada Beach: From Vizag about 32 km is Yarada Beach. Yarada Beach at Vizag is a special mention in this travel guide and this beach is adjacent with the nearby hills. Half moon shaped beach, fishermen’s village and Pee Nut garden all comprises this small Yarada Beach area at Vizag. From the main town of Vizag within a journey of about one hour is Yarada Beach and Hills. Though Yarada is a lesser known beach of Vizag but its scenic beauty and the natural panoramic wonders are sure not to miss. The route to Yarada beach from the main town of Vizag is full of natural wonders; sometimes the route will take hairpin turn towards the uphill and again the direction changes to lower end. The sand of Yarada Beach is of golden yellow colour and tourists are allowed to take bath here. At the backdrop of Yarada Beach there are long stretches of dense thick jungle of Juniper Trees. The largest workshop of Ship manufacturing is at Vizag named ‘Hindustan Shipyard’. Yarada beach is a plastic free beach; tourists are requested not to through any plastic bags, bottles or anything like those on the beaches. Please note that staying accommodations are not available at Yarada Beach. Entry pass for Yarada Beach is Rs.50/- per person. Yarada Beach lies on the southern end of Vizag. Near the beach of Yarada Village there is Agrigold Paradise Beach Park. This park offers the best Sunset view of Vizag.
Vuda Park: Vuda Park maintained by ‘Visakhapattanam Urban Development Authority’. Inside the Vuda Park tourists get to see Toy Train, Water World, Boating and other amusement activities. From Vuda Park within 2 km is From Kailshgiri top the view of Lawson Bay Beach, Ramkrishna Beach and Vizag is eye catching. From Vuda Park cable car is available to reach Kailashgiri. Cable car remains open from 11.00 am to 08.00 pm.
Submarine Museum: I.N.S. Kurusawa Submarine. The famous Kursura Submarine Museum is 92 meter in length and 8 meter wide, it’s a Russian Submarine. The Submarine Museum of Ramakrishna Beach remains open except Mondays. Tourists visiting hours are 02.00 pm to 08.00 pm. Entry pass is Rs.50/- per person. This Submarine was used during the time of Second World War, and inside this Submarine there are lots of equipment and arms are portrayed those were used during that period. From the main town of Vizag local transports are available to visit Submarine Museum.
Kailashgiri: Kailashgiri nestled at an elevation of 300 meter and spread over an area of 100 acre. At Kailashgiri top tourists get to see the area is perched with thick greenery, View Point, Titanic Sea Viewpoint, Nature walk and idol of Lord Shiva and Parvati. There is a trekking route that connects with Kailashgiri Hills, tourists can avail this route to get at the top. On the hill top there is toy train available for tourists and there is also a view point nearby that offers panoramic view of the whole region of Vishakapattanam or Vizag along with many of the half moon shaped beaches of Vizag. Tourists can enjoy the cable car ride or rope-way ride and visit Kailash Giri Hills.
Dolphin Nose: Nearby there is Dolphin’s Nose and above which is the light house. During night this light house of Vizag uses light signals to the nearby ships. The light house on the top of Dolphin Nose remains open for tourists from 03.00 pm to 05.00 pm. From the main town of Vizag auto rickshaws are available upto Dolphin Nose.
Thotla Konda: From the main town of Vizag, tourists can visit Bavikonda and Thotlakonda about 16 km. These two places are famous Buddhists site. On this same route tourists will get to see two famous Buddhists pilgrimage site named Sankaram and Gopalapattanam. Bojjana Konda, Thotla Konda, Bhavi Konda and Salihundam around Visakhapatnam were centers of Buddhism during the second century A.D. Several Buddhist monuments such as stupas and chaityas were erected at these places. It is said that some of the corporal relics of the Buddha were preserved at these places.
Bojjana Konda: Bojjana Konda is near Sankaram village in the hamlet of Anakapalli, 40 km from Visakhapatnam, and offers architectural remnants of the Buddhist period, one of the earliest of its class in South India. It constitutes one of the most remarkable groups of Buddhist monuments dated from 200 BC to 700 AD, found during excavations in 1906. On the eastern hill, there are a series of rock-cut caves, numerous groups of monolithic dagobas, standing on rock platform in tiers above each other and, crowning all, a rock-cut stupa with extensive structural remains.
Bheemunipatanam (Bheemli): From the main of Vizag about 24 km is a Portuguese city named Bheemunipatanam locally called Bheemli, it lies on the confluence of Gostani River and Bay of Bengal. Bheemunipatanam is famous for 17th Centuries old settlement, Fort, Watch Tower and Dutch Grave. As Vizag lies on the foothills of Eastern Ghats, tourists get to see numerous hills standing side by side one after the other giving it a half moon shape. This route map has reached upto Bheemunipatanam via Lowsons Bay from Vizag.
Sankaram Simhachalam: From Vizag around 16 km is Simhachalam, The name Simhachalam locally means ‘Lion’s Den’. Simahchalam is an architectural splendor, though some of the sculptures were defaced during the Islamic invasions. The Simhachalam temple inscriptions date the earliest donors to the 10-11th centuries. Simahchalam temple is dedicated to the half-man-half-lion avatar of Lord Vishnu. The temple bears references to the Chola and Chalukya styles of architecture.
Tyda Nature Camp: Tyda Nature Camp lies within a distance of about 75 km from the main town of Vizag. Tyda is a small village nestling in the wooded hills of the Eastern Ghats, on the way to Araku from Vizag. This place is a natural bounty of flora and fauna, It is now home to an enchanting date with untouched nature. Tyda is ideal for viewing wild life and bird watching.
Ross Hill: Ross Hill at Vizag is famous for three hills dedicated to three different faiths. Ross Hill was named after Monsieur Ross who built a house on it in 1864, later it was converted into a Chapel Mother Mary’s Church. The pathway to the shrine strewn with Catholic icon. Darga Pahad has the tomb of the Muslim saint, Sayed Ali Medina alias Ishak Medina, visited by Hindu and Muslim devotees alike. Attached to this is a mosque. Sri Venkateswara Konda, the third hillock, has a temple dedicated to the Lord. It is believed to have been built by an Englishman, Captain Blackamoor, in the 19th century. There is a view of the port channel, once ships’ entrance to the inner harbor.
Venkateshwara Konda: At a separation of 5 Km from Vizag Railway Station, Sri Venkateswara Swamy Konda on the south of the line of three slopes is popular for a sanctuary committed to Lord Venkateswara. This sanctuary has a little steeply pyramidal passage gopura. The port channel, the passageway of the internal harbor for boats and liners can be seen from here. The slope on the south of the line of three slopes, called Sri Venkateswara Konda has a sanctuary devoted to Lord Venkateswara. The temple was constructed in 1232 AD by King of Karvetinagaram, Sri Venkata Perumalaraju Brahmadeva Maharaj.
Indira Gandhi Zoological Park: From R.K. Beach tourists can get around and visit the famous zoo of Vizag named ‘Indira Gandhi Zoological Park’. The Indira Gandhi Zoological Garden lies on the NH5 and spread over an area of 600 acre. It is the third largest zoo in the country. The zoo has enclosures for primates, carnivores, lesser carnivores, small mammals, reptiles, ungulates and birds aviaries. It is situated in Visakhapatnam amidst the scenic Eastern Ghats of India. It is surrounded by the Eastern Ghats on three sides and Bay of Bengal on the fourth side. Nearly eighty species of animals numbering to about eight hundred are present in the zoo. Some of these are White Tiger, Sloth Bear, Terrapin, Wild Boar, Gaur, Indian Crested Porcupine, Indian Rhinos and many more.
Lawsons Bay: Lawsons Bay Colony is a neighborhood located in the city of Visakhapatnam state of Andhra Pradesh, India. From Ramkrishna Beach to the way of Lawson Bay Beach to the left hand side is the Kailashgiri Hills, local transport are available for tourists. Lawson Bay Beach is about 8 km from Appu House.
Mudasarlova Park: Mudasarlova Park is an urban park in the Indian city of Visakhapatnam. It is spread over 20 acres. Mudasarlova Park has the oldest Water reservoir in Visakhapatnam or Vizag. It was constructed in 1902 and is one of the oldest parks in this Coastal Andhra Pradesh.
Kondakarla Bird Sanctuary: From Vizag around 56 km is safe haven for migratory birds named Kondakarla Bird Sanctuary. This Kondakarla Bird Sanctuary is mainly centered with a lake and is guarded by Eastern Ghats Hills on all sides and at the center a huge lake. Round the year numerous birds gather near this lake some of these are Purple Morhen, Red Tailed Lapwing, Egret, Lesser Whistling Duck, Kingfisher, Cormorant and many more. The route to Kondakarla Lake is through agricultural land and tribal village.
Araku Valley: Araku Valley is a hill station in Visakhapatnam district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, lying 111 km west of Visakhapatnam city. This place is often referred to as Ooty of Andhra. It is a valley in the Eastern Ghats inhabited by different tribes. Araku is connected through both rail and road to Visakhapatnam. For more details on Araku Valley ⇒
Matsyadarshini Marine Aquarium: The Fish House or Marine Aquarium of Vizag remains open from 09.00 am to 05.00 pm. R.T.C is the main bus stand of Vizag and it is about 2 km from the railway station. The marine aquarium of Vizag has wide collections of marine fish, marine turtles, Corals, start fish and jelly fish and many more. The Aquarium is situated on the left side of the Kali temple of R.K. Beach. The exit gate of the aquarium resembles the open mouth of a huge white tipped shark.
War Memorial: The War Memorial at Vizag was built in remembrance for the Victory at Sea of the Indo – Pak war held in 1971. The War Memorial is located on the beach road opposite to the Kursura Submarine Museum. Inside the War Memorial there is a fighter plane, a tank and few replicas of missiles kept to exhibit for the tourists. Entries are free inside the War Memorial.
Rama Naidu Film Studio: The Rama Naidu Film Studio lies on a hill top on the way to Rishikonda Beach and spread over an area of about 33 acre. A perfect spot for photography and its view point offers panoramic view of all the beaches of Vizag.
Pavurallakonda: Pavurallakonda or Pavurallabodu is the local name of a hill, popularly known as Narasimhaswamy Konda, near Bheemunipatnam about 25 km towards north of Vizag. Pavurallabodu is located at a height of about 150 meters above sea level. Pavurallakonda in general gives the meaning as ‘The Hill of the Pigeons’. Nearly Sixteen rock-cut cisterns are carved on the hill for the storage of rain water.
Bavikonda: Bavikonda Buddhist Complex lies about 16 km from Vizag. Nestled on a hill about 130 meters above sea level. The term Bavikonda in Telugu means a hill of wells. UNESCO declared Bavikonda a heritage site.
How to Reach:
By Train: From Howrah, Santragachi or Shalimar there are several train those reaches Vizag. 12703 Falaknama Express, 18645 Koromondol Express, 12863 Jashbantpur Express, 12839 Chennai Mail, 22853 Shalimar – Vishakapattanam weekly super-fast express. Vizag is well connected by other major cities of India.
By Air: Vizag is well connected with Kolkata, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and other major cities of India. Regular flight services are also available to Vizag.
By Road: Vizag is about 879 km from Kolkata, 650 km from Hyderabad. Regular bus services are available Hyderabad, Chennai and Tirupati.
Best Time to Visit: Vizag can be visited throughout the year irrespective of any seasons.