Visakhapatnam, popularly known as Vizag, is a booming industrial city on the east coast of India. The port city with the biggest shipbuilding yard in India is also the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command. The beautiful city with its twin town Waltair, forms a harmonious blend of majestic hills, valleys and golden beaches along the Bay of Bengal coastline. In addition to being a major port handling high volume of cargo, it has developed oil refining, fertilizer, petro-chemical, steel plant, sugar refining and jute industries.

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VisakhapatnamVisakhapatnam, popularly known as Vizag, is a booming industrial city on the east coast of India. The port city with the biggest shipbuilding yard in India is also the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command. The beautiful city with its twin town Waltair, forms a harmonious blend of majestic hills, valleys and golden beaches along the Bay of Bengal coastline. In addition to being a major port handling high volume of cargo, it has developed oil refining, fertilizer, petro-chemical, steel plant, sugar refining and jute industries.

This land of the Golden Beaches was just over half a century ago a small fishing village. Vast stretches of beaches right next to the city on one side and undulating green hills on the other side has made Vizag, a Tourist Haven. An ideal destination, it caters to the religious - minded, the Buddhist pilgrim, the fun-lovers and adventure-seekers. A number of beaches and a long stretch of road along the seashore up to Bheemunipatnam town, the second oldest municipality in the country, are pleasure to experience. No trip to Vizag is complete without a sojourn at Araku, 110 kilometers away; a lovely valley nestled amidst the high Eastern Ghats. Simhachalam temple, Rushikonda beach, the Dolphin's Nose hillock projecting into the sea.

General Information
Area: 11,200 sqkm
Population : 32,85,092
STD Code: 0891
Best Season : December to March

18 kilometers from Visakhapatnam, Appikonda is also known as Kapilakonda. It has a Siva temple with a life size bull carved out of black stone. The temple contains inscriptions of the 12th Century AD, with a mention that this village was granted by a commander-in-chief of the Cholas for the maintenance of worship in the temple.

Andhra University
Andhra university founded in 1926, located in the upland area of Waltair has one of the largest campuses in Andhra Pradesh. The red stone buildings are built like a fortress and are well laid out in the campus.

Annavaram in East Godavari is at a distance of 124 kms. from Visakhapatnam and is a sacred pilgrim centre on a hill top known as Ratnagiri. The presiding deity of Annavaram is Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy. It is believed that when a 'Vratha' is performed in the name of deity, the wishes of the devotees come true. It is estimated that an average of about one lakh 'Vrathas' are performed here every year, largely by couples. It is situated on the banks of the river Pampa.

Anthropology Museum
The department of Anthropology in the Andhra University has its own specialised anthropology Museum established in the year 1961.

Araku Tribal Museum
The Tribal Museum in Araku valley houses rich tribal tradition and number of artifacts and displays related to Eastern Ghat Tribal Culture.

3 kms from Narsipatnam, on the banks of river Varahanandi is Balighattam. Brahmalingeswara temple, said to have been built by Lord Brahma, at the foot of a small hill on the western bank is famous. It is believed that Lord Vishnu created the river during his incarnation as boar (Varaha). The deposits of white clay in the riverbed are supposed to be the ashes of a sacrifice performed here by Bali. Thus came the name Balighattam. The river flows from north to south for a short distance.

Bavikonda is located 16 km.away from Vishakhapatnam along the beach road leading to Bheemunipatnam. The hill acquired the name Bavikonda due to the existence of wells on the hill to collect rain water for drinking purpose.Excavations on the hill-top brought to light an extensive Buddhist establishment consisting of a Mahachaitya, stupas, chaityagrihas, a congregation hall, platforms, viharas, kitchen-cum-store complex, pottery, relic caskets, tiles, stuccos, iron objects, moulded bricks, coins etc.

Bheemili or Bhimulipatanam
Bheemunipatnam popularly known as 'Bheemli' is located at a distance of 24 Kilometers North east of Visakhapatnam. Once a Dutch settlement, the 17th century ruins of a fort and cemetery built by the Dutch are seen here. The cemetery at the mouth of the river Gosthani has some tombs embossed with the skull and cross bones motif of sea pirates. The beautiful beach at Bheemli is considered to be one of the safest and calmest for swimmers. The beach and invigorating climate coupled with the pleasantness provided by the lush green palm groves makes it a popular sea side resort. There is a small shrine on the top of a hill dedicated to Lord Narasimha.

Borra Caves
The million year-old limestone Borra Caves, is situated at about 56 miles north of Vizag. The caves, at a height of 1400 mts above sea level and occupying an area of 2 square kilometers is filled with fascinating stalagmite and stalactite formations of calcium deposits. The Gosthani river flows through the caves between the formations. William King George of the Geological Survey of India discovered the caves in1807. Among the formations can be found a 'Shivalingam' and an idol of a cow (Kamadhenu), which has given a religious significance to it. The caves are beautiful and are brightly illuminated. The best time to visit the caves is November- December. The Train journey from Vizag to the caves(5-6 hrs) through the thick vegetation of the Eastern ghats is splendid.

Church of St. Paul
Built in 1847, the architecture is a simple neo classical theme. A semicircular arch divides the congregation from the altar, with stained glass in the apse.

Darga Konda
The north hill Darga Konda, has a mosque and the mausoleum of the Muslim saint, Baba Ishaq Madina, revered for his prophecies and venerated by Hindu and Muslim devotees alike.

Dolphin's nose
Dolphin's Nose, the rocky promontory with a cliff rising 174m above the sea is the most prominent sight in Vizag. It also shelters the harbour, from where manganese and iron ore are shipped out. The lighthouse here has a beam visible more than 60km out to sea.

Situated on the left bank of river Varaha 20 kilometers to the south of Yellamanchili, Etikoppaka is famous for the toys made with the light Ankudu wood.

The fort, constructed in 1661 by the Dutch forms the oldest part of the city. It is separated from the Dolphins Nose, by a small river which forms a sandbar. Here the remains of 18C barracks, an arsenal, the Court House, a protestant church and cemetery can be seen. The cemetery has some European graves dating back to 1699. The fort was completely ruined.

Kailasagiri Hill Park
Kailasagiri park is situated at an altitude of 360ft. on Mount Kailash, a charming hillock on the sea front bordering a small valley within the city. The magnificent statues of Shiva- Parvathi are illuminated at night and are worth seeing. The Shanku Chakra Naama, which symbolizes the image of Lord Vishnu in its pristine form, fully lighted at night, is visible from most parts of the city. The park gives an enchanting view of the sea, beaches, lush green forests and the bustling city. Kailasagiri is a gliders paradise with excellent gliding facilities. Situated at an altitude of 130 mts., the gliding point provides ample opportunities to test the gliding skills of the gliders.

Kondakarla Bird Sanctuary
Kondakarla Bird Sanctuary is located in lush green surroundings 40 Kms from Visakhapatnam. The sanctuary has a rich variety of bird species. The area has one of the biggest fresh water lakes in the state.

Lawson's Bay Beach
Another important beach in the city, Lawsons Bay Beach has beautiful golden sands and lush green vegetation.

Line of three hills
Visakhapatnam is framed by a line of three hills, each with a shrine sacred to a different religion.

Mother Mary's Church
The central and the highest Ross Hill, named after a Monsieur Ross who built a house on it in 1864, has now been converted into a Roman Catholic Mother Mary's Church. The pathway to the church is lined with shrines of the stages of the cross. There were excellent views of the ship building yard from here.

A valley framed by hills, Mudasarlova is situated 10 kilometers from the city. It has a lake that supplies drinking water to the city and also makes a good picnic spot.

Situated at a distance of 24 kilometers from Anakapalli, Panchadharala derived its name from the five jets of water coming out of five fountains from a natural perennial spring. There is a Lingam on which are carved other lingams in 12 rows of 85 each and thus also known as the 'Kotilingam' (crore Lingams). There are several inscriptions found on the pillars of the mandapam in the temple.

Pavuralakonda or Narasimhaswamy Konda is located near Bhimli or Bheemunipatnam about 30 km. from Vizag. Excavations of the site believed to be dated between 3rd C. B.C. and 2nd C. A.D, revealed nearly 14-16 rock-cut troughs or cisterns used for collecting rainwater, foundations of viharas, with cells and common verandah, circular chaityagrihas, votive stupas, halls etc.

Rama Krishna Beach
Rama Krishna Beach is located 5km from the centre of Visakhapatanam. This beach occupying the largest part of the seafront, is a great spot to spend time leisurely. The R.K. Beach was jointly developed by the Municipal Corporation of Visakhapatnam (MCV) and the VUDA. The submarine museum here is one of its kind in the country. Sri Ramakrishna mission Ashram is located nearby.

Rishikonda beach and Resort
Located 13kms. from Visakhapatnam on the Visakhapatnam- Bheemunipatnam beach road, is Rishikonda, a thickly covered hill. The lovely beach here with golden sands is the best beach in Vizag. It is ideal for water skiing, wind surfing and swimming. The tourist complex here is well equipped with a tourist lodge, individual rental cottages, a restaurant and other amenities. The 14th century Sri Sapta Rusheswara Temple surrounded by seven hills is located here.

Sankaram Buddhist Excavations
The village of Sankaram near Anakapalli, 38 km from Visakhapatnam is known for its 3C - 4C Buddhist constructions situated on two small hillocks. These constructions are believed to be made during Mahayana period. The hills, Bojjanakonda and Lingalakonda has a monastery, numerous rock- cut stupas and sanctuaries cut into the sides of the hill with Buddha images and Viharas (shelters) for the monks. The main stupa was first carved out of rock and then encased in bricks. The site, an archeologists delight have excavated several antiquities like the seals, inscribed tablets, pots, copper coins mostly of seventh century AD.

Simhachalam is a major Hindu pilgrim centre located 16 km from Visakhapatnam. Located on a Hill top popularly called the 'Hill of the Lion Lord', is the 11th century temple of Lord Vishnu in his lion incarnation of Sri Varaha Narasimha. The temple built by King Sri Krishna Devaraya, attracts devotees from all over the country especially during the 'Chandanotsavam' Festival held in March- April, every year. On the Chandanotsavam day, the deity is covered with a new fresh layer of Sandalwood. The shrine has inscriptions dating back to 1098 AD on its walls.

Sri Venkateswara Konda
Sri Venkateswara Konda or hill on the south, has a temple dedicated to LordVenkateswara. It is believed to have been built by an European Captain Blackmoor, in 1866. This temple has a small steeply pyramidal entrance gopura. The port channel, the entrance of the inner harbor for ships and liners can be seen from here.

Submarine Museum
INS Kusura, a Russian built submarine was turned to a museum on 27th Feb 2001. The Submarine was brought from the sea, to the sands of the Ramakrisna Beach and set up as a museum- one of its kind in Asia. It had been in use by the Indian Defence since its arrival in Vizag in 1970.

The Aruku Valley
The Aruku valley, situated 30km north from Borra caves is home to a number of tribal communities. It is a beautiful valley with pleasant climate, lush greenery, waterfalls and streams. The tribal wear colourful dresses and their songs and dances are spectacular. There are Cottages and Resorts for tourists.

The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park
The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, 6km from the city centre spread over 425 Acres of land, has over 400 varieties of animals. This is one of the largest Zoo Park in Andhra Pradesh. The well planned layout of the zoo has different enclosures for primates, carnivores, lesser carnivores, small mammals and birds close to their natural habitats. There is mini-train to facilitate people to watch the wild life. Open on all the days except Mondays.

The Thotlakonda Buddhist Complex situated on a hilltop in Mangamaripeta village is 15 kms from Visakhapatnam on the Vizag-Bheemili beach road. The complex has a number of stupas, Chaityas, Viharas, a congregation hall and a refectory belonging to the Himayana School, mostly excavated during1982-92. Excavations at Thotlakonda comprise pottery, beads, bangle pieces, tiles, stuccos, iron objects, sculptural remains, moulded bricks, inscriptions, coins, etc.

Tyda Nature camp
Tyda Nature camp is located 75 kms from Visakhapatnam on the Araku road. The nature camp has facilities for rock climbing, trekking and target shooting with bow & arrows. It is home for a variety of animals and birds. With the help of naturalists or guides in the camp, one can learn the language of the jungle viz., identification of calls, marks etc. and understanding interesting features of various flora and fauna of eastern ghats. There are log huts and tents set in tribal environment for tourists.

Visakha Museum
Located on the Beach road, Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation museum has historical treasures and artifacts of the region. The museum is housed in 150 year old architecturally impressive Dutch Bungalow. The collections include ancient armory, crockery, coins, silk costumes, jewelry, stuffed animals, portraits, Shell of an unexploded bomb dropped by the Japanese during World War II, manuscripts, letters, diaries, scrap books as well as periodicals, maps etc which chronicle the lives of the early settlers.

Vuda Park
Vuda or Taraka Rama Park, located on the Sun and Sea beach has boating and swimming facilities, a roller skating rink, artificial caves, beautiful long lawns, flower gardens and a children's park. The Playpen for children here has plastic balls and boxing bags. There is also a Musical Fountain.

Air: Airport is 16km from city centre. Visakhapatnam is air linked with Kolkata, Hyderabad and Madras, which in turn is connected by Indian Airlines with Mumbai.

Rail: Visakhapatnam is well connected with all the important cities of India. Visakhapatnam junction railway station is on the main Kolkata to Chennai line.

Road: Visakhapatnam has well organised bus terminal. National Highway No.5 (Howra to Chennai) passes through Visakhaptnam. The APS RTC has services to destinations within Andhra Pradesh and the cities in the neighboring states of Orissa and Madhya Pradesh. Also regular city bus services connect places of interest in the City with each other.

Sea: Vishakapatnam is connected by sea to Kolkata, Madras, Port Blair, Ganjam, and Kakinada among other places.
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