Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, popularly known as Vizag, is a booming industrial city on the east coast of India. It is located on the eastern shore of India nestled among the Eastern Ghats Hill Ranges and facing the Bay of Bengal on the East.The port city with the biggest ship building 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. (Interactive map of Visakhapatnam)
History of Visakhapatnam
According to the history, the city was named after the god of
Valor-Vishakha. It was a part of the Kalinga Kingdom, under
Ashoka's rule in 260 B.C. It passed on later to the Andhra Kings of Vengi. After this Pallava, Chola and Ganga dynasties ruled the
city. In the 15th century, Vishakhapatnam became a part of the
Visakhapatnam tourist attractions
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.
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 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.
Sri Venkateswara Konda
Mother Mary's Church
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.
Lawson's Bay Beach
Another important beach in the city, Lawsons Bay Beach has beautiful golden sands and lush green vegetation.
Rishikonda beach and Resort
Located 13kms. from Visakhapatnam on the Visakhapatnam- Bheemulipatnam 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.
The Indira Gandhi Zoological 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.
Kailasagiri Hill Park
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.
INS Karasura, 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.
Bheemili or Bheemulipatnam
Bheemulipatnam popularly known as 'Bheemili' is located at a distance
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 Bheemili 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.
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. The caves were discovered in1807 by William King George of the Geological Survey of India. 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 through the thick vegetation of the Eastern ghats is splendid.
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.
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