Visakhapatnam has emerged as an important tourism destination in the country in recent years due to focused strategy of the state government and the industry stakeholders.
Visakhapatnam, which is popularly referred to as Vizag, is named after God Vaishaka. The city is a port city, located along the shores of Bay of Bengal and is headquarters to the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy. Although considered to be an industrial city, Vizag has a rich and vibrant culture and heritage. The city was part of the ancient Kalinga Empire and was ruled by renowned kings, such as Ashoka and Krishnadeva Raya. During the 18th century, the city was a Dutch colony. Today, Vizag embraces its past and present seamlessly, making it an interesting and attractive city to spend holidays.
Vizag is blessed with natural beauty, with hill ranges, pristine beaches along its coastline and lush, natural valleys. The city is surrounded by three hills, Sri Venkateswara Konda, Ross Hill and Dargah Konda. Each hill is home to a shrine, dedicated to three different religions. The Venkateswara Konda is home to the Vekateswara Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva; Ross Hill houses the Church of Virgin Mary; and the Dargah Konda is home to the tomb of a Muslim saint called Baba Ishaq Madina Dargah.
These caves are located 1,400 metres above sea level in Visakhapatnam’s Anantagiri area. The caves are famous for their beautiful stalagmite and stalactite formations. Borra Caves have both religious and historical significance. The locals flock to the caves to worship a Shivalinga and an idol of Kamadenu, the divine bovine goddess of Hindu mythology. This idol is located deep inside caves. The rock formations inside the caves look like udders of a cow and hence, these caves also are called Gosthani William King George belonging to the Geological Survey of India was instrumental in discovering Paleolithic implements in 1807. It is believed that these implements were about one million years old.
Rama Krishna Beach
Located along the coast of Vizag, Rama Krishna Beach is known for its pristine sands and crystal clear waters of the Bay of Bengal. It is adjoining the Lawson’s Bay Beach and offers awe-inspiring natural views and vistas. The beach is perfect for catching mesmerising sunsets and sunrises. The beach is home to the Kali Temple, VUDA Park, a submarine museum and several roadside eateries and restaurants. While the Rama Krishna Beach is not safe for swimming, there are many attractions and activities to keep visitors busy. There is a poignant war memorial on the beach called the Victory at Sea. This memorial is dedicated to the memory of brave soldiers, who laid down their lives during the 1971 Indo-Park War.
The city of Vizag offers so many creative and unique attractions that visitors will often be overwhelmed by them. One of the innovative attractions of the city is the submarine museum. Located on the Ram Krishna Beach, this museum is housed inside a real submarine. INS Kurusura is a Soviet-built submarine which was decommissioned on February 28, 2001 after serving the nation for 21 glorious years. The submarine with all its weaponry and fittings was hauled on to the beach and placed on a concrete foundation at the Gajapathi Raju Marg on the beachfront.
Dolphin’s Nose & the Port
Dolphin’s Nose is a huge rocky headland, around 174 metres in height. It is located in the southern part of Vizag. The rock gets its name because of its resemblance to a dolphin’s nose and is located 358 metres above sea level. It projects majestically out into the Bay of Bengal and is a natural formation that attracts many visitors. On top of rock formation is a huge lighthouse, which is renowned for its powerful beam. The light beam can be seen far out in the sea, about 64 kilometres from land. This is the oldest lighthouse in the city and offers stunning and panoramic view of the Bay and the city.
The AP Tourism Development Corporation joined hands with the State Forests Department to create an eco-tourism project and the result was Tyda. Located on the Visakhapatnam-Araku Ghat Road, Tyda is home to an extremely attractive forest resort called Jungle Bells, which is located at a height 2,000 feet above sea level. The road leading to this beautiful eco-tourism project is equally enchanting and alluring. The lush green fields, plantations and farms are breathtakingly beautiful. There is even a train ride that visitors can take to reach the forest resort. This ride is captivating and enthralling as the train meanders through dense forests, tunnels and hillocks. Jungle Bells is spread over an area of five acres and boasts of 18 beautifully furnished cottages. The surrounding forest is teeming with a wide array of wildlife. Visitors also can enjoy hiking, trekking, bird watching and visiting tribal hamlets located within the forest.
Located just 8 kilometres from the port city of Visakhapatnam, Rushikonda Beach is known as the Jewel of the East Coast. The unspoiled beauty of the beach is its main attraction and offers a unique opportunity to relax and enjoy the golden sands and gentle ocean currents. The beach is a haven for watersports lovers and is popular among windsurfers and jet skiers. However, it is the scenic beauty of the beach that lures visitors throughout the year, who come to enjoy spending time amidst greenery, golden sands and azure waters. The day the city celebrates the festival of colours, Holi, the beach gets transformed to a hue of vibrant colours, with people splashing color and water on each other.
Also known as the Pedawaltair Beach, Lawson’s Bay is a picturesque beach in Visakhapatnam. It is located close to Ramakrishna Beach (RK Beach), on the road leading to Kailasgiri. The golden sands and the lush green surroundings are tranquil and serene. The Bay boasts of crystal clear and shallow water, making it is the perfect beach for swimming, surfing and sunbathing. Visitors also can enjoy other activities here, such as sailing and boating. The beautiful surroundings and the peaceful ambience makes Lawson’s Bay an ideal picnic area. The beach is extremely popular amongst the locals, but even visitors to Visakhapatnam should make it a point to enjoy the breathtaking beach.