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General Information about Visakhapatnam

Visakhapatnam, or Vizag, is a port city that has the only natural harbor of India. It has pristine beaches, extensive hill ranges and lush greenery along its entire coastline.The actual name of the city which was anglicized to vizagapatam and a shorter form, Vizag. Much has been said about India’s only natural harbour. Often called as The Jewel of the East Coast, this city can check all columns on a tourist list as it has everything - from hills, beaches and beautiful green landscapes, to historically significant architecture including temples, mosques and churches. Popular tourist attractions include the Venkateswara Temple, Baba Ishaq Madina Dargah, Church of the Virgin Mary, VUDA Park and Kailasagiri Hill Park, among others. Vishakhapatnam is also the financial capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh, and it serves as the base for the Indian Navys Eastern Command.

The Lawson’s Bay Beach, Kailasagiri Hill, the Submarine museum on RK Beach, the zoological park, the Argu valley and the Borra Caves that aren’t far from Vizag.

Visakhapatnam is a port city and industrial center in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, on the Bay of Bengal. It's known for its many beaches, including Ramakrishna Beach, home to a preserved submarine at the Kursura Submarine Museum. Nearby are the elaborate Kali Temple and the Visakha Museum, an old Dutch bungalow housing local maritime and historical exhibits.

Connectivity :

By Rail : Visakhapatnam is a principal junction on the Chennai-Kolkata rail track, which is commercially important. This is the reason why Vizag is well connected by railway with New Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. Express trains are available on a daily basis to all the four major cities.

By Air : The city of Visakhapatnam is connected with Hyderabad, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bhubaneswar. Indian Airlines provide daily flights to Hyderabad and 5 times a week to New Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.

By Road : The city of Visakhapatnam is located at a distance of 350 kilometers from Vijayawada and 650 kilometers from Hyderabad. Frequent and regular bus services are available to Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Chennai, Bhubaneswar and Tirupati.


Visakhapatnam's cuisine is a blend of all thats in and around. From an elaborate South-Indian thali, the local favorite Hyderabadi Biryani , flattering North-Indian food to instances of fast food and the tangy and teasing Andhra cuisine, there is little space left in Visakhapatnam's platter.

Do try the South-Indian relishes here such as Dosas, Idlis, and Upmas as well as popular items like Murri Mixture, Pickles and Chutneys, Booralu, Pulihara, Appadams and much more. One may also want to try Laskora Undalu (coconut laddu) Sunnundallu, Pachadi-typically made of vegetables/greens and roasted green/red chilies, Pappu Koora(Lentil based dish), Vepudu(Fry)- crispy fried vegetables and Garelu (A type of Vada) .


An Ideal Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive and visit Kailashgiri, Submarine Museum, Rushikonda Beach. Then visit the local markets for shopping.
Day 2 - Visit Araku & Borra caves, spend time at the beach and then visit local food joints.

 

Places of Interest :

Kailasagiri
Kailasagiri is a hill top park in the city of Vishakhapatnam. The hill is at 360 feet and it overlooks beaches, forests & the city of Vishakhapatnam. It is one of the best tourist spots in the city for a bird's eye view of the bay.

The Kailasagiri Park is well known for its panoramic view, peaceful atmosphere and its scenic beauty, making it a beautiful tourist attraction in Vishakhapatnam. The place offers plenty of leisure activities which is also one of the reasons for people visiting the place. For small children, circular train is there for fun and enjoyment. Moreover, among adventure games, it gives visitors really good paragliding facilities. Apart from that there are huge idols of Lord Shiva and Parvathi which gives the place a religious flavor. According to the visitors' views, its a great place to visit in Vishakhapatnam to observe the development of the hills over the years. The Kailasagiri Park is a park situated on top of a hill which faces the east coast. Its a place that offers a mixture of things including places of religious importance, adventure games like paragliding, enjoyment for little kids, wide view of the whole city and many other things for the visitors.

Ropeway at Kailasagiri park
The Rope Way facility is also there for the tourists. The cable car route takes you to the top of the hill to have a bird eye view of the whole city. It is the first of its kind in Andhra Pradesh.


Toy Train Amusement Ride at Kailasagiri Park
The toy train ride at Kailasagiri Park is one of the newest attractions added. It is charged at Rs 40 for adults and Rs 30 for children. The toy train ride offers a good view of the Kailasagiri park and of the whole Bay of Bengal at Vizag.

Bollywood popularity
Bollywood films have been shot at the Park for its scenic views and the beautiful location which is at a juxtaposition of the Bay of Bengal and Kailasagiri hills.


Araku valley
Araku Valley is a comparatively unexplored hill station mostly visited by locals as a weekend getaway and is situated some 120 kilometres away from Vishakhapatnam. Blessed with terrific natural beauty, this destination is a serene respite from the hustle bustle of city life. If you're a tourist looking for exclusivity and tranquillity, a train leaves Vishakhapatnam early in the morning, making way through 58 tunnels and passing over 84 bridges making way through the breathtaking landscape to reach Araku in approximately in 5 hours, go, catch that!

Located in the gentle hills of Eastern Ghats, Araku Valley is also home to a number of tribes as well. This valley is also home to a few tribal caves and the Museum of Tribal Arts, which are an experience in their own right. This destination is quite famous for its exquisite coffee, whose subtle aroma will have you craving for a cuppa. Kartiki waterfall is also located within the bounds of the valley and makes up for a picturesque encounter. In addition to being a beautiful vista point, you can also try your hand at a number of adventure sports here, which include trekking and swimming as well. If a holiday to the hills is your call but you think you've seen it all, maybe you should to wait till you visit this one.

Best time to visit Araku valley

The best suggested time for visiting Araku valley is between November to February. It gets quiet cold here after December and the temperature often goes as down as 4 degree Celsius. That said, many tourists prefer visiting Araku after August, mostly just after the monsoons. There is a charm about driving through its lush green fields, with the familiar smell of wet soil and the a yellow surface layer of the washed harvest till horizon.

How to Reach Araku valley

The only train to Araku is from Vishakhapatnam which connects it to the other major cities. The journey takes nearly five hours. Apart from buses run by the state government, there are also many cabs available connecting the Araku Valley to Vishakhapatnam. Private buses from Mumbai, Bengaluru, Vijayawada, Hyderabad and Chennai also run at regular intervals.

Sightseeing in Araku valley

While here, one must visit the tribal museums and the million years old Borra caves. The text, pictures, symbols carved on the wall of the caves, their million year existence is bound to fascinate people interested in archaeology and history. Those who value art and culture will also love the aura while the peace lovers will appreciate the atmosphere of the place. Chaprai and Anantgiri fall must also be visited, which are located nearby. In addition to the Museum of Tribal Arts and Kartiki waterfall is also located in the valley. A coffee museum is also located nearby, which is a look into Araku's coffee culture. You can also enjoy a hot cup of coffee here, and assorted coffee based chocolates are the perfect gift to take back home.

Activities in Araku valley

The adrenaline junkie in you will surely love to explore the terrains of this valley as you trek and hike through the mountains. In addition to trekking, you can also try your hands at swimming. Sightseeing, photography, visit to fields, interactions with locals, and getting to know the tribal culture are great activities to make the most of your trip to Araku.

 

Borra caves
Located on the east coast of India, the Borra Caves are situated in the Ananthagiri hills of the Araku Valley in Visakhapatnam district. British geologist William King discovered this million years old cave in the year 1807 and it has been a tourist favourite ever since. Breathtaking hilly terrain, beautiful landscape, semi-evergreen moist deciduous forests, and wild fauna of the Borra Caves are a visual feast. A marvellous creation of nature, the caves were formed when river waters flow through a limestone area and the calcium carbonate turns into calcium bicarbonate, which is easily washed out by the running water.The most striking feature of the caves is its exquisite variety of speleothems ranging in size and irregularly shaped stalactites and stalagmites.

Borra Caves are deemed to be one of the largest in the country and are perched at a whopping elevation of about 705 metres. They are basically karstic limestone structures extending to a depth of 80 m and are considered to be the deepest cave in India. The combination of sunlight and dark conjures amazing dancing shaped in the depths of the Borra Caves which is a sight in itself. Natural skylights in the caves make way for kaleidoscopic imagery that imparts them a unique enigma of their own. Animal lovers will find bats as well as the golden geckos hiding in the shadows of the niches. The journey up to the main destination with its picturesque location and a thrilling hike is a treat in itself. Visit this destination and explore the unique beauty of Araku Valley in all its glory.

Things to do near Borra Caves

A couple of interesting activities await you near the Borra Caves. The Tribal Museum of Araku Valley is a wonderful look into the culture and lifestyle of the tribal communities that live nearby. Padampura Gardens and Katika Waterfalls are other destinations in the close vicinity of the Borra Caves. You can also enjoy a steaming hot cup of coffee in the plantations nearby.


Rishikonda Beach
Located along the coast of the Bay of Bengal, the Rishikonda Beach is a pristine beauty in the city of Vishakhapatnam. Located in the midst of frothy blue sea and emerald greenery, the scenery that this beach has is indeed mesmerising. This place is a favourite among water sports lovers. However, its natural charms are one of the main reasons for its immense popularity among local and foreign tourists.

The serene golden sands of the Rishikonda Beach are located in the bosom of the Rishikonda hill. The calm blue water of this beach is a sight to sore eyes, and you can indulge in some quiet, peaceful time with friends and family here. You can take a walk along the stretch of the sand, and the sunrise and sunset are especially beautiful here.

If you are in the mood for an adrenaline rush, then you can indulge in some water sports that are offered here. It is one of the few beaches that offers swimming under expert supervision, so don't forget to take a quick dip in the water. Visit this destination for a quiet weekend getaway.
This destination has a wide array of water sports to offer. Invoke your inner mermaid and go for a soothing swim in the Bay of Bengal, or indulge in some good old boating. You can also try your hand at water surfing, speed boating and jet skiing, all of which are fun filled and thrilling activities.


Dolphin's nose
Very similar to a dolphins nose, this 174 m high rocky headland is situated in the south of Vizag. The nose seems to be protruding out towards the Bay of Bengal giving it a rather fascinating look.

A renowned powerful light house highly useful for the shippers and has a light beam that can be seen as far as 64 km out at sea is also placed nearby. There is also a hill nearby named the Dolphin hill and is a restricted Armed forces residential area. The backside of the hill has a scenic, beautifully placed, secluded beach called yarada.

 

Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary
Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary is located on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam and is a perfect example of natural harmony between the dry seasonal forest and the evergreen meadows.

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.

 

City Shopping
Although shopping is not a widely popular activity here in Vishakhapatnam, you can still find a few good thigs to take home from here. Walter Upland, Jagadamba Junction, CMR Central and Lepakshi Emporium are some of the popular shopping destinations. This city is quite famous for its wide varieties of saris such as Pochampalli and Ikat among the rest. You can also purchase handicrafts, Kalamkari paintings and Kondapalli wooden toys.

Vinis Fashion Mall along Waltair Uplands Road is perfect for shopping for clothing, cosmetics, and footwear. Jagdamba Junction is the most popular shopping destination among the locals and you can buy the local Pattu saris here. For a shopping experience drenched in the local culture, you should visit the Lepakshi Emporium, which a state government undertaking.

You can find native handicrafts, musical instruments, paintings, durries, wood carvings and toys here. Cheria paintings that narrate mythological events, Brass Pooja pots, wall hangings, and vases are a few other things that you can find here.

 

Indira Gandhi Zoological Park
The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park is a scenic location amidst the Eastern Ghats. It is a part of the Kambalakonda Forest Reserve and houses about eighty different species of animals. With its area of 625 acres, this is one of the largest zoological parks in Andhra Pradesh. The Bay of Bengal is situated close by, which makes it an ideal destination to study flora and fauna right beside each other.

Perhaps nothing ever delighted us as children than a visit to the zoo, and this destination does exactly that. With its dedicated sections for different varieties of animals such as primates, lesser carnivores, carnivores, mammals, ungulates and birds, this destination houses a vast range of animals.


This park also has a separate section for butterflies and moths, which also makes up for an interesting study. The animal population here is perfectly complimented by the surrounding foliage of the Eastern Ghats, which surrounds this place on three sides.

Activities at Vishakhapatnam Zoo

Nothing can catch up to the joy of capturing a snapshot of a lazy lion in the midst of his afternoon siesta, and you can feel that joy here at Indira Gandhi Zoological Park! With its infinite varieties of birds and animals, there is a lot to photograph.

This destination also celebrates various days commemorating the importance of nature such as World Forestry Day, World Sparrow Day and World Wildlife Week. There is also an education centre called "Bioscope" which raises awareness among the visitors about wildlife. The centre has an auditorium, library and interpretation centre as well.

The Zoo Park is nearly a 6 Km drive from RTC Complex in Hyderabad. Buses (both run by the APSRTC - the State Transport Corporation and the Tourism Department) will help you reach the Park.

 

Ramakrishna Beach,
One of the most popular beaches of Vishakapatnam, RK beach is a beach for to spend some relaxed time, enjoy strolls across the beach, sunbath and more.

With a number of tourist spots in and around the area, one finds the beach engrossed in much hustle bustle. However, it is highly advisable to not swim at this beach, as it can be very dangerous and is said to have claimed lives in the past.

Map & Location