Visakhapatnam (also known locally as Vizag) is the second largest city in Andhra Pradesh. It is primarily an industrial city, but also attracts tourists due to its unspoilt sandy beaches, well built and maintained parks and nearby scenic areas, such as the Araku Valley. Currently the city has a population of about 1,500,000.
Vizag is sometimes referred to as the "Goa of the east coast." Just like its west coast counterpart, it has beautiful virgin beaches, reddish laterite hillocks, smooth roads and stunning landscape. Health-tourism is a fast developing industry. Visakhapatnam is variously referred to as Jewel on the Coramandel Coast, Steel city, and the City of Destiny.
The local population is mostly Telugu. There is considerable concentration of Marwaris, Oriya, Bengalis, Punjabis, Tamil and Malayalees. In addition, there is a large population of migrant workers from other parts of India who have been drawn to the area by the abundance of work at locally based companies, such as Eastern Naval Command, Vizag Steel Plant and Hindustan Shipyard.
Vizag is connected by air to Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad,Bangalore, Chennai
Visakhapatnam is on Kolkata-Chennai main line and is connected to both the cities by train. This being a major station, all trains including the super fast expresses have a stop in the station. Visakhapatnam station is in the east coast railways and will be very soon having 10 platforms.The first in east coast railways to have these many platforms.
All platforms can accommodate trains with 28 coaches. Please verify the timings with [ Indian Railways], since they change from time to time.
- Godavari Express - departs daily from Hyderabad Deccan Station at 5:15PM and from Secunderabad at 5:45 PM, arrives the following morning in Visakhapatnam at 6AM.
- Visakha Express (On route to Bhubhaneswar) - departs daily from Secunderabad Station at 5PM, arrives the following morning in Visakhapatnam at 7AM. Takes a much longer route (via Nadikudi).
- Falaknuma express(On route to Howrah) - departs daily from Secunderabad Station at 4PM, arrives the following morning in Visakhapatnam at 3:30AM. Faster than the Godavari express. Convenient.
- East Coast Express (Hyderabad Deccan-Howrah)
From New Delhi
- Link Express
- Samatha Express
- Swarna Jayanthi Express
- Hirakudh Express
- Konark Express
- Ratnachal Express
- Janmabhoomi Express
- Vijaywada-Visakhapatnam Passenger
- Other weekly trains are also available. Check [ the Indian Railways] for details.
- Coromandal Express (This train is the fastest train passing through Andhra Pradesh at 140 kmph. Reserved tickets to Vijayawada and Rajahmumdry are not issued from Chennai.)
- Madras-Howrah Mail
- Other weekly trains are available on some days of the week. Check the Indian Railways for details.
- Prasanthi express
- Other weekly trains are available on some days of the week. Check [ the Indian Railways] for details.
- Coromandal Express (This train is the fastest train passing through Andhra Pradesh at 140 km/h)
- Howrah-Madras Mail
- Falaknuma Express
- East Coast Express
- Gurudev Express
- Thiruchurapalli Express
- Yeshwantpur Express
- Other weekly trains are available on some days of the week. Check [ the Indian Railways] for details.
The Andhra Pradesh State Road Travel Corporation (APSRTC) runs buses from almost every city and town to Vizag, along with some private operators, who run buses from a few of the major cities. Please check with APSRTC for timings. There is also a new Volvo service to Vizag from Chennai, Bangalore, Vijayawada, Kolkata and Hyderabad which is very comfortable and happy going. This is the best way to do it if you wanna travel by bus.
Buses, autos and cabs available for transport.
City buses are available from Dwaraka Bus Complex to almost all places in and around the city. Railway station is just 10 minutes drive from complex. Trains are available for travel to nearby tourist places like Araku
There are many Car Rental Companies available which Provide world Class Services.
- Enterprises Car Rental
- Savaari Car Rental,Savaari Car Rental Visakhapatnam has a reputation for providing quality luxury car rentals Visakhapatnam. For more information on online booking of Rental Car in Visakhapatnam , Website:
- Hertz Car Rental
More than anything else, Vizag is known for its beaches. It boasts a number of beaches that are both scenic and uncrowded. A few virgin beaches span along the eastern side of the city and stretch for miles. Do not go swimming, however, as the water is quite polluted with industrial waste. A spectacular beach only the locals are aware of is called the "Yarada" beach. Unfortunately, except for the occasional RTC bus, there is no public transport available. Still, the adventurous will find it rewarding if they can make an effort to get there. Its a private beach coming under Agrigold plantations therefor you need to pay a fee of Rs. 10/- to get onto the beach, but its worth.
- Ramakrishna Beach, also known as R.K. Beach. R.K.Beach is the most popular beach in the sense that, you can find the locals hanging out during the hot summers, and relatively less hot winters. On weekends and holidays, one can see that the entire beach comes alive, but not in a western sense where people take a plunge in the water, or surf. You can see people dressed in their best clothes, just sitting on the benches, or walking along.
CAUTION!!! A lot of people have died while swimming.
- Rushikonda. 11 km away from the city, this has become a popular tourist spot that even the locals frequent. A lot safer to wade into than the R.K. Beach, cradled among hills, this used to be an excellent beach away from the madding crowds. AP Tourism Development Corporation is having its Beach Resort (Punnami) on the hillside overlooking the beach.
CAUTION!!! A lot of people have died while swimming in this beautiful beach.
- Gangavaram. 10 to 12 km away from city, this is most beautiful beach, the most interesting thing is we can see rock like structure in between see like a small island which attracts lot of people.
- Bhimili About 25 km from the city and is what used to be a small village also called Bheemunipatnam. Apart from the beach, the village has the remains of a Portuguese church and cemetery.
The beaches are lovely, but, there are no activities like water sports, or beach cafes/restaurants/huts like you have in Goa. Recently a water sports centre was started in Rushikonda. There are very few beach resorts. Vizagites are traditionally quite conservative and though the beaches and the hills are beautiful, there is not much here to interest the average tourist. There has been some change in the recent times with the influx of employees of HSBC, HPCL, etc., and Naval Officers, who are interested in going out with their families and enjoying the golden sand and pollution free waters of Vizag's beaches.
- Kambalakonda.Kambalakonda Sanctuary
A gorgeous nature preserve that many people in Vizag itself seem to be unaware of. The solitude and the peace that one can experience at Kambalakonda located within 20-25 minutes drive from the city center is priceless. A nominal entrance fee of 10 Rupees is charged per adult. The greenery, the hiking trail and the fantastic view of the ocean from the rather flimsy viewing tower give a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
- Jagadamba Center.
Also called Jagadamba junction. Can be considered as Downtown and is a must visit for all shopaholics. Most of the famous shopping centers and malls can be found here. Named after the Jagadamba movie theatre, one of the best movie auditoriums of the country when it was constructed and even today.
- Kailasa Giri
A local favourite, a short ride on to this hill gives you a spectacular view of the sea, RK.Beach and Rushikonda Beach on right and left hand side. There is a huge sculpture of Shiva and Parvathi. With a children's play area, a people-mover akin to a ski lift called a ropeway. Beautiful scenic view can be obtained from the ropeway, specially in the evening, when the city comes alive with all the lights. The up and down fare for the ropeway is Rs. 44. (As of Dec.2006). An under construction doll museum and a couple of eating areas, this hilltop gives a nice birds eye view of the city also. Has several "viewpoints" affording wonderful views of the city on one side and winding beaches adjoining green hills on the other side. Visitors often fall in love with the "beach" city especially after vistiting Kailasagiri.
- War Memorial
- Matsyadarshini Aquarium
This aquarium is situated on the left side of Kali temple of R.K. Beach. It has a good collection of marine as well as freshwater fishes. Entry fee is Rs. 20 per person. (As of Dec. 2006). The exit gate of the aquarium resembles the open mouth of a huge white tipped shark. 'Kala Shrusti' a handicrafts sales shop is on the top of the aquarium.
- Araku Valley.
A little further away from the city, but worth visiting for the scenic valley. A slow, passenger train leaves the Vizag station early in the morning (at 6:30 AM), and the train ride is actually very enjoyable, but is highly overcrowded. Make sure to reach atleast an hour before its departure to get a seat. Definitely not a day trip, but the recently constructed APTDC facilities can serve as a decent over night stay. Padmavathi botanical gardens is worth taking a look at. November to February are the best months to visit this place and making an early reservation in the lodges is advisable as Araku Valley has very limited number of lodges and hotels.Its better to visit borra caves rather than Araku Valley however nature lovers may visit it.
- Borra Caves.
Reputedly fantastic caverns that had their native charm earlier (one had to crawl to get in), these caves have been modernized recently by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC).There is a entry fee of Rs. 30 in Borra Caves. Separate charges are there to enter with still or video camera. Its a must visit place for all tourists to vizag.
A must see on a trip to Visakhapatnam, for its architectural splendour although some of the sculptures were defaced during the Islamic invasions. The temple inscriptions date the earliest donors to the 10-11th centuries. The exact date of construction is unknown. It is located 15 km from the city and is dedicated to the half man half lion avatar of Lord Vishnu. The temple bears reference to the Chola and Chalukya styles of architecture. The environment in the temple is very different and very pleasant.It also has a local railway station.
- Ross Hill
A unique site to see is the area around Ross hill which has three hills dedicated to three different faiths in proximity to the port. Ross Hill, named after a certain Monsieur Ross who built a house on it in 1864, it has now been 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 Blackmoor, in the 19th century. From this hillock you can see the port channel, which was the entrance of the inner harbor for ships and liners.
- Submarine Museum is a one of its kind museum created in a real (now de-commisioned) submarine of Indian Navy.This is the first of its kind in eastern asia. This submarine is one of the earliest submarine procured from Russia. One gets to interesting facts of working in the submarine. The museum is manned by retired naval people. Entry fee for the museum is Rs.25 for the adults and there is a fee to take any camera or video camera inside.Submarine-'Kursura'
- Naval Museum is one more museum about maritime history of India. Again its a lovely museum displaying pictures, models and content of Indian maritime history.
- Buddhist excavations Bojjana Konda, Thotla Konda, Bhavi Konda and Salihundam around Visakhapatnam were centres 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. Hence all these places became sacred places.
- Bojjana Konda, near Sankaram village in the hamlet of Anakapalli, 40 km from Visakhapatnam, is one such place, where one can find 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 others and, crowning all, a rock-cut stupa with extensive structural remains. On the western side of the eastern hill is a stairway, partly rock-cut and partly structural, which leads up to a large double-storied cave. The cave is entered by a doorway and is flanked on each side by huge dwarapalas. The cave chamber is rectangular in shape and is divided into 20 compartments by four cross rocks of 16 massive pillars. In the centre is the rock-cut stupa standing on a square platform.
Take an evening stroll at RK Beach, it shall be a thrilling experience, it offers good pedestrian tracks, beautiful parks, museums, beaches and some wonderful open air restaurants.
Must want is the sunrise or a moonrise on a full moon day at Tennati Park on the Vizag-Bhimili Beach Road it's truely a feast to the nature lovers. The sea looks orange in colour and is a wonderful sight.
A must visit is Kailasagiri 6 km away from the city centre. There is a park on the hill top, from here one can see a beautiful view of the city, the sea and Eastern Ghats merging into the sea. One can take a ropeway directly facing sea and city. On the hill top there is a beautiful toy train that give a glimpse of the beauty of nature that one can think of. There are several view points that give a pleasant look of the nature. This place unlike other hill stations is not yet commercial. One can have a very leisure time without being disturbed by tourist guides. Once you come down from Kailashgiri one should visit Tenneti Beach Park. Its picture perfect scenic beauty along with luxuriant carpet grass intertwined with concrete pathways makes it the most revered place for romantic couples. There are several points from which the beautiful rocky beach down beneath can be seen. That location is favorite for cinema shootings. Many Telugu, Tamil and Hindi movies are shooted. The climax scene of Hindi Movie " Ek Dhuje ke liye", in which Rati Agnihotri after getting raped drowns into the sea. Actually most of the people may not be aware that the movie is Shooted in Vizag but not in Goa as they say in the movie. This movie was a remake of Telugu movie "Maro Charitra". One more view point is there in the park which is about 50 ft in elevation that gives a beautiful view of the sea, beach road and the beach park.
Also, if you have a couple of days in your pocket, don't miss the train journey from Visakhapatnam to Araku which is the most enjoyable train route in the state. There is only one train to Araku (popularly called as "Andhra Ooty") from Vizag which starts at 7:40am at Vizag railway station. That is a 4 hour journey in the eastern ghats which covers many tunnels and valleys on the way. Don't forget to remember take a snap at "Shimiliguda" railway station in the route, which is the highest railway station in India on broad gauge track.
Vizag is a city that is advancing fast, and with these new advancements, the local people of the city are smoothly adapting to the changes. For example, vizag recently got its first Cafe Coffee Day (a nationwide chain of coffeehouses that serve good coffee, food, and play music that attract customers), and within the first month of opening, the cafe was packed, and it was hard to find a table.
The last two years(2006 and 2007) have probably been the most improving and advancing years for Vizag(untill now which is the end of 2007), with the construction of new hotels, restaurants, museums, and clubs.
Vizag offers a reasonably large selection of stores selling clothing, jewellery, books, etc., While definitely not considered a shopper's paradise, Vizag offers some unique handicrafts and can be located by the Andhra Pradesh State owned handicraft store, Lepakshi. It has an impressive collection of sandalwood sculptures, etc.
Some popular stores are:
- Chandana Brothers
- Vaibhav Jewellers
- Bommana Brothers
- Kanaka Mahalakshmi
- Karachiwala Departmental Stores (grocery and daily needs)
- Jyoti Book Depot
- Rehin Sons
- Big Bazaar
- CMR Shopping Mall
- Kankatala silk palace
- Sai jewellery house
- Chermas, Jagadamba junction(Opp Manipal Hospital). For menswear, one is always directed to the first floor for branded items that are quite expensive. It is recommended to shop in ground floor only since you will find good stuff at an affordable price.reasonable.
- Kankatala and Vaibhav have joined together to form the latest shopping mall in Vizag called V Square at Dwarakanagar .
There are many more just visit the city you will notice them.
If spicy fare from Southern India appeals to your gastronomic senses, then Vizag has some excellent restaurants. Many of the eating joints meant or frequented by tourists are in the Siripuram area. A walk around there can give you access to a variety of cuisines.
- Hotel Daspalla, +91 891 2564825 (fax +91 891 2562043).
- Daspalla Executive Court, +91 891 2717300 (fax +91 891 2717444).
- Hotel Green Park, +91 0891 6615151 (fax +091 891 2563763).
- Subway - Subs & Salads in Siripuram's Dutt Island, +91 891 278491.
- Horizon (live music during dinner) at Dolphin Hotel, +91 891 2567000.
Some interesting bars in the city are in the Five Star hotels mentioned above and typically are expensive even by Western standards. The Park Hotel has a decent bar - try the Screwdriver. Daspalla has another bar and restaurant called Dimple that serves various drinks and can be noisy at times.
- Punnami, near Rishikonda has pub very close to the beach and serves alcohol.
- Chrome, 10 Downing Street and D2 are new pubs that are located in Siripuram.
- Senora, a beach resort located on the outskirts, also boasts of a dance floor.
- food-ex, near siripuram(beside hsbc).
Vizag has both high end hotels affordable lodges. The Daspalla, The Grand Central Hotel and Green Park are well-known.
- 99 Residency(Value for Money Hotel), # 10-50-39/2,Opp. Axis Bank, Ramnagar Visakhapatnam.(Next to Waltair Club), ☎ +91-891-302 44 45(email@example.com, fax: +91 891-2505545), . checkin: 12 Noon; checkout: 12 Noon. starting from US$ 20 per night.
- Dolphin, Tel. +91 891 2567000 (fax +91 891 2567555)
- Green Park, +91 891 2564444 (fax +91 891 2563763)
- Hotel Talasila Continental (Tel. +91-891-2598598) Station Road, Dondaparthi
- Meghalaya, +91 891 2755141 (fax +91 891 2755824)
- Royal Fort
- The Grand Central Hotel (at Jagadamba Junction)
- Hotel Supreme (At R.K.Beach)
- Dwaraka Inn (At Dwaraka Nagar)
- Jabely Beach Inn ( Pure bengali food is available )kolkata cont 033-2264=2051, 22492=716, (on R.K.Beach), . 650 to 1100 AC.
- Gateway Hotel, Beach Road, +91 891 2567756 (fax: +91 891 2564370) firstname.lastname@example.org, .
- Grand Bay,, Beach Road, Telephone +91 891 2560101 (fax +91 891 2550691).
This page was last edited at 08:11, on 12 March 2009 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Stefan Ertmann, Peter Fitzgerald, cz, Srinivas Jhawar and Ryan Holliday, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.