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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Andhra Pradesh Vishakaptanam [Vizag]

About the place This coast-city is on the Chennai-Howrah broad-gauge line of South Eastern Railway and is a big railhead. The city has grown in importance educationally, commercially and industrially. It is the seat of the Andhra University. The places of interest in the city include harbour, Dolphin's Nose, a light-house, Hindustan Ship Building Yard, Caltex Oil Refinery, Coromandal Fertilisers Factory, Steel Plant, Circuit House on the Hill, a beautiful beach and an airport.Visakhapatnam harbour is considered to be one of the best natural harbours in the world, and the Shipbuilding Yard has a nation-wide importance. The city is worth visiting for both the internal and foreign tourists. Bheemunipatnam beach, nearer to the city, is a place for a short holiday and recreation.Vishakhapatnam is an amalgamation of old and new, a bustling city that encompasses blue sea, green-capped hills, breathtaking valleys, dense jungles and crystal clear cascades, ancient Buddhist sites, the only submarine museum of the subcontinent, lush green parks, and more profoundly its salubrious climate.

Kailasgiri This picturesque forested hill is located towards the north of Vishakhapatnam city, just beyond Lawson’s Bay. The site offers breathtaking view of the city and harbour, especially towards Bheemunipatnam.

Rishikonda Beach
Just 8 km away from Vishakhapatnam city is a golden sandy beach now being developed as a tourist resort by the Andhra Tourism Department. The beach considered to be one of the loveliest beaches of Andhra Pradesh, is widely visited by tourists who come to Vishakhapatnam.

Indira Gandhi Zoological Park The park named after the former Prime Minister of India, Smt. Indira Gandhi is set amidst the scenic eastern ghats of India, flanked by hills on either sides and Bay of Bengal on the east.

Dolphin’s Nose Along the southern coastline is Dolphin’s Nose, a 358-m long rocky outcrop that rises 175 m above the sea. This famous landmark is shaped like a Dolphin’s nose and attracts large tourists from India and abroad. On it stands a lighthouse with a beam that can be seen 64 kms out at sea.

Venkateshwara Konda The hilly ridge of Vishakhapatnam has three crests each with a religious shrine dedicated to Gods of various religions. On the southernmost one Venkateshwa Konda, is a temple dedicated to Balaji or Lord Krishna; in the middle is Ross Hill with a mid 19th century church and the third, Daragh Konda, has a shrine dedicated to a Muslim saint Ishaque Madina.

The Beach is situated at a distance of 24 km. from Visakhapatnam and is located at the mouth of the river Gosthani. Once a Dutch settlement, the ruins of a fort and cemetery are still intact. The beach provides a very safe swimming experience to the swimmers. The journey between Visakhapatnam and Bheemunipatnam is exhilarating. There are many beaches on its way, including Lawsons Bay, Rushikonda and Bhimili, a 17th century Dutch town and the second oldest municipality in the country.

Simhachalam 16 km from Visakhapatnam, Simhachalam is an important pilgrim centre owing to the existence of the Varaha Lakshmi Narasimhaswami temple on a hill, which is 800 feet above the sea level.

Araku is the only hill station close to Vishakhapatnam, some 110 kms away. The site is rapidly being developed by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department. The thick forests of Eastern Ghats, beautiful green valleys, picturesque landscapes and waterfalls altogether make the surrounding vivacious. There are huge coffee plantations here which also add to the beauty.Out of several attractions in Araku one that is worth seeing is the Tribal Museum, which offers a glimpse of the traditional lifestyle and cultural and social features of the tribal people. The display objects include some hunting tools and artifacts dating back to 18th century. Padmapuram Gardens is a popular leisure centre in Araku. The 26-acre (10.4 hectare) location has tree-top cottages, which have become popular among tourists. The Jungle Bells Nature Camp is in a sleepy village, amidst pristine environs. You can have rare experiences like trekking, rock climbing and bird watching, and can also enjoy the stay in log-huts.

How to Reach

By Air: Vishakhapatnam has an airport just 16 kms from the city centre. Indian Airlines operates flights from Hyderabad, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.

By Rail: Vishakhapatnam is an important railhead of the east coast railway line. It is on the main Kolkata Chennai railway line connected by several express and super-fast trains on regular basis.

By Road: Vishakhapatnam is located on the National Highway No. 5 (Howrah to Chennai), well connected by private and state owned buses of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh. The road comes under the Golden Quadrilateral project and transport is smooth and comfortable. The distance between Vishakhapatnam and Hyderabad is 650 kms.