Sunday, August 30, 2015


VISAKHAPATNAM – CITY OF DESTINY171829_106955992712924_7222695_o - Copy

Welcome to this beautiful piece of earth on the east coast of Indian sub continent often known as the “jewel of the east coast” in Andhra Pradesh state – city of destiny. Part of the city is known by its colonial British name, Waltair; during the colonial era, the city’s hub was the Waltair railway station and the surrounding part of the city is still called Waltair. It’s very modern name as Visakhapatnam or Vizag. Each day sun kisses this land and crafted it a perfect holiday destination for nature & beach lovers. With Bay of Bengal on the east and rest three sides with beautiful hilly terrain. This city made its journey from a small fishing hamlet to a modern city chosen as first phase smart city to be developed yet, its also district headquarters of Visakha district, and headquarters for eastern naval command, educational hub, with lot of industries turned to an Industrial hud like steel plant, NTPC thermal power plant, and SEZ’s i.e. pharma, heavy engineering industries surrounded, with a world class ship building unit, well connected with rest of the world and Indian subcontinent by rail, road, international airport & a world class port all this add up to make it a investor friendly destination. It occupies 681.96 km2 (263.31 sq mi). Hindu texts state that during the fifth century BC, the Visakhapatnam region was part of Kalinga territory, which extended to the Godavari River. Relics found in the area also prove the existence of a Buddhist empire in the region. Kalinga later lost the territory to King Ashoka in the bloodiest battle of its time, which prompted Ashoka to embrace Buddhism. Visakhapatnam is surrounded by ancient Buddhist sites, most of which have been excavated recently and illustrate the legacy of Buddhism in the region. 
The Sun, Sand and Sea, Spread on a 1000 km coastline and 8 districts Andhra Pradesh has some of the Attractive beaches in India.  Sans the noise and crowd most of the beaches here are quite, calm and peaceful. Vizag the city of destiny is a great tourism spot for tourists to enjoy. Be it relaxation or a weekend outing.




Rushikonda is one of the most beautiful tourist spots in Visakhapatnam located 11kms away from the city. This is on the Visakhapatnam-Bheemunipatnam beach road. y Rushi Konda is a hill fully covered with green and thickly plants and trees. A beach close to this hill is Rushikonda beach and is a beautiful one. The attractive feature of this beach is its neat golden sand.This is a best spot for the nature lovers. The water is pure and crystal clear. Rushikonda beach is a wonderful place for swimming,diving,water skiing,wind surfing and water sports.


Bhimili is located at a distance of nearly 30 Kilometers North east of Vishakhapatnam. It’s beautiful beach and invigorating climate coupled with the pleasantness provided by the lush green palm groves adds to its immense attraction .It was the first municipality in Indian mainland, established on 9th February 1861.. It is also the site of the ruins of the east coast’s oldest Dutch settlement (17th century). The drive from Visakhapatnam to Bheemli is exhilarating. The cemetery situated in the west of the town speaks of the Dutch who gave their lives here. The unique feature of the cemetery is the depiction of the cause of the death on the grave enlivens the past. The beach road from Vizag to Bhimili is one of the longest and beautiful beach roads in India. The sun-kissed beaches en route make the Car drive as enjoyable as the destination. You can enjoy the panoramic view of the Ghats on one side and the sea on the other. You may stop at different vantage points reroute to Bhimili as each and every spot is worth taking a photograph.


Thotlakonda Buddhist Complex is located at a distance of 16 KM from Visakhapatnam city on the beautiful beach road connecting Visakhapatnam and the historic town of Bheemli. Located at a height of 128 meters on a hill top This place was inside the Kalinga region which was instrumental in promoting Buddhism to Sri Lanka, Burma and many other places. Welcome gate by the side of the beach road with an entry fee and good tar road at the top of the hill is constructed by the local body.
Thotlakonda Complex Meditation halls are designed to protect Monks from outside disturbances with stupas at the centre and guards at the entrance of the hall. The lay out of Kitchen and resting place for Monks are still giving a glimpse of the simple life of them. The direction of Sun rise and sun set are marked in stones.
Monks visiting this Buddhist school from far places like China, Burma and other countries came through the sea route and used to stay here for months and year before completing their study. The complex have number of Stupas, chaityas and viharas. There are many rock cut troughs available here. Out of the 12 tubs used for storing drinking water four are available within the complex and others were little outside the area. One of the troughs at the top of the hill still holding water in the all the seasons and never went dry in past many years. Probably the Telugu name Thotlakonda is derived from the Thotti ( tub ) and Konda ( hills ).


beautiful yaradda beach
A spectacular beach which even very few locals are aware of is called the “Yarada” beach. Its a private beach coming under Agrigold plantations This is nearer to the Dolphin nose. The view from Dolphin hill is spectacular. There is Ghat road leading one to the Dolphin hill and Yarada. Though a lovely beach it is not considered safe for swimming and playing. Hence do not go inside the waters above the knee level as a best practice.


bench with beach road
Ramakrishna Beach is the most popular beach of Visakhapatnam. With its serene waters and tranquil atmosphere, the beach offers a lovely vista of the countryside. Situated on the coastline of Andhra Pradesh, the beach overlooks the Bay of Bengal, along with its natural splendor. Infact, the marvelous landscape is beyond comparison. The natural harbour of Vishakhapatnam is to be found on the north-east of Ramakrishna Beach. Actually, this picturesque beach is the extension of the Coromandal Coast of India. Ramakrishna Beach has also got the glare of publicity. The vast stretch of blue waters juxtaposes the sight of bustling activities of the city on the opposite side. In the evenings, the beach gets crowded with both young and old, having fun time on the sands. Though not much, there are enough water sports available at the shore.
Since Ramakrishna Beach comprises a large part of the water’s edge, it has got a huge area where different activities can take place simultaneously. You can take the local cruise to enjoy the sunset and sunrise amidst the tranquil waters. Apart from all this, you can take a ride in the traditional fishing boat by asking the fisher folk to arrange it for you. And for sure, Ramakrishna Beach would become an inseparable part of your most cherished memories.


Known as Thomas’ Folly in the The colonial Era, Kailasagiri is situated at an altitude of 360 ft. a A charming hillock on the sea front bordering a small valley within the city. A ride on to this hill gives you a spectacular view of the sea,RK.Beach and Rushikonda Beach on right and left hand side. The magnificent statues of Shiva- Parvathi are illuminated at night and is worth seeing. Waterfall emanating from the statue is symbolic of the descent of the river Ganga. The local tale says that there was an ancient Shiva temple on the hill and it became popular as thousands of devotees started visiting the shrine regularly. So the hill was named after the deity.
The Shanku Chakra Naama which symbolizes the image of Lord Vishnu in its pristine form, fully lighted at night is visible from most parts of the city. The park gives an enchanting view of the sea, beaches, lush green forests and the bustling city.
The titanic view point on the Kailashgiri hill offers panoramic view of the Bay Of Bengal as well as the City and the Eastern Ghats. Front Elevation looking Like ship and resembling The “Titanic” this one of the prime attractions of Kalashgiri.
68455_413958425346011_1404984550_n  Ropeway: A Ropeway that takes people from the foot to the top and back is an added attraction to this wonderful place. Sitting in the Cable Car you can have some of the magnificent views of the town and the Bay for you. The Rope have become the favorite for children as well as adults which thrills and tickles like anything.


This wild life sanctuary ( not that wild ) is located by the side of National Highway 5 just outside the Visakhapatnam city on the way towards Vijaynagaram – Srikakulam. The Kambalakonda Eco Tourism Park is located at in an area of 71 sq KM out of which 0.8 sq KM of sanctuary are is marked for community based eco-tourism project. While going round the park you will be greeted by spotted deer roaming inside the park. There is a small water storage system where rain water is stored and boating facility is available in this small lake. There are different trekking routs available inside Kambalkonda park. There is a fee of Rs 150 for a group of 10 members for trekking. One guide will accompany the group. The trekking starts early morning around 6 AM and it takes 3 hours to return. One day before information is to be given at reception to make the arrangement for local guide.


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This is the first point where you seem to distance yourself from the city noises to the heavenly other side of the mountain. Must go for all romantics, this is a real amazing place with the coast, mountains, city on all its sides.


The one of the largest Zoological Park in Andhra Pradesh – next only to the one in Hyderabad and has a rich and varied collection of Wild Species including the Indian Tiger, Deer, Elephants and other attractions from Australia. Spread over 425 Acers of Land, the Zoo park is a host for over 400 varieties of animals. The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park was setup in the year 1972 in the city outskirts of Visakhapatnam city in a 250 hector area. The park is a great spot to spend time – particularly in the months of November and December. The Zoo Park has some of the best living animal and marine species and is one of its kinds in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The park is refreshed with a fresh collection of animals from the forests of Africa and the Australia. The park is a great spot to spend time – particularly in the months of November and December. The Zoo Park has some of the best living animal and marine species and is one of its kinds in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The park is refreshed with a fresh collection of animals from the forests of Africa and the Australia.


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The Submarine Museum – Kurusura being set up at the Rama Krishna Beach in Visakhapatnam has a speciality. The Submarine Museum is the first submarine tuned to a museum in the whole of Asia and second in the World. INS Kusura is a Russian built submarine built on December 18, 1969. The submarine embarked on its journey on February 20, 1970 via the Baltic Sea and reached Visakhapatnam on the May 11, 1970. Since then INS Kusura is being used by the Indian Defence. The Submarine is tuned into a first Submarine Museum on February 27, 2001. It was earlier brough to the sands off the Vizag beach shores from the sea. India’s Premier Defence Lab – National Ship Design and Research Center (NSDRC), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) and other organisations have extended their helping hands in bringing the submarine to the sands of the beach and facilitating the convertion into a museum.
INS Kusura served for about 31 years before its was decommissioned and retired from nation’s defence services.


Visakhapatnam has volumes of history to talk about. But the credit of preserving records about the Visakhapatnam’s past goes to the Visakha Museum, also called Corporation Museum. The Visakha Museum is located at an old Dutch Bungalow on the RK Beach Road.
The Museum has some of the best and finest artistic items put on display. Portraits, some of them even at life-size depicting the members of the Royal family of the Vizianagaram and Bobbili, Two Armour suits, two stands of spears and muzzleloading guns, several ancient weapons such as steel bows, handguns that date back to the British-rule times are some of the things one should not miss.
The Visakha Museum also showcases some of the artifacts collected from other institutions. These include the 250-lb bomb that was dropped by the Japanese during the World War II. The shell bomb did not however explode. The shell bomb is now put on display at the Museum.
The Museum preserves the coconut that was broken by the then Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru when he came for the inauguration of the first ship that was indigenously built – the S.S Jala Usha.


matsya darsini
Matsyadarshini, a beautiful aquarium with nearly 20 medium and large sized tanks displaying the fresh water and marine fish and water animal species, is setup and run by Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation. The Aquarium, established on the shore of Ramakrishna beach, has many marine varieties include the long horn cow fish, butterfly fishes, surgeon major, peacock wrasse, the lion fish, stone fish, red squirrel fish, perch dusky, trigger fish, clown fish, damsels, sweet lip rabbit fish, angels, electric ray, porcupine fish and many more.
Matsyadarshini has in its credit uncommon marine invertebrates. The carpet anemones, starfishes in different colours, tentacle anemones in white and orange, sea anemones in varying colours are all gives a pleasant view.


fishing harbour
The Fishing Harbor at Visakhapatnam Port Trust is one of the biggest in the Coast of Andhra Pradesh. The harbor was set up in 1976 spreading across 24 hectors of land.
Total Investment Cost of the Harbor – Rs. 426 Lakhs
Total Jeetys – 11
Fishes and Prawns import – 500 Tonnes
Turnover – Rs. 1 Crore per year
Boats – 670


Simhachalam temple is a Hindu temple located in Andhra Pradesh, South India, and is dedicated to the incarnation (avatar) of Vishnu known as Narasimha (the man-lion).
Origin of the name
SIMHA:Lion chala: hill
Atop the hill is a famous temple said to be the abode of narasimha swami, and hence the hill itself is called (nara)simhachalam. The temple is situated in the city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
Temple History
It has Sri Varahalakshmi Narasimha Swamy as the presiding deity. Simhachalam temple is known as the second richest temple (after Tirupati) earning a revenue of Rs. 520 million. The statue of the deity gives “nijaroopa darshan” (holy appearance in true form) for only 12 hours in a year i.e on Akshaya Tritiya day, the rest of the time the statue is covered with sandalwood paste. The darshan described as chandana yatra or chandanotsavam falls every year in Vaisakha masa (May).
The deity at Simhachalam, the lion-man incarnation of Lord Mahavishnu is usually covered with sandalwood paste. The original shape of the deity in the tribhanga posture has two hands with the head of a lion on a human torso. An inscription dated as far back as 1098 AD of the Chola king Kuloththunga provides some clue as to its antiquity. Another inscription shows a Queen of the Eastern Ganga of Kalinga(ancient Orissa) (1137-56 AD) covering the image with gold while a third inscription says the eastern Ganga King of Orissa Narasimha Deva built the main/central shrine in 1267 A.D. With more than 252 inscriptions in Oriya and Telugu describing the antecedents of the temple, it is a historically important monument.
Sri Krishna Deva Raya after defeating the Gajapati ruler of Orissa Gajapati Prataparudra Dev visited the shrine twice in 1516 AD and 1519 AD and offered numerous villages for maintenance of bhogam (worship) along with valuable jewellery of which an emerald necklace is still in the temple. For the last three centuries the Royal family of Vizianagaram, ” The Pusapati Gajapathi’s” have been the temple’s trustees.This temple was build in the style of Orissa temple architecture.
Hiranyakasipu was a Rakshasa king. He was in fact one of Vishnu’s Dwarapalakas or gate keepers in Vaikuntha, Jaya and Vijaya. They had to take birth in the mortal world thrice because of a curse given by Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanathana and Sanathkumara, who were not allowed to take darshan of Mahavishnu by them. The other palaka was born as his brother Hiranyaaksha.
Hiranyakasipu wanted to become immortal and hence performed austerities (tapasya) to propitiate Lord Brahma. However, Lord Brahma said that was not possible so Hiranyakasipu asked Lord Brahma to grant him a boon so that he could not be killed by any animal or a man neither in the morning nor in the night, by any weapons, neither in sky nor on the earth.
Hiranyakasipu wanted the entire world to worship him. But, Prahalada, his son, was a devotee of Lord Narayana and always expressed his bhakti towards Him. In spite of warning him several times, Hiranyakasipu could not alter Prahlada’s devotion.
This made Hiranyakasipu angry and he made numerous attempts to get Prahlada killed. One of them was to throw him off the top of a mountain. However, Vishnu rescued him by moving the mountain and made a small path for Prahaladha. It is said that in the place where the Lord stood to protect Prahaladha is the place where the temple is built.


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Sthalapuranam of the Temple:
In so far as Sthalapuranam of this Temple is concerned, there is no authentic information. It is learnt that Sri Kanaka Maha Lakshmi Ammavaru is the family deity of the then “Rajas of Visakhapatnam”. The locality where the idol was found is called “Burujupeta” since it was near “Buruju” of the “Fort” of the then Rajas.
kanakamahalaxmi temple_content According to local story, in the year 1912, the Idol of Godess Sri Kanaka Maha Lakshmi Ammavaru was taken out from the well and it was installed at the center of the road i.e., amidst the Municipal lane. The Municipal authorities, for the purpose of widening the road, have shifted the Idol from admidst the road to a corner of the road. During which period i.e., in the year 1917 the dangerous contagious disease `Plauge’ spread over the town and so many deaths occurred in Visakhapatnam village. The people of Visakhapatnam were afraid of the incident and thought the devastation was due to shifting of idol of goddess `Sri Kanaka Maha Lakshmi’ and therefore, re-erected Ammavari Idol to its original place i.e., at the center of the road as it existed now. Owing to re-erection, the `Plague’ disease was cured and normalcy was restored. With this, the villagers have a staunch belief that it is all due to miracle of Goddess., and thus from then onwards the Villagers used to worship the Goddess by peforming sevas with much devotion. Further, the people of the vicinity have strong belief that ` Sri Kanaka Maha Lakshmi Ammavaru’ is the `MOTHER OF TRUTH’ and will always bless her devotees by fulfilling their requirements. The lady devotees have staunch belief that the Goddess bless them with “Sumangali”. The devotees of Goddess bring their newly born babies to the temple and keep them at the feet of Goddess and seek blessings.




Araku is a place to relax and enjoy nature. There are few tourist spots in Araku and they can be visited in three to four hours time. Araku is a famous hill station of AP. It is located at a distance of 130 KM from Visakhapatnam or (Vizag). It is famous for its scenic beauty. Located on the Eastern Ghats, it has valleys, waterfalls and streams flowing by the side of the train track and roads during rainy season. The journey to Araku Valley is the most enjoying as the rail passes through tunnels, hill sides and streams. It is better to go by rail and return by road. If you have time you can go ahead upto 20 KM to Chaprai a perennial stream flowing over a rocky slope. If you are at Araku then you must see Borra Caves.
Weather in Araku valley – It is cooler than Visakhapatnam but don’t expect a hill station climate in summer. Temperature can go up to 42 degree in May month. Winter temperature can come down to 14 – 15 degree. Normal rain you can expect at Araku and the area gets hit by cyclonic storm of Bay of Bengal during the month of October – November.
Tourist Places in and around Araku Valley:
  • Borra Caves
  • Araku Valley
  • Padmapuram Gardens
  • Tribal Museum
  • Coffee House
  • Damku View Point
  • Galikonda View Point
  • Coffee plantation ( on the way to Araku)
  • Tyda Jungle Bells
  • Movie shooting takes places in this area (Before Araku Valley)


20150405_162830Padmapuram Gardens is a tourist attraction in the Araku valley inAndhra Pradesh, India. The gardens have a good collection of appealing plants and flowers. These gardens provide a novel atmosphere with unique flower gardens and numerous hefty trees like eucalyptus, pine etc. Tribal welfare department has one Horticulture nursery cum training center here.
It is open from 8 AM to 12.30 PM and again on 2.00 PM to 5.00 PM.



Coffee house
At the Araku town behind APRTC bus stand there is a coffee House. Here you will get all variety of Coffee. Inside you will get history of coffee plantation in Africa, Europe and India. One can buy chocolates, cakes and different of coffee related products under one roof.


download (1)The Araku Tribal Museum is perhaps as famed as the place that houses it, the splendiferous Araku Valley. Started in February 1996, the museum unlike others is not historical, but instead showcases the orthodox lifestyle, along with the social, economical and cultural norms and customs of the native tribes of the region. The museum itself is built with mud and various metals that give it an authentic tribal feel and lend more credence to the artefacts that reside within.
Aimed at preserving and displaying the dominant traits of original tribal culture, traditional handicrafts, and fine arts of ancient tribes, the display of beautiful artifacts, intricate ornaments and exquisite textiles of the tribes of Northern Andhra Pradesh is a sight to behold. There is a tribal museum on tribal heritage, living system and culture. Near the museum boating facility is also available. Opening time 8.00 AM to 1.30 PM lunch break 2.30 PM to 6.30 PM.


An eco-tourism project this nature camp located at a distance of 90 Km from Vizag (On the way to Araku valley) is right place for bird watching, rock climbing, trekking and overnight stay.



There are few waterfalls in Araku, Katiki waterfall is near Borra Caves. Tatiguda and Chaparai are other waterfalls tourist can enjoy.



located at a distance of 100 Km north of Visakhapatnam. The caves open with 100 meter on horizontal plane and about 75 meters on vertical plane. These caves spread over an area of one square KM and the origin of river Gosthani which flows through the district. This you must see if you are in Araku Valley or in Visakhaptanam. This location is at a height of 800 to 1300 meters from MSL. William King the British geologist discovered this million years old cave in the year 1807. 
Breath taking hilly terrain, beautiful landscape, semi-evergreen moist deciduous forests, and wild fauna of the area are a visual feast. This cave is the biggest in India considering the area it has spread geographically. 
The humic acid in the water reacts with calcium carbonate in the limestone and dissolves the minerals breaking the rock gradually. The perennial water flow over a period of time results in the formation of caves. Stalagmites are formed due water percolating from the roof containing calcium bi carbonate and other minerals from mounds. Same way stalactites are also formed and because of their different shapes tourist and locals have given different names to them. One can see different formations of the stalactites and stalagmites as Shiv-Paravathi, Mother-Child, Rushi’s Beard, Human Brain, Crocodile, Tiger and Cows udder. 
On your journey to Araku by train you can see picturesque Landscape with greenery, peaks and valleys. Before reaching Borra Guhalu Railway station the train passes through 42 tunnels. Before Borra Caves you can take a jeep ride to Katiki Waterfall. Entry fee applicable for Adults, childrens camera, video & digital cameras. Timings: 10 AM to 5.00 PM ( 1.00 to 2.00 lunch break).