Visakhapatnam, or Vizag is a popular and charming port town in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Extending along the south eastern coast, the city fascinates the visitors for its varying topographies of hills, valleys, beaches, lakes and caves. An industrial city with richness of history and culture, it has over the years grown into a major tourist destination for its striking beaches, picturesque hillocks and lush green backdrop.
Deriving the name from Hindu God ‘Visakha’, Visakhapatnam is fondly called the ‘Goa of the East Coast’ for its exquisite location among the hills of the Western Ghats with the eastern side flanked by the Bay of Bengal. The ancient status of the city is established by its references in the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Historically too, it has felt the influence of many rules and dynasties.
From the great Ashoka to the Utkala Kingdom, from the Andhra kings of Vengi to the Pallava Kings, from the Mughals to the European powers of French and British – Visakhapatnam inherits a rich legacy from the past. More so, it’s blessed with numerous tourist places making it virtually paradise for travelers. Three hills -- Ross hill, Dargah Konda and Sri Venkateshwara Konda -- surround the city, making it truly charming.
The hills separately have a temple (Shiva), tomb (Baba Ishaq Madina) and Virgin Mary Church. Beaches are a major attraction, including the Yarada beach, Rishikonda Beach and Gangavaram Beach. For nature lovers, the Kailasagiri Hill Park is an ideal retreat with calm settings. The Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary is a perfect place to those who savor the time in the midst of a variety of animal species.
The rich past of Visakhapatnam is best visible in sites like Naval Museum and Submarine Museum. Take a trip to the Simhachalam hills to gaze at the scenic beauty on offer. Other notable places of interest here include Araku Valley and War Memorial and Jagadamba Center Mall. In overall, Visakhapatnam is a fabulous destination for its diversity of attractions, so don’t miss it!