Visakhapatnam, also commonly known as Vizag, is one of the oldest port cities in the country. Situated in the heart of Andhra Pradesh, Visakhapatnam is known for its picturesque beaches and serene landscape, as well as a rich cultural past. The port of Visakhapatnam is renowned for being home to the oldest shipyard in all of India. Located a short distance away from Visakhapatnam is Araku Valley, one of the prime attractions of Vizag. Situated at a lofty 910 metres above sea level, Araku Valley is a hill station replete with gushing waterfalls, crystal clear streams, lush green gardens and some challenging trekking trails.
Vizag is dotted with many beaches along its coastline, with the most famous one being the Yarada Beach. One of the most stunning places to see in all of Visakhapatnam, Yarada beach is surrounded by majestic hills on three sides, and by the Bay of Bengal on the other side. One of the best things about Vizag’s beaches is that they are a lot cleaner and a lot less crowded than other famous beaches along the Indian coastline, and Yarada beach is no exception. It is the perfect place to sit back on the golden sands and witness a marvellous sunrise or sunset.
If you’re a history lover, the Borra Caves are one of the best tourist attractions that Vizag has to offer for you. Nestled amidst the Ananthagiri Hills in Araku Valley, the Borra Caves are over thousands of years old and are the biggest among all the caves found in India. Made entirely of natural karstic limestone, the caves are kaleidoscopic in nature, and the light falling on the rocks coupled with the waterfalls creates an extremely colourful effect, lending an aura of magic and mysticism to the entire ambience.
The Katiki Waterfalls, situated a short distance away from the Borra Caves, is a gushing waterfall that measures around 50 feet in height and is completely surrounded by the lush greenery of the valley. The crystal-clear water cascading down the rocks, bordered by the gleaming green foliage is a sight for sore eyes. Being a coastal area, the primary cuisine of Visakhapatnam includes seafood, as well as traditional Andhra South Indian cuisine. While Visakhapatnam is not exactly renowned for being a shopping destination, you will still find a lot of things that you can take back home. You can purchase a wide variety of stuff starting from handicrafts to Kalamkari paintings to wooden toys to even gorgeous Pochampalli and Ikat sarees.
Places to Visit
Kailasagiri is a hilltop park in the city of Visakhapatnam. The hill is at 360 feet and it overlooks beaches, forests & the city of Visakhapatnam. 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 Visakhapatnam. The place offers plenty of leisure activities which is also one of the reasons for people visiting the place. For small children, the 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, it’s a great place to visit in Visakhapatnam 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. It’s 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.
Katiki Falls originates from River Gosthani about 90 kilometres from Visakhapatnam. The waterfall is located near the Borra Caves and is a famous attraction for picnickers and nature lovers. The natural landscape surrounding the waterfall is lush green and goes through an uneven path that adds an element of adventure to the visitors trekking their way to the waterfall. It is, therefore, an ideal attraction for beginner to intermediate level trekkers. There are several food kiosks on the way that serve snacks and beverages especially Bamboo Chicken and fresh Coconut Water. Taking a pit stop for a bite before proceeding won’t be disappointing.
The cool breeze, the greenery and the soothing sounds of the Katiki Waterfall will take off all the worries in one’s mind. The 50 feet high natural formation is a breathtaking sight from a distance. Do take a moment to listen to the birds singing their tunes as you sit in solitude or soak your feet into the cold river water. Those who wish to enter the waters can do so to enjoy some exciting moments with family and friends. Monsoons, in particular, are extremely beautiful with the natural vegetation thriving in the region. Katiki Falls is the place to be for those who wish to rejuvenate their souls.
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 wildlife animals such as panthers, Sambar deer, spotted deer, barking deer, jackal, wild boar and wild dog.
Located on the east coast of India, the Borra Caves are situated in the Ananthagiri hills of the Araku Valley in Visakhapatnam district. 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 Borra 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.
Borra Caves are deemed to be among 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 colourful 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 primary 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.
The Submarine Museum is located in Visakhapatnam in the south-eastern state of India. The museum is inside an actual submarine, INS Kurusura, which was India’s 5th submarine. The museum is situated on RK beach, near the War Memorial in Visakhapatnam. The beautiful scenery of the clear blue waters and golden sand on the beach serves as a perfect location for the Submarine Museum. It is frequently visited by enthusiasts who want to know more about living in submarines. The museum has artefacts, pictures and articles that share stories of strength, sacrifice and patriotism of the warriors. They give insights on how difficult surviving can be with limited space and resources hundreds of feet underwater.
The INS Kurusura served the Indian Navy for 31 years before it was decommissioned in 2001. Post that, it was used as a museum to spread awareness about Indian Naval Forces, the technology used and its development in India. It is a one of a kind project that was launched by the Eastern Naval Command. The interiors of the submarine have been rearranged to allow a clear view to the visitors. It is the only Submarine Museum in the entire of Asia. A visit to the museum is not only a must to gain some knowledge but also to rejuvenate a feeling of patriotism and pride for our country and for the warriors who fought and even lost their lives for our freedom.
Situated in the city of Visakhapatnam, the Simhachalam temple is an ornate shrine which is revered to be one of the most important temples in the region. The edifice is perched atop a hill 800 metres above the sea level and is dedicated to Lord Narasimha, who is an incarnation of Vishnu himself. Simhachalam Temple is embellished with extremely detailed stone carvings and design and can be spotted from a distance. This is the only temple in the country where Shri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swami- who is a combination of the third and fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu- appears. Lord Narasimha appears here in the tribhanga posture and has two hands with the head of a lion on a human torso.
A shrine which follows strict discipline, the Simhachalam temple has detailed prayer routines for all days of the year which are undisturbed by the influx of pilgrims. This place is a treasure of traditional Vaishnavite culture, and you can study the same in the routine of the temple and the various inscriptions that it houses. Interestingly, the statue of the deity appears in its true form only for 12 hours per year on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. On any other occasion, the idol is covered with sandalwood paste. Simhachalam Temple has been a source of inspiration to many poets such as KuchimanchiTimma Kavi, Adidam Sura Kavi and the likes, owing to its rich history and strong traditional values.
Very similar to a dolphin’s 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 lighthouse 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.
The Rishikonda Beach also known as Rushikonda Beach is a stunning shore located on the coast of the Bay of Bengal in Visakhapatnam, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. APTDC, which is in charge of this natural beauty, has done a great job in the upkeep of the beach and ensured that this natural attraction remains unspoilt. The Rishikonda Beach is thus rightly named as the ‘Jewel of the East Coast’, owing to its essential and intact beauty. The serene golden sands of the beach are located in the bosom of the Rishikonda hill.
Located in the midst of frothy blue sea and emerald greenery, the scenery that this beach boasts of is indeed mesmerising and breathtaking. This place is a favourite among water sports lovers because of the range of activities that are offered here. If you are in the mood for an adrenaline rush, you can indulge in the water sports that are offered here. The Rushikonda Beach is one of the few beaches that offers swimming under expert supervision, so do not forget to take a quick dip in the water. However, the beach’s natural charms are one of the main reasons for its immense popularity among local as well as foreign tourists. The Rishikonda Beach is an ideal destination for a peaceful weekend getaway and is located just 8 kilometres away from the port of Visakhapatnam, making the place very accessible.
An initiative of the Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, Matsyadarshini is a beautiful aquarium and houses countless species of fresh and saltwater marine life captured in glass tanks.
The Aquarium, established on the shore of Ramakrishna beach, has many marine varieties include the longhorn cowfish, butterfly fishes, surgeon major, peacock wrasse, the lion fish, stone fish, red squirrel fish, perch dusky, trigger fish, clown fish, damsels, sweet lip rabbitfish, angels, electric ray, porcupine fish and many more. Matsyadarshini also has in its credit uncommon marine invertebrates. The carpet anemones, starfishes in different colors, tentacle anemones in white and orange, sea anemones in varying colors all give a pleasant view.
Fondly called the ‘Kashmir of Andhra Pradesh’, Lambasingi is a quaint hamlet nestled in Chintapalli Mandal in the richly forested Arakku Valley at an elevation of 1025 m above the sea level. One of the best kept secrets of Andhra Pradesh, the dainty village is known for its majestic hills, apple orchards and panoramic views of the adjoining valleys. Also known as Korra Bayalu, the village is the only place in all of South India that experiences snowfall as the temperatures drop significantly. Besides abundant natural beauty and the gorgeous views of the towering hills and meandering rivers, the village also offers a plethora of adventure activities that you can try your hand at. So if you are looking for chilling temperature, pale mists, colourful gardens and prolific natural beauty, you know where to head to.
Must Try Food in Visakhapatnam
1. Flying Spaghetti Monster
2. Plot 17
3. Upland Bistro
4. My Restaurant
5. Absolute Barbecues
6. Kanhaji Family Restaurant
7. The Vizag Drive In
8. Horizon Restaurant
9. Upland Bistro
10. The Eatery
How To Get Here
Being a major port, it is well connected to all parts via rail and roads. Visakhapatnam has its own domestic and international airport connecting it to all major cities of India. You could even catch an overnight bus from the nearby hotspots to Vizag.
The city of Visakhapatnam is connected with Hyderabad, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bhubaneswar from the Visakhapatnam International Airport.
Nearest Airport: Visakhapatnam Airport (VTZ)
Frequent and regular bus services are available to Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Chennai, Bhubaneswar and Tirupati.
Vizag is well connected by railway to New Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. Express trains are available on a daily basis to all the four major cities.