Posted 22 June 2022
Reasons why you should visit the beautiful port city of Visakhapatnam right now
Nestled between the Eastern Ghats and the coast of the Bay of Bengal, Visakhapatnam or Vizag is the most populous and largest city in Andhra Pradesh. It stands in the ninth position among the richest cities and contributes to the Gross Domestic Product of India. It is also the second-largest port city after Chennai on the eastern coast of the country.
The economy of Vizag heavily relies on the export of seafood. The IT industry in the region is growing, and it has offices of some of the renowned pharma companies like Mylan, Aurobindo Pharma, Hospira, Eisai, etc. Boasting breathtaking beaches, lush green wildlife sanctuaries and caves, Visakhapatnam is the major tourist destination in the state.
History of Visakhapatnam
In the 4th century writings of Katyayana and Panini, Visakhapatnam finds its mentions; however, its actual history began in the 6th century. It was a part of the Kalinga region, and archaeological evidence suggests that the structure of the present city was laid around the 11th and 12th centuries.
It has been ruled by Vengi, Pallava and Eastern Ganga dynasties. It had been a part of the Chola dynasty, the Gajapati Kingdom, the Vijayanagara Empire and the Jeypore Kingdom. In 1711, it finally came under British rule. In the 18th century, Europeans had complete control of trade operations in the city, and by the end of the century, Vizag became a part of the French colony. In 1804, the city came under the control of the East India Company.
Culture of Visakhapatnam
With a rich heritage, Visakhapatnam has a vibrant culture. It celebrates festivals with colourful rituals and grand feasts. It is famous for its arts and crafts. Its folk dance, Ahimsa, is performed by the hill tribe. The majority of people here speak Telugu, and it is renowned for its delicious cuisine, which is a mix of flavours of North and South.
Place to visit in Visakhapatnam
- Yarada Beach – Offering a panoramic view of the coast of the Bay of Bengal, Yarada Beach is covered with lush green hills on the three sides. You can click pictures, enjoy a picnic with family and witness the captivating sunrise and sunset.
- Borra Caves – If you like to discover unexplored places, Borra Caves present the best opportunity to witness real natural beauty. Situated at an elevation of 750 m, the caves were discovered in 1807. They are made of karstic limestone and create a breathtaking view when the skylight cracks through the openings. They are kaleidoscopic in structure and present enigmatic picturesque landscapes. They are open to visitors only during the day.
- Matsyadarshini Aquarium – It is a preserving house of freshwater and saltwater marine lives. It was an initiation of the Municipal Corporation of Vizag and features countless aquatic lives, including lionfish, butterflyfish, damsels, clownfish and red squirrelfish. It is situated on the shores of Ramakrishna beach.
- Dolphin’s Nose – Presenting a spectacular view of the coastline, Dolphin’s Nose point is one of the best places to visit in Visakhapatnam. The rock viewpoint appears in the shape of the nose of a dolphin; hence, the name. On the other side of the viewpoint, you can catch a glimpse of the bustling city. This point is a perfect place for clicking some amazing pictures.
- Araku Valley – Boasting a lush green landscape, Araku Valley is covered with lofty mountains. It is a paradise for nature lovers and features a coffee plantation. The enchanting view makes you forget the beaches, sand and waves.
- Submarine Museum – Vizag is a port city; therefore, Submarine Museum is a must-visit spot for tourists. The best part of this museum is its location. Established inside the INS Kurusura submarine, it exhibits artefacts and pictures showcasing the lives of the warriors and martyrs.
- Bojjannakonda – If you are a history enthusiast, Bojjannakonda is 4th-century clutter of six rock-cut caves. It features elaborate idols of Lord Buddha that attracts tourists and many Buddhists. Many monks and travellers come to this place to meditate and unwind their minds from the chaos of life.
- Katiki Waterfalls – Tourists love to visit this spot to witness the sparkling waterfall. Gosthani River is the source of the cascading stream. Its height is 50 m, and it offers a stunning view of the Araku Valley. You can visit the spot during the day.
- Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary - Spanning over 71 sq. km, Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary allows tourists to explore the rich flora and fauna of Visakhapatnam. Its land belonged to the Maharaja of Vizianagaram till 1970. Now, the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department is responsible for its maintenance. The sanctuary protects the endangered species of Indian Leopard and provides a home to Russell’s viper, Asian Paradise-Flycatcher and Indian Muntjac. You can visit it with your family, children and friends.
- Simhachalam Temple – It is an impeccable balance between a religious site, forest, beach and historic spot. The temple is dedicated to Lord Narsimha and draws a footfall of devotees and travellers every day. It features a stone-made horse-drawn chariot in the front and has intricate decorations of elephants on the boundaries.
Other places to visit in Vizag include VUDA Park, Rishikonda Beach, Sea War Memorial, Gangavaram Beach, Visakha Museum, Thotlakonda Buddhist Complex, Ramakrishna Beach, Ross Hill Church, Mudasarlova Park, Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, Sagar Nagar Beach and TU 142 Aircraft Museum.
Things to do in Visakhapatnam
- Ride a ropeway – While visiting the hilltop of Kailasagiri, you can ride a ropeway and catch a glimpse of the striking view of the city and beaches. People often go to Kailasagiri to witness the huge intricately-crafted sculptures of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
- Go for an evening walk at Ramakrishna Beach – Renowned for a mesmerising view of the sunset. Ramakrishna Beach is perfect for an evening walk with your partner. You can also indulge in tasting lip-smacking street food.
- Go fishing – Travellers can visit the fishing harbour and catch a few varieties of fish. The port also features a busy market, which gives away the routine life of fishermen and fisherwomen.
- Undertake adventure sports at Rushikonda – Tourists who loved watersportsmust come to Rushikonda to feed the hunger for adventure. You can enjoy a jet ski ride, windsurfing, ATV rides, water skiing and parasailing. The beach is clean and has roadside shacks where travellers and locals relish the mouth-watering seafood.
Cuisine of Visakhapatnam
Featuring beaches and lush greenery, Vizag is widely popular for tasty street food items. A few famous items that every tourist must try here include Muri Mixture, Punugulu, Dosa, Idli, Tomato Bajji, Liver Kebab and Masala Batani.
Visakhapatnam is also the origin city for the following five dishes:
- Bongulo Chicken: Mostly found in the Araku Valley, this chicken recipe is a mix of flavourful spices and other ingredients. The dish is prepared on a bamboo stick and is a treat for taste buds.
- Madugula Halwa: Madugula Halwa is a combination of sugar, almonds, cashews, white milk and ghee. This sweet dish recipe is more than a century old and a delight for the locals.
- Pela Vadiyalu: Made with popped rice, this dish is tasty and crispy. It contains sabudana (tapioca) and sesame seeds that amplify the taste of the recipe. You can find it in many households.
- Chepala Pulusu: It is the most popular seafood dish made with a fresh catch. The fish is cooked in spicy and tangy tamarind sauce with other spices to add lip-smacking flavours to it. Locals like to have it with rice and sliced onions on the side.
- Teepi Avakaya: It is a sweet and spicy version of mango pickle and is quite famous in Andhra Pradesh. It is prepared with a certain kind of mango and jaggery along with red chilli and other spices.
While in the city, one can savour dishes at these restaurants:
- Varun’s Eat Restaurant
- Vasena Poli
- Absolute Barbecues Vizag
- Sam’s Griddle
- Kava Grill & Lounge
- Satyam Restaurant
- Cascades Restaurant
Shopping in Visakhapatnam
Vizag is famous for purchasing elaborate, embellished and vibrant handicraft items that you can use to decorate your house. It is also popular for buying clothes and jewellery. Ikat and Pochampally are the famous fabrics from the stunning land of Visakhapatnam.
Here are a few places that tourists must explore,
- Lepakshi Handicrafts Emporium: It is popular for buying handcrafted figures of Buddha and Gods, pots, crockery, lamps, vases, etc.
- Nehru Bazar: People come here to purchase fresh vegetables, fruits, spices and meat. It is a one-stop for street food lovers who can try noodles, pakoraand tea.
- SR Shopping Mall: It is one of the best malls in the city to purchase anything on this shopping list. You can find all the renowned brands catering to the requirements of men, kids and women.
Other places to go shopping in Vizag are CMR Shopping Mall, Kurupam Market, Old Book Market and Daba Gardens.
Tips to travel in Visakhapatnam
- Explore the stunning beaches and temples around the city
- Make flight and hotel booking in advance to avoid last-minute hassle
- Try the sumptuous local cuisine
- Do not forget to click some amazing pictures of the stunning landscapes
- Prepare an itinerary before travelling
How to reach Visakhapatnam?
- Airways – The best IndiGo flight route is via Vizag Airport. It connects the city with Delhi, Mumbai, Cochin, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and other parts of the country. For more information on direct and connecting flights to Visakhapatnam, timings and routes, visit goIndiGo.in
- Railways – The major railway station of Vizag is located on the Chennai Central-Howrah Station route. Trains from Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and other cities arrive at regular intervals bringing passengers from all around the country.
- Roadways – Visakhapatnam has a well-connected road network that allows an easy commute to the city from nearby towns and states. The state government runs an interstate bus service for passengers travelling across cities.
How to travel around Visakhapatnam
Vizag has many options for tourists and locals to commute within the city. Buses, taxis and auto-rickshaw are popular choices to reach the destination without facing any convenience. Soon the city will have a connected metro system to make the commute easier.
Climate of Visakhapatnam
With a tropical wet and dry climate, Visakhapatnam experiences maximum temperatures in May and June. It receives rainfall from the northeast and southwest monsoon schedules. It does not have chilly winters. The minimum temperature drop does not go below 18°C.
Best time to visit Visakhapatnam
If you are planning a trip to Vizag, the best time to travel is between October and March. The weather is pleasant and comfortable to tour the city during the day. From November to February, tourists can witness celebrations of a few festivals, making the trip more memorable.
Related travel blogs