May 2, 2011

About City Visakhapatnam


Visakhapatnam (better known as Vizag) is a beautiful, fast developing port city and the second largest city in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India.

LOCATION & TOPOGRAPHY
Located on the East coast of India, in 17o42' North latitude and 82o02' East range of hills. Based on topographical conditions, the city and its environs can be divided into four categories viz. Hilly region, Upland tracks, Rolling plains and Plains. The major hill ranges of the city are Kailasa and Yarada hill ranges. The Kailasa hill range stretches from Simhachalam to MVP Colony on the north flank of the city. The city which appears like a small basin is surrounded by the Yarada hill popularly known as Dolphin’s nose (358m) on the side of the Kailasgiri hills on the north, with the Bay of Bengal forming the eastern wall. The coastal line runs from north east to south west over a distance of six kilometres. On the west there is an extensive tidal basin called Upputeru now under reclamation. Beyond Yarada there is a valley followed by another range of hills.
Bay View
CLIMATE
Vizag by night
The climate of Visakhapatnam has no appreciable seasonal changes. Being close to the sea, the level of humidity is high. The fluctuations in temperature are fairly uniform in character, except during the dry months when the rise in temperature is higher than it is during the monsoon period. From February onwards, the temperature rises progressively till May, which is the hottest month. During the years 1931-60 the maximum average (mean) temperature was 34oC. This has been showing an upward trend with the minimum and maximum for the period of 1975-81 being reported as 38oC and 29oC, respectively. In recent years, it has not been uncommon for the day temperature to exceed 43oC during May. December, January represent the coldest period of the year. 
The average annual rainfall for the city and its surroundings is of the order of 95 centimeters with the bulk of the rain coming from north-east monsoon. During the period between September and November, storms and depressions originating in the Bay of Bengal cross the east coast in the neighbourhood causing heavy rains and gales. As per Thornthwaite’s classification, Visakhapatnam and its environs come under the semi – arid ( D) category. All the elements of climate viz temperature, pressure, wind, rainfall, relative humidity and other weather phenomena hardly exist and exhibit a well marked variation while January is the coolest month of the year with average temperatures of 30.0oc and 22.5oc respectively.
Bay View
ECONOMY
Gas Tanks
The city was originally a small fishing village. Mainly due to its natural harbour, it has developed into a major port city.  It has experienced rapid industrialization with the onset of major industries viz., Oil Refinery, a private sector fertilizer factory, Hindustan Zinc Smelter and Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. The construction of the outer harbour and Steel Plant have considerably changed the character of the city. On account of rapid industrialization and urbanization there has been tremendous amount of migration into the city. Today the services and information technology contribute significantly to the economy.

POPULATION COMPOSITION
Vizag City is quite different today from what it was 140 years ago not only in its population and way of life but also in the style of functioning of the municipal authority.
Year
Population
Municipal Area
1858 16,000  
1884
32,350
square kilo miles
1890-91
34,487  
1900-01
40,892  
1910-11 43,412  
1920-21 44,711  
1930-31 57,303  
1940-41 70,224  
1950-51 1,07,815  
1960-61 1,78,431 11.25 square kilo miles
1970-71 3,52,723 square kilometers (29.47 square kilomiles)
1980-81 5,59,140  
1990-91 7,52,037  
1997-98 12,00,000 111.60 square kilometers
 
VIZAG AS A TOURIST DESTINATION
The town of Vizag, sandwiched between the promontory called Dolphin’s nose and the Kailashgiri Hills, is one of the rare towns in India where you find the hills and the sea together. And that makes for some spectacular views from even within the town. The beaches of Vizag: Rama Krishna Beach, Lawson’s Bay, Rishikonda, Gangavaram, are amongst the best kept secrets of India. With their vast golden stretches, ringed by the hills of the ghats, they make beautiful wide bays that would put many of the famed Goa beaches to shame. You will always be sure to have a large patch all to yourself if you so desire!
Vaisakhi Lake
Hill Church
For one, in Vizag, you can never be very far away from the Gods and their holy abodes. On the sandy stretches of the beaches, atop high hills, hidden inside the dark caves, in the middle of the city – everywhere. New temples, old but still active temples, or temples in ruins, can be seen all over Vizag.
Head north up to the Simhachalam hills – a beauteous drive up a wooded hill which will make you forget that you are in a seaside town – to visit the famous 11th Century temple dedicated to Lord Narasimha. As you move along the corridors of this much revered temple, you can’t stop admiring the intricately carved pillars in black stone. Each of them, along with the other sculptures, has a tale to tell. Underneath these, budding scholars and priests learn the scriptures.  A soothing site in these days of jangled nerves. And in case you
wondered why the Lord wears an unusual look here, it is because his devotees have covered him with thick sandalwood paste. This paste is removed only once a year during the Chandanyatra Festival (March – April ), when, if you are lucky to be there, you view the real, unadorned shape of the deity. A number of cottages on the hill top allow you the thrill of staying next to the Lord, should you so desire, far from any urban madness.
Laze around in the golden sand and admire for hours God’s exquisite stretch of imagination; the only thing which will come naturally to you is savouring the delectable coastal fare of these parts. The little metropolis that it is, Vizag is well endowed with excellent hotels and restaurants. An Andhra thali is an experience no gourmet would like to miss out on, and Daspalla in the heart of the city is a great place to indulge.

Simhachalam

Recently, many Buddhist ruins have been discovered in and around Vizag. Though scattered in different directions from the main city, they are mostly concentrated at Bavikonda, about 20 kms. Northeast of Vizag, and at Thotlakonda, some 16 kms. from the city along the Vizag, - Bheemili Beach Road. Here, there are some characteristic Buddhist stupas, chaitya and viharas.
A more fascinating site to visit is the village of Sankaram, where numerous images of Buddha are seen carved in caves of the hills. Interestingly, The Park, Vizag has incorporated these Buddhist motifs in its d├ęcor, with the recurring lotus motif, and various other Buddhist architectural elements of design.
Vizag is home to the Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy and the Naval presence has cast its own influence over the town. Early December is a time Vizagites look forward to the Navy Mela, the Navy Day parade along the main Beach Road, with naval ships forming a backdrop in the ocean. If you are in Vizag at that time of the year, this is a spectacle that should not be missed.
Overlooking the port in all its majesty is the 358 meters high promontory of Dolphin’s Nose so called because of its uncanny resembalance to the mammal. The lighthouse atop, which can be visited with permission, is the highest in India. Its beams can be seen far out at the sea and it directs the traffic in the busy shipping lanes of the Bay of Bengal as well as the entrance to Vizag port.
Drive our north from Vizag hugging the hillside along the Eastern sea board. Savour the spectacular views that each curve brings forth, with the hills, the beach and the azure blue sea complimenting each other in a natural form of poetry. Soon you will come to the charming little town of Bheemunipatnam, popularly abbreviated to Bheemili.
Amidst the bougainvillea bushes, you will find a number of cottages which have made it a haven for the retired folk. But there is a lot more to this tiny town. It was the first municipality on the Indian mainland, having a system functioning way back in 1861 A.D. At the confluence of river Gosthani and the sea, amidst miles of golden sand, are the Dutch cemeteries. A relic of the colonial times, these are fairly well preserved.
Away from the sea and beaches, Vizag will lure you with her hills and valleys. Take the early morning train along the rail line to Kirandul in Basra. Crossing the Eastern Ghats, this line was opened in 1967 to move iron ore from the mines to Vizag port. Through the verdant ghats and numerous tunnels, you will reach the Borra Caves. These are home to some of the most spectacular stalactite and stalagmite formations that you will get to see anywhere.

Further on, amidst coffee plantations, you will reach the picturesque, misty Araku Valley – home to some very isolated colourful tribes. This valley is at it's best in spring when flowers bloom aplenty throughout the valley. Not surprising then that this is a favourite with the Telugu film industry! Trek, hike or camp: there will be secrets that have never before been uncovered. Do carry something warm: nights at 1,300 m above sea level can be nippy, even if the sea and the city are only a few hours away.
Vizag is many things to many people. Children take an instant liking to this city with a number of seaside parks and playgrounds, and the large, well equipped skating rink. But the high point of a Vizag stay is undoubtedly the 1 – 4 p.m. socegado, a la Goa, when the entire city sleeps. Indeed, even " The Citi" may have to sleep here! With it’s excellent urban development and the natural endowments, Visakhapatnam is a city that will be constantly in the news in the years to come.
Dolphin's nose

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