PLACES TO VISIT
Simhachalam or the 'Lion's Hill' is 16 km away from Visakhapatnam. It is an important Hindu Pilgrim Center, known for the Varaha Lakshmi Narasimhaswami Temple. The 11th century temple is amongst the most important shrines or Lord Vishnu in the country. The presiding deity of the shrine is Lord Narasimha - a combination of the Varaha and the Narasimha incarnations of Vishnu. The main deity is always covered with sandal paste and the real shape of the deity can only be seen during 'Chandanayatra Festival' (March-April). The Shrine is also noted for its excellent architecture.
The Charming Hill on the seafront, sprawled over 100 acres of hill area, and rising 304 Mts above Sea Level, presents a breath taking scenic view, especially towards Bheemili.It has been developed as an attractive picnic spot. View points with roof and cement seats are located at different places on the hill to enjoy the serene atmosphere and scenic beauty & the whole city can be viewed in a panorama through seven vantage points on this location. The magnificent Shiv Parvathi statues with lighted mountains in front are worth seeing. Sankaram, Chakram & Namam fully lighted in the night are visible from almost all parts of the city.
3. BHEEMUNIPATNAM OR BHEEMILI
The historical town is set on the confluence or river Gosthani and Bay of Bengal. One can see temple dedicated to Lord Narasimha atop a big laterite hill. According to a legend Bhima oneof five pandava brothers of Mahabharta epic killed demon bakasura and installed this shrine. It is also known for the 17th century ruins of a Dutch Fort and Settlement. A Cemetery here has some tombs, embossed with the skull-and-cross bones motif of the sea pirates. The beach here is quite calm and considered to be the safest for the Swimmers. A drive on the beach road from Visakhapatnam to Bheemunipatnam is quite fascinating, the 24 km. long beach road is said to be the second longest in the country.
4. SATYANARAYANA SWAMY TEMPLE
The Famous Hindu Pilgrim center is known for Sri Vara Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy Temple on the sacred Ratnagiri hill and the four metre high representation of the Hindu Trinity. The Structure of the main temple represents a chariot with four wheels. It is believed that the wishes of the devotees are fulfilled on performing Vrata (fasting) over here. The chief festival days are Bhishma Ekadasi (Jan. / Feb..), Kalyanotsavam &
Vysaka Ekadasi (Apr./ May).
5. ARUKA VALLEY
The Picturesque valley on the Eastern Ghats, about 115 KM. from Visakhapatnam is popularly known as Andhra's Ooty. The fertile valley extends over an area of 36 sq .km. and is rich inflora and flora. The scenic landscape, bracing climate , orchards, silvery streams attracts tourists from far and wide, The valley is inhabited by 17 colorful tribes, still untouched by modern civilization and is a favourite outdoor location for the Telugu film makers.The famous attraction of Aruku valley is the 1 million year old Borra Caves which are about 90 km from Visakhapatnam, The caves are spread over an area of 2 square Kilometers. The caves were formed as a result of the action of the waters of Gosthani riveron the limestone terrain and has resulted into fascinating stalagmite and stalactite structures.
6. RAMAKRISHNA BEACH
The magnificent beach sprawls over the largest part of the Sea Front and is the most popular site i the city. The Ramakrishna mission is located nearby and there is also and imposing KALI TEMPLE near the beach. The Aquarium here is an another attraction of the beach. Plans are on to upgrade this into an Oceanarium.
7. INDIRAGANDHI ZOOLOGICAL PARK
A trip to Indira Gandhi Zoo Park is never boring which considered as of the India's largest in-door Zoo park of its kind. Located near Bay of Bengal and surrounded by Visakha Vally, this Zoo Park features a cast of thousands! Their stars includes the Cat Complex where you can see the entire cat family with Lions, Bengal tigers, Jaguars, Leopards etc. A Special Mini-Train was installed at the Indira Priyadarshini Zoological Park to facilitate people to watch the wild life in a open top train which runs of rubber wheels.
Nearly Eighty Species numbering Eight Hundred animals are present in the zoo. The well planned layout of the zoo has different sections for primates, carnivores, lesser carnivores, small mammals, ungulates and birds. The Birds encloser includes all kinds of birds and peacocks. There is a Deer Safari available for the visitors.
The zoo is open all the days except Mondays.The primates comprise various monkeys - the common Langur, Rhesus monkey, Bonnet Monkey and also includes certain other exotic fauna like Mandrills, Olive Baboons & Sacred Baboons.The Himalayan Black bear and the Sloth bear in the bear complex are housed in large moated enclosures.The Hippopotamus is a special attraction to the Zoo. The Crocodile complex has all the three Indian Crocodile species. The Reptile section has Pythons, Snakes, Land Tortoises, Terrapins, Water Monitor Lizards, Monitor Lizards etc. Elephant, Bison, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Nilgai, Barking Deer and Thamin Deer are the collection in Herbivores section.A varied collection of birds from the Eastern Ghats in the large walk-through aviaries is a special attraction in the Zoo. Grey Pelicans, Rosy Pelicans, Pied Horn bills, Painted Storks, Peacocks, Ducks, other ground birds and little beautiful love birds, Budgerigars, and Cockateels form the bird collection in the Z
8. SRI VENKATESWARA SWAMY KONDA
The important hillock of ht city has temple dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, According to the Telugu inscriptions, a british soldier Captain Black moor built, this temple in 1886. From here one can view the port channel, which was the entrance of the inner harbour for ships and liners.
9. TYDA NATURE CAMP
It is about 75 kms from Visakhapatnam on the Aruku road and had camping facilities at jungle Bells, which provides an enchanting experience to the tourists. The region is rich in flora nd fauna. The main attractions are rock climbing,trekking and target shooting with bow and arrows, Even the language of the jungle is taught like identification of calls, marks etc. as well as understanding interesting features of various flora and fauna o prevalent in the Eastern Ghats, It is a very unique experience to stay in the log huts and tents set in tribal environs.
10. RUSHIKONDA BEACH
Down the coast towards Bhimili is Rushikonda Hill ("the Sugarloaf Hill") and beach. The beach is ideal for surfing and swimming.Rushikonda is a thickly covered hill located at a distance of 13kms. from Visakhapatnam on the Visakhapatnam- Bheemunipatnam beach road. The steep hill slopes upward from Rishikonda beach which is one of Visakhapatnam's loveliest beaches. Golden, unspoiled sands quenched by the sun-drenched waters of a tranquil sea, a well appointed 36 room tourist lodge, individual rental cottages, a restaurant and other amenities in the tourist complex, make Rishikonda even more inviting.If you are a water sports freak then, the golden beach of Rushikonda is the beach for you. You can spend hours water skiing & wind surfing. One of the interesting aspects here is that even though the wells are near the sea they do not contain saline water. Sri Sapta Rusheswara Temple of 14th century surrounded by seven hills is located here.
11. DOLPHIN'S NOSE
The most conspicuous landmark in Vizag is Dolphin's Nose, a huge rock 357 mt hight promontory jutting out into the sea and very like the nose of the mammal. It also shelters the harbour, from where manganese and iron ore are shipped out. The nation's powerful beacon of the lighthouse directs ships 65 kms away.
12 ROSS HILL (KANYAMARYKONDA)
It is the Highest hill on the Eastern Ghats and is named after Mr. Ross, a prominent personality who built a house on this hill in 1864. The house was later converted into a Roman Catholic Church and named 'Our Lady of the sacred Heart'. The Ross Hill affords excellent views of the Ship Building Yard.
Appikonda is a small village located 18-kms from Visakhapatnam at the cost of the Bay of Bengal. History speaks that it is at this village that Kapila Maha Muni has installed the idol of Somalingeswara Swamy and thus the name - Kapilakonda which was over the ages changed to Apillakonda and further to Appikonda.The Lord Shiva temple here contains inscriptions dating back to 12th Century AD. There was a life-size bull at the temple that was carved out of Black Stone. Every years Shiva Rathri is celebrated with much devotion.
14. MUDASARLOVA PARK
Mudsarlova Park is located at a distance 5 km. from Vishakhapatnam, at the vicinity of Lake surrounded by hills and Palm Trees.The site consists of park, several picinig spots, wide lawns, fountains, beautiful flower gardens, different types of trees. birds and peacocks in cages.One of the main attraction of this park is scenic Golf Course Club.
15 THOTLA KONDA
In the same district of Visakhapatnam, 16 kms along the picturesque Vizag-Bhimili road lies Thotlakonda, where a number of stupas, viharas and chaityas belonging to the Hinayana school were found. A unique discovery providing evidence of maritime trade during that period was Satavahana coins bearing on the obverse of a ship with two masts, anchored to the shore. The site can be approached via the road running along the coastline between Visakhapatnam city and Bheemunipatnam (Bhimili), the second oldest municipality in the country.
16 VUDA PARK
Vuda Park, also known as Taraka Rama Park, is one of the prime attractions in Visakhapatnam. It is a beautiful park right on the Sun-n-Sea beach with boating and swimming facilities, roller skating rink (Consult the master for training 9.30 a.m. to 8.30 p.m) , artificial caves, beautiful long lawns, flower gardens, and a children's park. Playpen for children - 40 Children can play at a time with 3000 plastic balls and with boxing bags. (Free).One of the main attractions of the park is the Musical Fountain with a huge gallery to rest and take in the beauty. (at 6.30 p.m. Rs.5/-).You can utilize the VUDA Health Club (Rs.250/- monthly) and Swimming pool (swimming permitted for Rs.5/-) which are avilable at Vuda park. The centeral lake in the park offers boating, Boat club (boating permitted for Rs.20/-) Vaisakha Kala Vedika Trust (Free) (conducts classical music & dance everyday in the evening from 6 p.m.) Every evening cultural programs such as classical music, dance, and poetry are conducted at the Visakhi Kalavedika open auditorium. For those who go for picnicing, there are a variety of restaurants and food stalls