Visakhapatnam is a city situated in the state of Andhra Pradesh along the southeast coast of India. It is the largest city of Andhra Pradesh and often known as “Port City”, “The Jewel of the East Coast” and also “City of Destiny”. The city is surrounded by three exquisite hills, each of that has shrine dedicated to a different religion namely Venkateswara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva on Sri Venkateswara Konda, Muslim Saint Baba Ishaq’s tomb on Dargah Konda and Church of the Virgin Mary on the Rose Hill. The city is beautifully spread over the hills of Eastern Ghats facing the Bay of Bengal on the east. It is the administrative headquarters of Visakhapatnam district. It also serves as the main headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command of Indian Navy. It also bears the oldest as well as the biggest shipyard of the country. The city possesses the only natural harbour on the east coast of India. It is also home to various heavy industries and steel plants.
The city of Visakhapatnam was named after Visakha, the god of valour and war. Visakha was the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and also the ruler of Mars. The city was first ruled by the Kalinga Kingdom which was later conquered by the great emperor, Ashoka around 260 BC. As Ashoka embraced Buddhism, lots of relics have been lately found in this area that proved the existence of the Buddhist Empire in the region. According to a legend, the city was named Visakhapatnam by an Andhra King during the 9th and 10th century. It is said that the king, on his way to Varanasi, stopped for a rest in this place. He was so enthralled by the beauty of this place that he decided to build a temple to pay homage to Visakha, his family deity. According to Archaeological records, the city was built during the 11th and 12th century by the Cholas. Until the 16th century, the city was the part of the Utkala Kingdom. Then, it was ruled by Vengi Kings and then the Pallavas. During 17th century, it was ruled by Mughal Empire (1689-1724), Nizam of Hyderabad (1724-1757) and then by the French (1757-1765). It came under the control of the British rule in 1765. It became the trading hub for the traders from Europe and the East India Company as the natural port here was used to export the textile products, iron ore, coal and tobacco of supreme quality to different parts of the world.
In 18th century, Visakhapatnam became a part of an area under British India’s Madras Presidency called Northern Circars and served as its district headquarters. It was the largest district of India after Independence. It was later divided into three major districts namely Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam. Visakhapatnam is a true cosmopolitan city with the uncommon mix of population from different parts of the country.
It is a paradise for the tourists of all kinds. With ranges of splendid big hills, the exquisite beaches along the Bay of Bengal coastline and rich valleys, you may sense the real natural beauty of this majestic city. The city has sustained its greatest appeal to the tourists all along the centuries. Major attractions of the city are:
VUDA Park (Taraka Rama)
Sri Venkateswara Konda
Indira Gandhi Zoological Park
Lawson’s Bay Beach
Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary
The best means of accommodation here are mid-range and star hotels. Most of the hotels are located near temples and the beaches. The climate of the city remains pleasant throughout the year but may get warm during summer.
A number of business tourists visit Visakhapatnam and the hotels in the city offer them with excellent business amenities with extra spacious conference and seminar halls. 5 star hotels offer beach-view rooms with free buffet facilities. Comfortable rooms with all the modern amenities are available in these hotels.
State: Andhra Pradesh District: Visakhapatnam Languages: Telugu, English, Hindi
Best Time to Visit: October- March Weather: 16 C-45 C
STD Code: 0891 Pin Code: 530001
How to Reach
Visakhapatnam Airport is situated nearly 16 km away from the heart of the city and is well connected to major cities of India and abroad.
Visakhapatnam has its own railway station and is well connected to major cities of India. It lies on the Chennai-Howrah rail route. It also serves as headquarters of East Coast Railway of Indian Railways.
The city has broad network of roads. NH-5 passes through the city. APSRTC and various private travels operate regular buses to Visakhapatnam from the major cities of Andhra Pradesh and the neighbouring states.
Distance from Nearby Cities
Kakinada – 153 km
Vijayawada – 351 km
Puri – 444 km
Hyderabad – 588 km