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TRAVEL GUIDE

Enveloped by towering hills on one side and scenic beaches on the other, this little-known destination is home to a diverse set of attractions that promise visitors a memorable holiday. Here’s what the city of destiny has to offer you. Andhra is home to one of the most popular Hindu temples in Andhra - Simhachalam, several ancient Buddhist sites and Araku Valley – well known for its scenic beauty and coffee plantations. The city also hosts Visakha Utsav, a festival with food stalls on Ramakrishna Beach, exhibitions and cultural events annually. The city is a paradise for beach lovers as it is sprinkled with several beaches.

Ramakrishna Beach

You can step out for a stroll in the evening or the following morning during your stay at Palm Beach. Ramakrishna Beach gets its name from the Ramakrishna Mission ashram situated near the beach. The pedestrian promenade along Ramakrishna Beach is pleasant for a stroll, family outings, or to just sit back and enjoy the view. There are quite a few eateries along the beach side to keep your appetite full.

There are other attractions along this stretch, with INS Kursura Submarine Museum, an aquarium, the Kali temple, Visakha museum and VUDA park being the most popular ones.

Rushikonda Beach

With a backdrop of green hills, this beautiful beach is a quieter and cleaner alternative to Ramakrishna Beach. It’s also a good stretch for swimming, and water sports such as wind surfing and jet skiing. There are pony rides on the beachfront in the morning and evening. The Yachting Association of Vizag organises sailing in the sea, and also conducts week-long courses on sailing for beginners. With a 30km enviable coastline, there are many options and they’re not all for the mild-hearted. So get ready to feel that rush of adrenaline. Surrounded by seven hills, the 14th century Sapta Rusheswara Temple is also located in Rushikonda.

Yarada Beach

At a distance of 14 Kms from Vizag Railway Station, Yarada Beach is a calm and peaceful beach in the vicinity of Vizag. This beach offers a fabulous landscape with its exotic blend of golden sands and the lush green stretch of hills. Nestled between the hills on all the three sides and the Bay of Bengal on one side, this beach is an ideal spot for outing. Unlike RK Beach, this beach is not very commercialized.

Dolphin’s Nose

One of Visakhapatnam’s most beloved tourist spots, Dolphin’s Nose, is truly a sight to behold. The name is derived from the shape of the large rock formation itself, which does resemble a dolphin’s nose in profile when viewed from afar. A historic lighthouse sits atop the ‘nose’, which was once destroyed in 1876 due to a cyclone but has since been restored to full functionality, guiding ships at sea from distances as far as 65 kilometres. You should visit for the fantastic view!

Submarine Museum

You’ll find the Submarine Museum standing prominently against the stunning backdrop of Ramakrishna beach. The first of its kind in all of South Asia, the INS (Indian Naval Service) Kursura Submarine was a Soviet built-I-641 class Submarine, which after 31 years of service was decommissioned and converted into a fascinating museum for the public. There are six guides and a curator to inform and educate visitors about the complex workings of the submarine, and the simple experience of being inside a sub is a thrilling novelty. Don’t miss this one!

Timings: 14:00hrs – 21:00hrs (closed on Mondays)

Submarine Museum, RK Beach Rd, Panduranga Puram, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh 530017

Tupolev Aircraft Museum

Among many tourist spots of Visakhapatnam, the TU-142M aircraft of Indian Navy which has been turned into a museum sees a throng of visitors, on a usual day. Located just opposite Submarine museum at RK Beach Road, the TU-142M Aircraft served the armed forces for 29 years before it was decommissioned and converted into a museum in 2017. Before entering the aircraft, one can see a display of various equipment and parts of aircraft placed inside one exhibition hall.

Timings: 14:00hrs – 21:00hrs (closed on Mondays)

Aircraft Museum, RK Beach Rd, Panduranga Puram, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh 530017

Bheemli

Located at the confluence of River Gosthani and the Bay of Bengal, this sleepy fishing town has a gorgeous beach. This sandy stretch is quiet and pristine, with a few restaurants and hotels. Also known as Bheemli, it is 32 kilometres away from Vishakhapatnam. It also has a rich cultural history. An important highlight is the 12th century Narasimha Swami temple, located on the Pavuralakonda hill, facing the sea. The temple is said to have been built around 14th century by Mindi Kings. Once a Dutch settlement, it is also dotted with the remains of a 17th century Dutch fort, beautiful old churches, a cemetery and a lighthouse. It is popularly known as Bheemli Beach. The views of the sea will surely mesmerise guests coming here, and sometimes the best thing one can do is to sit by it and listen to the sound of the rolling waves. There is a light house as well here, dating back to 1868. You will also find an old church that dates back to the 1850s, and is known as & the Red Church.

Thotlakonda

Thotlakonda lies about 15 km. from Visakhapatnam in beach road located 128 meters high above sea level. Also known as 'the Hill of Eagles', the complex has a number of stupas, Chaityas, Viharas, a congregation hall and a refectory belonging to the Hinayana school, mostly excavated during1982-92. These remains are classified as religious, secular and civil. Excavations at Thotlakonda comprise pottery, beads, bangle pieces, tiles, stuccos, iron objects, sculptural remains, moulded bricks, inscriptions, coins, etc. Mangamaripeta is a village and has a beautiful water sport beach in Visakhapatnam, India. It is believed that the region was under the kingdom of Kalingas and later the beach was used to serve as the promotional centre of Buddhism.

Erra Matti Dibbalu

On the Bay of Bengal coast, to the south of the Bheemunipatnam ridge, is an area comprising deeply gullied red sand dunes of around 4 km length and 2 km width. They are unique because of the rarity of such gullied red dunes formations of which only three remain in South East Asia. These were formed over thousands of years. This area is referred in Telugu as "Erra Matti Dibbalu" which translates to ‘Red Sand Hills’. A notified National Geo-heritage Monument, it is situated at the outskirts of Visakhapatnam City.

Kailasagiri

Kailasagiri is a hill top park in the city of Vishakhapatnam. The hill is at 360 feet and it overlooks beaches, forests & the city of Vishakhapatnam. 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 Vishakhapatnam. The place offers plenty of leisure activities which is also one of the reasons for people visiting the place. For small children, 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 flavour.

Ross hill

With a Dargah and a temple near the foot of the hill and a church at the top Ross Hill is an example of communal harmony. While the Dargah is about 700 years old, the temple is more than two centuries old. The Church too is more than a century old. The north hill Dargah Konda has a mosque and a memoir of the Muslim saint, Baba Ishaq Madina, who was famous for his prophecies both among Muslims and Hindus. As per the local narrative, a Muslim Saint, Baba Ishaq Madina Walli from Mecca Madina along with his followers settled down on this hill about 700 years ago. He reportedly performed many miracles and helped his devotees. Once he appeared in Aurangzeb’s dream and summoned him. Aurangzeb visited the Baba eventually and ordered the construction of the Dargah. He also granted many acres of lands for the maintenance of the Dargah and its staff. The local ‘Pirs Festival’ here attracts a large number of not only Muslim devotees but faithful Hindus too.

Simhachalam Temple

Simhachalam has derived its name from two words, Simham meaning ‘lion’ and Aachalam meaning ‘hill’, which is a town situated in Visakhapatnam. 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. The temple is embellished with extremely detailed stone carvings and contains scriptures dating back to 1098-1099 AD belonging to the kingdom of Cholas. 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 a tribhanga posture and has two hands with the head of a lion on a human torso.

Tribes India

For Souvenirs

A government initiative, Tribes India showcases the most exquisite authentic tribal art and crafted items sculpted by tribes across the entire length and breadth of the country. The products are all sourced directly from a tribal craftsman, or from a predominantly tribal group of artisans. Every piece is eco-friendly and made from naturally available raw materials; their reasonable prices make for great souvenirs or gifts, as well. It’s a great place to purchase naturally made goods and garments.

Tribes India, RK Beach Rd, Near VUDA Park, Chinna Waltair, Pedda Waltair, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh 530003

Lepakshi Handicrafts

An Andhra Pradesh government undertaking, Lepakshi is a repository of traditional arts and crafts of Andhra Pradesh. The objective of this endeavour was to promote the dying handicrafts of the State. Lepakshi is a treasure trove of ancient and modern handicrafts that range from Children’s toys to Tribal paintings to Brassware to wood work and even carpets.

Timings: 10:00hrs – 20:00hrs (closed on Sundays)

Town Kotha Rd, Near Jagadamba Circle, Jagadamba Junction, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh 530002

Borra Caves

One day trips

The Borra Caves are located around 90km north of Visakhapatnam, in the Ananthgiri Hill Ranges of Eastern Ghats of India. While the cave was discovered by British geologist William King in 1807, this is a naturally formed phenomenon of nature and is believed to be roughly 150 million years old. It is also considered to be one of the largest caves in India. Situated around 1,400m above sea level, the caves contain karstic limestone structures which extend to a depth of 80 metres. For the sake of intrepid explorers and visitors, the interiors of these caves are lit with 63 lamps of mercury, sodium vapour and halogen, which illuminate and amplify the stalagmite and stalactite formations. Some of the most striking formations are said to resemble a dinosaur, a serpent and a temple. See if you can spot them all.

Opening hours: 10am-5.30pm

Araku Valley

Spread over an area of 36 km with an altitude ranging 600-900m above sea level, Araku Valley offers breath taking views of small waterfalls and streams running through its valley. Thanks to its pleasant climate and beautiful hills, this valley is home to several coffee plantations and over 17 different tribes. You can swing by the Araku Tribal Museum to gain some insight into the lifestyles of these local tribes. Also popular is the Coffee Museum, where you can sample some excellent brew and even buy some from the manufacturer directly. If you have the opportunity, make sure to check out a performance of ‘Dhimsa’ dance, a cultural event in the region full of expert movement and colourful costumes.

Kondakarla ava

At a distance of 49 Kms from Vizag Railway Station, Kondakarla village situated in Achyutapuram Mandal is famous for its biggest fresh water lakes in the state, Kondakarla Ava. The waters of the lake are surrounded by coconut trees on one side and green hills all around which provides great picturesque location like this. The Bird Sanctuary here, located in lush green surroundings has a rich variety of bird species.