|Sri Venkateswara Konda||Located to the south of the Visakhapatnam City|
|Dargah Konda||To the north of the Visakhapantam Port|
|Ross Hill||17 kilometers from Visakhapatnam|
|Bojjannakonda and Lingalakonda||Located in the close proximity to the Sankaram Village approximately 45 kilometers away from Visakhapatnam|
|Bavikonda||Located about 15 kilometers to the northeast of the Visakhapatnam City|
|Thotlakonda||Sited atop the Mangamaripeta Hilltop roughly 16 kilometers away from Visakhapatnam on the Visakhapatnam-Bheemili Beach Road|
|Pavuralakonda||Found approximately 24 kilometers from Visakhapatnam towards the west of Bhimli in the neighborhood of the famous Bheemunipatnam Beach|
|Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary||Positioned in the vicinity of Vizianagaram|
|Simhachalam Temple||At Simhachalam about 21 kilometers from Visakhapatnam|
|Ramakrishna Mission||Located at the Ramakrishna Beach|
|Kurupam Tomb||located at the Vuda Park on the Bhimli Road close to the Waltair Beach|
|Kailasagiri||Situated about 6 kilometers away from the heart of the city|
|Matsyadarshini Aquarium||Found on the Ramakrishna Beach adjacent the famous Kali Temple|
|Submarine Museum||Located along the celebrated Ramakrishna Beach (R K Beach) of the city|
|Naval Museum||Located within the ENC complex of the city|
|War Memorial||To be found along the Beach Road right opposite the Submarine Museum of Visakhapatnam|
|Indira Gandhi Zoological Park||Nestled in the midst of the Kambalakonda Reserve Forest of Visakhapatnam|
|Dolphin’s Nose||Positioned in the southern Visakhapatnam|
|Araku Valley||Located just 114 kilometers from Visakhapatnam|
|Borra Caves||Located about 90 kilometers from Visakhapatnam on the way to the Araku Valley|
|Ramakrishna Beach||Located just 5 kilometers from the heart of the city|
|Lawson’s Bay||Positioned in the close proximity to the Ramakrishna Beach on the way to the Kailasagiri Mount|
|Rishikonda Beach||Situated about 8 kilometers from the heart of the city|
|Gangavaram||Situated about 12 kilometers from the heart of the city|
|Bhimli||Positioned at the confluence of the Gosthani River and the Bay of Bengal|
Sri Venkateswara Konda
Sri Venkateswara Konda, also reckoned as ‘the hill on the south’ is one of the three precipices (the other two being the ‘Dargah Konda’ and the ‘Ross Hill’) those enclose the Visakhapatnam City from three sides. The abode of Lord Venkateswara; Sri Venkateswara Konda of Visakhapatnam principally beckons jillions of visitors due to its momentous historical and religious magnitude. A Hindu holy shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu (Venkateswara) is disposed atop the Venkateswara Konda which in accordance with the Telugu inscriptions found here is supposed to have established by a British Army Officer; Captain Black Moor in the year 1886. Exceptionally applauded for its intricate carvings and engravings those bear a resemblance to the Vedic approach of architecture, Sri Venkateswara Temple is brilliantly embellished with a pyramid shaped Gopuram which is marvelously coated with a golden veneer. This swaggering Gopuram poised right at the entrance of the temple leads us to the sanctum where the God of sustenance; Lord Vishnu is enshrined. The Venkateswara Konda Hill also offers the imposing panoramas of the entire downtown Visakhapatnam and the Visakhapatnam Port Channel that serves as the entryway to the interior harbor.
The term ‘Dargah Konda’ literally means the Konda (hill) that bears a Dargah (mausoleum). The Dargah Konda; the northern of the three hillocks those encompass the Visakhapatnam Port is a sacred pilgrimage destination of the Muslim civilians where the sepulcher of a revered Muslim Saint; Sayed Ali Medina (also known as Baba Ishaq Medina) is reposed. The Dargah of Baba Ishaq Medina as well as the mosque erected right next to the Dargah are extremely exalted amongst both the Muslim and the Hindu Communities of Visakhapatnam and this sacrosanct abode of the great Muslim Saint receives heavy influx of devotees from diverse religious backgrounds all through the year. It is believed amongst the devotees that Baba Sayed Ali Medina possesses miraculous prophetic powers and those who pay homage at the Dargah are blessed with good fortune. The Dargah Konda, also reckoned as the ‘Dargah Pahad’ furnishes as the gateway to the Visakhapatnam harbor.
The Ross Hill, also identified as the Kanyamarykonda (the hill of Mother Mary) is the central and the tallest mound amongst the three ridges those delimit the Visakhapatnam Port from three sides. The Ross Hill christened after the Monsieur Ross who constructed a house atop this hummock in the year 1864 also happens to be one of the highest peaks of the entire Eastern Ghats. The Ross House is now converted to a chapel that is dedicated to the Lady of Immaculate Conception i.e. Mother Mary. This Roman Catholic Church, also popularly known as ‘Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church’ is greatly frequented by the Christian devotees as well as the tourists from all other faiths. The passageway that leads to the Shrine of the Lady of Immaculate Conception is splendidly adorned with various Catholic icons and religious images. From the top of the Ross Hill the most extravagant spectacles of the breathtaking beaches of Visakhapatnam, the hustling bustling Visakhapatnam Port and the shipbuilding yard can be observed. Other noteworthy tourist destinations located nearby include Sri Venkateswara Konda and the Ishaq Medina Dargah.
Bojjannakonda and Lingalakonda
Bojjannakonda and Lingalakonda sited in the close proximity to the Sankaram Village approximately 45 kilometers away from Visakhapatnam are the twin hillocks those bear the Buddhist monolithic Stupas, chaityas, rock cut Stupas & caves and the vestiges of ancient monasteries dating back to the period between 4th century AD and 9th century AD. This was the epoch when the three phases of Buddhism namely Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana flourished at Sankaram. Even the name ‘Sankaram’ is assumed to have been coined from the word ‘Sangharama’ which refers to the ‘Boudha-arama’ i.e. the Buddhist residing establishments. Bojjannakonda (earlier known as Buddhuni Konda) is the eastern hill that is crammed full with innumerable monolithic, rock-cut and brick Stupas and small chaityas those surround the rock-cut platform of the central Maha Stupa. An icon of Goddess Hariti and several stone relic caskets were discovered at the Bojjannakonda. Moreover, this hillock also harbors six rock-cut caves which are festooned with elaborately sculptured panels depicting Lord Buddha and his attendants. Lingalakonda is the western hill where numerous tiny rock-cut Stupas collectively form the outline of a ridge. Multitudinous golden coins, pottery items, copper & lead articles and coins, seals, terracotta beads, tablets, figurines, and so on were excavated by the archaeological department from the Lingalakonda Hill.
The Telugu term ‘Bavikonda’ literally means; ‘a hill of wells’. True to its name, the Bavikonda Hill is bursting with abundant wells dug out for the collection and storage of the rainwater. Bavikonda, located about 15 kilometers to the northeast of the Visakhapatnam City is essentially the remnants of a whole Buddhist complex containing 26 structures which belong to the three phases of Buddhism i.e. Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. Spread over an extensive area of 16 hectors, Bavikonda is one of the most preeminent Buddhist Heritage Spots around Visakhapatnam from where invaluable relics authenticating the Buddhist substance in this part of the country were found. The excavations undertaken between 1982 and 1987 AD laid their hands on a Maha Chaitya decked out with historical caskets, a capacious Vihara complex, many Stupas, rectangular halls, a stone-pillared structure, a dining hall, Roman and Satavahana coins, primordial pottery items, and plentiful other artifacts. One of the most worth mentioning findings of Bavikonda was a piece of bone preserved in an urn. This bone is supposed to be the mortal remains of the Lord Buddha. The evidences suggest that the Hinayana school of Buddhism was practiced here between 3rd century BC and 3rd century AD. Bavikonda, estimated to be one of the oldest existing Buddhist haunts of Asia happens to be one of the must visit attractions in the vicinity of the port city Visakhapatnam.
Thotlakonda, sited atop the Mangamaripeta Hilltop roughly 16 kilometers away from Visakhapatnam on the Visakhapatnam-Bheemili Beach Road is a primeval Buddhist Complex that was initially discovered during an aerial inspection. Covering an all encompassing area of 48 hectors, Thotlakonda; one of the most precious Buddhist Heritage Sites was declared a protected monument by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in the year 1978. The excavations carried out between 1988 and 1992 AD acquired the ancient Buddhist architectural residues and artifacts which can be primarily classified into three categories videlicet religious, civil and secular. The Buddhist mementos procured at Thotlakonda include the Stupas (a Maha Stupa and 16 Votive Stupas), Chaityas, pillared congregation halls, kitchen complex, bhojanashala, bhandagaras, stone pathways, drainage system, 11 rock cut reservoirs and many others. Apart from the architectonic debris, other Buddhist assets unearthed here consist of 5 Roman silver coins, 9 Satavahana coins, stucco decorative pieces, terracotta tiles, sculptured panels, minuscule stone Stupas, pottery items, the Buddha Padas marked with 8 auspicious Buddhist symbols, and so on.
Pavuralakonda to be found approximately 24 kilometers from Visakhapatnam towards the west of Bhimli in the neighborhood of the famous Bheemunipatnam Beach is yet another excavation site that is aggrandized amongst the most prominent Buddhist Heritage Locales around this ‘City of Destiny’. Estimated to be dating back to the time span between 1st century BC and 2nd century AD, the vestiges of the erstwhile Buddhist settlements unburied here incorporate the Brahmilable inscriptions, pottery items, Chaityas, foundations of the Viharas, Votive Stupas and 16 huge rock-cut cisternas built for collecting and storing rainwater. The terrace land of the Pavuralakonda Hillock (also reckoned as the ‘Pigeon Hill’) covers the total area of 10 to 12 acres and this knoll measuring about 168 meters in its altitude gracefully overlooks the crescent coastlines and the gorgeous valleys of the Visakhapatnam Plateau. From the top of the Pavuralakonda impressive bird-eye views of the Visakhapatnam Beaches and the sequence of prominences those flank this ‘Pigeon Hill’ on its southwest and northwest side can be perceived.
Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary
The Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary positioned in the vicinity of Vizianagaram and enveloping the total expanse of 70.70 square kilometers is a wildlife conservation area of the state of Andhra Pradesh that is mainly renowned for its population of the Indian Leopard. Originally belonging to the territory of the Maharaja of Vizianagaram, this nature preserve constituted on 10th March 1970 presently flourishes under the authority of the Forest Department of the Andhra Pradesh Government. The sanctuary derives its title from the name of the Kambalakonda Hillock situated within its periphery. This secluded haven blanketed with dry evergreen forests dotted with meadows and scrubs shelters numerous species of fauna and flora including Indian Leopard, Indian Jackal, Indian Pangolin, Chital, Indian Muntjac, Indian Cobra, Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, Chameleon, Russell’s Viper, Partridges, Quails, Treepie, and so on.
The Simhachalam Temple, also popularly known as the ‘Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Temple’ or ‘Varaha Narasimha Swami Temple’ is a sacred Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Narasimha (man-lion); the 4th incarnation of Lord Vishnu who killed the demon Hiranyakashipu and saved Prahlada. Sited atop the Simhachalam Hill (the lion hill) approximately 22 kilometers from Visakhapatnam, the Varaha Narasimha Swami Temple happens to be one of the 18 Narasimha Kshetras of India and the 2nd richest temple of the country after Tirupati. Depicting a fine amalgamation of Dravidian and Orissa styles of architecture, the Simhachalam Temple of Visakhapatnam is estimated to be older than one millennium. The primordial inscriptions found here dating back to the time span between 1098 AD and 1267 AD which refer to a number of ancient rulers who patronized the temple such as a Chola King Kuloththunga, a Queen of the Eastern Ganga of Kalinga, a King of Orissa; Maharaja Narasimha Deva, and so on vouch the antiquity of the Simhachalam Temple. Furthermore, roughly 252 inscriptions scripted in Oriya and Telugu languages discovered here additionally illustrate the glorious heritage of the Simhachalam Temple of Visakhapatnam. This temple of Lord Vishnu is particularly renowned for its annual ‘Chandanotsavam Festival’ when the sandal paste applied on the idol of Lord Narasimha is removed and the deity proffers upon His devotees the ‘Nijaroopa Darshan’ i.e. the blessed emergence in His true appearance.
The Ramakrishna Mission of Belur established by Swami Vivekananda is a philanthropic Samaritan organization that has been running the well-known socio-religious movement named ‘Ramakrishna Movement’ or ‘Vedanta Movement’ all over the world for past hundred years. The Ramakrishna Mission of Visakhapatnam located at the Ramakrishna Beach carries out the commissions of the Ramakrishna Movement which mainly aims at providing educational, cultural and medical services to the society and conducts many relief programs on the large scale. The light pink edifice of the Ramakrishna Mission comprises of two entrances; one of them leading to the library, while the other escorting to the prayer hall. The solemn and serene prayer hall embellished with scintillating marble flooring and gentle illumination enshrines the idols of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Sharada Maa and Swami Vivekananda. This prayer hall exclusively built for regular worships and other devotional activities offers a soothingly spiritual ambience perfectly suitable for deep meditations where the devotees attain total mental solace and pure spiritual delight. Established in the year 1938, the Ramakrishna Mission of Vizag runs an English-medium high school and an allopathic dispensary and also accommodates a library, an exhibition hall and a beautifully maintained garden. On the auspicious occasions such as Ramakrishna Jayanti, Sharada Mata’s Birthday, Guru Purnima, Durgashtami, and so on, special pujas are performed at the Matha and community meals are also arranged here. Tourists can pay a visit to the Ramakrishna Mission anytime between 5:00 am and 9:30 pm.
The Kurupam Tomb located at the Vuda Park on the Bhimli Road close to the Waltair Beach is an ancient mausoleum of Visakhapatnam that was erected by Rajah Vyricherla Veerabhadra Raju Bahadur; the Zamindar of Kurupam in the fond memory of his beloved wife Rani Lakshmi Narasayamma Pattamahadevi. Also referred to as the ‘Visakha Taj Mahal’ (Taj Mahal of Visakhapatnam), the 100 years old Kurupam Tomb sings the sagas of the true love nurtured in the heart of the Zamindar of Kurupam towards his life companion. Presently maintained as the ancestral private property of Kurupam Zamindar family, the Kurupam Tomb greatly frequented by the tourists of Visakhapatnam is predominantly acclaimed for its exquisite architectural order eloquently delineating a passionate concord of North Indian, Dravidian, Mughal and European approaches of architecture. Marvelously crowned with a lofty shikhara and a sublime dome in two gradations, the Kurupam Tomb is entirely ornamented with elaborate stone carvings revealing the motifs of various Hindu deities, resplendent floral patterns, Acanthus leaf designs and so on.
The term ‘Kailasagiri’ literally means ‘the Kailasa Parvat’; the celestial abode of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati grounded amidst the Himalayas. Situated about 6 kilometers away from the heart of the city, the Kailasagiri Hillock has recently emerged as one of the foremost recreational and tourist attractions of the Port City Visakhapatnam. From the top of the Kailasagiri the most mesmerizing panoramas of the downtown Visakhapatnam, its suburbs, the meandering Beach Road dotted with tiny parks and scores of statuettes, the Ramakrishna and Rishikonda Beaches, the endless expanse of the Bay of Bengal, the towering Eastern Ghats and innumerable other mind boggling spectacles can be perceived. Some of the worth mentioning vantage points atop the Kailasagiri Mound which offer arresting prospects of the surrounding landscapes include Titanic View Point, Gliding Base Point, Telescopic Point, etc. A beautifully landscaped children’s park and a massive white sculpture of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati add to the glamour of the Kailasagiri terrace land. Additional attractions of Kailasagiri are; Shanku Chakra Naama, Jungle Trails, a huge Floral Clock, the toy train, Art Gallery, Shanti Ashram and so on. The tourists can approach the Kailasagiri Hilltop from the bottom of the hill through an aerial tramway (ropeway) and a ropeway ride grants the most commanding scenic outlooks of the bounding vicinity. When the entire Visakhapatnam City is illuminated with thousands of glimmering electric lights, the panorama sighted from the top especially leaves the beholders utterly dumbfounded. Kailasagiri, tremendously popular amongst both the locals as well as tourists as a picnicking destination and an evening gathering point receives heavy influx of visitors all through the year. The Tenneti Park stationed at the footings of the Kailasagiri is yet another must visit stop on your way up the hillock.
The Matsyadarshini Aquarium of Visakhapatnam to be found on the Ramakrishna Beach adjacent the famous Kali Temple is an aquatic museum where an excellent collection of fresh water & marine fish and numerous other exotic aquatic species are displayed in 20 medium and large sized water tanks. This dazzling air-conditioned aquarium set up and maintained by the Municipal Corporation of Visakhapatnam originally served as the Municipal Commissioner’s Bungalow which was later converted to the Matsyadarshini Aquarium in the year 1994. The exit gate of the Matsyadarshini Aquarium creates the semblance of the mouth of a huge white tipped shark held wide open. Some of the remarkable marine varieties exhibited at the Matsyadarshini include the butterfly fishes, long horn cow fish, peacock wrasse, stone fish, lion fish, surgeon major, porcupine fish, angels, clown fish, electric ray, sweet lip rabbit fish, trigger fish, red squirrel fish, damsels, perch dusky, the carpet anemones, white and orange tentacle anemones, the marine invertebrates like the multicolored starfishes, and many others. Some of the rare aquatic species are imported all the way from the remote lands of Singapore and Malaysia. The Matsyadarshini Aquarium is open to public between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm and an entry fee of about 20 INR is charged here.
The Submarine Museum of Visakhapatnam also reckoned as ‘Smritika’ which means ‘a memoir’ is located along the celebrated Ramakrishna Beach (R K Beach) of the city. Honored to be Asia’s first and world’s second submarine to be converted to a museum, the INS Kursura was built in Russia in December 1969. It was shipped to India on 20th February 1970 and it reached Visakhapatnam on 11th May 1970. INS Kursura served in the Indian Navy till 2001 AD when it was de-commissioned from the service and brought to the shore to be made a submarine museum. The INS Kursura Submarine of Indian Navy was tuned into the first Submarine Museum of Asia on 27th February 2001 and it was inaugurated in August 2002 by the hands of the then chief minister of Andhra Pradesh; Mr. Chandrababu Naidu. Presently maintained by the retired naval staff of the Indian Navy, the Submarine Museum grants an insight into the life at Submarine and the work undertaken by the soldiers while at war or during surveillance. Rupees 25 are charged here as the entry fee and film or video cameras can also be taken inside after paying the fixed charges.
The Naval Museum of Visakhapatnam located within the ENC complex of the city is a highly cherished treasure repository that demonstrates the maritime history of India in an exceptionally systematic and methodical manner of representation. Also known as the ‘Swarna Jyoti Museum’, this Naval Museum of Visakhapatnam was established in the year 1989. This meritoriously informative museum chiefly categorized into five major divisions explicitly; the maritime history, naval archives, eastern seaboard establishments & ports, ocean resources and Aquaria displays the models of warships, various naval equipments used in warfare, pictures, and data related to the rich maritime history of the country. Aside from this, the Swarna Jyoti Museum also illustrates the Indian Naval Heritage and the gradual growth and advancement of the Indian Navy starting from the pre-independence era. Apart from the naval exhibits, the Naval Museum of Visakhapatnam also showcases a collection of artifacts bearing immense archaeological significance. All these relics and artifacts are gathered from different historically and archaeologically important sites including Lothal, Indus Valley, Harappa and other ancient and decrepit civilizations.
The War Memorial of Visakhapatnam also known as the ‘Victory at Sea’ is a commemorative plaque that is raised in the remembrance of India’s naval conquest in the Indo Pak War of 1971. The War Memorial also pays a tribute to the soldiers who gave up their lives fighting for the protection of their Mother Land. To be found along the Beach Road right opposite the Submarine Museum of Visakhapatnam, the War Memorial depicts a fighter plane, a tank and some replicas of missiles & bombs put up as the exhibits. This impressive tower like structure delimited by a circumscribing concrete wall replicates the Amar Jawan Jyoti positioned at the India Gate of New Delhi. Established in the year 1996 by the Eastern Naval Command, the War Memorial is one of the must visit destinations of this Port City. The cenotaph is even visible from the road and no entry fee is charged from the visitors here.
Indira Gandhi Zoological Park
The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park of Visakhapatnam christened after Late Mrs. Indira Gandhi; the 3rd Prime Minister of India is a wildlife garden where numerous species of rare and endangered fauna and avifauna are sheltered within their natural habitat. Opened to the public from 19th May 1977, this zoological park thronged by hordes of tourists and visitors every single day has acquired vital significance on the tourism map of Visakhapatnam. Acclaimed amongst the largest zoological parks of the state of Andhra Pradesh, this animal repository nestled in the midst of the Kambalakonda Reserve Forest of Visakhapatnam covers an extensive area of 625 acres in total. Enclosed by the aerial precipices of the Eastern Ghats on 3 sides and restricted by the unfathomable sweeps of the Bay of Bengal on the fourth side, the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park is located about 4 kilometers from the Visakhapatnam Railway Station and can be accessed through the NH 5. Approximately 800 animals of different 80 species dwell in this secured haven. They are divided into separate sections like carnivores, lesser carnivores, small mammals, primates, reptiles, ungulates, birds, and so on. Some of the noteworthy animals residing in the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park of Visakhapatnam include Lions, Tigers, Panthers, Pumas, Jaguars, Wolves, Hyena, Jackals, Ratels, Elephant, Spotted Deer, Bison, Sambar, Rhesus Monkey, Sacred Baboons, Mandrills, Tortoise, Pythons, Snakes, Monitor Lizards, Ducks, Peacocks, Painted Storks, Cocktails, Macaws, Pied Hornbills, etc. Tourists can pay a visit to this Zoological Park on all days of the week but Monday. A mini train operating here takes you on a ride to the entire park.
The Dolphin’s Nose, suspended atop a rocky promontory overlooking the Yarada Beach from the elevation of 358 meters above the sea level is an enormous 174 meters tall rock that resembles the dolphin’s nose in its shape and silhouette. Positioned in the southern Visakhapatnam, this enchanting vantage point cuddled amidst the verdurous surroundings and surveying the sapphire blue waters of the Bay of Bengal from the top, offers the most arresting prospects of the downtown Visakhapatnam City and several beaches of the vicinity elegantly skirting the littoral. This rarest natural bequest beckons multitude of tourists and picnickers all through the year. The Dolphin’s Nose earlier serving as an army campground for British forces today bears a lighthouse that directs the sea vessels from as far as 65 kilometers. Some of the most popular tourist attractions situated in the proximity to the Dolphin’s Nose include the Venkateswara Konda, Ross Hill, Dargah Konda, St. John’s Church, and so on.
The Araku Valley located just 114 kilometers from Visakhapatnam and easily approachable both by trains and roadways is an ambrosial hill station of the Visakhapatnam District that is particularly distinguished for its enchanting natural splendor aggrandized with verdant hills, lush gardens, luxuriant coffee plantations, scintillating brooks and rivulets, sparkling milky waterfalls and the all encompassing greenery that adds to the celestial aura of the vicinity. A home to over 17 aboriginal tribes of Andhra Pradesh, the exuberant Araku Valley snuggled in the cradle of the paradisiacal Eastern Ghats happens to be one of the least commercialized tourist destinations of the southern India. Measuring about 911 meters in its average elevation, the Araku Valley sited on the brink of the Orissa state boundary is encircled by Raktakonda, Galikonda, Chitamogondi, Sunkarimetta and other mountains. The Sunkarimetta and Anantagiri Reserved Forests rich in their biodiversity comprise a part of the Araku Valley. Moreover, Araku is also reckoned on the worldwide front for its coffee plantations. India’s first and foremost tribal growers’ organic coffee brand was launched in Araku Valley in the year 2007 and the ‘Araku Emerald’ brand of the organic coffee today sells all over the world. Araku Valley, a heaven for tourists, nature lovers, environmentalists and anthropologists is also renowned for the Dhimsa tribal dance exclusively performed here. The scenic Araku Valley has been a backdrop to numerous Tamil films such as Happy Days, Katha, Darling, etc.
The Borra Caves, also reckoned as the ‘Borra Guhalu’ and located about 90 kilometers from Visakhapatnam on the way to the Araku Valley are the natural prehistoric caverns of great geological importance those receive hordes of geologists and tourists all through the year. Discovered in 1807 by a British geologist; William King George, the Borra Caves based in the Ananthagiri Hills of the Araku Valley happen to be one of the largest and deepest caves of the country. Perched at the elevation of 705 meters and measuring about 80 meters in their depth, the interiors of the Borra Caves conspicuously delineate unique Stalagmite and Stalactite formations. A Shiva Temple is positioned in the neighborhood of the Borra Caves where a stone formation caricaturing the head of a cow can be sighted. The Gosthani River originates from here. A stroll around the Borra Caves presents a striking spectacle of the surrounding mountains rich in their flora and fauna. The interiors of the Borra Caves are illuminated with 26 mercury, halogen electric lamps and sodium vapor which provide enchanting views of the extraordinary Stalagmite and Stalactite formations here. Andhra Pradesh State Tourism Department organizes day trips and guided package tours to the Borra Caves and Araku Valley for the convenience of the tourists. The most ideal months for paying a visit to the Borra Caves are November and December. The caves remain open for the public visits between 10:00 am and 5:30 pm.
The Ramakrishna Breach of Visakhapatnam also commonly reckoned by its abbreviated title ‘RK Beach’ is the most popular and the most happening seashore of this Port City that is cram packed with both locals and tourists particularly on weekends, holidays and during the vacations. Located just 5 kilometers from the heart of the city and comprising the maximal portion of the coastline of Visakhapatnam, the Ramakrishna Breach is developed and maintained by the Municipal Corporation of Visakhapatnam in collaboration with the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority. The visitors from all walks of life and holding all sorts of preferences and inclinations are equally entertained at the Ramakrishna Breach. When people dressed up in their best attires gather at the RK Beach in the evening and indulge in various recreational activities available here with their near and dear ones, the entire Ramakrishna Breach infused with the carnival spirit looks tremendously fantastic. Tourists love to spend their evenings reposing on the velvety sands of the RK Beach and witnessing the pageantry of colors performed in the empyrean sky at the time of sunset. As the beach is not safe for swimming or sea bathing, tourists generally prefer to take a leisurely stroll along the seaside or relax enjoying the sunbathing. The Ramakrishna Beach along with its twin Lawson’s Bay offers astonishingly picturesque vistas of the surrounding landscapes basking in the unparalleled heavenly magnificence. Some of the must visit tourist attractions near the RK Beach include the Rishikonda Beach, Submarine Museum, VUDA Park, Victory at Sea War Memorial, Kali Temple, Matsyadarshini, various statues of eminent personalities, several beautiful parks, roadside restaurants and so on. The natural harbor of Visakhapatnam is positioned to the north-east of the Ramakrishna Beach from where cruises for Andaman and Nicobar Islands start. Moreover, tourists can revel in the boat rides here which are arranged by the local fishermen.
The Lawson’s Bay Beach, also known as the ‘Pedawaltair Beach’ is the twin shore of the famous RK Beach of Visakhapatnam that is particularly cherished amongst the tourists for its incomparable natural bloom and its exceptionally serene and unruffled ambience. Positioned in the close proximity to the Ramakrishna Beach on the way to the Kailasagiri Mount, the Lawson’s Bay is a charming quiescent coast that is essentially extolled for its sparkling golden sand and its flourishing verdant greenery. The crystal clear waters of the Bay of Bengal especially characterized with calm waves and shallow bottom provide a perfect venue for swimming, surfing, sea bathing and other exciting water sports and beach activities.
The Rishikonda Beach of Visakhapatnam one of the most untouched and immaculate beaches of Southern India is extremely admired amongst the swimmers, wind surfers and water skiers for its endless stretches of calm and composed water distinguished by its gentle and tidy waves and its placid & peaceful demeanor. Situated about 8 kilometers from the heart of the city, the Rishikonda Beach wearing the golden cloak of the sun kissed sand is garlanded with a wreath of fresh green plants and exuberant foliage. Greatly sought after by scores of nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts, the Rishikonda Beach is truly a must visit spot before you call it a trip.
The Gangavaram Port of Visakhapatnam situated about 12 kilometers from the heart of the city is the deepest harbor of the country that measures about 21 meters in its total depth. Inaugurated in July 2009 by the hands of the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh; Mr. Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, the Gangavaram Port is presently managed by the Gangavaram Port Ltd. Apart from the deepest port of India, Gangavaram is also reckoned for its Gangavaram Beach laden with immense natural splendor. This spectacular beach marvelously fringed with the series of the swaying palm trees is frequently thronged by thousands of locals and tourists. Aside form its creamy soft sand and its picturesque coastline, the Gangavaram Beach also offers eye-catching panoramas of the Pitta Konda (sited in the middle of the sea) and the Krishna Temple perched atop the opposite hillock. The Gangavaram Beach has also provided backdrops to many films and TV serials.
‘Bhimli’ or ‘Bheemunipatnam’ believed to have originated during the Mahabharata Era and supposed to be christened after the powerful Pandava brother ‘Bheema’ is one of the oldest existing human settlements of India that is located about 50 kilometers to the northeast of Visakhapatnam. Positioned at the confluence of the Gosthani River and the Bay of Bengal, Bhimli, also reckoned as ‘Hollander’s Green’, was an erstwhile Dutch habitat. Several vestiges of a Dutch colony, a ruined fort, the Bell of Arms and a 17th century Dutch Cemetery preserved here beckon myriads of tourists to Bheemunipatnam every year. Some other sightseeing attractions of Bhimli include ‘Erra Matti Dibbalu’ (Red Earth Hillocks), the Red Church dating mid 19th century, the lighthouse dated 1868, Lord Narasimha Temple, Bhimeswara Swamy Temple, and so on. The 25 kilometers long stretch of Visakhapatnam – Bheemunipatnam Road which runs parallel to the coastline of Bay of Bengal is one of the longest beach roads of India. A ride along this coastal highway yields an absolutely breathtaking and awe-inspiring experience. This road will soon be converted to a wide 4-lane carriageway embellished with all the natural and artificial beautifications. The Bhimli Beach happens to be one of the safest beaches of the vicinity for swimming. Garlanded with a number of VUDA Parks, the Bhimli Beach laden with the untouched splendor of the rural setting is an ideal spot to witness the local fishermen at work.