Tourist Places in Visakhapatnam
History of Visakhapatnam
The city is mentioned in the Ramayana and Mahabharata as a city that was once roamed by Rama and Lakshman in search of Sita, Rama’s wife. The Mahabharata says that Bakasura, the evil demon was killed in a place close to Vishakapatnam by Bheema.
Vishakapatnam was also home to Buddhism in the early history of India under the Kalingas and King Asoka, one of the most important kings of Indian history. The city was also under the rulers of Vengi, Chalukya, Chola, Ganga, Pallava and the Gajapathi dynasty. Vishakapatnam was also under the Mughal rule who ruled from Hyderabad.
This port city was under the British who developed the city and used it as a trading centre. The port used to be a place where tobacco, ivory, muslin and other products were exported by the English East India Company.
Simhachalam, also known as Simhadri, is a beautiful Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Narasimha. It is believed that the hill top is a holy adobe of Varaha Narasimha Swami. The name of the temple is derived from the word Narasimha, nara meaning male and simha meaning lion, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
The presiding deity of the temple is Varaha Lakshminarasimha, which is a combination of the features of Varaha and Narasimha. The idol resembles Shivalingam that is enshrined within the temple. This Shivalingam is covered with sandal paste throughout the year. During the occasion of Chandana Visarjana, the sandal paste on the Shivalingam is removed and the image is seen by pilgrims and devotees. Besides idols, the temple also houses beautiful stone chariot, which is drawn by horses.
The temple was constructed in 1098 by Kuloththunga, the famous Chola king. Further, the Queen of ancient Orissa covered the image with gold during 1137-56 and Narasimha Deva, the eastern Ganga King of Orissa, constructed central shrine in 1267. Apart from this, the shrine was visited twice by Sri Krishna Deva Raya in 1516 and 1519 after defeating Gajapati Prataparudra Dev, the Gajapati ruler of Orissa.
In addition to this, the temple activities are managed by Pusapati Gajapathi since the last three centuries. The artwork of the shrine is similar to that of the Konark Temple at Gujarat. The walls and boundaries of the temple are decorated with elephants, flowers and plants. The exteriors of the temple are adorned with various images of King Narasimha in various postures.
The sanctum of the temple has Kalyana Mandapam, which is supported by 16 pillars that are located within the temple. Each pillar is beautifully adorned with images of various incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
Araku Valley is located at an average altitude ranging between 600 m and 900 m above the sea level. Spreading over an area of 36 km, the valley is situated on Eastern Ghats and offers beautiful views of valley, waterfalls and streams.
The pleasant weather and beautiful hills and valleys make the place ideal for its natural beauty and coffee plantations. Housing more than 17 tribal societies, Dhimsa dance with colourful costumes is the main attraction of the region depicting rich culture and tradition. Itika Pongal is the famous festival celebrated in the region with fervour.
Other major attractions of the area include Padmapuram Gardens, Paderu, Sangda Falls, Rishikonda Beach and Matsyagundam. Apart from this, tourists can visit the Araku Tribal Museum for having a glimpse of tribal lifestyle and can purchase articles related to tribal handicrafts.
Rushikonda Beach is dotted with golden sand and the tidy waves of Bay of Bengal. Possessing a vast stretch of water, it is an ideal beach for indulging in various water sports such as swimming, water skiing and wind surfing. Lined with green plants and foliage, the beach attracts many nature lovers and adventure lovers to the destination.
Dolphin’s Nose is one of the popular tourist attractions located in the southern part of the destination. Possessing a height of about 174 metres, the rocky headland is surmounted on an average altitude of 358 metres above the sea level. The name of the place is derived from the shape of the rock, which resembles a nose of the dolphin.
Ramakrishna Mission, also known as The Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, was built in 1938 on Ramakrishna Beach. Apart from offering natural and peaceful environment, the ashram is famous for offering beautiful view of the rising sun. Established with an aim of providing educational, cultural and medical facilities, the ashram has provided a number of services for the relief and rehabilitation of the poor.
The ashram houses an English-medium high school, a library, an allopathic dispensary and a doll exhibition hall, which display life of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda and Holy Mother. The building possesses a beautiful garden and tourists can visit this place for attending various meditation and reincarnation activities.
Being a prime attraction in its natural form, the place is frequently thronged by tourists round the year, which offers beautiful view of the entire city. The place houses a lighthouse that directs ships from the distance of around 65 kilometres. In 1876 due to cyclone, the earlier lighthouse was damaged; however, the present lighthouse possesses the facility of cyclone forecasting.
Besides being an army base camp for Britishers in 18th century, the place is also a popular picnic spot among locals of the region. Some of the popular attractions located in close vicinity include Ross Hill, a temple on Venkateswara hill, St. Johns Church and a tomb named Ishak Medina.
Borra Caves are situated on the East Coast of India in the Anantagiri Hill range of the Araku Valley. Spread across an area of about 2 sq km, the caves are situated around 1,400 m above sea level. In 1807, the caves were discovered by William King George of the Geological Survey of India. Considered to be one of the largest caves in India, the caves have karstic limestone structures, which extend to a depth of 80 m.
A small temple inside the cave was believed to be constructed by the locals in respect to the religious incident that once happened in the region. According to the popular story narrated by the tribal people residing in this area, a cow which was grazing on the top of the caves dropped through a hole in the roof. When cowherd was searching for the cow, he came across the caves and found a stone inside the cave, which resembled a Shivalingam.
Tourists can spot number of bats and golden gecko in these caves. Mosses and brown-to-green algae are some of the popular floras seen inside these caves. The interiors of these caves are installed with sixty three lamps of mercury, sodium vapour and halogen lamps. The destination also has several mica mines; hence a project named Thalipudi Reservoir Scheme is introduced for mining precious stones like rubies.
Ross Hill, popularly known as Kanyamarykonda, is one of the highest peaks on Eastern
Ghats. The hill is named after an Englishman Mr. Ross, who constructed his house on this hill during 1864. The hill is dedicated to three different faiths; hence, it is visited by people belonging to different religions and castes.
The house was later transformed into a Roman Catholic chapel named, Our Lady of the Sacred Heat. The path leading to the chapel is beautifully adorned with Catholic icons and images. Another hill houses Ishak Medina, a tomb of the Sayed Ali Medina, a Muslim saint. The Venkateswara hill has a beautiful temple dedicated to Sri Venkateswara Konda.
The hill offers a beautiful view of various beaches, shipbuilding yard and the Visakhapatnam Port.
Bheemli Beach, also known as Bheemunipatnam Beach, is situated at the assemblage of Gosthani River and the Bay of Bengal. Situated on a 30 km long Bheemli Visakhapatnam Beach road, the beach offers beautiful view of sea, sand, hills and greenery. Dotted with fishing villages, pine trees and small temple structures, the beach is covered with golden sand.
Possessing historical and religious significance, the beach has various ruins of 17th century fort and cemetery. It is believed that the name of the beach is derived from the name Bheema, one of the Pandavas. Evidences for Dutch settlement in the earlier period of 16th century include the ruined fort, cemetery and a still functioning lighthouse. Apart from this, the historical evidences for Buddhist Culture dating back to 2nd century can be noticed on the hillock Pavuralakonda, popularly known as Narsimhaswami konda among locals.
Surrounded by beautiful lush green areas, the beach is adorned with various statues of Buddha. The beach is considered one of the safest and calmest locations for swimmers.
Gangavaram Beach is one of the beautiful beaches located on the south of Visakhapatnam. Located in close vicinity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, the beach is lined with huge and shady palm trees. Owing to its beautiful surroundings and vast coastline, the beach is an ideal place for numerous Indian film and TV serial makers.
Offering beautiful views of Pitta Konda in the middle of the ocean and the Krishna Temple on opposite hill, the beach is frequently thronged by tourists.
Pavuralakonda is located at a distance of around 24 kilometres from the destination. The popular hillock is lying on the west of Bheemunipatnam and is situated at a height of around 168 metres above the sea level. Covering an area of over 10 to 12 acres, the site offers bird-eye view of curved linear coast line and chain of hills situated on the sides of south-west and north-west.
Vuda Park, also known as Taraka Rama Park, is one of the beautiful tourist attractions that spread over an area of around 55 acres. Dotted with over 2,500 shady trees, the 37 acres of total land is covered with lawns, various species of flower plants, hedge plants and others.
The park houses a variety of children play areas, musical fountains, boating club, Yoga Centre, a multi gym, Kala Vedika and pagodas. The Entrance Plaza and MGM Dizzy World are the other prominent attractions in the park. Apart from this, the children world houses The Children Theatre, The Children Club, Mini Library and Mini Zoo. Apart from this, various competitions on Independence Day, Republic Day, Children’s Day and Gandhi Jayanti are organised in the park.
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