Visakhapatnam | India
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Visakhapatnam (also known locally as Vizag) is the largest city in Andhra Pradesh. It is primarily an industrial city, but also attracts tourists due to its unspoiled sandy beaches, well built and maintained parks, Buddhist Remnant sites and nearby scenic areas, such as the Araku Valley. The city has a population of about 2 million.


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Planning a Trip

1 Get in 1.1 By plane 1.2 By train 1.3 By road By plane Vizag is connected by air to Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Tirupati, Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore through its customs airport, an airport with restricted access, by major mainline airlines like Air India and Jet Airways and some low-cost carriers like SpiceJet and IndiGo. Singapore Airlines' subsidiary Silkair is the first non-Indian airline to operate at the city. AirAsia and Malindo Air from Malaysia operate scheduled flights from Kuala Lumpur. By train Visakhapatnam is on Kolkata-Chennai main line and is connected to several cities of the country by rail. This being a major station and a terminal, all trains including super fast expresses stop at the station. Visakhapatnam station comes under the East Coast Railways zone and is one of the principal Divisional Headquarters (under the British name Waltair). It has 8 serving platforms, the first in East Coast railways to have this many, and all of them can accommodate trains with up to 28 coaches. Vizag railway station overview Visakhapatnam Beach Road from Kailashagiri You may want to verify the timings with Indian Railways, since they change from time to time. Train berths can be reserved online. However, this being a major destination, availability of seats is at times difficult even with a one month's advance planning. From Hyderabad The average distance between the two cities is about 700 km. However different trains take different routes, and hence have different journey times. Godavari Express (train number 12728/12727) departs daily from Hyderabad Deccan Station at 5:15PM and from Secunderabad at 5:45PM, arrives the following morning in Visakhapatnam at 5:50AM. The train departing from Visakhapatnam starts at 5:25PM and reaches its destination the next day morning at 6:15AM. Godavari express is known to operate on-time and is the most preferred train between the two cities. Visakha Express (train number 17015/17016) connects Bhubaneshwar, the capital of the state of Odissa, to Hyderabad's Secunderabad Junction. The train departs daily from Secunderabad Station at 5PM, arriving the following morning at Visakhapatnam at 7:15AM. This train runs via Nadikude, Guntur, Vijayawada and Bhimavaram Town. It passes on to Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and to Bhubaneshwar. On the return the train leaves Bhubaneshwar at 8:35AM and reaches the city in the evening at 4:10PM. The train is however infamous for its delays and is less preferred. Falaknuma express (train number 12703/12704) connects Kolkata's Howrah Junction to Hyderabad's Secunderabad Junction. The train departs from Secunderabad at 4PM, arriving the following early morning in Visakhapatnam at 3:30AM. This train on return leaves Howrah at 7:25AM and reaches that night at 9:10PM. It runs faster than most other trains and is the fastest, non-special train. The train is taken by office-goers as it arrives early at Visakhapatnam plying from the nearby towns. East Coast Express (train number 18645/18646) connects Kolkata's Howrah Junction to Hyderabad's Secunderabad Junction. This train leaves Hyderaabad at 10AM and is scheduled to arrive at Visakhapatnam at 11:35PM that night. On the reverse the train leaves Howrah at 11:45AM and reaches the next day early morning 4:15AM. Janmabhoomi Express (train number 12806/12805) is a day time seater train that connects the city to Hyderabad's Secunderabad Junction. In Hindi, 'Janmabhoomi' means 'birth place'. The train's rakes are composed of ordinary chair cars and air conditioned chair cars. There are no sleeper berths on this train. It leaves Secunderabad in the morning at 7:10AM and is scheduled to reach Visakhapatnam by that day evening 7:40PM. The train leaves Visakhapatnam at 6:15AM in the morning and reaches its destination that day evening at 6:35PM. Garibrath Express (train number 12740/12739) connects the city to Hyderabad's Secunderabad Junction. Up to 2012, this was the fastest train between the two cities. Garibrath, in Hindi, means a 'chariot for the poor'. The train stops at a very few stations. The train is fully air conditioned. However, blankets, bed sheets, and pillows are not included in the fare and have to be bought separately after boarding the train. No food is made available in the train so the passengers have to carry some along. The train was originally launched under the Garibrath scheme to provide air conditioned trains for the poor. The train leaves Secunderabad at 8:15PM in the evening and reaches Visakhapatnam the next morning at 7:30AM. Duronto Express connects Visakhapatnam to Hyderabad's Secunderabad Junction in 9 hours and 30 minutes. 'Duronto' in Bengali, means quick. This is the only non-stop rail service between the two cities. It is equipped with fully air conditioned coaches. The train costs a little more than ordinary trains. From New Delhi Link Express (train number 12861) connects the city with Hazrath Nizamuddin station of New Delhi. The daily train departs at 3:10PM and reaches the destination at 4:05AM on the third day. So if the train starts on a Sunday it will reach on Tuesday. Samatha Express Swarna Jayanthi Express Hirakud Express AP Express From Mumbai Konark Express Lokmanya Tilak - Visakhapatnam Exp. Pune - Bhubaneswar Exp. From Vijayawada Ratnachal Express Simhadri Express Vijaywada-Visakhapatnam Passenger Other weekly trains are also available. Check Indian Railways for details. From Chennai Coromandal Express (Reserved tickets to Vijayawada and Rajahmumdry are not issued from Chennai.) Madras-Howrah Mail Other weekly trains are available on some days of the week. Check the Indian Railways for details. From Bangalore Prasanthi express Yeshwantapur Howrah Express Other weekly trains are available on some days of the week. Check Indian Railways for details. From Kolkata Coromandal Express (This train is the fastest train passing through Andhra Pradesh at 140 km/h) Howrah-Madras Mail Falaknuma Express East Coast Express Gurudev Express Thiruchurapalli Express Yeshwantpur Express Other weekly trains are available on some days of the week. Check Indian Railways for details. Visakhapatnam has several satellite stations: Duvvada Kottavalasa Simhachalam Simhachalam (North) Anakapalli Elamanchili Thadi Narasingapalli Bayyavaram By road Visakhapatnam is connected to Chennai and Calcutta via Bhubaneswar and Vijayawada by National Highway 5 (dual-carriageway, 120 km/h). The Andhra Pradesh State Road Travel Corporation (APSRTC) runs buses from almost every city and town to Vizag, along with some private operators, who run buses from a few of the major cities. Please check with APSRTC for timings. There is also a Garuda fleet of bus service (Volvo) to Vizag from Chennai, Bangalore, Vijayawada and Hyderabad which is very comfortable and happy going. This is the best way to do it if you want to travel by bus. APSRTC has several other bus services which have varied luxury levels and transit speeds. You might want to check the APSRTC at least 3 days in advance to be sure you have a reservation.


Getting Around

17°42′51″N 83°19′25″EMap of Visakhapatnam Visakhapatnam has no commuter rail service. However, the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) operates a lit of buses from 6 principal bus complexes in the city. They are: Simhachalam Gajuwaka Maddilapalem Visakha Steel City Waltair Madhurawada Dwarka Bus Station or RTC Complex depot is the largest bus station and complex in the city. There are mainly two types of buses operated for suburban travel in Visakhapatnam. City Ordinary: can be identified by its orange or red colour. It is operated on almost all suburban routes. Some of the main routes include RTC Complex- Gajuwaka(via NAD), Maddilapalem- Railway Station, RTC Complex- Gajuwaka ( via Scindia), Railway Station- Madhurawada, etc. These buses stop at almost every bus stop. The frequency is more than that of Metro Express buses. These buses sometimes become overcrowded during peak hours on weekdays. Some popular route numbers include 222, 400, 99, 25, 900, 60C, 300, 6A, 28, 38 and 12D. Metro Express: can be identified by their blue and white colour. These buses run in most important routes such as 400, 211, 500, 99, 28, 38 etc. These buses don't stop at all bus stops and the fare for these buses is also a bit higher than that for city ordinary buses.Many of these buses are JNNURM funded and sport digital display boards which display route number and route details in both English and Telugu. Also most of these have cushioned seats which are comfortable and many of them also have air-suspension which makes the journey more comfortable. These buses don't get as crowded as City Ordinary buses. The junction and Maddilapalem joins the Asilametta-Ramatalkies road to the National Highway 5. Buses from Madilapalem ply to the extreme ends of the city, including Anakapalle and Thagarapuvalasa. Visakha Museum the Maritime Wing Fares The bus fare to get to Madilapalem from the railway station is only ₹8. Buses operate within a 5 minute frequency in routes with high demand. The minimum frequency in which buses operate is 40 minutes, i.e., every route is covered by an APSRTC bus once in every 40 minutes. The current list of destinations covered by the buses and their route numbers are available at Wikipedia. Apart from buying tickets on the bus, you may also avail an RTC-Pass, which is a special type of pass that can be renewed once in a month. With the pass, you can board any APSRTC bus and travel anywhere within the city limits. An ordinary RTC-Pass costs just ₹750 which is around 13 dollars and in USD. The RTC complex is to the southeast of Asilametta. RTC complex is generally referred to as complex and is connected to every other region in the city. Apart from the bus, taxi/autorikshaw can also be hired. The autorikshaw is a mini taxi which is much more cheaper, but less convenient.


Top Attractions

Beach view at Tenneti Park in Visakhapatnam Kailash Hill (Kailasagiri). 6 km away from the city centre. There is a park on the hill top, from here one can see a beautiful view of the city, the sea and Eastern Ghats merging into the sea. One can take a ropeway directly facing sea and city. On the hill top there is a beautiful toy train that give a glimpse of the beauty of nature that one can think of. There are several view points that give a pleasant look of the nature. This place unlike other hill stations is not yet commercial. One can have a very leisure time without being disturbed by tourist guides. Once you come down from Kailashgiri one should visit Tenneti Beach Park. Its picture perfect scenic beauty along with luxuriant carpet grass intertwined with concrete pathways makes it the most revered place for romantic couples. There are several points from which the beautiful rocky beach down beneath can be seen. This is one of the world class spectacular views on to watch the sun rise and sun set. Many movies were shot here. Its view points are so positioned that gives a view of the pristine waters. Hillocks in the park which is about 50 ft in elevation that gives a beautiful view of the sea, beach road and the beach park. The ambiance at this Tenneti Beach park is simply mind blowing.Also, if you have a couple of days in your pocket, don't miss the train journey from Visakhapatnam to Araku which is the most enjoyable train route in the state. There is only one train to Araku from Vizag which starts at 6:50AM at Vizag railway station. That is a 4 hour journey in the eastern ghats which covers many tunnels and valleys on the way. Don't forget to remember take a snap at "Shimiliguda" railway station in the route, which is the highest railway station in India on broad gauge track.  18.333382.86671 Araku Valley. A little further away from the city (6 hr by train or public bus), but worth visiting for the scenic valley. A slow, passenger train leaves the Vizag station early in the morning (at 6:50AM), and the train ride is actually very enjoyable. Make sure to reach at least an hour before its departure to get a seat. The runs through lot of small mountains and tunnels. Araku valley is definitely not a day trip, but the APTDC facilities can serve as a decent over night stay. Make sure to book your APTDC rooms early. Padmavathi botanical gardens is worth taking a look at. November to February are the best months to visit this place and making an early reservation in the lodges is advisable as Araku Valley has very limited number of lodges and hotels. Travel in and Araku valley is limited by limited public bus service. At APTDC lodge, cabs can be hired for a day trip thru the valley to Bora caves and the ride is amazing.  18.280883.039722 Borra Caves. Reputedly fantastic caverns that had their native charm earlier, these caves have been modernized by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC). There is an entry fee of ₹30. Separate charges are there to enter with still or video camera. It is a must visit place for all tourists visiting Vizag. Don't forget a big bottle of drinking water.  Lord narasimha rock cut statue at Simhachalam temple Jagadamba Center (Jagadamba Junction). Can be considered as Downtown and is a must visit for all shopaholics. Most of the famous shopping centers and malls can be found here. Named after the Jagadamba movie theatre, one of the best movie auditoriums of the country when it was constructed and even today.  Ropeway car at Kailasagiri, Visakhapatnam 17.7492283.34223 Kailasagiri. A local favourite, a short ride on to this hill gives you a spectacular view of the sea, RK.Beach and Rushikonda Beach on right and left hand side. There is a huge sculpture of Shiva and Parvathi. With a children's play area, a people-mover akin to a ski lift called a ropeway. Beautiful scenic view can be obtained from the ropeway, specially in the evening, when the city comes alive with all the lights. The up and down fare for the ropeway is ₹44 (Dec 2006). A doll museum and a couple of eating areas, this hilltop gives a nice birds eye view of the city also. Has several "viewpoints" affording wonderful views of the city on one side and winding beaches adjoining green hills on the other side. Visitors often fall in love with the "beach" city especially after visiting Kailasagiri. Based on this beautiful and rare combination of hill and beach. Tenneti park is a spectacular Eco marvel at the foot of the Rope way.  Kambalakonda Sanctuary, Visakhapatnam 17.7860383.320154 Kambalakonda. A gorgeous nature preserve that many people in Vizag itself seem to be unaware of. The solitude and the peace that one can experience at Kambalakonda within 20-25 minutes drive from the city center is priceless. A nominal entrance fee of ₹10 is charged per adult. The greenery, the hiking trail and the fantastic view of the ocean from the rather flimsy viewing tower give a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city.  Ship Darshani Prem at Vizag seaport Andhra Pradesh Matsyadarshini Aquarium. This aquarium is situated on the left side of Kali temple of R.K. Beach. It has a good collection of marine as well as freshwater fishes. Entry fee is ₹20 per person (Dec 2006). The exit gate of the aquarium resembles the open mouth of a huge white tipped shark. 'Kala Shrusti' a handicrafts sales shop is on the top of the aquarium.  Ross Hill. A unique site to see is the area around Ross hill which has three hills dedicated to three different faiths in proximity to the port. Ross Hill, named after a certain Monsieur Ross who built a house on it in 1864, it has now been converted into a chapel Mother Mary's Church. The pathway to the shrine strewn with Catholic icon. Darga Pahad has the tomb of the Muslim saint, Sayed Ali Medina alias Ishak Medina, visited by Hindu and Muslim devotees alike. Attached to this is a mosque. Sri Venkateswara Konda, the third hillock, has a temple dedicated to the Lord. It is believed to have been built by an Englishman, Captain Blackmoor, in the 19th century. From this hillock you can see the port channel, which was the entrance of the inner harbor for ships and liners.  17.7452583.220995 Simhachalam. A must see on a trip to Visakhapatnam, for its architectural splendour although some of the sculptures were defaced during the Islamic invasions. The temple inscriptions date the earliest donors to the 10-11th centuries. The exact date of construction is unknown. It is 15 km from the city and is dedicated to the half man half lion avatar of Lord Vishnu. The temple bears reference to the Chola and Chalukya styles of architecture. The environment in the temple is very different and very pleasant. It also has a local railway station.  1971 War Memorial at Vizag Beach War Memorial. There is a war memorial in remembrance of the Victory at Sea on 1971 Indo Pak war. It is on the Beach Road, opposite the Submarine Museum. There is a fighter plane, a tank and few replicas of missiles kept as exhibits. There is no entry fee and can be viewed from the road.  Museums INS Kursura at RK Beach in Vizag Bavikonda Stupas, Visakhapatnam Maha Stupa at Thotlakonda Monastic Complex, Vizag 17.710183.015026 Bojjana Konda. It is near Sankaram village in the hamlet of Anakapalli, 40 km from Visakhapatnam, is one such place, where one can find architectural remnants of the Buddhist period, one of the earliest of its class in South India. It constitutes one of the most remarkable groups of Buddhist monuments dated from 200 BC to 700 AD, found during excavations in 1906. On the eastern hill, there are a series of rock-cut caves, numerous groups of monolithic dagobas, standing on rock platform in tiers above each other and, crowning all, a rock-cut stupa with extensive structural remains. On the western side of the eastern hill is a stairway, partly rock-cut and partly structural, which leads up to a large double-storied cave. The cave is entered by a doorway and is flanked on each side by huge dwarapalas. The cave chamber is rectangular in shape and is divided into 20 compartments by four cross rocks of 16 massive pillars. In the centre is the rock-cut stupa standing on a square platform.  Buddhist excavations. Bojjana Konda, Thotla Konda, Bhavi Konda and Salihundam around Visakhapatnam were centres of Buddhism during the second century A.D. Several Buddhist monuments such as stupas and chaityas were erected at these places. It is said that some of the corporal relics of the Buddha were preserved at these places. Hence all these places became sacred places.  Naval Museum. This is another museum about maritime history of India. Again its a lovely museum displaying pictures, models and content of Indian maritime history.  Submarine Museum. One of a kind museum created in a real (now decommissioned) submarine of Indian Navy.This is the first of its kind in eastern Asia. This submarine is one of the earliest submarine procured from Russia. One gets to interesting facts of working in the submarine. The museum is manned by retired naval people. Entry fee for the museum is ₹.25 for the adults and there is a fee to take any camera or video camera inside. ₹25.