Visiting Places / Institutions
Places for study tours
Visakhapatnam is a Tourist Haven! There are number of places of tourist interest in Visakhapatnam right from temples and Buddhist sites to nature spots and beaches.
Just 8Kms from Vizag, Rushikonda beach is a picture perfect setting with golden sands, surf, sea and hill cottages overlooking the grand vista. For lovers of swimming and water sports like skiing and wind surfing, Rushikonda is an ideal destination. At the end of a grueling session, one can always chillout at the bar cum restaurant attached to the cottage.
The 25 Kms stretch of road literally hugging the coastline from Visakhapatnam is simply breathtaking. On the way one can venture into "Erramattidibbalu", beautiful formation of red sand, or the shallow waters of the unending beach. Bheemili a sleepy little town, is the second oldest municipality in the country. The colonial past of the town is evident in the remains of a once thriving Dutch Settlement. River Gosthani at the mouth of which Bheemili lies forms an alluring recess to the town. The important landmarks of Bheemili includes, pilgrimage centers, temples, old churches, clock tower, light house, port and more.
It is the most prominent and unforgettable landmark in Visakhapatnam. It is a single and massive hillock of more than 350mts height, resembles the Dolphin�s nose hence the name. It protects the Visakhapatnam Harbour as well as the Head Quarters of Eastern Naval Command. Visakhapatnam Port Trust�s, Light House is situated on top of the hill and guides the approaching ships to Visakhapatnam. The port channel cuts in between three hills which emphasis the lovely topography of Visakhapatnam. Ross Hill, the highest mount named after Mr. Ross, local authority, who built a house on it in 1864, Darga konda, has a mosque and a shrine of a Muslim sage Ishaque Madina, who was revered for his prophecies. Sri Venkateswarakonda has a temple, which was built by Capt. Blackmoor in 1886.
It is one of the most prominent beaches on the East Cost. It is the most happening place in Visakhapatnam one of the crowed pullers in the city. It is commonly called as R K Beach, which derives its name from the Lord Ramakrishna Mission. The important landmarks in the city viz. Submarine Museum, Visakha Museum, Aquarium, number of road side parks with children play equipments & lawns, War Memorial, statues of eminent personalities and many more are situated in this beach only.
Kailasagiri Park located on a picturesque hill is truly an outstanding tourist spot in Visakhapatnam city. Located at an altitude of 130mtrs.this hill park faces the Bay of Bengal. The ranges are appropriately named Kailasagiri owing to the presence of the statue of the celestial couple (Siva-Parvathi statue). The high point also gives a panoramic view of the city, its beaches. There is a well-laid road for motorists and steps for pedestrians. The entire area is illuminated and presents a fantastic sight when viewed in the night from any part of the city.
While all this makes the ambience suitable for tourism, the presence of huge idol makes the place worth seeing for the devotes. The Titanic view point, manicured lawns and flower beds, food court, a jungle trail, souvenir shop, telescopic viewpoint and many more. The other major attractions are the introduction of Ropeway to the hill, art gallery, and air conditioned Conference Hall & Capsule Lift to the highest view point.
One of the most exquisitely sculpted shrines of Andhra Pradesh, Simhachalam temple is situated 16 km from Vizag among thickly wooded hills. The beautifully-carved 16-pillared Natya mantapa and the 96-pillared Kalyana mantapa bear testimony to the architectural brilliance of the temple. The image of the presiding deity, Sri Lakshminarasimha Swamy, is covered by a thick layer of sandalwood paste.
The Vuda Park:
The park named after Mr. N.T. Rama Rao, former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, popularly known as Vuda Park is a heavy crowd puller and has dancing musical fountains, boating facility, skating ring, a well-equipped gymnasium and a stable offering pleasure rides on camels and horses.
Indira Gandhi Zoological Park:
Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, situated in between the National Highway -5 & Beach road, spreading over an area of 625 acres, exhibits about 700 animals belonging to about 89 species. The important attractions of the Zoo are Deer Safari, Nocturnal animals, Toy train, Shanty Sarovar view, Zoo van drive and Bay of Bengal view points.
Araku is one of the most important tourist destination in Andhra Pradesh. A pleasant hill station famous for its scenic gardens with lush green nature, valleys, waterfalls and streams. It is situated at a distance of 112 km from Visakhapatnam, The journey to Araku valley on the Eastern Ghats with thick forest on either sides is itself highly interesting and pleasant. The place is over 3200ft. high with a bracing climate. The Botanical Garden at Padmapuram, Government Silk Farm with Mulberry gardens is the live examples to know the socio-economic conditions of the area.
Tribal Museum is a biggest attraction of the Araku. Chaaparai, a picturesque place about 15 km from Araku is another picnic spot in this region. One must experience the climatic conditions and the natural beauty of this Valley. The natural beauty of this valley comes alive with the aboriginal tribes who dwell here and who have to this day kept their tradition and culture alive. About 19 tribes inhabit this area. The Dhimsa dance, an age-old folk dance normally performed during �Itikala Pongal� is now offered in tourist�s packages everyday.
On the way to Araku Valley, 90 km from Vizag, Borra Caves house spectacular, million-year-old stalactite and stalagmite formations, standing as a testimonial to its pristine glory and age woven into intricate design through the centuries. While the formations resembling mythological characters are an added attraction, illumination of the caves by AP Tourism turns the naturally sculpted glory into a grand visual feast. The nature made Borra Caves are a million and odd years old and said to be discovered by William King in 1807. The river Gostani, beautiful hills and valleys surround these caves. The local tale says, the tribals discovered the caves, when a cow fell into the caves through the hole of the cave.
These caves are said have their origin from the river Gosthani. It was said, due to the flow of the river Gosthani through the layers of lime earth, the caves were formed, over the course of millions of years, The 300 ft. thick roofed Borra caves spread over one square km., presenting a mind-boggling and breath-taking display of naturally sculpted splendor. This is truly a worth seeing.
Tyda is a small village nestling in the wooded hills of the Eastern Ghats, on the way to Araku from Vizag. Tyda is located 75 kms from Vizag. This place is a natural bounty of flora and fauna, It is now home to an enchanting date with untouched nature. AP Tourism department in association with the Department of Forests ha established the Jungle Bells Nature Camp, an Eco-Tourism Resort. The camp provides great view of Eastern Ghats, facilities for trekking, hiking and bird watching in addition to accommodation in log huts amidst serene surroundings. A must see place for nature lovers.
This place is located at the highest altitude place in Andhra Pradesh. Located on the way to Araku Valley, the entire village is surrounded by coffee plantations, giving you a pleasant feel of nature�s beauty. Several waterfalls, adorn the hillocks around the Village. A. P. Tourism has developed a beautiful wayside restaurant to cater the needs of the tourist passing through Anantagiri towards Araku.
This is a small village situated on the coast of the Bay of Bengal at a distance of 30 kms from Vizag. It assumed religious importance owing to the existence of a Shiva temple containing a life size Nandi carved out of black stone. There are also other small temples around the temple but are mostly covered with sand dunes. The temple contains inscriptions of 12th century A.D. The Shivaratri celebrated here is attended by a large number of devotees.
Over an hour's drive from Vizag, Etikoppaka is a delightful little village on the banks of river Varaha. The craftment of the village have won fame on a national scale with toys made of soft wood called "Ankudu" and coated with lac. These toys are colourful and depict the rural life in an endearingly simple manner.
The Indian Navy has installed a decommissioned Submarine I.N.S. Kurusura on the sands of R K Beach, Visakhapatnam as a Museum for the display to the public and tourists as well. This is the first of its kind in the Asia. The aim of setting up of this museum is to create awareness among the public to know how the submarines work during wartime and how the crew takes action etc.
Visakhapatnam is surronded by ancient Buddist sites, most of which have been excavated recently . The imprint of Buddhist legacy is so strong here that the interest of archeologists in this area is growing by the day.
The Buddhist Complex on the hill-top of Mangamaripeta, locally known as Thotlakonda lies about 16Kms from Visakhapatnam on Vizag Bheemili beach road. It is picturesquely located on the hilltop at about 128mts. high above the MSL. The existence of Buddhist site at Thotlakonda came to light during an aerial survey undertaken by the Indian Navy. After its discovery, the Government of A.P has declared the site measuring an area of 120 acres on the summit as protected monument during 1978.
The excavations that lasted from 1988 to 1992 have exposed structural remains. These remains are classified as A) Religious, B) Secular and C) Civil. These structures include the Stupa, Chaityagrihas, pillared congregation halls, bhandagaras, refectory (bhojanasala), drainage and stone pathways etc. The complex comprises of several structural components such as a Mahastupa, 16 votive stupas, a stone pillared congregation hall, 11 rock-cut cisterns, well paved stone path ways, an apsidal chaitya-griha, 3 circular chaitgya-grihas , two votive platforms, 10 viharas consisted of 72 cells, a kitchen complex with three halls and a refectory (dinning hall) etc. Associated with the above structures were unearthed several inscribed chatra pieces with early Brahmi letters, nine Satavahana and five roman silver coins, terracotta tiles, stucco decorative pieces, sculptured panels, miniature stupa models in stone, Buddha padas depicted with asthamangal symbols, early historic pottery etc.
Bavikonda, an important Buddhist heritage site located on a hill about 15kms., northeast from Visakhapatnam city. Here the Buddhist habitation is noticed on a 40 acres flat terraced area. Bavikonda in Telugu means a hill of wells. A Hinayana school of Buddhism was practiced here. Bavikonda Monastery flourished between 3rd Century B.C., and 3rd Century A.D., The discovery of relic caskets in Mahachaitya is significant. Bavikonda has remains of an entire Buddhist complex, comprising 26 structures belonging to three phases. A piece of bone stored in an urn recovered here is believed to belong to the mortal remains of the Buddha. It also contains large quantity of ash, charcoal, and earthenware. Three abandoned water tanks were also have been found on this hillock.
A Britisher Alexander Rea unearthed Sankaram, a 2000-year-old Buddhist Heritage site in 1907. Located 40 km from South of Vizag, locally it is known as Bojjannakonda. The three phases of Buddhism viz. Hinayana, Mahayana & Vajrayana flourished here. This complex is famous for its numerous Monolithic Votive Stupas, Rock cut caves, and brick build structural edifices. Excavations yielded several historic potteries, Satavahana coins dating back to the 1st century A.D. several clay tablets bearing figures of Buddha etc.
Bojjannakonda, the Eastern one bears richer architecture of the two hills. It presents a picturesque appearance with its Main Stupa on the hilltop and dominating myriads of stupas, mostly rock-cut and rarely brick-built, one above the other. Almost every outcrop and protuberance has been converted boldly into a stupa. Similarly at Lingalakonda, there are innumerable rock-cut monolithic stupas in rows spread all over the hill. Other Attractions are a Maha stupa nearby which yielded a relic casket, 3 chaitya halls, votive platforms, stupas and vajrayana sculptures. A gold coin of Samudragupta dating to 4th century AD was also found at this place. The Vihara was active for about 1000 years, spanning the Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana phases of Buddhism. This place offers a glimpse into the rich Buddhist heritage and culture is a must see for any tourist.
Pavuralakonda or 'the hill of the pigeons' is a hillock lying to the west of Bhimli, at about 24 km from Vizag. The Buddhist setllement found here is estimated to have witnessed human habitation between 1st century BC to 2nd century AD. Sixteen rock cut cisterns for impounding rain water are found on the hillock, which offer a panoramic view of the coastline.
Gopalapatnam, situated on the left bank of River Tandava, is a village surrounded by brick built stupas, viharas and other Buddhist remains. Ancient pottery was also excavated from these sites.