FESTIVALS & FAIRS @ Vizag


Chandana Yatra (or) Chandanotsavam

It is the festival celebrated at the temple of Sri Varaha Lakshminarasimha, Simhachalam. Every year the festival is held during March-April. The idol of the deity at the temple is always kept covered with sandal paste. During the Chandanotsavam festival, the old sandal paste ceremonially removed from the deity and is covered with a fresh layer of sandalwood paste. This festival attracts thousands of devotees from all over the country.

Visakha Utsav

The 3-day long tourism festival, Visakha Utsav is held every year from the third Friday to Sunday of January. Organized by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development, the festival highlights the arts, crafts and cuisine of Vishakhapatnam. Rama Krishna Beach is the main venue of the Visakha Utsav. Various cultural programmers are conducted in which the local artistes participate. Exhibitions, fashion shows, food fairs, etc. are the added attraction of the festival.

Mother Mary’s Church (Rose Hill)

Among the three hills, the central and the highest mountain, the Ross Hill is named after Monsieur Ross. He built a house on it in 1864 which was later converted into a Roman Catholic Chapel ‘Mother Mary’s Church‘. The pathway to the church is lined with statues and the stages of the cross. There is an excellent view of the ship building yard from here.

source: http://www.vizaginformation.com.

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MUSEUMS @ Vizag


Submarine Museum

INS Kurusura, a Russian built forth submarine of the Indian Navy was turned to a museum on 27th Feb 2001. It had been in use by the Indian Defence since its arrival in Vizag in 1970. The Submarine was brought from the sea, to the sands of the Ramakrishna Beach and positioned on concrete foundation to set up as a museum. The museum is the first of its kind in Asia and second in the world. It has been established with the aim to create awareness among the public to know how the submarines work during wartime and for show casing the life inside the submarine, etc. It is opens for public from 9 am to 9 pm.

Anthropology Museum

The department of Anthropology in the Andhra University has its own specialized anthropology Museum. The museum was established in the year 1961.

Visakha Museum

Located on the shores of Ramakrishna Beach has a historical treasures and antiques. This Museum is kept at 150 year old architecturally impressive Dutch Bungalow. It was opened in 1991. The collection of the museum includes ancient armory, crockery, coins, silk costumes, jewelry, stuffed animals, portraits, Shell of an unexploded bomb dropped by the Japanese during World War II, manuscripts, letters, diaries, scrap books as well as periodicals, maps etc which chronicle the lives of the early settlers.

Source: http://www.vizaginformation.com.

PARKS AND GARDENS @ Vizag.


Vuda Park

Vuda Park, which is also known as Taraka Rama Park, located near the Rama Krishna Beach is one of the most attractive leisure spots in Visakhapatnam. The park, named after the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Sri N T Rama Rao, has boating and swimming facilities, a roller skating rink, camel and horse riding, artificial caves, beautiful lawns, flower gardens and a children’s park. The playpen for children has 3000 plastic balls and boxing bags. The dancing musical fountain in the Vuda Park provides wholesome entertainment to visitors.

 

 

Sivaji Park

Sivaji Park is an ideal picnic spot sprawling over 3 acres. It has many attractions like fountains, skating rink, children’s play area, beautiful gardens, food court, etc. In the fountain area, there are three fountain hubs dancing according to the music played. The park opens for the public only in the evenings.

Indira Gandhi Zoological Park

The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, stretched over 635 acres is located 9 kms from the city. The zoo which houses around 80 species of birds and animals is bound by the Eastern Ghats on three sides and the Bay of Bengal on the east . It is one of the largest zoos in Andhra Pradesh. The well-planned layout of the Indira Zoo Park has a wide a variety of animals living in the natural habitat. The wildlife variety ranges from common langurs, mandrills, olive baboons, wolves, jackals to the Himalayan black bear, terrapins, water monitor lizards, crocodiles and hippopotamuses. The zoo also has a varied collection of birds like grey pelicans, rosy pelicans, pied horn bills, painted storks, peacocks, budgerigars, etc. Other attractions in the zoo are mini-train and the zoo van drive which facilitates people to watch the wild life in their own natural habitat.

The park is open from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m on all the days except Mondays. Entry Fee is Rs. 5 for children, Rs.10 for adults and for taking the car in with five occupants, you have to pay an additional Rs.200.

BUDDHIST PLACES @ Vizag


Sankaram Buddhist Excavations

The village of Sankaram near Anakapalli, 38 km from Visakhapatnam is known for its 3rd and 4th century Buddhist structures. Situated on two small hillocks, these constructions are believed to be made during Mahayana period. The hills, Bojjannakonda and Lingalakonda have a monastery, numerous rock-cut stupas and sanctuaries cut into the sides of the hill with several Buddha images. There are a few small and simple caves on the hillock, which formed the Viharas (shelters) for the monks and students. The site, an archeologist’s delight has several antiquities like the seals, inscribed tablets, pots, copper coins mostly of seventh century AD. These were excavated a site.

A unique feature of Bojjannakonda which was excavated under the aegis of Alexander Rim in 1906 is that it shows all the three phases of Buddhism. i.e. Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana. The main attraction here is the imposing figures of the Buddha, seated in a meditation-posture and the stupa. The main stupa was first carved out of rock and then encased in bricks. The hillock Lingalakonda, is located to the west of Bojjannakonda.

Bavi Konda

Bavikonda, on the north west of Timmapuram, is about 16 km from Vishakhapatnam along the beach road leading to Bheemunipatnam. The hill acquired the name Bavikonda due to the existence of wells on the hill to collect rain water for drinking purpose. The artifacts recovered here include Roman and Satavahana coins apart from pottery dating back to 3rd century BC and 2nd century A.D. Excavations on the hill-top brought to light an extensive Buddhist establishment consisting of a Mahachaitya, stupas, chaityagrihas, a congregation hall, platforms, Viharas, kitchen-cum-store complex, pottery, relic caskets, tiles, stuccos, iron objects, moulded bricks, coins, etc.

Pavurala Konda

Pavurala Konda or Narasimhaswamy Konda is located to the west of Bhimli or Bheemunipatnam which is about 24 km. from Vizag. This hillock, also called ‘hill of pigeons’, covering an area of 12 acres, is at a height of 168mts above sea level. Excavations at the site reveal that the place could be dated between 3rd century B.C. and 2nd century A.D. Excavation revealed nearly 16 rock-cut troughs or cisterns used for collecting rainwater, foundations of Viharas, with cells and common verandah, circular chaityagrihas, votive stupas, halls, etc. The river Gosthani which flows near  Pavuralakonda served as navigation canal for inland trade in the early centuries of the Christian era.

Thotla Konda

The Thotla Konda Buddhist Complex situated on a hilltop in Mangamaripeta village is 15 kms from Visakhapatnam on the Vizag-Bheemili beach road. 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 Himayana School. This was mostly excavated during1982-92. These remains are classified as religious, secular and civil. Excavated artifacts at Thotla Konda comprise pottery, beads, bangle pieces, tiles, stuccos, iron objects, sculptural remains, moulded bricks, inscriptions, coins, etc.

source: http://www.vizaginformation.com.

PLACES OF WORSHIP at Vizag


Sri Venkateswara Hills

The hill on the south of the line of three hills, called Sri Venkateswara Konda has a temple dedicated to Lord Venkateswara. It is believed to have been built by a European Captain Blackmoor in 1866, according to the Telugu inscriptions. This temple has a small steep pyramid shaped entrance to the gopura. The port channel, the entrance of the inner harbor for ships and liners can be seen from here.

Kali Temple

The Kali Temple located on Rama Krishna Beach road is a modern architectural edifice built on the model of the skeletal structure of a coral using bamboo reinforced cement concrete. Constructed in 1984, this shrine of the goddess of power (Shakti) is famous for its splendid architecture depicting tall pillars, arches and minarets. The temple complex houses an office, a quarter for the priest and a temple kitchen.

Adjacent to the Kali temple, there is another temple dedicated to Lord Siva. The uniqueness of the Siva Temple is its ‘rasalinga’ which is made of 10 Kg. single stone.
Vizag city’s main shopping centers are located in the Dwaraka Nagar – RTC Complex area and Jagadamda Junction area. Tourists interested for handicraftswall hangings, or wooden toys can head for the government-run Lepakshi or the Eastern Art Museum.

Darga Konda

Darga Konda, the north hillock of the line of three hills has a mosque and the mausoleum of the Muslim saintBaba Ishaq Madina who was revered for his prophecies. It is visited and venerated by Hindu and Muslim devotees alike.

Simhachalam

The Hindu pilgrim centre, Simhachalam with enchanting natural beauty is situated about 16 km from Visakhapatnam. The 11th century temple dedicated to Sri Varaha Narasimha (man lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu) is situated at the top of the Simhachalam range of hills popularly called the ‘Hill of the Lion Lord’. The temple built by King Sri Krishna Devaraya is a marvel of architecture with a square shrine surmounted on a high tower, a portico in front with a small tower, a beautifully-carved l6-pillared Natya mantapa facing the portico and an enclosed verandah, all made of dark granite.

The shrine has inscriptions on its walls dating back to 1098 AD. Here, the idol of the presiding deity is always kept covered with sandal paste giving the appearance of a sandalwood Shiva Linga. The actual form of the deity in the tribhanga posture (i.e. two hands with the head of a lion on a human torso) can be viewed only during the ‘Chandanotsavam‘ which also known as ‘Chandana Yatra’ festival is held in March- April, every year which attracts thousands of devotees from all over the country. Other festivals celebrated here are the Kalyanam of Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha (March-April) and Viśakha Poornima (May).

Source: http://www.vizaginformation.com.

Places around Vizag


Ananthagiri

The breathtaking hill station, Ananthagiri sheltered in the lush undulating ranges of the Eastern Ghats is about 60kms from Visakhapatnam. Located on the way to the Araku Valley, the place is considered as a perfect health resort. Ananthagiri is famed for its extensive coffee plantations and numerous waterfalls like Tadimada waterfalls.

Etikoppaka

Etikoppaka, a small village on the banks of Varaha River located 65 kms from Visakhapatnam, is known for its age-old tradition of wooden carvings and artifacts. Etikoppaka toys made of ankudu wood with lacquer colors, enchanting designs are very attractive and have a special appeal for children. The toys, mythological figures, carvings, etc which display the creative skills of the craftsmen depict the cultural practices of that region

Borra Caves

The million year-old limestone Borra Caves are situated in Ananthagiri Mandal, about 90 kms north of Vizag on the way to Araku valley. The caves, at a height of 1400 mts above sea level and occupying an area of 2 square kilometers are filled with fascinating stalagmite and stalactite formations of calcium deposits. The Gosthani River flows through the caves between the formations. These natural caves were discovered in 1807 by William King George of the Geological Survey of India.

A ‘Shiva lingam’ and an idol of a cow (Kamadhenu) can be seen here which has given a religious significance to it. The caves are beautiful and are brightly illuminated. The best time to visit the caves is around November- December. The train journey from Vizag to the caves which takes about 5-6 hours through the thick forests of the Eastern Ghats is splendid.

Araku Valley

The famous hill station, Araku Valley, situated 30 km north of Borra Caves and 120 kms from Visakhapatnam is the home to a number of tribal communities. The valley, popularly known as Andhra Ooty, is located in the Eastern Ghats at an altitude of 900 meters above sea level. Spread over an area of 36 sq. kms,, the Araku Valley is a perfect tourist destination with pleasant climate, lush greenery, waterfalls and streams. The tribal habitat museum and the tribal village are the major attractions here. The tourists can get a glimpse of the traditional and spectacular tribal folk dances like Dhimsa and Mayuri. The Araku Tribal Museum houses rich tribal tradition and number of artifacts related to the Eastern Ghats Tribal Culture. Chaparai, a picturesque place about 15 km from Araku is another picnic spot in this region. Accommodation facilities are available for tourists.

Tyda Nature Camp

Tyda is a small tribal village nestling in the wooded hills of the Eastern Ghats at a distance of 75 kms from Visakhapatnam on the Araku road. Also known as Jungle Bells, the nature camp has facilities for rock climbing, trekking and target shooting with bow & arrows. This eco-tourism destination is home for a variety of animals and birds. With the help of naturalists or guides in the camp, one can learn the language of the jungle like identification of calls, marks, etc. and understanding interesting features of various flora and fauna of the Eastern Ghats. There are spacious huts and tents set in tribal environment for tourists.

Source: http://www.vizaginformation.com.

Interesting places in Vizag


Dolphin’s nose

Dolphin’s Nose, the huge rocky promontory with a cliff rising 174m above the sea is the most prominent landmark in Visakhapatnam. This massive hill rock, also known as blackmores hill located in the southern part of Visakhapatnam and facing the cool, blue ocean resembles the shape of dolphin. It shelters the harbor, from where manganese and iron ore are shipped out. It also serves as the headquarters of Eastern naval Command. Visakhapatnam port trust’s lighthouse situated atop the hillock with 7 million candle power is visible from more than 65 km out to sea.

 Line of Three Hills

Visakhapatnam is framed by a line of three hills, each with a shrine sacred to different religions. Venkateswara temple on the south hill called Sri Venkateswara Konda is a Hindu shrine. The north hill Darga Konda houses a Muslim shrine, Baba Ishaq Madina Dargah and the Christian shrine, Church of the Virgin Mary is on the central and the highest Ross Hill.

 Kailasagiri

Kailasgiri, the charming hillock on the seafront, is located at an altitude of 130 mts. above sea level. Sprawled over an area of 350 acres, it is one of the most attractive tourist spot with an enchanting view of the sea, beaches, lush green forests and the bustling city. The 40 feet tall magnificent Shiva-Parvathi idol atop the Kailasgiri hill, with lighted mountains in front is worth seeing. The major attractions here are the Shanku Chakra Naamalu which symbolizes the image of Lord Vishnu in its pristine form, floral clock, titanic view point, jungle trails, manicured lawns and flower beds, art gallery, children Play Park etc. The entire area is illuminated and presents a fantastic sight when viewed in the night from any part of the city. The ropeway that starts from the foot hill (Appughar) to the picturesque Kailasgiri is an added attraction. Kailasgiri is a gliders paradise with excellent gliding facilities and the gliding point provides ample opportunities to test the gliding skills of the gliders.

 Erra Matti Dibbalu

Erra Matti Dibbalu, which looks like a mini Chambal Valley, literally means red mud hillocks. Locater near Bheemunipatnam, the red sand dunes with occasional patches of green trees were once up to 40 mts high. These are flattened to a height of 15m due to course of various constructions that came up along the Bheemli beach. The million year old vast stretch of red hillock covered by green vegetation with blue waters of the Bay of Bengal on one side provides a picturesque feast for the visitors.

 Appikonda

Appikonda also known as Kapila Konda is a small village located at a distance of 18 kms from Vizag, on the coast of Bay of Bengal. The place has given a religious significance because of the existence of a Siva temple. The major attraction of the temple is a life size bull carved out of black stone. It also contains inscriptions dating back to 12th Century AD, with a mention that this village was granted by a commander-in-chief of the Cholas for the maintenance of worship in the temple.

 Mudasarlova

Located 10 km from Visakhapatnam is the Mudasarlova, a beautiful valley surrounded by natural hills. The site consists a beautiful park with different types of green plants and orchards and a lake that supplies water to the city. The key attraction of the place is the scenic 18-hole Golf course belonging to East Point Golf Club.

 Bheemili (or) Bheemunipatnam

Bheemunipatnam popularly known as ‘Bheemili’ is located at a distance of 24 Kilometers Northeast of Visakhapatnam. The place derived its name from ‘Bhima’ one of the Pandava Brother. Once a Dutch settlement, the 17th century ruins of a fort and cemetery built by the Dutch are seen here. The cemetery named Hollanders Green has some tombs embossed with the skull and crossbones motif of sea pirates. The beautiful beach at Bheemili is considered to be one of the safest and calmest for swimmers. On the top of a hill, there is a lighthouse and a small shrine dedicated to Lord Narasimha. St. Peter’s Church, Maharaja’s quest house, clock tower, port and Gautam Boat club are the added attraction here. This serene town has been the favourite of many filmmakers and is quite a romantic place.

Source : http://www.vizaginformation.com