Visakhapatnam or Vizag: An eastern coastal delight
Visakhapatnam has a variety of places to explore as it is a perfect amalgamation of rolling hills with thick vegetation, slowly and gently, giving way to a glistening spectrum of the effervescent waves belonging to the mighty Bay of Bengal.
Visakhapatnam probably owes its name to the Hindu Goddess Visakha according to local legends. However, Visakha was also the name of one of the disciples of Lord Gautama Buddha and whether she stayed in this place or not, Vizag definitely has a strong Buddhist connection visible today from the innumerable Buddhist sites located nearby.
Visakhapatnam has a variety of places to explore as it is a perfect amalgamation of rolling hills with thick vegetation, slowly and gently, giving way to a glistening spectrum of the effervescent waves belonging to the mighty Bay of Bengal. Following are some of the sights and sounds of Vizag which might render the heart with a deafening calm which is so essential to all the working bipeds coming from an urbanised universe.
1. As one travels from the heart of the city towards the now famous Rushikonda beach on the beautiful Vizag beach road with the sea gale on one side and the hills on the other, after bypassing this beautiful beach, to get more seclusion depending on one’s own taste, a tourist can reach the wonderful Bheemili beach further away, situated at the confluence of the Gosthani river with the ocean. It is around 25 km from the city centre. Needless to say, the place is beautiful and it is also a centre for fishermen to get their nets together for a bounty. On request, fishermen will also take a tourist to the middle of the ocean on their speed boats, where the calmness of the surroundings might remind a person of some divine poetry of yore.
2. As we are on the quest for more calm and peace, one should note that it is almost criminal not to visit the Yarada beach while in Vizag. Such is the beauty and serenity of this place. It is situated just on the opposite side of the city to the above mentioned Rushikonda, around 15 km away from the city centre. The beauty of this place is such that it has towering hills with lush greenery on all sides, thereby enabling a traveller to sit on any of its cliffs and enjoy the breath-taking vista which comes together with the charming sea gale there. Here, hours are spent in solitude and peace without the chronometer even winking once at your city-bred spirit. Also, while going towards this beach, the tourists can stop atop the famous Dolphin Nose hill which is on its way, for some more site seeing.
3. For some adventure, it is inevitable that people will travel to the Borra Caves while in Vizag. These caves are a geologist’s delight with their formation history and structure. However, for ordinary people like us, these caves are quite scary and that is the reason more to visit them. Situated on the way to Araku, these caves are one of the largest in India, they are huge, slippery, scary, and devotional with a gothic feeling once inside. Please care to have proper shoes while venturing inside this place.
4. As referred above, after visiting the mighty Borra caves, from there one could travel to one of the most beautiful places in India – the Araku Valley. It is a drive of around 3 hours from Vizag city centre to this natural paradise and this drive is like travelling to the kingdom of ethereal beings and sweet dreams as the lush greenery all around transports you to an unknown place of peace, joy and ecstasy. It is easily one of the best drives in India. This valley has been used for shooting by innumerable Indian films. Its thick coffee plantations along with the aroma are a delight to any tourist.
5. While in Vizag, one should also take a day out to go to all the common tourist places which are generally thronged by thousands of travellers, like the Kailashgiri hill with its cable car and toy train, the Rushikonda beach with its pristine sands, the RK beach close to the city centre, the Buddhist heritage sites of Bavikonda and Thotlakonda, the holy Simhachalam Temple, Submarine museum and many others because these common places will also enable a tourist to know the local populace with their heritage and culture.