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Visakhapatnam Tourism

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Visakhapatnam has a range of tourist attractions including beaches, cliffs, parks on the hilltop facing the sea, long drives along the beach road, a zoological park and wildlife sanctuary, a submarine museum, hill stations, limestone caves, mountain ranges and colorful valleys, all within 100 km from the city. There are two five-star hotels, The Taj and The Park, and a full range of other accommodation Kailasagiri is a park developed by VUDA on a hilltop adjacent to the sea. It offers views of the Bay of Bengal, Visakhapatnam city and the Eastern Ghats. A ropeway connects this park from the bottom of the hill. The Beach Road from East point colony to Coastal battery is studded with parks, statues, etc., and is an evening gathering point. Along the road can be found India's only submarine museum, INS Kursura, as well as the Visakha museum and Matsyadarsini (an aquarium). VUDA park, at the beginning of the Beach Road, has a musical fountain, and entertainment for children. It has a roller skating ground, which has served as the venue for several national and international skating competitions. Rushikonda Beach, 6 km away from Visakhapatnam city, has become a favorite evening spot. Bhimili-Visakhapatnam beach Road, 30 km long, offers one of the best views of the sea, sand, hills and greenery. Many parks are constructed adjacent to this road. Tenneti park beach park is constructed on the cliff of Kailasagiri. There are several points from which the beautiful rocky beach beneath can be seen. Many Telugu, Tamil and Hindi movies were filmed here.

Simhachalam Temple

Simhachalam is a hill shrine of Lord Narasimha 16 km north of the city. The carved 16-pillared Natya mantapa and the 96-pillared Kalyana mandapa are highlights at the Simhachalam temple. It was constructed by Gajapathi Kings of Orissa before 1500 AD. Mr.Poosapati Ananda Gajapati Raju (heir to His Highness Maharaja Vijayrama Gajapati Raju Bahadur of former Vizianagaram princely state). The city has Ramanaidu Film Studios which has started recently. Indira Gandhi Zoological Park: Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, between the National Highway 5 and Beach Road, spreading over an area of 250 ha, exhibits about 700 animals belonging to about 89 species. Outside the city, 112 km from Visakhapatnam.

Araku Valley

Araku Valley is an important tourist destination It is a hill station at an elevation of over 1000 m. famous for its gardens, valleys, waterfalls and streams. On the way to Araku Hill station are the Borra Caves which are naturally formed. They were discovered by British Geologist William King in 1807. The Marriage Bureau For Rich People series of novels, written by Farahad Zama and published worldwide in over twelve languages, are set in Visakhapatnam and feature many landmarks of the city and its surroundings.

Buddhists sites

Visakhapatnam is surrounded by ancient Buddhist 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 Mangamaripeta hilltop, locally known as Thotlakonda, lies about 16 km from Visakhapatnam on Visakhapatnam-Bheemili Beach Road. After its discovery (during an aerial survey), the Government of A.P declared the 48 ha site as a protected monument in 1978. Excavations in 1988 to 1992 exposed structural remains and artifacts, classified as Religious, Secular and Civil. These structures include the Stupa, Chaityagrihas, pillared congregation halls, bhandagaras, refectory (bhojanasala), drainage and stone pathways. Bavikonda is an important Buddhist heritage site located on a hill about 15 km, northeast from Visakhapatnam city. Here the Buddhist habitation is noticed on a 16 ha flat terraced area. The Hinayana school of Buddhism was practiced at the monastery between the 3rd century B.C. and the 3rd century A.D. 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. In 1907 a British archaeologist, Alexander Rea, unearthed Sankaram, a 2000-year-old Buddhist Heritage site. Located 40 km from South of Visakhapatnam, it is known locally as Bojjannakonda. The three phases of Buddhism flourished here, viz. Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana. This complex is famous for its numerous monolithic votive stupas, rock-cut caves, and brick structural edifices. Excavations yielded several historic potteries and Satavahana coins dating back to the 1st century A.D. Similarly at Lingalakonda, there are innumerable rock-cut monolithic stupas in rows spread over the hill. The Vihara was active for about 1,000 years, spanning the Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana phases of Buddhism. Pavuralakonda, or 'the hill of the pigeons', is a hillock lying to the west of Bhimli, at about 24 km from Visakhapatnam. The Buddhist settlement found here is estimated to have witnessed human habitation between 1st century BC to 2nd century AD. Sixteen rock-cut cisterns for impounding rainwater 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 stupas, viharas and other Buddhist remains. Ancient pottery was also excavated from these sites.