Visakhapatnam () also referred to as Vizag is a major port city on the south east coast of India. With a population of 1,435,099, it is the second largest city in the state of Andhra Pradesh and the third largest city on the east coast of India after Kolkata and Chennai. It is located east of the state capital Hyderabad. Visakhapatnam is home to several state-owned heavy industries, a major steel plant, and has one of India's largest sea ports and its oldest shipyard. It has the only natural harbour on the east coast of India.
Visakhapatnam was named after Visakha, the Hindu god of valor. The city is nestled among the hills of the Eastern Ghats and faces the Bay of Bengal to the east. It is the administrative headquarters of Visakhapatnam district and is also headquarters to the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy. Visakhapatnam is often referred to as The City of Destiny and more recently also as the Goa of the East Coast. Just like its west coast counterpart, it offers attractive beaches, laterite hillocks, and a dramatic landscape. It is also the focus of rapid urban and tourist development.
Sunrise at Tenneti park in Visakhapatnam of Andhra Pradesh, India Aerial view of Visakhapatnam port Apart from being a major seaport on the east coast of India, Visakhapatnam is primarily an industrial city. It is also home to the Eastern Naval Command.
The city sometimes goes by its now mostly defunct colonial British name, Waltair. During the colonial era, the city's hub was the Waltair Railway Station, and the surrounding part of the city is still called Waltair.
Etymology and history
Visakhapatnam was ruled by King Visakha Varma during BC's, according to Hindu Puranams. It was a part of the Kalinga Kingdom, under Ashoka's rule in 260 B.C.Till 16th century it was part of Utkala Kingdom. It passed on later to the Andhra Kings of Vengi and later to Pallavas. Another story of this place is it was named after Subrahmanyeswara, the deity of valour, the second son of Lord Shiva. The beauty of the place was often compared to the beauty of Sakhi Visakha. The legend is that Radha and Visakha were born on the same day and were equally beautiful. Locals believe that an Andhra king, impressed by the beauty, built a temple to pay obeisance to his family deity, Visakha.
The epic city
The city has been mentioned in the Indian epics R m yana and Mah bh rata, as well as the forests of the Eastern Ghats where the two brothers Rama and Lakshmana wandered in search of Sita, wife of Lord Rama. According to the epics, Rama formed his army of monkey men in the region with the help of Hanuman and Jambavant. The monkey army of Rama later defeated the King Ravan to claim back his wife Sita. An episode of Mah bh rata when Bheema killed the demon Bakasura, was believed to have happened in the village Karmanvati, just 40 km from the city.
Statue of lord buddha Thotlakonda
Famous Personalities from Vizag: Famous personalities who hail from this region include Sri Sri (Poet), Devika Rani, Sandeep Royal Bhaktula, etc.
The religious Hindu texts mention that the region of Visakhapatnam in the 5th century BC was part of the vast Kalinga territory which extended up to the Godavari River. The relics found in the area also prove the existence of a Buddhist empire in the region. Kalinga later lost the territory to King Ashoka in the bloodiest battle of the time which prompted him to embrace Buddhism.
One of the most significant Buddhist sites in Andhra Pradesh, Sankaram is located some 41 km away from Visakhapatnam. The name Sankaram derives from the term Sangharama. Sankaram is famous for the whole lot of votive stupas, rock-cut caves, brick-built structural edifices, early historic pottery and Satavahana coins that date back to the 1st century AD. The main stupa here was initially carved out of rock and then covered with bricks. In close proximity lies yet another significant Buddhist sites, Bojjannakonda, where you can see a number of images of the Buddha carved on the rock face of the caves. At Ligalametta, there are hundreds of rock cut monolithic stupas in rows, spread all over the hill. Among other Buddhist attractions here are relic casket, three chiatya halls, votive platforms, stupas and Vajrayana sculptures. The Vihara was functional for around a millennium and saw the development of the not only Theravada form of Buddhism but also Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Rock-cut Lord --Buddha-- Statue at Bojjanakonda near Anakapalle of Visakhapatnam dist in AP
The term Bavikonda in Telugu language means a hill of wells. As per its name, Bavikonda is a hill which has wells for the collection of rainwater. Bavikonda is located 15 km from the town of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, India and is an immensely significant Buddhist site. Excavation carried out in 1982 87 revealed an entire Buddhist establishment comprising a Mahachaitya, embedded with relic caskets, large vihara complex, numerous votive stupas, a stone pillared congregation hall, rectangular halls, a refectory etc. Artefacts discovered from the site include Roman and Satavahana coins and pottery dating back to the 3rd century BC to the 2nd century AD. A significant finding here is a piece of bone stored in an urn. This bone is widely supposed to be the mortal remains of the Buddha. In the urn, there is also a large quantity of ash. The Bavikonda site, today, is counted amongst one of the oldest and immensely sacred Buddhist sites in the Asia. The ruins of the site stand reminder to the great Buddhist civilisation that once existed in the southern part of India. The site, in fact, also reminds a number of visitors of the Borobudur in Indonesia.
Around 16 km from Visakhapatnam is the Thotlakonda, a Buddhist complex situated on the top of a hill. The site spreads over an area of and has been declared a protected monument by the government of Andhra Pradesh. Excavations carried out here have brought to surface three kinds of structural remains religious, secular and civil. To be more precise the structures include 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, a kitchen complex with three halls and a refectory (dining hall). Apart from the structures, the Buddhist treasures excavated from here include 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.
The territory of Visakhapatnam then came under the Andhra rulers of Vengi. Then Chalukyas, Pallavas ruled over the placid land. This region was under Eastern Ganga Kings, Surya Vamsi Gajapati kings of Orissa from 10th century to 16th century AD. This region came under Hyderabad rulers in 16th century. The Chola kings and Eastern Ganga Kings of Orissa built the temples in the city in 11 12 century AD as established by archeological findings. The Mughals ruled this area under the Hyderabad Nizam in the late 15th and early 16th century. European merchants from France, Holland and the East India Company used the natural port to export tobacco, paddy,coal,iron ore,ivory, muslin and other textile products.
Local legend states that an Andhra king, while on his way to Benares, rested there and was so enchanted with the sheer beauty of the place. He ordered a temple to be built in honor of his family deity, Visakha. Archaeological sources however reveal that the temple was possibly built between the 11th and 12th centuries by the Cholas. A shipping merchant, Sankarayya Chetty, built one of the mandapams (pillared halls) of the temple. Although it no longer exists (it may have been washed away about a hundred years ago by a cyclonic storm), elderly residents of Visakhapatnam talk of visits to the ancient shrine by their grandparents. Noted author Ganapatiraju Atchuta Rama Raju contradicted this.
In the 18th century, Visakhapatnam was part of the Northern Circars, a region comprising Coastal Andhra and southern coastal Orissa that was initially under French control and later the British. Visakhapatnam became a district in the Madras Presidency of British India. In September 1804, British and French squadrons fought the naval Battle of Vizagapatam off the harbour. After India's independence it was the biggest district in the country and was subsequently divided into the three districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam.
The city has the tomb of the Muslim saint Syed Ali Ishak Madina, located atop the dargah-hill near the harbour in old city, which is dated to 18th century, where Hindus make vows at it as often as Muslims. The saint is considered to be all potent over the elements in the Bay of Bengal. Many old residents say that every vessel passing the harbour inwards or outwards used to salute the saint by hoisting and lowering its flag three times, and that many ship-owners offer chadar at the shrine after a successful voyage.
The city overlooking the Beach Road
From a small fishing village in the 20th century, Visakhapatnam has grown into an mega-industrial hub. Its saga began when the British needed a suitable port that could serve move the rich mineral wealth from the central India. Unlike the western coast of India, the east coast is devoid of any natural harbours.To their surprise they located Visakhapatnam which was naturally protected from sea by Dolphin's nose hill and also the estuary of Meghadri river ending into sea formed a natural channel which was protected on south by Dolphin's nose which made it very natural and most suited for major port in those days. They started building the harbour in 1927; in 1933 it was opened to traffic.
Statue of a standing man at Vizag Beach Rajiv Gandhi Children's Park at Vizag Beach
One important milestone is the setting up of the Scindia Steam Navigation Co, later known as Hindustan Shipyard Limited in 1940. With the construction of the Kottavalasa-Kirandul (K.K. )line connecting the iron ore mines of Bailadila in M.P. (present day Chattisgarh), its importance grew. In the 1950s and 1960s the government and the private sector set up large scale basic industries like Bharat Heavy Plates & Vessels Ltd, Hindustan Zinc Ltd., Dredging Corporation of India Ltd., Caltex oil refinery (later acquired by government as H.P.C.L.), Coromandel fertilizers, and Andhra Polymers (now LG Polymers). The 1980s saw a major development with the development of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and other major industries. Economic liberalization in the 1990s brought a modest growth to the city but not as much as it did to Hyderabad. However, some industries sprang up like Rain Calcining Ltd., expansion of HPCL, setting up of Visakhapatnam Export Processing Zone, and the Simhadri Thermal Power plant of N.T.P.C. Visakhapatnam was declared one of ten fastest growing cities of the world in a recent study conducted by the United Nations.
Due to the presence of the Eastern Naval Command, Steel Plant and H.P.C.L., the city has been the home to people from different parts of the country and due to this the city has a cosmopolitan nature.
Ramakrishna Mission near RK Beach
The city's main commercial and shopping centres are in the Dwarakanagar,R.T.C. complex area and Jagadamba Junction area. It has two multiplexes, namely Varun Beach and CMR Central. Since 2000, the Dwarakanagar-R.T.C. complex area has transformed into a commercial hub with new shopping malls and complexes springing up within a radius of 2 3 kilometers. The city is home to many five-star hotels such as Taj group, ITC-WelcomGroup, Four points by Sheraton and Park Hotels.
Various large and small software and BPO companies have announced plans for starting development and outsourcing centers in Visakhapatnam, which has also contributed to the rise in real estate prices. Inflows from Non-resident Indians (NRIs) from Visakhapatnam have further added to this rise. St Aloysius Anglo Indian High School (SAS) was established in the year 1847 in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
The city also owes its economic growth to the availability of an educated English-speaking workforce. English is the first language in many places of higher education in the city. This availability of a highly educated workforce allowed the entry of many ITES companies such as HSBC, thus providing the roots for the growth of the ITES industry in the city. The city registered over 100% growth in the IT sector over the last year, contributing millions of dollars to the economy. The city has 102 small and medium software and BPO units, of which about 10 units started their operations during the year 2005 07. Software exports from the Visakhapatnam in 2007 were worth an increase of over 100% over the previous year.
Various national and international IT and banking giants have set up or will be setting up offices in the city. These include Mahindra Satyam, Wipro, iSOFT, HSBC Sankhya Technologies, iFlex, Sutherland Global Services, Kenexa, E Centric Solutions Pvt Ltd, and OpenWindow Technologies Inc.The Andhra Pradesh government provided infrastructure and land for these companies to set up their development centers in the city outskirts via Special economic zones to improve employment and increase the economic growth.
Many City-based SME's such as Gaian Solutions, Acclaris, Manuh Solutions, NuNet Technologies, Patra Corp, Prospecta Technologies, Quant Systems, Sankhya Technologies, Samudra Software, Symbiosys Technologies, Xinthe Technologies, etc., have been providing IT and ITES services. Many of these companies have formed an association called Vizag Information Technology Association (VITA) to help promote IT in Visakhapatnam as well as bridge the Industry-Institution gap. To help companies in and around Visakhapatnam build their human capital, companies like IndiGenius, Mafoi among others have been providing Human Resource (HR) consulting services such as recruitment, temporary staffing and training.
It has been the place for many famous personalities like SriSri (Great Poet), Devika Rani, Sandeep Royal Bhaktula has taken the name of Vizag to next levels.
Indira Gandhi Zoological Park was set up in 1972 on the coastal hills north of the city. The zoo park features some of the rarest species in India.
Many battles have been fought in the city during such conflicts as World War II, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and the Bangladesh Liberation War. It was only the second region in South Asia to be attacked by Japanese fighter planes during World War II. Recognising the strategic importance of the city and the role it played during the Bangladesh Liberation War, Pakistan allegedly sent its submarine, PNS Ghazi to sink India's only aircraft carrier. The submarine sank off the coast (Pakistan claims, accidentally hitting one of the mines it laid; India claims, from a depth-charge dropped by the destroyer INS Rajput). The remnants of the submarine are on display on the beach road and it has become a major tourist attraction.
Victory at Sea 1971 commemorating victory over Pakistan
The city was so important during times of war that the Indian government decided to set up the Eastern Naval Command, overlooking the more populous Chennai and Kolkata, and developed Visakhapatnam during that period. The establishment of the E.N.C. soon after the construction of the ship building yard firmly secured Visakhapatnam's place in the annals of the Indian Navy. Some of the defence related establishments are N.S.T.L. (Naval Science and Technology Laboratories), which is responsible for the development and testing of warship technology, equipment and weapons and Bharat Dynamics Ltd is coming up for manufacturing heavy and light weight torpedoes. The navy also has a naval dockyard [started in 1949] in the city where recently India's first Nuclear Submarine was launched. The navy has plans to set up submarine base in the city at the alternate ENC base in Rambilli near Visakhapatnam.
The Navy is also constructing a second base as the current base is overpopulated and not sufficient to meet the needs of the E.N.C. Despite its importance, the Naval establishment has become a hindrance for the development of Visakhapatnam. The harbour is not open to the general public for reasons of security, while in Mumbai and Kochi, the entire port along with Naval docks are opened for boating and tourism.
The famous submarine museum near "Victory At Sea", Visakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam is surrounded on three sides by the overlapping mountain ranges, and the southeastern city is safeguarded by the Bay of Bengal. Visakhapatnam is far away from any international border, both land and sea, making it the choice for strategic placement of the headquarters of the eastern naval command.
Visakhapatnam is a cosmopolitan mix of people from various parts of the country. From a population of a few thousand locals during the 18th century and early 19th century the population grew steadily every decade. The city doubled its population from 1990 2000 owing to a large migrant population from surrounding areas and other parts of the country coming to the city to work in its heavy industries.
According to the 2001 India census, Visakhapatnam had a population of 2,569,608 and that of urban area 3,329,472. After the state government approved the formation of Greater Visakhapatnam with the merger of Gajuwaka municipality and 32 villages in the vicinity in the Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, the population of the city and the metro area swelled present population may be between 2.6 to 3.8 million. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. The city has an average literacy rate of 70%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. Male literacy is 74% and female literacy is 64 %. 10% of the population is younger than six. Visakhapatnam is listed as one of the 100 Fastest Growing Cities of the World.
Hinduism is practised by the majority of citizens, followed by Islam and Christianity. The city patronised Buddhism for 2 millennia as evident from the presence of many Buddhist sangharamas in the outskirts. The Buddhist population has however waned since. All the religions co-exist peacefully
Visakhapatnam is predominantly Telugu speaking. The Telugu spoken by the middle classes is a standard dialect, while a significant population who have settled down in the city from the adjoining villages and neighbouring districts of East Godavari, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam speak Uttarandhra (North Coastal) Mandalikam dialects.
Historians believe that centuries ago, when Uttarandhra was part of the Kalinga Empire, Buddhist missionaries and merchants might have taken Telugu (derived from Brahmi script) script to Southeast Asia from the shores of Uttarandhra where it parented into the scripts of Mon, Burmese, Thai, Khmer, Javanese and Balinese languages and even Sinhala of Sri Lanka. Their similarities to Telugu script can be discerned even today.
Visakhapatnam is home to small Punjabi, Gujarati, Oriya, Bengali, Nepali and Malayalee communities; their migration is recent due to the naval presence and high concentration of public sector industries.There is also a presence of a Dominant Anglo-Indian Community.
Many people in Vizag also speak Hindi and so it is very easy for Tourists to communicate with local people.
Visakhapatnam experiences a tropical savanna climate (K ppen climate classification Aw) with little variation in temperature through the year. May is the hottest month with average temperatures around 37 C (90 F), while January is the coolest month with average temperatures near 23 C (73 F).
Satellite Image Showing Visakhapatnam Experiencing Monsoon in 2010
As the city is located on the Bay of Bengal, the humidity remains high throughout the year. The total annual rainfall is around 945 mm (38 inches), the bulk of which is received during the south-west monsoon. October is the wettest month with around 204 mm (8 inches) of rainfall.
The months from November to February are the best times to visit the city, with moderate temperatures.
The Visakhapatnam International Airport is the busiest international Airport in Coastal Andhra. Visakhapatnam is connected well with daily flights from Hyderabad, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Vijayawada, Tirupati, Kolkata, Pune, Kochi, Patna, Raipur and Indore. Visakhapatnam Airport has recently received permission to operate night flights and now the airport is working up to 22:00. A new 10,000 foot [3 km] long runway became operational to accommodate international flights and larger aircraft. The airport was one of the few chosen by the center for modernization including facilities such as aerobridges and immigration booths. The new terminal was inaugurated on 21 March 2009.The airport would soon become an international airport when Air India starts flying first international flight to Dubai (via Hyderabad) on 25 March 2012. Recently Singapore Airlines have agreed to start International Flight from Vizag to Singapore and also Malaysia Airlines are in progress to start flying from vizag
Visakhapatnam seaport; harbour interchange fly-by road can be seen here
Visakhapatnam is one of the major cities on the east coast of India connected by NH5, a major barrier national highway and a part of the Golden Quadrilateral system of Indian highways connecting Chennai and Kolkata. The section of Golden Quadraleteral(NH5) from Kolkata to Chennai connects Visakhapatnam to the North-East and to the South. The highway is an important route for transporting cargo and people from these cities to and from Visakhapatnam.Visakhapatnam is the seventh largest city in India with metro eligibility since 2007.Visakhapatnam has a good network of roads. There are frequent buses to Kakinada, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, Araku, Guntur and Rajahmundry. There are even bus services to Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guntur, Ongole Tirupati, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Koraput, Rayagada and few other parts of Karnataka.
Residents of Visakhapatnam make use of extensive public transport provided by the APSRTC, which runs metro buses across various routes across the city and its suburbs. The APSRTC complex at Asilametta is the hub for most of these buses causing major traffic jams during rush hours on the heavily populated, congested Asilametta Junction. The city corporation is planning to dig subways, construct pedestrian overpasses and flyovers to address the traffic woes.
A Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) was approved for the city under the JNNURM. This will make use of dedicated lanes for buses allowing for an efficient and high speed mode of transport for the public and significantly reduce traffic congestion, improving safety. This project is under construction and will be completed by the end of 2015
The railway station at Visakhapatnam is under the control of East Coast Railway of Indian Railways. It stands on the Chennai Central -Howrah Station route, though the mainline bypasses the Central Station. Consequently a suburban halt on the mainline near Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, at Duvvada, is being developed into a major satellite station to improve services for the city.
Visakhapatnam Railway station
There are direct rail links to Machilipatnam, Vijayawada Junction, Secunderabad Railway Station, Tirupati, vellore katpadi Junction, Bhubaneswar, Nagpur, Bangalore Bhopal Junction, Mumbai, Surat, Porbandar, Okha, Mangalore, Tiruchchirapalli, Puri, Raipur, Bilaspur, Korba, Nasik, Amritsar, Patna, Ernakulam, Trivandrum,Malda, Kanniyakumari, Shirdi, Aurangabad, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Gaya, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, Jammu Tawi, Bhilai, Gwalior, Chennai Central, Howrah Station, New Delhi Railway Station etc., and also has direct services to Indore, Ujjain, Coimbatore and Jaipur amongst other major cities.
Situated on the east coast of India, Visakhapatnam serves as the gateway for waterways for the state of Andhra Pradesh. Visakhapatnam has one of the country's largest ports and its oldest shipyard on the eastern coast of India. It is a land-locked harbour as it is connected to the sea by a channel cut through solid rock and sand. The Visakhapatnam port is one of the busiest ports in India.Vizag Seaport Pvt Ltd., own two berths in the inner harbour of VPT, EQ-8 is fully mechanized and at EQ-9 berth vessels are handled by conventinal means, both berths are capable to handle panamax vessels. The shipbuilding yard situated at Visakhapatnam is the largest in India. Situated on Chennai Kolkotacorridor, the city is also a hub of on-ground traffic. The Gangavaram Sea Port is India's deepest sea port. In December 2010, Coal India agreed a deal that would allow an additional berth to be built at the port.
Fishermen in Visakhapatnam
Naval warship Visakhapatnam Outer Harbour
Megadri River Channel that connects Outer Harour of Visakhapatnam Port with Inner Harbour
Mahindra Satyam Development Center
HPCL Petro-Chemical Complex
From being a tiny hamlet of local fishing communities during the early days of the Indian Independence Struggle and for a few decades later, the city exploded economically, in fact the rise has been so dramatic that the city was identified as one of the fastest growing cities in the world economically and demographically.
Various factors contributed to the city's growth economically, including the natural harbor, its location between Madras and Calcutta, access to the NH5 (a major National Expressway) and the developed network of railways which metamorphosed the village into a burgeoning industrial city. The city has developed into a hub for many heavy industries. The Visakhapatnam Port, the largest in the country, was the ideal gateway contributing to the development of petroleum, steel and fertilizer industries. The Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (recently expanded from 3.1 to 6.3 MT) and the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. were the two multi-billion dollar investments which put Visakhapatnam on the world's industrial map. The city also has two N.T.P.C. power plants to satisfy the huge power needs of the industries. Visakhapatnam also houses the headquarters of the Dredging corporation of India.
It is hub for iron ore and other mineral exports of India, where iron ore from Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh is transported to the Visakhapatnam port by means of both Rail transport & Road transport and from here minerals are exported using ships to China and other countries. Visakhapatnam district and its surroundings have Bauxite reserves of 1,000 MT, manganese ore and titanium reserves in the beach sand.
The city also owes its economic growth to the availability of an educated English-speaking workforce. English is the first language in many places of higher education in the city. This availability of a highly educated workforce allowed the entry of many ITES companies such as HSBC, IBM Daksh, Sutherland and Acclaris. The city registered over 100% growth in the I.T. sector over the last year, contributing millions of dollars to the economy. The city has 102 small and medium software and call centre units, of which about 10 units started their operations during the year 2005 07. Software exports from the Visakhapatnam in 2007 were worth and in 2008, in 2011 an increase of nearly 90% every year.
Various national and international IT and banking giants have set up or will be setting up offices in the city. Some IT companies started already are Mahindra Satyam, Kenexa, Infotech, Softsol, and Miracle Software. Wipro has finished construction of its campus and is about to start operations.Recently IBM has started a new branch office in Vizag as on 2011. IBM already has a BPO IBM-Daksh in Vizag since 2007. The Andhra Pradesh government provided infrastructure and land for these companies to set up their development centers in the city outskirts. The Andhra Pradesh govt has also started an IT SEZ in Rushikonda hills at Visakhapatnam. IT industry is growing and it is believed that the pace of growth would increase once international flights start from the city's airport.
The growing population and economy have resulted in the revamping of the real estate prices with prices at some prime locations in the city quadrupling over the past couple of years. Various real estate companies are setting up housing projects in the outskirts of the city which is being touted as the future IT destination of the country. The fishing industry is also on the rise with both foreign and domestic exports of tuna doubling over the past decade. The city has a port called Visakhapatnam Port started in 1933 and a second port called as Gangavaram Port started in 2008 [15 km from Visakhapatnam Port. It started with an investment of 2 billion dollars and is the deepest port in the country with the ability to handle the larger international vessels. Visakhapatnam Port is also expanding and planning to set up a Satellite Port at Bhimili 20 km away from Visakhapatnam.
The city has APIIC Industrial Park at Autonagar and SEZ called as Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone started in 1989. The exports from VSEZ stood at approx 1582 crores in 2011. Multi Product Special Economic Zones (SEZ) called APIIC SEZ has been sanctioned for the city and this is coming up in at Atchutapuram, Visakhapatnam. Some of the Industries coming up in this SEZ are WS Industries, Pokarna limited, Uniparts, Confidence Petroleum, Southern Online Bio, Nagarjuna AgriChem, Anjaney Alloys, Maithon Alloys, Abhijit Ferro Alloys etc. and railway line is being laid connecting this SEZ with the Gangavaram Port.
Brandix Apparel City is already in operation in Atchutapuram. This is specifically a textile based SEZ spread over . The aim of this project is to provide 60000 jobs to the local people. It is expected that exports would reach up to 5500 crores once it is fully operational. Currently this has foreign textile manufacturers like Pioneer Elastic Fiber, Ocean India, Quantum Clothing, Fountain Set group, Limited Brands, etc. Pilkington an automotive glass manufacturer and Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City (JNPC) are also in the city. JNPC is only the Pharma SEZ in the country, and currently JNPC has 38 pharmaceutical companies with international pharmaceutical players like PharmaZell of Germany and Japan's Eisai Pharma. US-based Hospira Chemicals has purchased land for setting up plant in the city.
Companies like Reliance, Brandix and HPCL have purchased huge areas in the SEZ for setting up their industries and Aluminium refineries like Anrak Aluminium, Jindal Aluminium are coming up in the city because of availability of Bauxite reserves around Visakhapatnam, Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) plans to set up its second research facility in the country after Trombay in this region. The city was one of the five in the country selected to hold strategic crude reserves for the nation in times of national emergency.
Other heavy industries include Hindustan Zinc Limited, GAIL, IOC Bottling Unit, BPCL Bottling Unit, Synergies Castings Ltd., Rain Calcining Limited, Coromandel Fertilizers, Hindustan Ship Yard and Bharat Heavy Plate and Vessels Limited (BHPV), Visakha Dairy, Vizag Profiles, Essar Pellet Plant, Andhra Polymers [now called as LG Polymers], Andhra cements, Andhra petrochemicals, Andhra Ferroalloys which contribute to the economy of the city. The city also has some Ferro Alloy units because of availability of Manganese Ore around Visakhapatnam. The city is the headquarters for Waltair division of East Coast Railway. The Waltair division has generated 3483 Crore revenues in 2009 2010 and is one of the highest revenue grosser in the Country.
Its traditional importance in shipbuilding is confirmed by the fact that India's first ship, the Jala Usha was launched in Visakhapatnam. It is also one of India's main fishing ports, has a dedicated harbour for the fishing industry and handles a large percentage of India's seafood exports. The Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone plays a vital role in the industrial growth of the city. The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre has started its operation at autonagar (temporary) while the construction for the center is taking on currently. It is expected to be completed soon, the second only centre for India after Mumbai. Nuclear power technologies are to be set up at this centre including a University of its own by BARC. The city has office of National Institute of Oceanography, Indian Meteorological Department.
The Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) has awarded the bid to construct a Knowledge City to Unitech Limited in an area of 700 ha, with an investment of Rs. 35 thousand crores.
On-going and Future projects
Hindujas have also started construction of Thermal Power Plant of 1070 MW in Visakhapatnam district with 7000 Crores, HPCL is also expanding Visakh Refinery from 7.5 MT to 15 MT with an investment of 13000 Crores, NTPC-Simhadri is expanding from 1000 MW to 2000 MW with 5000Crores, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant completed its expansion from 3.1 MT to 6.3 MT with 9000 Crores, Visakhapatnam Port is expanding with 3000 Crores to increase its capacity to handle load up to 80 MT per year, HSL has been transferred to Defence Ministry recently some big Naval projects for building long range submarines up to 20,000 Crores are expected, NTPC is also coming with another Ultra Mega Power Project of 4000 MW with an investement of 23,000 Crores in Pudimadaka Village in Visakhapatnam district. Brighton group is coming up with Nuclear Manufacturing equipment factory near Nakkapalli with nearly 3000 Crores, BARC investing 2000 Crores for their new facility in Visakhapatnam, Anrak Aluminium investing up to 8000 Crores in 02 Phases for their Aluminium Refinery in Makavaripalem, Strategic Oil reserve facility coming up at Visakhapatnam with 6700 Crores, Other investors big investors in APSEZ are Confidence petroleum 1000 Crores, Abhijit Ferroalloys 2600 Crores. Recently RINL has announced some Joint Venture Projects inside RINL Facility - RINL Slag Cement Factory project worth 1000Crores, RINL-BHEL Seamless tubes project worth of 2000Crores,RINL-Power Grid Tower Manfacturing project worth of 350Crores.
The city has Eastern Naval Command [ENC] office and Naval Science & Technological Laboratory(DRDO Lab), CQAE [Chief Quality Assurance Establishment] [EFS] Office, Naval Docky yard [started in 1949] and nearly some 05 Naval bases like INS Kalinga, INS Samudrika, INS Satavahana, ENC Base, INS Dega etc. are present in the city. A new base called INS Rambilli is being constructed in with an investment of 1500 Crores and it is believed to be a dedicated submarine base in India. Recently India's first nuclear submarine INS Arihant was launched in Naval dockyard, Visakhapatnam and Bharat Dynamics Ltd has started recently in the city for manufacturing of Torpedoes. The city also has Indian Coast Guard offices. NSTL has plans for expansion in Visakhapatnam and has land in Simhachalam area has been allotted for this purpose.
Visakhapatnam is a part of the PCPIR [Petroleum and Chemical & Petrochemical investment region] proposed between Visakhapatnam and Kakinada. This PCPIR region is expected to generate employment of 1.2 million and projected investement of 34,30,000 million.
A beautiful monument like ISKCON temple for Universal peace is going to be constructed in Visakhapatnam.The project is estimated to be made with a budget of 57 crores.The magnificent temple will include Kalyan mandapams,Multimedia theatre,Museum,Vedic planetarium and Underwater meditation hall,Vrudhashram,School,naturopathy Hospital.The Construction of the First phase starting on April 24, 2012.
A view of the Beach Road from Kailasagiri Kailasagiri.
A park on RK beach
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 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).
Ramanaidu Film Studios, which started up recently, is located in the city.
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 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.
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 Budda.
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.
Retail and entertainment
The city has seen rapid growth in the retail and entertainment sectors during the past decade. Visakhapatnam contains a number of shopping malls. Some of the malls are Visakhapatnam Central, CMR Central, CMR Shopping Mall, V-Square Shopping Mall, Kalanjali, Kalaniketan Mall, and M&M Mall. Recently Novotel has started a hotel in Vizag with TAJ Gateway already being present in the city.
Grand Bay Hotel
The City has seen a new high in the entertainment sector with INOX, a famous Indian Multiplex chain, setting up 10 screens here. The multiplex in the city constitutes six Screens at Varun Beach and four screens at CMR Central Mall and Vmax multiplex has been recently opened. Few more mutiplex chains evinced interest in this fast growing city, most of which would complete construction in the next two years. Visakhapatnam has a good number of outlets for famous brands like Fabindia, Lee, Levis, H&A, United Colours Of Benetton, Pepe Jeans etc. in Waltair uplands and Siripuram. Baskin Robbins has also been opened recently in the city at multiplexes like CMR Central Mall and VARUN Beach INOX Mall. There are about 35 movie theaters in the city:
- CMR Central - INOX (4 screens)
- Varun Beach - INOX (6 screens)
- V-MAX (3 screens)
- Jagadamba Complex (3 screens)
- Sangam-Sarat Complex (2 screens)
- Kinnera Complex (2 Screens)
- Rama Talkies (Renovated in Dec 2011)
- Jothee (Owned by Dr. D.Ramanaidu)
- Sree Kanya
- Lakshmi Narasimha
- Raj Kamal
- Gokul etc.
Cricket is the most popular game followed by tennis and football. The city is home to a number of local cricket teams participating in various district and zonal events. Gully cricket a form of cricket played in empty streets or maidans - is a popular pastime for local school/college going kids in the evenings. Visakhapatnam also co-hosted the 32nd National Games along with the state capital, Hyderabad. Visakhapatnam has 7 cricket stadiums which are used for Ranji Trophy matches. However only 2 of these stadiums have been used for One Day International matches.
YSR Cricket Stadium at Madhurawada hosting the India-Sri Lanka ODI.
Indira Priyadarshini Stadium (5 ODI Matches): Also known as the Municipal Corporation Stadium, it hosted the first ODI match on 9 December 1988 and the last of the 5 on 3 April 2001. The stadium has discontinued hosting ODI matches in favor of the newer ACA-VDCA Stadium, which is situated in the satellite township of Madhurawada. The stadium is set amidst the hills and offers a scenic view.
YSR ACA-VDCA Stadium: (4 ODI Matches): The ACA-VDCA Stadium has hosted 4 ODIs with India winning against Pakistan in the first, Sri Lanka in the second, Australia in the third and West Indies in the fourth. Now this stadium is upgraded to host day/night matches. It has the most advanced flood lights in India after Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi. This stadium is recently named as YS Rajasekhara Reddy Stadium.
The city of Visakhapatnam has never hosted a Test Match. The ACA-VDCA Stadium was recently awarded Test status. This makes the ACA stadium the ninth stadium to have a Test status in the country and the second in Andhra Pradesh.
- Port Trust Golden Jubilee Stadium: It is the second largest stadium in Visakhapatnam city. It hasn't hosted any ODIs but has hosted Under-19 Youth Internationals.
Visakhapatnam is considered a centre for education in Andhra Pradesh. There are several primary, high school and college institutions in the city. Apart from state-run schools for the poor, there are many private institutions, missionary schools and colleges.
The IMU has been established as a Central University by the Government of India under an Act of Parliament, namely, the Indian Maritime University Act 2008. The Indian Maritime University, established through an Act of Parliament on 14/11/2008 as Central University, is poised to play a key role in the development of required human resource for the maritime sector. The Indian Maritime University, being the first of its kind in the country will cater to the educational requirement of the maritime fraternity. It is a teaching and affiliating University which will offer degree, post graduate degree and research programmes in all disciplines of maritime sector. The city also has National Institute of Oceanography.
Established in 1878, A.V.N. College is one of the city's oldest educational institutions. Famous freedom fighter Alluri Seeta Rama Raju studied in A.V.N College.
Visakhapatnam is the home of Andhra University (AU) which was established in 1926. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, before he became the President of India, worked as the Vice Chancellor of the University between 1931 and 1936. AU and its affiliated colleges provide education to thousands of students from the state. Post-graduate and graduate courses are offered in various branches like arts, commerce, science & technology, engineering, IT, business management, law and pharmacy. The AU college of pharmacy is the second oldest pharmacology institute in India. The university is in the process of obtaining IIESTstatus and there is also a proposal for setting up an IIM at Visakhapatnam.
The Andhra Medical College, established in 1902, is the home of various teaching hospitals. The GITAM University which is the first private university in Andhra Pradesh and the GVP College of Engineering are other prominent technical education institutions in the city.
Some of the other engineering colleges in the city: Chaitanya Engineering College, Raghu Engineering College, Vignan's Institute of Information Technology, Sanketika Vidya Parishad college of engineering, Pothinamallayapalem, Pydah College of Engineering and Technology, Vignans Institute of Engineering for Women, Al Ameer College of Engineering & Technology, Avanthi Institute of Engineering & Technology, Anil Neerukonda Institute of Technology & Sciences and VITAM College of Engineering. Graduation Degree Colleges: VIPS, Pydah, Gayatri, AVN, DR.V.S.Krishna, etc.
Schools: St. Aloysius Anglo Indian High School is the oldest school in the district and one of the oldest schools in the country. It was established in 1847 and is in the old town region, also, St. Joseph's Girls' High School was established in 1893 in Waltair R.S centre of Visakhapatnam and affiliated to ICSE.Visvodaya High School, Naval Children's School,Kotak Salesian School, D.A.V Cent. Public School, Delhi Public School, S.F.S. School, St. Anthony's high school, Bethany School, Visakha Valley School, Timpany School are the best schools in the state of Andhra Pradesh.Among the Play Schools and Kindergarten Schools ISKCON's Divine Touch School is one of the best with International standard. Other schools include Public School at MVP Colony, Pollocks School, St. Joseph's sec school, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sri Krishna Vidya Mandir, Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Siva Sivani, Saraswathi Vidya Vihar, Little Angels, Little Flowers and Pavani School. The city has around 10 Kendriya Vidyalaya's with total student strength of 18000. Timpany School has three branches one affiliated to ICSE and the other two to CBSE. Vikas Vidyaniketan is the largest CBSE +2 residential school affiliated to CBSE. Vijnana Vihara(Gudilova),Visakha Valley School and Sri Krishna Vidya Mandir are affiliated to CBSE.De Paul School affiliated to SSC and ICSE. Municipal Corporation also running the schools in Telugu medium, which offers education at free of cost to the poor. Kurupam Durga Prasad Municipal Corporation High School Est.,in 1954, Zilla Parishad High School are to name a few.
The International Science Congress (I.S.C.) was hosted by Andhra University in 1976 and again in 2008. It is the largest congregation of scientists from different disciplines in the world. Over 8,000 people participated in the I.S.C. in 2008, including prominent Nobel Prize winners from around the world.
Educational institutes in and around the city
- Andhra Medical College / King George Hospital
- Gayatri Vidya Parishad Degree College(A)- Visakhapatnam
- Aditya Degree College - visakhapatnam
- Mrs. AVN College
- BVK College
- Dr. VS Krishna Govt. College
- Dr. Lankapalli Bullayya College
- Sreepaada Degree College, Madhavadhara
Government polytechnic visakhapatnam
- St.Anthony's School - Near Green Park Hotel.
- Andhra University High School, AU Staff Quarters
- Divine Touch School-Siripuram
- Sri Sarada Vidya Nilayam - Seethammadhara
- Nalanda Talent School - Seethammadhara
- St. Joseph's Secondary School - Malkapuram
- Stella Maris School - Marripalem (Karasa)
- Visakha Tutorial College (School) - Rajendra Nagar
- St Francis High school - Seethammadhara
- St Aloysius School
- ETASI Timpany School - Asilametta & Steel Plant
- Pollocks - Diamond park
- Visakha Valley School
- Fort Catholic Girls' School
- Kotak Salesian School
- Kendriya Vidyalaya
- St. Anthony's High School, Ganjipeta
- KDPM High School, Chinna Waltair
- St. Anns School, NAD
- Vignan Vidyalayam Timmapuram
- St. Joseph's Girls High School
- St. John's Parish School
- Siva Sivani Public School - Kirlampudi Layout & Steel Plant
- DAV Public School - Steel Plant
- Delhi Public School - Steel Plant
- Kendriya Vidhyalaya - Steel Plant
- De'Paul School - Steel Plant
- Adarsh Public School - Gajuwaka
- Little Angels High School - MVP Colony
- MVP Public School - MVP Colony
- Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar- MVP Colony
- St Peter's High School - Gnanapuram
- St.Marys School - Seethammadhara
- Seventh-Day Adventist High School - Jagadamba Jn
- Balaji public school - Gopalapatnam
- Nehru Municipal corporation high school - Maddilapalem
- Belmont High School- Narashimanagar
- MSM Public School- NGGO'S Colony
- Sri chaitanya techno school-Madhurawada
- BT College
- Saraswathi Vidya Vihar- Jawaharnagar,Sriharipuram
Hospitals in and around the city
- King George Hospital
- Queens NRI
- Seven Hills Hospital
- Samudra Hospital - KGH OP GATE DOWN
- Manipal Hospital - KGH OP GATE DOWN
- Simhadri Hospital
- Appollo Hospital
- Care Hospitals
- New Care Hospitals
- Indus Hospitals
- Kala Hospital http://www.kalahospital.com/
- larzrus hospital
- Apoorva Hospital - RajendraNagar
Religious places in and around the city
- ISKCON Temple-Sri Sri Radha damodar-Sagarnagar
- Simhachala kshetram - Lord Naramisha - near Gopalapatnam
- Kanaka mahaalakshmi Gudi - Goddess Lakshmi - near Old Town
- Trinity Lutheran Church, Jagadamba Jn
- United Christ Church, NAD Jn
- Infant Jesus Church, Seethammadhara,
- Rose Hill, Old Post Office,
- Madhava dhaara - Lord Madhaaveshwara - near Muralinagar
- Sagara Durga Gudi - Goddess Durga - on Dolphins Nose Mountain
- Shankara Matam - Saint Shankaracharya - near Dwaraka Nagar
- Lalitha Gudi - Goddess Lalitha - near Lalitha Nagar
- SampathVinayaka Gudi - Lord Ganesha - near Asilametta
Worldwide Faith Missions - Bananapalem Village
- Dayal Nagar - Radha Soami
Steel plant township
The city has a steel plant known as VSP or RINL. The capacity of the plant has been upgraded to 6.3MT and it has a large land area of 20,000 acres. It is poised to become a 20MT plant in the future, the largest plant in a single location. The plant had a sales revenues of for 2011 2012 and has about 17,800 employee.
The township for plant employees is called Ukkunagaram (ukku in Telugu for steel,nagaram in Telugu for town). The designers of the township followed the Roman Circular design for the layout of homes and roads to keep the distances equal between any two points within the township. There are 12 sectors in the Township, the oldest are sectors 1, 2 and 3, as well as 7 which is the exclusive domain of directors and the chairman's homes, and the newest is sector 12 which has CD type housing units and are available for senior officers. Other sectors came into being as the plant's staffing matured. On average, each sector consists of about 300 housing units, which vary from multi-storied quarters (3 floors) to single family homes. There are also bungalows exclusively for the directors of the plant. There are 5 types of housing units viz. A Type, B, C, D & director's bungalow. Sector 1 used to house the Russians who came to erect and commission the first blast furnace "Godavari", The RMHP, Sinter, and Coke Oven Batteries I & II. The township is located in a forest belt starting at the Valleys of Araku through Elamanchili to Narsipatnam. The township comes under the mandate of the Town Administration. The continued afforestation efforts of the management has led to a green environment. The township has roads and regulated traffic. The township also has all market places, parks, clubs, sports facilities exclusively for the employees and their dependents.
Big Kanithi Balancing reservoir provides water for the captive consumption of the plant and the township alike, and sits between the Township and the NH5. It draws its water from a special canal built exclusively for it from the River Yeleru, a tributary of the major river Godavari.
The road that leads from the plant plaza main gate into the township actually travels ahead as a bypass to the busy NH5 and skips Anakapalli directly to Elamanchili and Tuni, cutting almost 30 km on the road route from Visakhapatnam to Vijayawada.
Members of Parliament
- Daggubati Purandeshwari (INC) Visakhapatnam
- Sabbam Hari (INC) Anakapalli
- V Kishore Chandra Deo (INC) Araku
Members of Legislative Assembly
- Paderu(ST): Pasupuleti Balaraju (INC)
- Visakhapatnam South: Dronamraju Srinivas (INC)
- Visakhapatnam East: Rama Krishna Babu (TDP)
- Visakhapatnam North: Thynala Vijaya Kumar (INC)
- Visakhapatnam West: Malla Vijaya Prasad (INC)
- Pendurthi: Panchakarla Ramesh (INC)
- Gajuwaka: Chintalapudi Venkataramayya (INC)
The current Collector of the district is Lav Agarwal while the Joint Collector is Girija Shankar IAS. Present Local Body Time was expired so special officer for Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation is Mr. Lav Agarwal Dist. Collector, And Commissioner is Mr. Ramanjeneyulu
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