Visakhapatnam- an important port city of the country popularly known as Vizag, it is a brimming hub of cultural richness and surreal scenic beaches. This coastal city in Andhra Pradesh is situated amidst the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal. Also referred to as the “Goa of the East”, one can find numerous things to do in Vizag.
Apart from the city’s rich association in the maritime history of India, Vizag has also strengthened its tourism sector simultaneously, developing as one of the most famous holiday destinations in India.
Being one of the oldest ports in the country and an important industrial hub for Andhra Pradesh, Vizag houses some of the most serene beaches and astonishing historical marvels, all in one place.
Vizag is the largest city in Andhra Pradesh, yet it is not fully explored. The Eastern Naval Command is headquartered here, which is an integral part of the city, further increasing the city’s notability. The city has some underrated gems that not only serve the purpose of a delightful trip but also endure valuable educational facts, which eventually is a plus.
So if you plan a trip to the ‘City of Destiny’, you have arrived at the right place! Exploring the city at your leisure can be immensely rewarding if you cultivate what the city is all about beforehand. Here in this blog, we’ll closely examine the city’s top tourist attractions.
Hence, don’t leave the mid-way and read this article till the very end as we list down the most interesting things you can do here and make your visit memorable.
Interesting Things to do in Vizag
Vizag is balanced with beautiful beaches, fascinating museums, lush green hills, parks and whatnot. Your hunt for the city’s most popular tourist spots shall end immediately as we delve into the top 13 things you can do at these 13 places in Vizag!
With the tranquillity that most of the scenic locations offer, owing to low crowd levels, Vizag can truly be called a nature lover’s abode.
1. INS Kursura Submarine Museum
Naming the most popular attraction here can be no other than the Kursura submarine museum, and why not? This museum is a huge real-life submarine converted into a museum, and not only that, this is the only submarine museum in South Asia. Originally built by the Russians in 1969, Kursura served the Indian Navy for 31 years.
It was decommissioned in 2001 and preserved in a spectacular museum in 2002. Parallelly located against the RK beach, which forms a stunning backdrop for the museum, the Kursura submarine is a must-visit if you are a naval enthusiast or simply keen to know about life inside a massive submarine.
The museum showcases various artefacts that educate the public about the life of submarines and what happens during wartime. The interiors of the submarine give you the feeling of being inside an actual working submarine, with dummy models of the officers who look after various sections of the submarine and written panels explaining the purpose and significance of every section so that you can have a clear understanding of the inside workings of a submarine. This museum is undoubtedly one of the top places to see in Vizag and worth visiting.
2. Indira Gandhi Zoological Park
Stretched across a wide area of 625 acres, this park provides a natural ambient setup with huge living spaces for the well-being of its wildlife. Covered with lush greenery all around, surrounding tall trees and hills, this park feels no less than an adventure into the wild.
Over 100 species of animals are sheltered here, including mammals, reptiles and birds. This park lies close to Kambalakonda wildlife sanctuary, which offers nature lovers more scenic views and adventure trails.
Named after the former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi Zoological Park lies within the main city with other popular attractions like Kailasagiri, less than 5 km from here.
The park will keep you enthralled throughout, and it is preferable if you carry an ample amount of hydrating drinks as the park will have you going around places where vehicles generally cannot enter. The zoological park belongs to the Kambalakonda forest reserve and is one of the largest in the country.
3. Ramakrishna Beach
A perfect spot for an evening stroll, the Ramakrishna beach, also known as RK beach, is the longest seafront in Vizag. Named after the Ramakrishna mission ashram situated right on the opposite, you will always find a good crowd here all day long owing to its convenient location.
Parallel to its shore lies the renowned submarine museum and other nearby attractions within walking distance like Tu 142 Aircraft Museum, Visakha Museum and the Victory at Sea War Memorial.
Although swimming on this beach is not recommended, you can still spend quality time here by playing beach games or sitting by the shore watching the waves hit the shore and march back into the blues.
Kailasagiri is one of the most visited tourist spots in Vizag. This magical hill station, located within 9 km of distance from Visakhapatnam railway station, offers panoramic views of the east coast.
The breathtaking views of the aqua blue sea bordering the tiny settlements are to die for. With an elevation of around 360 feet above sea level, this hilltop station is spread across 350 acres.
This place witnesses visitors in good numbers all year long due to its popular attractions, which include the ropeway and the dual idols of Shiva and Parvati.
There are prominently two ways you can reach here: either by road or the ropeway. Visitors can reach the hilltop by their respective vehicles or even take the ropeway, which offers mesmerizing vistas of the beach and the city as it climbs.
It is recommended if you choose the ropeway to take you to the hilltop as it can be a surreal experience to watch the enchanting beauty of the city sitting inside the cable car.
Once you reach the hilltop, you will find a beautiful park for the kids to play, a toy train station from which you can take a train that will tour you around the hill covered with lush green trees, flowering plants and also spectacular views of the city. As mentioned earlier, this famous hill station’s main attraction is the huge sculpture of Lord Shiva and Parvati.
This statue, made of white marble, stands 40 feet tall, attracting pilgrims from various parts of the country. Overall, Kailasagiri is one of the most outstanding places to visit in Vizag and cannot be missed if you ever plan a trip here.
5. TU 142 Aircraft Museum
Vizag has been a centrepiece when it comes to the Naval history of India. There are infinite reasons for this city’s people to celebrate the glorious history of the Indian Navy. Just opposite the Submarine museum near RK beach, we have another fascinating museum specialising in anti-submarine warfare and serving the Indian Navy for 30 years.
The Russian maritime patrol, TU 142 Aircraft, was later decommissioned at the Vizag sea beach and converted into a museum showcasing various aircraft functionalities.
If you are interested in aviation, this is the place you need to visit first. The museum educates about the history of the aircraft, its contributions and interesting features of how it works.
Not only the museum but the visitors also get a chance to enter the actual aircraft and observe various articles responsible for the proper functioning of the aircraft. You will also find a holographic representation of the aircraft flight simulator with VR headsets for visitors to experience how it feels to be a defence pilot.
6. Victory at Sea War Memorial
The Victory at Sea War Memorial is a properly maintained fenced land constructed in 1996 to honour the Eastern Naval command martyrs after the Indo-Pakistani war in 1971. It is a small land located on the beach road adjoining RK beach. The tall red memorial also has tanks, planes and other defence vehicles displayed around the memorial premises.
The memorial can be seen from the main road itself, so tourists can quickly visit the memorial on their way to the beach. During the evening, the red memorial can be seen lit in a glowing red pyre which remains permanently lit. Visiting this memorial will instantly amplify a sense of patriotism for all those fearless fighters who selflessly fought for the country and its people’s safety.
7. Simhachalam Temple
Also called Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Vari Devasthanam, this temple attracts pilgrims all year long due to its fine architecture and rich culture. Located 300 feet above sea level, on the Simhachalam hill range, surrounded by lush greenery and mist-covered hills, the Simhachalam temple is one of the most renowned tourist spots in Vizag.
The temple is dedicated to Narasimha, who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Simhachalam is one of the 32 temples in Andhra Pradesh that are considered important pilgrimage centres.
This historic temple from the 11th Century features elaborately decorated entrances, walls and architecture majorly influenced by the Kalinga style. The main shrine follows a specific design pattern covered in turmeric paste, which is considered auspicious and sacred.
The more you explore this temple, the more fascinated you will adore this fine work of art portrayed by most temples in South India. This ancient temple has certain undisturbed traditions to which the temple authority and the pilgrims must strictly adhere. The serenity this temple places makes it one of the most heavenly places to visit in Vizag.
8. Visakha Museum
Visakha Museum is one of the oldest museums in Andhra Pradesh, established in 1991. This has to be one of the most underrated places of Vizag. The Visakha Museum is located near RK beach, which makes it easily accessible for visitors to quickly visit this hidden treasure and absorb themselves in the ancient artefacts and armoury before hitting the beach.
The museum has two buildings, the first building, which is the maritime wing of the museum, consists of warship models, submarine models, equipment like survival kits and other valuables, uniforms and broad planks explaining the history behind every display.
You will also find the remains of the 1971 Ghazi attack preserved here. The museum’s maritime section tours you through India’s rich Naval history.
The second building displays historical artefacts, coins, armour, weapons, jewellery and other historical treasures of the Kalingandhra region. Apart from the regional relics, you will also find a number of 3D models, portraits, paintings of various kinds and handicrafts here.
So if you are interested in the country’s Naval history or are simply an art enthusiast, the Visakha museum is where you should be!
9. Rushikonda Beach
Undoubtedly the most popular beach of all, located on the coast of the Bay of Bengal, Rushikonda beach is known for active water sports and its undying serenity. Also called “The Jewel of East Coast”, this beach will get your heart pumping with zeal as soon as the tidy blue waves hit the shore. Rushikonda is one of those beaches where long quiet walks along the borders of the shore can instantly put your mind to peace.
If you are a nature lover or a fan of adventure sports, you cannot miss out on this amazing beach spot! While the beach lies against a stunning backdrop of the green hills and tall trees, swimming, surfing, or jet skiing can be one of those fun activities you can do here. This beach attracts the highest number of visitors annually, which is not surprising.
10. Dolphin’s Nose\ Dolphin Hill
The Dolphin hill, or Dolphin’s Nose, is a hill situated between the Yarada and Gangavaram ports. This hill gets its name due to its resemblance to a dolphin’s nose when seen from a distance. The natural formation of this rocky hill is a prominent landmark in Vizag, standing 358 metres above sea level. Dolphin’s nose is an ideal place for one to visit if they want to catch epic panoramic sea views from a higher altitude.
The hill attracts tourists in good numbers, not just for its interesting name but also to spectate mystical sunrise and sunset views. The hill has a large viewpoint from where you can capture spectacular views of the city and its striking coastline. A lighthouse is also situated at the top, which serves the purpose of guiding ships from a certain distance.
11. Yarada Beach
What is a coastal city without beaches in good numbers? Yarada beach is located near Gangavaram beach and Dolphin hill, about 20 km away from the main city of Vizag. The remote location of this beach makes it worth visiting as it offers serene aspects of nature in the purest form.
Surrounded by hills on all three sides and the Bay of Bengal on the fourth, Yarada beach offers the ideal beach experience one craves. You will find this beach a lot calmer and more peaceful compared to other beaches in Vizag due to low crowd levels, making your time at the beach even more memorable.
The golden sands flying against the windy, cold waves and the gushing waters beating the shore candidly can get no better if not at Yarada beach. This entrancing site is worth hours of travelling, and not to forget, getting here via car or trekking can be a whole new experience altogether as you’ll catch breathtaking views of the cityscapes while climbing up.
12. Borra Caves
This natural preserve, located about 90km from the main city of Visakhapatnam in the Ananthagiri hills of the Araku Valley, can truly be called a nature’s marvel. The Borra Caves lie at an elevation of 705 metres and are one of the largest caves in India. Once inside this massive creation of nature, you will instantly start wondering how puzzling nature can be.
The cave also has various colourful artificial lights installed that help you even better absorb the intriguing limestone formations of the caves.
The geography behind the formation of this cave will keep you hooked to discover more about this wonder. Pilgrims visit this cave to catch a glimpse of the stalagmite shivling a few steep steps above.
Around the cave premises, you will find lush greenery and various rock formations resulting from constant erosion. Borra caves are said to be more than 150 years old and were formed due to the flow of the Gosthani River on the limestone deposits which sculpted this beautiful marvel.
13. Araku Valley
The beautiful port city of Vizag also houses gems like the Araku Valley. Surrounded by thick forests, waterfalls and streams, Araku valley lies in the northeastern corner of Andhra Pradesh.
Although full in every aspect, the hill station, from its natural ambience to its picturesque location, is yet one of the most unexplored tourist spots in Vizag. Perched at an altitude of 910 metres, this valley is covered in green on every corner.
The main attraction here features the vast coffee plantations, scenic viewpoints from where you can see the vast greenery of this mystical valley and the tribal museum, which exhibits the life of the tribal people residing here. This magical hill station far from the city limits will have you yearning for the raw, undisturbed atmosphere here.
While we saw the top spots in Vizag that one cannot miss out on, there are ample more places to visit here. Some of these places include the Ross hill church, bheemili beach, tenneti park and the thotlakonda Buddhist monastery. Vizag is abundant in scenic destinations, museums and whatnot; the most spectacular feature here is its undisturbed unspoiled beauty.
Most places here have been maintained with utmost cleanliness and preserved without losing their originality. So plan your trip to this beautiful coastal city without missing out on the key things you must do here!