Once a small fishing village, Visakhapatnam has developed into a port city, a bustling industrial and commercial centre. It is today the country's largest ship building yard. It is also called Vizag. According to the history, the city was named after the god of valor - Visakha. It was a part of the Kalinga Kingdom, under Ashoka's rule in 260 B.C. It passed on later to the Andhra kings of Vengi. After this the city was ruled by Pallava, Chola and Ganga dynasties. In the 15th century, Visakhapatnam became a part of the Vijayanagar empire. The remarkable landmark of this place is the Dolphin's Nose - a rocky promontory in the port, 358 metres high. The Ramakrishna Mission Beach, one of the loveliest on the eastern coast and Rushikonda, another beautiful beach are popular. Other reputed natural sites near Vizag are Borra Caves, Araku alley and Bheemunipatnam.
The first shore-based integrated steel plant in the country, the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) was incorporated as a public sector company in 1982. The VSP is the most sophisticated modern integrated steel plant in the country. Set up with Russian collaboration, it employs more than 25,000 people!
Standing strong near the exit gate of Andhra University, the clock tower is a landmark for people travelling towards Chinna Waltair. Built of bricks, the tower displays a huge clock ticking away with time. A statue stands in the centre of a circular platform surrounded by iron stumps and chains. The college buildings form the backdrop along with trees, which are dwarfed by the clock tower.
The most famous landmark of the port city of Visakhapatnam is the Dolphin's Nose, a rocky highland jutting into the waters, about 358 metres high. One cannot miss this strikingly natural topography. The rotating beam of the lighthouse atop the Dolphin's Nose guides ships to the shore after dusk.
The indoor stadium near Maddilapalem in Visakhapatnam is centrally air-conditioned. Most of the national or state level indoor games like table tennis, carroms, shuttle, ring tennis, chess, gymnastics are played here. The stadium is well equipped with bright lights and other facilities that cater to various sports.
Visakhapatnam, a major natural harbour of India, is the hub of the largest ship building yard in India. The port is a scene of hectic activity with large freight ships and many steamers anchoring at the jetty. Shipment of goods for export is carried out on a massive scale
The shrine of Kali, the goddess of power (Shakti) and destroyer of evil, situated close to the Ramakrishna beach is a landmark in itself. Famous for its splendid architecture depicting tall pillars, arches and minarets, the temple edifice can be easily mistaken for a marvel in sandstone. Concrete balustrades support a flight of steps at the main entrance and on the sides. The temple is serenity personified and it is peace and peace alone when one enters the temple precincts!
This is not an example of an archeological excavation. In fact, it is the magnificent location of the Lord Venkateswara temple amidst the thick greenery and rugged terrain. The temple, painted white, has concrete dome-like carvings and several pillars outside the sanctum sanctorum. This temple is part of the cluster of religious structures - a church and a mosque - built on the same hill.
Symbol of Secularism
A rugged hillock near the Visakhapatnam port stands as a symbol of secularism with a church, a mosque and a temple built adjacent to each other. Encompassed by verdant trees and neatly cut steps, the three shrines are indeed imposing. A view from this sacred hilltop is breathtaking as one can see a huge wall of mountain in the backdrop and the bustling harbour with the conveyor belt seen just behind the hillock. A unique combination of spirituality and materialism!
About 600 steps made of stone slabs lead visitors to the Kailasagiri hill. The sideways are steep and covered with verdant trees. A few yards away, at the beginning of the steps, the white froth of the waves lash the seashores as though dancing, caressed by the cool breeze. The long climb uphill offers an excellent view to the visitors and the tiredness is soon forgotten.
A spectacular sea view stretching far and wide is what one gets to see from the Aditya point on the Kailasagiri hill. There are four such points that offer other views such as the cityscape and the residential settlements. A four-pillared pyramidal concrete pavilion with benches provides for a resting point for the visitors.
The Celestial Couple
The imposing idols of Siva and Parvathi, the celestial couple seated atop the serene and heavenly Kailasagiri hill, seem to bestow their blessings on the land and protect the people from evils. Exquisitely sculptured in stone, the more than 25 feet tall deities are revered and prayed for health, wealth and prosperity.
Under the night sky, when the beach waters of Vizag are but a thick blanket of darkness and the music of the swirling waves echoes through the buzzing din of the traffic, the beach road looks spectacular with glittering lights on the road and buildings dotting the shores. Driving or strolling on this road is indeed a pleasure as the cool evening breeze drifts your mind away to serenity, as serene as the silent war memorial edifice that stands along side the road.
One of the loveliest beaches on the East Coast, the Ramakrishna beach is a favorite resort for tourists visiting Visakhapatnam. The vast stretch of water and the accompanying calm is in sharp contrast to the scurrying activity on the road and the apartments on the other side. On the shores, it is a virtual fair with a colorful crowd of tiny tots, young and old having a fun filled time on the sand bed.
Sea and Land
A photographer's brilliant capturing of urban settlements sandwiched between a hilly terrain (Kailasagiri) on one side and the water body on the other! Also arresting is the mood of the three adventurous men, sailing in a yacht on the silent waters!!
Referred to as Waltair or Visakha, it is a destination as well as a starting point for the denizens and the visitors to Visakhapatnam, the country's largest shipbuilding yard. The port town is not only a bustling industrial and commercial city but also a seat of learning with the well recognized Andhra University on the Uplands. Situated on the East coast, it has lovely beaches, temples and other tourist attractions in and around. The railway station is located on the Grand Trunk route of Madras to Calcutta and the picture is a close up of the neat and clean station bustling with cars and people.