Visakhapatnam also know as Vizag always fascinates me by its dynamic offering, this place got almost everything, hills, caves, temples, sea beaches, and some finger-licking foods. Very few places in India could make someone experience sea and mountains on a single trip and Vizag is one of those rare places.
I have been to different places around Vizag at different times. First I heard about this place in my school life, we had an excursion there. Second during my Kolkata – Kanyakumari Ride, after that while returning back Kolkata from Bangalore last year (2017) and finally in 2019 during Durga Puja.
Although, I admit that I missed a couple of remarkable things there like Simhachalam Temple & Vizag – Araku train ride, but I am writing this to encourage everyone out there to have a visit at least once in a life.
Accommodation in Vizag
I would prefer to stay near/at RK Beach which ensures local sightseeing by walk and you can relax even on sea beaches. Balaji beach guest house and Beach lane holiday home will be my choice to stay in Vizag, first one is a budget accommodation @Rs. 1200/- approx and the second is more towards coziness & homely feeling @Rs. 2000/- (we had very good Bengali food here in 2016).
There are many budget hotels available near the railway station area but the beach will be a little far. Also, there are numerous holiday homes available from different banks or government offices.
Visakhapatnam has numerous sightseeing spots and almost every place is either very scenic or informative. If you are planning to visit all the places minimum of three days will be needed to cover most of the places.
Probably, this one is the most famous point people consider visiting in Vizag. This park located at an elevated height of 173 meters, it also serves a magnificent view of Rishikonda Beach and part of Vizag city. The Shiva & Durga sculpture will definitely wonder everyone. For a 360 degree view, you can ride the toy train and ropeway at a very nominal cost. Even a few food stalls are available to have snacks or lunch.
- Entry Fees: INR 5, Ropeway INR 90, and Toy train INR 150.
- Timing: 6 AM to 7:30 PM.
Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha (Simhachalam) temple
Generally known as Simhachalam temple, is located 500 meters above the sea and approx. 20 Kilometers away from the main city. Don’t miss the bird’s eye view of the city from the top while visiting. Truly, despite my multiple visits to Vizag, I always missed this place due to some unavoidable reasons, but it will on top priority during my next visit.
As per local cab drivers, everyone needs to take a bus from downhill to reach the temple although not sure about reality.
- Special Darshan INR 100.
Also popular as RK Beach, is one of the happening, clean and beautiful beaches in India. This place becomes the main attraction of the city in the evening. All the tourists enjoy seating here & soaking good vibes. Whatever a tourist need, this place gets everything food joints, souvenir shops, attraction points, etc. Few major attractions of Vizag like INS Kurusura, Matsyadarshini, Vishaka Aircraft museum, and memorials are located here, within a kilometer or so.
Please keep in mind sea-bathing in RK Beach is prohibited by local authorities so please abide by the rules.
VUDA is something you will see at every corner of the city, it abbreviates as Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority. This park, on the seashore, is a gift for all tourists and localities. Children can have their fun and others can see the sea waves, within 5-10 minutes’ walk, you can reach a lighthouse. Just climb it and amaze yourself, beware of local drinkers.
- Entry Fees: INR 20 (9 AM to 2 PM) & INR 60 (2 PM to 8:30PM).
- Timing: 9 AM to 8:30 PM.
This beach is for someone who loves sea bathing. There are stalls to have food, beverages, or even ornaments. Selfie lovers can click some cool pictures too. Within 10 Kilometers from RK. Beach, this beach feels good too in the evening, much less crowded, will make happy those who love to spend quality time. Even you can take shower for INR 5 after sea-bath.
If you want to watch real submarine and that too served nation for 31 years, also participated in India – Pakistan war (1971), visit this place. I believe our visit pays our gratitude towards Marine, especially this submarine. Separate tickets are available for entry, videography, etc. You will definitely leave this place with more knowledge.
- Entry Fees: Adult INR 40 & Child INR 20.
- Timing: Tuesday to Saturday 2 PM to 8:30 PM, Sunday 10 AM to 12:30 PM & 2 PM to 8:30 PM and Monday closed.
- Still camera INR 50 & Video camera INR 200.
Visakha Aircraft (TU 142) Museum
This museum is for Aircraft, the same as above, this is a must-visit point. An audio guide is available at the entrance and the whole museum is well marked to give knowledge of how aircraft ecosystem works. In addition to the knowledge, you can witness real TU 142 aircraft here.
- Entry Fees: Adult INR 70 & Child INR 40.
- Timing: Monday to Saturday 2 PM to 8:30 PM and Sunday 10 AM to 12:30 PM & 2 PM to 8:30 PM.
If you love marine life, this place is for you. A lot of marine species are demonstrated here, all alive. Tickets needed for entry and photography.
- Entry Fees: Adult INR 30 & Child INR 20.
- Timing: 9 AM to 9 PM.
- Still camera INR 20 and Video camera INR 50.
You may check out the video below.
I never visited this place, although some people said, it is a place for fish lovers. Fact is the majority of fish we see in any market, ships from Visakhapatnam, probably from this harbour.
This place showcases many Naval types of equipment for general knowledge, some kids may get inspired to join the Navy in the future.
- Entry Fees: Adult INR 10 & Child INR 5.
- Timing: Monday to Thursday 11 AM to 7 PM, Weekend 12 PM to 8 PM and Friday closed.
Yarada Beach is also a famous beach in Visakhapatnam, rather I should say this is the most beautiful beach there. Almost at a distance of 23 kilometers from the Vizag this place is one of the must-visit spot.
Dolphin Nose Light House
I personally missed this place numerous times but last year (2019) when I visited the place I understood the significance of this place in the Vizag tour. One the place where you can see the entire Vizag sea and the Bay of Bengal from an elevated platform. The seawater looks bluer and a lot beautiful.
- Entry Fees: Adult INR 10 & Child INR 3, Still Camera INR 20 & Video Camera INR 25.
- Timing: 3 pM to 5 PM.
Tribe Museum, Araku Valley
Araku is approx. 120 kilometers from Vizag at an average elevation of 1000 meters and on the way you can see a lot of places like Galikonda View Point, Katiki falls, Borra caves. I visited Araku more than a decade ago, still, I can rejoice those memories. This place is not for visiting tourist attractions although we got a tribal museum there which demonstrates tribal life, rather relaxing.
- Entry Fees: Adult INR 40 & Child INR 20.
- Timing: 9 AM to 7 PM.
I did not get a chance to visit Galikonda View Point & Katiki falls due to road construction but definitely will go on the next visit.
While Araku valley offers you relaxing weather, the other side Borra cave will feel you wonder.
One of the largest caves in India and deepest too. It is made of Karstic Limestone and located at an average elevation of 700 meters. You have to pay for entry tickets as well as photography devices. You can check biological and geological environment details here. Peoples say there are approx 440 steps, you need to climb down to explore the cave. The inside temperature of the cave is always less than outside. The formations look more attractive with the RGB lighting, fitted by APTDC.
Try to explore the cave completely and witness one of the millions of wonders of nature. For heart patients, think before you move down because you have to climb while returning and the last piece of advice would be to watch before the rush, most of the surface may feel slippery.
- Entry Fees: Adult INR 60 & Child INR 45.
- Timing: 10 AM to 5 PM.
- Mobile camera INR 25, Still camera INR 100 & Video camera INR 100.
Also, don’t forget to visit Ramanaidu Studio, Bheemli Beach. There are few more places I never been to but others recommend visiting like Simhachalam, Ketaki Falls, and Indira Gandhi National Zoological Park, etc.
- Zoological Park Entry Fees: Adult INR 20 & Child INR 10. Tuesday to Sunday 9 AM to 5 PM and Monday closed.
- Ramanaidu Studio Entry Fees: Adult INR 50 and Child INR 25. Camera INR 60.
Although you will get all types of cuisine here. I would recommend trying South Indian food, those are cheap and tastes good too. Try filter coffee, Dosa, and Idli. If you don’t like these, move out a little bit you will find Puri-Sabji, Momos or bread toasts, etc. Those who love Bengali food may taste at Sonar Bangla and other restaurants. If you love Mughlai or tandoori dish, try Hotel Kamat.
If you are non-vegetarian and love chicken, don’t forget to order Bamboo Chicken before entering Borra cave, they will take 50% as advance and serve you once back. I am damn sure, everyone will love it.
Best time to visit Visakhapatnam
Vizag remains pleasant to moderate throughout the year. But I would always recommend visiting after the monsoon, these time greenery will be more and the waterfall will have plenty of flow too. Generally, you will feel the heat in the daytime and a pleasant cold at night. December-January will be very cold at Araku and inside borra cave especially but overall feel better.
Transportation for sightseeing
If you are in the budget, reserve an auto for day sightseeing else hotel guys can help to book a cab for you. For Araku sightseeing, you can take a train which routes many tunnels and jungle. Visit Borra Cave and board into the reserved car to Araku and return the next day by car (few people find it more convenient due to the onwards journey schedule from Vizag). Always research before you book transport and justify the rates.
- Day 1: Reach Vizag, explore RK Beach, and visit Matsyadarshini, INS Kurusura, TU 142 Aircraft museum near the beach in the evening.
- Day 2: Reserve your cab/auto for the day, places to cover Simhachalam Temple, Indira Gandhi National Zoological Park, Kailasagiri, Rishikonda Beach, Visakha museum.
- Day 3: Take train/cab to Araku, on the way Borra cave.
- Day 4: Visit Tribal museum, Araku. Start towards Vizag on the way visit Kataki falls, Galikonda View Point. If you reach early you may plan for Dolphin nose, Harbour, Yarada beach, few more places.
- Day 5: Leisure day.
You can modify according to your taste and requirement.
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