Well known as the gem of the east coast, Visakhapatnam is the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy. It serves to be an exciting travel goal for nature lovers. On DAY 2 we intended to find the best places to visit in Visakhapatnam with our pre-booked APTDC Visakhapatnam City Tour by luxury AC bus.
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On DAY 2 After breakfast we prepared for our APTDC (Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation) led entire day Visakhapatnam Heritage Tour. Otherwise called Visakhaptnam City Tour in AC bus which would cover Kailasagiri, Simhachalam, Thotlakonda, Boating at Fishing Harbor, Rishi Konda Beach, Visaka Sub Marine Museum (Kursura exhibition hall) and Jathara Silparamam with Lunch and Entry Fees. Remember Visaka Sub Marine Museum Closed on Monday and Boating Charges we need to pay extra. They charged Rs. 675 for adults and Rs. 563 for the child.
Our city visit began around 9 am from Vishakapatnam APTDC, RTC Complex (9848813584). Our bus was all around cleaned and AC was functioning admirably. A clean curtain fitted with windows and seats were great. They have given one guide as well. First, we went to Simhachalam.
1.Simhachalam is a Hindu temple situated on the Simhachalam slope, in Visakhapatnam. It is devoted to one of the Hindu Gods Vishnu, who is venerated there as Varaha Narasimha. According to the sanctuary’s legend, Vishnu built up, with a pig head, human middle, and a lion’s tail, to protect his disciple Prahlada from a homicide endeavor by the last’s dad Hiranyakashipu.
It was viewed as a main point of Vaishnavism in the medieval period. The temple area has been recognized by historians with the assistance of a ninth-century AD engraving by the Chalukya king Kulottunga I. Simhachalam temple is like a stronghold from outside with three external courtyards and five roads. The design is a mix of the styles of the Kalinga Architecture. Simhachalam is the second-biggest after Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh regarding producing revenue. Enthusiasts accept that the divinity is equipped for offering posterity to ladies and satisfying the desires of lovers. From there, we moved to Shilparamam Jathara.
2. Shilparamam Jathara is an arts and crafts village and furthermore a sculpture park located in Visakhapatnam. The village was considered with a plan to make a place for the security of traditional crafts of our country. There are ethnic celebrations round the year.
Shilparamam is situated in attractive natural conditions with woodwork, gems, garments, and local crafts of each state of the nation. There were 36 stalls. Each stall delivers a variety of customary items. A running track likewise accessible and it is advantageous for morning walkers since it has a lush green environment.
One of the significant attractions is the Bird Enclosure with different kinds of birds, including Indian and international. There was an amphitheater that has an all-out limit of 1000 visitors. There are so many cultural events conducted throughout the year. From that point, we moved to Totlakonda.
3. Thotlakonda Buddhist Complex is situated on a slope around 16 kilometers from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Thotlakonda was under the rule of ancient Kalinga, which was a significant source of propagation of Buddhism to Sri Lanka and several parts of Southeast Asia.
A slope on the ocean coast with a healthy atmosphere was an ideal fascination for the Buddhist priests to assemble a religious community complex there. The calm sea with curved coastline there provided a safe haven for anchoring ships.
Thotlakonda came to light during an in-flight survey by the Indian Navy for setting up a naval base. After its disclosure, fundamental unearthing has been led by the Andhra Pradesh State Archeology Department. The archaeological site recognized the existence of a Hinayana Buddhist complex which flourished 2000 years ago. To the south of the complex, there is a tank which used to supply water to the monks of the monastery. After Totlakonda we went to Rushikonda Beach.
4. First, our bus took us to APTDC Rushikonda Beach Resort for our lunch which was included in our package. I found the resort was in an excellent location and the restaurant was also very good. Though the service was a little bit slow the view of the Bay of Bengal from the mountain top there was simply awesome. Lunch was tasteless but healthy. Then we moved to Rushikonda Beach.
Rushikonda beach is extensively known for its golden sands and neat waves of Bay of Bengal. Bounded by green plants, Rushikonda beach looks like a picture postcard. With its colossal stretch of waters, Rushikonda seashore is the ideal spot to appreciate water sports like swimming, water skiing, and windsurfing.
Known as one of the virgin seashores of South India, Rushikonda seashore is no uncertainty probably the best seashores of Vizag. During the night time, this seashore is surrounded by travel enthusiasts. They were spending time among the picturesque perspective on the seashore. After spending about half an hour we went to Kailasagiri.
5. Kailasagiri is a hilltop park in Visakhapatnam. The park was established by the Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA) and covered with trees. The hill, at 173 meters height, overlooks the city of Visakhapatnam.
To safeguard the environment, VMRDA has announced the hill a plastic-free zone. A cable car attaches to the top of the hill, which was the first cable car in Andhra Pradesh. Lord Siva Parvathi statue is looking gorgeous and it was the chief attraction of Kailasa hills. Kailasagiri was one of the most favorite sites to filmmakers across India.
The hilltop has a number of delightful attractions such as the Titanic viewpoint, Shankha-Chakra of Lord Venkateswara of Tirupati, and delicious food courts. The floral clock is also positioned as part of attraction fundamentals and that was one of the biggest in India as it was 10 feet in diameter.
The toy train ride at Kailasagiri Park is one of the activities to facilitate the public and this is one of the key attractions also. It is charging Rs.40 for adults and Rs.30 for children. The toy train ride will give a good vision to see the Kailasagiri Park and the Bay of Bengal at Vizag.
6. We then went to the Vizag fish market. Most seafood in any coastal area centers on fish, prawns, and crabs. The local settings decide the breed of species that grow there. In Vizag, the most popular fish I found was Mackerel. Pomfret was also a very popular variety there. One would find these a lot in restaurants where they grill the whole Pomfret without dividing it.
Coming to prawns, there are two types of prawns – one is the wild variety caught in the sea, and the other is cultured shrimps developed in ponds. The wild variety is quite tasty. Tiger prawns were available but one should need to go very early to the market. Crabs were available, especially mud crabs were very good.
The seafood variety in Vizag was quite diverse. Most of the 4 and 5-star restaurants and exporters took the best quality fish, tiger prawns, crabs, and very little was left to the retail market as per the local fish sellers. Wake up early and head to the jetty area if one wanted the best catch. Another point to remember was freshness. Most of the catch was brought by trawlers who go into the Vizag coast and deep into the sea. They stay in the ocean for many days sometimes more than a month. The catch was refrigerated. After 20–30 days the boat comes to the coast. So in any case freshness was an illusion. But once the catch arrives, those who buy the first lot were assured of the best quality.
7. Then we went for APTDC Visakha Boat Cruise. Feeling the spray of the sea as the boat joined through the blue waters is one of the many temptations Vizag offered. APTDC conducts boat rides from two places in Vizag. Tremendously popular with locals as well as tourists, rides on ‘Visakha’ boat from the fishing harbor covering the view of the lovely coastline and the city from the sea. The boat rides are conducted from 9 am to 5 pm and pick up is arranged from the R K beach on a bus as you can take it separately. For those who love speed, APTDC offers speed boat rides from the Rushikonda, the exciting beach locale of Vizag. Private boats also carry tourists into the sea but it is better to avoid them as the safety parameters are questionable.
8. Our last point was Khursura Submarine museum. As we have visited there on day 1, we skipped that point and came back to our hotel. We completed our dinner and went to bed early as we had to move Jagdalpur via Araku by train early in the morning the next day.