VIZAG : The City Of Destiny

Photo of VIZAG : The City Of Destiny by Mapping AJs Feet

Confused between hills & beaches? Head to VISAKHAPATNAM. It is the only place on the East coast where the Eastern ghats and the Bay of Bengal meet.

Back in May 2018, I got a golden opportunity to stay in Vizag for a month. During this period I saw lush green valleys & majestic ocean. The weather was a bit humid but the unexpected rain & sea breeze made our stay pleasant. A 4-5 days trip to the City of Destiny will be budget friendly & one can easily cover all the major tourist spots. Vizag is well connected with other major cities by regular flights, trains & buses.

DAY 1:

We reached the Vizag railway station in the morning & checked into our hotel which was very close to RK Beach. After refreshing, we left for Ramakrishna Beach or RK Beach. Multiple food joints/cafes/hotels are available there. The beach has a very long stretch & is very famous among tourists and locals. After having our brunch, we left for Kailasagiri Hill which is approx. 7 km from the beach. You can reach the hilltop by road, stairs or the ropeway. We used the ropeway to experience a breathtaking view of the city & the ocean. On the top there is a 40 feet tall statue of Shiv & Parvati. From here, head towards the viewpoint to see the panoramic view of the lush green hills & majestic blue ocean. There is also a toy train which will take a round around the hill. Don’t miss taking a ride. (Grab the seat on the right side of the train & thank me later).

Photo of VIZAG : The City Of Destiny by Mapping AJs Feet

After spending 3 hours there, we left for the TU 142 Aircraft Museum. This museum is located opposite to the RK Beach. There is a big exhibition hall with multiple equipment on display along with their details. The aircraft is also accessible. The museum will give you a chance to learn about the history of the Indian Navy.

Right in front of the museum is the INS Kursura Submarine. The submarine was decommissioned & turned into a museum for the public. Once you enter, you can see how the submarine works, the different rooms & the life of submariners from inside.

Photo of VIZAG : The City Of Destiny by Mapping AJs Feet

We finished visiting these places right before the sunset & then relaxed on the beach. Dolphin’s Nose is clearly visible from there. You will find multiple small food stalls & if you are with kids, you can explore Matsyadarshini aquarium which is also on the RK Beach.

DAY 2:

The second day was dedicated to Araku Valley. This is a small hill station, approx. 130 km from the city where you can witness lush green forests, valleys, gardens, waterfalls, coffee plantations, etc. We took an early morning train from Vizag to Araku and then booked a local auto to explore all the places. (Vista Dome coach is available from Vizag to Araku). We witnessed the green valley, tunnels, small waterfalls, hill views on our way. I would recommend either going by a private cab or by train.

Our first stop was the Tribal Museum. This place showcases the tribal lifestyle & tribal culture of people residing in the valley. After purchasing some handicrafts we left for our next stop - Padmapuram Botanical Garden. The garden is spread over 26 acre & has exotic & rare species of plants. Each corner is perfect for photoshoots. Since, the garden is very scenic you can easily spend 2 hours over there but try not to spend more as the valley has many more attractions.

You will find very limited food options in the valley, mostly fresh fruits, corn etc. (Don’t forget to eat as many PINEAPPLES as possible during the whole trip). There are a few beautiful waterfalls in the valley which we skipped since the water flow was almost negligible during the summer. Our third stop for the day was Coffee Plantation which was surrounded by tall trees. I felt like a lilliput in front of them. We took the help of locals to understand the production of organic coffee. Being a coffee lover it was hard to say bye to that place. Hence, I bought a few packets for myself as a souvenir & had a nice cup of coffee.

Photo of VIZAG : The City Of Destiny by Mapping AJs Feet

The last stop for the day was the famous million year old natural limestone caves “The Borra Caves”. Reach here with 3 hours in hand to explore the place properly before sunset. These caves are situated on Ananthagiri hills & filled with fascinating stalagmite and stalactite formations of calcium deposits. Some parts of the cave have limited natural light & bats. The government has created steps & installed colorful lights to make it more attractive. There is a small Lord Shiva temple inside the cave.

Araku & Borra caves are the must visit tourist places near Vizag & should not be missed. Camping options are now also available since there are very limited hotels available in the valley. We took the evening train from Borra station & came back to the city.

Photo of VIZAG : The City Of Destiny by Mapping AJs Feet

DAY 3:

We booked a cab for the whole day since we were 4 people & had multiple places in our list for the day. After a quick breakfast we left for Rushikonda Beach. Try to go there as early as possible. This beach is perfect for water sports & has a long stretch of golden sand. Be a bit careful as the waves are quite strong. It is also very crowded. If you like solitude, I would recommend moving towards the right side of the beach. Once you cross the big stones, you will find clear water with very small waves & hardly few people.

Photo of VIZAG : The City Of Destiny by Mapping AJs Feet

Next we headed towards Thotlakonda, a Buddhist Complex. This is situated on a small hill where you will see how Buddhism was practiced. If you love History you can get in touch with a local guide to understand the significance of the remains. Not to miss - The Thotlakonda Viewpoint. Once you come out of the Buddhist complex, move towards the left side rather than coming down the hill. Within 500 meters, you will witness a breathtaking view of the beauty of Vizag.

If you have enough time in hand, you can go till Bheemili Beach. We skipped this & headed towards the other side of the city. After having lunch near RK beach, we moved to our next destination, the Lighthouse on Dolphin’s Nose. (Please note: Only operational b/w 3-5 PM). The view from the top is mesmerizing. You can realize how vast the Bay of Bengal is & how charming the city is. The cool & breezy atmosphere will calm your mind.

Photo of VIZAG : The City Of Destiny by Mapping AJs Feet

From here, we headed towards Yarada Beach where swimming is very dangerous. This beach is very peaceful & will release all your stress. This beach is my personal favorite because of clear water, soft sand, green palm trees & less crowd.

Photo of VIZAG : The City Of Destiny by Mapping AJs Feet

I came back to the hotel with a heart full of warm memories & a SD card full of breathtaking views.

If you have another day in hand, you can go to Simhachalam Temple to worship Lord Narsimha. The temple is on a hilltop with detailed stone carvings on dark granite. Also, don’t forget to take your kids to Indira Gandhi Zoological Park. Visit this place before 5 PM as all the animals return to their cages by 5 PM & one will easily need 3 to 4 hours to cover the entire zoo.

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