The local language is Telugu. There is considerable concentration of Marwaris, Oriya, Bengalis, Punjabis, Tamil and Malayalees. In addition, there is a large population of migrant workers from other parts of India who have been drawn to the area by the abundance of work at locally based companies, such as Vizag Steel Plant and Hindustan Shipyard.
By planeVizag is connected by air to Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Tirupati, Delhi, Mumbai, Bhubaneswar, Kochi, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore through its customs airport, an airport with restricted access, by Air India, SpiceJet and IndiGo. Singapore Airlines' subsidiary Silkair is the first non-Indian airline to operate at the city. AirAsia and Malindo Air from Malaysia operate scheduled flights from Kuala Lumpur.
By trainVisakhapatnam is on Kolkata-Chennai main line and is connected to several cities of the country by rail. All trains including fast expresses stop at the station. Visakhapatnam station comes under the East Coast Railways zone and is one of the principal Divisional Headquarters (under the British name Waltair). It has eight platforms, the first in East Coast railways to have this many, and all of them can accommodate trains with up to 28 coaches.
You may want to verify the timings with Indian Railways, since they change from time to time. Train berths can be reserved online. However, this being a major destination, availability of seats is at times difficult even with a one month's advance planning.
From Hyderabad The average distance between the two cities is about 700 km. However different trains take different routes, and hence have different journey times.
- Godavari Express (train number 12728/12727) departs daily from Hyderabad Deccan Station at 5:15PM and from Secunderabad at 5:45PM, arrives the following morning in Visakhapatnam at 5:50AM. The train departing from Visakhapatnam starts at 5:25PM and reaches its destination the next day morning at 6:15AM. Godavari express is known to operate on-time and is the most preferred train between the two cities.
- Visakha Express (train number 17015/17016) connects Bhubaneshwar, the capital of the state of Odissa, to Hyderabad's Secunderabad Junction. The train departs daily from Secunderabad Station at 5PM, arriving the following morning at Visakhapatnam at 7:15AM. This train runs via Nadikude, Guntur, Vijayawada and Bhimavaram Town. It passes on to Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and to Bhubaneshwar. On the return the train leaves Bhubaneshwar at 8:35AM and reaches the city in the evening at 4:10PM. The train is however infamous for its delays and is less preferred.
- Falaknuma express (train number 12703/12704) connects Kolkata's Howrah Junction to Hyderabad's Secunderabad Junction. The train departs from Secunderabad at 4PM, arriving the following early morning in Visakhapatnam at 3:30AM. This train on return leaves Howrah at 7:25AM and reaches that night at 9:10PM. It runs faster than most other trains and is the fastest, non-special train. The train is taken by office-goers as it arrives early at Visakhapatnam plying from the nearby towns.
- East Coast Express (train number 18645/18646) connects Kolkata's Howrah Junction to Hyderabad's Secunderabad Junction. This train leaves Hyderaabad at 10AM and is scheduled to arrive at Visakhapatnam at 11:35PM that night. On the reverse the train leaves Howrah at 11:45AM and reaches the next day early morning 4:15AM.
- Janmabhoomi Express (train number 12806/12805) is a day time seater train that connects the city to Hyderabad's Secunderabad Junction. In Hindi, 'Janmabhoomi' means 'birth place'. The train's rakes are composed of ordinary chair cars and air conditioned chair cars. There are no sleeper berths on this train. It leaves Secunderabad in the morning at 7:10AM and is scheduled to reach Visakhapatnam by that day evening 7:40PM. The train leaves Visakhapatnam at 6:15AM in the morning and reaches its destination that day evening at 6:35PM.
- Garibrath Express (train number 12740/12739) connects the city to Hyderabad's Secunderabad Junction. Up to 2012, this was the fastest train between the two cities. Garibrath, in Hindi, means a 'chariot for the poor'. The train stops at a very few stations. The train is fully air conditioned. However, blankets, bed sheets, and pillows are not included in the fare and have to be bought separately after boarding the train. No food is made available in the train so the passengers have to carry some along. The train was originally launched under the Garibrath scheme to provide air conditioned trains for the poor. The train leaves Secunderabad at 8:15PM in the evening and reaches Visakhapatnam the next morning at 7:30AM.
- Duronto Express connects Visakhapatnam to Hyderabad's Secunderabad Junction in 9 hours and 30 minutes. 'Duronto' in Bengali, means quick. This is the only non-stop rail service between the two cities. It is equipped with fully air conditioned coaches. The train costs a little more than ordinary trains.
From New Delhi
- Link Express (train number 12861) connects the city with Hazrath Nizamuddin station of New Delhi. The daily train departs at 3:10PM and reaches the destination at 4:05AM on the third day. So if the train starts on a Sunday it will reach on Tuesday.
- Samatha Express
- Swarna Jayanthi Express
- Hirakud Express
- AP Express
- Konark Express
- Lokmanya Tilak - Visakhapatnam Exp.
- Pune - Bhubaneswar Exp.
- Ratnachal Express
- Simhadri Express
- Vijaywada-Visakhapatnam Passenger
- Other weekly trains are also available. Check Indian Railways for details.
- Coromandal Express (Reserved tickets to Vijayawada and Rajahmumdry are not issued from Chennai.)
- Madras-Howrah Mail
- Other weekly trains are available on some days of the week. Check the Indian Railways for details.
- Prasanthi express
- Yeshwantapur Howrah Express
- Other weekly trains are available on some days of the week. Check Indian Railways for details.
- Coromandal Express (This train is the fastest train passing through Andhra Pradesh at 140 km/h)
- Howrah-Madras Mail
- Falaknuma Express
- East Coast Express
- Gurudev Express
- Thiruchurapalli Express
- Yeshwantpur Express
- Other weekly trains are available on some days of the week. Check Indian Railways for details.
Visakhapatnam has several satellite stations:
- Simhachalam (North)
Visakhapatnam is connected to Chennai and Calcutta via Bhubaneswar and Vijayawada by National Highway 5 (dual-carriageway, 120 km/h).
The Andhra Pradesh State Road Travel Corporation (APSRTC) runs buses from almost every city and town to Vizag, along with some private operators, who run buses from a few of the major cities. Please check with APSRTC for timings. There is also a Garuda fleet of bus service (Volvo) to Vizag from Chennai, Bangalore, Vijayawada and Hyderabad which is very comfortable and happy going. This is the best way to do it if you want to travel by bus. APSRTC has several other bus services which have varied luxury levels and transit speeds. You might want to check the APSRTC at least 3 days in advance to be sure you have a reservation.
Visakhapatnam has no commuter rail service. However, the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) operates a lit of buses from 6 principal bus complexes in the city. They are:
- Visakha Steel City
There are mainly two types of buses operated for suburban travel in Visakhapatnam.
City Ordinary: can be identified by its orange or red colour. It is operated on almost all suburban routes. Some of the main routes include RTC Complex- Gajuwaka(via NAD), Maddilapalem- Railway Station, RTC Complex- Gajuwaka ( via Scindia), Railway Station- Madhurawada, etc. These buses stop at almost every bus stop. The frequency is more than that of Metro Express buses. These buses sometimes become overcrowded during peak hours on weekdays. Some popular route numbers include 222, 400, 99, 25, 900, 60C, 300, 6A, 28, 38 and 12D.
Metro Express: can be identified by their blue and white colour. These buses run in most important routes such as 400, 211, 500, 99, 28, 38 etc. These buses don't stop at all bus stops and the fare for these buses is also a bit higher than that for city ordinary buses.Many of these buses are JNNURM funded and sport digital display boards which display route number and route details in both English and Telugu. Also most of these have cushioned seats which are comfortable and many of them also have air-suspension which makes the journey more comfortable. These buses don't get as crowded as City Ordinary buses.
The junction and Maddilapalem joins the Asilametta-Ramatalkies road to the National Highway 5. Buses from Madilapalem ply to the extreme ends of the city, including Anakapalle and Thagarapuvalasa.
FaresThe bus fare to get to Madilapalem from the railway station is only ₹8. Buses operate within a 5 minute frequency in routes with high demand. The minimum frequency in which buses operate is 40 minutes, i.e., every route is covered by an APSRTC bus once in every 40 minutes. The current list of destinations covered by the buses and their route numbers are available at Wikipedia.
Apart from buying tickets on the bus, you may also avail an RTC-Pass, which is a special type of pass that can be renewed once in a month. With the pass, you can board any APSRTC bus and travel anywhere within the city limits. An ordinary RTC-Pass costs just ₹750 which is around 13 dollars and in USD. The RTC complex is to the southeast of Asilametta. RTC complex is generally referred to as complex and is connected to every other region in the city. Apart from the bus, taxi/autorikshaw can also be hired. The autorikshaw is a mini taxi which is much more cheaper, but less convenient.
Kailash Hill6 km away from the city centre. There is a park atop the hill, with a beautiful view of the city, the sea and Eastern Ghats merging into the sea. One can take a ropeway directly facing sea and city. On the hill top there is a beautiful toy train offering a tour of nature. Several view points give a pleasant look of the nature. This is less commercial than other hill stations and there is less hassle by tourist guides. After descending from Kailashgiri one should visit Tenneti Beach Park. Its beauty and luxuriant carpet grass intertwined with concrete pathways makes it ideal for romantic couples. There are several points from which the beautiful rocky beach down beneath can be seen. This provides spectacular views of sunrise, sunset and the pristine waters. Many movies were shot here. Hillocks in the park which is about 50 ft in elevation give a beautiful view of the sea, beach road and the beach park. The ambiance at this Tenneti Beach park is simply mind blowing.
If you have a couple of days to spare, don't miss the train journey from Visakhapatnam to Araku, which is the most enjoyable train route in the state. There is only one train to Araku from Vizag which starts at 6:50AM at Vizag railway station. It is a four-hour journey in the Eastern Ghats which covers many tunnels and valleys on the way. "Shimiliguda" railway station, on the route, is the highest railway station in India on broad-gauge track.
Araku ValleySix hours by train or public bus, this is a scenic valley. A slow, passenger train leaves the Vizag station early in the morning (at 6:50AM), and the train ride is enjoyable. Arrive at least an hour before its departure to get a seat. The train runs through small mountains and tunnels. Araku Valley is definitely not a day trip, but the APTDC facilities can serve as a decent lodging. Book your APTDC rooms early. Padmavathi botanical gardens is worth visiting. November to February are the best months to visit and making an early reservation in the lodges is advisable as Araku Valley has few lodges and hotels. Travel in and Araku valley is limited by limited public bus service. At APTDC lodge, cabs can be hired for a day trip through the valley to Bora caves; the ride is amazing.
Borra CavesOnce charming, these caves have been modernized by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC). There is an entry fee of ₹30. Separate charges are there to enter with still or video camera. It is a must-visit place for all tourists visiting Vizag. Bring drinking water.
Jagadamba CenterMost of the famous shopping centers and malls can be found here. Named after the Jagadamba movie theatre, one of the best movie auditoriums of the country when it was constructed and even today.
KailasagiriThe ride to this hill offers a spectacular view of the sea, RK. Beach and Rushikonda Beach on right and left hand side. There is a huge sculpture of Shiva and Parvathi. With a children's play area, a people-mover akin to a ski lift called a ropeway. Beautiful scenic view can be obtained from the ropeway, especially in the evening, when the city is lit up. The up and down fare for the ropeway is ₹44 (Dec 2006). A doll museum and a couple of eating areas, this hilltop gives a nice bird's eye view of the city also. Has several "viewpoints" affording wonderful views of the city on one side and winding beaches adjoining green hills on the other side. It is a likeable beach city, especially after visiting Kailasagiri. Based on this beautiful and rare combination of hill and beach. Tenneti park is a spectacular Eco marvel at the foot of the Rope way.
KambalakondaA gorgeous nature preserve that many people in Vizag itself seem to be unaware of. Kambalakonda is uncrowded and peaceful and within 20-25 minutes drive from the city center. A nominal entrance fee of ₹10 is charged per adult. The greenery, the hiking trail and the fantastic view of the ocean from the rather flimsy viewing tower give a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Matsyadarshini AquariumThis aquarium is situated on the left side of Kali temple of R.K. Beach. It has marine and freshwater fishes. Entry fee is ₹20 per person (December 2006). The exit gate of the aquarium resembles the open mouth of a huge white tipped shark. 'Kala Shrusti', a handicrafts shop, is atop the aquarium.
Ross HillNear Ross Hill there are three hills dedicated to three different faiths in proximity to the port. Ross Hill, named after a certain Monsieur Ross who built a house on it in 1864, it has now been converted into a chapel Mother Mary's Church. The pathway to the shrine strewn with Catholic icon. Darga Pahad has the tomb of the Muslim saint, Sayed Ali Medina alias Ishak Medina, visited by Hindu and Muslim devotees alike. Attached to this is a mosque. Sri Venkateswara Konda, the third hillock, has a temple dedicated to the Lord. It is believed to have been built by an Englishman, Captain Blackmoor, in the 19th century. There is a view of the port channel, once ships' entrance to the inner harbor.
SimhachalamThis is an architectural splendour although some of the sculptures were defaced during the Islamic invasions. The temple inscriptions date the earliest donors to the 10-11th centuries. The exact date of construction is unknown. It is 15 km from the city and is dedicated to the half-man half-lion avatar of Lord Vishnu. The temple bears reference to the Chola and Chalukya styles of architecture. It also has a local railway station.
War MemorialThis is a remembrance of the Victory at Sea in the 1971 Indo Pak war. It is on the Beach Road, opposite the Submarine Museum. There is a fighter plane, a tank and few replicas of missiles kept as exhibits. There is no entry fee and it can be viewed from the road.
Bojjana KondaIt is near Sankaram village in the hamlet of Anakapalli, 40 km from Visakhapatnam, and offers architectural remnants of the Buddhist period, one of the earliest of its class in South India. It constitutes one of the most remarkable groups of Buddhist monuments dated from 200 BC to 700 AD, found during excavations in 1906. On the eastern hill, there are a series of rock-cut caves, numerous groups of monolithic dagobas, standing on rock platform in tiers above each other and, crowning all, a rock-cut stupa with extensive structural remains. On the western side of the eastern hill is a stairway, partly rock-cut and partly structural, which leads up to a large double-storied cave. The cave is entered by a doorway and is flanked on each side by huge dwarapalas. The cave chamber is rectangular in shape and is divided into 20 compartments by four cross rocks of 16 massive pillars. In the centre is the rock-cut stupa standing on a square platform.
Buddhist excavationsBojjana Konda, Thotla Konda, Bhavi Konda and Salihundam around Visakhapatnam were centres of Buddhism during the second century A.D. Several Buddhist monuments such as stupas and chaityas were erected at these places. It is said that some of the corporal relics of the Buddha were preserved at these places. Hence all these places became sacred places.
Naval MuseumThis presents India's maritime history with pictures, models and content of Indian maritime history.
- Naval Aircraft Museum. This is unique in India, located opposite to the submarine museum on Ramakrishna beach. This museum houses a decommissioned anti-submarine aircraft of Russian origin, which has been restored for the public. It is possible to see the inside of the aircraft and real engines are displayed. It justifies the ₹100 entry fee for adults.
Submarine MuseumA museum in a decommissioned submarine of the Indian Navy. This is the first of its kind in eastern Asia. This submarine is one of the earliest submarines procured from Russia. The experience of working in the submarine is explained. The museum is manned by retired naval people. The entry fee is ₹.25 for adults and there is a fee to take a camera or video camera inside.
BhimiliAbout 25 km from the city and is what used to be a small village also called Bheemunipatnam. Apart from the beach, the village has the remains of a Portuguese church, Dutch cemeteries and a Buddhist Monastery (Pavurallakonda).
Gangavaram10 to 12 km away from city, this is most beautiful beach, the most interesting thing is we can see rock like structure in between see like a small island which attracts lot of people.
Ramakrishna BeachR.K.Beach is the most popular beach in the sense that, you can find the locals hanging out during the hot summers, and relatively less hot winters. On weekends and holidays, one can see that the entire beach comes alive, but not in a western sense where people take a plunge in the water, or surf. You can see people dressed in their best clothes, just sitting on the benches, or walking along. Caution: a lot of people have died while swimming. Take an evening stroll at RK Beach; it offers good pedestrian tracks, beautiful parks, museums, beaches and some wonderful open air restaurants.
Rishikonda11 km away from the city, this has become a popular tourist spot that even the locals frequent. A lot safer to wade into than the R.K. Beach, cradled among hills, this used to be an excellent beach away from the madding crowds. AP Tourism Development Corporation is having its Beach Resort (Punnami) on the hillside overlooking the beach. Caution: A lot of people have died while swimming at this beautiful beach.
Yarada BeachIt is perceived as a private beach but actually it is not. Tourists can visit the beach directly or through the Yarada village. Agrigold collects a fee of ₹30 to enter their property and access the Shops and a Restaurant. If you could bring your own food/refreshments, you could visit the beach without entering the Agrigold Property. Yarada is the village behind the dolphin nose. To go to this beach, bus facility is available. Also you can hire a cab to go there. The view of the beach and Vizag city from the top of the dolphin nose is memorable. Also the Gangavaram Beach is nearer from Yarada Beach. The drive from Scindia to the top of dolphin nose, dolphin nose to Yarada and from there to Gangavaram is really enjoyable.
The beaches are lovely, but, there are water sporting activities which started out initially like marine rafting and scuba diving, there are few beach cafes and restaurants. A water sports centre was started in Rushikonda. Vizagites are traditionally quite conservative and though the beaches and the hills are beautiful, but there is much here to interest the average tourist.
Must want is the sunrise or a moonrise on a full moon day at Tennati Park(near foot of Rope way) on the Vizag-Bhimili Beach Road it's truly a feast to the nature lovers. The sea looks orange in colour and is a wonderful sight.
Vizag is a city that is advancing fast, and with these new advancements, the local people of the city are smoothly adapting to the changes.
Vizag offers a reasonably large selection of stores selling clothing, jewellery, books, etc.
ClothingThere are several locations from which clothing can be purchased. However they tend to be concentrated in few locations. One such is Jagadamba Centre. Few of the many clothing stores are:
- Chandana Brothers
- Bommana Brothers
- Kankatala silk palace
JewellerySimilar to clothing stores, there are several shops from where jewellery can be purchased. The centres are distributed, but the prominent ones are between RTC Complex and Railway station, Jagadamba Centre and near old Town Kotharoad. Some of the prominent stores are:
- Vaibhav Jewellers
- Mahaveer Jewellers
- Tanishq Jewellers
- Khazana Jewellers
- Lalitha Jewellers
MemoribiliaWhile definitely not considered a shopper's paradise, Vizag offers some unique handicrafts and can found in by the Andhra Pradesh State-owned handicraft store, Lepakshi, at Jagadamba center. It has an impressive collection of sandalwood sculptures, stone art, etc.
BooksThe stretch of road called Dabagardens has many bookstores. Police Barracks has numerous small stores that buy and sell second-hand books, including technical textbooks.
- Jyoti Book Depot
- Shoppers stop
- Big Bazaar
- CMR Shopping Mall
- M & M Mall
- Lucky Shopping Mall
- South India Shopping Mall
- Shoppers Stop
CMR Centraladdress: MaddilapalemYou can find Subway, KFC, and Pizza Hut here. Also a lot of shopping is possible, if you have money here, at Reliance Trends and Reliance Digital. Also one could see a movie if one has time at INOX.
Visakhapatnam CentralMost happening place is Visakhapatnam Central, where you will get all branded apparels, fashion jewelries, life style merchandise like watches, shades and color cosmetics. It is typical of malls which you can find anywhere in metro cities. Very expensive too.
Blue Sea Fine Diningphone: +91 891 646 5399address: Pakkis Complex, Opposite ICICI Bank Road, Dwarakanagar 2nd Lane, Dwaraka Nagar
Daspalla Executive Courtphone: +91 891 2717300phone: +91 8916461111address: 10-1-4 & 5, 4th floor, SiripuramThis is one of the best new restaurants opened for Fine Dining. Food is value for money and tasty. They probably serve the best food in Vizag.
Flying Spaghetti Monsterphone: +91 891-2766652The 'Flying Spaghetti Monster' a.k.a. FSM is Vizag's first authentic Italian restaurant. Great place with amazing Italian fare. Be sure not to miss out the Chocolate bomb.
- Horizon (live music during dinner) at Dolphin Hotel, +91 891 2567000.
Hotel Daspallaphone: +91 891 2564825
Hotel Green Parkphone: +91 891 6615151
phone: +91 891 270 6026address: on R K BeachAll rooms face the sea, pure Bengali food is available.
- Subway - Subs & Salads in Siripuram's Dutt Island, +91 891 278491.
- Ambica sea green - on Beach Road, Kirlampudi Layout, ph. 08912821818
- Punnami, near Rishikonda has pub very close to the beach and serves alcohol.
- Senora, a beach resort on the outskirts, also boasts of a dance floor.
Viharaddress: Near Rishikonda, Opp. GITAM UniversityBest hangout place with friends, only concern is it was too far from the city. Even though, worth visiting "Offshores" at Vihar. There's an Awesome beach view from the middle of the hill.
- Ironhill brewery- above pmj jwellers, siripuram.
- tap the bar- Varun inbox
99 Residencyphone: +91-891-2474448address: # 10-50-39/2, Waltair Main Road, Ramnagar
Athidhi The Guest Housephone: +91 9000415656, +91 9949662424
Beach View Guest Housephone: +91 9985034321address: RK Beach main road, besides Novotel Hotel (Varun Beach)All rooms face the beach. Wi-Fi available.
Dolphinphone: +91 891 2567000
phone: +91-891-3988444address: Dwaraknagar, Diamond Park
The Grand Central Hotel
Green Parkphone: +91 891 2564444
phone: +91 2598111, +91 2598144, +91 9177892359 (mobile)address: Station Rd
phone: +91 891-2727567, +91 9396548333 (mobile)address: D.No.9-1-47, New Resapuvanapalem
Hotel Saraswathi Orchidphone: +91-891-2712881address: #30-15-193,Opp: Dolphin Hotel Garden Gate, Main Road, Dabagardens
Hotel Supremeaddress: At R.K.Beach
Hotel Talasila Continentalphone: +91-891-2598598address: Station Road, Dondaparthi
Meghalayaphone: +91 891 2755141
Four Points by Sheraton Visakhapatnamphone: +91 891 305 1111address: 10-28-3, Waltair Main Road
Novotel Visakhapatnam Varun Beachphone: +91 891 282 2222address: Beach Road
phone: +91 891 662 3670address: Beach Road
phone: +91 891 304 5678address: Beach Rd
phone: +91 891 660 0101address: Beach Rd
- Fairfield by Marriott - KSR prime R&B junction Visakhapatnam
- Palm Beach hotel - beside the park hotel