Top Places To Visit In Visakhapatnam, India
February 19, 2019
by Sabeeha Banu
Amid the busy roads and packed streets, my eyes strayed on a bunch of trees dancing to the tune of the synchronized winds. The distant green mountains were alluring as the bus moved. Nostalgia hit hard as I traveled through the city; a place where I grew up, completed my education, and spent over a decade of my life.
Bounded by the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal, Visakhapatnam is often referred to as the Jewel of the East Coast of India. The historic place has dynasties linked to it and traces back to 6th century BCE. Rich in bauxite, diverse in culture, Visakhapatnam is a hub of opportunities and a tapestry of beautiful terrains. The city has a natural harbor and splendid beaches.
Borra Caves – Mystery Embedded In Rocks
At a distance of 92 km from Visakhapatnam deep in the Ananthagiri hills of the Araku Valley lies the largest cave system in India, the Borra Caves. The mysterious, million-years-old caves are 80 meters deep and 300 meters long. A hike to the caves is a sheer adrenaline pumping experience. Hire a travel guide so that you do not get lost in the twists and twirls of the caves. Adventure enthusiasts can trek to the Borra Caves. To create special effects, multi-color illusion lights are installed throughout the caves. Children would love this setting; however, I felt it cloaks the actual beauty of the treacherous caves.
Recommendations & Tips
You can find plenty of eateries outside the caves. Out of all the eateries, the bamboo chicken recipe is a must try.
The Borra Caves attract a large number of tourists on a daily basis. In order to avoid the crowd, the best time to visit are the mornings hours from 10 am.
It takes one and a half to two hours (depending on the crowd) to take a good look of the place. The train journey through the tunnels (around 44) is even more thrilling.
About 35 km from the Borra Caves perches the lush valley of Araku. Your tour is incomplete if you do not visit this flourishing green ocean of natural gardens, waterfalls, and streams. Located at an altitude of 3,200 feet above the mean sea level, Araku reflects the lives of nearly 19 tribes who have been living their lives away from modern civilization. A two-story building has been dedicated to the tribal museum.
There is the Padmapuram botanical garden where you can tour through the exotic plants and flowers, and even book a treehouse. Also, you can munch on scrumptious South Indian food and take part in or watch a tribal dance called Dhimsa. You can have a wholesome experience on a trip to the Borra Caves and the Araku valley if you are traveling with your family.
Yarada Beach – Golden Hours
Situated 15 km from the city and encircled by hills, trees (banana and coconut), and rocks, Yarada Beach is a serene gateway, which, unlike other places, is not overcrowded. You can plan an intimate family outing alongside the beach. I had one of the best picnics with my family at this place. Driving to the beach through the hills makes traveling blissful. The golden rays of the sun bouncing off the waters and golden sand dunes sprawling the beach make for a delightful experience; the sunsets and sunrises at this beach are simply breathtaking.
Recommendations & Tips
At a distance of 9.2 km from the Yarada Beach there is another beautiful beach aligned with shady palm trees, called Gangavaram. Several South Indian movies have been filmed here. This beach looked much prettier when I visited as a kid.
You can board a bus or hire a cab to the Yarada Beach.
Kailasagiri – 360 View
Sprawled over 380 acres of land with unique flora, Kailasagiri is a hilltop park. From atop the hill, you can get a bird’s-eye view of the city. The place attracts a sea of tourists from across the country and even foreign lands. The scenic views and heavenly breeze melt my heart every time I visit this place. Especially, during the nights, the surreal view of city lights is enchanting. There is a 40-feet statue of Shiva Parvati exhibiting art, culture, and religion of the people. There is also a floral clock (10 feet in diameter) that enhances the beauty of the place. I loved the ropeway from Appughar to Kailasagiri. There are fun rides for children (even adults can get on some) and mesmerizing viewpoints. You can click incredible pictures at this place.
Recommendations & Tips
Situated 6.3 km from Kailasagiri and spread across 55 acres is an urban park named “Vuda Park.” The beautiful park is garlanded with thousands of trees (around 2,500). The park offers many recreational and sporting activities. As a child, I loved visiting this place; the rides, the musical fountains, the children’s theatre, the children’s club, and the zoo were my favorite places.
Visakha Museum is located about 7 km from Kailasagiri. The museum preserves and exhibits historical treasures belonging to the Kalingandhra Dynasty. I also loved the modern warships, planes, and submarines displayed at this museum.
INS Kursura Submarine Museum, Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, Victory at Sea War Memorial, and Rushikonda are some other places worth a visit near the museum.
As it abuts the coastline of the country, Visakhapatnam is humid. However, the greenery, plants, and the beaches compensate for the harsh weather. You can explore and enjoy more if you plan to visit Visakhapatnam during winter, rainy, and spring. You can rent a house or a room at a decent price. If you have an appetite for traveling, exploring, and learning (history), and love beaches, then Visakhapatnam is the place to visit. As they say, Visakhapatnam is indeed a city of destiny.
Revisiting these places prompted to childhood memories. Although the beaches were not that good as they used to be, I couldn’t hold myself losing to the beauty of the skyline and sun-kissed waters. Catching the sunset at the Yarada Beach is a divine experience.