SOUTH INDIA

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Spectacular Vizag

The port city with lovely beaches along the Bay of Bengal - Vizag has become a vivacious holiday resort. Vizag as it is often referred to as is situated on the eastern coast of India in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Hotels and leisure facilities have played a key role in the increased influx of tourists in Vizag. Today besides being renowned for its shipbuilding industry and oil refineries the beaches beckon a large number of tourists.

TOURISM ATTRACTIONS IN VIZAG

The port of Vizag is a major landmark. The sight of the ships anchored in the harbor and container ships is simply put amazing. Then there is the largest shipbuilding yard of India at Gandhigram in Vizag that happens to be a prime attraction for the tourists. Cargo-vessels, naval ships and passenger liners are all built here. This experience of the shipping yard is a distinctive feature offered by Vizag unlike other holiday destinations in India.

The ship building yard and the port channel of Vizag are best viewed from the Ross Hill. The Ross Hill that has been named after a Monsieur Ross is the highest point in Vizag. A chapel, mosque and a temple add to the attraction on the Hill. Similarly the scenic spot of Kailashgiri offers the most breathtakingly beautiful view of the Vizag beach. From the amazing array of beaches at Vizag the Ramakrishna Beach and the Lawson's Bay are the loveliest. Your visit to Vizag will be incomplete without the stroll at the sunset or sunrise at these beaches. Make the most of your holiday at Vizag, simply sip the coconut water and be cool.

TOURISM SPOTS IN VIZAG

For the nature lovers the rocky ridge with a projection into the sea at the Dolphin's Nose is a major draw. The ships in the Bay of Bengal are directed from this lighthouse at Vizag. The Caltex Oil Refinery, VUDA Park, MCV Museum and the zoo are the other places worth visiting on your holiday at Vizag. For shopping the famous fish market is the best bet. There is an amazing variety of fresh fish catch that is available. For gift items and souvenirs you may pick up the delicately and skillfully carved softwood toys.

Ramakrishna Beach is a long beach which is opened to the metropolitan charms of the town. This is the most popular beach in the sense that, you can find the locals hanging out for fun time. On weekends and holidays, one can see that the entire beach comes alive. One can find number of eatery outlets serving delicacies like Chat, Bhelpuri, corn etc. The view of the beach road is worth watching under the night lights. An aquarium, the Kali temple, Visakha Museum and the Asia's only Submarine Museum are major attractions of R.K BEACH.

R.k beach is not considered safe for swimming and playing. Avoid go into the waters above the knee level.

RUSHIKONDA BEACH :

Rushikonda is one of the most beautiful tourist spots in Visakhapatnam located 11kms away from the city. This is on the Visakhapatnam-Bheemunipatnam beach road. Rushi Konda is a hill fully covered with green and thickly plants and trees. A beach close to this hill is Rushikonda beach and is a beautiful one. The attractive feature of this beach is its neat golden sand. This is a best spot for the nature lovers. The water is pure and crystal clear. Rushikonda beach is a wonderful place for swimming, diving, water skiing, wind surfing and water sports.

Bheemunipatnam :

Bhimili is located at a distance of nearly 30 Kilometers North east of Vishakhapatnam. It's beautiful beach and invigorating climate coupled with the pleasantness provided by the lush green palm groves adds to its immense attraction. It was the first municipality in Indian mainland, established on 9th February 1861. It is also the site of the ruins of the east coast's oldest Dutch settlement (17th century). The drive from Visakhapatnam to Bheemli is exhilarating. The cemetery situated in the west of the town speaks of the Dutch who gave their lives here. The unique feature of the cemetery is the depiction of the cause of the death on the grave enlivens the past. The beach road from Vizag to Bhimili is one of the longest and beautiful beach roads in India. The sun-kissed beaches and route make the Car drive as enjoyable as the destination. You can enjoy the panoramic view of the Ghats on one side and the sea on the other. You may stop at different vantage points reroute to Bhimili as each and every spot is worth taking a photograph.

CLOCK TOWER :

Every visitor to this place finds this clock tower in the midst of the town as a reminder of the past.

Yarada Beach and Dolphin nose :

A spectacular beach which even very few locals are aware of is called the "Yarada" beach. Its a private beach coming under Agrigold plantations This is nearer to the Dolphin nose. The view from Dolphin hill is spectacular. There is Ghat road leading one to the Dolphin hill and Yarada. Though a lovely beach it is not considered safe for swimming and playing. Hence do not go inside the waters above the knee level as a best practice.

Hill stations / Get aways ARAKU VALLEY :

The Eastern Ghats is Home to Spectacular Landscapes and Wonderful Valleys and Araku is the Queen of All. Filled with endless valleys, dancing waters, singing trees, the list is big.

Situated a height of 1300 ft above Sea Level, A visit to Araku the Queen of Eastern Ghats is truly a magical experience. Lush rice fields, thickly wooded forests, sugar cane and coffee plantations and waterfalls makes this spectacular piece of land a wonderful tourist destination.

The valley is inhabited by about 19 tribes - the women, with their saris draped unusually, the ends tied over one shoulder. Bright orange, red and purple flowers decorate their hair, and their noses are pierced centrally by a jeweled bulak.

ARAKU TRIBAL MUSEUM :

The Museum of habitat showcases the lifestyle of the tribals who inhabit the valley. The museum, housed in a charming red-roofed bungalow, depicts scenes from the daily lives of the tribals. As we move from room to room, we are greeted by such realistic sculptures of tribals in their natural habitat that on many occasions, visitors take them for real! While a tribal lady cooks the evening meal, another feeds her child and a male tribal watches guard over his family, spear in hand. The weapons of the tribes form a large part of this fascinating but small museum. Their chunky silver jewellery, ornate and elegant, is showcased in the main atrium of the museum.

PADMAPURAM GARDENS :

A short drive away from the station is the famed Padmapuram Gardens, built in 1942 on a 26-acre plot to supply vegetables to the soldiers who fought World War II. After the War, it was converted into a Horticultural Nursery cum Training Center where orchards, rare species of flowers and trees, tree houses and stone sculptures greet the eye. The gardens are well laid out and, as everywhere else, the "araku" or red soil of this region forms a colourful contrast with the dense greenery in this garden. A pleasurable way of seeing the gardens is to get on to the Araku Express toy train, popular with visitors to the gardens. A beautiful rose garden and exotic varieties of plants form the chief attractions here.

CHAPARAI VIEW POINT :

Chaparai is another beautiful place. It is a perennial stream passing through the natural rocks and beautiful surroundings. The entire road leading to chaparai is very beautiful and you can have a wonderful view of the hills.

Just remove your footwear and experience the cool softness of the water and the slimy rocks beneath. Up close, the trees look even more beautiful. The ground beneath the green canopy smells of fresh soil and looks perfect for a stopover. The seconds and minutes will seem to tick away in slow motion.

Lot of movies have been shot on this route and you will thoroughly enjoy the drive to Chaparai.

BORRA CAVES :

Borra Caves are located at a distance of 92 Km north of Visakhapatnam and at an amazing hill range of 3100 feet in the Ananthagiri hill range. Monkeys hanging on the large trees greet you at the entrance. Legend has it that a cowherd once lost his cow when it fell through this hole and died. When he went in search of it and entered these caves, the existence of these caves came to light. Two more discoverers are attributed with locating these caves - William King, who in 1807 discovered them while doing a geological survey, and Lord Rama. It is said that the exiled Sri Rama spent his time here. Of these, the first story seems to be the most widely accepted.

These caves are said to be a natural wonder that came into being over one million years ago. The river Gostani flows outside the caves and is believed to flow over a heap of limestone deposits, giving it a foamy or milky appearance. That explains its name - Gostani or "of a cow's milk". People believe that the water flowing over limestone deposits has given the river a therapeutic quality.

Thoughtfully, 64 sodium vapour lamps help to show your way around the caves, which cover an area of 1 sq km.

As you look around, you would realize that stalactite and stalagmite formations have led to a breathtaking array of naturally hewn shapes. Spot Shiva and Parvati, a tree with its roots overhanging, a lion reaching out to make a kill, a chandelier, a mother and child, Hanuman, a Shiva linga, a human brain, Radha-Krishna and a Nandi. The Shiva linga is a major attraction and it is told that every drop of water that combined with the calcium carbonate present here helped form it.

You would be taken up and down difficult staircases and can see these formations best with the help of a torch. Upstairs, a narrow and difficult staircase leads us to yet another thumb-sized Shiva, housed in a temple. These caves mean a lot to the tribals of the area who worship here, particularly on the occasion of Shivratri every year.