Visakhapatnam also known as Vizag, Viśākha or Waltair,is the largest and most populous city in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, and its proposed administrative capital. It is between the Eastern Ghats and the coast of the Bay of Bengal. It is the second-largest city on the east coast of India after Chennai, and the fourth-largest in South India. It is one of the four smart cities of Andhra Pradesh selected under the Smart Cities Mission and serves as the headquarters of Visakhapatnam district. With an estimated output of $43.5 billion, it is the ninth-largest contributor to India’s gross domestic product as of 2016.
Visakhapatnam’s history began in the 6th century BCE, when it was considered part of the Kalinga Kingdom, and later ruled by the Vengi, the Pallava and Eastern Ganga dynasties. Visakhapatnam was an ancient Port city which had trade relations with the Middle East and Rome. Ships were anchored at open roads and were loaded with cargo transported from Visakhapatnam shore by means of small Masula boats. A reference to Vizagapatam merchant is available in the inscriptions of Sri Bheemeswara Swamy temple (1068 AD), East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh. During 12th century AD, Vizagapatam was a fortified merchandize town managed by a guild. The city’s control was alternating between the Chola dynasty and the Gajapati Kingdom in 11th and 12th centuries, until its conquest by the Vijayanagara Empire in the 15th century.
In the 16th century, after the decline of the Vijayanagara empire and the Gajapatis, the coastal region of North Andhra, including Visakhapatnam, was annexed by the Jeypore Kingdom and remained part of it until the arrival of the British in 1711. Evidently, the Maharaja of Jeypore was commonly referred to as the Maharaja of Visakhapatnam until the dissolution of the princely state in 1947. European powers eventually established trade operations in the city, and by the end of the 18th century it had come under French colonial rule. Control passed to the East India Company in 1804 and it remained under British colonial rule until Indian independence in 1947.
The city is home to some reputed Central and State educational institutions of the state, including Andhra University (AU), Andhra Medical College (AMC), Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE), Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University (DSNLU), Indian Maritime University (IMU), and the National Institute of Oceanography among others. Visakhapatnam serves as the headquarters for the Indian Navy’s Eastern Naval Command. The city also serves as the zonal headquarters of South Coast Railway Zone (SCoR). The city is also home to the oldest shipyard and the only natural harbour on the east coast of India. Visakhapatnam Port is the fifth-busiest cargo port in India. The city is a major tourist destination and is known for its beaches, ancient Buddhist sites, and the natural environment of the surrounding Eastern Ghats.It is nicknamed as the “City of Destiny” and the “Jewel of the East Coast”. According to the Swachh Survekshan rankings of 2020, it is the ninth cleanest city in India among cities with a population of more than 1 million. In 2020, it was a finalist in the Living and Inclusion category of the World Smart City Awards.
Places To Visit In Visakhapatnam
Submarine Museum is located in Visakhapatnam in the south-eastern state of India. The museum is inside an actual submarine, INS Kurusura, which was India’s 5th submarine. The museum is situated on RK beach, near the War Memorial in Visakhapatnam. The beautiful scenery of the clear blue waters and golden sand on the beach serves as a perfect location for the Submarine Museum. It is frequently visited by enthusiasts who want to know more about living in submarines. The museum has artefacts, pictures and articles that share stories of strength, sacrifice and patriotism of the warriors. They give insights on how difficult surviving can be with limited space and resources hundreds of feet underwater.
The INS Kurusura served the Indian Navy for 31 years before it was decommissioned in 2001. Post that, it was used a museum to spread awareness about Indian Naval Forces, the technology used and its development in India. It is a one of a kind project that was launched by the Eastern Naval Command. The interiors of the submarine have been re-arranged to allow a clear view to the visitors. It is the only Submarine Museum in the entire of Asia. A visit to the museum is not only a must to gain some knowledge but also to rejuvenate a feeling of patriotism and pride for our country and for the warriors who fought and even lost their lives for our freedom.
Weather : N.A.
Timings : 2:00 PM – 8:30 PM (Closed on Monday)
Time Required : 1-2 hrs
Entry Fee : Children: INR 20 Adults: INR 40 Still photography Camera: INR 50 Video Camera: INR 500
Best Time To Visit Submarine Museum
The best time to visit Submarine Museum is between October and February as the weather stays comfortable to explore the museum.
Tips For Visiting Submarine Museum
1. The guides communicate in English and Telugu. 2. Visitors suffering from claustrophobia may want to reconsider entering the submarine.
How To Reach Submarine Museum
The route to Submarine Museum is very well connected by road within Visakhapatnam. Auto-rickshaws and local transport buses are easily available from any part of the city. Those exploring the city by private transport can reach the museum via Port road, Gajuwaka-Scindia road or via NH16.
Located 2 km from Visakhapatnam City Centre, The Gateway Hotel Beach Road features a spa, outdoor pool and 24-hour business centre. It is situated by the sea overlooking Bay of Bengal. Free parking is provided.
Radisson Blu Resort Visakhapatnam features a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and bar in Visakhapatnam. Featuring a kids’ club, this property also provides guests with a sun terrace.
The Bheemli Resort Visakhapatnam by AccorHotels features a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and bar in Visakhapatnam.
Kailasagiri is a hilltop park in the city of Visakhapatnam in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The park was developed by the Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA) and comprises 380 acres (150 ha) of land covered with flora and tropical trees. The hill, at 173 metres (568 ft), overlooks the city of Visakhapatnam.
The Government of Andhra Pradesh awarded Kailasagiri as its “Best Tourist Spot” in 2003. On average, around three hundred thousand Indian and foreign tourists visit the park every year. To protect the environment, VMRDA has declared the hill a plastic-free zone. A cable car connects to the top of the hill, the first of its kind in Andhra Pradesh. Kailasagiri is located around 10 km from the Visakhapatnam Railway Station and around 8 km from Visakhapatnam Dwaraka Bus Station.
Weather : N.A.
Timings : 10 AM – 8 PM
Time Required : 2-3 hrs
Entry Fee : Entry: Rs 5 Parking for Two Wheeler – Rs 20, Four Wheeler – Rs 50, Four Wheeler (Big) – Rs 100, Mini Bus – Rs 150 Ropeway Trip (Two Way) – Rs 90, Toy Train – Rs 150
Things to Do in Kailash Giri
1. Ropeway Ride
Ropeway Ride is an actual route to reach the hilltop other than being a major attraction at the place. Inaugurated in 2004, the thrilling ride offers mesmerising views of the surroundings and a high adrenaline rush. The cabins are installed with fibreglass windows, enabling the passengers to enjoy a beautiful bird’s eye view of the forest, valley, and beach.
Ropeway Trip (Two Way) – Rs 90
2. Titanic View
Titanic has been our favourite since time immemorial. Ever since we have watched the film, we cannot refrain from pulling out that iconic scene on a boat, every chance we get. Here, your dreams can be fulfilled. There is a magnificent viewpoint developed here which overlooks the vast Bay of Bengal. The viewpoint has been constructed in the form of a ship and you can find several romantic couples posing for pictures here.
3. Children Play Park
Children Playing Park is a vast green area installed with the latest swings and playing equipment. It is a big hit with the kids who loved the slides, swings and other playing gears. So while you are out gawking at natural beauty, you can leave your kids here to have a fun time.
4. Gliding Point
Kailash Giri has a Gliding Point for all you adventure enthusiasts. Perched at an altitude of 130 mts, the gliding point is equipped with excellent gliding facilities where the gliders can practice their gliding skills.
5. Floral Clock
Kailash Giri boasts of housing one of the biggest Floral Clock in the country which has a diameter of 10 ft. The landmark attraction is in the backdrop of the Shiva Parvathi statues and reflects an artistic impression with green patches.
6. Shiva Parvathi
Shiva Parvathi statues are obviously the most popular takeaway from the place. It is believed that initially there was a Shiva temple at the hilltop. So when the park was being constructed, the temple was reformed into magnificent statues of Shiva and Parvathi. Standing with a towering height of 40 ft., a waterfall emerges from the statues that are a symbol for River Ganges.
7. Toy Train
You can also reach here in a Toy Train that is a major attraction among the kids. The train passes through lush green woods and narrow trails and takes a circular tour of the garden, offering beautiful views through the glass panels and window. Ticket Price: Rs 150
8. Food Courts
The Food Courts have been designed beautifully and they offer quality local food. Boasting warm and cosy interiors, the food courts are the perfect place to satiate your hunger pangs.
The Rishikonda Beach also known as Rushikonda Beach is a stunning shore located on the coast of the Bay of Bengal in Vishakhapatnam, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. APTDC, which is in charge of this natural beauty, has done a great job in the upkeep of the beach and ensured that this natural attraction remains unspoilt. The Rishikonda Beach is thus rightly named as the ‘Jewel of the East Coast’, owing to its essential and intact beauty. The serene golden sands of the beach are located in the bosom of the Rishikonda hill.
Located in the midst of frothy blue sea and emerald greenery, the scenery that this beach boasts of is indeed mesmerising and breathtaking. This place is a favourite among water sports lovers because of the range of activities that are offered here. If you are in the mood for an adrenaline rush, you can indulge in the water sports that are offered here. The Rushikonda Beach is one of the few beaches that offers swimming under expert supervision, so do not forget to take a quick dip in the water. However, the beach’s natural charms are one of the main reasons for its immense popularity among local as well as foreign tourists. The Rishikonda Beach is an ideal destination for a peaceful weekend getaway and is located just 8 kilometres away from the port of Vishakhapatnam, making the place very accessible.
Read More on Rishikonda Beach
Water Sports at Rishikonda Beach
The beach is a paradise for water sports lovers, and this destination has a wide array of water sports to offer. You can invoke your inner mermaid and go for a soothing swim in the Bay of Bengal, or indulge in some enjoyable old boating. You can also try your hand at water surfing, speed boating on a motorboat and jet skiing, all of which are fun-filled and thrilling activities. The beach is also considered to be a haven for windsurfers too. Other activities offered here Scuba diving, Snorkel and Sea Kayak.
Things To Do at Rishikonda Beach
The Rushikonda Beach is one of the few beaches that boasts of unpolluted and natural beauty, and hence tourists prefer to visit this beach over others to enjoy a peaceful day with their loved ones. The greenery, clear blue waters and golden sands of the beach never fail to attract tourists from all across the country.
Sports lovers can indulge in the myriad of sports that are offered here, while food lovers can gorge on the lip-smacking food that is served here. Do not forget to sip on to the fresh coconut water and bhuutas (corn) that are easily found here. The beach also has an enclosure or an artificial bay that has been created by a breakwater, to be used for recreational swimming.
You can also ride ropeway to the Kailashgiri hilltop and then enjoy a toy train ride to view the beautiful city of Vizag. The Submarine museum located nearby is a bonus. The Rishikonda Beach also houses the Iskcon Temple, where tourists go to pray and seek the blessings of the Almighty.
Holi Celebrations at Rishikonda Beach
Holi, the festival of colours, is celebrated with great enthusiasm at the Rushikonda Beach. On the day the festival is celebrated, the beach gets altered to a hue of exciting colours, and people celebrate with splashing colour and water on each other.
Tips For Visiting Rishikonda Beach
1. Since the ATMs that are located near the beach do not work most of the times, carry enough cash with you. 2. Try not to visit after 8:00 PM since all the shops close down and the visitors retreat, leaving the beach deserted. 3. It is best to carry some food and water along with a sun umbrella to this beach. 4. There is no proper bathing facility provided at the beach.
How To Reach Rishikonda Beach
The Rishikonda Beach is just 8 kilometres away from the port of Vishakhapatnam and can be readily accessed by autos. Since it is a popular tourist destination, local transport such as buses and cabs are also readily available. You can easily hire one of the reputed cab services from the city to reach the beach. Similarly, it is very easy to get a cab or an auto rickshaw on your way back.
Yarada Beach is an entrancing site which is surrounded by hills on three sides and the Bay of Bengal on the fourth, covered with lush greenery and soft golden sands all over. It is an ideal location especially for the nature lovers as one gets to view enchanting sunrise and sunsets on this coastline. The beach is situated at a distance of 15 km from Visakhapatnam and does not remain very crowded. Since not many people gather here all the time, Yarada Beach is by far one of the safest and cleanliest beaches in India at present. The area is covered with coconut and banana plantations.
A perfect holiday destination which allows its tourists to spend quality time with their loved ones, the superb scenery gives an ideal backdrop to the Yarada Beach. The hills surrounding the beach make it appear surreal and perfect scenic beauty. Tourists can relax and look at the waves emerging from the sea along with the calm ambience of the beach where one can spend some peaceful moments away from the screeching noise and fast-moving life of the city. The beach is maintained well which is why so many tourists come to experience its beauty from all over the world.
The tourists can participate in various activities at the beach including taking a dip in the sea or making sand castles. One should try the local delicacies which are present at the beach. The deep blue colour of the sea, when merged with the golden glow of the sand, makes the beach appear heavenly, and a trip to the Yarada Beach should be on your list of must-visits.
Weather : N.A.
Timings : 24 hours
Time Required : 2-3 hrs
Entry Fee : No entry fee. INR 30 is charged for entering the Arigold property and accessing the shops as well as restaurants present there.
Best Time To Visit Yarada Beach
The ideal time to pay a visit to the Yarada Beach is between the months of November and March as the climate is pleasant and enjoyable during this time.
Tips For Visiting Yarada Beach
1.Pets are allowed on the beach. 2. It is advisable for you to carry our own water bottles to the beach.
How To Reach Yarada Beach
One can easily drive to Yarada Beach from Visakhapatnam or hire a bus service. There is no other cheap public transport available except the RTC buses. The beach is situated at a distance of 15 km from the city. Therefore, it is recommended to either book a cab or drive all the way in your own vehicle.
Very similar to a dolphins nose, this 174 m high rocky headland is situated in the south of Vizag. The nose seems to be protruding out towards the Bay of Bengal giving it a rather fascinating look.
A renowned powerful light house highly useful for the shippers and has a light beam that can be seen as far as 64 km out at sea is also placed nearby. There is also a hill nearby named the Dolphin hill and is a restricted Armed forces residential area. The backside of the hill has a scenic, beautifully placed, secluded beach called yarada.
An initiative of the Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, Matsyadarshini is a beautiful aquarium and houses countless species of fresh and salt water marine life captured in glass tanks.
The Aquarium, established on the shore of Ramakrishna beach, has many marine varieties include the long horn cow fish, butterfly fishes, surgeon major, peacock wrasse, the lion fish, stone fish, red squirrel fish, perch dusky, trigger fish, clown fish, damsels, sweet lip rabbit fish, angels, electric ray, porcupine fish and many more. Matsyadarshini also has in its credit uncommon marine invertebrates. The carpet anemones, starfishes in different colors, tentacle anemones in white and orange, sea anemones in varying colors are all gives a pleasant view.
7.Indira Gandhi Zoological Park
Indira Gandhi Zoological Park is located amidst Kambalakonda Reserve Forest in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India. It is the third largest zoo in the country.
The zoological park is named after the former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi. It was declared open to the public on 19 May 1977. It covers an area of 625 acres (253 ha). It is situated in Visakhapatnam amidst the scenic Eastern Ghats of India. It is surrounded by the Eastern Ghats on three sides and Bay of Bengal on the fourth side. Nearly eighty species of animals numbering to about eight hundred are present in the zoo. The Zoo Park has different sections for primates, carnivores, lesser carnivores, small mammals, reptiles, ungulates and birds caged in their natural ambiance.
In collaboration with Stardust Ventures, Vizag zoo launched a web portal for animal adoption, to engage the community with latest events. It also allows general public to adopt an animal for certain time period. IGZP conducts various events regularly, like E-Webinars and Quizzes and also provides E-Certificates for the participants. The webinars are interactive sessions organized with various experts, and are streamed live over YouTube.
The zoo park is about 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from the Visakhapatnam railway station on the National Highway 5 near Yendada. It has entrance and exit gates situated oppositely, with one towards National Highway 5 and the other towards Beach Road at Sagar Nagar. It is open to public daily except Monday.
Unique features & special attractions
625 acres (253 ha) land area with abundant flora & fauna. Nearly 80 species of mammals, birds, and reptiles are present in the zoo (more than 800 animals).
Battery vehicles facility to visit zoo.
Natural reserve forest atmosphere.
Open reptile (especially snakes) “serpentarium”. Entire zoo park is provided with free wifi facility.
Special breeding programmes like Indian wild dog (dhole), white tigers. Free living animals like spotted deers, wild boars and birds etc.
Best interactive & impressive, innovative knowledgeable educational activities.
Pollution free environment, best picnic spot & tourist place. An excellent interpretation & wild life learning center and a Library are present inside the zoo park near the canteen (Bioscope) with touch table & specimens which is very useful to understand about significance of nature & to improve wild life knowledge.
Various educational awareness activities & programmes specially conducted for children, students.
Exhibits at Indira Gandhi Zoological Park
Among the hoard of fauna that can be spotted here includes a variety of birds, primates, herbivores, carnivores, reptiles and nocturnal animals.
Birds- Pelican (rosy and grey), painted stork, peafowl, duck, spotted dove, lovebird, parakeet, eagle, vulture, budgerigar, macaw, ostrich, etc.
Primates- common langur, bonnet monkey (common Indian monkey), rhesus monkey, Olive baboon, Mandrill, ring-tailed lemur (lemur catta), Goeldi’s marmoset, etc. The most recent inclusion in this category is the three new primate species of Chimpanzees, originally from Tisch Zoo in Jerusalem.
Reptiles- python, snake, land tortoise, terrapin, water monitor lizard, monitor lizard, mugger crocodile, gharial.
Nocturnal Animal House- owls, porcupines, and civets.
Activities at Indira Gandhi Zoological Park
Nothing can catch up to the joy of capturing a snapshot of a lazy lion in the midst of his afternoon siesta, and you can feel that joy here at Indira Gandhi Zoological Park! With its infinite varieties of birds and animals, there is a lot to photograph. This destination also celebrates various days commemorating the importance of nature such as World Forestry Day, World Sparrow Day and World Wildlife Week. There is also an education centre called “Bioscope” which raises awareness among the visitors about wildlife. The centre has an auditorium, library and interpretation centre as well.
The zoo also organises various competitions for school children, namely literary competitions like debate and essay writing competitions and even different general quizzes. The park is well equipped with all the facilities. There are drinking water ROs with fresh and purified water at many locations inside the park. You can be assured to have a gala time here as there are a lot of benches and shades provided for the comfort of the visitors. You can also opt for eco-friendly vehicles that are available inside the park at a nominal fee of INR 200/head.
Attractions Near Indira Gandhi Zoological Park
There are a plethora of tourist attractions located nearby Indira Gandhi Zoological Park. Apart from the sandy beaches, namely Yarada Beach, Gangavaram Beach, Bheemunipatnam Beach, Kondakarla Ava Beach, RK Beach and Bheemili Beach; there are many other attractions nearby. You can visit INS Kurusura Submarine Museum, Dolphin’s Nose, Kailasa Giri, Vizag Harbour and Araku Valley. You can also opt for their accommodation options to enjoy bird watching and wildlife safari early in the morning.
Indira Gandhi Zoological Park Entry Fee
The entry fee of Indira Gandhi Zoo is very nominal. The ticket for adults cost INR 10 and for children INR 5. There is separate ticket if you want to enjoy the mini train ride. For adults, the ticket price for the mini train is INR 15, and for children, it is INR 10.
Best Time To Visit Indira Gandhi Zoological Park
The winter months serve as the best time to visit this place. The peak season starts from October until mid of May. The pleasant weather during this period attracts a lot of tourists from all across the globe. Also, the wildlife week is celebrated at Indira Gandhi Zoological Park with great zeal fervour usually at the end of September or October beginning. It serves as a great time, especially for children and young adults as they can take part in various competitions and quizzes that are held during this grand week.
How To Reach Indira Gandhi Zoological Park
The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park is nearly a 6 km drive from RTC Complex in Hyderabad. Buses (both run by the APSRTC – the State Transport Corporation and the Tourism Department) will help you reach the Park. The park is located at a distance of 11 km from the Vishakhapatnam Railway Station.
The Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority or VUDA park, is a popular attraction in Visakhapatnam and a favorite amongst the tourists. One of its main attractions, here, is a musical waterfall.
The park also has a skating rink and many small playing areas for kids. The park is designed and constructed by the VUDA and is in the close proximity of Ramakrishna Beach. Its an ideal spot for a late evening snack, especially if you are with kids.
9.Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha temple, Simhachalam
Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha temple, Simhachalam is a Hindu temple situated on the Simhachalam Hill Range, which is 300 metres above the sea level in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India. It is dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped there as Varaha Narasimha. As per the temple’s legend, Vishnu manifested in this form (lion’s head and human body) after saving his devotee Prahlada from a murder attempt by the latter’s father Hiranyakashipu. Except on Akshaya Trutiya, the idol of Varaha Narasimha is covered with sandalwood paste throughout the year, which makes it resemble a linga.
Simhachalam is one of the 32 Narasimha temples in Andhra Pradesh which are important pilgrimage centres. It was regarded as an important centre of Vaishnavism in the medieval period along with Srikurmam and others. The earliest inscription at the temple belongs to 11th-century CE recording the gift by a private individual in the era of Chola king Kulottunga I. In the later half of the 13th century, the temple complex underwent radical physical changes during the reign of the Eastern Ganga king Narasimhadeva I. Narahari Tirtha, a Dvaita philosopher and Eastern Ganga minister converted the Simhachalam temple into an educational establishment of renown and a religious centre for Vaishnavism.It later received patronage from many royal families, of which Tuluva dynasty of Vijayanagara Empire is a notable one. The temple underwent 40 years of religious inactivity from 1564 to 1604 CE. In 1949, the temple came under the purview of the state government and is currently administered by the Simhachalam Devasthanam Board.
Simhachalam temple resembles a fortress from outside with three outer courtyards and five gateways. The architecture is a mixture of the styles of the Kalinga Architecture, Chalukyas, Kakatiyas, and the Great Cholas. The temple faces west instead of east, signifying victory. There are two temple tanks: Swami Pushkarini near the temple and Gangadhara at the bottom of the hill. The temple houses a number of sub-shrines and a few mandapams. The religious practices and customs of the temple are formulated by the Vaishnavite philosopher Ramanuja. They are modelled based on the Satvata Samhita, one of the 108 texts of the Pancharatra Agama.
Simhachalam is the second-largest temple, after Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh, in terms of income earned. Devotees believe that the deity is capable of giving progeny to women and fulfilling the wishes of devotees. Kalyanotsava and Chandanotsava are the two major festivals celebrated in the temple, followed by Narasimha Jayanti, Navaratrotsava and Kamadahana. The festivals celebrated in Simhachalam have an influence of the Dravida Sampradaya. Apart from those by well-known poets, the temple is found in many literary references and lyrical works (dedicated by anonymous writers), which are preserved in the Government Oriental Manuscripts Library, Chennai.
Weather : N.A.
Timings : 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Time Required : 1-2 hrs
Entry Fee : Free
Legend of Simhachalam Temple
The legend of the temple is based on the story of Hiranakashyap and Prahalad. Hiranakashyap and Hiranyaksha were demon kings and adversaries of Lord Vishnu. Hiranayaksha seized the earth and carried it to the nether region, from where it was rescued by Vishnu in Varaha form after he killed Hiranyaksha. The loss of his brother made Hiranakashyap livid, and he vowed to kill Lord Vishnu and assume absolute power over the earth.
Hirankashyap prayed incessantly to Lord Brahma and gained a boon which made him safe against death either by day or night, either in the morning or the night, and either by a human or a beast. Hirankashyap’s son Prahalad however, turned out to be a devout worshipper of Vishnu, which angered the demon king to no end. As a last resort to kill him, Hirankashyap had Prahalad pushed off the Simhadri hill at which point Lord Narasimha appeared, saved Prahalad and killed Hirankashyap and ended his tyranny. Eventually, Prahalad built the Simhachalam Temple dedicated to Lord Narasimha, which is believed to be the same one that stands here today.
History of Simhachalam Temple
The exact age of the Simhachalam Temple is not known, but it contains scriptures belonging to 1098-1099 AD belonging to the kingdom of Chola king Kullotunga-I. Another ancient text illustrates a queen of the eastern Ganga of Kalinga covering the image, and yet another inscription suggests that the eastern Ganga king of Orissa Narasimha Dev built the main sanctum sometime around the 1267 AD. As many as 252 texts in Oriya and Telugu have described the predecessors of the Simhachalam Temple, hence the construction of this mighty facade cannot be clearly attributed to a single entity.
It is believed that Sri Krishnadeva Raya had visited the temple twice around 1516 AD and 1519 AD after he defeated Gajapati ruler of Orissa Gajapati Prataparudra Dev on two different accounts. The Simhachalam temple still contains inscriptions left here by Sri Krishna Devaraya of Vijayanagara empire.
Architecture of Simhachalam Temple
This temple has a square sanctum mounted by a tower, a porch in front with a smaller tower above it and a sixteen pillared mandapam. Overlooking this is the verandah, all made out of dark granite carved with traditional designs of floral ornamentation and scenes from the Vaishnavite Puranas. The verandah houses a statue of a horse driven chariot as well. Outside the inner enclosure is the marvellous natyamandapam, where God’s marriage rites are performed. This is supported by 96 black stone pillars arranged in sixteen rows, each of which bears unique and astounding stone carvings. An ancient marvel, this temple is worth a visit for its architectural details itself.
Akshaya Tritiya at Simhachalam Temple
Perhaps one of the most important festivals at the Simhachalam temple is Akshaya Tritiya or Chandanotsava. Also known as Chandan yatra, on this day, the sandalwood paste that covers the idol of Lord Narasimha is removed and the deity appears to its devotees in its original form for a period of 12 hours. In preparation for the festival, sandalwood paste is applied to the idol on full moon days of the Vaisakha, Jyeshta, and Ashadha months. On the day of Akshay Tritiya, the sandalwood covering Narsimha’s idol is removed at around 4:00 AM in the morning while prayers and ‘Abhishek’ are completed by 6:00 AM. The devotees are then allowed to enter the sanctum and catch a glimpse of the Lord.
In the evening, a number of bathing services are performed starting with Chandanabhisheka (abhisheka with water mixed with sandalwood powder) and Sahasrakalasabhisheka (abhisheka with water from thousand metal pots). Three different kinds of ‘Prasadam’ are offered to Lord Narasimha, which marks the end of the celebrations.
How To Reach Simhachalam Temple
Regular buses ply to and from Simhachalam temple and are quick and affordable ways to reach this destination. If you are at the Waltair Railway Station, you can visit Simhachalam by bus number 6A, or you can take bus number 55 and 40 from Gajuwaka and Dwarka Bus Stand respectively. You can also hire a cab to drop you at the temple.
Overview A prominent tourist attraction in Vizag for adventure lovers, the VUDA park is a specialized adventure park in Vizag. It is now called the VRMDA park and has some of the unique experiences like skiing and heli tourism to travellers.
It spans for a massive 55 acres. While here, do not forget to visit the world-famous musical waterfall and take a swing and ice skating on the gorgeous skating rink. The proximity of this park to the Ramakrishna beach invites enormous crowds at all hours of the day. You can enjoy a spicy evening snack here or simply take a walk to admire the beauty of this picturesque park.