|Simhachalam Temple, Bay of Bengal from Kailasagiri, Rajiv Smrithi Bhavan at Beach Road, Visakhapatnam Port, King George Hospital (KGH)|
|• Municipal commissioner||M.V.Satyanarayana,IAS|
|• Special Officer||Shailendra Kumar,IAS|
|• Commissioner of Police||B.Shivadhar Reddy IPS|
|• Deputy Inspector General of Police||Swati Lakra IPS|
|• Total||621 km2 (240 sq mi)|
|Elevation||5 m (16 ft)|
|• Density||3,742/km2 (9,690/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|PIN||530 0XX 531 1XX|
|Telephone code||+91-891-XXX XXXX|
Visakhapatnam ( pronunciation (help·info), Telugu: విశాఖపట్నం) (often abbreviated to Vizag) is a port city on the southeast coast of India and often called "The Jewel of the East Coast". With a population of 20,35,690 and occupying 621 square kilometres (240 sq mi). It is the administrative headquarters of Visakhapatnam district, and the second largest city in the state of Andhra Pradesh and the third largest city on the east coast of India (after Chennai and Kolkata).
Visakhapatnam is located 625 kilometres (388 mi) east of the state capital, Hyderabad. The city is home to several state-owned heavy industries and a steel plant; it is one of India's largest seaports and has the country's oldest shipyard. Visakhapatnam has the only natural harbour on the east coast of India. It is nestled among the hills of the Eastern Ghats and faces the Bay of Bengal on the east. Visakhapatnam is the administrative headquarters of Visakhapatnam district and headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy.
- 1 History
- 2 Buddhist influence
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Language
- 5 Climate
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Economy
- 8 Busiest centres in Vizag
- 9 Tourism
- 10 Temples in Visakhapatnam
- 11 Entertainment
- 12 Print Media
- 13 Sports
- 14 Education
- 15 References
- 16 External links
Visakhapatnam was ruled by King Thankappan Chettiyar before it was a part of the Kalinga Kingdom under Ashoka's rule in 260 BC, and until the 16th century AD it was part of the Utkala Kingdom. The city passed later to the Andhra Kings of Vengi,Reddy and after that to the Pallavas. Another story is it was named after Subrahmanyeswara, the deity of valour and second son of Lord Shiva. His beauty was compared to that of Sakhi Viśakha. Legend has it that Radha and Viśakha were born on the same day, and were equally beautiful. Local residents believe that an Andhra king, impressed by their beauty, built a temple to pay homage to his family deity Viśakha. This is now inundated under sea water near R K beach. Laterly it was ruled by Qutb Shahis, Mughal Empire (between 1689-1724), Nizam (1724-1757) and France (1757-1765) before being captured by the British in 1765.
Hindu texts state that during the fifth century BC, the Visakhapatnam region was part of Kalinga territory, which extended to the Godavari River. Relics found in the area also prove the existence of a Buddhist empire in the region. Kalinga later lost the territory to King Ashoka in the bloodiest battle of its time, which prompted Ashoka to embrace Buddhism. Visakhapatnam is surrounded by ancient Buddhist sites, most of which have been excavated recently and illustrate the legacy of Buddhism in the area.
Pavurallakonda ("pigeon hill") is a hillock west of Bhimli, about 24 km (15 mi) from Visakhapatnam. The Buddhist settlement found here is estimated to date back from the first century BC to the second century AD. On the hillock (which overlooks the coastline) are 16 rock-cut cisterns for collecting rainwater. Gopalapatnam, on the Tandava River, is a village surrounded by brick stupas, viharas, pottery and other Buddhist artefacts.
In 1907 British archaeologist Alexander Rea unearthed Sankaram, a 2,000-year-old Buddhist site. The name "Śankaram" derives from the Sangharama (temple or monastery). Located 40 km (25 mi) south of Visakhapatnam, it is known locally as Bojjannakonda and is a significant Buddhist site in Andhra Pradesh. The three major schools of Buddhism (Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana) flourished here. The complex is known for its monolithic stupas, rock-cut caves and brick structures. The primary stupa was initially carved out of rock and covered with bricks. Excavations yielded historic pottery and Satavahana coins from the first century AD. At Lingalakonda, there are also rock-cut monolithic stupas in rows spread over the hill. The vihara was active for about 1,000 years.
Nearby is another Buddhist site, Bojjannakonda, with a number of images of the Buddha carved on the rock face of the caves. At Ligalametta there are hundreds of rock-cut monolithic stupas in rows, spread across the hill. Among other Buddhist attractions are a relic casket, three chiatya halls,[further explanation needed] votive platforms, stupas and Vajrayana sculptures.
Bavikonda is an important Buddhist heritage site located on a hill about 15 km, northeast from Visakhapatnam city. Here the Buddhist habitation is noticed on a 16 ha flat terraced area. The Hinayana school of Buddhism was practised at the monastery between the 3rd century B.C. and the 3rd century A.D. Bavikonda has remains of an entire Buddhist complex, comprising 26 structures belonging to three phases. A piece of bone stored in an urn recovered here is believed to belong to the mortal remains of the Budda. The word Bavikonda in Telugu means "a hill of wells". Fitting its name, Bavikonda is a hill with wells for the collection of rainwater. It is located 15 km (9.3 mi) from Visakhapatnam and is a significant Buddhist site. Excavation carried out from 1982–1987 revealed a Buddhist establishment including a mahachaitya embedded with relic caskets,[clarification needed] a large vihara complex, numerous votive stupas, a stone-pillared congregation and rectangular halls and a refectory. Artifacts recovered from the site include Roman and Satavahana coins and pottery dating from the third century BC to the second century AD. A significant finding was a piece of bone (with a large quantity of ash) in an urn, which is believed to be the remains of the Buddha. The Bavikonda site is considered one of the oldest Buddhist sites in Asia. It is a reminder of the Buddhist civilisation which once existed in southern India, and also reminiscent of Borobudur in Indonesia.
About 16 km (9.9 mi) from Visakhapatnam is Thotlakonda, a Buddhist complex situated on top of a hill. The Buddhist Complex on the Mangamaripeta hilltop, locally known as Totlakonda, lies about 16 km from Visakhapatnam on Visakhapatnam-Bheemili Beach Road. After its discovery (during an aerial survey), the Government of A.P declared the 48 ha site as a protected monument in 1978. Excavations in 1988 to 1992 exposed structural remains and artefacts, classified as Religious, Secular and Civil. These structures include the Stupa, Chaityagrihas, pillared congregation halls, bhandagaras, refectory (bhojanasala), drainage and stone pathways. The site covers an area of 120 acres (49 hectares), and has been declared a protected area by the government of Andhra Pradesh. Excavations have revealed three kinds of structural remains: religious, secular and civil. Structures include a mahastupa, sixteen votive stupas, a stone-pillared congregation hall, eleven rock-cut cisterns, well-paved stone pathways, an apsidal chaitya-griha, three round chaitgya-grihas, two votive platforms, ten viharas and a kitchen complex with three halls and a refectory (dining hall). Apart from the structures, Buddhist treasures excavated include nine Satavahana and five Roman silver coins, terracotta tiles, stucco decorative pieces, sculptured panels, miniature stupa models in stone, Buddha padas depicted with ashtamangal symbols (i.e. the eight auspicious symbols of Swastika, Shrivasta, Nandhyavarta, Vardhamanaka, Bhadrasana, Kalasha, Minyugala and Darpan) and early pottery.
The territory of Visakhapatnam then came under the Andhra rulers of Vengi, and Chalukyas and Pallavas ruled the land. The region was ruled by the Eastern Ganga king Surya Vamsi and the Gajapati kings of Odisha from the 10th century to the 16th centuries AD (when the region came under the Visakhapatnam rulers). Based on archaeological evidence, the PRABHAKAR and the Eastern Ganga Kings of Odisha built temples in the city in the 11th and 12th centuries. The Mughals ruled the area under the Visakhapatnam Nizam during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. European merchants from France, Holland and the East India Company used the natural port to export tobacco, paddy, coal, iron ore, ivory, muslin and other textile products.
Local legend tells that an Andhra king, on his way to Benares, rested at Visakhapatnam and was so enchanted by its beauty that he ordered a temple to be built in honour of his family deity, Viśakha. Archaeological sources, however, reveal that the temple was probably built between the 11th and 12th centuries by the Cholas. A shipping merchant, Shankarayya Chetty, built one of the mandapams (pillared halls) of the temple. Although it no longer exists (possibly washed away about 100 years ago by a cyclonic storm), elderly residents of Visakhapatnam remember visits to the ancient shrine by their grandparents (although author Ganapatiraju Atchuta Rama Raju denies this).
During the 18th century Visakhapatnam was part of the Northern Circars, a region comprising coastal Andhra and southern coastal Odisha which was first under French control and later British. Visakhapatnam became a district in the Madras Presidency of British India. In September 1804, British and French squadrons fought the naval Battle of Vizagapatam near the harbour. After India's independence it was the largest district in the country, and was subsequently divided into the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam.
Part of the city is known by its colonial British name, Waltair; during the colonial era, the city's hub was the Waltair railway station and the surrounding part of the city is still called Waltair.
Visakhapatnam is a cosmopolitan mix of people from various parts of India. From a population of a few thousand during the 18th and early 19th centuries, the population grew steadily. The city doubled its population from 1990–2000, due to a large migrant population from surrounding areas and other parts of the country coming to work in its factories.
According to the 2011 India census, the population of Visakhapatnam in 2011 was 1,730,320, of which 875,199 were male and 855,121 were female. The sex ratio of Visakhapatnam city was 977 females per 1000 males. In the education section, the total literate population in Visakhapatnam city was 1,298,896, of which 698,959 were males while 599,937 were females. The average literacy rate of Visakhapatnam city was 82.66 percent, of which male and female literacy were 88.02 and 77.18 percent respectively. There were 158,924 children ages 0 to 6 in Visakhapatnam city as of 2011. There were 81,119 boys while 77,805 were girls. The child sex ratio was 959 girls per 1000 boys. 10 percent of the population was under age six. Visakhapatnam is ranked 122 in the list of fastest-growing cities in the world. 
Hinduism is practised by the majority of its citizens, followed by Islam and Christianity. The area practised Buddhism for two millennia, as evidenced by the many Buddhist sangharamas in the outlying areas; currently, however, the population of Buddhists has waned. There is little religious tension.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (January 2010)|
Visakhapatnam is predominantly Telugu-speaking. The Telugu spoken by the middle class is the standard dialect, while a significant population who have settled down in the city from the adjoining villages and neighbouring districts of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam speak the Uttarandhra (north coastal) Mandalikam dialects while people from East Godavari speak the Godavari dialect.
Historians theorise that centuries ago (when Uttarandhra was part of the Kalinga Empire), Buddhist missionaries and merchants may have taken Telugu script (derived from Brahmi script) to Southeast Asia from the shores of Uttarandhra, where it evolved into the scripts of Mon, Burmese, Thai, Khmer, Javanese, Balinese and possibly Sinhala (spoken in Sri Lanka). Their similarities to Telugu script can be discerned even today.
Visakhapatnam is home to small Tamil, Punjabi, Gujarati, Oriya, Bengali, Nepali and Malayalee communities; their arrival is recent, due to the Naval presence and high concentration of public-sector employers. There is also an Anglo-Indian community. Many residents also speak English, which facilitates communication between tourists and local people.
Visakhapatnam has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen climate classification Aw), with little change in temperature throughout the year. May is the hottest month with an average maximum temperature about 36 °C (97 °F), and January is the coolest month with an average maximum temperature near 29 °C (84 °F).
With the city's location on the Bay of Bengal, the humidity is high throughout the year. Total annual rainfall is about 945 millimetres (37.2 in), most of which falls during the southwest monsoon. October is the wettest month, with about 204 millimetres (8.0 in) of rainfall. November through February is the best time to visit Visakhapatnam weather-wise, since temperatures are moderate.
|Climate data for Visakhapatnam|
|Record high °C (°F)||31.2
|Average high °C (°F)||27.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||22.7
|Average low °C (°F)||18.0
|Record low °C (°F)||11.7
|Precipitation mm (inches)||11.4
|Avg. rainy days||0.7||1.3||1.3||2.2||3.9||7.8||10.9||11.6||11.6||8.9||4.0||0.7||64.9|
|Source #1: IMD (average high and low, precipitation)|
|Source #2: NOAA (extremes & mean temperature, rain days, humidity 1971–1990)|
Visakhapatnam Airport is the busiest airport in Coastal Andhra. It is connected by daily flights with Dubai, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Tirupati, Rajahmundry, Kolkata, Kochi, Coimbatore, Raipur and to Singapore. Visakhapatnam Airport recently received permission to operate night flights, and the airport is open until 23:55. A new 10,000-foot (3 km) runway is operational to accommodate international flights and larger aircraft. The airport was recently modernised (including aerobridges and immigration booths), and the new terminal was opened on 21 March 2009. Visakhapatnam became an international airport when Air India began flights to Dubai (via Visakhapatnam) on 25 March 2012. Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Air Arabia, Thai Smile Airways and SriLankan Airlines have agreed to begin international flights from Visakhapatnam . Vizag airport became operational round the clock from 1 March 2013.
Visakhapatnam is one of the major cities on the east coast of India connected by NH5, a major highway and a part of the Golden Quadrilateral system of Indian highways connecting Chennai and Kolkata. The section of NH5 from Kolkata to Chennai connects Visakhapatnam on the northeast and the south. The highway is an important route for transporting cargo and people from these cities via Visakhapatnam. The city has a broad network of roads. There are frequent buses to Kakinada, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, Araku, Guntur and Rajahmundry, and bus service to Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur, Ongole,Tirupati, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Koraput, Rayagada and elsewhere in Karnataka.
Residents of Visakhapatnam use a public transport network provided by the APSRTC, which runs buses along a number of routes across the city and its suburbs. The APSRTC complex at Asilametta is the hub for most of these buses, and there are traffic jams during rush hours in the heavily populated, congested Asilametta Junction. The city corporation plans subways, pedestrian overpasses and flyovers to address traffic problems.
A Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) was approved for the city under the JNNURM. This will make use of dedicated lanes for buses, allowing for an efficient, high-speed mode of transport for the public, reducing traffic congestion and improving safety. The project is planned for completion by the end of 2015.
A Metro Rail Project has also been planned by GVMC to arrest chaotic traffic condition on the streets.
The first train from Visakhapatnam started in October, 1894. In the beginning, the railway station was situated at One Town near Old post office, behind Laxmi talkies. Later, in 1968, it was shifted to its present location and was called Waltair railway station. Later, around 1987, Mr. D.V Subbarao, the then Mayor of Visakhapatnam, changed the name to Visakhapatnam.
The Visakhapatnam railway station is administered by the East Coast Railway of Indian Railways. It is on the Chennai Central-Howrah Station route, although the main line bypasses the Central Station. Duvvada railway station, a suburban station on the main line (near the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant) is being developed into a satellite hub to improve train service into the city.
There are direct rail links to Machilipatnam, Vijayawada Junction, Secunderabad Railway Station, Tirupati, Kollam Junction, Bhubaneswar, Nagpur, Bangalore Bhopal Junction, Mumbai, Surat, Porbandar, Okha, Mangalore, Tiruchchirapalli, Puri, Raipur, Bilaspur, Korba, Nasik, Amritsar, Patna, Trivandrum, Malda, Kanniyakumari, Shirdi, Ernakulam, Aurangabad, Haldia, Dibrugarh, Guwahati, Rameswaram, Tata nagar, Digha Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, Jammu Tawi, Bhilai, Gwalior, Chennai Central, Vellore-Katpadi Junction, Howrah Station, New Delhi Railway Station and also has direct services to Indore, Ujjain, Coimbatore, Jaipur and other major cities. Visakhapatnam has a daily Visakhapatnam – Secunderabad Garib Rath Express service to Secunderabad.
The K-K line from Viśakhapatnam to Kirandul via Araku is laid through eastern ghats. Up to Araku station it is having many tunnels. Also it pass through South India's highest elevation Broad gauge station, Similiguda, just before Borra caves(Officially,under Odisha Government).
On the east coast of India, Visakhapatnam serves as the gateway waterway for Andhra Pradesh. It has one of the country's largest ports, and the oldest shipyard on the east coast. It is a land-locked harbour, as connected to the sea by a channel cut through rock and sand. Visakhapatnam is one of the busiest ports in India. Vizag Seaport owns two berths in the inner harbour; berth EQ-8 is fully mechanised and berth EQ-9 berth is not. Both berths are capable of handling Panamax vessels. The shipyard at Visakhapatnam is the largest in India. On the Chennai–Kolkota corridor, the city is also a hub for ground traffic. The Gangavaram Port is India's deepest seaport. In December 2010, Coal India agreed to enable an additional berth to be built at the port.
From a hamlet of local fishing communities during the early days of the Indian independence struggle and a few decades later, Visakhapatnam grew economically; the rise has been so quick that the city was identified as one of the fastest-growing in the world, economically and demographically. Several factors contributed to its economic growth, including the natural harbour, its location between Madras and Calcutta, access to NH5 and a developed network of railways which changed the hamlet into an industrial city. It has developed into a hub for heavy industry. The Visakhapatnam Port (the largest in the country) was a gateway contributing to the development of the petroleum, steel and fertiliser industries. The Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (recently expanded from 3.1 to 6.3 million ton in its daily cargo handling capacity) and Hindustan Petroleum were the two multi-billion-dollar investments that put Visakhapatnam on the industrial map. The city has two N.T.P.C. power plants to fill its power needs. Visakhapatnam also hosts the headquarters of the Dredging Corporation of India.
It is a hub for iron ore and other mineral exports; ore from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh is transported to Visakhapatnam by rail and road transport. From the port, minerals are exported by ship to China and other countries. Visakhapatnam district and its surrounding area have bauxite reserves of 1,000 MT, manganese ore and titanium reserves in its beach sand.
Visakhapatnam also owes its economic growth to the availability of an educated English-speaking workforce; English is the first language in many institutions of higher education in the city. The availability of an educated workforce allowed information technology enabled services companies such as Wipro, Mahindra Satyam, HSBC, IBM Daksh, Intact Info, Sutherland and Acclaris to flourish. The city has 102 small and medium software and call-centre companies, of which about ten began operations from 2005–2007. Software exports from Visakhapatnam in 2007 were worth 2450 million (US$37 million) and 5020 million (US$77 million) in 2008, 10 billion (US$153 million) in 2011 – an increase of nearly 90% each year. The IT exports from Vizag for 2012 were Rs 1200 crore and 16,000 people were working in IT industry in Vizag. The city is set to have New Electronic Manufacturing Hub.
National and international IT and banking firms (such as IBM, Mahindra Satyam, Kenexa, Infotech, Softsol, and Miracle Software,Wipro) have opened offices in the city. The Andhra Pradesh government provided infrastructure and land for these companies to set up their development centres in the city's outskirts. The government has established an IT special economic zone with Incubation center in the Rushikonda Hills in Visakhapatnam. The growing population and economy have resulted in rising real estate prices, with prices at some locations in the city quadrupling in a short time. Real-estate companies are building housing projects in the city's outskirts.
Visakhapatnam has a growing film industry, and is home to Ramanaidu Studios and another studios.
Many residential townships are coming up in this area. This initiative by property developers will extend the CBD of VIZAG up to 10 km from the base point.
The fishing industry is also growing, with domestic and exported tuna doubling in a decade. The city has two ports: Visakhapatnam Port (opened in 1933) and Gangavaram Port (opened in 2008, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Visakhapatnam Port). Gangavaram Port began with an investment of US$2 billion; it is the deepest port in the country, with the ability to handle large international vessels. Visakhapatnam Port is also expanding and plans to open a satellite port at Bhimili, 20 kilometres (12 mi) away.
Visakhapatnam has the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) special economic zone (covering 5,770 acres (23.35 km2) and occupied by WS Industries, Pokarna Limited, Uniparts, Confidence Petroleum, Southern Online Bio, Nagarjuna AgriChem, Anjaney Alloys, Maithon Alloys and Abhijit Ferro Alloys) at Autonagar, Atchutapuram. A railway line is under construction connecting the industrial zone with the Gangavaram Port. The Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone (SEZ) began in 1989; exports from the SEZ totalled approximately 15820 million (US$242 million) in 2011.
Brandix Apparel City is in operation in Atchutapuram. This is a textile-based SEZ covering 1,000 acres (4.0 km2). The aim of this project is to provide 60,000 local jobs. It is expected that exports will reach 55 billion (US$842 million) when fully operational. The SEZ has foreign textile manufacturers, including Pioneer Elastic Fiber, Ocean India, Quantum Clothing, Fountain Set Group and Limited Brands.
Pilkington (an automotive-glass manufacturer) and Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City (JNPC) are also in Visakhapatnam. JNPC is the only pharmaceutical SEZ in India, with 38 pharmaceutical companies including PharmaZell of Germany and Eisai Pharma of Japan. U.S.-based Hospira Chemicals has purchased land for a plant in the city.
Companies such as Reliance, Brandix and HPCL have purchased areas in special economic zones (SEZs) for their industries. Aluminium refineries (such as Anrak Aluminium and Jindal Aluminium) are developing in Visakhapatnam because of the bauxite reserves around the city. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) plans its second research facility in the country (after Trombay) in the area. Visakhapatnam was one of five sites in the country selected to hold strategic crude-oil reserves in case of a national emergency.
Other industries include Hindustan Zinc, GAIL, IOC Bottling Unit, BPCL Bottling Unit, Synergies Castings, Rain Calcining Limited, Coromandel Fertilizers, Hindustan Ship Yard, Bharat Heavy Plate and Vessels Limited (BHPV), Viśakha Dairy, Vizag Profiles, Essar Pellet Plant, Andhra Polymers (now LG Polymers), Andhra Cement, Andhra Petrochemicals and Andhra Ferroalloys. The prevalence of ferroalloy plants is due to the availability of manganese ore near Visakhapatnam. The city is the headquarters for the Waltair division of the East Coast Railway. The division generated 34830 million (US$533 million) in revenue in 2009–2010, one of the highest-grossing industries in the country.
Visakhapatnam's traditional importance in shipbuilding is demonstrated by the fact that India's first ship (the Jala Usha) was launched there. It is one of India's largest fishing ports, has a dedicated harbour for the fishing industry and handles a large percentage of India's seafood exports.
The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (the second centre in India, after Mumbai) is completing a permanent facility in Autonagar which will include a school dedicated to nuclear-power technology. Visakhapatnam also has offices of the National Institute of Oceanography and the Indian Meteorological Department.
APIIC has authorised Unitech Limited to construct a Knowledge City on an area of 700 hectares (2.7 sq mi), with an investment of 350 billion (US$5 billion). Although with Unitech Limited being involved in the 2G spectrum scam, the Andhra Pradesh government has scrapped the plan as of June 2012; future course of action is unkwnown.
From a small village in the 20th century, Visakhapatnam has grown into an industrial hub. The British needed a suitable port to move mineral wealth from central India. Unlike the western coast, the east coast is devoid of natural harbours. However, Visakhapatnam is protected from the sea on the south by Dolphin's Nose Hill; the Meghadri River estuary formed a channel which made it suitable for a port. Construction on the harbour began in 1927, and in 1933 it was opened to traffic.
A milestone was the establishment of the Scindia Steam Navigation Company (later known as Hindustan Shipyard Limited) in 1940. With the construction of the Kottavalasa-Kirandul (K.K.) line connecting the iron-ore mines in Bailadila, Madhya Pradesh (present-day Chhattisgarh), its importance grew. During the 1950s and 1960s the government and the private sector set up large-scale industries such as Bharat Heavy Plates and Vessels, Hindustan Zinc, Dredging Corporation of India, the Caltex oil refinery (later acquired by the government as Hindustan Petroleum), Coromandel International and Andhra Polymers (now LG Polymers). The 1980s saw development of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and other industries. Economic liberalisation during the 1990s brought modest growth to the city but not as much as it did to Visakhapatnam. However, industries such as Rain Calcining and the Simhadri Thermal Power plant of NTPC Limited were established, Hindustan Petroleum expanded and the Visakhapatnam Export Processing Zone was established. Visakhapatnam was named as one of the ten fastest-growing cities of the world in a recent[when?] study by United Nations. In its extensive survey on next generation of top ten business destinations across the country, Cushman & Wakefield has discovered Vizag as one of the ideal business destinations
Due to the presence of the Eastern Naval Command, Vizag Steel Plant and Hindustan Petroleum, the city is home to people from around the country and is cosmopolitan. Visakhapatnam's main commercial and shopping centres are in the Dwarakanagar, R.T.C. complex and Jagadamba Junction areas. It has two multiplexes: Varun Beach and CMR Central. Since 2000, the Dwarakanagar-R.T.C. complex area has become a commercial hub with shopping centres in a 2–3 kilometre radius. The city is home to five-star hotels, such as Novotel, Taj group, ITC-WelcomGroup, Four Points by Sheraton and Park Hotels.Upcoming three 5 Star Hotels are (1) Hyatt Regency ( 225 rooms ) (2) Mariott Renaissance ( 200 rooms ), (3) Golden Tulip .
Software and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies have announced plans for development and outsourcing centres in Visakhapatnam, which has contributed to a rise in real-estate prices. An influx of non-resident Indians (NRIs) to Visakhapatnam have further added to this rise.
Its skilled workforce allowed the entry of many BPO companies (such as HSBC). Visakhapatnam is experiencing growth in the IT sector, contributing to the local economy. The city has 102 small and medium-sized software and BPO companies, of which about 10 began operation between 2005–2007. Software exports from Visakhapatnam in 2007 were valued at 2450 million (US$37 million), an increase of over 100 percent over the previous year.
National and international IT and banking firms have established offices in the city, including Mahindra Satyam, Wipro, iSOFT, HSBC Sankhya Technologies, iFlex, Sutherland Global Services, Kenexa, E Centric Solutions and OpenWindow Technologies IBM. The Andhra Pradesh government provided infrastructure and land for these companies to open development centres on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam, with special economic zones to improve employment and increase economic growth.
City-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs) (such as Jain Infotech,Media Systems,Gaian Solutions, Acclaris, Manuh Information Systems India Pvt. Ltd., NuNet Technologies, Patra Corp, Prospecta Technologies, Quant Systems, Sankhya Technologies, Samudra Software, Symbiosys Technologies, Xinthe Technologies) and softscripts provide IT and BPO services. Some of these companies have formed an association called Vizag information technology Association (VITA) to promote IT in Visakhapatnam and bridge the industry-school gap. To help companies in and around Visakhapatnam fill their workforces, companies such as IndiGenius and Mafoi provide human-resource services such as recruitment, temporary staffing and training.
Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, featuring some of the rarest species in India, opened in 1972 on the coastal hills north of the city.
Visakhapatnam is the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command, the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (a DRDO Lab), a Chief Quality Assurance Establishment (CQAE), an EFS office, a Naval Dockyard (established in 1949) and Naval Bases including INS Virbahu, INS Kalinga, INS Samudrika, INS Satavahana, and INS Dega. A new base at INS Rambilli is being built on 5,000 acres (20 km2) with an investment of 15 billion (US$230 million), as the first dedicated submarine base in India. India's first nuclear submarine INS Arihant was launched in the Naval Dockyard, and Bharat Dynamics has begun manufacturing torpedoes. Visakhapatnam also has presence of the Indian Coast Guard including ships and offices.
Ukkunagaram planned community
Visakhapatnam has a steel plant known as VSP, whose corporate entity RINL(Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited)is the second largest state-run steel industry. The capacity of the plant has been upgraded to 6.3MT, and it covers an area of 20,000 acres (81 km2). It is planned to become a 20MT plant in the future, the largest plant in a single location. The plant had revenues of 144570 million (US$2 billion) for 2011–2012 and has about 17,800 employees.
The township for plant employees is Ukkunagaram (ukku means steel and nagaram is town in Telugu). The designers of the township followed a Roman circular design for the layout of homes and roads to keep distances equal between any two points within the township. There are 12 sectors; the oldest are sectors 1, 2 and 3, and sector 7 is the domain of the directors and chairman. The newest is sector 12, which is available for senior officers. Other sectors were built as the plant's staff increased. Each sector consists of about 300 housing units, varying from three-floor apartment houses to single-family homes. There are also bungalows for plant directors. There are five types of housing units: types A through D and the bungalows. Sector one housed Russian workers who built the first blast furnace (Godavari), the RMHP, Sinter and coke-oven batteries one and two. Ukkunagaram is in a forest belt, running from the Valleys of Araku through Elamanchili to Narsipatnam. Forestry by management has resulted in a green environment. The township has roads, markets, parks, clubs and sports facilities for employees and their families. The Kanithi Reservoir (between the town and the NH5) provides water for the plant and Ukkunagaram. It draws its water from a canal running from the Yeleru River, a tributary of the Godavari River.
The road that leads from the plant plaza main gate into the township actually travels ahead as a bypass to the busy NH5 and skips Anakapalli directly to Elamanchili and Tuni, cutting almost 30 km on the road route from Visakhapatnam to Vijayawada.
Hindujas has begun construction of a 1,070-MW thermal power plant in Visakhapatnam district at a cost of 70 billion (US$1 billion), and HPCL is expanding the Viśakh Refinery from 7.5 to 15 MT with an investment of 130 billion (US$2 billion). NTPC-Simhadri is expanding from 1,000 to 2,000 MW at a cost of 50 billion (US$765 million), and the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant has completed its expansion from 3.1 to 6.3 MT with an investment of 90 billion (US$1 billion). The Visakhapatnam Port is expanding (at a cost of 30 billion (US$459 million)) to increase its capacity to 80 MT per year.
Visakhapatnam is a part of the PCPIR (Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region) proposed between Visakhapatnam and Kakinada. The PCPIR is expected to generate 1.2 million jobs and a projected investment of ₨34,30,000 million.
There is an additional project that is currently going on in Atchutapuram. It will be India's first rare earths (minerals) extraction plant. The company is basically owned by Toyotsu Rare Earth India Ltd. (Partners of Toyota).
Busiest centres in Vizag
With the growing population, Visakhapatnam has turned from a fishing village into a commercial city with busy streets. Some of the busy areas of the city include Jagadamba center, Dwaraka Nagar, NAD'X'Roads, Dabagardens, Allipuram, Poorna market, Town kotha road, Akkayapalem, Seethammadhara, Maddilapalem, Gajuwaka, MVP colony, Siripuram Junction and Madhurawada. Some of the congestion is come down after the completion of 1.8 km long fly over road connecting RTC Complex and Waltair Station Approach Road.
Visakhapatnam has a range of tourist attractions including beaches, cliffs, hilltop parks facing the sea, a beach road, a zoological park and wildlife sanctuary, a submarine museum, hill stations, limestone caves, mountain ranges and valleys within a 100-kilometre (62 mi) radius of the city. Vizag is also popularly known as the City Of Destiny and The Goa Of East Coast. The City is also Home of some world famous five-star hotels (The Gateway Hotel (Taj), the Park, ITC Welcome, Four Seasons, Novotel, Encore Inn , the world famous Novotel) with a range of other accommodations.
Kailasagiri is a hilltop park adjacent to the sea which offers views of the Bay of Bengal, Visakhapatnam and the Eastern Ghats. An aerial tramway accesses the park from the bottom of the hill. Beach Road, from the East Point colony to the coastal battery, is dotted with parks and statues and is an evening gathering point. On the road is India's only submarine museum (the INS Kursura), the Viśakha Museum and Matsyadarsini (an aquarium). VUDA park, at the beginning of Beach Road, has a musical fountain, entertainment for children and a roller rink which has hosted national and international skating competitions.
Rushikonda Beach, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the city, is a popular evening spot. The 30-kilometre (19 mi) Bhimili-Visakhapatnam Beach Road offers views of sea, sand, hills and greenery. Many parks are located on this road. Tenneti Beach Park is on the cliff of Kailasagiri; there are several points from which the rocky beach beneath can be seen, and a number of Telugu, Tamil and Hindi movies were filmed here. Rama Naidu Film Studios is located in Visakhapatnam.
Simhachalam is a hill shrine of Lord Narasimha 16 km (9.9 mi) north of the city. The carved 16-pillared Natya mandapa and the 96-pillared Kalyana mandapa are highlights of the temple. It was constructed by the Gajapathi kings of Odisha before 1500 AD. Pusapati Ananda Gajapati Raju was a descendant of Maharaja Vijayrama Gajapati Raju, bahadur of the former Vizianagaram princely state.
Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, between National Highway 5 (NH5) and Beach Road, covers an area of 250 hectares (620 acres); it has about 700 animals from about 90 species.
The Araku Valley, 112 km (70 mi) from Visakhapatnam, is a tourist destination. The Araku hill station is at an elevation of over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) and known for its gardens, valleys, waterfalls and streams. On the way to the Araku hill station are the Borra Caves, which were discovered by British geologist William King in 1807. The Marriage Bureau For Rich People series of novels, written by Farahad Zama and published internationally in 13 languages, are set in Visakhapatnam and feature landmarks of the city and its surroundings.
An ISKCON Temple for Universal Peace is planned in Visakhapatnam, with a budget of 570 million (US$9 million). The temple will feature Kalyan mandapams, a multimedia theatre and museum, a Vedic planetarium and an underwater meditation hall, a school and a naturopathic hospital. Construction on the first phase began 24 April 2012.
Temples in Visakhapatnam
- Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swami devasthanam at Simhachalam
- Sri Kanaka Mahalakshmi devasthanam at Burujupeta
- Sampat Vinayagar temple at Asilmetta
- Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swami temple at Isukakonda
- Port Venkateshwara Swami temple at Harbour
- Sagar Durga temple at Harbour
- ISKCON temple at Sagarnagar
- Jagannath Swami temples at Town kotharoad & Ukkunagaram
- Madhava Swami & Venugopala Swami temples at Madhavadhara
- Balligiri Venkateshwara Swami temple at Allipuram
- Vaibhava Venkateshwara Swami temple at Kapparada
- Ayyappa Swami temple at Sheelanagar & Ukkunagaram
- Kali temples at R.K.Beach & Railway Station & Ukkunagaram
- Panduranga Swami temple at Pandurangapuram
- Shiridi Saibaba temples at Ukkunagaram,Sitammadhara & East point Colony
- Someshwara Swami temple at Appikonda
- Sri Krishna temple at Krishnanagar near Zilla parishad
- Yogasiddanjaneya swamy temple at suryanagar
- Sri neelammavepachettu ammavari devastanam at assam gardens
- Sri Bhusameta Veera Venkateshwara Swami Temple at R&B
ANDHRA CINE STUDIO in Seetammadhara was the oldest cinema studio in Andhra Pradesh built in 1930 by Gottumukkala Jagannadha Raju. Dasapalla Chitralaya was built by Dasapalla MahaRani Family. There are about 50 movie theatres, with 10 INOX screens, 4 at CMR Central Inox and the other 6 at Varun Beach Inox. Upcoming multiplexes include Muktha, 3 screens at Visakhapatnam Central mall, Inox near Old Chitralaya Theatre and PVR at V Square mall.
- Telugu News Papers
- Andhra Jyothi
- Sakshi (newspaper)
- Andhra Bhoomi
- Andhra Prabha
- Vijaya Bhanu
- Leader (newspaper)
- Publik (newspaper)
- English News Papers
- Deccan Chronicle
- The Times of India
- The Hindu
- The Hindu Business Line
- The New Indian Express
- The Hans India
Cricket is the most popular sport, followed by tennis and football. Visakhapatnam is home to a number of local cricket teams participating in district and zone matches. Gully cricket (a form of cricket played in streets or parks) is a popular pastime for local youth. Visakhapatnam co-hosted the 32nd National Games with the state capital, Visakhapatnam. The city has seven cricket stadiums, which are used for Ranji Trophy matches; two of these stadiums have been used for one day international matches. Some of these stadiums are:
- Indira Priyadarshini Stadium (five ODI matches): Also known as the Municipal Corporation Stadium, it hosted the first ODI match on 9 December 1988 and the last of the five on 3 April 2001. The stadium has discontinued hosting ODI matches in favour of the newer ACA-VDCA Stadium in Madhurawada. The stadium is in the hills, and provides a scenic view.It also hosted the Twenty-20 match, but was abandoned due to rain.
- YSR-ACA-VDCA Stadium (four ODI matches): The YSR-ACA-VDCA Stadium has hosted four ODIs, with India winning against Pakistan in the first, Sri Lanka in the second, Australia in the third and the West Indies in the fourth. The stadium has been upgraded for night matches. It has the most advanced floodlights in India, after Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi. The stadium was recently named the YS Rajasekhara Reddy Stadium.
- A T20 match was scheduled between India and New Zealand and was abandoned due to rain.
- Port Trust Golden Jubilee Stadium: Second-largest stadium in Visakhapatnam, which has hosted Under-19 Youth Internationals
Visakhapatnam has not hosted a test match; however, the ACA-VDCA Stadium was recently awarded test status—the ninth stadium with test status in the country, and the second in Andhra Pradesh.
Visakhapatnam is considered a centre for education in Andhra Pradesh and there are a number of primary and high schools and colleges in the city. In addition to state-run schools there are private institutions, missionary schools and colleges.
The Indian Maritime University was established as a central university by the government of India by an act of Parliament (the Indian Maritime University Act 2008). IMU is poised to play a role in the development of human resources for the maritime sector. The first of its kind in the country, IMU will fill the educational requirements of the maritime fraternity. It is a teaching and collegiate university which will offer degree, postgraduate degree and research programmes in all disciplines of the maritime sector. Visakhapatnam also has the National Institute of Oceanography.
Established in 1878, A.V.N. College is one of the city's oldest educational institutions. Visakhapatnam is also home to Andhra University (AU), established in 1926. Before he became president of India, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was vice chancellor of the university between 1931 and 1936. AU and its affiliated colleges provide education to thousands of students from the state. Postgraduate and graduate courses are offered in the arts, commerce, science and technology, engineering, IT, business management, law and pharmacy. The AU College of Pharmacy is the second-oldest pharmacy college in India. The university is in the process of obtaining IIEST status, and there are plans to set up an IIM and a Indian Institute of Information Technology at Visakhapatnam. Integral Institute of Advanced Management (IIAM) is one of the prominent management institutes in the city.
Andhra Medical College, established in 1902, is the home of several teaching hospitals. The GITAM University (the first private university in Andhra Pradesh) and the Gayatri Vidya Parishad College of Engineering are other technical-education institutions in the city.
Engineering colleges in Visakhapatnam include Chaitanya Engineering College, Raghu Engineering College, Vignans Institute of information technology, Sanketika Vidya Parishad College of Engineering, Pothinamallayapalem, Pydah College of Engineering and Technology, Vignans Institute of Engineering for Women, Al Ameer College of Engineering and Technology, Avanthi Institute of Engineering and Technology,Visakha Institute of Engineering & Technology,Visakha Technical campus, Anil Neerukonda Institute of Technology and Sciences and the Vitam College of Engineering. There are more than 50 engineering colleges in Visakhapatnam. Graduate schools include VIPS, Pydah, Gayatri, AVN, Dr Lankapalli Bullayya College and Dr. V. S. Krishna.
Andhra Pradesh University of Law gained National Law University status in 2008.It is now known as Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, and is one of the biggest upcoming NLUs of the future. Their campus is upcoming in the Sabbavaram area and will be the biggest and most advanced National Law University campus in India. Admission is taken only on basis of rank secured in Common Law Admission Test.
St. Aloysius Anglo-Indian High School is the oldest high school in the district and one of the oldest schools in the country. It was established in 1847, and is in the old town. St. Joseph's Girls' High School was established in 1893 in Waltair and is an ICSE school.Other notable schools are Visvodaya High School, Naval Children's School, Kotak Salesian School, D.A.V Centenary Public School, Delhi Public School, S.F.S. School, St. Anthony's High School, Bethany School, Visakha Valley School and Timpany School. Other schools include the public school at MVP Colony, Pollocks School, St. Joseph's Secondary School, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sri Krishna Vidya Mandir, Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Siva Sivani, Saraswathi Vidya Vihar, Little Angels, Little Flowers,Sri Prakash Vidyaniketan and Pavani School. The city has about 10 Kendriya Vidyalayas with a total enrolment of 18,000. Timpany School has three branches: one affiliated with ICSE and the other two with the Central Board of Secondary Education. Vikas Vidyaniketan is the largest CBSE residential school. Vijnana Vihara (Gudilova), Viśakha Valley School and Sri Krishna Vidya Mandir are also affiliated with CBSE. De Paul School is affiliated with SSC and ICSE.
The Indian Science Congress (I.S.C.) was hosted by Andhra University in 1976 and 2008. It is the largest congregation of scientists from different disciplines in the world. Over 8,000 people participated in the I.S.C. in 2008, including Nobel Prize winners from around the world.
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