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Visakhapatnam

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Visakhapatnam
Vizag, Vizagapatam, Waltair
Metropolis
Top to bottom, left to right: A view of Visakhapatnam and the Bay of Bengal from Kailasagiri Park, Simhachalam Temple, King George Hospital, Visakhapatnam Port, the Kursura Submarine Museum, the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, and Ramakrishna Mission Beach
Etymology: Vishākhā
Nickname(s): Financial Capital of Andhra Pradesh, Goa of the East, The City of Destiny, The Jewel of the East Coast
Visakhapatnam is located in Andhra Pradesh
Visakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam is located in India
Visakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam
Coordinates: 17°41′18″N 83°13′07″E / 17.68833°N 83.21861°E / 17.68833; 83.21861Coordinates: 17°41′18″N 83°13′07″E / 17.68833°N 83.21861°E / 17.68833; 83.21861
Country India
State Andhra Pradesh
District Visakhapatnam
Incorporated (town) 1865
Incorporated (city) 1979
Government
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Body GVMC
 • Mayor Pulusu Janardhana Rao
 • Municipal commissioner M.Hari Narayanan
 • Commissioner of Police T.Yoganand,I.P.S.
Area[1]
 • Metropolis 540.00 km2 (208.50 sq mi)
 • Metro[2] 5,573 km2 (2,152 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Metropolis 2,035,922
 • Rank 14th (India)
1st (Andhra Pradesh)
 • Density 3,800/km2 (9,800/sq mi)
 • Metro[2] 5,340,000
Demonym(s) Vizagite
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 530 0XX, 531 1XX
Telephone code +91-891
Vehicle registration AP
Official language Telugu
Website visakhapatnam.cdma.ap.gov.in/en

Visakhapatnam ([ʋiʃaːkʰapaʈːɳam]; also known as Vizag) is the largest city and Financial Capital[3] of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.[4] The city is the administrative headquarters of Visakhapatnam district and Eastern Naval Command.[5] Its geographical location is amidst Eastern Ghats mountain range and the coast of Bay of Bengal. It is the most populous city in the state[6][5] and one of the million-plus cities in India.[7] with a population of 2,035,922.[1] The core city and its surrounding settlements together constitute Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region, one of the most populous urban regions in the country with a population of 5,340,000.[8] The economy of the city is the tenth largest in the country,[9] with a GDP of 1,650 billion (US$26 billion).[10]

Visakhapatnam's history stretches back to the 6th century BCE, when it was considered a part of the Kalinga Kingdom, and later ruled by the Vengi, the Pallava and Eastern Ganga dynasties.[11] Archaeological records suggest that the present city was built around the 11th and 12th centuries with control over the city fluctuating between the Chola Dynasty and the Gajapati Kingdom,[12][13] until its conquest by the Vijayanagara Empire in the 15th century.[11] Conquered by the Mughals in the 16th century, European powers eventually set up trading interests in the city, and by the end of the 18th century it had come under French rule.[12][13] Control passed to the British in 1804 and it remained under British colonial rule until Indian independence in 1947.

The city is home to the oldest shipyard and the only natural harbour on the east coast of India.[14] It is referred with many nicknames such as, Goa of the East Coast, The City of Destiny, The Jewel of the East Coast.[5] It has been selected as one of the Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under the Smart Cities Mission. As per the Swachhta Sarvekshan rankings of 2017, it is the third cleanest city in India.[15]

Etymology

The local belief behind the name of the city states, there was a king of 4th century, who on his pilgrimage halted at Lawson's Bay and built a temple dedicated to Vaisakha, which was submerged under the sea, but the name of the temple was got to the settlement. Other such names are, Kulotungapatnam, named by a Chola King, Kulotuna-I; Ishakapatnam, based on a Muslim Saint, Syed Ali Medina (Ishak Medina).[16][17] During the East India Company rule in India, the city was known with the name, Vizagapatam.[18] Waltair ia another such name which was derived from the British colonial name.[5] The vizagapatam later got transformed into Visakhapatnam and its shortend form, Vizag.[16]

Geography

A view of the city from Kailasagiri

It is situated between the Eastern Ghats to its west and the Bay of Bengal to its east,[19] bordering on the north with the state of Odisha and Vizianagaram district and East Godavari District to the south. The city coordinates lies between 17.6883° N latitude, and 83.2186° E longitude. It's periphery consists of plains along the coast line while the interiors boast of the beautiful hills of the Eastern Ghats which surround it on the North and the West. This region is also called the Agency Division. It occupies an area of approximately 11,161 km2 (4,309 sq mi).

History

Visakhapatnam's history stretches back to the 6th century B.C.E., and the city finds mention in ancient texts, such as the 4th century B.C.E. writings of Pāṇini and Katyayana. Historically considered part of the Kalinga region,[12][13] it was ruled by the Vengi kingdom and the Pallava and Eastern Ganga dynasties during medieval times.[11] Archaeological records suggest that the present city was built around the 11th and 12th centuries C.E. by the Chola Dynasty king Kulothunga I. Control over the city fluctuated between the Chola Dynasty of Tamil Nadu and the Gajapati Kingdom of Odisha[12][13] until its conquest by the Vijayanagara Empire in the 15th century.[11] In the 16th century, it was conquered by the Mughals. European powers eventually set up trading interests in the city, and Visakhapatnam came under French rule at the end of the 18th century.[12][13]

The city was ruled by Andhra Kings of Vengi and Pallavas. The city is named after Sri Vishaka Varma. Legend has it that Radha and Viśakha were born on the same day, and were equally beautiful. Sri Vishaka Sakhi is the second most important gopi of the eight main gopis. She carries messages between Radha and Krishna, and is the most expert gopi messenger. Local residents believe that an Andhra king, built a temple to pay homage to his family deity Viśakha. This is now inundated under sea water near R K Beach. Another theory is that it is named after a women disciple of Buddha named Viśakha. Later it was ruled by Qutb Shahis, Mughal Empire (between 1689 and 1724), Nizam (1724–1757) and France (1757–1765) before being captured by the British in 1765. European powers eventually set up trading interests in the city, and Visakhapatnam came under French rule at the end of the 18th century.[12][13]

The British captured Visakhapatnam after the 1804 Battle of Vizagapatam, and it remained under British colonial rule until India's independence in 1947 which was a part of the Northern Circars.

Buddhist influence

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 region.[citation needed]

Pavurallakonda

eramic sculptures of guardian Yakshas
Yaksha Relief at Pavurallakonda near Bheemunipatnam

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.[20]

Sankaram

Stone seated Buddha at Bojjannakonda near Anakapalle

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.[citation needed]

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 chaitya halls, votive platforms, stupas and Vajrayana sculptures.[citation needed]

Bavikonda

Bavikonda Buddhist Complex
Bavikonda stupas

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 Buddha. 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 to 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.[21]

Thotlakonda

Corner of light-coloured, angular stone ruins
Third-century BC Buddhist ruins of Totlakonda

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 ashtamangala symbols (i.e. the eight auspicious symbols of Swastika, Shrivasta, Nandhyavarta, Vardhamanaka, Bhadrasana, Kalasha, Minyugala and Darpan) and early pottery.[22]

Later history

martyrs memorial construction
War Memorial at Beach Road in Visakhapatnam

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- SuryaVamsa Kshatriyas 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).[23]

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.

Climate

Climate data for Visakhapatnam
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 34.8
(94.6)
38.2
(100.8)
40.0
(104)
40.5
(104.9)
45.0
(113)
45.4
(113.7)
41.4
(106.5)
38.8
(101.8)
38.2
(100.8)
37.2
(99)
35.0
(95)
34.0
(93.2)
45.4
(113.7)
Average high °C (°F) 28.9
(84)
31.3
(88.3)
33.8
(92.8)
35.3
(95.5)
36.2
(97.2)
35.3
(95.5)
32.9
(91.2)
32.7
(90.9)
32.5
(90.5)
31.7
(89.1)
30.4
(86.7)
28.9
(84)
32.5
(90.5)
Average low °C (°F) 18.0
(64.4)
19.9
(67.8)
23.0
(73.4)
26.1
(79)
27.7
(81.9)
27.3
(81.1)
26.1
(79)
26.0
(78.8)
25.6
(78.1)
24.3
(75.7)
21.6
(70.9)
18.6
(65.5)
23.7
(74.7)
Record low °C (°F) 10.5
(50.9)
12.8
(55)
14.4
(57.9)
18.3
(64.9)
20.0
(68)
21.1
(70)
21.3
(70.3)
21.1
(70)
17.5
(63.5)
17.6
(63.7)
12.9
(55.2)
11.3
(52.3)
10.5
(50.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 11.1
(0.437)
10.5
(0.413)
13.0
(0.512)
26.2
(1.031)
70.5
(2.776)
117.0
(4.606)
133.3
(5.248)
163.6
(6.441)
191.1
(7.524)
258.1
(10.161)
115.5
(4.547)
8.8
(0.346)
1,118.7
(44.042)
Average rainy days 0.5 0.5 0.5 1.2 3.0 6.4 8.7 9.3 9.9 8.7 2.7 0.6 52.0
Average relative humidity (%) 71 70 69 71 69 71 76 77 78 74 68 67 71.8
Source #1: India Meteorological Department (record high and low up to 2010)[24][25]
Source #2: NOAA (humidity 1971–1990)[26]

Demographics

As of 2011 census of India, Visakhapatnam had a population of 1,728,128, of which males were 873,599 and females were 854,529, – a sex ratio of 978 females per 1000 males. The population density was 18,480/km2 (47,900/sq mi). There were 164,129 children in the age group of 0–6 years, with 84,298 boys and 79,831 girls, – a sex ratio was 947 girls per 1000 boys. The average literacy rate stood at 81.79% with a total of 1,279,137 literates, of which 688,678 were males and 590,459 were fermales.[27][28] Visakhapatnam is ranked 122 in the list of fastest-growing cities in the world.[29] The total slum population covers 44.61% of the total population which implies 194,959 people reside in slums..[30]

The population crossed two million mark after expansion of the city limits and stands at 2,035,922.[1]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1871 32,191 —    
1881 30,291 −5.9%
1891 34,487 +13.9%
1901 40,892 +18.6%
1911 43,413 +6.2%
1921 44,711 +3.0%
1931 57,303 +28.2%
1941 70,243 +22.6%
1951 108,042 +53.8%
1961 211,190 +95.5%
1971 363,467 +72.1%
1981 603,630 +66.1%
1991 752,037 +24.6%
2001 1,345,938 +79.0%
2011 2,035,922 +51.3%

Language and religion

Religions in Visakhapatnam (2011)

source: Visakhapatnam city Census 2011 data
Hinduism
  
92.32%
Islam
  
3.85%
Christianity
  
3.07%
Others
  
0.76%

Telugu is the most predominantly spoken language by the native speakers.[31][32] Two dialects of Telugu are spoken by the people, the common dialect and the Uttarandhra (North Eastern Andhra) dialect. The latter is mainly spoken by the people who originally belong to the districts of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam.[33] A cosmopolitan population of Visakhapatnam comprise Tamils,[34][35] Malayalis,[36][37] Sindhis[38] and Kannadigas,[39][40] and also Odias,[41] Bengalis and Bihari migrants from other regions of India.[42][43] There is also existence of Anglo-Indian community, regarded as the first cosmopolitans of the city.[44]

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 but the population of Buddhists has waned, with approximately 0.03% population in the entire city based on the recent census.[45]

Government and politics

Civic administration

Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is the civic body that oversees the civic needs of the city.[46] It is one of the oldest municipalities in the state, established in 1858 as a Voluntary Municipal Association and upgraded to corporation in 1979, before getting Greater tag on 20 November 2005.[47] It has a jurisdictional area of 540 km2 (210 sq mi), which includes the merged municipalities of Gajuwaka, Anakapalle and Bheemunipatnam.[1][48] The present municipal commissioner of the city is M.Hari Narayanan.[49] Law and order in the city is dealt by Visakhapatnam City Police, equipped with a Police Commissionerate with Commissioner of Police as the head and with assisted by three deputy commissioners for different zones.[50] Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) is an urban planning agency that covers the GVMC and its suburbs covering, three corporations, three municipalities, two nagar panchayats and 1170 villages from three districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagarm and Viskhapatnam.[51][48] The expanded area of the city, Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region extends to 5,573 km2 (2,152 sq mi) with a population of 53,40,000 and is under the administration of Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority.[2]

Economy

Vizag steel plant entrance
Visakhapatnam oil refinary

Visakhapatnam is one of the 100 fastest growing cities in the world,[52] which has a GDP of $26 billion.[53] For the FY 2015–16, the per capita income estimates of the city stood at 140,628 crore (US$22 billion) and it tops among other cities in the state.[54] The fishing harbour is one of the oldest and largest in the city, which was established in 1926, provides livelihood for approximately 50,000 people.[55] The usual seafood exporting capacity of the harbour is 115,000 t (127,000 tons)[56] and during the FY 2015, it topped seafood exports in terms of value among other ports.[57] Visakhapatnam Port and Gangavaram Port are the two ports of the city and the former one topped charts which handled 60,000,000 t (66,000,000 tons) of cargo during the financial year 2016–17.[58] The Hindustan Shipyard undertakes building and repairing of Naval fleet and has future orders of 2,000 crore (US$310 million).[59]

The growth in the IT sector in the recent times boosting the local economy.[60] In 2016–17, the IT industry in Vizag witnessed an increase in its turnover which recorded as 5,400 crore (US$840 million) with 34,000 employees working in 350 firms,[61] in contrast to 2013–14 figures of 1,450 crore (US$230 million).[62] Sunrise Startup Village, an incubation centre;[63] Fintech Valley Tower for Financial Technology were also established.[64] The Brandix India Apparel City is the largest textile park in the country and holds the record for employing more than 15,000 women employers at a single location.[65] The Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City (JNPC) developed at Parawada near Visakhapatnam in 2,400 acres has major pharma companies like, Hospira, Mylan, Eisai, Reddy’s Lab, Aurobindo Pharma, Torrent pharma etc.[66][67][68] Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone Limited, is the India's first Ultra Modern Medical Equipment Manufacturing & Testing Facility, open to Manufacturers & Innovators.[69]

The prevalence of ferroalloy plants is due to the availability of manganese ore near Visakhapatnam. Aluminium refineries such as Anrak Aluminium and Jindal Aluminium are developing because of the bauxite reserves around the city.[70] Visakhapatnam is a part of the Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR), proposed between Visakhapatnam and Kakinada. The PCPIR is expected to generate 1.2 million jobs and a projected investment of ₨34,30,000 million.[71] Simhadri Super Thermal Power Plant of NTPC Limited is expanding from 1,000 to 2,000 MW at a cost of 50 billion (US$777 million). Hindujas has begun construction of a 1,070-MW thermal power plant in Visakhapatnam district at a cost of 70 billion (US$1 billion).[72] NTPC is establishing 4x1,000 MW imported coal-based thermal power plant in Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh, which will come up at an investment of Rs 20,000 crore. Approximately Rs 5 crore outlay is needed for generation of one megawatt thermal power.[73] [74]

Cityscape

Road along the shoreline
Panorama of Visakhapatanam Beach Road

Neighbourhoods

Over the years, Visakhapatnam has turned from a fishing village into a commercial city with busy streets. Most notable areas of the city include Dwaraka Nagar, Gajuwaka, Gopalapatnam, Jagadamba Centre, Maddilapalem, Madhurawada, Seethammadhara etc.

Landmarks

INS Kursura (S20)
RK Beach at Sunset

Visakhapatnam is one of the main tourism destinations in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The city is famous for beaches, caves and the Eastern Ghats as well as wildlife sanctuaries. About 30% of the city is covered with Greenery.[75]

The landmarks of the city include Dolphin's Nose, Lighthouse, Kailasagiri, Beach Road, VUDA Park, Visakha Museum and Matsyadarsini (an aquarium). INS Kursura Submarine Museum is the only of its kind in India.[76] Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in the city has variety of wildlife species. Erra Matti Dibbalu (Red sand dunes) are situated between Visakhapatnam and Bheemunipatnam are one of the geo-heritage sites in the country. This tourist spot is now protected and preserved as a heritage site.[77] Dr Ramanaidu Film Studio in 33 acres space off the Visakha-Bhimili beach road is one of the film shootings destination. Telugu Heritage museum on atop Kailasagiri was developed by World Telugu Federation and Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority ,[78] Vuda City Central Park .[79] Adding one more feather to its cap visakhapatnam has got India's tallest musical fountain opened in the central park. Oscillating vertically at 360 degrees, the fountain dances to the tune of digital music in different colors.[80]

Beaches along the coastline of the Bay of Bengal are Ramakrishna Mission Beach, Rushikonda Beach and Mangamaripeta Beach. Others include Yarada, Bheemili, Lawson's Bay, Tenneti, Sagar Nagar and Gangavaram beaches.[81] Borra Caves are caves discovered by British geologist William King in 1807.[82] Tyda (an Eco tourism project), Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary under Andhra Pradesh Forest Department are wildlife conservation sites near the city.[76]

Culture

A Kuchipudi Dancer from Visakhapatnam
Simhachalam Temple

Poets, artists Some of the notable poets from the city include Sri Sri, Gollapudi Maruti Rao, Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry.

Religious worships

Some of the religious sites are also of great importance like ISKCON temple;[83] Simhachalam temple of Lord Narasimha 16 km (9.9 mi) north of the city,[84][85] Sri Kanaka Maha Lakshmi Temple. Recent archaeological excavations of Buddhist shrines revealed Buddhist dominance in this area and these are recognised as heritage sites that include Boudharamam, Saligudam, Sankaram and Devipuram etc.

Transport

Visakhapatnam Metro Express Highway Service at Kurmanapalem

The city commuters prefer city buses and auto rickshaws as the primary mode of transport, followed by the two wheelers and cars.[86] Road and rail are preferred for long distance commuting and are supported by Dwaraka bus station and Visakhapatnam railway station respectively.[87][88] It also has sea and air travel infrastructure such as, Visakhapatnam Port[89] and Visakhapatnam Airport.[90] As of 2013, the percentage of transport mode shares in the city are, 18% buses, 9% autos, 15% two wheelers, 2% cars and 55% non-motorised transport (bicycles and pedestrians).[86]:23 The APSRTC Visakhapatnam Region operates city, district and inter-state bus services from Dwaraka bus station.[91] There are more than 600 city buses being run in over 150 routes, in addition to Bus Rapid Transit System in two corridors of Pendurthi and Simhachalam.[86]:21 A planned Integrated Bus Terminal Complex would be built at Maddilapalem.[92] Apart from buses, there are about 25,000 auto rickshaws plying on the city roads which provide intermediate public transport.[86]:22

Roadways

NH-16 near Maddilapalem

The city has a broad network of roads with a total road length of 2007.10 km.[93] NH16, a major highway and a part of the Golden Quadrilateral system bypasses the city.

Railways

Visakhapatnam railway station

The Visakhapatnam railway station is as an A1 station[94] with the highest gross revenue in the Waltair railway division.[95] It serves an average of 20,000–25,000 passengers daily and may rise upto 40,000 during festivals.[88] The country's largest Diesel Loco Shed with a capacity of 206.[96] Visakhapatnam Metro is a planned metro rail project whose first phase is expected to be completed by December 2018 with financial support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.[97]

Airport

Visakhapatnam Airport Terminal

In 2016, the airport had witnessed a passenger growth rate of 42% with a total passenger count of 2.1 million and handled 50 flights per day in 2016.[98]

Seaports

Visakhapatnam seaport, with harbour interchange fly-by road

Visakhapatnam Port is one of the busiest and the Gangavaram Port, the deepest ports in the country. In December 2010, Coal India agreed to enable an additional berth to be built at the port.[99]

Education

St Aloysius Anglo Indian High School (SAS) established in 1847 in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

Visakhapatnam is considered as a centre for education in Andhra Pradesh and there are a number of primary, high schools and colleges in the city. In addition to state-run schools there are private institutions, missionary schools and colleges.

Primary education

St. Aloysius Anglo Indian High School was established in the year 1847.The one of the oldest school in city with 168 years history.[100] Timpany, Delhi, Bethany School are the others. There are Kendriya vidyalaya's which are situated in NAD, Steel plant, Industrial estate and Waltair which are affiliated to CBSE. City also has many schools which teaches State Syllabus, ICSE, CBSE.

Secondary education

Established in 1878, A.V.N. College is one of the city's oldest educational institutions.[101]

Universities

Andhra University Entrance Gate

Visakhapatnam is the home to Andhra University (AU), established in 1926. President of India, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was vice-chancellor of the university between 1931 and 1936. Other famous faculty associated with this university include the Nobelist Sir C. V. Raman, the famous statistician Dr. C. R. Rao as well as the famous mathematician Dr. S. Meenaskhisundaram.

AU and its affiliated colleges provide education to thousands of students up to Postgraduation in many fields. The AU College of Pharmacy is the second-oldest pharmacy college in India. The university is in the process of obtaining IIEST status.

Andhra Medical College, established in 1902, is the home of several teaching hospitals. Andhra University College of Engineering (Autonomous), 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.

Visakhapatnam is also home to Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, which is the National Law University for the state of Andhra Pradesh. DSNLU takes entrance through Common Law Admission Test and ranks 15th by order of establishment among the 17 National Law Universities. Vizag is due to get India's First Packaging park[102] with an Indian Institute of Packaging, IIP[103] and BITS Pilani & Birla International School under the aegis of Sarala Birla Academy.[104]

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. Visakhapatnam also has the National Institute of Oceanography. The Indian Institute of Management,[105] Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy[106] are the other institutions of national importance.

Defence and research

Naval base

Navy vessel sailing through canal
Naval warship

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 Karna, 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$233 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. Multiple naval training establishments, such as the Navy ShipWright School,[107] are also situated here.

Research organisations

The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) plans its second research facility in the country (after Trombay) in the area.[108] A permanent facility, which will include a school dedicated to nuclear-power technology. There are also offices of the National Institute of Oceanography and the India Meteorological Department.

Sports

major international stadium for cricket
ACA-VDCA Cricket stadium at Madhurawada
ENC Cricket Team which won the VDCA Institutional League Cricket Championship 2015–16

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 zonal 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 alongside, Hyderabad in 2002. 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. Indira Priyadarshini Stadium: Also known as the Municipal Corporation Stadium, hosted the first ODI match on 9 December 1988 and the last of the five on 3 April 2001. The stadium has discontinued in favour of the new ACA-VDCA Stadium in Madhurawada.

ACA-VDCA Stadium is the home of Andhra Cricket Association as well as to Visakhapatnam district. It hosts Ranji Trophy, One Day Internationals and Test Internationals. The stadium is the home ground of Andhra Pradesh cricket team. Sometimes, it also hosts IPL matches as a neutral venue. The stadium is named after the former chief minister, late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. The ACA-VDCA Stadium was recently awarded test status making it the 9th venue in the country with test status. It hosted its first test match against England beginning on 17 November 2016. Port Trust Golden Jubilee Stadium: Second-largest stadium in Visakhapatnam, which has hosted Under-19 Youth Internationals. It also hosted the 2014 Pro Kabaddi League season as the home ground for the Telugu Titans.[109]

In addition to the cricket grounds, the Swarna Bharathi Indoor Stadium, built by the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, is used for various indoor sports,[110] and the GVMC Aqua Sports Complex, an aquatic centre for swimming and diving, is near the beach road.[111]

It is possible to surf in Visakhapatnam, at the Rushikonda beach.[112]

Media

The Telugu dailies publishers in the city are Eenadu, Andhra Jyothy, Sakshi, Andhra Bhoomi, Andhra Prabha, Vaartha, Suryaa and Prajasakti. (visalandra) Apart from the local language, there are also English papers such as, The Hindu, The Times of India, Deccan Chronicle, The Hindu Business Line, The New Indian Express and The Hans India. On 8 April 2016, the city was host for the Ganta China Rosaiah and Narayanamma Memorial Best Journalists Awards-2015.[113]

FM stations in Vizag

Notable people

See also

References

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Further reading

External links