Vishakhapatnam and its lovely beaches

#1 Jul 4th, 2015, 23:57
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  • m_sion is offline
#1
I made this tour along with my wife and son during the third week of December, 2014. I got a lot of information and advices for the entire trip (Mangalajodi-Chilka-Araku-Vizag) on IndiaMike. I have separate report on Mangalajodi and Chilka. Now the last part after six months of the tour !

We reached Vishakhapatnam at about 4 pm by Vishakha Express. We travelled by this train as we were going from Chilka (Balugaon). The journey was good, coaches new (we were too fortunate to have such a new coach in Indian Railways) and the passengers co-operative. No unauthorised boarding of passengers. Only problem was there that this non-superfast train had no pantry car; nor could I manage any sizeable lunch for us. We had to rely on the dry foods we had in our bags!

We checked in Hotel Akshaya, which is not far from Vizag station (Auto fare Rs. 50). Soon after we moved out in search of food. The restaurant of Akshaya would open at 7 p.m. Hotel Akhshaya is situated at a prime location of the city and so it was not difficult find an eatery. We were a bit exhausted and spent the evening taking rest at the hotel. Dinner was at the restaurant of Akshaya.

Next morning we left for Araku. Kirandul Passenger left Vizag station at 6.50 am. As the train passed Vizag city and I felt it was going uphill I took position at the door of the train. Soon the train started running through the plateau. Tunnels were crossed and the children (even some elders) shouted. I kept on clicking the shutter standing at the gate! Outside, the landscape was picturesque; green meadows amidst hillocks looked really beautiful. How many tunnels did we pass I could not count! So far I can remember that I read in a travelogue that it will be in between 40 to 45. However, at 9:40 we reached Borraguhhalu Station. A lot of passengers got off there. They would visit the Borra caves first and then move to Araku by road. We got down at Araku at 10:30 am.

Cabs and autos were flocking outside the railway station. Hiring a cab we went to AP Tourism hotel Harita Valley Resort where I had a prior booking. The hotel is nice in all respect. The restaurant serves good food. Having lunch at their restaurant we set out for some nearby places in a car. Scenic beauty of Araku is nice. The place surrounded by low height hills was looking beautiful in the fading sunlight of late afternoon. We saw a Katki waterfall, Padmapuram Botanical Garden, Tribal Museum and also some tribal dance at the other Resort of APTDC (AP Tourism has two Resorts at Araku). Tribal life of Araku has been portrayed through life size models at the Tribal Museum. Tribal art crafts, local coffee are on sale at the place. We leisurely spent our time in the serene ambiance of Araku till late evening. Weather was quite good, no woollen was required.

Next morning at 7 a.m, going to the veranda of our room, I was surprised. It was dense fog! I could not see things 20 feet away. And it was so cold that we had to put on full-sweater! We took our complimentary breakfast at the restaurant – a combination of upma, idly and uttapam, which were quite tasty. At 9:30, the car I hired turned up our hotel. We will go back to Vishakhapatnam.

Yesterday we came by train – now we were passing through road. The road is like of any other hill station. But the road has thick density of greenery. We reached Anantgiri hill that has coffee plantation. Coffee, I assume, is a major produce here. Then we passed Tyda. Both in Tyda and ananthgiri, there are a cottages of APTDC. Then we reached Borra caves. Borra is a huge stalactite-stalagmite cave. Like all other stalactite-stalagmite caves in our country, here also formations have been named after different Gods. I have seen three more caves of this genre - Mausmai (Cherrapunji, Meghalaya), Siju (Garo Hills, Meghalaya) and Patal Bhubaneswar (Kuamaon). But none is as large as Borra. One more fact is that the Vizag-Araku broad gauge railway track runs over this hollow cave! The iron railings and barricades framed inside the cave to ensure safety for tourists have decreased its pristine beauty to some extent; still exploration through the cave with the help of a guide was a memorable experience.

We reached Vizag at noon. We checked in a lodge which I booked from Kolkata. The Guest House, named after my city, was not good at all, but the Ramkrishna Beach was a two-minute walk from it. So soon after getting fresh we ran to the beach. There are rocks in the sea, so bathing is quite risky here. Dolphin’s Nose hill is lying just like a dolphin to the south of the beach. We roamed through the beach embracing the sea breeze even after it became dark. The lights of Vizag Port at the foothill of Dolphin’s Nose were on and it looked beautiful. Cyclone HudHud devastated Vizag in Oct 2014 putting its stamp here and there. The stairs to the beach are broken, Submarine Museum abandoned; and above all, the greenery of the shore has been greatly destroyed.

The character of the area adjacent to the beach, especially where we lodged, was of a posh residential one. The road that runs through the seashore is well decorated and properly maintained. The damages of HudHud were being repairing on almost war footing measure. Several aristocrat restaurants are there on this road. Among those, we chose an economic one for our dinner. Good Chinese food were served.

Next day I had booking for Vizag-tour of APTDC by bus. I booked the tour through APTDC’s website where seat numbers were chosen by me. But at the spot we found that the bus was of a small size; hence seat numbers were jeopardized! The lady guide declared herself as a temporary one and said all this happened due to bifurcation of the state – AP and Telengana. Well, no way! We first went to the age-old Simhachalam Temple. It is a gorgeous temple built in Dravidian style on the top of a hill and has nice sculptures engraved inside. I could feel the grandeur of the temple; but I am sorry to say that the iron railings placed inside all the places of the temple to maintain queues of devotees has simply spoilt its beauty. May be it is necessary for thousands of devotees gather on auspicious occasions but it was looking odd.

Next we were taken to a park of which I have nothing to describe. Then we went to Thotlakonda. This is also a place on the top of a hill (altitude 128m- Wikipedia) from where we got the spectacular view of 8 km long (as the guide said) sea-shore. Thotlaconda was a Buddhist monastery dating between 2nd Century BC to 2nd Century AD. Mainly the plinths exist today. There is a mini stupa and a water tank.

There after a small film city, where films are shoot. A neat and clean place.

Then the most famous and beautiful beach of Vizag - Rushiconda. This half circle beach is safe for bathing. Different adventurous activities are conducted here by APTDC. But we had only one hour in hand! So could join none. Although the beach was really beautiful, I found it a bit crowded and also filthy to some extent. Number of temporary shops have left the place dirty. The APTDC hotel is on a hill beside the beach. We were taken there for a delicious south-Indian buffet lunch (veg) which was included in the tour-package. Nice panoramic view of the beach is available from the hotel. Staying at this hotel would be a nice experience. Well…next time ... After lunch we started coming back towards Vizag city. With a spectacular view of the long sea-shore on our left we reached Kailashgiri. There is a park on the top of Kailasgiri hill. There is a ropeway which we found closed (although our guide did not know) and a toy train which made a trip around the park. And a statue of Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati. We rode the train having no other option. The bird’s eye view of the sea and its adjacent city Vizag from the place is simply awesome. The main attraction of this place is this nice panoramic view.

Then we visited Vishakha Museum and finally were left at the Ramakrishna Beach. We spent some time at the beach. But we were tired after the whole day tour and returned to our hotel. Since quality of our lodge was not up to the mark, we did not try their meals. Taking rest for some time we set out for our dinner. A close relative of mine suggested ‘Das Palla’, a noted restaurant of Vizag, for at least one dinner. The restaurant is opposite Lepakshi Emporium of AP Govt and we rode an auto for Rs. 50/- to reach there. The ambiance of the place and the dinner both were excellent although a bit costly. But it may be a must visit for those who likes going to good restaurants. So both lunch and supper were great today in two beautiful places.

For the next day we had no proper planning. But I had keen interest to visit Yarada and Bheemili beach as I read a lot about them. Very early in the morning my son and I went to RK Beach. It was Saturday and lots of people (mostly local residents) were running or jogging at the beach. When I felt everyone must have waked up for the day, I arrived at a hotel where mainly tourists from Kolkata stayed. I booked a small car (Indica) for visiting Bheemili, again Rushiconda and Yarada. The car charged Rs. 2500.

Returning hotel, we saw my wife was ready though she did not know about today’s trip. We two, baap-beta (father and son) got ready soon and set off. Well, finding no eateries nearby for breakfast we bought some cakes and nice eatable products from a departmental store of spencer’s! What to do! Posh area!

The car turned up at 10.00 am. Bheemili and Rushiconda is to the north of Vizag whereas Yarada is to south. Bheemili is situated some kilometres north of Rushiconda. We went through the same Marine Drive Road running beside the sea. Within an hour we reached Bheemili or Bheemunipatnam. The beach is beside a small town although I have read that the town is an old one. There is an old lighthouse and a Dutch cemetery. The beach is mainly rocky. Sea waves were rocking on them. River Gosthani meets Bay of Bengal at this place. No accommodation for tourists is available. There are only day visitors. Natural beauty of the place is fine despite destruction of a large number of trees on the adjacent hills like all other beaches. We liked the beach. Next we went to Rushiconda. Spent more than an hour there. Took lunch at a roadside restaurant. Next destination was Yarada beach. We came back to RK Beach and moved towards Dolphin’s Nose. The road to Yarada beach runs through the port area and the hill Dolphin’s Nose. Vizag is a natural harbour. I had some interest to see the port, but it is fully operated by Indian Navy so entry is strictly prohibited. Crossing Dolphin’s Nose was a nice experience because we had again panoramic view of the northern side of the city and, of course, the blue Bay of Bengal. Some parts of the outer harbour is visible from some hilltops. To reach Yarada you have to climb Dolphin’s Nose and then descend to the other side of the hill. 2-3 kilometre road before the beach is not good and bumpy. As the area is a protected place by the Navy, no hotel restaurant has grown up. That is why the place possess much more pristine beauty. This is also a rocky beach amidst hills on two sides. Waves are roaring over the rocks. A real beautiful place. Some local visitors were there. Spending the late afternoon at the beach we came back to Ramakrishna beach. We’ll board Coromondal Exp. at 10:30 p.m. So bye bye Vizag, place of beautiful beaches.

Vizag is now a popular tourist spot. Really its beaches combined with hills are very beautiful. But HudHud has greatly spoilt its vegetation. Thousands of tree fell down due to the cyclone. Numerous dead trees are standing at the hills close to the beaches. I think some years will take to grow more trees. Rushiconda beach is good, but I liked Bheemili and Yarada too which all tourists do not visit. I could not realise why AP Tourism do not include Bheemili in its trip for it is only some kilometres ahead of Rushiconda. Had I not booked their package tour, I could travel the place in a more systemic way.
Attached Images
araku train tunnel.jpg araku train.jpg araku train 2.jpg araku harita valley resort 2.jpg araku harita valley resort 3.jpg araku tribal dance 7.jpg araku tribe museum.jpg frm Kailasgiri.jpg Bheemili.jpg 
Last edited by m_sion; Jul 5th, 2015 at 20:59..
#2 Jul 5th, 2015, 00:15
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  • m_sion is offline
#2
Some more images
Attached Images
RK beach.jpg rushiconda beach 5.jpg rushiconda beach 4.jpg Yarada.jpg simhachalam.jpg Port IM.jpg rushiconda beach 6.jpg Vizag sea shore.jpg port at night.jpg 
Last edited by m_sion; Jul 5th, 2015 at 21:03..
#3 Aug 24th, 2015, 10:54
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  • Avishek_T is offline
#3
Wah !!! Nice and neat report.
Regards,
Avishek.
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#4 Aug 24th, 2015, 14:13
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  • SayanBanerjee is offline
#4
Nice write-up with amazing pics. Thanks for sharing...
#5 Aug 24th, 2015, 16:25
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  • manali_d is offline
#5
beautiful pics
#6 Aug 28th, 2015, 12:58
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  • Amit Sarkar is offline
#6
Hi m_sion i'll be travelling vizag with my family in the last week of december. Can you please suggest me any hotel in RK beach for family?
#7 Aug 30th, 2015, 22:18
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  • m_sion is offline
#7
Thanks everybody!
@Amit Sarkar - Try 'Nirala Saikate' (0891-2705699; 09346309398) which is located exactly on the prime area of RK Beach. I didn't stay there but went for car hiring. I think it would be a good option for the Bengalees.
#8 Aug 31st, 2015, 14:07
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  • aviramkar is offline
#8
Nice TR with good Photo.

Some Questions:

1. Can we get seat in Kirandul Passenger easily (General Compartment)?
2. Are there any language problem?
3. Hotel & Food cost during this tour?
4. How much the cost if we Sight seen Araku & Vizag by Car ?
#9 Aug 31st, 2015, 14:10
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  • Amit Sarkar is offline
#9
Thank..I called them up and they confirmed that minimum 3 days booking is required. As I'll be staying there for 2 days I booked The Supreme hotel. Do you have any idea on car fares on below items?
1. Vizag - Araku AC Indica/similar

2. Araku - Vizag AC Indica/Similar
#10 Aug 31st, 2015, 14:15
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  • Avishek_T is offline
#10
Hi Amit,

I'll be travelling to Vizag during the same time.... I'm thinking about Supreme and Ambica Sea Green.... Ambica is giving me 15% disc on published rates.... What offer you got from Supreme?
#11 Sep 1st, 2015, 15:51
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  • Amit Sarkar is offline
#11
Hi,

I booked from goibibo.com. Check various travel websites for any offer and then decide.
#12 Sep 4th, 2015, 23:51
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  • m_sion is offline
#12
@Amit Sarkar

I travelled in a AC Indica from Araku to Vizag with stoppages at Anantgiri and Borra Cave (1 :30 hour). The cost was Rs. 3000/-.
No idea about Supreme.

@Aviramkar
It'll be better if you book reservation in the SL coach of Kirandul passenger.
No, there's no language problem. Everyone can communicate in Hindi.
Regarding expense, it depends on how you travel and how many days you spend there. I'll suggest to spend at least one night at Araku.

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