Visakhapatnam ( pronunciation (help·info)) (also known as Vizag) is a port city on the southeast coast of India. With a population of 1,730,520, it is the second-largest city in the state of Andhra Pradesh (after Hyderabad) and the third-largest city on the east coast (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.The city was named after Visakha, the Hindu god of valor. 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. Visakhapatnam has a nickname The City of Destiny and, more recently, the Goa of the East Coast. Like its west-coast counterpart it offers attractive beaches, laterite hillocks and a pleasing landscape. It is also a focus of urban and tourist development.
In addition to being an east-coast seaport, Visakhapatnam is an industrial city. 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 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 East Godavari, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam speak the Uttarandhra (north coastal) Mandalikam dialects.
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 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 and Hindi, 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 temperature about 37 °C (99 °F), and January is the coolest month with an average temperature near 23 °C (73 °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.
Visakhapatnam has an Eastern Naval Command [ENC] office, the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (DRDO Lab), a CQAE [Chief Quality Assurance Establishment], an EFS office, a naval dockyard (established in 1949) and naval bases including INS Kalinga, INS Samudrika, INS Satavahana, ENC Base and INS Dega. A new base (INS Rambilli) is being built on 5,000 acres (20 km2) with an investment of 1,500 crore (US$299 million), the first dedicated submarine base in India. India's first nuclear submarine (the INS Arihant) was launched in the naval dockyard, and Bharat Dynamics has begun manufacturing torpedoes. Visakhapatnam also has Indian Coast Guard offices. Despite its importance, the naval establishment has become a hindrance to the development of Visakhapatnam. The harbour is not open to the general public for security reasons, while in Mumbai and Kochi the entire port (and naval docks) are open for boating and tourism.
Visakhapatnam Airport is the busiest international airport in Coastal Andhra. It is connected by daily flights with Hyderabad, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Vijayawada, Tirupati, Kolkata, Pune, Kochi, Patna, Raipur and Indore. Visakhapatnam Airport recently received permission to operate night flights, and the airport is open until 22:00. A new 10,000-foot (3 km) runway is operational to accommodate international flights and larger aircraft. The airport was recently modernized (including jet bridges 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 Hyderabad) on 25 March 2012. Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines have agreed to begin international flights from Visakhapatnam
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 Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guntur, Ongole Tirupati, Bengaluru, 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.
The railway station at Visakhapatnam 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. A suburban station on the main line (near the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant at Duvvada) is being developed into a satellite hub to improve service into the city.
There are direct rail links to Machilipatnam, Vijayawada Junction, Secunderabad Railway Station, Tirupati, Vellore katpadi Junction, Bhubaneswar, Nagpur, Bangalore Bhopal Junction, Mumbai, Surat, Porbandar, Okha, Mangalore, Tiruchchirapalli, Puri, Raipur, Bilaspur, Korba, Nasik, Amritsar, Patna, Ernakulam, Trivandrum,Malda, Kanniyakumari, Shirdi, Aurangabad, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Gaya, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, Jammu Tawi, Bhilai, Gwalior, Chennai Central, Howrah Station, New Delhi Railway Station etc., and also has direct services to Indore, Ujjain, Coimbatore, Jaipur and other major cities. However connectivity to the important pilgrimage town of Varanasi/Allahabad rail connection is long pending dream yet to be realised. The extension of Varanasi-Sambalpur express upto Vishakapatnam will fulfill long cherished dream of people.
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 mechanized 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 cities in the world, economically and demographically. Several factors contributed to the city's economic growth, including the natural harbor, its location between Madras and Calcutta, access to NH5 and a developed network of railways which changed the hamlet into an industrial city. The city 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 fertilizer industries. The Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (recently expanded from 3.1 to 6.3 MT)[clarification needed (What is this?)] and Hindustan Petroleum were the two multi-billion-dollar investments which 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, Orissa, Chattisgarh, 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 ITES companies such as HSBC, IBM Daksh, Sutherland and Acclaris to flourish. The city has 102 small and medium software and call-centre companies, of which about 10 began their operations from 2005–2007. Software exports from Visakhapatnam in 2007 were worth 245 crore (US$49 million) and 502 crore (US$100 million) in 2008, 1,000 crore (US$200 million) in 2011 – an increase of nearly 90 percent each year.National and international IT and banking firms (such as IBM, Mahindra Satyam, Kenexa, Infotech, Softsol, and Miracle Software) have opened offices in the city. The Andhra Pradesh government provided infrastructure and land for these companies to set up their development centers in the city's outskirts. The government has also established an IT special economic zone 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.
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 (23.4 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 began in 1989; exports from the VSEZ totaled approximately 1,582 crore (US$316 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 5,500 crore (US$1 billion) when fully operational. The SEZ also 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 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 Center (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), Visakha 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 3,483 crore (US$695 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 National Institute of Oceanography and the Indian Meteorological Department.
APIIC has authorized Unitech Limited to construct a Knowledge City on an area of 700 hectares (2.7 sq mi), with an investment of 35,000 crore (US$7 billion).
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. There are two five-star hotels (the Taj and the Park) and 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 Visakha 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 Orissa 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 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
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 (IMU) 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 at Visakhapatnam.
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 GVP 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, 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 and Dr. V. S. Krishna.
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 Central 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 and Pavani School. The city has about 10 Kendriya Vidyalayas with a total enrollment 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), Visakha Valley School and Sri Krishna Vidya Mandir are also affiliated with CBSE. De Paul School is affiliated with SSC and ICSE.
The International 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 prominent Nobel Prize winners from around the world.
Schools in Visakhapatnam
Andhra Pradesh University of Law (It was renamed as Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University)
Indian Maritime UniversityVisahapatnam campus.
Bala Sankar Universty
Andhra Medical College (King George Hospital)
Gayatri Vidya Parishad College of Engineering – Rushikonda and Madhuravada
Anil Neerukonda Institute of Technology and Sciences – Sangivalasa
Sanketika Vidhya Parishad College of Engineering (SAVE) - Pothinamallayya Palem
Chaitanya Engineering College(CEC) - Kommadi, Madhuravada
Vignan Vidyalam - Duvvada
Viswanadha Institute of Technology and Management(VITAM) - Sontyam
Avanthi Institute of Engineering and Technology
Al-Ameer College of Engineering - Gudilova Anandapuram
Al-Aman College of Engineering - Gudilova Anandapuram
Pydah College of Engineering and Technology - Anandapuram
Dadi Institute of Engineering and Technology - Anakapalle
Vignan Institute of Information Technology - Gajuwaka
Raghu Engineering College - Dakamarri
Raghu Institute of Technology - Dakamarri
Baba Institute of Technology and Sciences (BITS) - pm.palem
Vizag Institute of Technology - Dakamarri
Visakha Institute of Engineering and Technology - Narava
Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Educational Group - Narava
Dr. Lankapalli Bullayya College of Engineering for Women
Gayatri Vidya Parishad Degree College (A)
Aditya Degree College
Mrs. AVN College
Dr. VS Krishna Govt. College
Dr. Lankapalli Bullayya College
Sreepaada Degree College, Madhavadhara
Andhra University High School, AU Staff Quarters
Divine Touch School - Siripuram
Sri Sarada Vidya Nilayam - Seethammadhara
The Presidential School - Seethammadhara
Nalanda Talent School - Seethammadhara
St. Joseph's Secondary School - Malkapuram
Stella Maris School - Marripalem (Karasa)
Visakha Tutorial College (School) - Rajendra Nagar
St Francis High School - Seethammadhara
St Aloysius School
ETASI Timpany School - Asilametta and Steel Plant
Pollocks - Diamond Park
Visakha Valley School
Fort Catholic Girls' School
Kotak Salesian School
St. Anthony's High School, Ganjipeta
KDPM High School, Chinna Waltair
St. Ann's School, NAD
Vignan Vidyalayam Timmapuram
St. Joseph's Girls' High School
St. John's Parish School
Siva Sivani Public School - Kirlampudi Layout and Steel Plant
DAV Public School - Steel Plant, NAD Kotha Road, Sujata Nagar, Anakapalli
Delhi Public School - Steel Plant
Kendriya Vidhyalaya - Steel Plant
DePaul School - Steel Plant
Adarsh Public School - Gajuwaka
Little Angels High School - MVP Colony
MVP Public School - MVP Colony
Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar- MVP Colony
St Peter's High School - Gnanapuram
St.Marys School - Seethammadhara
Seventh-Day Adventist High School - Jagadamba Junction
Balaji Public School - Gopalapatnam
Nehru Municipal Corporation High School - Maddilapalem
Belmont High School- Narashimanagar
MSM Public School - NGGO'S Colony
Sri Chaitanya Technology School - Madhurawada
Saraswathi Vidya Vihar- Jawaharnagar, Sriharipuram
King George Hospital
Seven Hills Hospital
New Care Hospitals
Apoorva Hospital - Rajendra Nagar
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