Visakhapatnam (Telugu: విశాఖపట్ణం) (also Viśākhapattanamu, shortened and anglicized: Vizag or Vizagapatnam) is a coastal, port city in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, located on the eastern shore of India, nestled among the hills of the Eastern Ghats and facing the Bay of Bengal to the east. It is the administrative headquarters of Visakhapatnam District and is also home of the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy.
Alternatively, it sometimes goes by its now mostly defunct colonial British name, Waltair. During the colonial era, the city had at its hub the Waltair railway station, and that part of the city still goes by the name of Waltair. It is sometimes also referred to as the "City of Destiny".
The city is home to several state owned heavy industries, one of the most advanced steel plants and has one of the country's largest ports and its oldest shipyard. It has the only natural harbour on the eastern coast of India.
Andhra University, a prominent seat of education in Andhra Pradesh is located here.
Vizag is primarily an industrial city, apart from being a tourist destination. Tourists are attracted by its unspoilt beaches, nearby scenic Araku Valley and Borra caves, the 11th-century Simhachalam temple and ancient Buddhist sites like Totlakonda & Bavikonda spread across the area.
The city boasts a submarine museum, the first of its kind in South Asia, at Rama Krishna Beach.
Name and History
The city is said to have derived its name Visakhapatnam from the deity 'Visakha' (the God of Valour). Visakhapatnam had a population of 2,845,938. After the state government approved the formation of Greater Visakhapatnam with the merger of Gajuwaka municipality and 32 villages in the vicinity in the Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, the population of the city and the metro area swelled to 3.1 Million. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Average literacy rate of 69%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. Male literacy is 74% and female literacy is 63%. 10% of the population is younger than six. Visakhapatnam is listed as one of the Hundred Fastest Growing Cities of the World.
Hinduism is practised by the majority of vizagites followed by Islam and Christianity. The city patronised Buddhism for 2 millennia as evident from the presence of many Buddhist sangharamas in the outskirts. The Buddhist population has however waned since. All the religions co-exist peacefully, Vizag never witnessed communal riots during its entire history.
LanguageVisakhapatnam is predominantly a Telugu speaking city. The Telugu spoken by the middle classes is a standard dialect, while a significant population who have settled down in the city from adjoining villages and neighbouring districts of East Godavari, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam speak Uttarandhra (North Coastal) Mandalikam dialects. Historians believe that centuries ago, when Uttarandhra was part of the Kalinga Empire, Buddhist missionaries and merchants might have taken Telugu (Derived from Brahmi script) script to Southeast Asia from the shores of Uttarandhra where it parented into the scripts of Mon, Burmese, Thai, Khmer, Siam, Japanese and Balinese languages and even Sinhala of Sri Lanka. Their similarities to Telugu script can be discerned even today.
Visakhapatnam is home to miniscule proportion of Oriya community, their migration is of recent origin. Visakhapatnam due to the Naval presence and high concentration of public sector industries has a significant Hindi speaking population. It is also home to a large section of Muslims; most of them date back many generations which makes Hindi the second most spoken language.
ClimateThe climate of Visakhapatnam has no appreciable seasonal changes. Being close to the sea, the level of humidity is high. The fluctuations in temperature are fairly uniform in character, except during the dry months when the rise in temperature is higher than it is during the monsoon period. From February onwards, the temperature rises progressively till May, which is the hottest month. From 1931-60 the maximum average (Mean) temperature was 34 °C. This has been showing an upward trend with the minimum and maximum for the period of 1975-81 being reported as 38 °C and 29 °C, respectively. In recent years, it has not been uncommon for the daytime temperature to exceed 43 °C during May. December, January are the coldest period of the year.
The average annual rainfall for the city and its surrounding area is of the order of 95 centimeters with the bulk of the rain coming from north-east monsoon. Between September and November, storms and depressions originating in the Bay of Bengal cross the east coast in the neighbourhood causing heavy rains and gales. As per Thornthwaite’s classification, Visakhapatnam and its environs come under the semi–arid (D) category. All the elements of climate viz. temperature, pressure, wind, rainfall, relative humidity and other weather phenomena hardly exist and exhibit a well marked variation while January is the coolest month of the year with average temperatures of 30 °C and 22.5 °C respectively. The present airport is getting flooded frequently due to severe rains.This is due to the location of the airport. it was made for small operations, surrounded by marshy lands, the river flood water discharging into sea. The present government has taken steps to modernize the airport with night landing facilities. in this process, the area has been strengthened with flood relieving canal and raising the runway .
Vizag is well connected with daily flights from Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Tirupati,kolkata and Raipur. With the entry of several new airlines, Air Sahara, Air Deccan, Kingfisher Airlines,[jetlite],SpiceJet and Paramount Airways operating there along with the state-owned airline Indian Airlines, there has been a modest increase in frequency of the flights. Vizag Airport has recently received permission to operate night flights. A new 10,000 feet long runway became operational to accommodate international flights and larger aircrafts. The airport was one of the few chosen by the center for modernization including facilities like aerobridges and immigration booths.
Vizag International Airport is coming up near S. Rayavaram, 60 km from the city. This will serve as the gateway and hub for international flights connecting SE Asia to the Indian subcontinent.
Visakhapatnam is one of the cities on the east coast of india connected by NH5, a major national highway and a part of the golden quardilateral system of Indian highways connecting Chennai and Kolkata. The highway is an important route for transportation of cargo and people from these cities to and from Vizag. Visakhapatnam has a good network of roads. There are frequent buses to Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, Araku and Rajahmundry. There are even bus services to Hyderabad, Vijaywada, Tirupathi, Bangalore,Chennai,Kolkata and few other parts of Orissa and Karnataka.
Vizagites make use of extensive public transportation provided by the APS-RTC, which runs metro buses across various routes across the city and its suburbs. The APS-RTC complex at Asilametta is the hub and the origin point of most of these buses causing major traffic jams during rush hours on the heavily populated, congested Asilametta Junction. The city corporation is planning to dig subways, construct pedestrian overpasses and flyovers to address the traffic woes.
BRTS-Bus Rapid Transit System was approved for the city under the J.N.N.U.R.M. This will make use of dedicated lanes for buses allowing for an efficient, high speed mode of transportation for the public and significantly reduce traffic congestion, improving safety, this project is under implementation and will be completed by mid 2009. Once completed it will make vizag the first city in the country to implement the B.R.T.S.
Being an important port along the east coast, passenger ships run between Vizag, Chennai and the Andaman Islands. Although ships are not a main method of transportation, there is a potential for tourism development as holiday cruises are being planned along these routes by the tourism industry.
Visakhapatnam is considered as a centre for education in the state of Andhra Pradesh. A.V.N. College is one of the oldest and premier educational institutions established in 1878. It is the home of the renowned Andhra University (Established in 1926). Prof S. Radha Krishnan, before he became the President of India, worked as the Vice Chancellor of this University between 1931 to 1936. The University and its affiliated colleges provide high quality, affordable education to thousands of students from the entire state. Post Graduate and Graduate courses are offered in various branches like Arts, Commerce, Science & Technology, Engineering, IT, Business Management,Law and Pharmacy. AU college of Pharmacy is the second oldest pharmacology institute in India. Very soon the university will be getting IIEST status and there is also a proposal for setting up an IIM here at Visakhapatnam.
Another important landmark in the education map of Visakhapatnam is the Andhra Medical College (Established 1902). The college has ushered in an era of Medical Education in Visakhapatnam and continues to uphold the prestigious tradition of engendering the finest doctors from its aisles.
There are several good primary, High School and College level institutions. Apart from state run schools for the poor, there are many private institutions, missionary schools and colleges all of which provide quality education.
St.Aloysius Anglo Indian High School is the oldest school in the district and one of the oldest schools in the country. It was established in 1847. Since its inception it has been providing quality education for over 160 years. It is located in the old town region.
Ghandhi Institite of Technology And Management (GITAM) recently attained the status of an autonomous university, is among the top educational `varsities in the state. GIFT administrated by GITAM is a premiere institute for foreign trade and also rated among the best in the country in its field.
Visakhapatnam has now become a preferred destination for students, after Hyderabad. I.S.C. (International Science Congress) was hosted in the Andhra University in 1976 and then in 2008. It is the biggest congregation of scientists of different disciplines in the world. Over 8000 people participated in the I.S.C. in 2008 which included prominent Nobel Prize winners across the globe.
EconomyFrom being a tiny hamlet of local fishing communities during the early days of the Indian Independence Struggle and for a few decades later, the city exploded enonomically, in fact the rise has been so dramatic that the city was identified as one of the ten fastest growing cities in the world economically and demographically. Various factors contributed to the city's growth economically:
- The natural harbor
- Location between Chennai and Kolkata
- Access to the NH5(a major National Expressway)
- The developed nework of railways metamorphosed the village into a burgeoning industrial city.
The city has developed into a hub for many heavy industries. The Vizag Port, largest in the country, was the ideal gateway contributing to the development of petroleum, steel and fertilizer industries. The Vizag Steel Plant, The Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. were the two multi billion dollar investments which put Vizag in the country's industrial map. The city also has two N.T.P.C. power plants to satisfy the huge power needs of the industries.
Other heavy industries include Hindustan Zinc Limited, Rain Calcines Limited, Coromandel Fertilizers, Hindustan Ship Yard and Bharat Heavy Plate and Vessels Limited (B.H.P.V.). These industries provide employment to hundreds of thousands of people and pump billions of dollars into the state's economy.
The city also owes its economic growth to the availability of highly educated and skilled English-speaking manpower. English is the first language of many places of higher education in the city. This availability of a highly educated workforce allowed the entry of many B.P.O. companies such as HSBC, of course HSBC has started its operations in India from vizag after seeing the location and potential in the city, thus providing the roots for the exploding I.T. industry in the city. The city registered over 100% growth in the I.T. sector over the last year contributing millions of dollars to the economy. Various national and international I.T. and banking giants have set up or will be setting up offices in the city. These include Satyam, TCS, HSBC, Cognizant, Oracle Corporation, IBM, ABN AMRO, Patni, Verizon, Hexaware Solutions, iSOFT, Accenture, Sankhya Technologies, Infosys, iFlex, HCL, EDS, Kanbay etc. The proactive AP government provided infrastructure and land for these companies to set up their development centers in the city outskirts.
The growing population, economy have resulted in the revamping of the real estate prices with prices at some prime locations in the city quadrupling over the past couple of years. Various real estate companies are setting up housing projects in the outskirts of the city which is being touted as the future I.T. destination of the country. Multiple S.E.Z.'s have been sanctioned for the city. Reliance and Brandix HPCL have purchased huge areas in the S.E.Z. for setting up their industries. Bhaba Atomic Research Center has proposed to set up their second research facility in the country after Trombay in this region. The city was one of the five in the country selected to hold strategic crude reserves for the nation in times of national emergency.
The fishing industry is also on the rise with the exports of tuna doubling over the past decade. Tuna is exported to the eastern countries and also sold for domestic consumption. A second port is being constructed at Gangavaram with an investment of 2 billion dollars which when completed will be the deepest port in the country with the ability to handle the largest international vessels.
Its traditional importance in shipbuilding is confirmed by the fact that India's first ship, the "Jala Usha", was launched in Vizag. Vizag is also one of India's main fishing ports, has a dedicated harbour for the fishing industry and handles a large percentage of India's seafood exports.
The Vizag Special Economic Zone plays a vital role in the industrial growth of the city. The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre has also expressed interest in setting up a nuclear power plant here.
IT/ITES IndustryVizag city has about 50 small and medium software and call centre units, of which about 10 units started their operations during the year 2005-07. Software exports from the Visakhapatnam in 2007 were worth Rs 245 Crores - an increase of over 100% over the previous year.
Cricket is the most popular game followed by tennis and football. The city is home to a number of local cricket teams participating in various district and zonal events. Gully cricket - a form of cricket played in empty streets or maidans is a popular pastime for local school/college going kids in the evenings. Vizag also co-hosted the 32nd National Games along with the state capital. Vishakapatnam has 7 cricket stadiums which are used for Ranji Trophy matches. However only 2 of these stadiums have been used for One Day International ("ODI") matches.
- Indira Priyadarshini Stadium (5 ODI Matches): Also known as the Municipal Corporation Stadium, it hosted the first ODI match on 9 December 1988 and the last of the 5 on 3 April2001. The stadium has discontinued hosting ODI matches in favor of the newer ACA-VDCA Stadium, which is situated in the satellite township of Madhurawada. The stadium is set amidst the hills and offers a scenic view.
- ACA-VDCA Stadium (2 ODI Matches): The ACA-VDCA Stadium has hosted 2 ODIs with India winning against Pakistan in the first and against Sri Lanka in the second.
The city of Vizag has never hosted a Test Match. The ACA-VDCA Stadium was recently awarded Test status. This makes the ACA stadium the ninth stadium to have a Test status in the country and the second in Andhra Pradesh.
Steel Plant TownshipThe beautiful and well planned township for the employees of the visakhapatnam steel plant is called Ukkunagaram (ukku in Telugu for steel, nagaram in Telugu for town).
The design of the Township itself is state-of-the-art. The designers followed the Roman Circular design for the layout of homes and roads to keep the distances equal between any two points within the township.
There are 11 sectors in the Township, oldest of them being sectors 1, 2 and 3, and Sector 7 which is the exclusive domain of the directors and the chairman's homes. Other sectors came into being as the plant's staffing matured. On the average, each sectore consists of about 300 housing units, which vary from multi-storied quarters (3 floors) to single family homes. There are also bungalows exclusively for the directors of the plant.
Sector 1 used to house the Russians who came to erect and commission the first blast furnace "Godavari", The RMHP, Sinter, and Coke Oven Batteries I & II.
The beauty of the Township is that it sits in the cradle of the unspoilt forest belt starting at the Valleys of Aracu through Yelamanchili to Narsipatnam. The township comes under the mandate of the Town Administration. The continued afforestation efforts of the management has ensured a green and pollution-free environment and thereby creating a unique ecosystem in itself. The township has well kept roads, regulated traffic. The township also has all market places, parks, clubs, sports facilities exclusively for the employees and their dependents.
Last but not the least is the vistas that the Big Kanithi Balancing reservoir offers. This large mass of water reservoir is for the captive consumption of the plant and the township alike and sits between the Township and the NH5. It draws its water from a special canal built exclusively for it from the River Yeleru, a tributary of the great river Godavari.
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 Yelamanchili and Tuni, cutting almost 20 miles (30 km) on the road route from Visakhapatnam to Vijayawada.
Radio stationsThe city has a good variety of AM and FM radio channels.vishaka FM(93.5 S FM) was the first private FM channel in AP.The FM Radio channels broadcasted in the city are:
- AIR Rainbow FM 102 MHz [Available only from 05.00hrs to 23.00hrs]
- Radio Mirchi FM 98.3 MHz
- Radio City FM 91.1 MHz
- Big FM 92.7 MHz
- S FM 93.5 MHz
- AIR Gyan Vani FM 106.4 MHz-educative channel[Available only from 18.00hrs to 22.00hrs]
Vizag is one of the premier FM hotspots in the country
Knowledge CityThe Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) has awarded the bid to construct a Knowledge City to Unitech Limited in an area of 1750 acres. With An Investment Of RS 35 Thousand Crores.
- Alluri Sita Rama Raju - Freedom Fighter
- Tenneti Viswanadham - Freedom Fighter
- Great Poet Sri Sri - born on January 2nd, 1910 in Visakhapatnam
- Dr. C.V. Raman graduated high school from A.V.N. High School.
- Dr. Sarvepalli Radha Krishnan - Served as Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University (1931-1936).
- Y. Venu Gopala Rao - Cricketer: He made his One Day International debut against Sri Lanka on July 30, 2005.
- Sri.Venkateshwarulu , is appointed as "Drug controller General of india". He did his B.Pharm , M.Pharm and Ph.D at Andhra Univertsity college of Pharmacy
Timeline of Vizag's history
- 260 BCE: Ashoka conquered the Kalinga empire (of which Vizag was a part).
- 208: Chandra Sri Satakarni was king of this region.
- 11th century: Simhachalam Temple built by Kulottunga I.
- 13th century: Simhachalam Temple renovated and made southern imperial centre by the Ganga king Narasimha I of Orissa.
- 1515: Krishna Deva Raya was ruler of the area comprising Vizag.
- Mid-17th century: A factory was founded in "Vizagapatam" by the British East India Company.
- 1689: The British factory was occupied by the forces of Aurangzeb.
- 1735: Dutch Colony was established.
- 1765: The territory of the Northern Circars, of which Vizag was a part, ceded to the British East India Company by the Nizam of Hyderabad. Following this, a British colony was established.
- 1847:St. Aloysius High School was established.It is one of the oldest schools in India.
- 1881: The title of Raja was conferred upon Sri Goday Narayana Gajapathi Rao, Zamindar of Anakapalle and other estates
- 1904: Railway from Madras to Calcutta, passing through Vizagapatam, was opened.
- 1902 :Andhra Medical College was founded by Maharaja Goday Narayana Gajapati Rao and Maharani Lady Goday Chittijanakiammah.
- 1921 - 1921-09-14 - Arrest of the freedom-fighter Maulana Mohammad Ali at the Waltair (now Visakhapatnam) railway station.He was proceeding to Madras, along with Mahatma Gandhi, travelling by the Howrah-Madras Mail. Both the leaders alighted at the station, packed with a lot of people and also policemen. As soon as Mohammed Ali got down from the train, a shivering Superintendent of Police served the arrest warrant on Ali and whisked him away to the Central Jail. Gandhiji addressed the gathering and continued his journey to Madras.He was kept in central prison. On the morning of 1921-09-17, Ali was taken to the Waltair station from the jail with police escort for being sent to Karachi. People in large numbers cheered Ali all along the route from the jail to the station.
- 1921 - 1921-09-14- In the evening that day a public meeting was held on the beach where loads of foreign clothes were burnt. Umar Alisha, a Telugu poet, made a fiery speech against the arrest of the Khilafat movement leader(Maulana Mohammad Ali) at Visakhapatnam.
- 1926: Andhra University established.
- 1931: Timpany School established.
- 1933: Visakhapatnam Port established.
- 1942: Japanese war planes attack Vizag.
- 1947: Eastern Naval Command established its base here. Before 1947 the Royal Navy had a base in HMIS Sircars.
- 1949: Scindia Shipyard started. Later nationalised and called Hindustan Shipyard.
- 1953: The Boat Repair Shop expanded into a Base Repair Organisation (BRO) and shifted to the location at the mouth of the northwest channel.
- 1957: A petroleum refinery by Caltex, currently owned by HPCL.
- 1965: Two survey ships, "Jumna" and "Investigator", were permanently rebased at Visakhapatnam.
- 1971: INS Rajput of the Indian Navy destroys the Pakistani submarine Ghazi in the Indo-Pak War off the coast of Visakhapatnam.
- 1977: Indira Gandhi Zoological Park established near Madhurawada.
- 1981: Visakhapatnam Steel Plant construction started.
- 1990: Vizag steel started its operations.
- 1997: September 14 - A blast in HPCL with an official death toll of 33.
- 2008: March 30 - Night landing operations start at the Visakhapatnam airport. The first flight landed from New Delhi operated by spicejet.
Visakhapatnam in German: Visakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam in Spanish: Visakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam in Bishnupriya: বিশাখাপত্তম
Visakhapatnam in Italian: Visakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam in Lithuanian: Visakhapatnamas
Visakhapatnam in Malayalam: വിശാഖപട്ടണം
Visakhapatnam in Newari: विशाखपट्नम्
Visakhapatnam in Japanese: ヴィシャーカパトナム
Visakhapatnam in Portuguese: Vishakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam in Romanian: Vishakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam in Finnish: Visakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam in Swedish: Visakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam in Tamil: விசாகப்பட்டிணம்
Visakhapatnam in Telugu: విశాఖపట్నం
Visakhapatnam in Vietnamese: Visakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam in Chinese: 维沙卡帕特南