Posts Tagged With: bay of bengal

Visakhapatnam Chronicle Part 3

Here is the 3rd and final part to the series “Visakhapatnam Trip”

29th Oct 2008 – We had plans to go to RK beach early morning to watch the ocean with rising sun. But due to exertion from the Araku trip, we woke up quite late. We had booked the same driver for the last day of our trip. It was almost noon when he arrived with his car. We left for Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Vizag city. The park spreading over an area of 625 acres, exhibits about lots of animals and birds in open surroundings, except the birds of course! We decided to move around in car only. One thing we noticed in Vizag that at every tourist attraction there was a charge of Rs.20 for camera. AP Govt is surely minting money from tourism. There is a special house of nocturnal animals where owls, civets, porcupines, wild cats, loris etc are kept in total darkness with artificial dim light and air conditioned cave sort of place. It was both eerie and scary! We were wondering why they have done that as in natural habitat, these animals experience daylight! I found the answer on internet. Apparently the Hyderabad zoo has a similar section.

To make the nocturnal animals active during the daytime for the benefit of visitors, the wake-sleep cycle of the animals is reversed by simulated night condition, inducing the night time activities in the animals. In this connection special arrangements are made to change the time of day gradually, that is from daylight to dark and dusk to dawn, so that the animals are conditioned to the change of biorhythm in their routine life. A modern cave has been constructed to exhibit the nocturnal animals in such a way that people have a feeling as if they are going through a tunnel and see the animals in their natural habitat without causing any disturbance in “The Moonlit Zoo”.

The lions and tigers were resting after lunch. All animals were kept in wide open spaces with just a moat around the area.

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From there we went to the same Hotel Sandhya I had mentioned in part 1 for a delicious Bengali meal of rice, dal, potato fry, sabzi, fish, chicken and curd. Our next destination was the famous Submarine Museum on RK beach. But on the way we stopped at Tenneti Park. Its a beautiful park overlooking the ocean.

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There is another park called the VUDA Park but we didn’t go there. We went to the submarine museum. After decommissioning INS Kursura, the Govt spent like 6 crores hauling it ashore and making it a museum for public display, the only of its kind in SE Asia. Seeing so much machinery and torpedoes inside was just mind boggling! Here is a good link about the setting up of the submarine museum and a link of photos of the inside of the submarine. We also bought some souvenirs from a little shop there. Then we stopped at the 1971 Indo-Pak War memorial at RK beach. This memorial called “Victory at Sea” is established to commemorate the victory of India and successful blasting of a Pakistani ship. Many war related materials are displayed here, including a fighter plane, missiles, few bombs and a tank.

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Our next stop was Kailashgiri Park, a tourist spot developed at a height of 130 m overlooking the city of Vizag and facing the Bay of Bengal. There are various view points offering a panoramic view of the city and ocean. We had a ride in the toy train which goes around the hill. There are many food courts too. One can easily spend 2-3 hours enjoying the lush greenery and view from the park. The main attraction is the huge statue of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. As there was still lot of time left for sun to set, we didn’t stay to enjoy the city lights view from the hill.

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Our last stop was at the Matsyadarshini i.e. Fish Aquarium. It was simply wonderful to see all those species! It was hard taking snaps of moving fishes.

Then we came back to hotel, had our dinner, packed our stuff and went to sleep. Our trip ended next morning when our train left Visakhapatnam station. We were exhausted and felt that 3 days is very short for visiting Visakhapatnam and enjoying it fully with rush. Next time no Araku and 3-4 days only in Vizag. :) Here are the souvenirs of the trip.

Wooden Ganesha idols, flute, bracelets, show pieces made of sea shells, photos of lord Narasimgha, INS Kursura key chains, coffee powder and beans, necklace of beads, cane basket, DVD of Indian Navy and Vizag tourism

Hope you enjoyed my series of posts on my trip.

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Categories: Andhra Pradesh, Beaches, Cities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Visakhapatnam Chronicle Part 1

In 2008 I’d gone to Visakhapatnam during Diwali vacation for four days. But only one post will not do justice to my experience so it is going to be three posts series. As Visakhapatnam or Vizag is only 12 hours from my hometown by train, we decided to go there on a short trip.

26th Oct 2008 – Train was at an unholy time of 6.00 am! And day journey in sleeper class (AC had no seats left for reservation) was bad due to heat. But the scenery was beautiful.

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We reached in late evening and went to the hotel where we had booked room. We had been told on phone that they will give an extra bed. We were given an extra mattress without cot! But as it was late, we decide to stay there only. Service was average but food was bad. Dad and I went to the nearby APTDC office and booked ourselves for tour of Araku Valley and Borra Caves on 28th. We also hired a car for local sightseeing on 27th.

27th Oct 2008 – The breakfast was better as it consisted of idli and dosa. After breakfast, we left for local tour. The roads and the cleanliness of the city impressed us. Our driver was polite, pleasant and experienced but understood only English. First we went to Ramakrishna Beach. Unlike Puri, the beach was quite clean. I felt so elated seeing the Bay of Bengal and beach, even in the scorching sun. On the horizon we could see ships and the Dolphin’s Nose which is the most prominent landmark of Vizag. This huge rock, 174 m in height and 358 m above sea level, is shaped like a dolphin’s snout;hence the name. The area around RK Beach is highly developed from tourism point of view. The statues and unique pillars really beautify the road along RK Beach.

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Then we went to Simachalam to visit the famous temple of Lord Varaha Lakshminarasimha. The deity is such an angry personality that he is always covered with sandalwood paste. The real form of the idol is viewed only once in a year, during the Chandana Yatra. The view from the top of the hill temple was awesome. Camera was not allowed inside.

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From there we came back to Rushikonda Beach. It was less developed or rather less commercialized than RK Beach but still equally beautiful. Our driver knowing that we were Bengalis, took us to Hotel Sandhya (located beside the Beach road) which was a shack serving very tasty, homely and typical Bengali lunch at low price. I was so happy to have a good lunch.

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Then we went to Fishing Harbour for boating. The smell of diesel fumes of the boat caused more nausea than the turbulence of ocean waves. But the view was wonderful. Artificial embankments have been built to stop waves from crashing on to the harbour and nearby coast.

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After a tiring day, we returned to hotel. In the evening, we went to RK Beach in auto-rickshaw. Auto rickshaws are quite cheap in Vizag. One just needs to bargain a little. The area around RK Beach has a Ramakrishna Mission Ashram and a KaliMatha Temple along with other attractions. After enjoying the setting sun and jhaal muri on beach, we went to Kalimatha Temple which was decorated for Kali Puja on 28th i.e. Diwali for non-Bengalis. Then we went to the famous CMR shopping mall as my parents have never been to a shopping mall before. But it was a disappointment compared to the real shopping malls like those in Pune or Bangalore. Before the trip, I had searched the location of Pizza Hut in Vizag on Google. 😀 In the morning I had asked the driver to show the place too. So after shopping, we went to Pizza Hut. And that ended the day blissfully.

Categories: Andhra Pradesh, Beaches, Cities | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Digha Chronicle Part 2

Continued from here.

After lunch and a little afternoon shut-eye, we decided to go sightseeing around Digha. Our first destination was the Science Center established by the National Council of Science Museums at New Digha. The Centre offers a variety of mechanisms to make science an enjoyable learning experience. There is a biology section with few animals, a physics section, a planetarium which holds evening shows and a park. Had fun time exploring all the mechanisms.

As we had other places to see we did not stay to watch a show at the planetarium. From there we went to the Udaypur beach. One should bargain hard with the rickshaw pullers there as they over charge tourists. Rickshaw pullers don’t take passengers right to the beach. One has to walk a bit to get to the beach.

At Udaypur beach bikes are available for rent to go roaming around the beach and to Talsari beach at low tide. It had got dark by the time we left the beach to go to Old Digha. Old Digha is a bustling part of the town. It would be cheaper to stay at the hotels there but there would be no peace. There is a much bigger and cheaper market at Old Digha. Also ATMs are located at Old Digha only. We made our way to the beach. As expected it was very crowded, especially because the tide was high and only few people had ventured into the water. Spent the rest of the evening sitting on the stone tables there, sipping hot tea and chatting. Then we went back to New Digha. Did some window shopping, had dinner at the hotel restaurant and retired to our rooms.

11th Dec 2010: We were due to checkout in the afternoon. So all of us went souvenir shopping at the market after breakfast at an outlet at the market. Do not try Aaloo Paratha at Digha!!  Curios made of sea-shell, shell jewellery, moderate varieties of reputed Madur of Midnapore (hand-woven mat made of weeds) in colourful designs, cottage crafts of Digha and Midnapur are available. Rates are not that high and good bargaining skills can get you lesser rates.

This is the best curio shop of the market at New Digha


After lots of shopping, we returned to our hotel for lunch. Checked out from our rooms, kept the luggage at the hotel lobby and had lunch. Post lunch, all of us went to the beach for one last time. It was so wonderful to see the shimmering waters of the Bay of Bengal.

After spending some time on the beach and drinking coconut water, we came back to our hotel. Picked up our luggage and left for the station. Hope to visit Digha again with more time on my hands and to visit places like Shankarpur, Mandarmoni, Junput etc too.

Previous parts:

Part 1

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