Posts Tagged With: vizag

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 2

Continued from here.

Here is the second post in the series titled “Visakhapatnam Chronicle”.

28th Oct 2008 – As I told in part 1 that we had booked a tour of Araku Valley and Borra Caves. We were supposed to report to APTDC counter at station at 5.45 am. That we did with groggy eyes only to know the train leaves at 7.00 am! Aarghhh! There were lots of other tourists too on the same tour. The rail-cum-road tour included breakfast, lunch and evening tea + snacks too. We were served delicious idli along with chutney for breakfast. The train journey comprised of 46 tunnels, glorious view of the valley and hills of Eastern Ghats. One of the tour guides kept informing us of interesting facts regarding the journey.

View of Araku Valley from Galikonda View Point

From Araku railway station we boarded one of the 5 buses of APTDC. First we went to Tribal Museum which had various aspects of tribal life on display along with various tribal handicrafts. We bought some souvenirs from a nearby shop.

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Then we were taken to APTDC resort for lunch. Lunch consisted of plain rice, pulao, dal, rasam,curd, papad, chhole, sabzi and halwa. I guess roti is hardly available down south.

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After the excellent lunch, we were taken to see the Padmapuram Botanical Gardens. The sweltering heat was not allowing us to enjoy anything. It was supposed to be a hill station but it was not at all cool. The tropical sun is the biggest adversary of tourism, I tell you! We just rested, clicked some photographs and waited for the bus to leave. Our guide took us back to the resort to see tribals perform their folk dance Dhimsa.

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The route to Borra caves from Araku was through the coffee plantations of Anathgiri Hills and was a thorough Ghat road. And thus started my trouble. I suffer from motion sickness and the turns made by bus aggravated it. Our bus stopped at Galikonda view point. Dad bought coffee beans and pure coffee powder. Then we stopped at APTDC’s Anathgiri rest house for tea and snacks. I didn’t have any as I was feeling nauseated. Borra Caves comprise of million-year-old stalactite and stalagmite formations. Illumination of the caves has been done by APTDC. The 300 ft. thick roofed wonder spread over one square km., presents a breath-taking display of natural sculptures of Mother Earth. There are some 400 steps inside to go deeper and more down there. Mom didn’t go and gave me company while I rested at a restaurant outside. Dad went some 100 steps and came back. Old age prevents one from such strenuous adventures. It had started to get dark by then.

Monkeys at Borra Caves

Then as more winding road came, my motion sickness got worse. Thankfully I was not alone in this suffering. Most of the women passengers were in same condition. The twists and turns of hilly road and darkness made the journey scary. By the time we reached city outskirts I was totally dizzy from vomiting reflexes and weak due to hunger. We had our dinner and hit the sack. And that is how I spent my Diwali. It was a mistake to go to Araku on such a short trip. It gets too much hectic especially with aged people and motion sickness patients.

The next part – here

Categories: Andhra Pradesh, Hills, Nature | 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
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