1. Submarine Museum
The Indian Navy has installed INS Kursura (S20), a decommissioned Kalvari-class diesel-electric submarine, on the sands of the Ramakrishna beach (R.K. Beach) as a museum. It is first of its kind submarine museum in South Asia aimed at creating awareness on how a submarine works and how crew members operate it during the wartime.INS Kursura (S20) is India’s fourth submarine commissioned on 18 December 1969 at Riga, Soviet Union.
INS Kursura is one of the famous tourist attractions of the Visakhapatnam. The Hindu Newspaper has called it as “must-visit destination”. The submarine museum generates revenue of ₹ 10 million every year out of which ₹ 8 million is used for the maintenance of submarine. Entry fee for the museum is ₹25 for the adults.
The submarine has approximately 500-600 daily visitors and it may shoot up to 1,500 during the tourist season. The museum is maintained by 6 retired naval personnel.
2. Aircraft Museum
TU 142 Aircraft Museum at RK Beach inaugurated by President Sri Ram Nath Kovind is a crowd puller and it has become one more major tourist attraction at RK beach area. It was decommissioned from Indian Navy after 30 years of its service. It is located just opposite to Submarine museum. There is an entry fee of Rs 70 / – per person.
Various equipment and parts of aircraft are displayed at one exhibition hall just before entering the aircraft. Equipment such as sonobuoys, propellers, engine, anti-submarine missile, survival kit and a data recorder are displayed with all details in the exhibition hall.
3. Visakha Museum
Visakha Museum located at R.K Beach houses the historical treasures, artifacts and Stone sculptures from 2nd century A.D, Bronze craft from 16th century of the Kalingandhra region. Many models of warships, planes and submarines are also displayed in the museum. There are Portraits of Maharajas, their armory,guns, swords and other arms. There are also mannequin models and fine art antiques.
Tickets are Rs.10/- per adult and Rs.5/- for children. The museum opens at 11-00 hours and closes at 19-00 hrs.
The influence of Buddhism is subtle but deep-rooted in Andhra Pradesh. It has some of the most fascinating archaeological monuments of Buddhism. Visakhapatnam is a key stopover in the Buddhist Circuit of Andhra Pradesh. Bavikonda, Thotlakonda, Pavurallakonda and Bojjannakonda are the Buddhist sites in Visakhapatnam.
Thotlakonda is located 128 m above sea level and the finds here include mounds, stupas, chaitya grihas, pillared halls etc. It is a hill on the sea coast with a pleasant climate which is ideal for building a monastery complex by Buddhist monks. The excavations conducted by the Andhra Pradesh State Archaeology Department during 1988 – 1993 established the existence of a Hinayana Buddhist complex which flourished 2000 years ago.
It is located 15 kilometers from Visakhapatnam city at Mangamaripeta. Bavikonda and Pavurallakonda are some similar Buddhist sites which came into existence along with Thotlakonda in Visakhapatnam.
Bavikonda, a hill located between Bhimli and Vizag which overlooks the sea. It has 26 structures belonging to three phases of Buddhismnamely Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana, as well as an urn containing a piece of bone, believed to be that of the Buddha. Bavikonda means a hill of wells in Telugu.
How to reach Visakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam can be reached by the following means of transports which are stated below:
Visakhapatnam is connected by air to Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Tirupati, Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, Colombo, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore through its customs airport, an airport with restricted access. Major airlines in Visakhapatnam airport are Air India, Jet Airways, SpiceJet, and IndiGo. Singapore Airlines’ subsidiary Silkair is the first non-Indian airline to operate at the city. AirAsia and Malindo Air from Malaysia operate scheduled flights from Kuala Lumpur.
Visakhapatnam Airport is the largest and busiest international airport in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is located in between the city localities of NAD X Road and Gajuwaka.
Visakhapatnam railway station is a major railway zone which is connected to several cities of the country. It comes under the East Coast Railways zone and is one of the principal Divisional Headquarters. Godavari Express, Visakha Express, Falaknuma express, Samatha Express, Hirakud Express, Konark Express, and Coromandel Express are some popular trains which connect all cities of India with Visakhapatnam.
Visakhapatnam is connected to Chennai and Calcutta via Bhubaneswar and Vijayawada by National Highway 5.
Commuting within the city of Visakhapatnam
The Andhra Pradesh State Road Travel Corporation (APSRTC) operates the city, district and inter-state bus services at affordable prices. The minimum bus fare is only ₹8. An ordinary RTC-Pass costs just ₹750 which is around 13 USD.
RTC Complex depot is the largest bus station in the city. Some popular route numbers include 222, 400, 300, 6A, 28, 38 and 12D which connect the major part of the city.
Visakhapatnam has no commuter rail service. Therefore road transport is the only means to get around the city. City commuters prefer city buses and auto rickshaws as the primary mode of transport. Apart from the bus, taxi/auto rickshaw can also be hired. Online cab services such as Ola and Uber are also available in Visakhapatnam.
Transportation as a separate tourist attraction
Cruise tourism initiative being planned by the AP government in association with the Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) is an important initiative to attract tourists. It celebrates yachting festival with activities like sailing, swimming,and snorkeling in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam.
Visakhapatnam – Araku AC Tourist Passenger introduced by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Limited is India’s first Vista-Dome coach train which goes from scenic view of Eastern Ghats. It has got has an observation lounge, large glass windows with a capacity of 40-seat have the double-wide reclining passenger seats that could be rotated 360 degrees.
Araku valley is internationally famous and the ride from Visakhapatnam to Araku and back is something thatevery tourist must experience. The vistadome coach offers a uniquetraveling experience and enables tourists to enjoy the surrounding scenic beauty along the journey.