Merely thinking about Vizag sparks a picture of the beaches. The beaches have been the go-to places for everyone visiting Vizag or going by Vizag. However, this beautiful city of destiny has drawn numerous jack packers from across the world for various other reasons. Here are some of the many tourist places in Vizag and what they are famous for.
#1 Madugula Halwa
Madugula Halwa is also called ‘the secret to a happy marriage.’ Madugula is a village located 70 km from Visakhapatnam. This 1890s dish was a creation by accident, while Dangeti Dharma Rao was fiddling with various ingredients. This sweet that was initially sold only in the Madugula village, is now a take-home item for everyone visiting Vizag. Today, the 130-year-old sweet still tastes the same and it still uses no machines, but only hands in making them.
#2 Etikoppaka wooden toys
A few hundred years ago, the tradition of toy making received patronage from the kings who encouraged it for their children’s sake. The art form, which no more witnessed any support, turned into a piece for the archives. Only in the 1988s did CV Raju, from the Etikoppaka village, near Visakhapatnam, revive this tradition of toy making. Now, a community entirely depends on the Etikoppaka wooden toys, for day-to-day living. Raju has been experimental in his ways and has incorporated the use of titanium dioxide bonded synthetic colours to vegetable dyes in the wooden toys. Etikoppaka wooden toys have seen the limelight since CV Raju was mentioned in Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Mann ki Baat’, and the PM’s call for making India the world’s toy manufacturing hub.
#3 Araku Valley Coffee and Chocolates
It’s hard to leave Vizag without taking a sip of this unique and eco-friendly coffee. It’s one of the most famous tourist places near Vizag. It all started in 1954 when Prakash Raoset, a migrant set up a coffee stall in the Visakhapatnam railway station. Prakash procured the beans from the Araku valley, which is 130 kilometers from Visakhapatnam, and that is where the aromatic coffee gets the name Araku Arabic coffee. From a stall to a museum that is built over 4000 square feet, the Araku coffee has enriched the coffee habit of millions. The museum narrated the bean-to-coffee story, while there are paintings that depict the same, to add to the experience. Another showstopper is the coffee bean chocolates. The chocolate-covered coffee beans made by coating roasting coffee beans is a treat to taste. Today the museum has added entertainment zones for children and adults to push it as a tourist location.
#4 Lambasingi strawberries.
Lambasingi is a tiny village in the eastern ghats of Visakhapatnam. A three-hour drive from Visakhapatnam in the early morning will take you to this place which is revered as the Kashmir of Andhra Pradesh. The farmers in the Chintapalli Mandal of the Visakhapatnam district started strawberry plantations two years back and now these plantations have turned into a tourist destination. The tribal community and the others have been encouraged to take up strawberry cultivation, as the soil and the area are the best fit for strawberry cultivation. These strawberry plantations also house Dragon fruit, raspberry, mulberry, and passion fruit plants.
#5 Bheemli Erra Matti Dibbalu
Erra Matti Dibbalu, also known as Red sandhills, is situated at Bheemili, on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam. This geographical heritage site dates back to more than 12,000 years. This 10 km spread between the Visakhapatnam and Beemunipatnam coast is a marvelous gift of nature. Decades ago, William King, a geologist, discovered the significance of Erra Matti Dibbalu. The loose and sedimented red sands are washed away every monsoon turning the seas red. The seas and the sands add to the scientific knowledge of the region and contribute economically to this region. That is why it is one of the most famous tourist places near Vizag.
#6 Simhachalam Temple
Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha temple, also known as Simhachalam temple, is one of the most visited pilgrimage temples in South India. The temple is known to be the abode of Lord Vishnu, and as per temple legends, Lord Vishnu manifested in the lion’s form after saving Prahlada. Simhachalam is one of the 32 Narsimha Swamy temples in Andhra Pradesh and is revered as an important centre during Vishnavasam. This architectural marvel with five gateways has been a tourist gainer for the Visakhapatnam District.