Famous landmarks that stood the test of time in Visakhapatnam

The buildings of a city shape its character, and people choose their landmarks for the most varied reasons. From a road to a water-body, from a building to a bus-stand, it can be anything. But some of these landmarks have stood the test of time. Blessed with many prestigious and grandiose buildings that make us unique, Visakhapatnam as a city has chosen its landmarks. And in the fond hope that they do not give way to swanky looking (admit it, all swanky look the same) upmarket malls, we list the 5 landmark spots that we want to see staying the same.

The Collectorate

Not just the office of the District Collector, this Gothic building with its impressive layout is also a destination for many photographers.

When: 1914

The Structure: This Gothic-style ‘E’ shaped symmetric castle consists of huge courtyards and majestic corridors on either side. Vintage staircases, semi-circular arches, imposing square-pavilions, huge windows, big and grand rooms in this grandiose structure, make it a landmark that defines Maharanipeta.

The Fact: Office to many stalwarts, including the very popular Late Abid Hussain, many important decisions were taken in this building: chief being the policy for land-acquisition for Vizag Steel Plant and rehabilitation of displaced persons. It houses the District Collector office with all its administrative divisions and sections.

The Town Hall

With its wooden flooring and grand interiors, the Town Hall is a window into our rich past.

When: 1904

The Structure: Opposite the Fishing harbour in One town, the Victorian architecture is evident in this grand two-storied building, built on a gently-raised area of land. Impressive architectural elements like a grand portico, large staircases, a huge tiled roof, balconies and circular rooms on either side in the rear, roofed in narrow conical style add to the charm of this edifice.

The Fact: Named as ‘Victoria Diamond Jubilee Town hall’, it was donated by the then Maharaja of Bobbili during British Raj to the city of Visakhapatnam. This was to commemorate the British Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee celebrations held in the later part of 19th century. More than a century old, this club is still actively utilized for recreational purposes and social services.

Waltair Club

This is where the rich and affluent of the society get together.

When: 1883

The Structure: The oldest club in recreation and one that was established by the British Raj, the majestic buildings in the immaculate white tower have a regal countenance. Boasting of exclusivity, the club once had expansive stables for horses and carriages, an area that has now become a parking lot. The first area to be electrified, much before the city received electricity, the club was managed by Spencer and Company and later on has been running in an association-mode.

The Fact: With its elitism and selectiveness adding to its magnetism, the club hosts many events ranging from polo matches, golf tournaments to picnics, open-air theatre, dancing and more.

King George Hospital

The grand building houses a large hospital for the masses.

When: 1845

The Structure: What started as a civil dispensary in 1845 became a full-fledged 30-bed hospital in 1857. Today, the Government General Hospital located near the Collectorate is one of the largest in and around Andhra Pradesh. Inaugurated by Honourable Rajah of Panagal, Chief Minister of Madras in 1923, this is where comprehensive treatment is available at a fraction of the cost.

The Fact: Having started with 192 beds, today the hospital has various specialty departments and even a Super-speciality block for providing cost-effective treatment to many patients.

Purna market

The lanes of this market have hundreds of tiny shops, where every knick-knack under the sky is available at low costs.

When: 1930s

The Structure: Having taken its name from the Purna theatre in the vicinity, this market has everything from groceries to fresh fruits, veggies, meats, wholesale clothes, puja items, utensils and shops for buttons, threads and other knick-knacks.

The Fact: The common answer to most queries of ‘where can you get xyz item’ the narrow bylanes of this market are vibrant and colourful in their variety.

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