It is not just the green hills and blue waters that Visakhapatnam is famous for. Akin to any other city with a proud heritage, the city of destiny too boasts may prized possessions. Be it the ever-bustling Poorna market, the magnificent Kursura submarine or even the many sacred summits, Visakhapatnam certainly holds several distinctions. In addition, the city is also home to some of the oldest businesses in the region. Here are 5 of the many such popular and the oldest stores in Visakhapatnam.
The Ayurvedic shop of Pacchipulusu Venkata Sannaiah
Having retained its old-time look, charm and values, the Ayurvedic shop of Pacchipulusu Venkata Sannaiah continues to be a landmark on Kurupam market main road for the past 150 years in Vizag. It’s just one among the many small shops that line the main road near Kurupam market. But ask anyone, right from auto drivers to Vizag’s old-timers and locals in the region, and they will helpfully guide you towards the shop. From ever since the store started, it has been selling Ayurvedic medicines, chemicals for fireworks and puja samagri for ceremonies and functions like housewarming and marriages to even uncommon ones such as dhvaja stambham for temples. It continues to stand as one of the oldest stores in Visakhapatnam.
Jai Hind Textiles
As old as independent India, the Jai Hind textiles store in Old Town in Visakhapatnam carries the torch of nationalism with pride. The store is a perfect example of the be-Indian, buy-Indian slogan. Established in the year India declared her independence in 1947, the Jai Hind Textiles has been serving the fabric needs of Vizagites ever since. It was the year when nationalistic feelings were running high, and it was that sentiment which influenced Appanna Setty, the present owner’s grandfather to name the store thus.
Nearly 66 years ago, a Rajasthani man from Kolkata came to Vizag to make a living. Way before the swanky malls and designer stores, this was the store that answered the young Vizag teenager’s quest for cool western wear and a great range of accessories. But more than the cool western outfits, ethnic wear, matching accessories, trendy bags and even house décor; Hirawats was the place for uniforms. Pioneers in marketing readymade uniforms for almost all schools, colleges and even offices, the iconic store, led by the dynamic and business savvy Trilokchand Hirawat is still as relevant today as it was years ago.
Rehin & Sons
When a man from China charted his story in the City of Destiny, Vizag, Rehin & Sons was born. It all started when Jao Tang Chang came from China to India in the early 1940s to join the shoemaking trade that his family members were already part of. After working with them in erstwhile Calcutta, he soon started his own store there. The development of the port in Vizag held promise, and he came here to start his shoe-making business in 1958.
From selling wares off a bicycle to showcasing silks in a grand exclusive store, the Kankatala brand has grown just as momentously as the city itself. A self-made, self-taught man, Kankatala Appalaraju was a pioneer who ingeniously tapped unlikely markets and carved out his own destiny. Today Kankatala, one of the oldest stores in Visakhapatnam, has showrooms in Rajahmundry and Vijayawada while a branch was opened in Gajuwaka and an exclusive cloth store, the Fabric Store was launched in 2016 in the city.