Quiet, picturesque beaches along the coast of Visakhapatnam will entrall and help you unwind.

Nestled in India’s Eastern coastline, Visakhapatnam may not be as popular as its other coastal contemporaries like Chennai, Mumbai or Goa but it is no less charming. In fact, it is unique because it has the only natural harbour on the east coast and its topography is dotted with hillocks and beautiful beaches.

The city which once belonged to the Kalinga Empire and was a Dutch colony, is now a flourishing industrial city known for its steel plant and shipyard, which is the oldest in the country. Visakhapatnam’s main attractions are invariably its beaches, which are set against backdrops of small hill ranges, green covers, parks and man-made installations…

The most famous among its beaches is the Rama Krishna Beach. Besides parks, restaurants and statues, the beach also features in its list of attractions — the Submarine Museum, Visakha Museum, Sri Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, an aquarium, the Kali Temple, the “Victory at Sea” war memorial.

The Submarine Museum is the first of its kind in South Asia. The INS Kursura, a Kalvari-class diesel-electric submarine of the Indian Navy, was decommissioned in 2001 after 31 years of service. After this, it was converted into a museum to educate the public about the glorious past of this Soviet-built submarine. This museum is open on all days except Mondays. Meanwhile, the Visakha Museum is for history enthusiasts to look at the artefacts of the erstwhile kingdoms and other art works.

Rushikonda Beach: If you are in the mood to indulge in some water sporting activities, then this is the beach for you. The beach sees kayaks, surfboards and paddle boards crowding its waters. Water skiing and wind surfing are options. Since it is located about 13 km from the city, you could choose to stay at the tourist complex near by.

Take to the waters

Another must-visit tourist spot is the Kondakarla Ava. Its claim to fame is the Kondakarla Ava lake, one of the largest fresh water lakes in the country.

Recognised as Eco Tourism Destination, the spot is perfect for bird watching at bird sanctuary and boating in a picturesque setting.

If you are looking for some quiet time, admire nature and take some postcard-perfect photographs then head to Lawson’s Bay Beach, Bheemunipatnam Beach, the palm-tree lined Gangavaram Beach and the Yarada Beach.

It is no wonder that these beaches have also served as backdrops for many a movie.

Make sure you have some time for Kailasa Giri. It is a hill-top park that offers a breath-taking view of the surrounding Rushikonda Beach and Ramakrishna Beach and a hillock, making it a perfect picnic spot. A popular tourist attraction here is the 375-meter ropeway, which offers a panoramic view of the scenery.

For animal lovers’ the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in the Kambalakonda Reserve Forest houses over 90 species of animals. It boasts of a mini open-top train, walk-through aviary for birds from the Eastern Ghats and a deer safari besides other features. It is open on all days except Mondays.