Vishakhapatnam, Vizagapatnam, Vizag, Vishakha, Waltair – call it by any name you like, the place sure has some of the most beautiful beaches of the East Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Vishakhapatnam is the largest and the most populous city of Andhra Pradesh and also its proposed administrative capital. It is the second largest city on the East coast of India, after Chennai, and the fourth largest city in Southern India. The city serves as the headquarters for the Indian Navy’s Eastern Naval Command. Vizag has the oldest ship building yard and the only natural harbor on the East coast of India. Colloquially, the city is called as ‘City of Destiny’ and the ‘Jewel of the East Coast’.
On a recent trip to the city, I discovered that of all the things the city is known for, the best thing are its beaches. I took out a bike on rent and went beach hopping, driving along that beautiful coastline, going from one beach to the next. For the entire day, I rode with the Bay of Bengal on one side and the Eastern Ghats on the other, the road I was riding on in between the two. The sea was lined with palm trees. I would say this is one of the best rides I’ve done in India till date. The roads were quite decent and I felt safe driving throughout the day.
If you ever happen to visit Vizag, here are four beaches you absolutely must not miss visiting:
Of the four beaches I recommend, this one is undoubtedly my most favorite one. Located about 15 km from Vizag city, you need to cross through the Naval area to reach the Yarada Beach. The Dolphin’s Nose and the lighthouse is quite close to this beach. The beach is clean and serene and is surrounded by hills lined with coconut and banana plantations. The beach runs quite deep and swimming is not usually recommended, however, there’s always some people splashing around here. I still would not advise the same. But it is ok to just wet your feet in the sea and walk on the edge to enjoy the cool clean water of the sea. Local fishermen can be seen venturing in and out of the sea here and a lot of fisherman’s boats can be seen parked here on the beach. The beach makes for a great picnic spot, and you can climb up a hill, chill on one of the many benches lining the beach, or at the tourism department restaurant located on the beach. You will also find people selling local snacks – muri mixture, sheek kebabs, roasted and boiled corn on the cob, tender coconuts, raw mangoes, etc.
Located in the opposite direction from the Yarada Beach, the Rushikonda Beach is located just a little distance ahead of Kailasagiri, about 8 km from Vizag city. The beautiful azure water of the sea and some amazing greenery around, the Rushikonda beach is truly mesmerizing. Rushikonda is the place you want to be at if you want to indulge in some water sports in Vizag – surfing, jet skiing, banana boats, all of it. The beach is accessible by road, and there is ample parking space, lined with small shops selling trinkets and goodies. There’s also eateries located around the beach. Climb up the rocks or settle into one of the beach-side eateries to sit back and unwind here. Or like me, just settle in one part of the beach, make sand castles, and indulge in some interesting people-watching. Just a little distance ahead is the Ramanaidu Film Studio. The Film Studio itself isn’t much to write home about, but the view of the Rushikonda Beach from the hill where the studio is located is breathtaking.
Bheemunipatnam Beach, commonly called as the Bheemili Beach, is further ahead along the road in the same direction as the Rushikonda Beach. If you climb up the Thotlakonda Buddhist Heritage site, you can catch a breathtaking view of the Bheemili Beach from up there. There’s a lot of local street food available here – muri mixture, sugandhi, tomato bajji, pani puri, bhel puri, lemon soda, etc. My favorite thing to do here is grab a glass of some chilled sugandhi and walk along the sandy beach. There’s a lot of beautiful photo spots lining the Bheemili beach too. Bheemili beach is considered to be one of the safest beaches in Andhra Pradesh. It also has a slightly steep drop like most beaches here so I wouldn’t exactly recommend going too deep in to take a dip, but I felt ok to just let my feet feel the sea water run over them. Just a few steps away from the beach is a Narasimha Temple so don’t forget to seek the blessings of Lord Narasimha, one of the many avatars of Lord Vishnu here.
If you are a fan of Telugu movies like me, there is a high probability you would have caught a glimpse of this beach in some or the other movie. Located bang in Vizag city itself, you will definitely catch a lot of ships sailing not very far from the shoreline. This should give you some idea of how deep the sea might actually be so close to the shoreline. This should also tell you not to get too adventurous frolicking in the sea. The beach gets its name from the Ramakrishna Mission Ashram located just across the beach road from the VUDA Park. The INS Kurusura Museum, the Aircraft Museum, and a lot of other spots of tourist interest are located at the beach. Being located in the city itself, it is ok to hang around the beach after dark, the road lights up beautifully and there’s a lot of street food to dig into.
These are my top four beaches located around Vizag that you must not miss if you are in the city. Vizag is a very beautiful place to visit. One of my best friends and classmates used to live in Vizag and she would show me pictures of her hometown, I was always so jealous. Many years after we finished studying, I finally visited Vizag this year, but she’s moved to another country now. But I am grateful for her help in planning the trip and smoothening things out for me. Sameera, if you’re reading this, thank you for being an amazing friend.
How to Reach Vizag?
Vizag has an international airport as well as a railway station. It is well connected to other cities in India by road and rail, and both domestically and internationally by air.