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Hey guys 🙂 Welcome to the final part of my five-part East India Travel series 🙂

For those of you who may have missed my previous posts, the East India travel series is about my exciting nine-day journey through three beautiful states in East India: Odisha (formerly Orissa), Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.

East India trip map

Here are the links to my previous posts in the series:

East India Travel -1: Bhubaneswar

The Heritage Crafts Village of Raghurajpur in Odisha

The Sun Temple of Konark

The World-Famous Jagannath Temple of Puri

East India Travel -2: Puri

East India Travel – 3: Gopalpur-On-Sea & Visakhapatnam

East India Travel – 4: Bastar District of Chhattisgarh

In this concluding part of my East India Travel series, I’m sharing my travel experiences in the lovely port city of Visakhapatnam (also known as Vizag), the largest city in the south-eastern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh map

A bit about Visakhapatnam…

Visakhapatnam (also known as Vizag) is located in the north-eastern region of Andhra Pradesh. In 2014, Andhra Pradesh was partitioned, leading to the formation of a new state, Telangana. It was decided that Hyderabad will remain the de jure capital of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for a period not exceeding 10 years. Amaravati, the new river-front capital of Andhra Pradesh is under construction.

Known as ‘The Jewel of the East Coast’, Vishakhapatnam is an ancient port city surrounded on three sides by the overlapping mountain ranges and safeguarded by the Bay of Bengal. It was once ruled by Emperor Ashoka, and the Kings of the Vengi, Chalukya, Chola, Ganga, Pallava and Gajapathi dynasties. This popular coastal city is often termed as the ‘City of Destiny’ and ‘Goa of the East Coast’. A major port, an educational hub, an attractive tourist destination, a fast developing industrial city… that’s Visakhapatnam, also the HQ of Eastern Naval Command.

Visakhapatnam has the country’s oldest and one of the largest shipyards, and the only natural harbour on the East Coast. The city is home to South East Asia’s first and India’s only submarine museum, the INS Kursura Submarine Museum located on RK Beach, the city’s most popular beach. The beautiful Beach Road also houses some of the city’s popular attractions like the naval museum – Visakha Museum, Matsyadarsini aquarium, VUDA (Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority) Park, and the city’s must-see Kailasgiri, a hilltop park which offers a spectacular panoramic sea view. Tenneti Park, at its base, is another gem. To the southern end of the city, another popular viewpoint, Dolphin’s Nose, offers breath-taking views of the sea and the harbour.

Besides RK Beach, some of the popular beaches include Rishikonda Beach, Gangavaram Beach, Yarada Beach, Pedawaltair Beach, Bheemunipatnam (popularly known as Bhimili). Bhimili is one of the longest beaches in the country.

The scenic hill station, Araku Valley is about 150 kms from the city. Borra caves, which are limestone structures buried at a depth of 260 feet in the ground, and Tyda Park are close to it. So also is Ananthagiri, a coffee plantation. For bird watching and wildlife enthusiasts, Kondakarla Bird Sanctuary and Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary are just 20-40 kms from the city.

The 11th century Simhachalam temple, known for its architectural splendour lies 18 kms from Visakhapatnam. It is dedicated to Lord Narsimha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and is one of the most visited temples in the country. Ancient Buddhist sites like Thotlakonda and Bavikonda are located within 15 kms of the city.

Visakhapatnam has no commuter rail service. However, the APSRTC operates a large number of buses from over five bus complexes in the city. For shopping, Visakhapatnam is known for its sandalwood and rosewood products; and Narayanpeta, Venkatagiri, Mangalgiri, Kalamkari, block printed and Gadwal saris.

During my brief stay of three days at this lovely, seaside destination, a strong heat wave had gripped the region. But I did get to visit a few places interesting around. Enjoy my story 🙂

Sunday, 24 May 2015

 

The bus leaves Jeypore bus stand at 4:00 PM. To my irritation, the journey begins at a snail’s pace. The foul-tempered driver is such a wretched creature that he even lets a slow bullock cart overtake the bus. On reaching Koraput, he engages himself in a long phone conversation. I’m already in a lousy mood. As the minutes pass by, even my co-passengers get impatient. After Koraput, the bus gathers speed. The passing landscape is beautiful. But it soon gets dark and I’m unable to see anything as the bus continues its journey through the Eastern Ghats. Travelling through this region during day-time would have offered a lovely view of the hills and valleys. An overturned truck causes traffic on the dark and narrow road. To my relief, not much time is wasted here. But more than an hour later, the bus gets delayed while nearing Vizianagaram. Traffic diversions have been made for religious processions. Vehicles are stopped to make way for a long procession of women carrying steel pots on their heads. The pots containing milk, water and turmeric are an offering to their goddess. And then, I see a few of them squatting in the vehicle-free stretch of the road, plucking out country chicken feathers. I’m thoroughly disgusted. The bus reaches Vizianagaram at around 10:00 PM.  At the bus stand, everything is written in Telugu…not a single word of English or Hindi! Making enquiries, I reach the place where the bus for Visakhapatnam is to arrive. It’s an agonising half-hour wait. When the bus arrives, it’s already crowded. I manage to squeeze myself into a tiny space. After a little more than an hours’ journey, the bus reaches Visakhapatnam. It’s 11:45 PM. My hotel is nearby, but I hate the thought of walking alone at this late hour with a trolley bag in hand. I walk over to a waiting autorickshaw. The driver charges 30 rupees. What??? Just to cross the road??? The prepaid rickshaw that I had taken from Visakhapatnam railway station to this area was 35 rupees. And my hotel is hardly two hundred metres away! But I’m tired and exhausted, so I climb into the vehicle.

At the hotel, I’m further exasperated when I learn that no room has been reserved for me. This, when the hotel manager has already been informed of my arrival! Moreover, it is midnight and I ought to get a 50% discount on the room tariff. But the lousy hotel manager tells me that he agreed on the 50% discount only because I was going to arrive around 5:30-6:00 AM. And he asks me how my day went in Araku Valley when I had told him that I was going to Jagdalpur, His pupils dilate when I mention “Jagdalpur” and “Chhattisgarh”. I would have loved telling him that I brought a few Naxalites with me too. I’m so furious! Here I am, tired and hungry, and this schmuck has not only made me wait for 10 minutes but is also expecting that I pay for the room rent in advance. A little later, I find that the bathroom has a plumbing problem. I demand another room, and get it after another 10 minutes. It is 1:00 AM when I finally climb into bed. After breakfast, the first thing that I need to do is move into another hotel.

 

Monday, 25 May 2016

 

At 9:30 AM, I leave the hotel to find a good place to have a South Indian breakfast. The ones in the nearby vicinity are not to my taste. I decide to visit the INS Kursura Submarine Museum near Rama Krishna Mission Beach, or RK Beach as it is commonly called. RK Beach is one of the popular beach fronts in Visakhapatnam, so I’m sure I’ll find a good restaurant there. The autorickshaw ride to RK beach costs 80 rupees.

The Beach Road is a beautiful and welcoming sight.  I see the submarine museum on the opposite side of the road, and stop the rickshaw. Climbing out, I find myself staring at a nearby hotel building with a hoarding announcing unlimited South Indian breakfast at 199 rupees. Yesss!!! Elated, I walk in. The girl at the front desk tells me that the breakfast service ends at 10:00 AM. Damn! It’s 10:15 AM. Still, the helpful girl has a word with the food & beverage manager who happens to be in the lounge. He immediately invites me to the upper-floor restaurant. It’s a nice place facing the sea. Besides the South Indian fare of dosa, idli, medu vada, etc. a variety of continental items are available. At 220 rupees including taxes, it’s totally value for money. The F&B manager lingers around for a polite chat. When he learns that I’m from Mumbai, and staying in Dwarka Nagar area, he immediately offers to help. “You deserve to stay in a good sea-facing hotel like this”, he says. Yeah… But the rooms at this hotel start from 5000 rupees plus taxes and I’m paying 1847 rupees at Ginger. I’m looking for one with a room tariff up to 2000 rupees. He assures me of his help. A few minutes later, he comes over to tell me that I can get a room in this hotel at 50% discount. With taxes, it would be a little more than 3000 rupees. Hmm… I push my luck a bit more and tell him that 2500 rupees including taxes would be quite nice. He agrees. After breakfast, he gives me a tour of the terrace which houses an open-air dining area. The terrace offers a panoramic view of the surroundings, and the sea breeze blowing strongly feels absolutely wonderful.

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The INS Kursura Submarine Museum is opposite the road…

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Watch my video: View of Visakhapatnam’s Beach Road 

A little later, I return to Ginger hotel. I can’t resist telling the hotel manager that I got a 50% discount at a wonderful sea-facing hotel at RK Beach.  With a triumphant smile, I leave him gaping like a fish. The to-and-fro rickshaw ride costs 150 rupees. When I check into Ambica Sea Green, it’s around 12 noon. The room is quite nice, and its window offers partial sea views. And there’s a fish tank beneath, near the door. It’s fun tapping my feet on the patch of glass flooring, just to see the colourful fishes scurry around.

Watch my video: My room in Hotel Ambica Sea Green

Overjoyed with my good fortune, I’m quite sure that Lady Luck would smile on the young and nice-looking F&B manager from Hyderabad for his help. (She does so in a matter of hours. In the evening, the nice guy tells me that he received unexpected news a few hours ago…he bagged a plum job in a luxurious Dubai hotel! Isn’t that just amazing?)

It’s too hot to go sightseeing. Through the public-address system installed all along the Beach Road, people are being advised to stay indoors till the heat subsides which is around 4:30 PM -5:00 PM. I relax in my room, lunch lightly, and take a short nap. Later, not wanting to waste my time, I venture out at 3:45 PM. The road is deserted.

The hotel where I’m staying: Hotel Ambica Sea Green…

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Next to the hotel is this War Memorial “Victory at Sea”…

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The memorial was built to commemorate India’s victory over Pakistan in the Indo-Pak war of 1971. On display are a few artifacts from the war, including this tank…

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Next, I spend some time at the sea across the road.

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Watch my video: At RK Beach – 1 

Watch my video: At RK Beach – 2 

At the INS Kursura Submarine Museum, the security guard tells me that it is closed on Mondays for maintenance. On other days, its timings are 4.00 PM to 8.00 PM. But on Sundays and public holidays, it is open from 11.00 AM to 1.30 PM.

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The submarine, INS Kursura…

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Watch my video: INS Kursura Submarine Museum in Visakhapatnam 

Built by the former Soviet Union, this submarine was inducted into the Indian Navy on 18 December, 1969. It participated in the 1971 Indo-Pak war and served India gloriously for 31 years before being decommissioned in 2001.

The promenade…

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Next, I take an autorickshaw to the port. The ride costs 70 rupees. Visakhapatnam Port is one of the largest ports in the country. It was opened to ocean-going vessels in 1933.

The port …

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In the background is the Dolphin’s Nose, a permanent feature of the city’s silhouette. It’s a gigantic 358-metre rock resembling a dolphin. Besides being a popular vantage point, it also houses a powerful lighthouse that guides incoming ships safely inside the harbour.

Watch my video: Visakhapatnam Port – 1 

A view of the fishing harbour where hundreds of fishing trawlers and boats are docked…

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Some are under construction…

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Watch my video: Visakhapatnam Port – 2 

Fishermen weaving nets from nylon twine…

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And some are ready to set sail with them…

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Watch my video: Visakhapatnam Port – 3 

An auction of the fresh catch is going on…

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Watch my video: Visakhapatnam Port – 4 

I love seafood, love buying it! But right now, all I can do is go ooh fishy, fishy…!!!

The autorickshaw ride back to RK Beach costs less this time, 50 rupees. Sometimes, I’m lucky to get a fair deal. At other times, I get cheated wholesale!

There’s nothing more enjoyable than a roasted bhutta (roasted corn on the cob) while basking in the sea breeze. And at 12 rupees, the woman selling it is making an honest living. Then, some time later, I try a murri mixture (a favourite beach snack like Mumbai’s bhelpuri) at one of the many food stalls along the beach road. A bit of it and my mouth is on fire. I dash off to the nearest ice-cream vendor. He snips off the cover and hands the ice-candy to me. Unable to speak, I hand him the money and walk off. On feeling better, I realize that he has cheated me. He took 35 rupees from me! The cost of the ice-candy is only 15 rupees but he purposely removed the packaging so that I wouldn’t be able to see the MRP (maximum retail price) printed on it. Talk about day-light robbery!

At RK Beach…

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RK Beach, which gets its name from the Ramakrishna Ashram across the beach road, is the favourite beach of the locals. It’s a popular evening gathering point. The beach road is beautified with parks, statues, etc. and has some of the city’s major tourist attractions.

A guy in silver paint, a replica of Gandhi on the beach road…

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Godzilla on the beach…

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Seven months ago, in October 2014, Visakhapatnam bore the brunt of an extremely severe cyclonic storm. With a speed of 185 km/h (115 mph), Cyclone Hudhud battered everything along the Beach Road, including the hotel where I’m staying. But the hotel and a few luxury hotels facing the sea were soon rebuilt. Surprisingly, the INS Kursura did not face any damage.

The residential buildings on the beach road still bear the scars of the devastating cyclone…

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One of the most popular recreation centres in the city is the VUDA Park, developed on the beachfront in an area of 55 acres. Like many other green havens in the city, this park too was destroyed by the cyclone Hudhud. When I drop by, it is past dusk. It’s a nice and peaceful place to relax, but it closes at 7:00 PM.  Another tourist attraction, the Matsyadarsini Aquarium is just across the road.

I spend some time at the beachfront before returning to my room. The Beach Road goes right up to Bhimili Beach, some 25 kms away. Most of the city’s must-sees are located along this beautified road. So it feels great to stay in this area which seems a wee bit like Mumbai’s absolutely awesome Marine Drive. For dinner, I was hoping to enjoy a lobster meal but they don’t have it in stock. So I have to settle for prawns. By 10:30pm, I’m off to sleep.

Tuesday, 26 May 2016

 

After breakfast, I start for the famous Simhachalam temple which is 18 kms away. Buses going to the temple start from Dwarka Nagar bus complex, a few pass by the Beach Road. The bus stop is close to the hotel. After waiting for five minutes, I take an autorickshaw. The ride costs 160 rupees. The driver tells me that it’s his first trip of the day, so he hasn’t overcharged me. It’s a very enjoyable journey.

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The road is excellent and the passing landscape is simply superb. Lush green hills everywhere. After forty minutes or so, I near the beautiful high Simhachalam Hills. The temple is located atop a hill. Autorickshaws ply till the foot of the hill, from where there is a bus service to the temple for every 10 to 15 minutes. The female bus conductor collects sixteen rupees from me and hands me an eleven-rupee ticket. I think she’s duped me, but I remain silent.

The ten-minute uphill journey offers lovely views…

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Built in the 11th century, Simhachalam temple is dedicated to Lord Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy, the lion-man incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It’s the second richest temple trust after the Tirupati temple (also located in this state), which I visited way back in 2004.

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Watch my video: Simhachalam Temple 

Simhachalam temple is one of the most visited in the country, and draws many devotees even on a normal day. But everything is well organized in this sprawling temple complex. There’s a shoe stand to deposit footwear for 2 rupees. Like at all highly-revered temples, here too, cameras and cell phones are not allowed inside. It’s so because people usually have a bad habit of taking pictures as though they are in a park or something. Next to the shoe stand, there’s a counter for cameras and cell phones. It charges 10 rupees (5 rupees each) for the safekeeping service.

At 10:00 AM, the ground is already hot on my bare feet as I make my way to the inner precincts of the temple. The idol of the Lord, dating back to 1098 AD, is in the tribhanga (standing body position or stance used in the traditional Indian sculpture, art and Indian classical dance forms) posture with two hands and the head of a lion on a human torso. More than 252 ancient inscriptions in Odia and Telugu describe the antecedents of this temple, which is a mix of Odisha and Dravidian styles of architecture. The ancient carvings leave me spellbound.

Some priests are busy grinding what appears to be some kind of dough. I soon find myself engaged in a long and interesting conversation with a friendly priest. He enlightens me about the temple’s history and the traditions.

The presiding deity is covered with chandan (sandalwood paste) throughout the year, except for one day – the day of the annual ritual of Chandanotsavam or the Nijaroopa Darshanam, when he can be seen without sandalwood for only 12 hours. On that day the existing sandalwood paste is removed and fresh paste is applied on the idol. Almost half a million people visit the temple to take darshan (glimpse) of the Lord in his original form. They come from across the state and the neighbouring states of Odisha, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Special buses are operated for them. The temple officials and local administration make elaborate arrangements for the festivities. Free food is provided to all on this day. The festival falls in the Hindu month of Vaisakha (April-May). This year, it was held on the 21st of April. Sandalwood sticks from which sandalwood paste for the Lord is extracted are specially brought from Bengaluru (previously called Bangalore). The Lord has to be covered with genuine sandalwood. Grinding sandalwood sticks to a paste is a difficult task. The priests work in shifts to complete it. Sandalwood paste cools down body heat. Most of the sandalwood pastes available in markets anywhere are anything but genuine, so I never got to buying myself one.

It’s 11:45 AM when I board a bus going downhill. At this hot time of the day, there are fewer buses and people around. I’m keen on a bus ride back to Beach Road. A staff member of the bus depot pleads with me to take an autorickshaw. “Amma (or was that maa?) Whatever, that’s how South Indians, mostly those from Tamil Nadu, address women. I find it kind of cute.  He pleads on, “You shouldn’t be walking around in this heat. The temperature is more than 45 degrees Celsius.” 45 degrees??? Really, I didn’t know it was that hot! The autorickshaw ride costs 180 rupees. On the way, I think of buying mangoes. Each regional variety has a unique taste and flavour. My favourite is the richly-flavoured Alphonso mango from my home state, Maharashtra. In the morning, I passed by some fruit stalls selling mangoes. Now I feel like tasting them. Unfortunately, the rickshaw speaks neither English nor Hindi so I have to explain it to him through hand gestures. And that’s very funny. I draw a shape in the air, slice the imaginary fruit, slurp the pulp and throw away the peel. He excitedly utters a strange word, and soon, I find myself at a fruit stall selecting four good-looking ripe mangoes.

Back in my room, I rest for some time. The temperature cools down by 4:30 PM -5:00 PM, but it also gets dark by 6:30 PM. Today is my last night in the city and I have yet to visit two naval museums and a hilltop park.  Despite the heat, I step out at 3:15 PM. The submarine museum across the road opens at 4:00 PM, so I walk towards Visakha Musuem, a few hundred metres away.  Along the way, the sail of the Soviet-built INS Kalvari greets the eye. It was inducted into the Indian Navy on 8 December, 1967 and was decommissioned on 31 May, 1996…

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Beside it, a narrow lane leads to the Visakha Musuem. The museum is located at an old Dutch bungalow. A few naval artifacts adorn its lawns. The museum’s entry fee is five rupees. The ground floor houses the maritime wing of the museum, showcasing the country’s rich maritime history. But it feels like a sauna inside. The heat is unbearable.

Also known as the Naval Museum, this very interesting place offers a great deal of information on India’s vast maritime heritage and the growth of the Navy from pre-independence days till the present. There are several interesting exhibits including ancient stone sculptures and weaponry, submarines, naval weapons, models of sailing boats, aircraft models, the sea route map used by Vasco da Gama for his voyage to India and an unexploded 250-lb bomb that was dropped by the Japanese during the World War II. Among other interesting facts, I discover this bit of information…the 3000 BC temple in Dwarka, dedicated to the Sea God Varuna became Dwarkadish temple. Ohh…

The upper floors provide some relief from the high heat and humidity. In one of the halls, old photographs of the city are displayed. Here, I learn all about the cyclone Hudhud, and its catastrophic effects on the city’s ecosystem. Prior to 12 October, 2014, the city was surrounded by lush greenery. Thereafter, green became brown, and barren. The “before and after” images of the city are depressing. Within hours of hitting the coast, the cyclone severed the radar link of Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre. The runway at Visakhapatnam Airport was flooded and the radar and navigational aids were destroyed. The roof of the terminal was torn apart. Hudhud was the most destructive cyclone to ever hit India. Seven months later, the wounds have yet to heal. The museum too suffered heavy damage in the Hudhud floods, but was soon refurbished. Surprisingly, the submarine INS Kursura standing along the seashore remained unscathed, indifferent to the fury of nature unleashed.

Around 4:30pm, I’m at INS Kursura Submarine Museum…

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My entry ticket costs 40 rupees and the camera ticket, 50 rupees. Visitors are shown around inside the submarine in batches. There a batch of visitors inside, so I look around the exterior of the submarine.

Made of steel, INS Kursura measures 91.3 m in length and 8.00 m in breadth…

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Watch my video: INS Kursura Submarine Museum in Visakhapatnam

Information boards and a few artifacts are placed around for visitors’ knowledge. Evolution of the Indian Army’s Submarine Arm…

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An overview of life in a submarine…

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Making of Kursura Museum…

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Interesting facts of the submarine “ Kursura”…

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One of the 22 torpedoes of the submarine “Kursura” on display…

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This indicator buoy belongs to INS Khanderi…

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“Indicator buoy is the only mode of communication to and from a sunken submarine lying at the bottom of the ocean.The submarine in distress releases the indicator buoy which is attached to her. The buoy floats on the surface of the water and emits a flashing signal by light (light beacon) and transmits ‘SOS’ on radio frequency to indicate the position of the suken submarine. The floating buoy is fitted with  a telephone for communication and also guides the rescue bell from a rescue ship. It also provides facility to supply high pressure air and emergency electric supply to the distressed submarine.”

INS Kursura was a diesel-electric submarine. The entire submarine along with its weapons was hauled on to the beach in 2001. It was specially modified for visitors to get a clear view of the interior of the decommissioned submarine. The museum was opened to public on 14 August, 2002.

I’m excited when it’s my turn to step inside the “first Submarine Museum in SE Asia”…

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Inside, the history and activities of the submarine is explained by six guides and a curator, all retired Navy personnel.  Due to the tiny space inside submarines, priority is given to equipment, ammunition and lifesaving systems. The areas of kitchen, toilet and bed are tiny. The submarine accommodated 77 men, who had to do hot bunking (sharing the same bed in shifts) and share two toilets and two wash basins between them.

This tiny 4×6 kitchen accommodated two cooks to prepare meals for the entire crew…

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Due to poor lighting, my already badly functioning camera is unable to give me clear pictures of most areas.

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Towards the end of the tour, one of the elderly guides asks me to hand him my camera. To click this picture…sweet!

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Around 5:30pm, I’m on my way to Kailasgiri Hill on the Vizag-Bhimili Beach Road. Kailasgiri Hill is one of the prominent hilltop parks offering a panoramic sea-view on the East Coast.  The rickshaw ride costs 70 rupees. At the base of the hill is this beautiful Tenneti Park…

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It’s a very scenic place. Lush greenery intertwined with concrete pathways. Apart from stairways, there is a 375-meter cable car service to reach the hilltop park. The up and down journey in six-seater, fibre-glass cabins offers a spectacular view of the coastline and the surrounding concrete jungle with splashes of greenery.

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My return ticket costs 75 rupees. A little later, I’m on my way up the hill…

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Watch my video: Cable car to Kailasgiri Hill in Visakhapatnam – 1 

Watch my video: Cable car to Kailasgiri Hill in Visakhapatnam – 2

Spread over 380 acres, this ecologically-rich hill park offers gorgeous views of the beautiful coastline on one side and lush-green forests on the other side, along with a breath-taking view of the bustling city.

On reaching the park, I’m greeted with an incredibly amazing sight. Two massive and very impressive white sculptures: Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati sitting ever so peacefully on this picturesque 304-metre high hill.

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This place seems to be a very popular evening haunt. Visitors, locals as well as tourists, are seen in large numbers. The few cafes and restaurants around make for a wonderful evening time.

There’s a toy train that makes a circular trip of the hill, giving a glimpse of the scenic natural surroundings.

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It’s a 15-minute ride and the ticket costs 60 rupees. I quickly grab the only available window-seat before it’s taken. The damage caused by the cyclone Hudhud is quite visible in the form of some uprooted trees and dead plants. And yet, lively and colourful flora smiles from here and there. The sunset scene adds to the beauty of the surroundings.

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Watch my video: Toy train ride on Kailasgiri Hill in Visakhapatnam – 1

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Watch my video: Toy train ride on Kailasgiri Hill in Visakhapatnam – 2

After the ride, I’m back at the fabulous holy statues, where the flow of picture-takers hasn’t reduced even a bit. But I manage to get this lovely picture of the divine couple …

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Doppler Weather Radar Station…

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Several viewpoints have been developed all around the hilltop. The park also offers paragliding facility.

Watch my video: Kailasgiri Hill in Visakhapatnam 

The panoramic sea-view covers Dolphin’s Nose to the east and Rishikonda Beach to the west…

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After a wonderful time in the lap of nature, I start my return journey…

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Watch my video: Downhill cable car journey at Kailasgiri Hill

View of Kailasgiri Hill from below…

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After 10 minutes of waiting at the bus stop, I hop into a rickshaw that charges 60 rupees. The bustling promenade invites me to spend an enjoyable time at the beachfront. For dinner, I have a delicious preparation of prawns with steamed rice. I’m in bed by 10:00 PM.

Wednesday, 27 May 2016

 

At 6:00 AM, I’m at the beachfront to enjoy a lovely morning sea breeze. But the entire place has been engulfed in a dense blanket of smog.  The Beach Road is closed to vehicles till 8:00 or 9:00 AM, when it gets converted into a joggers’ park. Besides fitness freaks, there are early risers walking their dogs. Because of the smog, I’m unable to take clear pictures. The air is highly saline. The silver coating of my digital camera, which had chipped away a bit at Gopalpur due to saline air, now almost entirely slides off.

After some time, I get a few pictures…

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I return around 7:15 AM. The smog has cleared away, so much that I can a ship in the horizon…

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Watch my video: Beach Road in Visakhapatnam 

After breakfast, I spend some time on the terrace and take in the calm and peaceful morning scene. At around 10:15 AM, I check out from the hotel. The hotel taxi charges 800 rupees. Pricey, considering that the airport is just 10 km away. It’s a half-hour drive to the airport, bereft of traffic.

Two and a half hours later, I board my Indigo flight back home to Mumbai, bringing to an end my lovely adventures in East India.

 

Guys, I hope you have enjoyed this adventure series of mine. Very soon, I’ll be starting a new series on my adventures in the amazing central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. So do keep visiting 🙂

Take care and see you soon 🙂 Happy weekend!

 

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