Visakhapatnam, also commonly known as Vizag, is one of the oldest port cities in the country. Situated in the heart of Andhra Pradesh, Visakhapatnam is known for its picturesque beaches and serene landscape, as well as a rich cultural past, which makes it an ideal spot for a fantastic coastal vacation. The port of Visakhapatnam is renowned for being home to the oldest shipyard in all of India, and with a plethora of manmade wonders and natural spectacles, Visakhapatnam is a must-visit tourist destination in South India.
Visakhapatnam is the largest city and the financial capital of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The city is the administrative headquarters of Visakhapatnam district and the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy, State headquarters of Indian Coast Guard. Its geographical location is amidst the Eastern Ghats and the coast of the Bay of Bengal. It is the most populous city in the state with a population of 2,035,922 as of 2011, making it the 14th largest city in the country. It is also the 9th most populous metropolitan area in India with a population of 60,53,000. With an output of $43.5 billion, Visakhapatnam is the ninth-largest contributor to India's overall gross domestic product as of 2016.
Visakhapatnam's history stretches back to the 6th century BCE, when it was considered a part of the Kalinga Kingdom, and later ruled by the Vengi, the Pallava and Eastern Ganga dynasties. Archaeological records suggest that the present city was built around the 11th and 12th centuries with control over the city fluctuating between the Chola Dynasty and the Gajapati Kingdom, until its conquest by the Vijayanagara Empire in the 15th century. Conquered by the Mughals in the 16th century, European powers eventually set up trading interests in the city, and by the end of the 18th century it had come under French rule. Control passed to the British in 1804 and it remained under British colonial rule until India's independence in 1947.
The city is home to the oldest shipyard and the only natural harbour on the east coast of India. Visakhapatnam Port is the fifth-busiest cargo port in India, and the city is home to the headquarters of the Indian Navy's Eastern Command. Visakhapatnam is a major tourist destination and is particularly known for its beaches. It is referred to by many nicknames such asThe City of Destiny and The Jewel of the East Coast. It has been selected as one of the Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under the Smart Cities Mission. As per the Swachhta Sarvekshan rankings of 2017, it is the third cleanest city in India