Visakhapatnam, also known as Vizag, holds the sobriquet of being the ‘jewel of the east coast’, and there’s a suitable justification for it. There’s more to the biggest city of Andhra Pradesh than its humongous ports and steel-producing prowess. It is these factors that makes Visakhapatnam a popular tourist destination. We assume the magic lies in offering the best of both worlds, with beaches on one side and mountains on the other, all at a single destination. Here, we chalk out a few elements that you should explore when in Visakhapatnam. By Kumar Shree

1. Kailasagiri Hill Park

Perched atop 360 ft from the sea level, Kailasagiri Hill Park is located on the Kailasagiri hill station, around 20 km from Vizag. It offers a panoramic view of the city, beaches and forests. The park borrows its name from Kailas, a mountain which, according to Hindu mythology, is considered Lord Shiva’s home. A visit to Kailasagiri is guaranteed to offer a wholesome experience complete with leisure, adventure and culinary bouquets.

2. Borra Caves

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Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. During this trip to #visakhapatnam we explored one of the best caves ever, the #BorraCaves in the Araku valley. Breathtaking hilly terrain, beautiful landscape, semi-evergreen moist deciduous forests, and wild fauna of the Borra Caves are a visual feast. A marvellous creation of nature, the caves were formed when river waters flow through a limestone area and the calcium carbonate turns into calcium bicarbonate, which is easily washed out by the running water.The most striking feature of the caves is its exquisite variety of speleothems ranging in size and irregularly shaped stalactites and stalagmites. Thank you @novotelvizag for arranging this short trip to Araku valley for us😊 #roadtotaste #VizagDiaries #travel #traveldiaries #RoadtoTaste #andhrapradesh #shotonpixel @googleindia @googlepixel #coloursofindia #yourshotindia #indianshutterbugs #indiapictures #picturesofindia #nustaharamkhor #travelphotography #indiapictures #indiatravelgram #ngtindia #maibhisadakchap #lonelyplanetindia #indiaig #TeamPixel #india_undiscovered #couplebloggers #lonelyplanetindia #cntravellerindia #incredibleindiaofficial #indiantravelblogger

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A natural marvel formed by karst limestone, the Borra Caves sit in the Ananthagiri Hills, Araku Valley. Ever since the caves were discovered in 1807, they have grown in popularity and have become a must for tourists exploring Visakhapatnam. A Shiva lingam and Kamadhenu idol inside the caves attract the most number of tourists. Others come in the search of some spectacular natural views of the caves and the surroundings.

3. Rushikonda Beach

Rushikonda beach sits around eight kilometres from the Vizag port, and is an absolute haven for those who travel for thrill. Overlooked by the magnificent Rushikonda hill, the beach sitting amidst lush greenery is an absolute dream for water sports enthusiasts. Skiing, swimming or wind surfing… no matter what catches your fancy, you can fulfill it at the Rushikonda beach. The place will also appeal to you if you seek a quiet evening by yourself.

4. Submarine Museum

Being a port city has worked wonders for Vizag in more than one way, and the Submarine Museum, also known as Smritika, is a fine example of this. INS Kursura, a Soviet-built submarine was converted into this museum in 2002 after it was decommissioned from its services in 2001. Sitting against the picturesque backdrop of Ramakrishna Beach, the museum offers insights into the operations of a submarine. A visit to this museum is a must when exploring Visakhapatnam.

5. Araku Valley

As far as the eyes can see, in Araku, you will see greenery! Thanks to the coffee plantations Araku is known for, it attracts a huge number of tourists. The plantation lends so much beauty and tranquillity to the valley that it is often compared to the likes of much popular hill stations like Ooty and Munnar. The indigenous tribal population of Araku is also one of the prime reasons that you should visit this place.

While every landmark in Vizag is worth spending a considerable amount of time — and that’s why we have included a selected few on the list — if you happen to have more time at hand, you should definitely explore the Katiki Waterfalls, Lambasingi and Dolphin’s Nose as well.

Related: These Secluded Beaches of Andhra Pradesh Are Defining A New Standard of Cool