Visakhapatnam ( pronunciation (help•info), Telugu: విశాఖపట్టణం) (sometimes spelled as Vishakhapatnam and often abbreviated to Vizag) is a port city on the southeast coast of India and often called "The Jewel of the East Coast" . With a population of 2,035,690, and occupying 681 square kilometres (263 sq mi), it is the second largest city in the state of Andhra Pradesh and the third largest city on the east coast of India (after Chennai and Kolkata). Visakhapatnam is located 625 kilometres (388 mi) east of the state capital, Hyderabad. The city is home to severalstate-owned heavy industries and a steel plant; it is one of India's largest seaports and has the country's oldest shipyard. Visakhapatnam has the only natural harbour on the east coast of India. It is nestled among the hills of the Eastern Ghats and faces the Bay of Bengal on the east. Visakhapatnam is the administrative headquarters ofVisakhapatnam district and headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy.
Language[edit source | editbeta]
Visakhapatnam is predominantly Telugu-speaking. The Telugu spoken by the middle class is the standard dialect, while a significant population who have settled down in the city from the adjoining villages and neighbouring districts of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam speak the Uttarandhra (north coastal) Mandalikam dialects while people from East Godavari speak the Godavari dialect. Historians theorise that centuries ago (when Uttarandhra was part of the Kalinga Empire), Buddhist missionaries and merchants may have taken Telugu script (derived from Brahmi script) to Southeast Asia from the shores of Uttarandhra, where it evolved into the scripts of Mon, Burmese, Thai, Khmer, Javanese,Balinese and possibly Sinhala (spoken in Sri Lanka). Their similarities to Telugu script can be discerned even today. Visakhapatnam is home to small Punjabi, Gujarati, Oriya, Bengali, Nepali and Malayalee communities; their arrival is recent, due to the Naval presence and high concentration of public-sector employers. There is also an Anglo-Indian community. Many residents also speak English, which facilitates communication between tourists and local people.
Transport[edit source | editbeta]
Visakhapatnam Airport is the busiest airport in Coastal Andhra. It is connected by daily flights with Dubai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai,Bangalore, Tirupati, Rajahmundry, Kolkata, Kochi, Coimbatore, Raipur and to Singapore. Visakhapatnam Airport recently received permission to operate night flights, and the airport is open until 23:55. A new 10,000-foot (3 km) runway is operational to accommodate international flights and larger aircraft. The airport was recently modernised (including aerobridges and immigration booths), and the new terminal was opened on 21 March 2009. Visakhapatnam became an international airport when Air India began flights to Dubai (via Hyderabad) on 25 March 2012. Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Air Arabia, Thai Smile Airways and SriLankan Airlines have agreed to begin international flights from Visakhapatnam . Vizag airport became operational round the clock from 1 March 2013.
Visakhapatnam seaport, with harbour interchange fly-by road
Visakhapatnam is one of the major cities on the east coast of India connected by NH5, a major highway and a part of the Golden Quadrilateral system of Indian highways connecting Chennai and Kolkata. The section of NH5 from Kolkata to Chennai connects Visakhapatnam on the northeast and the south. The highway is an important route for transporting cargo and people from these cities via Visakhapatnam. The city has a broad network of roads. There are frequent buses to Kakinada, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, Araku, Guntur and Rajahmundry, and bus service to Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guntur,Ongole Tirupati, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Koraput, Rayagada and elsewhere in Karnataka. Residents of Visakhapatnam use a...
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