Sankaram

Situated on the banks of River Sarada, Sankaram is a widely renowned Buddhist heritage spot. It is noted for the Buddhist sites of Bojjana Konda and Lingalakonda, which date back to the period between the 3rd and 4th centuries. The place once served as an important centre of Buddhist culture and teaching. Sankaram gets its name from the word Sangharama, which means monastery. The site houses numerous monolithic stupas, caves and structures. Excavations carried out at the site also revealed old coins belonging to the Satavahana period, coins from the time period of Samudra Gupta and clay tablets of Lord Buddha. The caves found here have been adorned with carved statues of Lord Buddha. Bojjana Konda was unearthed by a Britisher named Alexander Rea in 1906 and is named after a seated image of Lord Buddha. Sankaram lies at a distance of 21 km from Visakhapatnam and makes for an intriguing exploration.

Sankaram

Bavikonda

The name 'Bavikonda' means a hill of wells as earlier the place had a number of wells where rainwater used to be stored to be utilised as per need later. It is located around 15 km from the city of Visakhapatnam and is known for its ancient artefacts and heritage sites. Bavikonda finds particular prominence among Buddhists and has a monastery, called the Bavikonda Monastery, which dates back to the 3rd century BCE. A large Buddhist complex was also excavated at this site and interesting remnants were found: a piece of bone stored in an urn (believed to be the remains of Lord Buddha), inscriptions, pottery, relic caskets, moulded bricks, stuccos, tiles, among others. Bavikonda is a popular place in the state of Andhra Pradesh and lies at a distance of 20 km from Visakhapatnam.

Bavikonda

Submarine Museum

On RK Beach at Visakhapatnam, lies one of the most renowned submarines of India, NS Kursura. After her decommissioning, Kursura was converted into a submarine museum. It was the first submarine in Asia to be converted into a museum and the second in the world. Inside the museum, various parts of the submarine like sonar room, radar room, control room and various war weapons, have been displayed. It traces the history of maritime evolution through various artefacts, photographs and scripts. Visitors can get a glimpse of the life and hardships inside a submarine through various exhibits.

 

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Submarine Museum

Borra Caves

One of the largest caves in the country, Borra Caves are home to million-year-old stalactite and stalagmite formations. Perched at an elevation of 1,400 m above sea level, the majestic caves are a visual treat for visitors. They came into existence as a result of the flow of Gosthani river on the limestone deposits in the area. Some of the imposing stalactite and stalagmite formations that can be seen here include those of Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati, a mother and her child, a crocodile, a human brain and a tiger. These caves were discovered by William King George of the Geological Survey of India. Legend has it that Borra Caves was first discovered when a cowherd, while searching for one of his lost cows, accidentally came across them. There he found a shivling deep inside the cave, along with his cow. He believed that Lord Shiva had saved his cow. Later, villagers built a small temple just outside the caves. Borra Caves draw tourists from all across the country and are worth marking on the itinerary.

Borra Caves