About 16km from the city centre lies a small, densely wooded hill known as Simhachalam. The top of this hill is home to the temple of Varaha Laxmi Narasimha Swamy (the temple's main deity), built in the Kalinga style of architecture.
Other inscriptions suggest the temple belongs to the period of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty (somewhere between 1137-1306 CE). The statue of the presiding deity in the inner sanctum of the temple is covered with a layer of sandalwood paste for most of the year (the paste is removed from the statue only for 12 hours in a year, before Akshaya Tritiya). This temple is one of the 18 Narasimha kshetras in the country. It houses a beautifully carved 96-pillared kalyana mantapa and a natya mandapa amongst other structures.
Legend has it that the temple was constructed on the exact spot where Vishnu stood to protect Prahalada, as he killed the demon king and Prahalada's father Hiranyakashyapu, in the Narasimha (half-lion, half-man) avatar. A few historical facts Point to the temple having been built during the reign of the Chola king Kulothunga in 1098 CE.
Several choultries (Tel: 0891-2764949; Tariff: 250) and temple guesthouses-Gajapati Satram and Narasimha Sadan (Tariff: 400-500)-provide accommodation for visitors, outside the temple complex.
The temple gets quite crowded on Tuesdays (which is considered to be auspicious for the lion-headed god) and during festivals.
Lalitha Delight Guest House (Tel : 6557777). Simhachalam Hill Entry Car Rs. 50.00 and Special darshan Rs.100.00.
The nearest airport is 3km from Visakhapatnam.
The nearest railway station is 8km from Visakhapatnam.
There are number of buses operated by APSRTC from Visakhapatnam Bus stand.If you prefer taking the taxi,they are available in more numbers.
"One can pay a visit to this temple at any time of the year."
However, the best time is during the celebration of the festivals.
Timings: 4.00 am-9.00 pm
Rushikonda Beach- It is a hub of serenity, Natural rocks jutting into the clear waters of the sea.
Ramakrishna Beach- It stretches along the extent of the main city. Close to the beach, on Beach Road, are other tourist attractions.
Dolphin's Nose- It is a hill, so named because its headland has the shape of a dolphin's nose.
Submarine Museum-Located on Beach Road, close to the Ramakrishna Beach
Visakha Museum-An old Dutch bungalow near Ramakrishna Beach, also known as Corporation Museum.
Kailasagiri-The park situated atop Kailasagiri offers the most spectacular views of the city.
Yarada Beach-About 15km from the centre of the city, located close to the Dolphin's Nose is the picturesque Yarada Northern end of Beach Road.
Bheemunipatnam Beach-Is a sleepy fishing village near Vizag, and a former Dutch settlement.