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Visakhapatnam History, India

Vishakhapatnam is a city found in Andhra Pradesh state of India. The city is often referred to as ‘City of Destiny’ and is also called Vizag. Vishakhapatnam is not only an important city of Andhra Pradesh, but it is also an important part of India.

The history of Visakhapatnam is a long and beautiful one that goes all the way back to the sixth century BC. There is also mention of Visakhapatnam in the ancient books of Panini and Katyayana, which were written in the fourth century.

How the city got its name

History states that Visakhapatnam was named after the god of war and valor, Visakha, who was the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Visakha is also the one who rules Mars. According to this legend, there was a king from Andhra who had named the city Visakhapatnam, after this God, somewhere between the 9th and 11th century.

This Andhra king had stopped to take rest in the city en route to the holy city of Varanasi. The beauty of the city was so spell binding that the king had decided to erect a temple in the city, in memory of his family god, Visakha, and thus the name. However there is some other evidence proving that Visakhapatnam was built by Kulottunga of the Cholas, somewhere between the 11th and 12th century.

Various dynasties had ruled over Visakhapatnam over the years including the Chankyas, the Cholas, the Golkonda Nawabs and the Kalingas. The Mughals also ruled over Visakhapatnam between the 15th and 16th centuries.

Strategical position of Vizag

It was the geographical position of Visakhapatnam with it being located on the shores of Bay of Bengal that made the city an important port for international trade. Merchants from Holland, France and other European countries used to sail all the way to Visakhapatnam to trade in tobacco, ivory, muslin and other products.

Before the British had started using Visakhapatnam as a port to connect India to the central Province, Visakhapatnam was just a small fishing village. It was in the year 1940 that the Scindia Steam Navigation Company was set up in Visakhapatnam, which is today known as Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. Today, it is the oldest Indian shipyard.

It was after India’s gaining independence that the city became a leading port of India. Today, it is also the seat of the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy.

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