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Before British

Vizag, the Port city is the jewel on the eastern coast of India, 2nd Biggest City Next to Capital Hyderabad. The City is a harmonious blend of the magical past and the bustling present with a breath taking panorama of golden beaches, lush green fields, verdant valleys and splendid monuments from a historically rich and religious heritage. Matchless in beauty and landscape, Vizag is said to have derived its name from the deity 'Visaka' ( the God of Valour) the son of Shiva and Parvati, who is also the ruler of the planet Mars and the God of war. Legend says that an Andhra king (9-11th century) on his way to Benares rested here. So enchanted was he with the sheer beauty of the place that he ordered a temple to be built in honour of his family deity, Visakha. Archaeological sources, however, reveal that the temple was possibly built between the 11th and 12th centuries by the Chola king, Kulottunga Chola I. A shipping merchant, Sankarayya Chetty, built one of the mandapams, or pillared halls, of the temple. Although it no longer exists (it may have been washed away about a hundred years ago by a cyclonic storm), elderly residents of Vizag talk of visits to the ancient shrine by their grandparents.

The Epic City. The antiquity of the region is evident as it is mentioned in both the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The former tells of the forests through which Rama travelled in search of his abducted wife Sita , and where he meets his devotee, Shabari, who directs him to the mountains where Hanuman lives. Rama also meets Jambuvan, half-bear half-man, who helps him in his battle with Ravana. It was here, too, that Bheema defeated the demon Bakasura - the Pandava's huge stone club can be seen in the village of Uppada, about 40 km away.

Buddhist Influence. The religious Hindu texts mention that the region of Vizag in the 5th century BC was part of the vast Kalinga territory which extended up to River Godavari. The relics found in the area also prove the existence of a Buddhist empire in the region. Kalinga later lost the territory to King Ashoka in the bloodiest battle of the time which prompted him to embrace Buddhism.

Business Center. The territory of Vizag then came under the Andhra Rulers of Vengi. Then Chankyas, Pallavas, the Reddy Kings ruled over the placid land. The Chola Kings built the temples in the city in 11-12 century AD as established by Archeological findings. The Mughals ruled this area under the Hyderabad Nizam in the late 15th and early 16th century. The merchants from Europe, the French, the Dutch and the East India Company used this natural port to export tobacco, ivory, muslin and other textile products.

Once a Small fishing Village under the Mighty Kalinga Empire during the regime of Ashoka the Great (272-232 B.C). Later on this Port town successively passed on from the Andhra Kings of Vengi to the Pallavas, Cholas and the Gangas and then later in the 15th century Vizag became a part of the Vijaya Nagar Empire. In the 18th century, Vizag was part of the Northern Circars, a region of Coastal Andhra that came first under French control and later that of the British. During British Vizag became a district in the Madras Presidency of British India. The British took charge of this beautiful land and transformed it into a busy and flourishing Port town.