Visakhapatnam District is one of the North Eastern Coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh and it lies between 17o – 41′ and 17o-59′ Northern latitude and 83o – 12′ and 83o – 27′ in Eastern longitude. It is bounded on the North by Vizianagaram District, on the South and West by Anakapalli District, and on the East by Bay of Bengal.
HISTORICAL ASPECTS AND ETYMOLOGY
Inscriptions indicate that the District was originally a part of Kalinga Kingdom subsequently conquered by the Eastern Chalukyas in the 7th Century, A.D. who ruled over it with their Head Quarters at Vengi. This District was also under the occupation of various rulers such as the Reddy Rajahs of Kondaveedu, the Gajapathis of Orissa, the Nawabs of Golkonda and the Moghal Emperor Aurangazeb through a Subedar. This territory passed on to French occupation in view of succession dispute among Andhra Kings and finally it came under the British Reign. There were no geographical grafting till 1936 in which year, consequent on the formation of Orissa State the Taluks namely Bissiom, Cuttack, Jayapore, Koraput, Malkanagiri, Naurangapur, Pottangi and Rayagada in their entirety and parts of Gunpur, Paduva and Parvathipur Taluks were transferred to Orissa State. The Visakhapatnam District was reconstituted with the remaining area and residuary portions of Ganjam District namely Sompeta, Tekkali and Srikakulam Taluks in entirety and portion of Parlakimidi, Ichchapuram, Berahmpur retained in Madras presidency. With the passage of time, the reconstituted District was found administratively unwieldy and therefore it was bifurcated into Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam districts in the year 1950. The residuary district of Visakhapatnam was further bifurcated and the Taluks of Vizianagaram, Gajapathi nagaram, Srungavarapukota and portion of Bheemunipatnam Taluk were transferred to the newly created Vizianagaram District in the year 1979.
Coming to etymology of the name Visakhapatnam, tradition has it that some centuries ago a King of Andhra Dynasty encamped on the site of the present Head Quarters Town of Visakhapatnam on his pilgrimage to Banaras and being pleased with the place, had built a shrine in honor of his family deity called Visakeswara to the South of the Lawson’s Bay from which the district has derived its name as Visakheswarapuram which subsequently changed to Visakhapatnam. The encroachment of waves and currents of the sea supposed to have swept away the shrine into off shore area.
The District presents two distinct Geographic divisions. The strip of the land along the coast and the interior called the plains division with Eastern ghats. Since no major Irrigation system exists significant sub regional agronomic variations exist in this District. Along the shore lies a series of salt and sandy swamps. The coast line is broken by a number of bald head lands, the important of them being the Dolphin’s Nose which had afforded the establishment of Natural Harbor at Visakhapatnam, Rushikonda(v) and the big Narasimha Hill at Bheemunipatnam. Administratively, the District is divided into 2 Revenue Divisions and 10 Mandals.