Why Visakhapatnam is called as Vizag?

Honey Gupta
5 Min Read
yarada beach


Visakhapatnam, affectionately known as Vizag, is a city steeped in history, with a name that holds tales of British pronunciations, ancient temples, and mysterious origins. Let’s dive into the enigmatic story of why Visakhapatnam is called Vizag and explore the lesser-known secrets that shroud this coastal gem.

The British Influence on Names

The Britishers, known for their difficulty in pronouncing Indian names, left an indelible mark on city nomenclature. Mumbai became Bombay, Kolkata transformed into Culcutta, and Bengaluru took the anglicized form of Bangalore. Similarly, Visakhapatnam underwent a linguistic shift during the British era.

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Vizagapatam to Vizag: A Pronunciation Journey

Visakhapatnam’s journey from its original name to Vizag is a linguistic evolution initiated by the Britishers. The tale begins with the construction of a port along the natural harbor. The British pronunciation of Vizagapatam as “Vee-Zaag-ah-paat-ahm” led to its written form as Vizag. Over time, this abbreviated version became the preferred and widely accepted name. The citizens of Visakhapatnam embraced their shortened identity and proudly became known as Vizagites.

Waltair: Decoding the Name’s Origins

Adding another layer to Vizag’s nomenclature is the alternate name, Waltair. The origins of this name are shrouded in speculation. Some attribute it to a British officer named “Mr. Walter,” stationed here during the East India Company’s establishment. Others suggest a Telugu origin, linking it to words like “Wada Theru,” meaning “township chariot,” or “Vala Theddu,” signifying “net and oar” related to fishing. The diverse theories contribute to the intriguing mystery of Waltair’s name.

Secrets Unveiled: Vizag’s Hidden Stories

Lord Visakheswara’s Submerged Temple

Beneath the waters near Ramakrishna Beach lies a submerged secret – the temple of Lord Visakheswara. Believed to be the avatar of Lord Kartikeya, this deity protected Vizag’s coast from calamities, making it a safe harbor. Locals submerged the temple to ensure its protection, and it is said to resurface at the end of Kaliyuga to safeguard the city from end-of-era calamities.

Gambheera Gadda Reservoir: A Fierce Past

The name Gambheera Gadda, associated with the reservoir, has roots in the suburb of Vizag called Gambheeram, meaning “fierce.” It was once a habitat for leopards and venomous snakes. The area houses temples dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, Lord Padmanabha, and the Naga deities, adding a layer of cultural significance to its fierce history.

Strategic Hills Protecting the Harbor

Vizag’s hills, now extended into the sea, served a strategic purpose. Acting as natural barriers, these hills prevented enemy ships from entering the harbor from multiple directions. The construction of Beach Road, while altering the landscape, cannot erase the historical advantage these hills provided to protect the city’s harbor.


Visakhapatnam’s name, whether pronounced by the Britishers or evolving through local legends, carries a rich tapestry of history. From submerged temples to strategic hills, Vizag’s secrets add depth to its identity. As we visit Vizag, let’s appreciate the layers of stories that make this city not just a destination but a captivating chronicle of time.


  1. Why is Vizag called Vizag?
    • The name originated from the British pronunciation of Visakhapatnam during the construction of the port. Over time, it evolved into the abbreviated and widely accepted form, Vizag.
  2. What is the origin of the name Waltair?
    • The origins are diverse, ranging from a British officer named Mr. Walter to Telugu terms like “Wada Theru” and “Vala Theddu” associated with fishing. The exact origin remains a captivating mystery.
  3. Is there evidence of Lord Visakheswara’s submerged temple?
    • Yes, beneath the waters near Ramakrishna Beach, the submerged temple of Lord Visakheswara is believed to exist, protected by the locals for centuries.
  4. Why were the hills of Vizag extended into the sea?
    • The extension of hills into the sea served a strategic purpose, acting as natural barriers to prevent enemy ships from entering the harbor from multiple directions.
  5. What cultural significance does Gambheera Gadda Reservoir hold?
    • Gambheera Gadda, associated with Gambheeram, meaning “fierce,” holds cultural significance with temples dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, Lord Padmanabha, and the Naga deities.
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