Visakhapatnam is a district of Andhra Pradesh with its headquarters located at Visakhapatnam city. Visakhapatnam city is popularly known as "The Jewel of the East Coast" since it is a coastal, port city. Natives of the district believe that both the district and the city were named after the God of Valor-Vishakha. As per the etymology of the name Visakhapatnam, it is believe that some centuries ago a King of Andhra Dynasty encamped on the site of the present headquarters town of the district on his pilgrimage to Banaras and being pleased with the place, had built a shrine in honour of his family deity called Visakeswara to the South of the Lawson’s Bay, from which the district has got its name as Visakheswarapuram which with the passage of time changed to Visakhapatnam. The encroachment of waves and currents of the sea supposed to have swept away the shrine into off shore area.The history of the Visakhapatnam can be trace back to the 6th century BC. Its name is mentioned in both the Hindu and Buddhist texts of ancient period. Its name as Vizag, can be found in the writings of Panini and Katyayana of the 4th century BC. Earlier it was considered to be the part of Kalinga kingdom, which was under Ashoka's rule in 260 BC. Later the district was ruled by the Andhra Kings of Vengi which passed on to other different dynasties such as Pallava, Chola and Ganga dynasties. Visakha District is a well-known Buddhist centre with many marvellous sites from north to south along the coast line of its border. To create the Vizianagaram district, some part of Visakhapatnam district split from it in 1979. At present, it is a part of the Red Corridor.
Neelapu Rami Reddy, an eminent formers printer and national athletics champion from Andhra Pradesh was born on 1st June, 1965 at Peda Waltair in Visakhapatnam. He completely dominated national competition for over a decade during the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s.
Geographically, the district lies at 17°69'N latitude, 83°22'E longitude and 900 m Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 33.81% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses an area of 11,161 sq km. and it is bounded by Vizianagaram district on the north, East Godavari district on the south, Bay of Bengal on the east and East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh and Koraput district of Orissa on the west. The climate of the district remains pleasant throughout the year since it is situated in the coastal area. The actual rainfall in the district was 1290.4 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 4 revenue divisions-Visakhapatnam, Anakapalli, Narsipatnam and Paderu. Moreover, it comprises 43 sub-districts, 15 towns and 3,265 villages. The administrative language in the district is Telegu.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 42,90,589 including 21,38,910 are males and 21,51,679 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 1006 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 11.96% out of which 10.81% were males and 13.12% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 95.68% of the total population. The population density in the district is 384 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Telugu with 91.61%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 62,017 out of which 31,630 were males and 30,387 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 39,567 out of which 24,167 were males and 15,400 were females.
The district is located in the coastal region and for this very reason; fishing is the chief source of livelihood of the natives. Visakhapatnam port and Gangavaram port plays a vital role in the fastest growth of petroleum, steel and fertiliser industries in the district. Some other notable industries in the district are Hindustan Shipyard, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Coromdandal Fertilizers, Bharat Heavy Plates and Vessels, L.G. Polymers Ltd, Hindustan Zinc Plant, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these industries. In the year 2020-21 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 1,24,01,300 lakh at current price and Rs. 89,90,800 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the year 2020-21 was Rs. 1,09,63,600 lakh at current price and Rs. 78,41,100 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2020-21 was Rs. 2,43,874 at current price and Rs. 1,74,416 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
Visakhapatnam has provides a platform for the higher education. The Indian Maritime University, a central university was established by the government of India by an act of Parliament in 2008. Its role in the development of human resources for the maritime sector is remarkable. A.V.N. College, founded in the year 1878 is one oldest and reputed educational institution in the district. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 66.91% including 74.56% are males and 59.34% are females.
Renuka Chowdary, a distinguished Indian politician and a Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) from Andhra Pradesh (2nd April, 2012-1st April, 2018) was born on 13th August, 1954 at Visakhapatnam. She was also served as a Union minister of State (Independent Charge) with the portfolio of Women and Child Development in the Government of India. She is a member of Indian National Congress party.
The district has various sets of tourist places which allures numbers of traveller across the world. Bhimunipatnam, a beautiful natural sea port is located 40 km. from Visakhapatnam. Old Dutch Constructions and Buddhist Monasteries are the identity of this place. Sri varaha narasimha swami temple of Simhachalam is a renowned temple in the district. Pilgrims from far distance place come to this temple to offer their prayers. Araku Valley, situated 112 km. away from Visakhapatnam is a place full of mesmerising natural sceneries. It is a perfect destination for nature’s lover. Some important ancient Buddhist monasteries are located at Thotlakonda and Bavikonda hilltops in the district. Kondakarla Ava, one of the largest fresh water lakes in the country is situated in the district.