Visakhapatnam is surrounded by ancient Buddhist sites, most of which have been excavated recently and illustrate the legacy of Buddhism in the region.Pavurallakonda ("pigeon hill") is a hillock west of Bhimli, about 24 km (15 mi) from Visakhapatnam.Gopalapatnam, on the Tandava River, is a village surrounded by brick stupas, viharas, pottery and other Buddhist artefacts.In 1907 British archaeologist Alexander Rea unearthed Sankaram, a 2,000-year-old Buddhist site.Excavation carried out from 1982 to 1987 revealed a Buddhist establishment including a mahachaitya embedded with relic caskets, a large vihara complex, numerous votive stupas, a stone-pillared congregation and rectangular halls and a refectory.Artifacts recovered from the site include Roman and Satavahana coins and pottery dating from the third century BC to the second century AD.A significant finding was a piece of bone (with a large quantity of ash) in an urn, which is believed to be the remains of the Buddha.The Bavikonda site is considered one of the oldest Buddhist sites in Asia.
It is located 15 km (9.3 mi) from Visakhapatnam and is a significant Buddhist site.
The primary stupa was initially carved out of rock and covered with bricks.
Excavations yielded historic pottery and Satavahana coins from the first century AD.
It has been selected as one of the Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under the Smart Cities Mission. Control over the city fluctuated between the Chola Dynasty of Tamil Nadu and the Gajapati Kingdom of Odisha The city was ruled by Andhra Kings of Vengi and Pallavas. Legend has it that Radha and Viśakha were born on the same day and were equally beautiful.
As per the Swachhta Sarvekshan rankings of 2017, it is the third cleanest city in India. Historically considered part of the Kalinga region, Archaeological records suggest that the present city was built around the 11th and 12th centuries C. Sri Vishaka Sakhi is the second most important gopi of the eight main gopis.