Visakhapatnam is the largest city and Financial Capital of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The city is the administrative headquarters of Visakhapatnam district and Eastern Naval Command. Its geographical location is amidst Eastern Ghats mountain range and the coast of Bay of Bengal. It is the most populous city in the state and one of the million-plus cities in India, with a population of 2,035,922. The core city and its surrounding settlements together constitute Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region, one of the most populous urban regions in the country with a population of 5,340,000. The economy of the city is the tenth largest in the country, with a GDP of $ 43.5 billion.
Visakhapatnam's history stretches back to the 6th century BCE, when it was considered a part of the Kalinga Kingdom, and later ruled by the Vengi, the Pallava and Eastern Ganga dynasties. Archaeological records suggest that the present city was built around the 11th and 12th centuries with control over the city fluctuating between the Chola Dynasty and the Gajapati Kingdom, until its conquest by the Vijayanagara Empire in the 15th century. Conquered by the Mughals in the 16th century, European powers eventually set up trading interests in the city, and by the end of the 18th century it had come under French rule. Control passed to the British in 1804 and it remained under British colonial rule until Indian independence in 1947.
The city is home to the oldest shipyard and the only natural harbour on the east coast of India. Visakhapatnam Port is the fifth-busiest cargo port in India, and the city is home to the headquarters of the Indian Navy's Eastern Command. Visakhapatnam is a major tourist destination and is particularly known for its beaches. It is referred to by many nicknames such as, Goa of the East Coast, The City of Destiny, The Jewel of the East Coast. It has been selected as one of the Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under the Smart Cities Mission. As per the Swachhta Sarvekshan rankings of 2017, it is the third cleanest city in India.