Vizianagaram was ruled by different Hindu emperors of Kalinga The area including Srikakulam in the north was integral part of the domain of Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi during the rule of Kubja Vishnuvardhana (624- 641). During his rule the Vengi kingdom had expanded from Srikakulam in the north to Nellore in the south. They patronised Telugu. It was under the rule of Kakatiya Dynasty of Warangal during the rule of Ganapati Deva in 13th century CE. The area was overrun by the neighbouring Gajapatis for some time. The Vijayanagara empire fought several wars and ultimately drove out the Gajapatis. The area was under the rule of illustrious Krishna Deva Raya of Vijayanagara Empire too. After a brief rule from Golconda, the rule of Nizam state of Hyderabad followed. Nizams ruled for the period 1707 to 1753. Srikakulam to the immediate north was the headquarters for revenue collection of Rajahmundry, Eluru, Kondapalli as well as Srikakulam district. The French defeated and ended the rule of Nizam in 1753, these all districts were thereafter part of French India in 1753. However French imperialists too could not hold their sway over here for a long time, and were soon driven out from here by British imperialists, during 1756 in Anglo-French wars. Thereafter the area was soon a part of British – Northern Circars
An important event in the history of the district which occurred at about this time is the war between the Rajas of Vizianagaram and Bobbili, popularly known as Bobbili Yuddam. The war was fought between the MahaRaja of Vizianagaram and the Rajah of Bobbili on 24 January 1757.
Rulers of this princely state belong to the Pusapati family. The village Pooshpadu in Nandigama Taluq was built by Amala Raju. The village later came to be known as Pusapadu, and the Kshatriyas living there came to be known as Pusapatis.
The history of this area is linked with the history of London, specifically the movement to provide drinking fountains. The Maharajah of Vizianagram (Meerza Vijiaram Gajapatirma Manca Sooltan Behadoor of Vijianagram) funded the erection of a very elaborate gothic fountain in 1867 very close to Marble Arch on the edge of Hyde Park, which survived until 1964, but was subsequently demolished for a new road system. The architect was Robert Keirle [fl.1862–1902], who also designed a similar (listed) fountain, which survives in Regent's Park, funded by Sir Jehangir Cowasji Jehangir Readymoney in 1869 sited on the boundary of Westminster and Camden. According to the Dictionary of British Architects, Keirle was the architect appointed by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain Association, who erected these fountains and whose archive is lodged with the London Metropolitan Archives. Excavations at this town revealed copper coins belonging to the remains of 900 B.C..
Vizianagaram is located at 18.12°N 83.42°E / 18.12; 83.42. It has an average elevation of 74 metres (242 feet). The district is bounded on the east by Srikakulam District, on the west and south by Visakhapatnam district, on the southeast by the Bay of Bengal, and on the northwest by Odisha state. The principal rivers flowing in the district are Nagavali, Vegavathi, Gomukhi, Suvarnamukhi, Champavathi and Gostani. The Nagavali is the main river, which flows in about 112 km in Vizianagaram district. The River Gosthani has its origin in Ananthagiri forest area and flows through Srungavarapukota (S.Kota) and Jami mandals. The Suvarnamukhi River originates in the hills of Saluru mandal, travels in an eastern direction and finally joins the Nagavali at Sangam village in Palakonda mandal of Srikakulam District. Vegavathi originates in pachipenta hills of Pachipenta mandal and flows almost parallel to Suvarnamukhi.
Rivers and irrigation projects
Major Rivers flowing through the city are Nagavali, Vegavathi, Gomukhi, Suvarnamukhi, Champavathi and Gosthani River. Irrigation projects across these rivers include Tatapudi Reservoir across the Gosthani River, Vegavathi project across the river Vegavathi, Vottigedda project across the river Vottigedda, Peda Ankalam Anicut and Vengala Raya Sagaram project across Suvarnamukhi, Seeta Nagaram Anicut, Denkada Anicut, Paradhi at Bobbili, across Suvarnamukhi, a tributary of Nagavali River and Andra Reservoir project across Champavathi River.
The climate of Vizianagaram district is characterised by high humidity nearly all the year round, with oppressive summers and good seasonal rainfall. The summer season extends from March to May, followed by southwest monsoon season, which continues to September. October and November constitute the post-monsoon or retreating monsoon season. The normal rainfall of the district for the year is 1,131.0 mm, as compared to the actual rainfall of 740.6 mm received during 2002–2003. The district gets the benefit of both the southwest and northeast monsoon. The season extending from December to February is of generally fine weather. The climate of the hill parts of the district is different from that of the plain.
As of 2011 Census of India, the town had a population of 227,533. The total population constitute, 111,596 males and 115,937 females —a sex ratio of 1039 females per 1000 males, higher than the national average of 940 per 1000. 20,487 children are in the age group of 0–6 years, of which 10,495 are boys and 9,992 are girls. The average literacy rate stands at 81.85% with 169,461 literates, significantly higher than the national average of 73.00%.
Telugu is the official language.
Vizianagaram municipal corporation is the civic body of the city. It was constituted as a municipality in the year 1888 and was upgraded to corporation on 9 December 2015. It has an extent of 29.27 km2 (11.30 sq mi). During 2010–11, the total expenditure spent by the municipality was ₹1,887.75 crore (US$290 million) and total income generated was ₹2,367.51 crore (US$370 million).
The utility services include supply of water, sewer connections, drainage systems, parks, grounds, community centres, healthcare etc. The municipality maintains 458 public taps, 749 bore–wells, 330 km (210 mi) of roads, 243.25 km (151.15 mi) of drains, 32 parks, 2 playgrounds, 49 elementary and 3 secondary schools and 1 maternity and child health centre.
Vizianagaram is one of the principal towns in Uttarandhra (North of Andhra Pradesh State). There are a number of industries in and around the city. The country's largest ferromanganese plant is situated on the outskirts of Garividi. There are various jute mills in Garividi, including the Hooghly Jute Mills. Vizianagaram is a popular destination for the textile wholesale market.
Vizianagaram district had a coastal belt of 28 km. Pusapatirega and Bhogapuram are coastal mandals with eight main villages and 16 hamlets. The land of 80.47 acres (32.57 ha) in the coastal villages of these mandals is being used for salt cultivation.
There are 22 large- and medium-scale industries established with an investment of ₹ 669.09 crores, providing employment to 20,759 people. These industries are primarily engaged in the manufacture of jute twine, ferroalloys, sugar, cement, pharmaceuticals, sponge and iron.
There are 4,653 small-scale units with an investment of ₹ 114.20 crores and providing employment to 32,615 people. These SSI units are mainly engaged in general engineering, motor workshops, groundnut oil mills, rolling mills, RCC spun pipes, sawmills, aluminium utensils, and bus, lorry and cycle rickshow body buildings.
The city has a total road length of 317.90 km. The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation operates bus services from Vizianagaram bus station.
Vizianagaram railway station is on the Khurda Road-Visakhapatnam section of Howrah-Chennai main line and is the terminus for the Jharsuguda-Vizianagaram line.
The nearest airport is in Visakhapatnam located at 62 km.
The primary and secondary school education is imparted by government, aided and private schools of the School Education Department of the state. The medium of instruction followed by different schools are English, Telugu.
Vizianagaram city has many educational institutions and some of the notable are listed below: