Visakhapatnam is the executive capital of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is also the most populated and largest city of Andhra Pradesh. It lies between the Eastern Ghats and the coast of the Bay of Bengal. It is the third largest city in the east coast of India after Chennai and Kolkata and the fourth largest city in South India. It is one of the four smart cities of Andhra Pradesh selected under Smart Cities Mission. Serving as the headquarters of its eponymous district, it is the most populous city in the state. With an estimated output of $43.5billion, the city is the ninth largest contributor to India's overall gross domestic product as of 2016. Visakhapatnam serves as the headquarters for the Eastern Naval Command.
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 Raj in 1804 and it remained under British colonial rule until India's independence in 1947.