VIJAYAWADA

Know your location
» South India
» Andhra Pradesh
Location : Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh
Best time To Visit : September To February, Especially During Dasara (Dussehra)
Also Known As : Bezawada
Attractions : Kanaka Durga Temple, Prakasam Barrage, Amaravati, Undavalli Caves, Gandhi Stupa

Vijayawada- The City of Victory
Vijayawada, also called as "Bezawada", is 257-km from Hyderabad and is located on the banks of the Krishna River, and is bounded by the Indrakiladri hills on the West and the Budameru River on the North. Situated along the Chennai - Howrah and Chennai-Delhi rail route, this is the largest railway junction of the South Central Railway. The city forms a part of the Krishna district, spread over an area of 58-sq- kms (urban area).

Railway Bridge on Krishna,  Andhra PradeshVijayawada or the "City of Victory" if literally translated gets its name from the legend, which says it was here on the Indrakiladri Hill, that Arjuna, the Pandava Prince, won the blessings of Lord Shiva for his penance. During the British rule the city experienced significant growth.

In particular, the completions of the Krishna Barrage and the Railway Bridge on Krishna have helped the region expand its agricultural and commercial base. The famous Chinese traveller Hieun T`sang has visited this city. Today, with excellent communications, perhaps the best in the South where railways are concerned, Vijayawada become one of the big business centres of the State. Commercially, culturally and industrially the city is a very flourishing one.

Best For A Temple Journey
Vijayawada is a must-visit if one wants to go temple hopping in Andhra. The abode of Kanaka Durga, goddess of power, riches and benevolence, is the presiding deity of the city. The city is also a base for visiting the Buddhist sites located around Vijayawada like Amaravati, Gudivada, Ghantasala and so on.

Also accessible from Vijayawada are the towns of Kuchipudi, Mangalagiri and Kondapalli, which are famous for dance, temple and handicrafts respectively. Another important feature of the place is the Krishna Pushkaram an all-India festival that is held once in twelve years.

The most luscious mangoes, the king of fruits, are grown here and the region is renowned for its tradition of pickle making. So altogether Vijayawada presents a colourful and varied picture and can be termed as a business - cum - pilgrim - cum - tourist centre.

PRIME ATTRACTIONS

Prakasam Barrage
Completed in 1957, the Prakasam Barrage is an impressive 1223.5m long, modern regulator and road bridge that stretches across the river Krishna. Its panoramic lake and the three canals that run through the city give Vijayawada a Venetian appearance.

The Gandhi Stupa
The Gandhi Stupa, 15.8ft high, stands on Gandhi Hill, which was formally known as "Orr Hill". This Monument built in memory of Mahatma Gandhi and was inaugurated by the late Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1968. It has the teachings of Gandhi inscribed on stone slabs .The Gandhi memorial Library, sound and light show and planetarium are added attractions here. Climb to the top of the hill for a bird's eye view of the town.

Hazrathbal Mosque
Hazrat Bal Mosque, a site of religious significance in Vijayawada. A holy relic of Prophet Mohammad is kept here and displayed once a year.

Mogalrajapuram Caves
Just 5-km from Vijayawada are the Mogalarajapuram caves having three cave temples, dating back to the 5th century AD. Out of the 3 cave temples constructed here only one is still in good condition with the idols of Lord Nataraja, Vinayaka and others. The Ardhanareeshwara Murthy found here is considered the only one of its kind in south India.

Akkana and Madanna Caves
On the way to the Kanakadurga Temple are the rock-cut caves dedicated to Akkana and Madanna, who were ministers in the court of Abdul Hasan Tanashah in the 17th century. A short distance away is another cave that dates back to the 2nd century BC, which hosts the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara.

Rajiv Gandhi Park
Walk able distance from the new Vijayawada bus stand, this is an educative park containing built-up structures of dinosaurs and pre-historic animals, with a playing area where one can spend time relaxing and learning. Musical Fountain: 7.30 p.m. to 8.15 p.m. Monday closed.

Gundala Church
Gundala Church is situated on a hillock on the eastern side of the town, at Gundala. It attracts a large number of devotees. A fair is held annually in the month of February, in which thousands of devotees participate.

Victoria Jubilee Regional Museum
The Museum of the Archaeological Department situated on Bandar Road contains beautiful sculptures and attractive paintings worth seeing. 'Buddha' Alluru inscriptions of first and second centuries, and Mahishasura Mardhani are some of the important exhibits.

Undavalli Caves
The Undavalli caves, in the village of Undavalli, are at a distance of 8-km from Vijayawada and nearly 280-km from Hyderabad . The high hill overlooking the Krishna river hosts fine specimens of cut-in architectural and sculptural models.

Bhavani Island
Located upstream the river Krishna, close to Prakasam Barrage, is Bhavani Island. Make sure you visit this picturesque island that is a fantastic picnic spot for holiday-lovers.

KanakaDurga Temple
Kanaka Durga, goddess of power, riches and benevolence is considered the presiding deity of Vijayawada. The temple is set on the Indrakiladri hill. The deity in the Kanaka Durga temple is regarded as Swayambhu or self-manifested, hence is considered very powerful. It is said that Adi Sankara visited this temple and installed the Sri Chakra here.

Malleswaraswami Temple
Adjacent to the Kanakadurga temple is the shrine of Malleswara Swamy on the Indrakiladri hill. Mallikarjuna or the Malleswara as he is known in the Puranas is said to have been installed by Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Panch Pandavas, as a token of their victory of the South.

Vijayeswara Swami Temple
The Vijayeswara temple is set on the Indrakiladri hill in Vijayawada. The installation of Vijayeswara is said to have been done by Arjuna, to commemorate his victory with Lord Shiva in the form of 'Kirata' (hunter).

ENTERTAINMENT

Despite its commercial cosmopolitan character, Vijayawada is very conservative when it comes to entertainment. If you are a fan of Carnatic music or Telugu folk songs, you can plan to go for music concerts, which are a plenty, or for a show of 'Kuchipudi' style of classical dance. Andhra Pradesh Dance and Music College, Natraj Kala Samiti and Kanakadurga Gana Sabha are some of the busier venues for these shows. If all this is much too heavy for one, there's always Tollywood (Telugu film industry) to the rescue.

Kuchipudi, Andhra PradeshWatersports and Boating:
K L Rao Vihara Kendram, Bhavani Island on Prakasham Barrage Lake offers a variety of water sports including rowing, canoeing, water-scooters, and pedal boats. It is open from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm.

FESTIVALS

Krishna Pushkaram
Krishna Pushkaram, an all-India festival takes place once in 12 years. Hindus consider a dip in the river Krishna sacred, and hence lakhs of people come to bathe in the holy waters of the Krishna River. People perform various pujas and rituals to wash away their sins.

Sarannavaratri Festival
Of the many festivals, the ten day long Sarannavaratri festival during Dasara or Dussehra (from Asvayuja Suddha Padyami to Dasami (September-October)) and the Kalyanotsavam of Rambha-Malleswaraswamy are celebrated with great religious fervour.

On such occasions, the temples on the Indrakila hills are adorned in their festive best. During the Navaratri celebrations, Kanakadurga is attractively draped and decorated in different forms for nine days - 'Bala Tripura Sundari', 'Gayathri', 'Annapoorna', 'Mahalakshmi', 'Saraswathi', 'Lalitha Tripura Sundari', 'Durga Devi', 'Mahishasura Mardani', and 'Raja Rajeswara Devi'.

Each day special 'prasadams' are offered to the goddess and in the evening she is carried in a procession around the temple. On the tenth day, that is the Vijayadasami Day, goddess Kanaka Durga along with other deities, dressed in all her splendour, is carried on a decorated swan shaped boat in the Krishna waters.

This is popularly known as "Nauka Viharam" and thousands of people gather at the riverbanks to witness this colourful ritual. Devotees make each of the nine days a great event by lavish expenditure on illumination and sound and music. The festival season of Dasara or Dussehra is an auspicious occasion to visit the temple to seek the blessings of the Goddess.

SHOPPING

Kalamkari,  Andhra PradeshThe city offers everything from antiques, handicrafts, and jewellery to dresses, leather goods, Pearls, and semi-precious stones. For a good deal, saunter around MG Road, Eluru Road, Besant Road and Governorpet.

Besant Road is named after Mrs. Annie Besant. The road is crowded and is the major retail outlet centre in Vijayawada. Main commodity being the cloth, major Indian cloth mills have their retail outlets here. Companies like Digjam, Raymonds, Bombay Dyeing, and major saree shops like Chandana Bros, Manhar etc. have all kinds of sarees & dress materials.

Kaleshwara Rao Market is the famous vegetable market with over hundred vegetable shops having fresh and different vegetables all the time. This market is a trade place and the nearby farmers earn money by selling their vegetables over here.

Vastralatha is situated opposite to Kaleshwara Rao market, consists of 400 shops. Built by Vijayawada municipality, it is a wholesale cloth market. Many local brands, other brands, hand woven saris and clothes are sold here. Gandhi Nagar is famous for shoe making Industry. The place is also famous for having quite a lot of theatres and is one of the entertainment areas in Vijayawada.

Near as it is to the toy-making village of Kondapalli and to Machilipatnam, which produces some of the most exquisite 'Kalamkari' paintings, shopping can be a full-time occupation in Vijayawada.

OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION

Hospitals:
Government Ayurvedic Hospital
ESI Hospital, Gunadala
Railway Hospital
University General Hospital
Meher Medicare centre
Nagarjuna Hospitals Kanuru
Vijayawada Nursing Home & Poly Clinic

Post & Telegraph:
Head Post Office

Conducted Tours:
The Andhra Pradesh Travel & Tourism Development Corporation runs city sightseeing tours covering Kanakadurga Temple, Prakasam Barrage, Gandhi hill and Planetarium, etc.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Climate: Tropical
Temperature Range (deg C):
Summer- Max 45, Min 28
Winter- Max 30, Min15
Clothing: Light Cottons
STD Code: 0866

HOW TO GET THERE

Vijayawada is an important link in connecting the three regions of Andhra Pradesh and is a major transit point. Two National Highways, the National Highway 5 from Chennai to Calcutta and the National Highway 9 from Machilipatnam to Hyderabad pass through the city connecting it to other parts of the country. It is connected to other areas of the state, by state highways and district roads.

Air:
The domestic airport located at Gannavaram, about 20-km, from the city connects Vijayawada to Hyderabad and Vishakhapatnam. It's about a 30-minute flight from Hyderabad.

Rail:
Situated along the Chennai- Howrah and Chennai-Delhi rail route, this is the largest railway junction of the South Central Railway. There are a number of express and super fast trains that connect Vijayawada with almost all the important places of the country.

Road:
Good motorable roads connect Vijayawada with all the places within the state and also with the major cities in India. Transport by road from Vijayawada to all the places of Buddhist interest is available in the form of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) buses.

Local Transport:
Tourist Taxis, Metered Taxis, Auto rickshaws, and Cycle Rickshaws are available. The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) operates point-to-point bus services, which connect important places within the city with each other.

WHERE TO STAY

A wide range of facilities for accommodation is available in Vijayawada, from Three Star Hotels to budget accommodation and Andhra Pradesh Tourism Guest Houses.

Star Hotels:
Hotel Ilapuram
Hotel Khandari International
Hotel Krishna Residency
Hotel Mamata
Hotel Raj Towers
Hotel Manorama
Sree Lakshmi Vilas Modern Cafe

Budget Hotels:
Hotel Sarovar
Ajantha Hotel
Tourist Home
Hotel Jagapathi International
Hotel Ashoka
Sree Nivas
Hotel Siddartha
Sri Hotel Annapoorna

NEARBY CITIES

Mogalrajapuram Caves: 5-km
Undavalli Caves: 8-km
Machilipatnam: 68-km
Amaravati: 64-km
Hamsala Devi: 85-km

MAPS

CLICK HERE FOR MAP OF VIJAYAWADA



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