257 km from Hyderabad, Vijaywada is situated on the bank of river Krishna. It is the second largest city of Andhra Pradesh. It was earlier named as Vijayvatika. Bounded by the Indrakiladri hills on the West and the Budameru River on the North, there are a number of tourist spot having religious, archaeological and historical importance. “The Place of Victory” which is the literal meaning of Vijayawada, it was founded by Arjuna around the Malleswara temple and Indrakiladri hills in commemoration of Lord Shiva’s Darsan he had.
Places to see in Vijaywada: Vijaywada has a no. of tourist spots located in and around the city. These include:
The impressive structure of the Prakasam Barrage stretches 1223.5 meter long across the Krishna River. The barrage serves also as a road bridge and spans over a panoramic lake. The three canals associated with the barrage, run through the city of Vijayawada giving it a Venetian appearance. One of the first major irrigation projects of South India, the Prakasam Barrage in Vijayawada was a complete success. It was named after Sri Tanguturi Prakasam, the first Chief Minister of the state of Andhra Pradesh. Andhra Pradesh largely owes its richness in agriculture to the Prakasam Barrage as the project has helped in the irrigation of huge agricultural lands. The barrage provides gorgeous view with the shimmering lake. The balmy breeze and the placid waters make it one of the major travel attractions in Vijayawada.
The Kanaka Durga Temple is a must visit site while in Vijayawada. Goddess Kanaka Durga is the presiding deity of the temple and of the city of Vijayawada. She is believed to be the Goddess of riches, power, mercy and benevolence and is believed to have self manifested or Swayambhu. Wedged on top of the Indrakiladri hill, the Kanaka Durga Temple overlooks the city of Vijayawada. The Kanaka Durga Temple is a must visit site while in Vijayawada. Goddess Kanaka Durga is the presiding deity of the temple and of the city of Vijayawada. Kanaka Durga is the Goddess of riches, power, mercy and benevolence and is believed to have self manifested or Swayambhu. Wedged on top of the Indrakiladri hill, the Kanaka Durga Temple overlooks the city of Vijayawada. The added attractions for a visit to the Kanaka Durga Temple are the ancient rock cut caves on the way. These caves are dedicated to Akkanna and Madanna who were ministers belonging to the court of the 17 th century Qutab Sahi ruler, Abul Hasan Tanashah. Another cave dating back to the 2nd century BC houses the sacred deities of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara.
Rajiv Gandhi Park
It is one of the most favored of the travel attractions in Vijayawada. Created and maintained by Vijayawada Municipal Corporation, the Park is located just at the entrance of the city, as if giving a warm welcome to those who visit the city. The park is maintained excellently. It is a hot favourite with the city dwellers. The garden is gorgeously manicured and the park is home to a number of trees that are important in terms of horticulture. The Rajiv Gandhi Park of Vijayawada is embellished with musical fountains that dance to the melodies, every day from 7:30 pm to 8:15 pm, except on Mondays. This attracts a lot of visitors and the garden looks like a kaleidoscope of colors as the illuminated musical fountains spread its bright hues. An added attraction is the mini zoo making it an exciting destination especially for the children. Apart from the animals, there is an educative park within the premises. This educative park has massive replicas of dinosaurs and other pre-historic animals which are really awe inspiring for the children.
Gandhi Hill was earlier known as the ‘Orr Hill’. It was named after Mahatma Gandhi and is famous for the Gandhi Stupa. Perched on top of the hill at an elevation of 500 feet above the main city of Vijayawada, the Gandhi Memorial Stupas were built in 1968 and till date rule the Vijayawada skyline. Raising to a height of 15.8 meter, the Gandhi Stupa is accompanied by six more stupas that made the first Gandhi Memorial of the country. The inspiring teachings of Mahatma Gandhi are inscribed on the stone slabs of the stupas. The Gandhi Hill in Vijayawada houses the well stocked Gandhi Memorial Library and the city’s very own planetarium. A light and show program is organized every evening after sundown relating stories from the life of the great leader, Mahatma Gandhi. The Gandhi Hill also provides an expansive view of the whole city of Vijayawada. The glittering lights of the city, the balmy breeze and the crowd together turn the place into one of the travel attractions of Vijayawada.
Undavalli Caves is reputed to be one of the most renowned travel attractions in Vijayawada. The caves are located at a distance of 8 kilometers from the center of the city of Vijayawada and are easily accessible by the tourists. The caves are situated by the River Krishna and houses the rock cut illustrations of Lord Buddha. The UndavalliCaves near Vijayawada were excavated in the early 4th and 5th century. The statue of Lord Vishnu carved in granite stone reigns in the sanctum sanctorum of the caves and is sacred to the followers of the religion of Buddhism. The statue also represents the architectural brilliance of the region in the early centuries. A statue of Lord Vishnu lies within a cave in a reclining position and measures around 5 meters in length. The Undavalli Caves rises to four storeys. The magnificence of the ancient cave is one of the primary tourist attractions of the city of Vijayawada, in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, and attracts both national and foreign tourists.
Of the three well known temples of Andhra Pradesh that enshrines Pankala Narasimha, the Mangalgiri Temple is situated at a short distance from the city of Vijayawada. Mangalgiri is divided into two shrines. The one located atop the Mangalgiri hill is dedicated to the worship of Pankala Narasimha. The other shrine is located at the foothills of the Mangalgiri hill and is dedicated to the worship of the consort of Pankala Narasimha, Lakshmi Narasimha. It is believed that the temple was founded by the epic hero Yuddhisthira. The temple dedicated to the worship of Lakshmi Narasimha has been constructed architecturally to support the 11 storeyed Raja Gopuram that was constructed by the chieftain of the region. The interiors of the temple have inlaid inscriptions that reveal that the famous King of the Vijaynagar Empire, Krishna Deva Raya had visited this temple. The temple tank placed adjacent to the temple is believed to be created by the Gods and is named Lakshmi Pushkarini. A unique feature of this temple of Pankala Narasimha in Mangalgiri is the magical disappearance of the jaggery solution offered to the shrine. Half the liquid poured into the mouth of the deity is believed to be regurgitated by the shrine. This miraculous act rekindles faith and spiritualism in the tourists who visit the temple.
Bhavani Island is one of the most favored travel attractions in Vijayawada. The beautiful island stretches itself in the KrishnaRiver, 4 km upstream from the city of Vijayawada. Perhaps the largest river island, it is spread across an area of around 133 acres. The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) has elaborate plans to develop the Bhavani island, all the more, because it already attract thousands of visitors to this picturesque spot. One may opt to treat oneself to an boat ride and explore the serenity of the surroundings. BhavaniIsland is a unique aquatic joint blessed by the placid waters and rows of shady bowers. The picnickers can spend an exclusive day out with the family, friends and relatives at a low budget. Fringed by mangroves and manicured gardens, the woodlands, sparkling water bodies and undulating meadows, Vijayawada Bhavani Island is just the right destination for fun and amusement.
The Kondapalli Fort, as believed was built by Prolaya Vema Reddy around the 14 century He was the founder of the Reddy kingdom of Kondaveedu, and constructed the fort in the Kondapalli village, located at 16 km in the west of the city of Vijayawada. It served as the leisure palace for the king and was used for his relaxation as well as for recreational purposes. The Fort near Vijayawada is graced by a majestic rock tower that stands up to three storeys. Situated on a hillock the fort rules the skyline and is clearly visible from a long distance. The Fort had been witness to the rise and fall of many dynasties. The dargah or shrine of Gareeb Sahib, a renowned Persian saint, is situated near the Kondapalli Fort. The surrounding Kondapalli village is famous for its Kondapalli toys that are made of light wooden material ‘Poniki’ available from the wood land on the hill itself. These toys are brightly colored and have characteristic Indian motifs as the subject. All these together make Kondapalli Fort one of the major travel attractions in Vijayawada. Animals and birds, fruits and vegetables, mythological and religious figures usually provide the imagination for these wonderful Kondapalli toys.
Victoria Jubilee Museum
Built in 1887 to honour Queen Victoria’s coronation jubilee, the museum has a small collection of art and arms, and a garden with temple sculptures from around the state.
Nearby attractions from Vijaywada: Apart from the enchanting tourist spots located within the city, Vijaywada also has some interesting locations around it. These are:
Sited on the banks of River Krishna, Amravati is a sacred place known for Amareswara Temple. The town has been mentioned in the Indian epics as Dhanyakataka and Andhranagari. Located about 66 km to the south of Vijayawada, Amaravati is an excavation site of an earliest Buddhist Stupa. It is one amongst the important Buddhist sites in India. With such places of religious and historical significance, Amravati is a major centre of pilgrimage and tourism.
Manginapudi Beach revives the times of the yore, when its port used to serve as a gateway of India. Located near Machilipatnam, this spectacular beach falls along the coastline of Andhra Pradesh. Apart from its natural splendor, the coast also has historical significance. Its natural bay, with moderately shallow and safe waters, boasts of being one of the safest beaches for water sports. Unlike other beaches, ManginapudiBeach has black soil instead of sands. A little away from the seashore, a park has been established here, that has fountains and well-lit surroundings. ManginapudiBeach is a wonderful place to relax, far from the turmoil of city life.
Located at a distance of 60 km from Vijayawada, Kuchipudi is the same place after which the State’s dance has been named. Kuchipudi, being the hometown of Siddhendra Yogi (instigator of Kuchipudi dance), is known for its artistic and literary pursuits.
Also known as ‘Vidarbhapuri’, Gudivada is prominent for its historical temples. This place is believed to have been existed for over 2000 years, though it was popularized during the time of the Satavahanas. Sited about 45 km from Vijayawada, Gudivada was named after the numerous temples it had. The site has got ruins of age-old temples and is worth-visiting.
Things to do in Vijaywada: You can visit the two most notable and revered temples of Mangalgiri and Kanaka Durga. If you are looking for souvenirs to take home buy a kalamkari painting or two. A little out of town is the old Buddhist centre of Amravati or if you have an interest in the arts, do make a visit to Kuchipudi where the dance form of the same name originated.
Best time to visit Vijaywada: The best time to visit Vijayawada is between November and March.
How to go ?
Vijayawada Airport is the main airport of the city. It is located 24 km away at Gannavaram. The airport has regular flights from Delhi and Hyderabad. It is also connected with the cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. The Hyderabad Airport which is the nearest international airport located 276 km from Vijayawada. From the airport you can take a bus, rent a car or taxi or take a train to get to Vijayawada.
Vijayawada is on the Calcutta-Chennai coastal line. There are trains to Vijayawada to all parts of the country including Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Bhuvaneshwar etc.
Both APSRTC buses and private buses are available from Vijaywada. It has efficient and frequent bus connections to other places in the region. Hyderabad (273 km), Tirupati (407 km) and Chennai (449 km) are the few places near Vijayawada. Buses from Vijayawada to Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Secunderabad, Chittoor, Tirupati and other cities are easily available.
Where to stay ?
Vijaywada has adequate accommodation facilities. Some options are:
Hotel Punnami (APTDC): +91-0866-2418057
Bhavani Island Hotel (APTDC): +91-08571-2793
The Gateway Hotel: +91-0866- 6644444 Website: www.thegatewayhotels.com
Hotel Garuda: +91-0866-2499991, 2499992, 2499993 Website: www.hotelgaruda.com
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.