Vijayawada is the second largest city in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and is a part of the state’s Capital Region. It is the administrative headquarters of the NTR district. It comprises NTR and part of Krishna district. Vijayawada lies on the banks of Krishna river surrounded by the hills of Eastern Ghats, known as Indrakeeladri Hills. It geographically lies on the center spot of Andhra Pradesh.The city has been described as the commercial, political, cultural and educational capital of Andhra Pradesh, second largest city in Andhra Pradesh and is one of the fastest growing urban areas in India.
Vijayawada is considered to be a sacred place for residing one of the most visited and famous temples of Andhra Pradesh and India, Kanaka Durga Temple of Hindu Goddess Durga. It also serves as the ritual host of Pushkaram (a river worshipping ritual in India) of River Krishna. There is a legend which says that Arjuna, one of the heroes of the Indian epic Mahabharata, prayed on top of the Indrakeeladri Hill in the city and won the blessings of Lord Shiva to get the Pashupatastra to win the Kurukshetra War. It was called Vijayavatika (meaning Land of Victory in Telugu) when Goddess Durga killed the demon Mahishasura and rested on the Indrakeeladri Hill by the River Krishna establishing the victory over evil hence the place got its name Vijayavatika, “Vijaya” meaning victory, and “Vatika” meaning place or land in Telugu. Over the years Vijayavatika name changed to Rajendra Chola Pura during Chola Dynasty and Bezawada during British rule and eventually to Vijayawada.
The city is also the third most densely populated urban built-up areas in the world. and is classified as a Y-grade city by the Sixth Central Pay Commission. The city is the second most populous in the state with a population of more than one million.It was recognised as a “Global City of the Future” by McKinsey Quarterly, which expected an increase to GDP of $17 billion by 2025. In October 2018, it was awarded with ISO 37120 platinum level certification and has been added to the “Global Cities Registry”.
Due to the presence of several well-known educational institutions, the city has emerged as a major educational hub in recent times, with many of nationwide students studying in the city. It is expected to be the India’s tenth fastest growing city economy in the world by 2035 by a report published by Oxford Economics. Due to its high ratings in entertainment, construction, food as well as education, health care, transport, It is ranked as India’s ninth most liveable city as per Ease of Living Index 2018, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the second most liveable city in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
The Vijayawada Junction railway station is one of the busiest in the country. It stands as the tenth busiest railway junctions in the country.
Places To Visit In Vijayawada
Bhavani island is one of the largest islands on a river and is located over the Krishna river at Vijayawada. The vast expanse of the island proves to be the perfect place for a relaxing weekend. If you are one for adventure sports and water slides, this is an exhilarating place to visit! It is named after the Goddess Bhavani or Kanaka Durga whose temple is on the Indrakeeladri hill close to the island. Bhavani island can be reached by boat from the banks of Krishna river. Approaching the island from the banks, you will enjoy the lush green surroundings and beauty of the Krishna river. If you are on the island especially during sunrise, you have the most spectacular view of the sunlight dancing on flowing waters of the river.
There are also numerous activities to pursue on the island- like water-skiing, kayaking, parasailing, as well as opportunities to enjoy some leisurely time snoozing on hammocks, fishing and picnicking with your family. Take your gang of best buddies to this little island-park on the weekend to kick back and unwind from a tiresome daily routine. You can also say at a tiny resort on the island.
Weather : N.A.
Time Required : 1 day
Entry Fee : No entry fee
To reach Bhavani island
To reach Bhavani island from the shores of Vijayawada, a ferry has to be taken from Punnami ghat. The ferry takes not more than 5 minutes to reach the island. From the Vijayawada Railway station, Punnami ghat is 7.5 km away towards the west and can be reached by taxi, auto, in under half an hour. From Vijayawada airport, Punnami ghat can be reached in 55 minutes by car or taxi.
2.Kanaka Durga Temple
The Kanaka Durga Temple is a famous shrine dedicated to the Goddess Durga. Located in Vijayawada district of Andhra Pradesh, this astounding architecture is built in Dravidian fashion. The temple is surrounded by the hills of Inrakeeladri, right along the banks of the Krishna River. The temple finds mention in many sacred texts and Vedic literature as well and is a revered temple among devotees and followers. People visit this temple every year to show their respect and devotion to the Goddess Supreme and seek her blessings. The temple has detailed timings and rules of darshans and seva opportunities which can be booked online on their website. The temple also runs a food donation programme as a part of their many charitable activities.
The Kanaka Durga Temple of Andhra Pradesh is one of the many Shaktipeethas that are situated in the country. The goddess appears in her Mahishasurmardini form here, along with the image slain demon king Mahishasura. It is believed that the deity is Swayambhu or self-manifested. The imposing image of Kanakadurga is a humbling and unforgettable sight. The deity’s face and body colour are of molten gold shade, and the idol is also bedecked with golden jewellery from which the temple gets its name Kanaka Durga – Kanaka in Sanskrit means gold.
Weather : N.A.
Timings : 5:00 AM – 1:00 PM
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Closed on Thursdays 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Time Required : 1-2 hrs
Entry Fee : No entry fee.
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Legend of Kanaka Durga Temple
The temple of Devi Kanaka Durga has more than one legend about its origin and history. One legend says that this region was once strewn with mighty rocks which inhibited the flow of the Krishna River, thereby leaving this area uninhabitable. To put an end to this problem, Lord Shiva was called upon who directed the hills to make way for the unobstructed flow of the river. The flow of the river gained strength through the tunnels or “Bejjam”, and hence the name Bezawada was born, which later got modified to Vijayawada.
Another myth claims that Arjuna prayed to Lord Shiva on the top of the Indrakeela Hill for winning his blessings and he was successful in passing the test that Lord Shiva had posed for him and gifted the middle Pandava with Pasupat weapon, and hence the name Vijayawada was coined.
The most famous one obviously has Goddess Durga at its centre. It has two versions. One follows that the goddess visited the mountaintop where the temple is perched upon being worshipped and called by sage Indrakila, who is the inspiration behind the name of the hill range. The sage was tormented by the increasing menace of demons, led by Mahishasura and Durga responded to his plea, slew the demon king and made Indrakeeladri her permanent abode.
Another one is that a Yaksha by the name Keela got a boon from Devi Durga that she would always remain in his heart. Granting him the boon, she said that he would be a mountain and she would perch in the temple nestled within the mountain range when the time comes. After killing Mahishasura, she kept her promise and made her home at Indrakeeladri.
Architecture of Kanaka Durga Temple
The main sanctum’s construction is in the form of a pyramid, with the surface embellished with delicate stone carvings. The most impressive aspect of the Kanaka Durga Temple is perhaps its golden crown, which can be spotted from miles away. Visit this destination for a soul-stirring experience.
There is also a Lord Shiva shrine near the ancient temple premises that goes by the name Malleswara Swamy temple. This temple is probably the only one in the world where the female deity is located on the right side of the male one, as against the tradition left-side seat of the female consort. This is significant as this actually shows that the Shakti or feminine power of the cosmic universe is predominant here. These two shrines are obviously the centre of attraction for anyone visiting the temple.
Donations at Kanaka Durga Temple
There are many weekly, monthly and annual opportunities of donating in different pujas that are given in details on their website. You can book your puja offerings and slots from the online site only. They also have a programme for daily food donation where you can pay in Demand Draft to the temple authority for feeding many heads on any particular date, and they will perform the charity on your behalf. You can also visit the temple and Garbhagriha for free as a reward for the deed on the day of your donation. Other donations in cash or kind can also be made.
Navratri and Dussehra Celebrations at Kanaka Durga Temple
Since this temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga, the nine days of Navratri are celebrated here with fervent vigour and gaiety. The most significant day is obviously the tenth day – Dussehra. The celebrations here are held every year and thousands of pilgrims attend the same seeking the blessings of Her Holiness. The colourful festivities during this time are delightful and will restore your faith in the divine.
Kanaka Durga Temple Darshan Timings
The temple is open from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM on all days except on Thursdays when it is closed from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. However, there are separate timings for idol visits and other personalised pujas.
For Dharma Darshanam or free visit of the premises, the timings are:
4:00 AM to 6:00 AM
7:00 AM to 11:00 AM
12:15 PM to 04:00 PM
6:15 PM to 10:00 PM
For Mukhamandapa Darshanam or deity visit at INR 100 per person, the timings are:
5:00 AM to 5:45 PM,
6:15 PM to 10:00 PM
For Antharalaya Darshanam or visiting the Sanctum Sanctorum at INR 300 per person, the timings are:
5:00 AM to 6:00 AM
7:00 AM to 11:00 AM
12:15 PM to 04:00 PM
6:15 PM to 10:00 PM
For Swarna Pushaparchana at INR 650 for 2 people, the timings are:
7:00 AM to 9:00 AM
For Shivarchana or worship of Lord Shiva at INR 650 for 2 people, the timings are:
8:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Tips For Visiting Kanaka Durga Temple
1. Remove your shoes before entering temple premises. The authorities take violation of this rule very seriously.
2. Leave your heavy and expensive belongings behind because in case there is a large crowd, there is always a fear of theft.
3. Avoid wearing any headgear while entering, as prohibited on the website’s dos and don’ts.
4. Photography is not allowed inside.
5. Follow the other rules and try to stick to the customs as much as possible.
How To Reach Kanaka Durga Temple
The Kanaka Durga Temple is situated in the heart of the city of Vijayawada and thus very well-connected with public transports. Buses and taxis are available from the Vijayawada railway station which is just a 10 minutes’ drive. The temple is also at a distance of 20 kilometres. Hire a car if public transport is not a comfortable option for you.
Top Hotels Near Kanaka Durga Temple
3. Undavalli Caves
A monolithic example of Indian rock-cut architecture, the Undavalli Caves are located in the city of Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. Carved out of a solid sandstone on a hillside, these caves date back to the 4th to 5th centuries and is a paradise for history lovers. One of the preserved monuments of national importance, this attraction was originally the Jain caves and was later converted into a Hindu temple.
Regarded as one of the earliest examples of Gupta architecture, the Undavalli Caves leave one in amazement and awe because of its marvellous design. From the outside, it looks like rows of cells arranged in different positions which arouse curiosity. There are three levels in the cave. The lower level resembles the Jain abode with many chambers and Thirthankara Sculptures. The second level has as the statue of reclining God whose identity cannot be found out. However, locale believes the statue is of Lord Vishnu. The sculptures of lions and elephants on the walls add to the beauty of the attraction. When you reach the top of the cave, you get a breath-taking view of the lush green surroundings and hills. You can also see the Krishna River flowing behind the caves. Tourists can even take the boat ride on the river enjoying the natural beauty. A perfect blend of architectural marvel and historical significance, you should add Undavalli Caves to your bucket list because it will swoon you with its charm and grandeur.
Weather : N.A.
Timings : 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Time Required : 1-2 hrs
Entry Fee : No entry fee.
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History of Undavalli Caves
These four-storey caves are said to be found in the 7th century. They are associated with the Vishnukundin Kings of AD 420- AD 620. These exotic caves of Undavalli were dedicated to the Anantapadmanabha and Narisimhaswami. As per the historical evidence, Madhava Reddy, who ruled this region as the subordinate under the Reddies of Kondaveedu, gifted the caves to the temple of Anantha Swamy. It is also believed that these caves were used by the Buddhist monks as the rest houses. Undavalli Caves show that many Buddhist stupas were converted into Hindu temples. It was initially a Jain cave with an architecture of Udayagiri and Khandgiri. The first floor still retains the Jain style.
Architecture of Undavalli Caves
The caves of Undavalli provides the finest example of the rock-cut architecture of the Buddhists in India. The caves are 29 metres long and 16 metres wide. Each floor has different heights. The first floor is a low-pillared hall with eight pillars and seven door openings. The first storey has shrines dedicated Trimurti- Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, each with a pillared hall in the front.
Walls on the first floor are adorned with frescoes depicting scenes from mythological stories. The second storey has a rectangular pillared hall with a shrine of Lord Vishnu. This statue is a major attraction as it is made out of the single granite block. On the walls, sculptures from the Chalukyan period and of Vaishnava deities can be seen. The most striking feature of the Undavalli cave is the 5 meters long statue of the Lord Buddha in the reclining position.
Best Time To Visit Undavalli Caves
The ideal time to visit Undavalli Caves is during winters as the temperature is cool and pleasant. October to February is the best time to explore the place when the mercury lingers around 30 degrees Celsius. Summers are unbearably hot in Vijayawada. The temperature soars up to 40 degrees which gets too uncomfortable. During monsoons, torrential rainfall can interrupt your outdoor plans. Therefore, it is better to avoid this season.
How To Reach Undavalli Caves
Undavalli Caves is on the Penumaka-Vijayawada road, near Prakasam Barrage, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. It is well-connected via road network with all the major cities of the state as well as the neighbouring states. Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) and some private travel services connect Undavalli cave with all other foremost cities of the state as well as the neighbouring states. Once you reach Vijayawada, taxis, autorickshaws or the local buses are the best options to reach the attraction.
4. Kondapalli Fort
Kondapalli Fort is a marvellous 14th-century fort located in the village of Kondapalli in Guntur district near Vijayawada. The resplendent fort is considered of great historical importance and attracts tourists from all over the world. Locals frequent the site for a day-long picnic with friends and family due to its proximity from Vijayawada, which is just 23 kilometres away. As you explore the exalted fort, be sure to notice the breathtaking view of the valley. The village is famous for wooden toys, especially the Kondapalli Dolls. If you are lucky, you might just find a vendor selling these beautiful dolls for you take back as souvenirs.
Kondapalli fort is also called as Kondapalli Kota and was built by the Musunuri Nayaks in the district. Many consider this imperial fort has roots in parallel histories. It served as a military fortification during the British era and was said to have been built as a centre of recreation, business and trade during the 14th century. This is an architectural marvel with an entrance gate, called the Dargah Darwaja, that is carved out of a single boulder of granite and other features including a reservoir, Golconda Darwaza, Dargah of Gareeb Saheeb, Tanisha Mahal and several bits of history that are now in ruins. One must not miss exploring the Kondapalli Fort while in this area.
Weather : N.A.
Timings : 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Time Required : 1-2 hrs
Entry Fee : Adults: INR 5,
Kids: INR 3
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History of Kondapalli Fort
The Kondapalli Fort was constructed in the 14th century by the Musunuri Nayaks. The control of the fort was taken by several rulers since the 14th century. In 1453, the son of Gajapati Kapilendra Deva, Hamvira, won the entire Kondaveeru Territory. However, while fighting for the throne of Orissa, he had to take help from the Bahmany King as he was fighting against his brother, Purushottam. He successfully defeated his brother, but in return, he had to give up the control of Kondapalli and Rajahmundry to the Bahmany King. In 1476, Purushottam defeated Hamvira and gained control over Orissa again. At the same time, Kondapalli was struck by famine while it was still under the reign of the Bahmany King. The garrison revolted and gave ownership of the fort to Hamvira again.
When Purushottam tried to conquer Kondapalli and Rajahmundry, he was held captive and made to sign a treaty that created hostile relations between the Bahmany, and Vijayanagar Rulers. In 1481, after the death of the Bahmany Sultan, Sultan Muhammad, the kingdom was left directionless, and Purushottam used this opportunity to conquer the fort by fighting the Sultan’s son, Mahmad Shah.
Purushottam, also known as Gajapati Purushottam Deva passed away in 1497 and the Kondapalli was under the reign of his son, Prataprudra Deva. In 1515, the Kondapalli was captured by Krishnadevaray. He married Prataprudra’s daughter, Kalinga Kumari Jaganmohini and signed a treaty to restoring his kingdom till River Krishna. From 1531 until late 18th century, Kondapalli was ruled by the Mughals after which the British took over, and in 1766, the Kondapalli Fort was used as a Military Training Base.
Architecture of Kondapalli Fort
Kondapalli fort has three entry gates, with the first one built with one block of granite. This gate is called the Dargha Darwaza, and it is about 12 feet wide and 16 feet high. The second entrance is on the other side of the hill and is called the Golconda Darwaza. This entrance leads to the village of Jaggaiahpet. The striking fort has several towers and battlements, a reservoir with a spring and some water tanks. The Tanisha Mahal is located at the far end of the fortress perched in between two hills. The palace has several rooms or chambers and a vast Durbar Hall. The fort also has an English Barrack with eight rooms and an English cemetery.
Vijayawada is famous for its Kondapalli Toys especially the Kondapalli Dolls. A colony in Kondapalli, known as the Bommala Colony or the Toys Colony is well known for crafting these toys which is a 400-year-old tradition in the region. This form of arts and crafts is believed to have started by a sage named Muktharishi who was blessed with the skills by Lord Shiva. It is believed that artisans migrated from Rajasthan to learn this art from Muktharishi in the 16th century. These artisans are now called Aryakhastriyas or Nakarshalu. References to these names have been found in the Brahmanda Purana.
The toys are made of Tella Poniki which is a type of softwood found in abundance on the Kondapalli Hills. The artisans meticulously carve the wood into the required shape, soften the edges carefully and give a base coat of enamel paint. To colour the toys, they either use water-colours mixed with oil or vegetable dyes. These toys are mostly about mythological figures, art forms, animals and birds for children to play with and stay connected with nature and our culture. While visiting the Kondapalli Fort, you can buy these dolls from the roadside vendors at a reasonable price.
Best Time To Visit Kondapalli Fort
The best time to visit Kondapalli Fort is between November and February as the weather stays pleasant with the maximum temperature ranging from 30 to 32 degrees Celcius and the minimum ranging from 17 to 21 degrees Celcius. This makes sightseeing more comfortable as there aren’t plenty of shaded areas near the fort premises.
Tips For Visiting Kondapalli Fort
1. Wear good trekking shoes and watch your step as you explore the fort.
2. Carry a hat, drink enough water and wear sunscreen as it could get scorching.
3. Tourists are advised to take care of their belongings.
How To Reach Kondapalli Fort
Kondapalli Fort is reachable by road from Vijayawada. Tourists can hail public transport like a bus or a taxi from Vijayawada and reach the fort premises via NH65.
These are ancient caves, dating back to 5th century and one of the most significant landmarks of the heritage of Vijayawada. Though a lot has been lost to ruins, the caves still hold religious and spiritual value as they house idols of Lord Nataraja and Lord Vinayaka amongst many more, a few cave temples and a shrine for Goddess Durga.
The carvings here also hold amongst themselves, a carving of Ardhanariswara, which is said to be the only one of its kind across the whole of South India.
6. Subramanya Swamy Temple
Dedicated to the Lord of serpents Kartikeya, the Subramanya Swamy Temple is a shrine located in Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), set on the foot of the Indrakiladari Hills. The temple worships all three forms of Lord Subramanya- Sri Dandayudhapani Swamy as a boy, Sri Valli Devayanai- his original form and lastly in the form of a serpent. It is carved out of sparkling white stone with intricate stonework embellishing the facade. The temple also houses a silver covered Garuda pillar which holds great religious significance for the devotees. There is an anthill by the temple, the natural habitat of snakes, which is worshipped by the devotees with equal zeal and belief.
Situated in the midst of beautiful mountains, forests and rivers, a visit to this temple is an unanticipated rendezvous with nature a well. One has to take a holy dip in the Kumaradhara River to reach the temple gates. The entrance to the temple is made from the back, from where you can walk around the deity.
Beyond the aforementioned Garuda, the pillar is the main sanctum of the temple where the presiding deities, Subramanya and Shesha reside. These deities are worshipped on a daily basis by pilgrims from all across the country, and this temple is fast gaining popularity.
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History of Subramanya Swami Temple
Legend says that after killing the demon ruler Tharaka, Shurapadmasura and Lord Shanmukha reached Kumara Parvatha with his brother Ganesha. He was received by Indra and his followers, who offered his daughter Devasena’s hand to Lord Kumar. The wedding ceremony took place on Margashira Shudha Shashti at Kumara Parvatha.
Waters of several holy rivers was brought down for this ceremony, and with these waters, Mahabhishek also descended which later came to be known as Kumaradhara. Serpent King Vasuki performed penance for several years in the Biladwara caves of Subrahmanya to avoid the attack of Garuda. Shanmuka appeared to Vasuki and declared him his primary devotee. Hence, the prayers offered to Vasuki are nothing but the prayers to Lord Subrahmanya.
Prayer Services at Subramanya Swamy Temple
The Ashlesha Bali Pooja and the Sarpa Samskara are the two major prayer services held at this temple. The Ashesha Sarpa prayer service is performed as a protective ritual against Kaalasarpa Dosh. The timing slots for the same are 7:00 AM and 9:30 AM. The Sarpa Samskara is done for ridding oneself from the Sarpa Dosha- a fault in the person’s birth chart which makes him susceptible to adverse effects of the serpent curse. Affected people can seek the guidance of the priests and perform the required rituals to free oneself from the curse.
How To Reach Subramanya Swamy Temple
KSRTC operates bus services from many neighbouring cities to Subramanya. Buses at regular intervals are available from Mangalore and Bangalore.
Top Hotels Near Subramanya Swamy Temple
A museum of the Archaeology Department, this is a walk through imprints of time and all it left behind. Browse through a rich and ancient collection of sculptures, idols, inscriptions, paintings, cutlery and weapons.
The museum leaves you fascinated not only by its artifacts from the past but also with a huge Buddha statue. The sprawling, glistening white, marble statue was brought from Alluru.
The busiest trade centers of the city, bustling with activity and trade, Besant Road is a dynamic place in Vijayawada. The road has grown into a pivot of commercial hustle in recent times.
It now houses some of the best modern eateries in the town. With multi-cuisine restaurants providing quality services, the foodies in the town love this road. Filled with exuberance and vibrance, with many number of cinema halls, (more than 50 we hear!) it is a heaven of film fraternities and lovers.
People swarm to this street to experience the some of the most modern films from all languages, a major source of entertainment for the citizens. A commercial, trade and entertainment center, Besant Road is a street to visit to witness the everyday, livelihoods and bits of the spirit of the town.
One of the most renowned Jain temples, this structure houses the only Jain Shrine in the area. Adorned with the Jain style of architecture, this is also one of the most beautiful structures in town.
10. Rajiv Gandhi Park
A well-maintained park, brimming with lush greenery, thick grass and flowers all around, the Rajiv Gandhi Park is ideal for spending some relaxed and idle time in the city. To keep you enchanted the park also hosts a musical show and a mini zoo.
11. Gunadala Matha Shrine
Somewhere amongst the hills of Krishna District, is the St Mary’s Church. One finds here an iron cross, erected on the top of a hill, and a museum housing holy relics. Also, the area is a centre of much festivity and devotion when it hosts the Annual Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
12. Gandhi Hill, Vijayawada
Looking over Vijayawada city from a height of 500 feet, Gandhi Hill was the first to have a ginormous stupa dedicated to the father of our nation – Mahatma Gandhi. Around the stupa, you will find six shrines dedicated to Gandhiji, a fully stocked library and the city’s only planetarium. The memorial hosts a breathtaking light and sound show in the evenings elucidating Gandhiji’s eventful life.
A huge Gandhi structure of 15.8 meter height was inaugurated in 1968. It is the first Gandhi Memorial in India constructed on a hillock. The panorama from Gandhi hill is mesmerizing and gives an enchanting view of Vijayawada city.
13. Lenin Statue
An instance of communism, its ideologies and concepts, take shape of a massive and sprawling statue at Vijayawada. Since the town was under communists for some time in history, during the 1980s, one also finds a statue of Karl Marx in the city.
The Lenin Statue is also a site for functions held on World Laborers Day, that is 1st of May. You might not find much to keep you busy here, other than the statue, but do a pay it a visit, as a pass by.
14. Prakasam Barrage
Standing on a whopping 160 pillars and offering an astounding view of the holy River Krishna, the Prakasam Barrage does a lot more than just looking majestic. This bridge connects the Kolkata-Chennai highway and facilitates the irrigation of over 1.2 acres of farm land. The entire bridge is lit up with soft yellow lights and is an amazing sight to witness.
Located on the banks of River Godavari in Andhra Pradesh, and officially known Rajamahendravaram, Rajahmundry is the biggest city of the East and the West Godavari District in the state. Touted to be one of the oldest cities in India, Rajahmundry was founded in the 19th century by the Chalukya King- Raja Raja Narendra.
This Cultural Capital of Andhra Pradesh is also referred to as the ‘born city’ as it is believed to be the birth city of Telugu language. Touring along river Godavari and relishing the scenic landscapes is the prime attraction at Rajahmundry that draws in tourists from far and wide. Rajahmundry is primarily known to be a pilgrimage spot for Hindus, owing to the presence of several places of worship, the most famous of which is the Sri Veerabhadra Swamy Temple.
The River Godavari is considered a sacred river other than being a significant spot of tourism. The Pushkara ghats, located along the river, is where the grand Pushkara festivals are held every 12 years. Sometimes referred to as Southern Bombay, Rajahmundry is also a prominent textile hub. Alluring landscapes, primitive temples, and the Godavari river cruise – the heart of this historic land are as pristine as its environment.
Being one of the 8 Mahakshetrams or sacred destinations of the country, Mangalagiri is a charming town in Vjayawada that has a lot of religious history. They say that Lord Vishnu manifested himself in the soil of Mangalagiri and that Lakshmi Devi has performed penance on its hilltop. The town’s religious significance and natural beauty draw thousands of tourists every year.
17. Amravati Museum, Vijayawada
Displaying a wide range of exhibits that date back to as far as the 3rd century, the Archaeological Museum in Amravati is an absolute haven for the history buff in each one of us. This museum houses mysterious relics and exotic artefacts found during excavations and flawlessly sculpted statues of Lord Buddha, Goddess Tara and Bodhisattva Padmapani.
18. Sri Ramalingeswara Swami vari Devasthanam
Resting atop a small hillock in the southeast corner of Vijayawada is the Sri Ramalingeswara Swami vari Devasthanam. Decked in a canopy of tall dense trees, this holy temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is decorated like a bride, come Mahashivratri. You will also be treated to a breathtaking view of the colourful city and the River Krishna from here.
19. Lenin Statue
An enormous statue of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, towers in the middle of Vijayawada city as an instance of communism and its ideologies. Built in the 1980s when the town was under communist rule, this statue holds tremendous historical significance. You can find many stray book sellers here selling popular and interesting books at a third of the cost.
20. Hazrat Bal Mosque
The dazzlingly white Hazratbal Mosque in Vijayawada city is a sight for sore eyes. This mosque experiences a footfall of thousands of people, irrespective of caste and creed, to take one glance at Prophet Mohammad’s relic that is put up on display once a year. They say having seen this relic will rid you of all the stubborn problems of life.
21. Akkanna Madanna Caves
These ancient rock-cut caves of Akkanna Madanna can be traced back to the 7th Century. Located in the Krishna and Guntur regions of Andhra Pradesh, these caves are the treasured possessions of the Vijayawada kingdom. These caves are dedicated to the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara and contain significant inscriptions from the past.
Managed by the Archeological Survey of India, these caves are divided into lower and upper caves. The upper cave remains preserved with important ancient inscriptions, and the lower caves are home to inscribed pillars from the ruins of lost temples.
Weather : N.A.
Timings : 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Entry Fees : INR 5
22. VMC Disney Land
Situated in Ajit Singh Nagar in Vijayawada, VMC Disney Land is one of the most popular and largest water parks in the city. With separate swimming pools for adults and kids, professionals and beginners and a variety of water activities and fun games, thrilling rides, aqua dancing and wave pools etc., the water park is the favourite hangout place for the city dwellers.
Weather : N.A.
Time Required : 1 – 2 hrs
Haailand is situated around 19 kms from Vijayawada on the outskirts of the city. It is considered to be the most deliciously designed and themed water cum amusement parks in the region. It offers a plethora of fun games and activities. You can either choose for a water park package or and amusement park package or both.
Weather : N.A.
Time Required : 1 – 2 hrs
24. ISKCON Vijayawada
Settled by the banks of River Krishna, the striking three-storeyed building of ISKCON in Vijayawada houses two mesmerizingly stunning marble idols of Lord Krishna and Radha standing side by side. The faint vibrations of ¥om’ playing in the background will relax your nerves as soon as you enter the temple. Mahaprasad facility is also available here.
25. Rajiv Gandhi Park
Set on the banks of River Krishna, the Rajiv Gandhi Park has it all- a small enclosure with exotic animals, a dinosaur park with life size replicas of ancient creatures and a mesmerising musical fountain. Relaxing amidst the dense verdure of this park and listening to the melodious chirping of the birds will instantly refresh you after a long monotonous week.
Hotels in Vijayawada
Guide for booking hotels in Vijayawada:
Vijayawada (formerly Bezawada), the cultural capital of Andhra Pradesh, is a fusion of the old and new world. The city is nestled on the banks of the Krishna River and is a host of temples, caves and historical monuments and the air echoes with the clanking of temple bells mixed with the cacophony of busy streets. For a unique and unforgettable experience, stay in one of the resorts on Bhavani Island.
Neighbourhoods near the railway station are excellent choices for staying during your first visit to the city. The areas are well-connected to the rest of the city through public transport. You can find several budget and mid-range hotels close to the tourist attractions like Kanaka Durga Temple, Victoria Museum and Rajiv Gandhi Park. Plus, there are many spacious villas that offer a homely ambience, good rooms and decent amenities for group travellers.
MG Road is the perfect pick for luxury travellers. The area is loaded with high-end hotels featuring verdant gardens, super cosy rooms with modern amenities and the finest hospitality. Moreover, it is ideal for people looking for fun and entertainment because of its high-end shopping malls, theatres, hotels, restaurants, food courts and cafes. Bhavani Island is the best bet if a peaceful getaway is what you are after. The island is set up on the banks of the Krishna River and has a few resorts and treetop houses. The island can be reached only through ferries operating from Punnami ghat. Punnami ghat is 7.5 km away towards the west and can be reached by private vehicles in under half an hour.
9. Hotel Aira
16. Hotel Vdara
23. Alana Townhouse