Kanaka Durga Temple
Rajiv Gandhi Park
Welcome to Vijayawada,
Vijayawada is a city on the banks of the Krishna River, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is a municipal corporation and the headquarters of Vijayawada (urban) mandal in Krishna district of the state. The city forms a part of Andhra Pradesh Capital Region. The city is one of the major trading and business centres of the state and hence, it is also known as "The Business Capital of Andhra Pradesh". This place was formerly referred as Benzawada.
There are number of tourist spots having religious, archeological and historical importance. Some of the famous places are Kanaka Durga Temple, 4014 feet long Prakasam Barrage, Undavalli Caves, Kondapalli Fort, Kuchipudi etc. The best season/months to visit places in Vijayawada are from October to March. Most of the cottages villages around have developed cottage industries in specialized items like toy making, cotton weaving, fabric painting, gold covering and fruit processing.
At a distance of 3 Kms from Vijayawada Railway Station, Akkanna and Madanna Caves are located at the foot of the Indrakeeladri Hill, on which the famous Kanaka Durga Temple is present. According to the records, these beautiful caves were brought to a shape by Akkanna and Madanna who were the ministers of Quli Qutb Shah, the Nawab of Golconda. However, some history records claim that these caves belong to 6th or 7th Century AD. The caves are triple-celled with pillared hall measuring 48 x 29 feet facing towards East. These are devoid of any ornamental moulding or sculpture. The caves can be visited while going to Kanaka Durga Temple.
Amaravati is a small town located on the banks of Krishna River. It is about 33 kilometres from Vijayawada and has historical importance. It used to be the site of an ancient Buddhist settlement, which was known as Chintapalli. The stupa at this site was said to be bigger than the one at Sachi. This stupa was built in the 3rd century BC during the reign of King Ashoka. It had gateway at each cardinal point. While these structures are no longer there, one of the gateways was meticulously reconstructed. The carvings on the gateway highlight the life of Buddha. There is a small museum that has collections right from the 3rd century to the 12th century AD and one of the images of Buddha has lotus symbols on the feet with long ear lobes and tight curls. The museum is fascinating.
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. 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.
Spread over an area of 133 acres, Bhavani Island is a river island that offers a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. It is a place to rest, relax and enjoy oneself with its mangroves, well-manicured gardens, pristine woodlands, rolling meadows and shimmering water bodies. Bhavani Island is a popular picnic spot, where children can run around carefree while adults can enjoy the energising and refreshing ambience. Situated in Krishna River, the island is quite close to Prakasam Barrage. There are great boating facilities, which allow visitors to explore the river. The swimming pools on the island are well-maintained and clean. Visitors, who do not want to spend time in the pools, can opt for other watersports or try their hand at fishing and angling.
The first memorial for Gandhi was constructed on top of the hill in Vijayawada and hence the hill is called Gandhi Hill. A stupa of Gandhi measuring 15.8 meter was unveiled in 1968. The Gandhi Memorial Library in this place has a rich collection of books. The planetarium presents light and sound show that delight viewers. The view from the hill is panoramic.
The beautiful white Hazrat Bal Mosque is located in the heart of Vijayawada city. This mosque holds a special place in the lives of Muslims, as it houses a holy relic of Prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam. As the Muslims consider the Prophet to be the last messenger of God, this mosque is considered extremely sacred and holy by Muslims. The relic is displayed once and year and attracts people of all faiths. Thousands of believers throng to the Mosque to get a glimpse of the holy relic, as believers consider this day to be auspicious for praying and paying respect. The fact that Muslims and non-Muslims pray side by side on this day is a true indication of the communal harmony that exists in the city of Vijayawada.
One of the most renowned Jain temples, this structure houses he only Jain Shrine in the area. Adorned with Jain style of architecture, this is also one of the most beautiful structures n town.
The temple of Kanaka Durga is located in Vijayawada and leaves visitors spellbound. The beautiful and picturesque temple lies on top of Indrrakiladri Hills and enshrines Goddess Kanaka Durga. The hill offers some amazing vistas of the city. There are two routes to the temple. One can take the stairs leading to the temple which can be difficult and arduous. The one route is driving up the Ghat road. Along both routes there are ancient inscriptions that reveal the stories from the ancient times. Local legend claims that Arjuna, the mighty warrior from the Mahabharatha, received his divine weapon, the Pasupatha, at this site and after getting the weapon, he constructed the temple to honor Goddess Durga.
Kolleru Lake attracts migratory birds and bird watchers. This largest fresh water lake in the country is haven for birds as it is said that around two lakh birds visit the lake during season. Some of the migratory birds that visit the place are from Siberia, Australia and Egypt. The wide range of birds that are seen here include Bill Storks, Glossy Ibises, Teals, Cormorants, Common Redshanks and many more.
Located in Kondapalli village, which is about 16 kilometres from Vijayawada, Kondapalli Fort is one of the most renowned tourist attractions. The fort dates back to 14th century and has served many dynasties ruling the region. It has three entrance gates with the main gate named as Dargha Darwaza. This gate is about 12 feet wide and 15 feet high and is built from a single granite block. The other important gate of the fort is Golconda Darwaza, which functions as a gateway to the neighbouring village of Jaggaiahpet. Kondapalli fort looks extremely attractive from outside and therefore attracts a large number of tourists. Locals come here to spend their weekend with friends and family.
The ancient hamlet of Kuchipudi is renowned as being the birthplace of one of the most popular dance forms of South India, the Kuchipudi dance. This beautiful and serene village is about 60 kilometres from Vijayawada and is home to the Kuchipudi dance school. According to the locals, Siddhendra Yogi, the founder of Kuchipudi dance, used to live in this village. He is responsible for establishing a base for the dance form and over the years, Kuchipudi not only flourished in India, but also around the world. Visiting this hamlet, visitors can marvel at the site where this extremely expressive dance form originated. The experience of visiting the site of the dance school can be very enriching.
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.
Located on Vijayawada-Guntur road, Mangalagiri is an elephant-shaped hill. It is considered to be an auspicious hill by the Hindus, as it houses the extremely beautiful Sri Panakala Narasimhaswamy Temple. The main deity in the temple is Narasimhaswamy, who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This holy temple has the honour of being one of the eight main holy temples in India. At the foothill of Mangalagiri, there is another temple called the Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, In addition, the hill is home to a massive Jain temple, which is known as Hinkar Tirtha. Mangalagiri is popular for its religious structures and the lush greenery, which is extremely soothing and beautiful.
Mogalarajapuram Caves, situated near Vijayawada is well-known for the three cave temples and is said to be as old as 5th century AD. One of the three cave temples carries an impressive carving of 'Ardhanariswara' which is known as one of its kind in south India. This cave temple has carved deities of Lord Vinayaka and Lord Shiva in Nataraja form and hence, is one of the major Vijayawada attractions. This is a very attractive and antique temple to visit and to observe the ancient standard of living.
The Prakasam Barrage is built across the Krishna River and is imposing in appearance. It stretches 1,223.5 metres across the river, over a lake and is the largest barrage in Asia. The barrage also serves as a road-bridge. The barrage was built in 1855 and was enhanced in 1957.The three canals that run into the barrage traverse Vijayawada to give the city a Venetian look. The barrage makes a wonderful place to walk leisurely and enjoy the shimmering lake and balmy breeze. Prakasam Barrage is responsible for transforming Krishna Delta into a fertile area and is major grain producing-region of the state.
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.
The ongoing plans to set up a Scrap Sculpture Park in Vijayawada are now seeing steady progress. An initiative led by the Cultural Center of Vijayawada under the felicitation of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) saw as many as 25 skilled sculptors come together and create some outstanding and fine art from the scrap.
St. Mary's Church, Gunadala, also known as The Mother of Good Health, Mary Matha's Shrine and Gundala Matha Shrine is built on a hillock. Located in Krishna District, close to Vijayawada, this church houses a museum, which has many valuable gifts as well as ancient relics. Most of the gifts housed in the church were presented by devotees. It is said that Father Arlati Pime, who was the rector of St. Joseph Orphanage, made a pathway leading to the hillock and place small statue of Our Lady in 1925. This paved way for the local devotees to visit the statue and laid the foundation for the shrine. On February 11, every year, the church hosts an annual feast to commemorate the appearance of Mother Mary at Lourdes. People from all faiths participate in this festival, which attracts more than 50,000 devotees each year.
One of the most popular temples in Vijayawada, it is located on a hill (Indrakeeladri) overlooking the city as well as the River Krishna. One can take to the steps on foot. During Skanda Shashti Festival, thousands of devotees come from the city. Many regular devotees will come from Tamil Nadu. This temple is maintained by the Iddipilli family.
Four storied Undavalli Caves are located 8 km away from Vijayawada. This cave belongs to the 7th century BC and is one of the earliest types of caves in this region. The architecture and sculpture are fine examples of the artistry of the ancient people. The statue of Vishnu in a reclining pose is sculpted off a single granite block. The rock carvings are very intricate. The fourth storey is unfinished and that stimulates our imaginative power into action. The beautiful location offers picturesque views of the countryside. Sunsets are great to watch from here.
The amusement park, VMC-Sibar Disneyland is located at a distance of 8km from Vijayawada. It consists of a water park with wave pool, slides and kiddies pool for the children. The major attractions here include a village park with traditional dance performances, bullock cart rides, parrot fortune tellers, puppet shows and a south Indian restaurant. A simulated volcano is another attraction of the park.
Victoria Museum was established in the year 1887. The collections in the museum are sure to delight the archaeologists and the common man alike. While the collections give room for more research for the professionals, common man is sure to be inspired by the collections that throw light on the ancient culture and heritage of the place. The unique collections include intricate artifacts, paintings, pre-historic tools, stone, copper plates, arms, gold coins and many more. Manuscripts and various other ancient objects obtained from the excavations undertaken here are proof of the life and style of the people of the past.