Vijayawada, also called as “Bezawada”, is the commercial hub that lies on the banks of Krishna River. It is the second largest city of Andhra Pradesh after Visakhapatnam. The city is bounded by Budameru River in the north, Bay of Bengal in the east and Indrakiladri Hills towards west. It is the cleanest city of Andhra Pradesh as per the survey done by the Ministry of Urban Development recently. It has also been recognized as Global City of the Future by Mckinsey Quartely, a business magazine. Mainly inhabited by rich agriculture community and the fact that plenty of canals going through this place irrigate the farms throughout Krishna delta, makes Vijayawada a significant trade, commerce and administrative center of the Krishna district.
As per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014, the state capital Hyderabad will serve as the common capital of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for a period of time not exceeding 10 years. Recently, on 4th September 2014, Andhra Pradesh State Assembly declared that the future capital of the state will be located around Vijayawada. Therefore, many Andhra Pradesh government departments will be located in Vijayawada until a permanent capital city is established.
There are several myths and legends related to the origin of the name “Vijayawada”. One legend says that, Goddess Durga killed a demon or Raksasha here and pacified herself in this place for some time. As she was victorious, the place got the name as Vijayawada which means “City of Victory”. Another legend says that, great warrior Arjuna secured Pasupathastra from Lord Shiva after a great penance on Indrakiladri hills and hence Arjuna created Vijayawada. It is also believed that Goddess Krishnaveni requested Arjuna to make a transit for her to merge into Bay of Bengal and hence, he made a bejjam or hole throught the mountains and thus the place came to be known as Bejjamwada and later as Bezawada. This place was also cited as Vijayavata and Rajendracholapura in some legends.
There is strong evidence that this city existed from the time of Stone Age. It is said that it was first ruled by King Madhava Varma, ancestor of Pusapatis of Vizianagaram. Huin Tsang, a famous Chinese Buddhist also visited this place in 639 AD. Then, it was conquered by Gajapathis of Orrisa and later by the Chalukyas. During the Chalukya’s reign under Krishnadeva Raya, this place was designated as its cultural and religious capital. Under the British rule, during the early 19th century, the city witnessed growth in its basic infrastructures and facilities. Prakasam Bridge and a railway bridge connecting Guntur over Krishna River were constructed during the British Era only.
Vijayawada is a must visit place if one wants to go temple hopping in Andhra Pradesh. The city boasts various places of historical and religious importance. Major attractions of the city include:
Kondapalli Fort and Forest
Rajiv Gandhi Park
Amaravati (Buddhist Pilgrimage Centre)
Kanaka Durga Temple
Panakala Narasimha Swamy Temple
Subramanya Swamy Temple
Hinkar Thirtha (Jain Temple)
Gunadala Mary Mata Church
Hazrat Bal Mosque
The city draws hordes of tourists every year as it is the business capital of Andhra Pradesh and holds a number of religious shrines and temples. Star and Super deluxe hotels are the best choice for those who wish to spend their vacations with great comfort. Air conditioning is available in all hotels and the need for A/C increases during summer when the temperature goes very high. The luxury hotels in Vijayawada pamper clients with incredible recreational facilities like Fitness club, Swimming pool and Jacuzzi. Most parts of the city and suburbs are connected together by city buses. Hiring taxis is a difficult task here.
State: Andhra Pradesh District: Krishna
Languages: Telugu, English, Hindi Weather: 20°C to 47°C (Max.)
Best Time to Visit: October-March
STD Code: 0866 Pin Code: 520001
Vijayawada Airport is located at Gannavaram, 20 km away from the main city and is well connected to major cities of India like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Jaipur, New Delhi and Mumbai.
Vijayawada has its own railway station and is well connected to major cities of India. It is one of the largest railway junctions of India. It lies on the Chennai-Delhi route as well as on Chennai-Howrah route. More than 400 trains pass through this station every day.
Vijayawada is superbly connected to the rest of country as three national highways namely NH-5, NH-9 and NH-221 pass through it. APSRTC and various private travels operate regular buses that ply to Vijayawada from major cities of Andhra Pradesh and the neighbouring states. Vijayawada’s Pandit Nehru Bus Station is the fifth largest and busiest bus terminal in Asia.
Guntur – 96 km
Hyderabad – 273 km
Visakhapatnam – 351 km