Dear Readers, you might have a surprised look on your face when you first hear of the city of Bezawada, wondering where it might be located. This place is situated on the banks of the River Krishna and is more popularly known as Vijayawada, the commercial capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh. Surrounded by the hills of the Eastern Ghats, it gets its name from a historical significance of victory. Marching into the future with confidence, Vijayawada wears the tag of an educational, cultural and economic hub with ease. It is one of the fastest growing areas in India and it is not surprising that it is also called as the Global City.
Hiuen Tsang, the Chinese Scholar and Monk happened to visit Vijayawada and was so impressed with the place that it is mentioned in his travel records.
What are the reasons to visit Vijayawada?
There are many reasons to visit the city of Vijayawada. Here, let us look at some of the compelling objectives to travel to this part of the country.
Trading opportunities in the areas of auto workshops, mangoes and textiles have contributed to the GDP of the city, which was USD 3 Billion in the year 2010 and is expected to grow to USD 17 Billion by the year 2025. This is an ideal environment for small businesses to enter the market and make a name for themselves.
The automobile industry in Vijayawada is one of the largest of its kind in the whole of Asia. An industrial park is particularly dedicated to this trade and is called the Jawahar Lal Nehru Auto Nagar Estate or the Auto Nagar Industrial Estate. Another industrial park located in the area of Kondapalli has an area of 450 acres and has more than 800 businesses attached to it.
Mangoes, Tobacco and Chillies
In the Guntur District near Vijayawada the Nunna Mango Market is located, which is the biggest in Asia. 2000 metric tonnes of mangoes are despatched from this place to all parts of the country. This market is also known for its Cotton and Tobacco exports. It is famous for being the biggest Chilli Market in Asia and the Guntur Chillies are well-known.
McKinsey Quarterly has named Vijayawada as the Global City of the Future and it is the third most densely populated city in the world. Its population amounts to more than one million people. The Sixth Central Pay Commission classified it as a Y-grade City. It has many old and new town areas and is rich in history, culture, landmarks and its educational institutions and has won several awards for exceptional utility services.
Vijayawada has a colourful history of being very strong in spirituality and religion. People from different faiths visit the city for its beautiful temples and shrines. Visitors to the city are attracted to the old-world charm that the place generates and there is a warmth and ecstasy in the heart, during a trip. A visit in a lifetime is definitely called for.
A few years ago, private schools decided to spruce up their teaching patterns to meet up with new-age challenges. These were exciting times as international players had set their eyes on this region, to capture the population of school-going children for new academic years ahead. There is a major boost to the infrastructure offered by the academics, that it has propelled the state into the big league.
The Government is doing its bit to upgrade university education in Vijayawada and in the entire state of Andhra Pradesh, going forward. Digitizing various processes, including admissions, is the first step that is going to be implemented for the future. Online classes and television channels will be used for various courses.
There are famous and popular educational institutions like Chaitanya, Nalanda, Narayana, Siddhartha and Samana.
What are the places to visit in Vijayawada? – Vijayawada Tourism
The Kanaka Durga Temple
Situated on the top of the Indrakeeladri Hills on the banks of the River Krishna, this temple that is dedicated to Goddess Durga has visitors from all over the country. It is one of the most visited and famous temples of the city and is one of the reasons why Vijayawada is considered as a sacred and spiritual place.
This island is located in the middle of the Krishna River and has an area of 133 acres. It is close to the Kanaka Devi Temple. Another name for Goddess Durga that the Kanaka Devi Temple is dedicated to is Bhavani and hence the island gets its name in this way. The Government has developed this spot as a tourist attraction by promoting resorts, sporting activities, a rope-way, art and craft such as toy makers and weavers and many more initiatives.
The Prakasam Barrage runs to a length of 1,223 metres and connects the two districts of Krishna and Guntur. The canals of the Barrage cut across the city of Vijayawada, giving it the look and feel of the city of Venice. This Barrage was named after the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Tanguturi Prakasam. The rich agriculture of the state of Andhra Pradesh is due to the water supplied by the Prakasam Barrage for all its irrigational projects. The view all around this site is fantastic and has become a huge tourist attraction.
Built on the rock-cut style of architecture, these magnificent caves date back to the 4th or the 5th Century. This well-preserved monument is made of sandstone and is of national importance. The temple that is located in these caves are on different levels – the first level depicts the Jain religion and Thirthankara scriptures and the second level has the reclining statue of Lord Vishnu. From the top of the caves, one gets a fantastic view of the surrounding hills, the lush green of the landscape and the magnificence of the Krishna River.
Kondapalli is a small town in the Krishna District of the city of Vijayawada. These toys are made of soft wood that are found in the neighbouring hills of Kondapalli and are prepared during the festivities of Sankranti and Navratri. This craft dates back to 400 years when craftsmen from Rajasthan migrated to this region. Each piece of a toy is prepared separately and then tamarind seed powder and sawdust is used to join the pieces together. Detailing is later worked on to finish off the toys.
Akkanna Madanna Caves
They are located at the foot of the Indrakeeladri Hills, very close to the Kanaka Durga Temple. Dating back to the 17th Century, legend goes that they are dedicated to two ministers, Akkanna and Madanna, who were in the court of Quli Qutub Shah, the Nawab of Golconda. These caves are devoid of any sculptures or fancy architecture, but sadly echo the tragic end of the two ministers.
Lakshmi Narayana Temple – Mangalagiri
When visitors visit Vijayawada, they think that their trip is complete when they see the more famous Kanaka Devi Temple. But this is not true. The Lakshmi Narayana Temple is also beautiful and unique in terms of its history, architecture and the festivities that are done here. It is situated on a small hillock in a town called Mangalagiri, which is 14 kms. away from the city of Vijayawada. The eastern gopuram of the temple is one of the highest of its kind in the whole of South India.
This town is also popular for its Mangalagiri Cotton Sarees and Fabrics. It goes back to 400 years when this kind of fabric first started. The uniqueness of this material is that there is zari work only on the borders and there are no designs on the body; it is plain or clean. The sarees are used by the devotees of the Lakshmi Narayana Temple when they worship the deity.
Amravati is the legislative capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is situated on the banks of the River Krishna in Guntur District. It was founded by former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu, in the year 2014. Due to the presence of the Amareswara Temple, there is a lot of attention from all over the world. The archaeological museum here also adds to the increase in visitors. Various picnic spots on the banks of the River Krishna are quite popular amongst the locals and tourists.
This is a type of craft that is block printed or hand-painted on cotton textiles. There are 23 steps involved in this process and only natural dyes are used. There are two characteristic styles of this art form. One is called the Srikalahasti style, where the “kalam” or pen is used only by hand to freely draw objects and then fill in the colours. This art flourished in temples and on chariot banners, where deities and scenes from Hindu epics were drawn. The second style is the Machilipatnam style. Kalamkari work can be seen on sarees, blouses, dupattas and on paintings.
Connectivity to and from Vijayawada
Vijayawada is an important link that connects two parts of the state of Andhra Pradesh – Hyderabad and Vishakapatnam. Its development into an industrial power is thanks to the good connectivity to and from the city. It is well served by road, rail and air.
Vijayawada has two national highways that connect it to other major cities and states. Within the city there are several bridges that crisscross the place, which helps in an easy commute.
The railway station at Vijayawada was established in the year 1888 and is one of the busiest junctions of the Indian Railways. It connects to cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Vishakapatnam and towns like Machilipatnam.
The Vijayawada International Airport has flights to all major cities of the country. The Indigo Airlines flight to Singapore in the year 2018 made it an international airport.
Apart from water supply and electricity, pollution control and law and order, connectivity to other parts of the country and more, there are some other utility services like healthcare that are provided to the citizens of the city of Vijayawada. There are many medical colleges that offer a platform in shaping the future of the medical fraternity.
In order to lead a healthy lifestyle, there are several multi-speciality hospitals that exist, for the use of locals and visitors. Modern and technologically advanced medical infrastructure is provided with some of the best care and attention.
Local Cuisine (Famous Food in Vijayawada)
Vijayawada is known for its delicious sweets and spicy snacks, such as
- Pulihora (another name for Tamarind Rice, that is tangy)
- Chicken 65 (which is Andhra’s version of Chilli Chicken)
- Mirchi Bhajjis
- Rava Dosa
- Filter Coffee
- Killi (a digestive or a mouth freshener Betel Leaf that has sugar, spices and other ingredients) and
- Sweets such as Bobbatlu and Sweet Kaju Puri
Shopping in Vijayawada
For shopaholics, there is a wide variety of things that can be bought on a visit to the city – from the beautiful Mangalagiri sarees, to the intricate Kalamkari paintings, woodwork, leather products and the Kondapalli toys. Visitors looking for international brands can buy products from the many modern malls and speciality stores.
Budget Hotels in Vijayawada
Hotel Sree Vasudev is a budget hotel that is located in the heart of the city. It was established in the year 1980 and provides rooms to visitors in the range between Rs.500 – Rs,2,000. The management is known for its strong values, sentiments and moral practices and ensures that every visitor that enters the hotel premises is made to feel valuable and important. On a lighter note, it is believed that a stay at this hotel ensures that the purpose of a visit to the city is successful!