Vijayawada City Information
This city with a rich historical background has several legends and myths behind its origin and a visit to it can be a real cultural delight. Vijayawada is the commercial city of the state of Andhra Pradesh and the third largest in the state after Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam, with an area of 261.88 km2. Situated on the banks of the Krishna River in Andhra Pradesh, it is bounded by the Indrakiladri hills on the West and the Budameru River on the North.
Surrounded by hills and canals, Vijayawada is located at a distance of 42 km from the state capital, Amaravati and at an altitude of 11 m (36 ft) above sea level. Also called “Bezawada” earlier, it is 257-km from Hyderabad. With a population of over 1.5 million people,this metropolitan city is an amalgamation (mixture) of many religions, languages, traditions and festivals. Hinduism is the majority religion, with Islam in second place, followed by Christianity, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism in that order. The local language is Telugu though English and Hindi are also common among the educated people.
Part of the rich coastal delta area of the state, spicy and deliciously varied cuisine is what the Andhraites prefer. Tangy fiery flavours, thanks to chilies and tamarind are most loved. One should have a taste of pulihora (tamarind rice), chutney or pachadi, mango pickle or avakaya, all trademarks of Andhra cuisine. Non-vegetarians can have a go at dishes like ‘gonghura mutton’, ‘bommidala pulusu’, ‘natukodi chicken’, etc.
The city originated on the northern bank of the river Krishna and was ruled by different dynasties through different periods. Today, Vijayawada boasts of many of the most well-recognized educational institutions in Andhra Pradesh and is the mother of corporate education. As the commercial capital of Andhra Pradesh, Vijayawada is politically active, sociologically dominant, agriculturally rich, and is an industrial transportation hub. Commercial trade, agriculture, tourism, industries, transportation and tertiary sectors have boosted the economy. Vijayawada was recognised as a Global City of the Future by McKinsey Quarterly. It is also India’s most promising city for the future, and 159th fastest developing city in the world. It is practically the backbone of Andhra in all aspects.
The growing population and economy have resulted in rising real estate prices. The primary modes of intra-city public transport are city buses and auto rickshaws. Apart from these, other means of transport are, motorcycles, cycle rickshaws and bicycles. Vijayawada has implemented the Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) to ensure smoother public transport. The entire city is connected by a network of buses operated by Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) and has buses running on CNG. Pandit Nehru Bus Station is a very busy bus station and the local city buses traverse the entire city.
Owing to a tropical climate, the sizzling summers make it a hot and humid place which start in March and go on till May. Temperatures range from a minimum of 20°C to a maximum of 47°C. The region is very humid throughout these months with the average humidity at 78%. Monsoon provides some relief during the months of June till October and winters begin in December and end in February. The temperature during this season ranges between 10°C to 30°C.
Vijayawada is a renowned pilgrim centre, famous for its three ancient temples : the Kanakadurga temple, the Malleswaraswamy temple and the Vijayeswaraswami temple. It also has a temple dedicated to Lord Siva in his aspect of Malleswara or Jayasena. The Hazarat Bal Mosque is a Muslim shrine, housing the holy relic of the Prophet Mohammed, Hinkar Thirtha is a Jain temple and The Gunadala Mary Matha Church is an important shrine for Christians which is illuminated during the eve of Christmas.
This city is a happy fusion of both traditional and modern influences, which is evident in the age old monuments of Kondapalli Fort, the century-old Prakasham dam, the Undavalli caves, and the Mogalarajapuram Caves that are supposed to have been carved in the 5th century and 7th century A.D. respectively.
While on the other hand impressive skyscrapers and chrome buildings such as PVP Square, Trendset Mall, corporate offices and the like, represent the modern side of the city. Vijayawada also boasts of other attractions such as the Victoria Jubilee Museum, the Rajiv Gandhi Park, the Gandhi Hill and the River Valley Museum amongst several others. Water sports enthusiasts can dive in at Sibar Disneyland and Water Park.
Several festivals like the Lumbini festival in December; a three-day extravaganza of the Sanskriti festival along with the annual Vijayawada Book Festival in January, the 5 day Deccan Festival and Kuchipudi Festival in February and the Annual Craft Bazaar held in one of the winter months keeps this city lively. Besides this, religious festivals of Dussehra, Durga Pooja, Vijayadashami, Theppotsavam, Krishna Pushkaran, Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Eid ul-Fitr and Christmas are celebrated with pomp and gaiety.
It is well connected to other regions by road, air and rail and the largest railway junction of South India, Vijayawada is an important railway station on the Chennai – Delhi rail route. This station is well-connected by regular trains to all the major states and cities in India, including Hyderabad. The Vijayawada airport in Gannavaram is around 20 km away from the city center. It is well-linked to Hyderabad by regular flights. From the airport, taxi services are available to the city. Because of its location at an important river and railway junction, Vijayawada has plenty of options for overnight stay. Both budget and upscale establishments concentrate around the main train station, near the bus stand, and along the riverbank. Nearly every hotel and guesthouse features free Wi-Fi, an onsite restaurant, and private parking.
To keep the city alive, happy and ticking, the City Corporation organizes ‘Happy Sunday’, an event organized on the first Sunday of every month at M.G. Road for promoting activities such as sports, games, cultural events, and yoga. So log on to abhibus.com and book bus tickets to Vijayawada from Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune.
PICTURE CREDITS : Prakasam Barrage – Indian Holiday Pvt. Ltd, Undavalli Caves – Holidify, Featured images – Google