Vijayawada ( Andhra Pradesh , South India)
The famous city and region of Vijayawada is located 270 kms away from Hyderabad. Situated on the banks of river Krishna on the main route from Chennai to Kolkata and Delhi, Vijayawada has an interesting history. The name is derived from the ancient name Vijayavatika. A city, more than 2000 years old, is named after the local goddess Kanaka Durga, popularly called as Vijaya. The town is ringed by many hillocks. According to legend, the Mahabharata hero Arjuna is associated with one of the hills called Indrakila. A Shiva temple dedicated to Malleshwara and the Durga temple are situated on this hill. It is said that Sri Chakra has been installed at the Devi temple. A fine road takes the visitor from the bottom to the shrine above the hill. The Krishna Barrage on the outskirts is an excellent picnic spot providing boating facilities also in the river.
Vijayawada abounds in caves and temples around the place. Among the famous ones are the Mogalarajapuram cave temple, Akkanna Madanna temple and Undavalli caves. The Ardha Narishwara Murthy idol in the first cave is said to be only one of its kind in South India. There are many places worth visiting around Vijayawada.
Kolleru Lake: Kolleru Lake, lying 95 kms away from Vijayawada, is the vast tank of fresh water, locally called as Aredu. The lake and the nearby area is now a sanctuary for migratory birds, majority of them being Pelicans. They arrive in winter to breed and return to their original place. It is a popular place for bird watching.
Machalipattanam: Machalipattanam, a coastal town, 80 kms from Vijayawada, is famous of its Kalamkari textiles and paintings from vegetable dyes. Here the textile is first dipped in a mixture of milk and natural dyes after which it is designed with Kalam or pen. This work of creativity is done by the family craftsmen settled down at this place.
Undavalli Caves: Surrounded by verdant trees and mini forest, Undavalli group of caves (6 kms from Vijayawada) has become famous as a popular picnic spot. This is a group of four storeyed caves rising to a height of about 20 metres, each entrance leading to another. The first is dedicated to Ananthapadmanabha Swamy, having a reposing Vishnu idol, about 6 metres long. A masterpiece of sculpture, it looks as if it has been recently brought from the chisel of the sculptor. Originally, these caves appear to be of Buddhist origin in dedication. Regular buses operate to this picnic site.
How to reach Vijayawada:
Vijayawada is an important railway junction and is also served by an airstrip. Excellent road system connects these places with many places in the country. Very good lodging places and transport system are provided to visitors.