Vijayawada has a rich past and a prosperous present. Situated on Krishna River banks, Vijayawada has to its west the picturesque Indrakiladri Hills and to its north, the Budameru River. Association with culture and politics and being a business center has earned the city the fame of being called the heart of Andhra Pradesh. Stone Age artifacts that were discovered in the region indicate that the place was inhabited in the ancient times. The fertile soils produce some of the best varieties of mangoes. Vijayawada’s railway station is one among the busiest stations in India. This third largest Andhra Pradesh city is rightly called ‘The Business Capital of Andhra Pradesh’. While on your visit to Vijayawada ensure that you visit the following 8 “places to visit in Vijayawada“.
1. Undavalli Caves
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.
2. Mogalarajapuram Caves
Belonging to the 5th century, Mogalarajapuram Caves are famous for its rock-cut sanctuaries. Out of the three caves here, only one is well preserved. The caves stand proof of the ancient culture and architectural excellence of the bygone era. The idol of Ardhanariswara is considered one of its kinds in entire South India.
3. Prakasam Barrage
Prakasam Barrage is 1223.50 meter long built across the River Krishna. Though having a barrage across the river was conceived as back as 1798, the construction commenced only in 1852 and completed in the year 1855. Prakasam Barrage is the major source that helps in the irrigation of the agricultural lands in Andhra Pradesh. It serves as a road bridge as well. It is a famous tourist spot as people love the walk down Prakasam Barrage. The gentle breeze and the panoramic view from here are impressive.
4. Bhavani Island
Bhavani Island on Krishna River is located near Prakasam Barrage. The island is one of the largest on this river covering 130 acres of land. The swimming pools are well maintained and you could have a whale of a time here. Boat riding has been organized by the Tourism Department from Durga Ghat. Fishing and other water sports are famous here.
5. Victoria Museum
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.
6. Kondapalli Fort
Kondapalli Fort belongs to the 7th century. Built on a hill, this three-storied fort offers stunning views of the city. The rock tower found here is majestic. The fort had been a silent spectator that witnessed the rise and fall of several kingdoms. Originally constructed as a place for recreation, it was used as the military training base by the British. Kondapalli village near the fort is renowned for the bright colored toys it produces. These Kondapalli toys are made of Poniki, a lightwood.
7. Kolleru Lake
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.
8. Gandhi Hill
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.
Vijayawada is culturally rich and richly picturesque. With the ancient glory still evident in various forms, the city has raised to the current requirements by making economical contributions to the development of the state. It is a beautiful and powerful place that necessitates you spend a sizeable number of days on the tourist places in Vijayawada to experience the city in its fullness.
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