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Things to do in and around Vijayawada
Located on the banks of the Krishna River, Vijayawada is a beautiful city in the heart of Andhra Pradesh. It can be a strange choice for a few people but it is full of surprises for an inquisitive soul. The old parts of Vijayawada let you soak in the rich history and cultural past while the developed area gives you a flavour of modern architecture and the metropolitan lifestyle. One gets to enjoy the best of both worlds when in Vijayawada. So when I announced I was visiting Vijayawada it raised quite a few eyebrows but I didn’t pay much heed to it.
While I sit and document my experience I feel nothing but great joy. Nothing gives me more happiness than the fact that my experience can help people in need. So in this post, I am going to list down everything that you can do when you are in Vijayawada.
The Kanak Durga temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga. Kanak in Sanskrit means gold and the temple gets its name Kanaka Durga because the deity’s face and body colour are of molten gold shade, and the idol is also bedecked with golden jewellery. The architecture of the temple reflects the Dravidian style and the façade of the temple is as imposing as the statue of the deity. Every day people in thousands visit the temple show their respect and devotion to the Goddess Supreme and seek her blessings. Located by the banks of Krishna river and surrounded by the hills of Inrakeeladri, Kanak Durga Temple is a picturesque spot in Vijayawada.
Prakasam Barrage is one place which will give you Venetian vibe in Vijayawada. Built across Krishna river Prakasam Barrage is one of the most famous spots in Vijayawada. The barrage is also a road bridge which is used by the common public for transportation as well. Post sunset the barrage is lit up with colourful lights which change colour periodically. The area by the side of the barrage is a perfect place to have leisure time, enjoy the view of shimmering lake and embrace cool breeze.
Undavalli caves are located around 10km from Vijayawada, which is one of the nearby landmark cities. Precisely Undavalli Caves are located at the bank of Krishna River in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. These caves are a perfect spot to admire historical architectural and religious history of Vijayawada. I have written a detailed account on everything about Undavalli Caves, read it here.
Amravati is a small village in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh. It is close to 65 kilometres away from the main Vijayawada city. And it took me approximately 1.5 hours by the auto to reach the destination. Amravati has a long history and excellence in Buddhist art and culture for nearly 1500 years from the time of Emperor Ashoka to the second millennium. Dhyan Buddha Park is another addition to its rich Buddhist history. The park is spread across 4.5 acres on the bank of Krishna River in a small village Amravati.
A sky-high imposing Buddha statue of 125 ft. (38 meters) is the cynosure of the park. Needless to say its unmissable. The statue perches aesthetically on a massive Lotus Pandal which in turn is supported by eight pillars. The eight pillars symbolize Budhha’s eight paths to attain salvation. This is one of the must-visit spots around Vijayawada. Read more about it here.
Nestled in the foot of the Eastern Ghats in Andhra’s Krishna district, the village of Kondapalli is located approximately 24 km away from the main city Vijayawada. Kondapalli houses a lot of artisans who are adept in making wooden toys. The artisan also exports these toys to other cities. The village is straight out of a fairy tale book. I had the chance of visiting the village and watching the artisans creating the magic live. If you are in Vijayawada I urge you take some time and visit the village, you will thank me later. Read more about my experience of visiting the toy village by clicking here.
Visiting Bhavani Island is one of the offbeat experiences in Vijayawada. It is situated on the bank of Krishna River. This island spreads across 130 acres of land. You can visit the island to enjoy leisure activities like swimming, boat riding and other water sports. There is also a restaurant on the island where you can enjoy delicious food by the island. After spending the day exploring Vijayawada, you can come to the island and spend a leisure evening on the island.
Along with everything mentioned above, I would highly urge you to walk around Vijayawada and regale the beautiful and diverse street art. It was a revelation for me to spot interesting art one after the another. Vijayawada surprised me with its various colourful street art. Make sure to take out some time from the hustle and bustle of the city to regale the colourful art all around you.
Few of the places that I couldn’t visit but one should keep them on the list are Mangalagiri Hills, Hazratbal Mosque and Kondapalli Fort. Vijayawada is an underrated travel destination. It has so much to offer in terms of history, culture and architecture. I had an absolutely enriching time in Vijayawada and would not hesitate to visit again. The only thing that you might want to keep in mind is the weather. The summers are excruciatingly hot so make sure you plan during the winter months and make the most of the Vijayawada.