Vijayawada is the third biggest city in Andhra Pradesh. It is located at the head of the Krishna delta and surrounded by the Budameru River on the north and the Indrakiladri Hills on the west. The meaning of Vijayawada is The Place of Victory.
Legends suggest that the name of the city was derived, when Lord Shiva blessed Arjuna on the Indrakiladri Hills. Another legend states that Goddess Durga rested here after killing the demon and she came to be known as victorious or the Vijaya as she defeated the demon, thus the name.
According to the records of Vishnu Puranam, King Madhava Varma, the ancestor of Poosapati Kings, built the kingdom of Vijayawada. He also constructed the temple of Kanaka Durga at Indrakiladri. Besides, this place is also an important religious centre for Hindus and Buddhists. The Chalukyas of Kalyan and Krishna Deva Raya once reined over this place for years.
The fate of the city took a turning point after the construction of three irrigation canals Ryves, Eluru and Bandar along with a barrage in 1855, and the rail bridge over the river Krishna in 1892. The city witnessed immense growth in this century and became an important trade centre in the pre independence era.
The major attractions of Vijayawada are temples like Kanaka Durga (goddess of power) and Mangalagiri temple. There are popular Buddhist sites such as Amravati, Gudivada, Ghantasala, etc. The Krishna Pushkaram is a popular festival here that is held once every twelve years.
Apart from these temples, other tourist attractions here are Prakasham Barrage, Gandhi Hill, Mogalarajapuram Caves, Victoria Museum, Hazarat Bal Mosque, Rajiv Gandhi Park, Gunadala Matha Shrine, and Bhavani Island. The Kondapalli Reserve Forest in the western outskirts that sprawls over an area of 121.5 square kilometres is also another attraction. This forest is a source of soft wood that is used for making Kondapalli Toys.
Travellers can use air, rail and road transport to reach the city. Vijayawada is the largest junction of the Southern Railways. There are number of express and super fast trains that pass through the Vijayawada station. Besides, there is a domestic airport situated at Gannavaram, about 20-km from the city. It is connected to cities like Hyderabad and Vishakhapatnam.
The climate of the city is tropical, with hot summers and moderate winters. The best time to visit Vijaywada is between October to March.