Vijayawada is the Second Largest city in the state of Andhra Pradesh, located on the banks of the Krishna River. The city is a major trading and business center and hence, it is also known as “The Business Capital of Andhra Pradesh. As of 2011 census, the city had a population of 1,048,240, making it the second largest city in the state with a million plus population and it had an urban agglomeration population of 1,491,202.
This City was declared as Capital of state of Andhra Pradesh by the Andhra Pradesh government. The city has been recognized as a "Global City of the Future" by McKinsey Quarterly. It is one of the commercial hubs of Andhra Pradesh with a GDP of $3 billion in 2010, and is expected to increase to $17 billion by 2025. According to Ministry of Urban Development, it is the cleanest city in the state of Andhra Pradesh with a total of 49.060 points. The political, agricultural, industrial sectors are a boon for its recognition. It is the hub of transportation with one of the largest railway junctions in India.
There are many tales behind the origin of the name Vijayawada. Goddesses Durga killed the demon and relaxed in this place for some time. As she was victorious (Vijaya), the place got the name as Vijayawada (Vijaya: victory and Wada: place/location) which literally means "The Place of Victory". The Epic of Mahabharata refers to Indrakiladri hills as the place where Arjuna secured "Pasupathastra" from Lord Siva. The city thereafter came to be known as Vijayavatika and later as Vijayawada.
In some legends, Vijayawada was referred to as Rajendracholapura. A tale behind its acquiring the name "Bezawada" is that Goddesses Krishnaveni (River Krishna) requested Arjuna to make a passage for her to merge into the Bay of Bengal. Hence, Arjuna made a bejjam (hole) through the mountains and the place came to be known as Bejjamwada which later changed to Bezawada.
Vijayawada history reveals that Bezawada (Vijayawada) was ruled by King Madhava Varma (Ancestor of Pusapatis of Vizianagaram).
The history of Vijayawada is largely shaped by the changes that were brought about in the city by the British rule. A major project, the Prakasam Barrage, was completed and a railway bridge over the River Krishna that connected Guntur City and its district was one of many improvements constructed.
Vijayawada is surrounded by the Krishna River on the east and west, and the Budameru River on the north. The northern, northwestern, and southwestern parts of the city are covered by a low range of hills, while the central, southwestern and northwestern parts are covered by rich and fertile agriculture lands with three major irrigation canals. The topography of Vijayawada is flat, with a few small to medium-sized hills. The Krishna River runs through the city. These hills are part of the Eastern Ghats cut through by the Krishna river. Three canals originating from the north side of the Prakasham barragereservoir, Eluru, Bandar and Ryves, run through the city.
Vijayawada has a tropical climate with hot summers and a monsoon season. Temperatures can reach 47 °C (117 °F) in May–June, while the winter temperatures rarely fall below 15 °C (59 °F). The average humidity is 78%, and the average annual rainfall is 106.7 cm. Vijayawada gets its rainfall from both the southwest monsoon and northeast monsoon. With its hot and humid conditions, the city is often referred as Blazewada.
1932 model bus India named as Deccan Queen and was used in passenger service by the Nizam govt. of Hyderabad kingdom.
Vijayawada is well connected to the rest of the country by National Highways. Two National Highways, the NH 5 (Now NH-16) from Chennai to Kolkata and the NH 9(Now NH-65) from Machilipatnam to Pune, pass through the city connecting it to other parts of the country. Benz Cirlce is the intersection of NH 5 and NH 9, which happens to be the busiest area in the city. NH 16 is a part of the Golden Quadrilateral Project undertaken by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). NH 221 (Now NH-30) connects the city to Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh. It is connected to other areas of the state by state highways and district roads.
The Pandit Nehru Bus Station was inaugurated on 23 September 1990 and was officially named as Telugu Satavahana Prayana Pranganam later renamed to its current name. It is fourth largest and busiest bus terminals in India alongside Delhi, CMBT (Chennai) and MGBS, Hyderabad . State run APSRTC buses are operated from the terminal. APSRTC runs more than 450 city buses in the city which include Ordinary, Metro Express and City Sheetal (A/C Buses). It is the first city in the south India to introduce CNG buses in its fleet. Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) is planning to launch BRTS with dedicated bus corridors.
Vijayawada railway station is the important junction in South Central Railway zone of Indian Railways. With A-1 status, it is one of the important Railway Junction Stations in India, situated along the Howrah-Chennai main line and Delhi–Chennai line. It is the busiest station, handling more than 320 trains (both passenger and freight trains) per day next to Howrah and Mumbai. It has an Electric Loco Shed with a capacity to maintain 100 Electric Locomotives and a Wagon workshop at Guntupalli, near Vijayawada. Madhuranagar, Gunadala, Rayanapadu, Kondapalli, Nidamanuru, Krishna Canal, Ramavarappadu, Kolanukonda, Mangalagiri, Gannavaram are the other railway stations in the city.
Vijayawada is well connected by air. The domestic airport at Gannavaram, about 19 km from the city, connects Vijayawada to Hyderabad, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Tirupati, Vizag and Delhi. Vijayawada Airport is served by Air India, Jet Airways,SpiceJet and Air Costa. Annually, about 380,000 passengers use this airport. A plan for its expansion has been proposed which will enable the landing of larger aircraft and also provide night landing facilities.
The city has many tourist attractions with famous landmarks both in and around the city. Some of the notable places includes, Prakasham Barrage, the barrage across the Krishna river, built by "Sir Arthur Cotton". Krishnaveni Mandapam, also known as "River Museum" is situated beside Prakasam Barrage, houses vivid history ofKrishna river. The Krishnaveni statue at the Prakasam barrage is the idol for the river Krishna. As, the river is also referred to as "Krishnaveni" in its original nomenclature. Kanaka Durga Temple, located on Indrakeeladri hill at the banks ofKrishna river, is famous for Vijayadashami festival celebrations. Hazarat Bal Mosque, a holy relic of the Prophet Mohammed and Gunadala Mary Matha Church installed by St. Joseph's Orphanage at Gunadala are other religious landmarks.
Gandhi Hill is the first Gandhi Memorial in the country, constructed on a hill, located at an elevation of 500 ft (150 m) in the city. Victoria Jubilee Museum is an archaeological museum which has preserved collections of ancient sculptures, paintings, idols, weapons and inscriptions. Many beautiful parks are located in the city to protect the environment such as Rajiv Gandhi Park with a mini zoo in the city is under Vijayawada Municipal Corporation. Many more parks are also located such as, Dr.B.R Ambedkar & Raghavaiah park, Mahatma Gandhi park etc. Bhavani Island is one of the largest island, located in midst of the Krishna River. It is at the upstream of Prakasam Barrage of the city which is being developed by APTDC into a tourist spot and a Riverfront resort.
Nearby landmarks in the surrounding suburbs include Mogalarajapuram Caves (5th century A.D.), Undavalli Caves (7th century A.D. Buddhist landmark), Kondapalli Fort (7th century A.D.) in Kondapalli village etc., Lord Narasimha temple inMangalagiri, located 14 km from the city, is the abode of Lord Narasimha.Kondapalli Forest, located 20 km from Vijayawada, is spread over 121.5 square kilometres (30,000 acres). The fauna include of this forest include leopards, wild dogs, jackals, wild boar, wolves etc.
Vijayawada, also called "Vidyala wada" (Place of Education), occupies a large amount of the education infrastructure of Andhra Pradesh. The city was named "The Educational Sahara". Both government and private institutions operate in the city to provide standard education. Vijayawada Municipal Corporation(VMC) takes care of the government educational institutions. They run many Government schools with many High schools and also English / Telugu, Urdu medium schools as well. There are many Upper primary and Elementary schools as well alongside some aided schools.
The first college built in Vijayawada was SRR & CVR Government College. Andhra Loyola College was established in 1953. The first private engineering college in Andhra Pradesh, V R Siddhartha Engineering College, is located here. School of Planning and Architecture,Vijayawada (SPAV) was established in 2008, a higher education institute in Vijayawada. It is one of the three School of Planning and Architecture (SPAs) established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2008 as an autonomous institute and a fully Central funded Institution. There are many other colleges namely MIC College of Technology, Prasad V. Potluri Siddhartha Institute of Technology, Maris Stella College, P.B.Siddhartha College of Arts and Sciences, and Potti Sriramulu College of Engineering & Technology.
Cricket is the most popular sport, with national-level matches played at Indira Gandhi Stadium. It is also the stadium for Krishna District Cricket Association. Mangalagiri International Cricket Stadium is being built in a 20-acre (8.1 ha) site in Navuluru, village of Mangalagiri town, Guntur district, about 15 km from the city of Vijayawada. The exclusive stadium of theAndhra Cricket Association will be the venue for international and Ranji matches. Only one international cricket match was played between India and West Indies on 24 November 2002 at Indira Gandhi stadium. It was won by West Indies. On 12 December 1997 Women's Cricket Worldcup only a group match was played between England Women's Cricket Team and Pakistan women's cricket team, and it was won by England. Indian women's cricket academy is located in Guntur the twin city of vijayawada. Vijaya Madhavi Tennis Academy is situated in Layola College, lead by Shri. Radha Krishna Murthy, a prominent tennis player.