Clockwise from Top Left:Vijayawada City View, Kanakadurga Temple on Indrakeeladri, Akkanna and Madanna Caves, Vijayawada Junction Railway Station, VMC Pylon
|Nickname(s): The Place of Victory|
|• Body||Vijayawada Municipal Corporation|
|• MP||Kesineni Srinivas|
|• Mayor||K Sridhar|
|• Police commissioner||A B Venkateswara Rao|
|• Metropolis||61.88 km2 (23.89 sq mi)|
|Elevation ||23 m (75 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||AP 16 (AP 17, AP 18 and AP 19 reserved)|
Vijayawada is the ad hoc capital and the second largest city in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh It is located on the banks of the Krishna river and Budameru River and the only city in world with two Rivers. The name Vijayawada translates as "The Place of Victory" and most popularly from the historic times, the city name was known as "Bezawada". It is the second largest city in Andhra Pradesh with an area of 61.88 km2. As of 2011[update] Census of India, the city had a population of 1,048,240 and urban agglomeration population of 1,491,202.
The city has been recognised as the "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 grow upto $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 junction in India.
Vijayawada history reveals that Bezawada (Vijayawada) was ruled by King Madhava Varma (Ancestor of Pusapatis of Vizianagaram). The remains of the pre-historic man and society of the Stone Age is found all along the River Krishna, which dominates the landscape of Vijayawada.
The history of Vijayawada is largely shaped by the changes that were brought about in the city by the British rule. The British period was marked by significant growth in the basic infrastructure and facilities in the city. A major project, the Prakasam Barrage was completed and a railway bridge over the River Krishna that connected Guntur City and its district was also constructed. The famous Chinese Huin Tsang had visited this place in 639 A.D. when Buddhism was at its zenith.
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.
In some legends, Vijayawada was referred to as Vijayavata and 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 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. They have very low elevation compared to the average elevation of the ghats. Three canals originating from the north side of the Prakasham barrage reservoir, 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.
|Climate data for Vijayawada (1951–1980)|
|Average high °C (°F)||30
|Average low °C (°F)||18.9
|Precipitation mm (inches)||1
|Avg. precipitation days||0.1||0.4||0.5||1.0||3.1||7.6||12.6||11.5||8.8||7.1||2.8||0.6||56.1|
|Since 1871, the population is that of Vijayawada Urban Agglomeration
Sources: Rao, Kondapalli Ranga; 1. Rao, M. S. A. (1984). Cities and Slums: A study of a Squatters' Settlement in the City of Vijayawada. Concept Publishing Company. p. 12.2. Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011 City Name:VIJAYAWADA
As per provisional data of 2011 census, Vijayawada urban agglomeration had a population of 1,491,202, out of which males were 750,770 and females were 740,432. The literacy rate was 81.60 per cent. Vijayawada municipal corporation had a population of 1,048,240. The city's population is expected to reach 2.5 million by 2025.
Average literacy rate is 82.59 percent. The sex ratio of Vijayawada city is 997 females per 1000 males. Children form 8.86 percent of total population.
Vijayawada Municipal Corporation is the governing body in the city limits. The Municipality of Vijayawada was constituted on 1 April 1888 and was upgraded as a selection grade municipality in the year 1960. The municipality was upgraded to a corporation in 1981 with the merger of Gunadala, Patamata and Bhavanipuram village panchayats and two villages Payakapuram and Kundavari kandrika in the corporation in 1985. More than 400,000 people reside outside corporation limits. Many areas on outskirts are yet to be merged into corporation limits. The total area of the corporation is 61.8 square kilometres (23.9 sq mi). It is a city of Jawaharlal National Urban Renewal Mission. The Government is planning to convert the city into Greater in the name of Mahanagar merging near by villages.
Law & Order: The city is divided into 59 political wards. Each ward of the Municipal Corporation is represented by an area corporator. An elected body headed by the mayor performs the administration of the corporation. The Commissioner acts as the executive head and oversees the day-to-day functioning of the local body. The Commissioner is an IAS officer of Joint Collector rank appointed by the State Government. It has a dedicated Sub-Collector's office for administration of State and Central Government programmes. The staff strength of the Corporation is over 5,000. Vijayawada is one of the two cities in Andhra Pradesh to be provided with its own Police Commissionerate. The Vijayawada City Police is headed by a Police Commissioner, who is an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of DIG rank along with two Deputy Commissioners of Police who are also IPS officers.
Utilities: Water, drainage and waste collection services are provided by Vijayawada Municipal Corporation. Fire fighting services are maintained by the Andhra Pradesh Fire Services Department with five fire stations operating around the city. India Post provides physical mail services.
Agriculture, commercial trade, tourism, industries, transportation and tertiary sectors etc., are the major sectors that contribute to the economy of the city. Vijayawada is famous for processing of agricultural products, automobile body building, hardware, textile, consumer goods and small scale industries. GDP of Vijayawada for 2008 was stimated at Rs 55.26 billion and it was $3 billion (Rs. 180 billion) in 2010. The fact that Vijayawada is well connected through rail and road, makes it one of the main hubs of commercial activities. Textile market reports more than 100 million (US$1.7 million) of trade every day.
Agro-based industries such as Cotton, Turmeric, Virginia Tobacco etc., are located in the surrounding areas. There are also oil, dal and rice mills located at Kondapalli. Real Estate is another sector in Vijayawada which is very high in property prices and are comparable with top cities of India. According to the data prepared by the NHB, the property prices increase was observed in Vijayawada is 1.1%.
The two well equipped industrial estates in Vijayawada are Auto-Nagar and other near Kondapalli. The Jawahar Lal Nehru Auto Nagar Industrial Estate in Vijayawada is one of the largest auto industry hubs of Asia. While, the industrial estate in Kondapalli suburb, is spread over 450 acres (1.8 km2) and is base to more than 800 industries. The Kondapalli Estate houses thermal power plants and is base to more than 800 industrial units. Kondapalli suburb also houses Andhra Pradesh Heavy Machinery & Engineering Limited (APHMEL) factory. It is also a hub for storage, bottling and transportation of petroleum products of all major companies like BPCL, GAIL, HPCL, IOC, Reliance etc.
Vijayawada is well connected to the rest of the country by National Highways. Two National Highways, the NH5 (Now NH-16) from Chennai to Kolkata and the NH9 (Now NH-65) from Machilipatnam to Pune, pass through the city connecting it to other parts of the country. 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 fifth largest and busiest bus terminals in Asia alongside Delhi, Israel's Tel Aviv, 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.
Private bus operators also provide transport services. Motor-driven auto-rickshaws and manual-driven cycle-rickshaws are the other alternative means of transport within Vijayawada. Private lorries, cars and two-wheelers are common.
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, Chennai, Mumbai, Jaipur and Delhi. Vijayawada Airport is served by Jet Airways, SpiceJet, Air Costa and Air India. 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. Air Costa, headquartered at Vijayawada, started its operations to Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Visakhapatnam, Madurai and Jaipur from October 2013 and is planning to start services to Pune, Goa, Trivandrum soon.
Landmarks and tourism
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 of Krishna 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 of Krishna 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 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 in Mangalagiri, 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 Urdu, English / Telugu, Tamil, Bengali medium schools as well. There are many Upper primary and Elementary schools as well alongside some aided schools.
Colleges & Universities
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 was 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.
Some of the famous Universities are
- Acharya Nagarjuna University,(Guntur-Vijayawada Highway)
- Dr. N.T.R. University of Health Sciences
- K L University (8 km from Vijayawada)
- School of Planning and Architecture
- National Institute of Design(NID) – Sanctioned February 2014
There are many other colleges namely Maris Stella College, Gudlavalleru Engineering College, Velagapudi Ramakrishna Siddhartha Engineering College, P.B.Siddhartha Engineering College etc.
The major Telugu newspapers in city are Eenadu, Andhra Jyothi, Sakshi, Andhra Bhoomi, Andhra Prabha, Vaartha, Suryaa, Prajasakti and Vishalandra. The major English newspapers in the city are The Hindu, The Times of India, Deccan Chronicle, The Hindu Business Line, The New Indian Express and The Hans India. Electronic Media include ABN Andhra Jyothi.
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 the Andhra 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.
Badminton, volleyball and chess are also popular.
Formation of new Capital city
On 28 March 2014, Centre Government have appointed Sivaramakrishnan Committee, a 5-member expert panel on to select Capital of Andhra Pradesh, which is to submit its report to the Union government in the mid – August. The Vijayawada – Guntur region is one of the options considered for a new capital of Andhra Pradesh.
- List of most populous cities in India
- List of million-plus urban agglomerations in India
- List of cities in Andhra Pradesh by population
- List of twin towns and sister cities in India
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vijayawada.|
- Vijayawada Municipal Corporation website
- Vijayawada Kanakadurgamma temple official website
- Vijayawada travel guide from Wikivoyage