|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2012)|
|• Body||Municipal Corporation|
|• Metropolitan City||261.88 km2 (101.11 sq mi)|
|Elevation||11.88 m (38.98 ft)|
|• Metropolitan City||10,48,240|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Telephone code||+91-866-XXX XXXX|
|Vehicle registration||AP16 (17,18,19 reserved)|
|Precipitation||603 millimetres (23.7 in)|
|Avg. annual temperature||26.0 °C (78.8 °F)|
|Avg. summer temperature||35.9 °C (96.6 °F)|
|Avg. winter temperature||25.3 °C (77.5 °F)|
Vijayawada ( pronunciation (help·info)) is the commercial city of Andhra Pradesh and the third largest after Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam, with an area of 261.88 km2. The city municipal limits has a population of 1,048,240 (2011 Census), while the population of the metropolitan area is 1,491,202. The city is also popularly known by its historic name Bezawada, which is used by the Indian Railways in assigning its railway station code "BZA".
The city is well connected to other regions by road, air and rail, and has the second biggest railway junction in India. As the commercial capital of Andhra Pradesh, Vijayawada is politically active, sociologically dominant, agriculturally rich, and is an industrial transportation hub. Vijayawada has been recognised as a Global City of the Future by McKinsey Quarterly.
- 1 History
- 2 Etymology
- 3 Geography and climate
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Civic administration
- 6 Economy
- 7 Infrastructure
- 8 Education
- 9 Sports
- 10 Attractions
- 11 Sister cities
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Formerly Vijayawada was known as Bezwada, in the 5th and 6th Centuries it was an important centre of Vishnukundin rulers. It was taken by Badami Chalukyas became the headquarters of Eastern Chalukya. There was a Buddhist monastery, in 639 Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang stayed here. There are five rock-cut cave-temples built in the 7th century during the rule of Eastern Chalukya.
There are many tales behind the origin of the name Vijayawada. At first it was named as Chandrala which comes under the family of Gajapathis which means victory and later Legends have it that this was the place where Arjuna was blessed by Shiva, on Indrakiladri Hill. In another legend it is stated that 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: city/place/location) which literally means "City 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.
Geography and climate
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. By the virtue of these canals, this city has been in the race for being the Venice of the East with cities like Alleppey(Kerala), Srinagar(Jammu and Kashmir) etc. Several bridges have been built across these three canals over the decades making eligible to vie for the exotic title. 
Buckingham Canal originates from the southmate, with hot summers and moderate winters. The peak temperature reaches 47 °C (117 °F) in May–June, while the winter temperature is 20–27 C. The average humidity is 78% and the average annual rainfall is 103 cm. Vijayawada gets its rainfall from both the southwest monsoon and northeast monsoon. It was nicknamed "Blaze-wada" for its scorching summer heat by the British.
|Climate data for Vijayawada(1951–1980)|
|Average high °C (°F)||30.0
|Average low °C (°F)||18.7
|Precipitation mm (inches)||0.9
|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|
|Source: India Meteorological Department.|
About the western outskirts of Vijayawada lies the Kondapalli reserve forest, spread over 121.5 square kilometres (30,000 acres). The forest provides Vijayawada with a "green lung". This pristine forest is home to leopards, wild dogs, jackals, wild boar, wolves etc. The hills produce a soft wood which is used in the manufacture of Kondapalli Toys.
|Since 1971, 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 ration of Vijayawada city is 997 females per 1000 males. Children form 8.86 percent of total population.
The city is run by the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation. 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 or yet to be merged into corporation limits. The total area of the corporation is 61.8 square kilometres (23.9 sq mi) and the population of the whole city (along with Vijayawada sub-urban and Vijayawada rural) is more than 2.5 million. It is a city of Jawaharlal National Urban Renewal Mission. The Government is thinking of converting the city into Greater in the name of Mahanagar, merging almost 45 villages of near by.
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 three 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.
The region around the city has fertile soil and irrigation is supported by the river Krishna and its canals. Major crops include sugarcane, rice and mango. Vijayawada is famous for automobile body building, garment, iron and hardware small scale industries. The Jawahar Lal Nehru Auto Nagar Industrial Estate in Vijayawada is one of the largest hubs of automobile industry of Asia. There are about 1500 automobile accessory units in and around the city and about 100,000 workers are employed in these industries. Apart from workers of the city, people from other parts of the state come to work in the industrial estate. The main markets are in the Old City (popularly known as One Town) and near Besant Road. An estimate of nearly INR 10 crores of garment business takes place in the Vastralatha building alone in One Town daily. Garments are mainly sold in Besant Road and Governor Pet, but most upmarket stores have shifted their shops to Bandar Road. The city has many wholesale businesses. They include garments, iron market, pulses, cereals, and other edible products, fancy markets, fertilizers, mango exports, pharmacy and metal.
The GDP of Vijayawada for 2008 was estimated at Rs 5526 crores. The GDP of Vijayawada was $3 billion (Rs. 18,000 crore) in 2010 and is projected to grow to $17 billion (Rs. 1,02,000 crore) by 2025.
The industrial estate in Kondapalli, an industrial suburb, is spread over 450 acres (1.8 km2) and is base to more than 800 industries. In addition a 1800MW Vijayawada thermal power project (VTPS) and 368.144 MW gas-based LANCO power plant which is under expansion to 768.144 MW are located here. In March 2011 Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) announced that it signed an agreement with APGENCO for setting up a 182 MW plant at Vijayawada as a technology demonstration project. Kondapalli suburb also houses Andhra Pradesh Heavy Machinery & Engineering Limited (APHMEL) factory besides being a hub for storage, bottling and transportation of petroleum products.
The fact that Vijayawada is well connected through rail and road makes it one of the main hubs of commercial activities. The second largest wagon workshop of Indian railways is at Rayanapadu near Vijayawada.
Property prices in Vijayawada are very high and are comparable with top cities of India.
According to the data prepared by the NHB, the property prices increase was observed in Pune, by 10.5%, followed by Bangalore (8.7%), Patna (8.6%), Ahmedabad (6.4%), Ludhiana (5.3%), Lucknow (4.1%), Mumbai (3.7%), Delhi (2.6%), Kolkata (2.6%), Bhubaneswar (1.7%), Bhopal (1.7%), Chennai (1.7%), Surat (1.2%), Guwahati (1.2%), Vijayawada (1.1%), and Kochi (1.1%).
Vijayawada is an important link connecting the three regions of Andhra Pradesh and is a major transit point. Two National Highways, the NH-5 from Chennai to Kolkata and the NH-9 from Machilipatnam to Mumbai, pass through the city connecting it to other parts of the country. National Highway 221 connects the city to Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh. It is connected to other areas of the state by state highways and district roads. Pandit Nehru bus station is the second largest bus station in Asia next to Chennai. The APSRTC-run city buses (Metro Express, City Sheetal (A/C Buses) and Ordinary) and auto rickshaws are the main mode of public transport. A BRTS buses are also operated as well. APSRTC is running more than 450 city buses in city to various destinations.
Vijayawada is well connected by air. The domestic airport at Gannavaram, about 19 km from the city, connects Vijayawada to Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. Vijayawada Airport is served by Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Air India. Annually, about 380,000 passengers use this airport. The Air Costa airlines is going to start flights from Vijayawada to Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Jaipur from October 2013 and is planning to start services to Pune, Goa, Madurai, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam soon.
Vijayawada Junction is the heart of Indian Railways & also the biggest railway junction in India and contributes the highest revenues in the South Central Railway region. Situated along the Chennai – Howrah and Chennai – Delhi rail route, Vijayawada Junction is the largest railway junction on the South Central Railway network. Vijayawada junction had been given A-1 status by the central government. Madhuranagar, Gunadala, Rayanapadu, Kondapalli, Nidamanuru, Krishna canal junction Ramavarappadu, Kolanukonda, Mangalagiri, Gannavaram are the other railway stations in the city. The railway station has ten platforms for passenger trains and is the only station to have five entrance gates with booking counters in India and it is the busiest station to handle more than 320 trains including both passenger and freight trains per day next to Howrah and Mumbai.
Vijayawada is well connected to the rest of the country by National Highways: NH-5(new no NH-16), NH-9(new no NH-65) and NH-221(new no NH-30). Transport by road from Vijayawada is available in the form of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) buses. Private bus operators also provide transport services to parts of the country.
All major streets are connected with the Local Public Bus Transit (City Buses) operated by APSRTC. It is the first city in the south to introduce CNG buses in its fleet. Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) is planning to launch Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) with dedicated bus corridors. The initiative, however, is mired in procedural delays. Motor-driven auto-rickshaws and manual-driven cycle-rickshaws are the other alternative means of transport within Vijayawada. Private lorries, cars and two-wheeled vehicles are common.
Vijayawada has the second biggest and busiest bus terminal in the Asia, next to Chennai(CMBT). It was inaugurated on 23 September 1990 and is officially named as Telugu Satavahana Prayana Pranganam with its current name of Pandit Nehru Bus Station.
Vijayawada is the main center of movies, also referred as "Cine Rajadhani" means "Capital of Films". First theater of the state "Maruthi talkies" was built in the year 1921 at One-town. There is a belief in Film industry that the stamina and run of the films depend upon the talk in Vijayawada which shows the citizens interest towards films. Telugu films have the biggest market here with a market share greater than 95% followed by Hindi and English. There are around 45 theaters in Vijayawada including 3 multiplexes. 3 multiplexes are going to start their operations next year.
There are sixty parks in Vijayawada city, and the main parks to be mentioned are:
Rajiv Gandhi Park - It has roller skating rink, Bungee Trampoline, and a garden. K.L.Rao Park - It has Boating, swimming pool, and a garden. Dr.B.R.Ambedkar & Raghavaiah park - The main attraction is the hanging bridge connecting the two parts of the park on ether side of the canal. Mahatma Gandhi park - This is the oldest park in the city located in I town. The park is fully crowded in the evenings .It has a gym, used by a lot of people. G.V.S Sastry park - This park is located near Satynarayanapuram old Railway station and the park is done in an innovative way. The main attraction is the skating ring used by many children in this park. 
Water, drainage and waste collection services are provided by Vijayawada Municipal Corporation. Fire fighting services are maintained by the Andhra Pradesh Fire Services Department. There are at present five fire stations here. India Post provides physical mail services.
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" by a foreign ambassador.[who?] Education in the city is implemented by the government and private institutions. Vijayawada Municipal Corporation takes care of the government educational institutions.
Government schools in the city are:
- High schools: 28 (including 1 Urdu medium, 2 schools English/Telugu medium, 1 Tamil medium, 1 Bengali medium)
- Upper primary schools: 15 (including 3 Urdu medium, 1 Tamil medium & 1 Bengali medium)
- Elementary schools: 65+10 = 75 (10 Urdu medium, 2 English)
- Students: 28,450 (as of 30 June 2009)
- Teachers: 622
There are "aided" schools in Vijayawada, meaning schools funded by government and private partnerships. A majority of them implement the Andhra Pradesh State Syllabus for their students. The students, after studying their 10th class, take the Public Examination, which is equivalent of the school-leaving certificate. There are only a few schools accredited to the Central Board of Secondary Education in the city, meaning their class 10 students have to take the All India Secondary School Examination (AISSE) for their school-leaving certificate.
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, India. It is one of the three School of Planning and Architecture (SPAs) established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India in 2008 as an autonomous institute and a fully Central funded Institution.
Cricket is the most popular sport, with national-level matches played at Indira Gandhi Stadium. A new international stadium is being built in a 20-acre (81,000 m2) site in Mangalagiri which 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.
Badminton, volleyball and chess are also popular.
The city includes many tourist attractions. Some famous landmarks and places to visit in Vijayawada are:
- Prakasham Barrage: A barrage built across the river Krishna, forming a lake with canals.
- Kanaka Durga Temple: A temple on Indrakeeladri hill built by an ancestor of Pusapati.
- Gunadala Mary Matha Church: A church located in Gundala.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vijayawada.|
- Vijayawada Municipal Corporation website
- Vijayawada Kanakadurgamma temple official website