An unplanned and sudden visit to the city of Vijayawada made sure that I spent most of the weekend travelling. It gave me the much needed break and a welcome relief from the hectic life I have been used to for the past few weeks.
One day was all I got to visit as many places as I could in Vijayawada. But being an unplanned visit I had to restrict myself to a few places. With the visit to the famous kanaka Durga and Mangalagiri Temple a must, most of my time on Saturday went in travelling and visiting the famous temples. So much so that I could not even take out some time to take a boat ride which was available near our cottage.
Updated (July 3, 2008 ) – Lengthy post ahead
After much deliberation we decided to take a bus to Vijayawada. We started at 11:15 PM on Friday night from Hyderabad and reached Vijayawada early morning the next day.
The first thing one gets to notice entering the beautiful city is the lush green fields on the outskirts, relatively clean air (compared to Hyderabad) and water everywhere (in canals though). We got to the nearby AP Tourism hotel, Haritha in Berm Park. This place was wonderful situated on the bank of the reservoir offering a spectacular view of the Prakasam Barrage, it’s reservoir and Bhavani Island.
Checked into the Rs. 1800 Executive Deluxe Suite. The suite was worth the money at least for the view it offered of the reservoir and the calm surroundings. The suite’s balcony was just 50 feet away from the reservoir. However, the place was bit humid probably because of the reservoir.
We started off to the famous Vijayawada Kanaka Durga Temple at 9:30 a.m in the morning and were lucky not to have a big crowd. We were informed that their is lot of devotees visit the temple on Fridays and Sundays. The temple is very close to the Prakasam Barrage, Bus Stand and the Railway Station.
The temple is situated atop the Indrakeeladri Hill. With the passage way for vehicles blocked to widen the road (a stampede recently led to the death of several people) left us with no choice but to climb up the 200 odd steps to the temple.
Legend has it that Goddess Durga stayed on top of the hill after slaying the demons here. The main temple is well maintained and the goddess looked splendid with the flowers, ornaments and the decoration. We were lucky that we had two visits in the space of half an hour as there was no rush in the temple. Being situated on a hill the temple offers a fantastic view of the city of vijayawada. One could see the dry krishna banks after the Prakasam Barrage. Wanted to go there but again paucity of time did not allow me the luxury of strolling on the river bank. So after climbing down we all had this strange feeling of our legs shivering. This was to do with the stairs which we had to climb up and down.
At 12:30 p.m we took an auto to the temple of Panakala Swamy in Managalagiri, another famous place which is around 12 km from Vijayawada. Locals believe that the god keeps the city safe by having Jaggery Water (Panakam) to keep the hill cool (the hill is made up of volcanic eruptions). We reached the temple by noon and offered our prayers there. As suggested by the pujari at the entrance we could hear a gargling sound as the deity took the offerings. Surprisingly we did not find any ants in the temple while the whole place was filled with jaggery water. There are a few more interesting small temples located on the same hill. Of interest is the rare idol of God Vishnu in a lying pose. This place has also got historic importance with the city being ruled by many kings and countries. Again this temple also offers a panoramic view of the city.
Returned to the resort by 3:00 p.m had lunch at the resort’s hotel and then slept till 8:00 in the evening. Have to say too much travelling and the heat took the toll on all of us. So much so that we couldn’t even muster up our energies to take a boat ride in the reservoir. While we missed the ride it was made up with a pleasant change in the environment. A nice brief shower of rain made the atmosphere more enjoyable and all the more beautiful. After having a quick dinner we spent the night strolling near the reservoir under the starry sky in the cool breeze and watching the waves in the reservoir hit the shore. We returned to Hyderabad on Sunday afternoon. It was truly a memorable visit to Vijayawada.
More about Vijayawada
- Also known as the business capital of Andhra Pradesh and is the third largest city.
- Famous places to visit in Vijayawada: Kanaka Durga Temple, Prakasam Barrage, Undavalli Caves, Bhavani Island, Mangalagiri