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Things To Do In Vijayawada
Traveling to places is always fun and exciting. And it gets super exciting when we visit a place that we always wanted to visit. The southern part of India is filled with such exciting places. Lush greenery, ancient architecture, beaches, culturally rich, adventure activity, and fast and convenient ways of traveling is all that we expect from a tourist destination. Vijayawada is one such place that has everything that we expect from a place we intend to travel. Now people who haven’t traveled to this beautiful Andhra city must be wondering about things that tourists can look forward to spending memorable time with family, friends, and loved ones. Well, you have come to the right place. Here, in this article, we’ll discuss what makes Vijayawada an ideal place for spending a wonderful vacation. So let’s talk about the best things to do in Vijayawada.
Take a Divine Tour — Temples and Shrines in Vijayawada
No matter how modern we become, our Indian culture and tradition are so deeply rooted in our hearts that we never miss visiting places that are religiously important. Irrespective of where we are, the first thing that most of us do is to take a visit to the temples, shrines, or churches. These religiously significant places in Vijayawada will give you divine experience. So if you are here, do not miss taking a holy tour to the Kanaka Durga Temple. This famous temple is just 5 km away from the city center.
Kanaka Durga is the Goddess of power and riches, and therefore, this temple is one of the most famous temples in South India. Similarly, the Dargah Shareef of Persian Sufi Saint, Hazrat Gareeb Shah in the Kondapalli fort and the Hazratbal mosque are significantly important. The holy church of St. Mary’s Church or the Gunadala Church holds a special place for locals and tourists alike. These places are all set to take you on a divine journey. So don’t miss out on visiting these places during your Vijayawada trip.
Go on a Heritage Drive — Undavalli Caves
After having visited the religious places, an ideal way to continue your sightseeing is to go on a heritage drive and learn more about the ancient structures in the city. Undavalli Caves is one such heritage site that’ll leave you speechless. They are located at a distance of 7 km from the city center and the remarkable thing about these caves is that they have carved from a single huge rock. This three-floor structure has been standing tall since the 4th and 5th centuries, during the time of the Gupta Dynasty.
The second floor has a huge idol of Lord Vishu in a reclining posture is probably the best of thing to see here. The middle section has a dedicated section for the Trimurti — Bhramma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. The outer of the third floor has beautiful carvings of elephants and lions. They look amazing the view from the top is indescribable. These caves are said to be the resting place for Buddhist monks. Take as many selfies and pictures as you can as such structures are quite rare. You’ll have a different experience and will wonder for hours how these must have been carved, flawless.
Admire the Serenity and Beauty — Beaches in Vijayawada
Vijayawada is well known for the beaches. They are not only serene but also beautiful. However, they are located at some distance from the city. From the many, the three most popular beaches around Vijayawada are Manginapudi Beach, Vodarevu Beach, and Suryalanka Beach. Just how divine you felt at the temples and shrines, these beaches will give you similar experiences. The sunrise and sunset are simply awe-inspiring. The calmness of the beach, the sweet sound of the water, cool breeze are enough to calm any tiring soul. A slow walk in the moist sand and shin or ankle-deep water, withholding hands of your loved ones with sun setting wouldn’t that be a sight?
Besides this romantic serene experience, what else? Not all of us are of that type isn’t is? Some of us want to try adventurous stuff like swimming, water sport activities, sunbathing, fishing, boating, etc. Can these be tried? Of course! Especially at the Vodarevu beach, it’s famous just for that stuff. How about a romantic sea-side open dinner? The Sip and Dip Cottages that are situated on the beach road here are well-equipped with this. On the Suryalanka Beach, if you are lucky, you might be able to spot dolphins if you are here in November. So overall, beaches around Vijayawada are fun and exciting so be here and admire their tranquility and beauty.
Enjoy Bird Sighting — Kolleru Lake & Sanctuary
If you are a bird lover and want to enjoy sighting some of the rare birds, both migratory and resident, Kolleru Lake is the place to be at. This fabulous place is the paradise for bird lovers. Visit this place between October and March and you’ll be able to spot millions of migratory and local birds, the estimated figure is 20 million. Whooping! This freshwater lake is located 90 km from Vijayawada and will take about 2 hours to get here. You can reach this lake from all the four sides. It has not been declared as a sanctuary so a lot of people come here for picnics.
Some popular migratory birds include Blackwinged Stilts, Open Bill Storks, Red-Crested Pochards, Painted Storks, Wigeons, Glossy & White Ibises, Teals, Shovellers, Pintails, Avocets, Common Redshanks, Gadwalls, and Cormorants. The best way to spot these birds is to get on a watchtower. If you got a good camera, zoom in and take pictures of these birds as sighting so many of them in one place is a rare sight. Show off your camera skills to your friends.
Get Mesmerized by the Modern Structure — Prakasam Barrage
If you think Vijayawada is all about ancient structures, you’re probably wrong. The city has a good mix of modern and ancient structure which stand tall together. Prakasam Barrage is one such example of modern architectural brilliance. This beautifully constructed 1200 m long road bridge is built over the Krishna river. The stunning backwaters created by the barrage give the city a unique setting with the fine backdrop of Kanakadurga Hill. This barrage is part of the major irrigation projects in Southern India that started way back in 1950. Apart from irrigation, the dam offers a striking view of the lake and therefore no tourist would want to miss visiting this place. The water around the barrage isn’t that deep so people spent a good picnic time here enjoying boating and other water activities along. The popular Bhavani Island is located amidst the backwaters of the barrage.
Cruise Over Krishna River — Bhavani Island
Cruising over the Krishna river to get to the Bhavani island is probably the best thing that you will enjoy here. This popular spot is located at a distance of 5 km from the city center. To get to the island, you will have to take a boat ride from the Berm park near the Krishna riverfront and cruise for 5 minutes to reach the island. The island is maintained by the Tourist department of the state government and offers several activities to keep the tourists and locals engaging for a day or two. There are parks, restaurants, water activities, educational laser shows, archery, rifle shooting, bull ride, low rope course, ATV ride, wine transverse, zipline, spider web, mechanical trampoline, wall climbing, Mechanical Trampolin, and paintball to keep you amused. So include a visit to the Bhavani island during your trip to Vijayawada.
Feel the Stronghold of the Fortress — Kondapalli Fort
One of the best things to do in the city is to witness the might and stronghold of the Kondapalli Fort located at a distance of 25 km from the city center. This huge structure was constructed under the regime of the Reddy King, Prolaya Vema Reddy in the 14th century. Later, the Gajapati Rulers of Orrisa captured this fort and then Krishna Devaraya of Vijayanagara Empire conquered. The fort also came under the Qutubshahi Kingdom and finally, Britishers used it for training their soldiers. You will admire the massive structure and its architectural design which will remind you of the kings who ruled it. The famous Konda Toys are sold just outside the fort. These toys are famous worldwide for their unique designs and use of vibrant colors.
Learn More About Vijayawada — Victoria Museum
To learn more about the history, tradition, and culture about the city you are traveling to, the best way to get that information is a museum. Vijayawada has a rich history so there’s a lot to learn about the city. One such place in the city is the Victoria Museum which is located at a distance of 15 Km from the city center. It’s an archaeological museum that was opened for the public in 1887. You’ll get to know about the pre-historic tools, stone & copper plates, pottery, gold, and silver coins. Besides these, you’ll see the arms and armory, manuscripts, textiles, and stone cut writings and certain objects that were obtained from excavations at historical sites. The idol of Lord Shiva housed in the museum is the primary attraction. It’s believed that the idol belongs to the 4th and 5th centuries. An enormous granite Buddha statue as old as the third century is also well-preserved. So be here and learn more.
Experience the City Nightlife — Clubbing and Pubbing
Wondering whether a city like Vijayawada has a nightlife? First of all, understand that Vijayawada is the commercial capital of Andhra Pradesh and is a fast growing Indian city. Not only the infrastructure is getting modernized, but the thinking and lifestyle of people is not that primitive anymore. The city has changed so it has a lively nightlife. Of course, it cannot be compared with the ones you find in Mumbai or Delhi; even so, the nightlife of Vijayawada is not going to let you down. Locals after their office hours spend time with friends and relax. Especially, during the weekends, the nightlife in Vijayawada gets more lively and energized.
So if you want to enjoy the nightlife here, you should definitely try the Midtown Sports Bar, The G-Bar, Neptune Bar and Lounge, The League Sports Bar, 10 Downing Street, Cuba Libre, Grapevine, and Aromas Gourmet Dining. These are famous for celebrating an eventful nightlife in the city. If you ask the locals about the best bar in the city, they will say “Neptune Bar and Lounge it is”. These bars offer late-night drinks with a laidback and cozy ambiance. These bars and clubs serve the best quality beverages along with top-class food items. So Eat, Drink, Travel, and Repeat.
Fill Your Bags — Shopping
The last recommended thing to do in Vijayawada, or anywhere for that matter, is shopping. You just can’t finish your trip without filling your bags with the local items. And if you are in a city like Vijayawada, expect more and you’ll get more. The city has a plethora of things to offer for shopaholics. Are you one of those and thinking about what you can buy in Vijayawada and from where? You have come to the right place. You just need to keep reading.
Kalamkari Artworks is probably the best form of artwork that you would love to take home. Kalamkari paintings are nearly a 3000-year old appealing illustration of the regional culture. Artists use natural vegetable dyes to color textiles. They either use blocks to print on textiles or patterns and motifs are hand-painted on them. So ladies must purchase the beautifully intricate dupattas, dress materials, sarees, wall paintings, wrappers, curtains, and many such things.
The next items to shop are the Mangalagiri Sarees. These cotton sarees with amazing zari work and no designs on the body can only be purchased in Vijayawada locally. If you love wearing sarees, you’ll truly admire the uniqueness of these dress materials. Kondapalli toys are world-famous toys that can only be purchased in Vijayawada. The art of carving the designs on the toys is a few century-old. The toys mostly depict mythological figures, birds, animals, birds, vegetables, bullock carts, and scenes from rural life. Besides, you can buy sandal woodworks in the form of jewelry boxes, cutlery, and other household items, along with etikoppaka toys and leather puppets.
The best places to shop for these items are the Kondapalli market and the Lepakshi handicraft emporium. We suggest you learn more from the locals about the other famous shopping markets. Keep one day aside for shopping, travel, and visit the unnamed markets and shops. You’ll not be disappointed. So happy shopping!