Vijayawada is on the banks of the Krishna River, about 70km from the sea. There are several ancient temples in the area and an ancient Hindu cave temple. If you are interested in visiting the famous Buddhist site of Amaravati, this is a good starting point. One of the main temples near Vijayawada is the Pana Narasimha Vishnu temple in Mangalagiri.
Places to See
There is a 5th century five-storey cave temple at xe “Undavali” Undavalli, which is close to the village of Sitanagaram. On the third storey is a hall with a figure of Vishnu on the snake Ananta. There are several other interesting carvings of Lord Vishnu in this temple. It is about 4km south of Vijayawada, pass Sitanagaram. You can get here by taking any bus going to Guntur or bus #13.
There are several temples carved in stone at Indrakila, which is said to be the place where Arjuna got the Pasupathastra weapon from Lord Siva.
There are three ancient temples in Vijayawada—the Vijayeswara Swami temple, Kanaka Durga temple, and the Malleswara Swami temple (Mallikarjuna temple). The Malleswara temple is reputed to have been originally installed by Yudhisthira, the oldest of the Pandava brothers, to celebrate their victory in the south. The present temple was built by the Chalukya King,
Tribhuvana Malla, in the 10th century. The Vijayeswara temple is said to have been installed by Arjuna, the younger brother of Yudhisthira.
The deity in the Kanaka Durga temple is regarded as swayambhu, or self-manifested. The deity depicts the manifestation of Chandi (Durga) as the destroyer of the demon Durgama. This deity is said to have been worshiped by Agastya, Markandeya and the Pandavas. This is a popular temple, which is especially crowded on Fridays.
The Victoria Jubilee Museum (daily except Fri 10.30 am to 5 pm), Bander Rd, has a collection of paintings and sculptures that includes a huge granite statue of the Buddha.
At Akiripalli, there is a temple on top of a hill dedicated to Vyaghra Narasimha, called Sobhanachala Swami. Also on top of the hill is a Siva temple called Malle-swaraswami Temple. Lord Vishnu as Vyaghra Narasimha is said to have incarnated in a cave on top of the hill here. There is a large gopuram at the bottom of the hill.
There is a huge tank here called Varaha-pushkarini—almost a hundred acres—which is said to have been dug by Varahadeva, Lord Vishnu in his boar incarnation. To get to Akiripalli you can take a bus from Vijayawada.