Vijayawada (formerly Bezawada) is the second largest city in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and is a part of the state's Capital Region. It is the administrative headquarters of the NTR district. It comprises NTR and part of Krishna district. Vijayawada lies on the banks of Krishna river surrounded by the hills of Eastern Ghats, known as Indrakeeladri Hills. It geographically lies on the center spot of Andhra Pradesh. The city has been described as the commercial, political, cultural, Business and educational capital of Andhra Pradesh It is the second largest city in Andhra Pradesh with a population of 17,23,000 in 2021, estimated population of 19,91,189 in the Vijayawada Metropolitan Area. It is one of the fastest growing urban areas in India and among the top 10 fastest growing cities in the world according to Oxford Economics report.
Vijayawada is considered to be a sacred place for residing one of the most visited and famous temples of Andhra Pradesh and India, Kanaka Durga Temple of Hindu Goddess Durga. It also serves as the ritual host of Pushkaram (a river worshipping ritual in India) of River Krishna. There is a legend which says that Arjuna, one of the heroes of the Indian epic Mahabharata, prayed on top of the Indrakeeladri Hill in the city and won the blessings of Lord Shiva to get the Pashupatastra to win the Kurukshetra War. It was called Vijayavatika (meaning Land of Victory in Telugu) when Goddess Durga killed the demon Mahishasura and rested on the Indrakeeladri Hill by the River Krishna establishing the victory over evil hence the place got its name Vijayavatika, "Vijaya" meaning victory, and "Vatika" meaning place or land in Telugu. Over the years Vijayavatika name changed to Rajendra Chola Pura during Chola Dynasty and Bezawada during British rule and eventually to Vijayawada.
The city is also the third most densely populated urban built-up areas in the world. and is classified as a Y-grade city by the Sixth Central Pay Commission. The city is the second most populous in the state with a population of more than one million. It was recognised as a "Global City of the Future" by McKinsey Quarterly, which expected an increase to GDP of $17 billion by 2025. In October 2018, it was awarded with ISO 37120 platinum level certification and has been added to the "Global Cities Registry".
Due to the presence of several well-known educational institutions, the city has emerged as a major educational hub in recent times, with many of the nation's students studying in the city. It is predicted to be the world's, and India's, tenth fastest growing city economy through 2035 by an Oxford Economics report. Due to its high ratings in entertainment, construction, food, education, health care, and transport, It is ranked as India's ninth most livable city as per Ease of Living Index 2018, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the second most livable city in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
The Vijayawada Junction railway station is one of the busiest in the country. It stands as the tenth busiest railway junctions in the country.
Kanaka Durga Temple
Rajiv Gandhi Park
Akkanna Madanna Caves
Scrap Sculpture Park