Vijayawada is a second largest populous city in AP., with the population of 1,034,358 (census 2011). While the urban agglomeration spread over in Guntur district covers Tadepalle Municipality and its out growth Undavalli; Mangalagiri Municipality and its out growths Navuluru and Atmakur had a population of 1,491,202. Recently, the state government had declared (G.O.104 dated:23-03-2017) that, Vijayawada Municipal Corporation and its contiguous areas as metropolitan area and Its jurisdiction is spread over an area of 160 km2 (62 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 18 lakhs. The projected population of the city is 2.5 million by 2025. As per the Demographia World Urban Areas-2016, Vijayawada is the third most densely populated, in terms of urban population of built-up areas in the world.
The city is classified as a Y-grade city as per the Sixth Central Pay Commission. Vijayawada is the commercial headquarters of Andhra Pradesh and It was recognised as a "Global City of the Future" by McKinsey Quarterly, which had expected to increase to GDP of $17 billion by 2025.
There are many legends behind the origin of the name Vijayawada. Goddess Durga killed the demon and stayed here on the Indrakeela hill. As she was victorious, the place came to be known as Vijayawada (vijaya translates to victory and wada as place/location, literally "The Place of Victory"). The epic Mahabharata refers to the Indrakeeladri as the hill where Arjuna secured Pashupatastra from Lord Shiva. The city thereafter came to be known as Vijayavatika and later as Vijayawada. Anthopologists says that, In the days of syone age, there is a gigantic tribal lady named Gouri/Parvati used to killed animals which are destroy the yeild of feilds, such a way she killed wild bisons protect the people and feilds. As she was victorious, the place came to be known as Vijayawada (vijaya translates to victory and wada as place/location, literally "The Place of Victory"). According to history, In some times Vijayawada was referred to as Rajendracholapura. Some of the historians says that the Queen Bijaya (bijja) mahadevi (Chalukya dynasty in 7th century) name was adopted to the city. There is a tale behind its acquiring the name Bezawada is that Goddess Krishnaveni (River Krishna) requested Arjuna to make a passage for her to merge into the Bengal Sea. Hence, Arjuna made a bejjam (hole) through the mountains and the place came to be known as Bejjamwada which later changed to Bezawada. But also there is a rational reason behind the name changed. At the time of Odisha (Gajaptis) kings ruled this area, they wrote and pronounced vijayawada as Bizayawada, because of they doesnt have V letter in Odisha Language. Then at the time of British rule, the Bengali scholars who helped the British ruleres in ruluning, also wrote and pronounced Vijayawada as Bizayawada (in Bengali also there is no V letter). Gradually Bizayawada becane Bizawada and Bezawada in Britishers calling.
Before Satavahana dynasty established, this area was ruled by King Andhra Maha vishnu (5th century B.C.). His capital city was Srikaakulam, (now it is village) near by Vijayawada in krishna district. Still now Andhra Maha Vishnu temple is there, which was reconstructed by Satavahanas. Then Sathavahanas ruled this area. Then king Java varma(Brihtpalayana dynasty) ruled this area (in 270AD.). His capital city was Koduru (now it is village) in Krishna district. Then Bezawada (Vijayawada) was ruled by King Madhava Varma (king of Vishnukundina dynasty in 5th century). Chinese Buddhist scholar Xuanzang stayed few years in Vijayawada in around 640 A.D. to copy and study the Abhidhamma Pitaka, the last of the three pitakas (Pali for baskets) constituting the Pali canon, the scriptures of Theravada Buddhism..
Mogalrajapuram hills have five rock-cut temples, built during the period of 4th – 9th centuries. Some of the caves can be attributed to Vishnukundina dynasty. Akkana Madanna Caves situated at the foot of Indrakeeladri Hill is a monument of national importance.
Situated at the foot of Indrakeeladri hills is the temple of Malleswara. The temple has inscriptions dating back to 9th century AD to 16th century AD by various kings. There are ten pillars and a mutilated slab(recognized as monuments by Archaeological Survey of India) with inscriptions in Telugu language. Of them, the inscriptions issued by Yudhamalla I and II of Eastern Chalukyas are important ones.
In the early sixteen century- during the reign of Qutb Shahi dynasty, also known as Golconda Sultanate- diamond mines were found near Vijayawada on the banks of Krishna River.
Vijayawada lies on the banks of Krishna River, covered by hills and canals. It is situated at a distance of 5 km (3.1 mi) from the state capital, Amaravati. and at an altitude of 11 m (36 ft) above sea level. Three canals originating from the north side of the Prakasham barrage reservoir are Eluru, Bandar and Ryves, flow through the city.
Vijayawad has a tropical climate (Köppen Aw). The annual mean temperatures ranges between 23.4–34 °C (74–93 °F); with the maximum temperatures often crosses 40 °C (104 °F) in the month of May and the minimum in December and January. The highest maximum temperature ever recorded was 48.8 °C (119.8 °F) in November 2002, and the lowest was 19.4 °C (67 °F) on January 1997. May is the hottest and January is the coldest month of the year. The city with its hot and humid conditions, often referred as Blazewada. It receives rainfall from the South-west and North-east monsoons and the average annual rainfall recorded is 977.9 mm (38.50 in).
As of 2011 Census of India, the city had a population of 1,048,240. The total population constitute, 524,918 males and 523,322 females —a sex ratio of 997 females per 1000 males, higher than the national average of 940 per 1000. 92,848 children are in the age group of 0–6 years, of which 47,582 are boys and 45,266 are girls—a ratio of 951 per 1000. The average literacy rate stands at 82.59% (male 86.25%; female 78.94%) with 789,038 literates, significantly higher than the national average of 73.00%.
The projected population of the city is 2.5 million by 2025. The Vijayawada urban agglomeration had a population of 1,491,202.
The predominant languages spoken by the city residents are, Telugu.
Vijayawada Municipal Corporation is the civic governing body of the city and was the first ISO 9001 certified urban local body in the country. It was constituted on 1 April 1888, and was upgraded to selection grade municipality in 1960 and finally to corporation in the year 1981. The jurisdictional area of the corporation is spread over an area of 61.8 km2 (23.9 sq mi) with 59 wards. The present municipal commissioner of the city is G.Veerapandian and the present mayor is Koneru Sridhar. Vijayawada is the headquarters of Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority.
As per the G.O. 104 (dated:23-03-2017), the state government had declared Vijayawada Municipal Corporation and its contiguous areas as metropolitan area of Vijayawada. Its jurisdiction is spread over an area of 160 km2 (62 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 18 lakhs. The metropolitan area covers, Vijayawada municipal corporation and merged villages of Ambapuram, Buddavaram, Done Atkuru, Enikepadu, Ganguru, Gannavaram, Gollapudi, Gudavalli, Jakkampudi, Kanuru, Kesarapalle, Nidamanuru, Nunna, Pathapadu, Penamaluru, Phiryadi Nainavaram, Poranki, Prasadampadu, Ramavarappadu, Tadigadapa, Yanamalakuduru. While, the urban agglomeration spread in Guntur district covers, Tadepalle Municipality and its out growth of Undavalli; Mangalagiri Municipality and its out growths of Navuluru and Atmakur.
Water supply from the 59 water reservoirs, maintenance of roads, sewerage, underground drainage, environment protection programs, recycling of solid waste and producing power are the services are provided by the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation. There exists underground drainage system in the city since 1967–68. Many green parks are maintained by the corporation to protect the environment such as, Raghavaiah park, Rajiv Gandhi park, Dr.B.R Ambedkar park, Mahatma Gandhi park etc. The corporation won many awards and achievements such as, National Urban Water Award (2009), Siti e-Governance Project ISO 9001 certification for Quality Management System. The Andhra Pradesh State Disaster and Fire Response Department with its headquarters in the city is responsible for protecting from fire accidents that occur during summers on the hill slope areas of the city.
VIjayawada is one of the cities to be covered under Solar/Green Cities scheme launched by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and is one of the 15 cities in the country listed in Pilot Solar Cities. The city is promoting the usage of environmental friendly transport supported by, biodiesel, CNG in auto rickshaws and electric E-rickshaws were introduced.
The Vijayawada City has its own Police Commissionerate which is responsible for an area of 1211.16 sq.km. is headed by a Police Commissioner, who is an Indian Police Service officer of Additional Director General of Police rank along with one joint commissioner of police andfour Deputy Commissioners of Police who are also IPS officers. The present Police commissioner is Goutham Savangh.
Vijayawada is one of the rapidly growing urban markets of the country. The sectors that contribute to the economy of the city are, construction, education, entertainment, food processing, hospitality, registrations, transport etc. Based on the recommendations of Sixth Central Pay Commission, it is classified as one of the Y-grade cities of India. The GDP of Vijayawada in 2010 was $3 billion and is estimated to touch $17 billion by 2025.
The city has trading and exporting markets for agriculture and industrial goods. The Nunna Mango Market is one of the largest mango markets in Asia, exporting to major cities in the country. It is also a hub for storage, bottling and transportation of petroleum products of all major companies like BPCL, HPCL, IOC etc.
The growing population and economy have resulted in rising real estate prices.
The city is known for its cultural history in the state, whose residents are more often referred as Vijayawadian. There exist many religions, languages, traditions and festivals. Durga Pooja and a special Theppotsavam in Krishna river are important events of Hindu festival of Dussera in the city, mainly due to the existence of self manifested Kanaka Durga Temple. Hazarat Bal Mosque is a Muslim shrine housing the holy relic of the Prophet Mohammed. The Gunadala Mary Matha Church is an important shrine for Christians and illuminates during the eve of Christmas. The city corporation organizes Happy Sunday, an event organized on the first Sunday of every month at M.G. Road for promoting activities such as sports, games, cultural events, and yoga. The clothing of the locals include, traditional men wearing dhoti and women wearing saree, salwar kameez. Western clothing is also predominant.
Arts, crafts and artefacts
Vijayawada Art Society promotes Telugu arts. The city hosted Poetic Prism-2015, a multi-lingual poet's meet in the city on September 19, 2015. All these activities are organized in collaboration with Cultural Centre of Vijayawada. Kondapalli Toys- which were granted Geographical indication in 2007- are handmade toys by the local artisans of Kondapalli, a suburb of Vijayawada. Victoria Jubilee Museum is an archaeological museum in the city, which houses sculptures, paintings and artifacts of Buddhist and Hindu relics, dating back to 2nd and 3rd centuries.
The city of Vijayawada has old and new town areas. The I–Town area of the city is known as Old city area, comprising areas such as, Islampet, Jendachettu Centre, Kamsalipet, Rajarajeswaripet, Kothapet, Ajithsinghnagar and Winchipet. The new city areas includes areas such as, Autonagar, Benz circle, Chuttugunta, Labbipet, Machavaram Down, Mogalrajapuram, NTR circle, Tikkle Road, Governorpet, Pinnamaneni Polyclinic Road and Suryaraopet.
Brindavan Colony, Commercial Taxes Colony, Gunadala, Veterinary Colony are some of the residential areas in the city. While, Bank Colony, Bharati Nagar, Currency Nagar, Satyanarayana Puram, Gurunanak Colony, LIC Colony, Patamata and MG Road are the upscale residential areas. The major commercial areas in the city include the stretch of MG Road and from Benz Circle to Ramavarappadu Ring. Other commercial centres are Besant Road, Rajagopalachari street, One town market area covering Kaleswara Rao Market and Vastralatha.
The city has many landmarks which include, Prakasham Barrage across the Krishna river; Krishnaveni Mandapam (River Museum) depicting the history of Krishna river and a nearby idol of the river known as, Krishnaveni statue; Gandhi Hill, the first Gandhi Memorial in the country, located at an elevation of 500 ft on the on a hill; Bhavani Island, one of the largest river island amidst Krishna River.
The primary modes of intra-city public transport are city buses and auto rickshaws. Apart from these, other means of transport are, motorcycles, cycle rickshaws and bicycles. The Pandit Nehru bus station and the Vijayawada railway station are the major transport infrastructure in the city for road and rail transport. The Pandit Nehru bus station is the administrative headquarters of APSRTC, which is ranked as the fourth largest and busiest bus terminals in the country. The Vijayawada City Division of APSRTC operates close to 450 buses for an average of 300,000 daily commuting passengers and is supported by BRTS corridors. Vijayawada railway station is classified as an A1 category station and is one of the busiest railway stations of Indian Railways. Suburban rail services are operated from the railway station to the nearby cities of Guntur and Tenali. A new circular railway project proposed would extend up to the state capital, Amaravati. The Vijayawada Metro is a planned rapid transit system that would be constructed in two corridors. The city also houses the headquarters of Vijayawada railway division, one of the six railway divisions of South Central Railway zone.
The seamless commuting in the city is supported by the presence of sixteen bridges across the three canals of Bandar, Eluru and Ryves. M G Road and Eluru Road are the major arterial roads of the city, with as many as 90,000 vehicles plying on M.G.Road (Bandar Road) itself. The city has a total road length of 1,264.24 km (785.56 mi), used by 678,004 non-transport and 94,937 transport vehicles. The heavy vehicles like lorries are used for freight transport and holds a share of 18% in the country. Short distance commuting is served by 27,296 auto rickshaws plying on the city roads everyday, which include the women driven, She Autos. The two major National Highways of NH16(Old NH5) connecting Kolkata–Chennai and NH65(Old NH9) connecting Pune–Hyderabad-Suryapet-Machilipatnam provides access to other states. While, National Highway 30 from Jagdalpur of Chhattisgarh terminates near the city suburb of Ibrahimpatnam. The Inner Ring Road connects both NH 16 and 65 to serve the main purpose of easing traffic congestion.
The Vijayawada Airport at Gannavaram provides air connectivity to major metropolitan cities of the country. On 3 May 2017, Vijayawada Airport was upgraded from domestic to international. During the 2016–17 fiscal year, it registered domestic passenger movement growth rate of 56.1% with a total passenger count of 622,354 and Aircraft movement recorded a growth of 54.8% with 10,333 aircraft.
The primary and secondary school education is imparted by government, aided and private schools, under the School Education Department of the state. As per the school information report for the academic year 2015–16, the city limits have 133,837 students enrolled in 529 schools. The state and CBSE syllabus are followed by schools for the Secondary School Certificate. The language of instruction in the schools are English, Telugu and Urdu.
For 10+2 education, there are a total of two government junior colleges namely, SRR and CVR Government Junior College and Government Junior College (at Vinchipeta); a Railway Junior college; three Co-operative, 12 private aided, including the oldest, S.R.R & C.V.R College (established in 1937) , Andhra Loyola College (established in December 1953) ,
Maris Stella College for Girls (established in 1962); V.R Siddhartha Engineering College (established in 1977) the Oldest
Engineering College in Andhra Pradesh, and many private unaided colleges. 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. It is one of the three School of Planning and Architecture (SPAs) established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2008 as an autonomous institute and a fully Central funded Institution.
The Sarvotthama Grandhalaya is a city library established on 30 March 1987 and serves an average daily readership of 200, equipped with 22,000 books related to various fields.
Visalaandhra was the first newspaper publication in the state, started from Vijayawada. As per the 58th annual report of Press India 2013–14, the big and medium Telugu daily publications from Vijayawada include, Andhra Jyothy, Eenadu, Sakshi, Suryaa, Telugu Jatiya Dinapatrika Vaartha, Praja Sakti, Udaya Bharatam. The English publications are, Deccan Chronicle, The Hindu, News Boom, The Fourth Voice, Views Observer, ). The All India Radio Vijayawada was commissioned on 1 December 1948 and its building was named after Pingali Venkaiah, the designer of Indian flag. The channels broadcast by All India Radio are, Rainbow Krishnaveni FM, Vividh Bharati.Telugu DooraDarshan saptagiri is located here.
Indira Gandhi Stadium in the city is the headquarters of Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh. It has hosted the only Men's ODI on 24 November 2002, played between India and West Indies. While, the only women's ODI was hosted on 12 December 1997, played as a group match of 1997 Women's Cricket World Cup between England women's and Pakistan women's. Makineni Basavapunnaiah Stadium at Ajit Singh Nagar is another stadium that caters the sporting needs of northern part of the city. The indoor stadiums include, Dandamudi Rajagopala Rao Indoor Stadium (DRRIS) at M.G.Road and Chennupati Ramakotaiah Indoor Stadium (CRIS) at Patamatalanka. The DRRIS was named after the former weightlifter, Dandamudi Rajagopala Rao, who participated in the 1951 Asian Games and the 1956 Olympics. The DRRIS hosted several national and international sporting events, such as the 79th Senior Badminton Champions.
Spoorthy is the first paddler from the city to have represented at international level. Amaravati International Cricket Stadium]] is being built in a 30-acre (12 ha) site at Novlur Village, Mangalagiri Mandal of Guntur district, located at 15 km from the city of Vijayawada. It will serve as the Andhra Cricket Association stadium. Vijaya Madhavi Tennis Academy is situated in Loyola College, Loyola College Grounds also hosted many National Level Events which includes a Ranji match.
Railway sports stadium, located near the railway station, hosted several national level railway and few non railway events. This stadium has a gallery facility of over 10,000 people. Makineni Basava Punnaiah stadium is another open stadium in the city. Dandamudi Raja Gopal Rao indoor stadium is one of the famous badminton stadiums in AP. It hosted several national level badminton and table tennis championships