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Vijayawada; the largest conurbation of the Krishna District and the third largest metropolis of the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh derives its appellation from the title of the presiding deity; ‘Goddess Kanaka Durga’ – also worshipped here by the sobriquet ‘Goddess Vijaya’. The term ‘Vijayawada’ means ‘the Land of Victory’. Also reckoned by the moniker ‘Bezawada’, Vijayawada, nestled on the southern banks of the river Krishna is bordered by river Budameru to its north, the Bay of Bengal to its east and the Indrakeeladri Mountain to its west. Making headway in all the possible domains including sociological, political, agricultural, industrial, economical and educational, Vijayawada is rightly conferred upon the laurel; ‘the business (commercial) capital of Andhra Pradesh’.
As the legend goes, Vijayawada is identified with the place where one of the five Pandava brothers; Arjuna performed austerity to appease Lord Shiva and was blessed with his Pasupatastra atop the Indrakeeladri Mountain. Another myth suggests that the victorious (Vijaya) Goddess Durga after killing a demon king named Mahishasura had rested here for a while and thus the settlement received the name ‘Vijayawada’ i.e. ‘The land of the Victorious Goddess Durga’. The nickname of Vijayawada viz. ‘Bezawada’ also boasts of its grand mythological background. When Arjuna had alighted at the Indrakeeladri Mountain for undertaking penance, the river Krishna (Krishnaveni) appealed him to form a channel for her to unite with the Bay of Bengal. On Krishnaveni’s request Arjuna made a bejjam (meaning a hole or opening) from side to side the mountains and thus the vicinity came to be known as ‘Bejjamwada’. Gradually Bejjamwada was altered to ‘Bezawada’. What is more, the term ‘Bezawada’ was interpreted during the British Rule as ‘Blaze-Wada’ i.e. ‘the land of lights’.
The present day Vijayawada, the abode of the largest railway junction on the South Central Railway Line and a thriving tourist destination of Indian Peninsula is also the home to some of the best quality mangoes available in abundance here, particularly during summer. A nearby village named ‘Kondapalli’ happens to be a much loved picnic spot around Vijayawada and also a home to the renowned light weighted Kondapalli toys festooned in vibrant colors.