Vijayawada, located on the banks of river Krishna, is surrounded by natural wonders such as the picturesque Indrakiladri Hills on the west and river Budameru to its north. It’s a culturally rich and economically blooming city; the reason why it’s earned the fame of being called the heart of Andhra Pradesh. From museums here that house Stone Age artefacts to fertile lands that produce some of the best mangoes, Vijayawada is a delight to visit. Here’s some reasons why you must visit the third largest city in the state.

Undavalli Caves

About 8km from Vijaywada, the four-storied Undavalli Caves belong to the 7th century. The architecture and sculptures here are fine examples of artistry of that era. Especially, the statue of Vishnu in a reclining pose sculpted from a single granite block. The intricate rock carvings and the picturesque views of the countryside from the caves make it a must visit.

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Bhavani Island

Formed by the river Krishna, Bhavani Island located near Prakasam Barrage is where all the water sports activities take place. So, if you’re interesting in some boating, fishing and the like, head to this gorgeous island covering 130 acres of land.

Kondapalli Fort

The 7th century Kondapalli Fort is a three-storied fort built on a hill, offering stunning views of the city. Although, originally it was constructed as a place for recreation, later it was used as the base for military training by the British. Kondapalli village near the fort is known for their bright coloured toys, made up of Poniki, a kind of lightwood. You must remember to take some back with you as souvenirs.

Kolleru Lake

Kolleru Lake, one of the largest fresh water lakes in the country is a haven for birds and a delight for bird-watchers. Around two lakh birds visit the lake during different seasons. Some of the migratory birds that are frequently spotted here are from Siberia, Australia and Egypt. The variety of birds include bill storks, glossy ibises, teals, cormorants, and common redshanks among many more.