Undavalli Caves, Guntur

Summary: Many of us love to explore the olden and historical architectural beauty and if you are one such individual, the place you should plan your visit to during your Vijayawada/Guntur trip is Undavalli Caves.

Mountains around the city of Vijayawada are known for their rich rock-cut architecture. But, the largest and the magnificent among these rock-cut architectural spots in the city is the Undavalli Caves. These caves stand as the proof of architectural expertise of 4th and 5th centuries. The many murals and sculptures in these caves are attractively carved in the four-floor high rock-cut temple.


The Undavalli Caves are known to be associated with Vishnukundina Kings. This was the persuasive reign that ruled over a huge part of the old India during 420 to 620 AD. These caves were known to be devoted by the local Governor Madhava Reddy to the Narasimha Swamy and Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temples.

As the first Vishukundina King was supporting the Buddhism, these caves were initially dedicated to Buddhist temples. It is found that these caves were used by Buddhist monks and there are statues associated with Buddhism till date. However, later the caves were taken over by Hindus and most of the artwork that can be found in these caves up to this date belongs to Hinduism.

Many people believe that there was a 9 km long underground passage that led to the Mangalagiri Mountain from the Undavalli Caves. But, they are of the opinion that it is kept closed nowadays by authorities to avoid accidents.

Undavalli Caves in 1932

Structure of Undavalli Caves:

There are many smaller rock-cut chambers close to Undavalli caves, but the important focus is given to the large four-storied cave. Even though, when viewed from a distance, this cave looks like an abandoned fort, but when getting close, you will get an exciting sight of monolithic sandstone cliff. These caves as mentioned earlier, has four floors and these caves were constructed in such a way that each consecutive caves lessens the other and the façade is 29 m wide.


From the construction and from the paintings in the caves, it is found that Gupta Architecture is prevalent in these caves, while many details on the second floor showcases the influence of Chalukyan Architecture.

First floor:

Initially, the caves were shaped as Jain dwelling and from the first floor, Jain style is eminent. The vihara showcases Jain Monastics and encompasses Tirthankara figures. The first level of the cave is known as Vihara and it encompasses the artworks of Buddhist. As mentioned earlier, these caves served as Bhikkhu monastic complex earlier.

Undavalli Caves Carvings

Second floor:

The second floor of the cave is dedicated to the idol of reclining position of Lord Vishnu. This idol called as Anantha Padmanabha Swamy is known to have been carved from a single block of granite stone.

Undavalli Caves Lord Vishnu Idol

Third floor:

The third floor has numerous structures inclusive of depictions for elephants and lions. There is an opening in this floor that provides the beautiful view of the other green hills.

Undavalli Caves Idols

Other shrines:

The other shrines in the cave include the shrines of Trimurti: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Each of these shrines was carved with pillared hall in front. In Hinduism, Trimurti is known for the performance of important functions namely, formation, protection and destruction.

Undvalli Caves Display Board


These caves are located in the village called Undavalli in the Tadepalle Mandal of the Guntur District. It is located near the southern bank of the Krishna River at a distance of about just 6 kms southwest of the city of Vijayawada and about 22 kms northeast of the city of Guntur.

So, plan your visit to this spot during your visit to the Guntur or Vijayawada cities for vacation.

Akkanna Madanna Caves Vijayawada

Summary: Among the many historical sites that add beauty and exclusivity to Vijayawada, the Akkana and Madanna Caves are worth to mention.

Akkana Madanna caves are actually temple destinations in Vijayawada. They are called as caves because even though the temple was built in the 17th century, the caves date back to 6th and 7th centuries. Even there is a predecessor cave nearby that belongs to 2nd century BC and this nearby cave is also a temple spot with idols of Trimurti, the Brahma, the Vishnu and the Shiva.

Who were Akkana Madanna?
These two people were ministers in the court of the Nawab of Golconda in the 17th century. The caves were given their names because they were actively associated with the caves. The reason was that they had their secretariat on this premises during the 17th century. It is believed that these two people would have been close cousins and not just this relationship; there are many versions about this relationship in the history. Even though, the two people had a glorious career, they are known to have experienced a tragic end.

Akkanna Madanna Guhalu in Vijayawada

About the structure of the caves:
The cave that faces the east is of rectangular shape and it is standing on octagonal pillars. There is a lower cave and it is triple-celled with a pillar. The structures showcase Buddhist patterns and the historians feel that these caves would have been assigned to the early, Chalukya, Vishnukundin and Pallava dynasties.

Akkanna madanna caves near kanaka duraga temple

Exact location of the caves:
You need not have to plan your visit to the cave separately as it is located right on the foothills of the famous Indrakeeladri in which the Kanaka Durge Temple is located. So, when you visit this Kanaka Durga Temple that has religious importance, you can visit the historical Akkana Madanna caves as well. Also, do not forget to visit the nearby cave with the temple for Trimurti.

Mental refreshment:
The great thing about Akkana and Madanna caves is that you are sure to get stress-relief when you visit this place. The reason is that the environs are filled with sweet-smelling fragrance of flowers and you are sure to enjoy the refreshing breeze under the cool shade of the neem trees that add extra beauty. Also, it is located at a distance of just 3 kms from Vijayawada Railway Station and so it is easy to reach this spot, apart from the benefit of being located on the foothills of the Kanaka Durga Temple.

Victoria Museum, Vijayawada Outside

Summary: If you wish to make a visit to the historical period, the best place you can visit in Vijayawada is of course the Victoria Museum.

The Victoria Jubilee Museum, which is shortly called as Victoria Museum is an archaeological Museum. It is under the maintenance of the Archaeological Department and if you wish to explore a large collection of artifacts, paintings, sculptures of Hindu and Buddhist relics, this is the best place to visit during your visit to Vijayawada. It is located in Bandar Road and has collections as old as 2nd and 3rd Centuries. When you visit, Mogalarajapuram Caves in Vijayawada, you can view the remains of 5th Century, but in Victoria Museum you can view even earlier collections.

Building structure:

The very structure of the Victoria Museum itself is in Indo-European Style architecture and it holds the pride of being a 100-year old structure. The building was constructed in Ashlar Masonry and it stands as the classic example for the architectural style mentioned earlier.

A view of Victoria Museum Vijayawada

How about establishment?

The cornerstone for the building was positioned by the District Collector under the British rule in the year 1887 on the 27th of June. The name of the collector is Robert Sewell and he was the collector of the Krishna District during this period. This was done by the collector to mark the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the crowning over ceremony of Queen Victoria. The purpose behind the construction was to house the industrial exhibition.

What happened later?

After Indian independence, the building was brought under the control of the Zamindars of Nuzvid, District Board and Zilla Parishad of the Krishna District. Then, in the year 1962, the Department of Archaeology & Museums of the Andhra Pradesh Government tool over the control of the building and there after established an Archaeological museum.

Attractions in the Museum:

If you wish to explore the things used by the Kings of early periods, you can visit this place to see the historical galleries, ornaments, arms, shields and body armours used by them. Not just those used by kings, but also the things used by people of olden periods like coins and stone cut writings can be found. When it comes to artistic things of the 2nd century, you can find the idol of Goddess Durga slaying the buffalo faced rakshasa Mahishasura. Even, you can find the idol of Lord Shiva as Ehamdesa, besides the idols of standing Buddha on white limestone of the 3rd century.

There is a big painting of Queen Victoria and even outside the museum you can find statues of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.

Inside Victoria Museum, Vijayawada

Significance of the place in Indian history:

Not just olden history, but also in the recent history (i.e.) in the year 1921, the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi organized a congress party meeting. On this occasion, the tricolour flag with the Chakra or the spinning wheel was established as the symbol of the party, which was then declared as the national flag on the 22nd July 1947 just before Indian independence.

When to visit?

The Victoria Museum is open to the public on all days, except Fridays and public holidays. It will be open between 11am and 1pm and against between 2 and 6pm in summer and during winter season it is between 10am and 1pm and again between 2 and 5pm. The great thing here is that there is no entry fee and photography is strictly prohibited.

Kondapalli Fort Vijayawada

Summary: When exploring the different attractions in Vijayawada, you should not forget to visit the fort that was used as the military training base during British Rule.

On your interest towards exploring different attractions in and around Vijayawada, the place called Kondapalli Fort is a tourist attraction to visit. This place is called by the local people as Kondapalli Kota and it is actually situated in the Krishna District, near Vijayawada. This is the historic fort on the Eastern Ghats situated on the west side of the Kondapalli Village. It was constructed by the Reddy ruler of Kondaveedu during the 14th century. It was initially used as a business centre and pleasure place along with Kondaveedu Fort that is located in the Guntur District of the state of Andhra Pradesh. During the later years under British Rule, it was used by the British government as the military protection ground and it is believed that the British placed a robust force of military people in this fort.

Kondapalli Khilla, Vijayawada

Another attraction:
Not just the fort that attracts tourists from different parts of the country and world, but another important tourist attraction in Kondapalli is the colourful Kondapalli toys. These toys are actually made by the local artisans and the special feature about these toys is that they are made out of light white wood. The lively painted toys inclusive of figures of gods and goddesses apart from the images of humans and animals are attractively made by the local artisans.

Location of the fort:
The Kondapalli Fort is actually located to the west of the city of Vijayawada in the main hill range called as Kondapalli in the Krishna District of the state of Andhra Pradesh. This hill range extends between the cities of Vijayawada and Nandigama in AP. The forest range in this hill range is used exclusively for making of Kondapalli toys. In addition, this forest range is known for its rich heritage of medicinal plants.

Kondapalli Konda, Vijayawada

This fort was constructed in the year 1360 by the Reddy Dynasty kings of Kondaveedu. But, later, it acted as the playhouse for many wars between the British and Indian rulers from southern and northern India. In the year 1541, this fort and its region was captured by the Muhammadans.

For sometimes, it was under the pursuit of the Bahmani Kingdom, then it came to the hands of the Gajpati rulers of Orissa followed by Vijayanagara dynasty king Krishnadevaraya. Then, it came to Islam rulers of the Qutubshahi Dynasty during the 16th century.

Pictures of Kondapalli Fort

What is the actual story?

During this period, this place was under the Ghaapati Kapilendra Deva rule. This king had two sons and one of his sons named Hamvira is known to have fought against the Reddys under whose possession the Kondapalli Fort was functioning during that time. By marking a win over the Reddys, Hamvira occupied the entire Kondaveedu Territory by the year 1454. But, Hamvira had to fight against his own brother Purushottam, who was highly intentional to hold the throne of Orissa. Purushottam sought the help of Bahmany Sultan to fight against his own brother and succeeded him and occupied the throne of Orissa Kingdom after the death of his father in 1472. But, as they helped the Bahmany Sultan demanded the Rajahmundry and Kondapalli to their control, which happened in the year 1476. But, it is stated that there was a famine in Kondapalli under the Bahmany rule. However, Bahmany Kingdom managed to hold the fort under their control.

From the Bahmany Sultan III, Purushottam wanted to get back Rajahmundry and Kondapalli. But, with this intention, when he constructed a blockage over Rajahmundry, for some unknown reasons, he signed a peace agreement with the Sultan and this resulted in the souring of relationship between Bahmany and the Vijayanagara Dynasty. This resulted in small battles. The rule of the Sultan dynasty passed away in the year 1481 and this created disarray in the dynasty and Purushottam took advantage of the situation and won the son of Bahmany Sultan and took over Kondapalli and Rajahmundry. After the death of Purushottam in the year 1497, the fort continued to be under the control of his son, who became the ruler of the dynasty.

In the year 1509, Gajapati Prataprudra Deva, the son of Purushottam began a war against the king Krishnadeveraya of the Vijayanagara dynasty and during the same time, Gajapati had to defend his kingdom from the attack of the Sultan Allaudin Hussan Shah, who came from Bengal. Krishnadevaraya rightly used this situation to win over the Kondapalli and occupied the fort in the year 1515. Once again, this ruler defeated the Orissa ruler and got complete control over Kondapalli and Kondaveedu. Then, he married the daughter of Gajapati Prataprudra Deva, during which he entered into an agreement to handover the southern boundary of the Krishna River to Orissa, which included Kondapalli.

But, after the agreement with Krishnadevaraya, Gajapati Prataprudra Deva had to protect his territory against the invasion of Sultan Quli Qutal, who was then the king of Golkonda Dynasty. But, he lost and Kondapalli came under the rule of the Sultan of Golkonda.

During the 17th Century, the area came under the rule of the Mughal Emperor and after the breakdown of this emperor in the 18th century, Nizam-Ul-Mulk, who later became the Nizam of Hyderabad announced freedom and took control over the entire area. Then, a treaty was signed between the Nizam and the British that they will use the Fort under the Nizam rule for an annual cost of 90,000 pounds and it will be used for Military purpose. However, it was initially used as Business Center and when the British took complete control of the Fort, it was used as a military training base.

Structure of the Fort:

There are three successive entry gates in this Fort and the main entrance is called as the Dargha Darwaja. The great thing about this entrance is that it is built with a single block of granite. It is standing tall at 15 feet height. Apart from this entrance, there is another entrance called Golconda Darwaza on the other side of the hill and this gate leads to the Jaggaiahpet village.

Kondapalli Khilla Ghat Road

How to reach?
The Kondapalli Fort is well-connected by road from Kondapalli and Ibrahimpatnam villages. When you want to reach this place from Vijayawada, it is located at a distance of about 21 kms on National Highway 221. In addition, Hyderabad – Vijayawada rail line gets through Kondapalli. There are footsteps from Kondapalli Village to reach this Fort.

This Fort has seen many dynasties and now it is open for the tourists. So, plan your visit to this place to get a view of the remains of the great dynasties.

Rajiv Gandhi Park Vijayawada Entrance

Summary: If you are planning for an evening outing in Vijayawada when you are staying in a hotel at the main city, the place to visit is the Rajiv Gandhi Park.

The first and foremost attraction that would have attracted your mind when you entered Vijayawada is Rajiv Gandhi Park, isn’t? Yes, the park stands tall right as the entry point of the city and offers a warm welcome to the tourists. This park developed by the Municipal Corporation of Vijayawada is an important attraction for the visitors.

Dianosour Idol in Rajiv Gandhi Park, Vijayawada

Right place to spend your evenings:

If you are staying in Vijayawada for covering all the attractions in and around this city and look for a place to spend some valuable time along with your family after having spent a long day of outing, Rajiv Gandhi Park is the right place to visit. With an entry ticket of just Rs.3 for adults and Rs.2 for children and with the timings of the park between 2pm and 9pm on weekdays and 2pm to 9pm during Saturdays and Sundays, your entire family, particularly, your kids are sure to enjoy this place.

Children Playing in Rajiv Gandhi Park, Vijayawada

Attractions in the Park:

As it stands as the entry point of the city, the park is maintained well and looks green relieving all your stresses with the attractive number of trees. The water fountain is lit at nights and it is a musical fountain as well. You will surely be excited to see the fountain dancing to the rhythm of music and this fountain is operated every day from 7.30 pm to 8.15 pm. But, do not plan your visit during Mondays as the fountain is not functional on this day of the week. You can have a pleasant walk on the walking lawn with your partner sharing your early life memories, while will kids will enjoy playing with a number of kids, who gather at this spot every day.

There is an educative park within it which represents replicas of ancient and extinct animals like dinosaurs and other pre historic animals

Musical Fountain in Rajiv Gandhi Park, Vijayawada

Yet another attraction for kids:

Not just as a playing ground and musical water fountain, your kid will feel happy about meeting her animal friends. Yes, there is a mini zoo in the park. Do you think there are just animals alone? No, in addition to park for playing, there is also a park for educational purpose as well in this destination. Your kid will be enthralled to see the massive replicas of dinosaurs and many other extinct prehistoric animal-replicas.

Zoo at Rajiv Gandhi Park, Vijayawada

Quench your hunger and thirst:

Your family will enjoy viewing these attractions with a little bit of snacking, isn’t? To quench the hunger of your children, there are food and drink stalls with quality snacks and even you can find food items for kids in these stalls.
The park is named after the former Prime Minister of the country to honour his contributions to the society. This is the right place to plan your visit, particularly during summer, when you take your kids to Vijayawada to spend their vacation.
When you have chosen a place to stay close to the main junction of Vijayawada, you can just make an evening walk to park and can get rejuvenation to your body and mind.