Summary: For those, who are interested in exploring the history, the best place to visit in Vijayawada is the Mogalrajapuram caves. Let us explore some details about these caves.
On our verge to provide you some details about different attractions in and around Vijayawada, a place with historical significance that will surely enthral you, if you are an individual interested in exploring pre-historic places is Mogalrajapuram caves.
When hearing the term ‘Mogalrajapuram caves’, most of us think that there will not be any people living in the city, but only tourists visit this place. But, this is just a misconception as Mogalrajapuram is an important residential suburb in Vijayawada. Not just residential, but it is also a commercial suburb as well. It is rightly located in the centre of the city beside the low range hills. So, you can easily reach this tourist attraction as soon as you reach the well-connected city of Vijayawada.
Attractions for tourists:
When talking about the attractions for tourists in Mogalrajapuram caves, the five rock-cut sanctuaries that date back to 5th century AD are standing as the attractions. It has a history of 2000 years old. Besides being the site of historical importance, this place is known to have religious significance as well. The reason is the presence of idols of Lord Vinayaka and Nataraja. Even, the cave has the shrine of Ardhanarishvara and it is believed to be the oldest cave in entire South India.
Even though, three temples for lords are available, only one of them is in good condition. The others are worn out with such a long passage of time and only a few residues of the architectural beauty remain. To get a glimpse of the remains, plan your visit to this historic site and let this place take you back to 5th century AD. You can get some relics of the culture followed by people during this period.
Summary:Some people ardently follow the Lord Maha Vishnu and if you are one such individual, you should make your visit to this temple with the incarnation of this god as the main deity.
The Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Temple is situated at a distance of about 13 kms from the city of Vijayawada. The lord is offering blessings to the devotees from atop, the Managalagiri. The term ‘Mangalalagiri’ denotes auspicious hill and this hill is called by other name ‘Bhimadri’ as well. This name is given because the eminent Bhima one of the brothers of Pandavas is known to have worshipped this lord.
Three temples for Narasimha Swami in Mangalagiri:
Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Temple is actually a cave temple and this is situated on the Mangalagiri. The other two temples in Managalagiri for this incarnation of Lord Maha Vishnu are the Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy at the foot and Gandala Narasimha Swamy temple at the top of the hill.
What is special about Managalagiri?
This place holds the pride of being one of the 8 important Mahakshetrams, where the Lord Maha Vishnu manifested himself. The former name of this hill was Thothadri. The reason behind the name of the hill is that Lakshmi Devi is known to have conducted tapas in this hill and to denote her the term ‘mangala’ was attached to the term ‘giri’, which means mountain. Another significant thing about this hill is that it is in the shape of an elephant.
How the mountain came into existence?
It is stated that in ancient times, Pariyatra, a ruler had a son named Hrasva Srungi, who had some bodily issues. He is known to have visited different holy spots to get back his normal bodily physique and has visited Mangalagiri at the end. He is known to have stayed here for three years continuously, conducting hard prayers towards the lord. His father, the king came here to take the son back to the kingdom, but he ignored and stayed here in the shape of an elephant as he wanted to turn himself to be the house of Lord Maha Vishnu, who is in the form of Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swami.
Some points of interest about the temple:
Steps can be found close to the hill to move to the temple.
There are engravings on stones done by the King Sri Krishnadeva Raya of the Vijayanagar dynasty.
When you reach a little up the hill, you will find the foot prints of Mahaprabhu Chaitanya.
On the midway of the steps that leads to the top of the hill, the temple for Lord Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swami can be found.
This deity just has a face with wide open mouth.
In the year 1955, the Dhwajasthambham was erected
Behind this temple, there is a temple for the goddess Lakshmi and to the west of the temple of this goddess, there is a tunnel.
This tunnel is believed to lead to Vundavalli caves on the banks of the Krishna River. Also, it is believed that sages would have used this path for taking a bath at the Krishna River. Now, the cave cannot be found as it is very dark.
Steps to reach the temple were constructed in the year 1890 by Sri Channapragada Balaramadasu.
In the year 2004, ghat road was constructed to enable pilgrims to reach easily.
The Gali gopuram of the temple is one of the largest gopurams in India and it is standing top at the height of 153 feet.
The temple has a tank called as Lakshmi Pushkarini. It is believed that this tank was created by lords by taking holy waters from many holy rivers. It is believed that Mahalakshi after she came out of the milky ocean bathed in the pushkarini, before she married Maha Vishnu.
Gandala Narasimha Swamy temple:
As mentioned earlier, this is on the top of the hill and there is no particular deity inside the temple. But, there is a provision for lighting lamp. It is believed that when people visit this place and light a lamp with ghee, all their troubles will go away.
The history behind the temple states that Namuchi, a demon after conducting hard prayers towards Brahma deva got a boon that he should never be killed by anything that is dry or wet. After getting this boon, he started to show his arrogance and started harassing Indra and other devathas. Indra went to Lord Vishnu to seek his help to get out of the trouble created by Namuchi. With the support and encouragement of Lord Vishnu, Indra started to destroy the army of Namuchi, who was living in a small cave. Indra dipped sudarsanam, which is the weapon of Lord Vishnu in the foam of the ocean and sent it into the cave. The lord manifested himself at the centre of the weapon and destroyed the life breath of Namuchi. He thus got the name as Sudarsana Narasimha. The blood that flowed from the body of Namuchi is known to have dropped into a pool, which is still found at the foot of the Mangalagiri.
After killing the demon, the lord was angry and ferocious in the form of lion and he was cooled down after the prayers of devathas and the lord took nectar for cooling down. All these things happened during the krithayugam. Then, the lord said during the threthayugam, he can be cooled down with ghee, while in dwaparayugam, it will be possible with milk. During Kaliyuga, the lord is cooled down with panakam or jaggary water. This is the reason behind his name Panakala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy during this kaliyuga.
The lord drinks panakam:
It is believed that the god is self-manifested and as mentioned earlier, the lord just has a face with wide open mouth. The mouth is covered by metal face and the temple is kept open until afternoon only. The reason is that it is believed that during devatas will be performing their pujas towards the lord at night times.
Unless and until you make your visit to the temple, it will be hard to believe that the lord actually drinks the jaggery water offered to him. Yes, it is poured into the mouth of the lord and the gargling sound will be clearly audible and the noise will become shriller and shriller when the lord is drinking. The sound will stop after sometime and the remaining jaggery water is thrown out by the priest.
Even though, the jaggery water is offered to the lord for many times a day, it is not possible to find even a single ant near the lord or even around the temple. It is said that the hill was once a volcano and jaggery water is known to neutralize the sulphur compounds in the hill, thereby preventing volcanic eruption.
How to reach?
Are you interested to make your visit to this holy spot during your visit to Vijayawada? If yes, here are the details on how to reach?
By road: There is a national highway that connects Kolkata and Chennai and Mangalagiri is situated on this road. It is also stated to be located on the Guntur-Vijayawada road at a distance of about 21 kms north-west of Guntur City and 13 kms south-east of Vijayawada. The Mangalagiri Bus station is very near the temple.
By Rail: When you take up Rail, you can reach Vijayawada, which is well-connected by railway lines to different cities in India and from there on you can easily reach Mangalagiri.
By flight: Gannavaram airport is the nearest airport to Mangalagiri.
Have the darshan of the lord and let all your wishes come true!
Temple Timings: 6:00 am to 01:00 pm & 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm Puja Timings: 7:30 am to 12:00 pm & 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Summary:It is not essential that you should be a Christian to visit this holy shrine. During your Vijayawada visit plan your visit to get the blessings of the Holy Mother Mary.
Gunadala Matha Shrine, which is otherwise called as Mary Matha Shrine or St. Mary’s Church is located in the hilly region called Gunadala in the Krishna District, Vijayawada. This is why when you are gathering details about the attractions in and around Vijayawada, you are sure to get this place on the list. Are you wondering about the rare thing that clearly shows the uniqueness of this shrine? Yes, it is the iron cross that is erected atop the hill that shows the uniqueness of this holy spot.
Not just the holy shrine of Mary Matha, but also the museum located within the church premises is yet another attraction for visitors of this spot. This museum has the collection of valuable gifts from the followers and it also showcases the holy remnants of ancient period.
History of the church:
The operations of the church actually are known to have started in the year 1923. This was the year in which the messenger named Pezzoni from the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions acquired 25 acres of land from the government for construction of an orphanage and school to help the needy children. The orphanage was named St. Joseph’s Orphanage was set up in Gunadala. Then, in the year 1925, Father Arlati, who was the then Principal for the orphanage, constructed a very small footpath midway up the hill and positioned the statue of Mary Matha over there. Subsequently, the father built a church in the year 1971, prior to which the children in the orphanage and the local residents were worshipping the shrine of the holy mother. The father set the shrine of the mother because it is believed that the mother herself visited this spot on the 11th of February 1858. This is why, every year, the Gunadala Matha Festival is celebrated to mark the occasion from the 9th of February to the 11th of February.
What is significant about the church?
This sacred church is known to offer child to childless couples and people follow the practice of miniatures of ailed human organs to the shrine after they get well from an ailment in the particular organ. When talking about offerings, flowers and coconuts are the most popular offerings. Even, like in some Hindu temples, people also forgive their hair for satisfying their prayers. Also, the mother is notified as ‘mother of good health’ as she has cured many people from the illnesses with which they reach her for relief.
About the annual festival:
As mentioned earlier, annual festival at Gunadala Matha shrine begins on the 9th of February every year until the 11th February. Every year, people from different religions throng this place during this festival and reports state that nearly 10 lakh people visit this shrine during this festive season. Not just Indians, some foreigners also visit the festival.
On the 9th of February the festival begins every year at 6.30 am with a holy mass and at around 8.30 am the adoration ceremony begins and the festival ends on the 11th of February late night. Many religious people and general devotees from Vijayawada, from other parts of the state, other parts of the country and even foreigners takes part in the Adoration ceremony.
Distance from Vijayawada Airport and Railway Station: The Gunadala Matha Shrine is located at a distance of about 15 kms from the airport and about 6 kms from the Vijayawada Railway Station. In addition, it is also located close to other attractions in Vijayawada like Kanaka Durga Temple, Undavalli Caves, Prakasam Barrage and Moghalrajpuram caves, at a distance of about 5, 8, 5.5 and 3 kms respectively. The church is open from 10am to 5pm on all days.
Summary: Muslims generally make it a point to visit the Hazrat Bal Mosque during their visit to Vijayawada and you too can plan your visit.
If you are a spiritual person with great interest towards exploring the worship spots of different religions, without any doubt Vijayawada can quench your thirst. With the great temples like Kanaka Durga Temple, churches like Gunadala Matha Shrine and of course, mosque like Hazrat Bal Mosque, you can get the chance to explore religious spots for sure. Not just religious spots, this city has many other attractions like parks, dam sites, caves, hills, museums, forts and multiplexes. This means that when you take your family to Vijayawada on a vacation, each one of your tastes will be rightly quenched in Vijayawada with her great attractions. Now, let us explore some details about the Hazrat Bal Mosque:
This mosque is rightly standing on the heart of the city and it houses a holy relic of the Prophet Mohammed, who is regarded as the last messenger of god by Muslims. So, Muslims from around the country, treat this mosque as the memento of Mohammed, whose preaching they continue to follow as they consider his words as the words of the Almighty.
Once in a year:
Even though, this place is worshipped all-round the year, the relics of Mohammed are displayed only once in a year. This day attracts Muslims from around the world as they feel getting a glimpse of the relics of their preacher as a holy happening in their lives. This day on which the relics are displayed for public each year is considered an auspicious day for praying and for paying respects. The communal harmony that exists in the city of Vijayawada can be rightly understood on this day. The reason is that not just Muslims, but also people from other communities offer their prayers on this Hazrat Bal Mosque simultaneously.
How to reach?
Hazrat Bal Mosque can be reached easily either with the help of public transportation buses operated from different parts of Vijayawada. Not just public transportation, private vehicles like autos and taxis can be hired by tourists to reach this mosque.
As the Hazrat Bal Mosque is located in the heart of the city of Vijayawada, tourists can easily visit this spot. It is located in the Amaravati Region of the state of Andhra Pradesh. To reach this place you can take public buses or even private vehicles on hire.
Summary:On your verge to explore different attractions in the city of Vijayawada, the place in memory of Mahatma Gandhi is must to add in your trip plan.
With its former name as Orr Hill, Gandhi Hill is a tourist attraction in the great city of Vijayawada. This place as the name implies is named after the Mahatma of the country and it is popular for its attraction Gandhi Stupa. The great thing about this attraction is that it rules the skyline of Vijayawada by standing atop at an elevation of 500 feet above the main city of Vijayawada.
The Gandhi stupa is escorted by seven more stupas with its height at around 15.8 meters/52 feet tall. These stupas hold the pride of being the first memorial for the father of the nation, in entire India. On the stone slabs of the stupas, the great words of the Mahatma are inscribed for the visitors to follow the path to turn out to be good citizens. The 52-feet tall stupa was unveiled on the 6th of October 1968 by the then President Zakir Hussain. The other stupas are of 490 feet height each.
Tourist attractions in Gandhi Hill:
Not just the stupa, this memorial of the Mahatma Gandhi also has other attractions for the tourists. For instance, this place has a library that has books that depicts the preaching and the life of this national leader, besides many other books. Also, this tourist attraction houses the single planetarium in the entire city of Vijayawada.
In addition, a light show that depicts the life of Mahatma Gandhi is conducted every evening. This show is something that attracts people to a great extent.
Another attraction about Gandhi Hill is that you can get an extensive view of the entire city of Vijayawada from this place. Also, as it is located on the hill top, the breeze and the tiny appearance of the well-lit entire city makes this place highly attractive for the tourists. The toy train ride is another facility that attracts children to a great extent.
The Gandhi Hill is open to the public from 4 pm to 8.30 pm on all days, except Tuesday.
How to reach?
The Gandhi Hill is located just behind the Vijayawada Railway Station. As it is located in the main location, tourists can easily reach the place either by taking public transportation or private vehicles.