Vijayawada

Goddess Kanaka Durgamma is considered as the patron-goddess of Vijayawada, as she sits o the Indirakiladri Parvatha or mountains.  Vijayawada is also known as Bezawada.  It is said that at one time huge boulders blocked the flow of the Krishna.  Lord Shiva then directed the river to bore a bazzam (hole, in Telugu) through the rocks, which it did.  Hence the name Bezawada.  The temple is second only to the Tirupati temple, in terms of popularity in Andhra Pradesh.  People come in hundreds of thousands, especially during Navarathri.

It is said that sage Indirakila prayed to the Mother Goddess to rid the place of demons.  She not only freed the area of asuras, but also consented to make the mountains Her permanent abode.

The four-foot idol is bedecked with glittering ornaments and colourful flowers.  The Goddess is the recipient of expensive saris gifted by devotees.  The resplendent Goddess is seen piercing a demon with her trishul.  The sanctum, incidentally, is located at a lower level and is topped by a gold-plated Vimana.  As in most prosperous temples, there are separate queues here for paid/free darshan. Outside the sanctum are the stalls selling prasadam, and assorted other items.  There are shrines in the temple, dedicated to Sri Ganesh, Nataraja, Sivakama Sundari and Sri Subramanya.

Adjacent is the Addhala mandapam (Mirror hall), in which a small replica of the Goddess is placed in a swing in the middle.  Next to the Addhala mandapam is the shrine for Sri Malleswara Swamy, Her Divine consort.  As in most other temples, where the Mother Goddess is the dominant aspect, here too few devotees visit the Shiva shrine.

Many are the sages and saints who have worshipped here.  The most prominent among them was Adi Sankarara, who installed the Sri Chakra to pacify the furious form of Kanaka Durgamma.  King Thribhuvana Malla of the Western Chalukyas built the present structure in the 10th century. Inscriptions belonging to different dynasties can be found in the temple.

How to get there

The bus terminal here is the second biggest in the state.  Vijawada is also one of the busiest railway junctions in the country, as it connects the north with south.  Its Ganavarma airport is just 16km from the city centre. 

Accommodation

Plenty, as the city is the commercial capital of Krishna district.  The Devasthanam lodge is adjacent to the railway station.

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