About VinukondaVinukonda is a town in Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the 12 municipalities in the district and the headquarters of Vinukonda mandal. The town is administered under Narasaraopet revenue division.
History of VinukondaLegends believe that the hill near the main town is the place where Lord Rama was informed about the abduction of his wife, Goddess Sita. Thus, the name of the hill literally translates to ‘hearing hill’.
A large number of ancient megalithic structures have been found in the region. The temples in the region are home inscriptions dating back to as old as 1000 – 1400 CE. Experts say that the mighty Vishnukundina dynasty ruled the area during the turn of the millennium. It was called Vishnukundinapuram and also was the capital of Vishnukundina Kingdom. In the medieval ages, the nearby hill was the site where the fortress was built. An ancient mosque, Jama Masjid, which is said to be built in 164,0 is the proof of Muslim habitation in the region even at that time.
Geography of VinukondaVinukonda is located at 16.05°N 79.75°E and has an average elevation of 75 meters.
Given below is the location guide of Vinukonda.
ClimateLike the rest of the district, the climate in Vinukonda is also characterized by hot and harsh summers. Rainfall is usually seen in the monsoon months of July-September.
High concentration of fluorides is found in the underground water reserves in the region.
How to Reach VinukondaBy Road
Vinukonda is a major road junction of Guntur district. It is strategically located on Guntur-Kurnool-Bellary highway. There are regular bus services from various cities of the state, Hyderabad, Kurnool, Tirupathi, Vijaywada, Bangalore, Bellary, Guntur, Srisailam etc.
The town has its own railway station. Vinukonda railway station is on Gunatakal – Vijaywada line, which falls under Guntur division of South Central railways. It has direct train services to Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Hubli, Bangalore and Guntur.
The nearest airport to Vinukonda is Vijaywada, 130 km away.
Tourist Attractions near Vinukonda
SrisailamSrisailam is located at a distance of 130 km from Vinukonda. The main tourist attractions of Srisailam are the following.
Srisailam Dam is constructed over Krishna River. It is a major tourist attraction in the region. Surrounded by deep valleys and the thick forests of Nallamala hill range. It is one of the most popular dams in the country and a sight not to be missed. The sheer size and grandeur of the dam mesmerizes the tourists. It is the 3rd largest capacity hydroelectric project of the country. The dam has a reservoir of 800 sq. km The dam has an average elevation of 300 meters and length of 512 meters. It has 12 radial crest gates and is one of the 12 largest hydroelectric projects in India.
The very popular Mallikarjuna Temple is a famous religious tourist attraction of Srisailam. It is situated on the southern banks of Krishna River. The temple was built by King Harihara Raya of Vijayanagar and it is a 600-year-old temple. The architecture is typical to Vijayanagar style. The temple houses one of the 12 jyotirlingams. It is one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peetha.
Timings: Monday – Sunday 6:00 am – 7:30 pm,
It is one of the largest tiger reserves in the country. The Srisailam Sanctuary is spread over an expansive area of over 3500 sq. km. the sanctuary is covered with dry deciduous forests which include bamboo plants and shrub. It is a great place to get away from the hustle bustle of the cities and find tranquility among nature. A delight for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and photographers, the sanctuary is a must visit when in the area. The sanctuary is also home to a variety of species of animals namely, leopard, tiger, deer, hyena, sloth bear, palm civet, jungle cat, pangolin and bonnet macaque. The Srisailam dam is a breeding ground for crocodiles. The local government supports a large number of breeding programs at the site.
Akka Mahadevi Caves
Built during the 12th century, Akka Mahadevi Caves are a popular tourist attraction of the region. It is a naturally formed cave and get its name after Akka Mahadevi, a popular philosopher, poet and lyricist. A natural Shiv Lingam exists at the far end of the cave. There is a small tunnel just 3 feet high that leads to the Shiv Lingam. Devotees have to bend, crawl and crouch to reach the far end, but the effort is surely worth it. The entrance of the main cave has a naturally formed rock arch and this is considered to be a geological marvel, since it stands there with no support. To get to the caves, one has to hail a boat and reach the entrance. The caves are situated at a distance of about 18km from Srisailam.
Timings: Monday – Sunday 7:00 am – 7:00 pm.
BasaraBasara is located at a distance of 88.3 km from Vinukonda. The main tourist attractions of Basara include the following.
Saraswati Devi Temple
Saraswati Devi temple is one of the main tourist attractions of the region. The architecture of the temple is a fine example of Chalukyan period. There are no exquisite or detailed carvings on the walls, but even then the temple attracts a lot of tourists. It is the calm and serene ambiance of the temple, which is the main highlight. The presiding deity is made of sand and is in a seating posture on a throne, which is about four-feet tall. There is a Veena (musical instrument) in her hands and the Goddess is adorned with turmeric all over her face. There is a small temple dedicated to Goddess Maha Kali at the eastern side of the temple complex. For most part of the day Goddess Saraswati idol is adorned in flower garlands and sandalwood paste. The best time to see the actual idol is early morning around 4:00 am. This is the time when Rudhrabhishekam is performed and you can see the idol in its natural form.
Behind the temple there is a small hillock which leads you to the pillared hall which almost looks like a cave. Experts say that this cave was the place of meditation for Ved Vyasa. It is said that he sat here and recited entire Mahabharata and Lord Ganesha wrote it. A tree called "Oudumbara" or "Audumbara" (the Peepal tree) can be seen near the cave entrance. Under this tree are the sandals of Lord Dattatreya. Legend says that if a childless woman goes around the tree, touches the sandals and prays wholeheartedly, she would be blessed with a child.
The festival of Dussehra and the nine days are celebrated with great enthusiasm and zeal in the temple. Devotees from far and wide come to the temple to seek blessings of Goddess Saraswati.
Ashok Sagar was previously known as Jankampet Lake. It is located in Jankampet village on the way to Basara temple. It is a popular tourist attraction and famous picnic spot. There is a beautiful garden spread over 2 acres and boating facility. From pedal boats to 4 seat motor boats there are many options available. It is a great place for spending an enjoyable time with family and friends. The mighty fifteen feet marble statue of Goddess Saraswati in the lake is the main attraction. If you are in the area, plan a visit on a full moon night and witness the beauty of the place.
VijaywadaVijaywada is located at a distance of 137 km from Vinukonda. The main tourist attractions of Vijaywada include the following.
Hazratbal Mosque is one of the most popular mosques in Vijaywada. Made from white marble, the mosque is located in the heart of the city. A holy relic of Prophet Mohammed is kept in this mosque and is displayed once a year. It attracts a large number of domestic and international tourists each year. The shrine is considered holy for Muslims.
Located on the banks of Krishna River, Undavalli caves are a popular tourist attraction of Guntur region. These caves are a fine example of Indian rock-cut architecture. The caves have been carved from solid sandstone and date back to around 4th and 5th centuries. Away from the chaos of the concrete world you feel at peace in this wonder of nature.
The beautiful and mesmerizing caves are a delight for nature lovers and photographers. The overall look and architecture of the caves give a glimpse of Buddhist architecture as well. The main cave belongs to the earliest examples of Gupta architecture, primarily primitive rock-cut monastery cells carved into the sandstone hills. These caves are surrounded by lush green forest cover. There are several small caves, but the main cave has four floors. It is a huge statue of Lord Vishnu in reclining position which was sculpted from a single granite block on the second floor of the cave. The other shrines inside the cave premises are dedicated to the holy Trinity of Hinduism – Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.
Mangalagiri Temple is located in Mangalagiri town, a small town in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. Mangalagiri literally translates to the holy hill. The hill resembles the shape of an elephant. This temple is one of the 8 sites where Lord Vishnu manifested himself. There are three Narasimha Swamy temples in Mangalagiri. One is Panakala Narasimha Swamy on the hill. Another one is Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy at the foot of the temple. Third one is Gandala Narasimha Swamy at the top of the hill. Sri Panakala Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy temple is situated on the hill. Towards the right of the steps a stone inscription by Sri Krishnadeva Raya of Vijayanagar can be seen. There is a tunnel on the west of the temple. Experts say that this tunnel directly leads you to Undavalli Caves.
Kanak Durga Temple
The famous Kanak Durga temple is situated on Indrakiladri hill, on the banks of Krishna River. It is a popular religious tourist attraction and the temple is dedicated to Goddess Kanaka Durga. Legend says that Arjuna obtained the Pasupatha astra at this site and he constructed the temple in honor of Goddess Kanaka Durga. The Vedas say that the deity of this temple is 'Swayambhu' or self-manifested. Navratri, Saraswati Puja and Theppotsavam are the main festivals celebrated at the temple.
Amarvati is another jewel in the list of places to see around Vijaywada. The place is famous for its Amareswara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Amarvati was also the site of a magnificent Buddhist Stupa built in pre-Mauryan time. The other major attraction of Amarvati is Mahachaitya Stupa, which was formed during the reign of King Ashoka. This brick stupa includes platforms with 95 ft high cardinals and circular vedika.
The famous Balasubramanya Temple is located in Vijaywada. Legend has it that a visit to the Balasubramanya Temple helps people in finding their life partners. And this is done within forty days of the visit. Devotees are required to climb a flight of around 350 steps to reach the temple. It is said that Tuesdays are the most auspicious day to visit the holy shrine
Another major tourist attraction of the region is Mogalarajapuram Caves. These alluring caves attract a lot of tourists. It is a great place for photography. Mogalarajapuram caves are home to three ancient temples which were built in 5th century. One of the temples has intricate carvings of Ardhanariswara. The other two temples have fine architecture and carvings of Lord Vinayaka and Lord Shiva in the Nataraja avatar. The caves are located just 5km from Vijaywada city.
- District – Guntur
- Mandal – Vinokonda
- Official Language - Telugu
- STD Code – 08646
- PIN Code – 522647
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