Vijayawada, also called Bezwada, city, east-central state Andhra Pradesh, southern India. It lies in a generally flat plain interrupted by hills on the River Krishna, about 130 kilometers southwest of Rajahmundry. The city is an important hub of roads and railways, as well as a center for Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimages. Notable sites include Kanaka Durga Temple, Hazarat Bal Mosque, and Gandhi Hill, where a statue of Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi (erected in 1968) overlooks the city. The Victoria Jubilee Museum, which contains prehistoric artifacts and a beautiful black granite Buddha, and the Rajiv Gandhi Park - with a small zoo - are also located in Vijayawada. The city is home to Andhra Loyola College (founded 1953), which offers a wide variety of courses of study. Completed in 1959, the Prakasam Barrage on the Krishna River is one of the first major irrigation projects in the region. The village of Kondapalli, which is about 14 km northwest of Vijayawada, is a famous toy center. Pop. (2001) city, 851,282; urban agglomeration., 1,039,518; (2011) city, 1,034,358; urban agglomeration., 1,728,128. Krishna River, formerly Kistna, river of south-central India. It is one of the longest rivers in India with a total course of about 1,290 km.
The river has its source in the western state of Maharashtra in the Western Ghats range near the town of Mahabaleshwar, not far from the coast of the Arabian Sea. It flows east to Wai and then in a generally southeasterly direction along Sangli to the border of Karnataka state. There the river turns to the east and flows in an irregular course through north-central Karnataka and then to the southeast and into the southwestern state of Telangana. It then curves to the southeast and then to the northeast, forming part of the border with Andhra Pradesh state. In an easterly direction, it flows into Andhra Pradesh to its delta head at Vijayawada, and from there flows southeast and then south to enter the Bay of Bengal. The Krishna has a large and very fertile delta that runs continuously with that of the Godavari River in the northeast. Although not navigable, the Krishna provides water for irrigation; a weir at Vijayawada regulates the flow of water to a system of channels in the delta. Being fed by seasonal monsoon rains, the flow of the river undergoes wide fluctuations throughout the year, limiting its usefulness for irrigation. The two largest tributaries are the Bhima (north) and the Tungabhadra (south). The latter has a dam at Hospet, completed in 1957, which forms a reservoir and provides hydropower. Other hydroelectric power plants along the river include those along the Telangana-Andhra Pradesh border at Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar.