Almost 450km north of Chennai, a third of the way to Kolkata, Vijayawada is a bustling commercial centre on the banks of the Krishna Delta. This mundane city, alleviated by a mountain backdrop of bare granite outcrops and some urban greenery, is seldom visited by tourists, but is an obvious stop-off point for a visit to nearby Amaravati. The Kanaka Durga (also known as Vijaya) temple on Indrakila Hill in the east, dedicated to the city’s patron goddess of riches, power and benevolence, is the most interesting of Vijayawada’s handful of temples. Across the river, roughly 6km southwest of town, is an ancient, unmodified cave temple complex at Undavalli, a tiny rural village on the local #301 bus service to Amaravati. There are shrines to all three of the trimurti, with the reclining Vishnu statue on the upper level being the most impressive feature.

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