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Vijayawada boasts of a multi-cultural crowd and a strong traditional influence evident in the lifestyle. The simple reason for this blend is the legacy of past that Vijayawada has experienced and nurtured. The rule under the Chalukyas and the reign under British administration resulted in molding of the culture of the land. Besides that the mere existence of Vijayawada since the Stone Age has created a foundation for the cultural development of the city.
Festivals in Vijayawada
Some of the most magnificent festivals are celebrated throughout the year in Vijayawada. The major festival of Krishna Pushkaran which happens once in 12 years is held on the banks of Krishna River and is major crowd puller. Another unbeatable sight is on the pious day of Vijayadashami, the last day of Navratri, when the idols of Goddess Durga and Lord Mallikarjuna Swamy are taken in a boat shaped as a Hamsa for Nadi Viharam. To see the ornately decorated hamsa moving gracefully in the Krishna River is a once in a lifetime experience. The Kuchipudi Village hosts the day long Kuchipudi Festival in February to celebrate the culture of the rich dance form of Kuchipudi. The three day long Sanskrati festival, held in January, is also a major attraction of the city. The city has been hosting the Vijayawada Book Festival for over 25 years held in January and is a widely awaited festival for the people of Vijayawada.
Customs in Vijayawada
One of the unique features of Vijayawada is the rural-urban blend of culture. In the old times the village head used to organize burra kathas, street plays, Tholubommalata (puppet shows) and Janapada Nrutyams (folk dances) to impart certain social message against superstitions and social evils, gender bias, health hazards and the ills of bad habits like consumption of alcohol. These practices are a heritage of ancient art that are enjoyed in the city by all and is a must see for anyone visiting Vijayawada.
People of Vijayawada
People in Vijayawada are courteous and learned. The local language is Telugu though English and Hindi are also common among the educated people. The people of Vijayawada are simple minded with a strong sense of belongingness to the place. The people are hard working and honest and have been instrumental in driving the growth story of the city.
Food of Vijaywada
Food available in Vijayawada is mainly Andhra cuisine. The tangy fiery taste of the delicacies comes from the abundant use of chilies and tamarind in preparing the curries. The people of Vijayawada love to indulge in the tangy flavors of Chutneys and pickles which form an elaborate part of their food. Rice is the principle diet for the people. The most enjoyable meal is the evening snack best enjoyed in the street side stalls of the city. The people of Vijayawada relish the evening snack by the streets after a sweltering day of hard work. Besides the traditional offering, there are many coffee joints and restaurants serving Western, Chinese and other cuisines.
Music and Dance in Vijayawada
Patrons of art in Vijayawada leave no stone unturned to preserve the heritage of the classical dance form of Kuchipudi. The Government Dance and Music College in Durgapuram provides well structured courses in the field of dance and music. The most popular courses are in practical training with Veena, Tabla, Mrudaangam, Nadaswaram and Violin and also vocal music and Kuchipudi. The place of origin of the dance form, Kuchipudi, is located at about 60 Km from Vijayawada and upholds the art form in its pure form and true spirit.
Handicrafts in Vijayawada
The annual Craft Bazaar organized in Vijayawada in winters is a much awaited festival. Bamboo made cutlery, trays, bangles, Kondapalli toys made from the soft wood from trees in Kondapalli forests, incense sticks to carpets from as far as Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh are a major crowd puller.