What is Bhavani Island? Where is it? Has it re-opened? How to go to Bhavani Island? What does it have for the travellers? Where to stay? I had been looking for these answers but did not find complete information at one place. I am in Vijayawada these days. Thus, I decided to visit and find it out myself. On Sunday (7th February 2021), I did a day outing with my husband to the Island and we really enjoyed our time in the lap of nature, away from the mainland.
I had read the news about the re-opening of the island in the Hindu newspaper, but did not find enough blogs on Bhavani island, definitely none written recently. The past year was action-less anyways. Thus, this seemed the right opportunity to write one myself. In this post, I have tried to make people curious about Bhavani Island and covered the general queries to clear the doubts for non-locals and travellers from around India. In the next blogpost, I will do a detailed post on activities that one can do on the island and about my own experience.
What is Bhavani Island and in which city is it located?
Bhavani island is a refreshing getaway on one of the most important rivers of India. Which river? Let us find out. As the name suggests, it is an island, a 133 acre green expanse on the Krishna river, in the city of Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the largest river islands in India which has been developed as a tourist spot with adventure activities and overnight stay facilities. One has to take a ferry to reach this patch of greens. A ride to the Bhavani island from the Punnami Ghat is a short and thrilling ride. On the way, one gets to see the scenic views of the beautiful Krishna river, the backdrop of the mountains, mighty Prakasham barrage and the lush green surroundings.
In Vijayawada, Prakasham Barrage and Kanak Durga Temple are two very important landmarks. If you are visiting any of these two places anytime soon, you must ask for Bhavani Island as well. The locals will help you spot the green patch located on the upstream of the river. I learned about it for the first time from my cab driver, on the way to Amravati.
The story behind its name
Bhavani Island gets it name from the most popular Kanak Durga temple of the city and the deep reverence that the locals show towards it. The temple holds great significance for the whole city and ‘Bhavani’ is one of the many names of the Goddess Durga. Thus, it is the island of Durga or Goddess Durga takes care of it.
Has Bhavani Island re-opened?
It is a good news for the picnickers. Bhavani Island is back in action and the locals are making the most of it. The resorts at the island have begun accepting online bookings. Maze garden and gaming zone for kids has also become functional. Even after the half day( Sunday afternoon), I had to stand in a queue to get hold of a ferry. The wait for not long though. I could see 2 ferries making trip every 5 minutes between the eastern bank and Bhavani Island.
The island definitely seemed like one of the favorite places of the locals. Also they had waited for long since it had remained closed for two reasons, first the flood in Krishna river and second, we know it all what 2020 was like.
How to reach and tickets cost?
Punnami Ghat is the place from where you plan your boat ride to Bhavani Island. Also called the Berm park jetty area. One needs to take a boat from here to get to the island, which is an exhilarating 5-7 minutes ride.
There are two kinds of boat services available to reach the island. If you have a big family of 8-10 people, you may avail a luxury boat, else the normal boat carries 25-30 passengers.
The ticket cost of entering the Punnami Ghat is Rs. 10.
The ticket cost for the ferry round is Rs. 100
The ticket cost for luxury boat is Rs. 150
The ticket cost for the maze garden is Rs. 50
In my view, it is quite an inexpensive outing if you live in Vijayawada.
What does it have for the travellers?
First and foremost, it is a great spot to breathe some fresh air, walk around the woods and be in close proximity with nature, Krishna river. Bhavani island has huge park area where you can sit and relax. For families with kids, it provides for cycling options, gaming zones, swings, bird cage and lots of place to run around. It was good to learn about the variety of birds that can be spotted on Bhavani island.
The couples can walk around, chill with friends or simply do the fun activities inside. You may explore the mirror maze, maze garden or go for the water sports. It was good to see facilities and equipment for water sports around the island. However, water skiing, parasailing, banana boating, fishing are still to resume. I only saw people kayaking and taking speed boat rides.
It is a great picnic place where you can plan a day off and surrender to the green ambiance. There is a restaurant inside which serves fresh food, so you don’t have to worry about that. In the evening, I also saw them selling fresh snacks.
Where to stay?
In the tree top suites. I loved them. I wish we could have done a booking in advance. However, I will keep that for next time. But if you are coming from Hyderabad or nearby cities, you can always pre-book these cottages.
APTDC has its Resort here with 24 cottages. You may google it by the name – BHAVANI ISLAND,HARITHA RESORT-VIJAYAWADA and book it through Andhra Pradesh’s tourism page. Post 6 in the evening, the casual and day visitors are supposed to vacate the island. Only those who have a booking for stay are allowed to be there. It can be a good idea to spend your Friday or Saturday night on the island to enjoy the silence, greenery and the opportunity to be around the Krishna river.
Hope this blog answered your queries related to Bhavani island. If there is more that you want to know, please share your question below.