In some legends Vijayawada was also known as Vijayavata and Rajendracholapura. This place was a famous pilgrimage centre with River Krishna and a temple of Lord Siva in the form of Malleswara. Also the temple of Kanaka Durga Devi (the other form of Goddess Durga) at Vijayawada, whose origin is unknown, is said to be Swayambhu (self-manifested).
There are many tales behind the origin of the name of the city. It is believed that this was the place where political thinking first originated. Legends have it that this was also the place where Arjuna, the Pandava Prince, was blessed by Lord Shiva for his penance, on Indrakiladri Hill. In another legend it is stated that Goddesses Durga killed the demon and relaxed in this place for some time. As she was victorious (Vijaya), this place got the name as Vijayawada. Hence the place got the name as Vijayawada (Vijaya- Victory and Wada- city/place/location) which literally means "City of Victory".
A tale behind its acquiring the name "Bezawada" is that Goddesses Krishnaveni (River Krishna) requested Arjuna to make a passage for her to merge into the Bay of Bengal. Hence Arjuna made a Bezam (hole) through the mountains and the place came to be known as Bejjamwada which later changed to Bezawada.