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Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh

 

Andhra Pradesh is a land of ancient people, whose antiquity is lost in the mythology. Andhra Pradesh, India's fifth largest state, is spread over an area of 276,754 sq km. History has left behind a legacy of dynasties going back to 300 B.C., which is evident from the many edifices, monuments and architecturalruins in and around Andhra Bora Caves Pradesh. Traces of the diverse cultures of the Mauryas, Pallavas, Cholas, Satavahanas, Chalukyas and Vijayanagar offer imposing vistas and continue to fascinate the observer. Here, tradition and technology join hands with nature to provide the tourist a rich and varied feast of the old and the new.

 

Andhra Pradesh, the home of many perennial rivers, is the confluence of many streams of cultures and traditions. Some of the incredible sights of Andhra Pradesh are the world's tallest masonry dam, million year old caves, South Asia's first lion safari and the world's richest temple. Andhra Pradesh comprises of fertile coastal plains, semi arid Deccan plateau and the lofty hills capes of the Eastern Ghats. Exquisite crafts, glorious reminders of the past, vibrant festivities, irresistible delicacies coupled with charming features of the people and the musical mother tongue Telugu leave behind everlasting impressions.. 

 

Araku Valley
It is 112 km from Visakhapatnam, at altitude of 975 meters in the Ananthagiri hills, is a fascinating experience out of the ordinary. Very soothing to frayed nerves, very relaxing, and the call of the mountains make Araku Valley a place to be visited. The climate too is salubrious and the tribes who reside in the valley make it an interesting place. The aborigines have somehow managed to keep their tradition and culture alive. The Dhimsa dance, an age-old folk dance of the aborigines is still performed here during 'Itika Pongal' - the famous hunting festival in April. Araku valley is the home of many tribes whose folklore and traditions add to the attractions of the sea.

 

Bora Caves
It is 88 km from Vishakapatnam and in the midst of the Ananthagiri hills, in he Srungavarapuka taluk of Andhra Pradesh is this a little village just 29 kms. from the verdant Araku Valley and 90- 95 kms from Visakhapatnam.


These limestone caves are famous for their fascinating stalactite and stalagmite formations. The caves at this place, popularly known as the Borra Caves are of historical and religious value and are the focal point of interest. Dating back a million years, these limestone caves present a breathtaking display of naturally sculpted splendour, in superb stalactite and stalagmite formations. Deep in the caves, a Shivalingam and an idol of a cow (known as Kamadhenu in the Hindu sculptures) can be found. The caves are illuminated by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation.

 

Bora village is also rich in minerals especially mica and hold your breath... precious stones like rubies too could be found in the mines here. A big scale project known as the Thalipudi Reservoir scheme is being constructed at a cost of Rs 4.5 crores across the river Gosthami at Thatipudi.

 

Hyderabad
The name Hyderabad literally means 'city of Hyder' since it was named after Queen Hyder Mahal, the wife of Muhammad Quli Qutab Shah, the fifth sovereign of the Qutab Shahi dynasty , who founded Hyderabad on the banks of River Musi in the year 1591. With the help of Iranian architects, Hyderabad was erected in a grid format. The city was modeled on the city of Isfahan of Iran.

 

Hyderabad is today the capital city of the state of Andhra Pradesh in South India. Located on the Deccan Plateau, Hyderabad is the fifth largest city of India. 


The cultural facet of Hyderabad is distinctly different from the Telugu culture of the rest of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad has a rich Hyderabadi culture of its own, a blend of Persian and Telugu cultures, which flourished under the reign of the Qutab Shahis. 

Hyderabad is also known as the 'City of Nizams' since it was ruled for a long time by the Nizams. The Nizams of Hyderabad were famous as the wealthiest royals in the history of India.

 

Places of Interest
Charminar a towering gateway of four minarets, 189 feet high. The city's best known landmark and symbolic of Hyderabad is the Charminar, built in 1591 by Quli Qutub Shah. All around Charminar, is a bustling bazar of pearls and jewellery shops, perfume and attar vendors. Laad bazar, famous for its glass bangles is close by.


Falaknuma Palace (12 km) A magnificent hill-top palace built by one of the Paigah nobles, Sir Vicar Vl Umra, in 1870. It is located 5 kms south of Charminar. The palace has a library, a picture gallery, and a luxurious reception hall with cabinets containing diamond, crystal and emerald objects.

 

Hussain Sagar (Tank Bund) The bund of this 21 sq km large tank links Secunderabad and Hyderabad and is one of the most pleasant places in the city. Recently installed is the famous monolith of Buddha, at the centre of the lake. Boating facilities are available here.

 

Golconda Fort: The name originates from the Telgu words 'Golla and Konda' shepherd's hill after the neighbouring Warangal. West of the city lies Golconda, once famed for its diamond mines, built on a 120 metre high granite hill, was originally founded by the Kakatiyas. The existing structure was later expanded by the Qutub Shahi Kings into a massive fort. The fort is enclosed within eight massive gates studded with large pointed iron spikes. One of the most remarkable features of this fort is its advanced acoustics, which enables a hand clap at the gate to be heard in the citadel.

 

Mecca Masjid Situated near the Charminar, the Mecca Masjid is the main place of Muslim worship in Hyderabad. It is one of the largest Mosques in the world, capable of accommodating over 10,000 worshippers. The foundation stone for this impressive building was laid by Sultan Mohammed Qutub Shah (1612-1626 AD) and completed by Aurangzeb (1658-1707 AD). A unique feature of this mosque is that its lofty pillars are carved out of single slabs of granite.

 

Salarjung Museum This museum displays the private collection of Nawab Salar Jung III. The Museum's 35 halls are filled with rare paintings, statues, jewellery, armour, precious stones and manuscripts.


Qutub Shahi Tombs Set in silent gardens, just 1 km north of the Golconda Fort, are the royal tombs of the Qutub Shahi kings. These structures are a blend of Pathan, Persian and Hindu architecture.

 

Kurnool
Kurnool is located on the south banks of the Tungabhadra river. It was once the capital of new Andhra State for a short period. The tomb of Abdul Wahad, Birla Mandir, Koda Reddy, Buruz are some of the major attractions of the city.

 

Nagarjunakonda 
One of India's richest Buddhist sites, Nagarjunakonda, 150 km southeast of Hyderabad, now lies almost entirely under the lake created by the Nagarjunasagar Dam, completed in 1960. It is named after the Buddhist Saint Acharya Nagarjuna and reveals one of the most outstanding Buddhist civilizations of the 3rd Century A.D. A replica of the excavated site has been created and carefully preserved on an island known as Nagarjuna Konda. The excavations have brought to light the Mahachaitya, the most sacred of the Stupas. An inscription in Brahmi characters states that the relics of Buddha lie within the Mahachaitya while others have revealed the existence of a Vihara and also an Aswamedha (sacrificial altar), besides tools from the Paleolithic and Neolithic ages.

 

Vishakhapatnam
The City, popularly known as Vizag, is a bustling industrial and naval port. Vizag has India's largest ship-building yard, the nation's most powerful lighthouse, the longest metal beach road in the country and the world's highest broad gauge railway track.

 

The Beaches Visakhapatnam's beaches like the R.K Beach etc. are lovely and serene. They are ideal for swimming and water sports.


Dolphin's nose This massive rock, 357 metre high, is shaped like a Dolphin's nose. The rock juts out into the sea, forming a headland on which is the lighthouse. This lighthouse has a beam that can be seen 65 km out at sea.


The Harbor It is one of the best natural harbours in the world. A temple, mosque and church are located on hills overlooking the harbor. The Hindustan shipyard is situated to the southwest of the harbour.


Lawson's Bay On the north of Vishakapatnam in this pretty cove, ideal for swimming. The Ramakrishna Mission Beach (near Bhimunipatnam) and Rishikonda beach also attract the swimmer.

 

Vijaywada
A City situated in an ideal surrounding between the Krishna River and Budameru, its tributary. The third largest City in Andhra Pradesh, Vijayawada is also the biggest-railway junction in the country. The Mogalrajapuram caves, Kanakadurga Temple, Prakasam Barrage, Gundala Church and Gandhi Stupa on Gandhi Hill are some of the places worth a visit.

Kondapalle The city is a home to maser craftsmen who make colourful wooden toys. The Virupaksha Temple is situated here amidst serene surroundings.

 

Warangal
Warangal is a district of beautiful lakes, magnificent temples and rich flora and fauna. It is about 150 kms from Hyderabad lies the ancient city of Warangal. Noted today for its beautiful lakes, magnificent temples and wildlife, Warangal was once the capital of the legendary Kakatiya kingdom. It in fact, found mention in the travel diaries of Marco Polo. The marvellous thousand pillared temple built by king Rudra Deva in the 12th century, is located here.

 

Anantapur
The district of Anantapur is located in the western part of Andhra Pradesh. This region is also known by the name of Anantapuram and was earlier known as 'Anantasagaram', which means an 'endless ocean'. It got this name because of the huge tank present at the centre. Some of the well known places in Anantapur include Puttarparthi, which is considered the place of reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba. Thimmamma Marimanu is also one of the popular places visited by tourists throughout the year. The speciality of this place is the 500-year-old huge banyan tree that has a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records.

 

Puttaparthi
The holy abode of the legendary figure, Saythya Sai Baba, Puttaparthi is a stunning edifice of contemporary Indian Religion. A tiny locale in the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh, Puttaparthi has gained global acclamation as a centre of religious excellence. This remote village on the banks of the Chitravathi River is bounded by the scorched and wobbly hills. It has acclaimed as a much desired tourist place of religious significance after the establishment of Prasanthi Nilayam, in 1950. In fact, the most remarkable attraction in this sleepy village is the Ashram complex that houses a multitude of alluring attractions.

 

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