Andhra Pradesh ranks area-wise 5th and population –wise 5th among all states in India. History of this region can be traced back to thousand years before the birth of Christ. On October 1, 1953 in order to reorganize the state on the basis of language, Hyderabad was taken out of Madras Presidency and linked to the S-West Telugu speaking districts together with 1200 km coastal area along the Bay of Bengal. The area is 275045 sq. km. The places of interest to the tourists are limited in Andhra. That has been squarely compensated by the capital city of Hyderabad, developed personally by Nizams, Golconda Fort, hill resort Arku and the famous Hindu pilgrimage center Tirupati are other major attraction. Andhra is fairly prosperous in agriculture. The fertility is the result of water from Krishna River together with Kolleru Lake at Krishna, Godavari and Pennar rivers. Nagarjunasagar, is the largest lake in Andhra. Forest is also highly developed in Andhra Pradesh. Besides these, Andhra is the largest tobacco producing state. Pakhal and Eturnagaram WLS are in Warangal district, Pocharam WLS is in Madak District, Adilabad district has Kawal WLS and Kuntala waterfalls. An Ettipothala waterfall is in Guntur district. Andhra Pradesh has made immense contribution to song, dance and music. The main center of Carnatic is at Tanjore in Tamil Nadu, its language is Telugu. Pongal festival in the month of Pous is the main cultural festival.
Important places to visit
Hyderabad: Hyderabad and Secunderabad are twin cities. These are surrounded by Granite hills. The altitude of the city is 610 m. Hussain Sagar, the famous lake separates the two. The twin cities are called Budapest in India. Hyderabad is the state capital of Andhra Pradesh. Nizam’s capital was also in Hyderabad. Walls surrounded the city in 1740. Hyderabad is forerunner among states in India. With upcoming centers of information technology industries and services, today’s Hyderabad is known as Hi-tech city. Wide concrete roads, aesthetically built houses, gardens and lakes are specialties of these twin cities. Southern bank of river Musi is of special interest to the tourist. Salar Jung, Charminar, High Court, Qutub Shah Garden, Aminbag, Zoo are all in the old city. Hyderabad Railway station is at Nampally.
Golconda Fort: Golconda is another place of interest in Hyderabad. Golconda Fort is 11 km away in the west from the city. Kakatiya King Ganapati built it in 12th century. The fort was renovated many times. There is uniqueness in its architecture and construction style. The circumference is 11 km. The fencing wall is 15 to 18 m high and 5 km long. There were moats surrounding the fort. There are 87 Burujs. The main entrance is Balahisar Toran surrounded by walls. After crossing the main gate and moving a little one come to the victory gate under the dome of Dardalan and if he claps there, the sound reaches the highest Durbar Hall. The attraction of fort is Son-et-Lumiere presentation Sword of Tipu sultan.
Osman Sagar: As one turns right after exit through Mecco Darwaja of the fort, a little ahead is Osman Sagar. This artificial lake was built at Gandhi pet. The area is 46 sq. km. The city’s drinking water requirement is met from the Osman Sagar at a distance of 22.5 km.
Himayat Sagar: It is also an artificial Lake at a distance of 10 km from Osman and 20 km from Hyderabad. Persons may visit Banasthali Puram Deer Park on Vijayawada National Highway 13 km away from the city.
Falaknuma Palace: This was built in the year 1873, situated along the curved Ghat road on top of Kohitoor Hills. The royal reception hall fitted with rock crystal diamond and precious stones is unique.
Ramoji Film city: This is an area of 2000 acre. This unique place is at Hayatnagar on Hyderabad-Vijayawada Highway about 25 km from the city of Hyderabad.
Public Garden: To the north of Hyderabad Railway station adjoining Nampally is Botanical Garden with a variety of entertainment facilities, called Public Garden. The garden has an area of 120 acre and divided into 19 divisions. One can visit Hyderabad Museum with its archaeological collection in the garden.
Nowbat Hills: Beyond public garden, opposite Reserve Bank on the bank of Hussain-Sagar is the plateau of two Hills.
Salar Jung Museum: It is Nizam’s Prime Minister’s museum on the southern bank of Musi River.
Charminar: The yellow colored beautiful Charminar, built with stone and lime in the form of exquisitely curved Tazia. It has four minars on four sides. Each minar is 56 m high heaving a circumference of 15 to 30 m.
Mecca Mosque: The largest in South India about 200 m to the S-West of Charminar and around four km away from the city.
Mir Alam Tank: To the S-West of Charminar about 2.5 km away an artificial Lake was excavated on way to Bangalore with an area of 20 sq. km. This is Mir Alam Tank.
Shilparamam: Approximately 14 km away from the city of Hyderabad , Shilparamam. Adjacent to Shilparamam is nature gifted Durgam Charuvu (Lake) surrounded by mountains.
Secunderabad: It was developed as a Cantonment city by the British at a distance of eight km from Hyderabad to the north of Hussain Sagar.
Warangal: To the N-East of Hyderabad about 152 km on Hyderabad-Vijayawada railway is Warangal. Here we see combination of lakes, temples and relics of past. Vijayawada is only 209 km from Warangal. The capital of Kakatiya Hindu kings in 12-14th century was Warangal surrounded by three hills namely Hanamkonda, Padmamvi, Siddheswari.
Hanamkonda: On Warangal-Kazipet road to north around 6 km away on the slopes of Hanamkonda hill, King Rudradev built Rudreswar Shiva Temple in 1162. Persons may visit ruins of Bhongi on Hyderabad-Warangal road about 47 km from Hyderabad and 93 km from Warangal. On Hyderabad-Warangal road is about 88 km from Warangal Yadagirigutta. Another Hindu pilgrimage center is Kolanupaka. Pakhal Lake was created for agricultural purposes. It is 50 km to the east of Warangal. Pakhal wild life Sanctuary was developed in 1952 on the bank of Pakhal Lake with an area of 900 sq. km.
Bhadrachalam: This is famous f
or Sree Ramchandra Swami Temple on top of Bhadragiri Hill on the southern bank of Godavari. The temple spire supports a 30-ton chariot. Tourist may visit Bhadrachalam and reach Palancha and then go to Kinnerasani Wild Life Sanctuary at a distance.
Rajahmundry: On the eastern bank of Godavari is Rajahmundry, a holy pilgrimage center for the Hindus. Kotilingeswar Temple on the riverside attracts many pilgrims. The Markandeya Temple is built in Dravidian architectural style. Yanam that is a part of Pondicherry is 18 km from here. Other places of interest one Kakinada Sea port (55 km). Drakhsarama Saktipith (55 km). Papikonda Wild Life Sanctuary with an area of 591 sq. km. Koringa Wild Life Sanctuary in mangrove forest at the backwater of Bay of Bengal.
Visakhapatnam: To some it is Visakhapatnam, other call it Vizag while many people still know the place as Waltair. Visakhapatnam and Waltair are twin cities like the state capital Hyderabad and Secunderabad. On the way to Varanasi was built a temple and offered puja to Kartikeya, the commander in Chief of the gods. Three km from the city center, Waltair’s Ramakrishna Beach is best of the lot. Visakha Museum is another tourist attraction on the Beach road. There is another beach at the end of the city called Rishikonda Beach.
Simhachalam: It means mountain of lions. The place is famous for Nrishinghadev Temple.
Araku Valley: Araku Valley is located on the Visakhapatnam-Kirondole branch railway line, 118 km off from Visakhapatnam, 85 km before Koraput at an altitude of 1166 m. The higest peak is 1700 meter high Galikonda. 60 km ahead of Visakhapatnam and 53 km ahead of Araku Valley in the midst of fascinating nature nested in Eastern Ghat, Anantagiri Hill Station.
Bora Cave: On Visakhapatnam-Araku road, 33 km from Araku and 99 km from Visakhapatnam and about one km from Bora Guha Rly. Station. Tyda Jungle Bells, 43 km away from Bora Guha is another attraction.
Koraput: Korapur adjacent to Dandakaranya, to nature lovers it is height of 2990 ft. Wild animals and wild birds have enhanced the beauty of the place. The district Head Qtr of Koraput district located between Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh is also Koraput Town. Koraput is rich with minerals and has a Jagannath Temple built in 1972 on top of small hill. Tourist may visit upper Kolba dam at a distance of 22 km from Koraput.
Jeypore: To 27 km east of Koraput on NH-43 is Jeypore is a commercial town. Renowned Ramagiri Mountain mentioned in the Ramayana is 45 km from Jeypore. Beyond Ramagiri, further 20 km away is Gupteswar. Duduma, the place renowned is as Matsya Tirtha at a distance of 70 km from Jeypore. Balimela at a distance of 114 km from Jeypore is location for its hydroelectric project. Further 23 km ahead is Chitrokonda, dam has been constructed on Sileru River.
Horsley Hills: On the S-Western part of Andhra and on the Tirupati-Bangalore Rd, 122 km from Tirupati and 136 km from Bangalore.
Penukonda: Penukonda means big mountain. Adjoining the Horsley Hills, this hill station is 934 m high.
Lepakshi: Lepakshi in order to visit Birbhadra Shiva temple built by the king of Vijayanagar Achyut Deva Raya in 1538. According to the Legends Agasthya Muni built this temple at Lepakshi.
Kurnool: Kurnool Station is on Secunderabad-dronachalam-Guntakol branch railway and 240 km south of hyderabad. Kurnool at a height of 300 m was the capital of Andhra Desh during 1950-56. From Kurnool at a distance of 89 km, another pilgrim center Vrindavan of Sree Raghabendra Swami, i.e. Mantralayam is a popular tourist spot.
Tirupati: Tirupati is one of the greatest Hindu pilgrimage centers in India. During Satyayung the place was called Rishavadri, in Treta Anjanachal, in Dwapar Sheshachal and in Kaliyuga Venkatagiri, i.e. the cluster of 7 hills in Chittur District, known as Sheshachal or Venkatachal. Tirumalai is one of these 7 hills.
Srikalahasti: From Tirupati 37 km towards the east, between the two hills is another Hindu pilgrimage center Srikalashasti.
Srisailam: On Guntur –Kurnool road, from Dornala the road leads to Srisailam, a holy place famous for Lord Shiva. There in a temple called Mallikarjun temple built in 14th century.
Vijayawada: This is the second largest city of Andhra and known as the heart of Telugu culture. It is located on top of a delta surrounded by holy Krishna, about 70 km from sea, on the northern bank of Krishna surrounded by hills. There is Kanakdurga Temple on the bank of Krishna on top of Indrakiladri Hill.
Amaravati: This is on the southern bank of Krishna, 64 km to the S-West from Vijayawada and via Guntur. Ancient Dharanikota is today’s Amaravati. The distance of Guntur from Vijayawada is 32 km.
Nagarjunakonda: 164 km to the S-West of Hyderabad, 175 km to the West of Vijayawada, Nagarjunakonda is on the Southern bank of Krishna. Word’s 3rd largest artificial Lake has benn named as Nagarjuna Sagar. Nagarjunkonda Museum has been developed on the island of the lake in the ancient model