From Nandyal Ahobilam is just 74 kilometers, and from Hyderabad nearly 360 kilometers . This is one of the main Hindu pilgrimage centres in Andhra Pradesh and it is well known as 'Singavel Kundram Ahibilam'. Here one can see the temples and all are dedicated to God Narasimha.
But as per the local legend, the story behind man-lion incarnation of Vishnu is different. It took actually to defeat the demon named Hiranyakashipu. Also there are some other places as well worshiping the Narasinhavatara of Vishnu.
Ahobilam is the only place where one can see all of the nine forms of Lord Narasimha that is total Nava Narsimha and all are worshipped here. At the foot of hill, there is a temple of Prahaladavarada Narasimha, means a form of Lord Narasimha while blessing Prahalada.
There are main two other temple sites in town located in upper Ahobilam. In the center of the limestone region, one can see natural caves and some of the caves are used as temples. Narasimha temple in natural cave is found in Upper Ahobilam.
There is Vaishnav Math in this town and temple lie in the heart of 3 Prakaras, all are built in style of Vijayanagara. Shrine in Lower Ahobilam built by Vijaynagar kings is from 14th century. There is a drinking water lake at a short distance from this temple and it is named as 'Alwar Koneru'.
Start from the foot of a hill and towards upper Ahobilam one can enjoy a nice journey. Total path ion this hill is nearly 9 kilometers and it is cut across forests and virgin hills.
How to reach
This interesting and pleasing town is well known for the temples from Chankyan era and also the temples are separated in to two sets namely Brahmeswara and other is Papanatha.
Alampur is 214 kilometers on the way to Hyderabad and 27 kilometers on the way to Kurnool.
There are the presiding deities which stand at the banks of Tungabhadra river with this place Alampur in between them.
There are a number of tourist places in Amaravathi. Amaravathi is a place one of the important Buddhist site located near the ancient Satavahana capital, Dhanyakataka. This place was once the ancient capital of Satavahanas. Also it was one of the four renowned Buddhist centres of learning in the whole India.
This main site of Buddhism is 65 kilometers on the south-west of Vijayawada. It gave an impetus to art, architecture and trade as well as facilitated the spread of Buddhism on the east coast. It is very significant ancient Buddhist centre as well as the former capital of Andhras.
Previously this shrine was dedicated to Hinayana sect, but later under Nagarjuna was changed into a Mahayana sanctuary, where Buddha was well-regarded as Amareswara. A representative of Emperor Asoka, who went to spread Buddhism in this region, laid the foundation of the great stupa at Amaravati.
Dome of the foundation is now missing, but it is supposed that it had been built with large sized bricks. Its present height is 1.55 meter sand witha diameter of 49.30 meters. There is a stupa, which have the largest marble-surfaced dome in the whole world. It is decorated with rich carvings and depicts the different incidences from Buddha's life.
Generally the Mahastupa is well-known as 'Deepaladinne' or 'Mound of Lamps'. There are pieces of 2000 years old stupa, which include grass hump and a few stones. The Archaeological Museum here have a colection of panels, broken, railings and sculptures of the Bodhi Tree, charkas, pottery, coins, bangles and terracotta.
Chandavaram is a Buddhist site and it is 150 kilometers from Vijayawada city. Its speciality is unique double terraced stupa on top of a hillock called Singarakonda, means a beautiful hillock. It is only place of its type in South India with more than 30 carved limestone panels adding beauty to the dome of the stupa.
Guntapalli is also a beautiful Buddhist site and it is located 85 kilometsr away from Vijayawada city. It lies in valley, which has a horseshoe shape and it have rock-cut chaityas, votive stupas and viharas. Dignaga, who was the great Buddhist logician, supposed to have lived in this ashram.
Sankaram is located 41 kilometrs from Visakhapatnam city. Here one can easily visit to many monolithic votive stupas, brick-built structural edifices and early historic pottery. Satavahana coins since 1st century are also available here.
Salihundam is located on the right bank of the river Vamsadhara, about 116 kilometers from Visakhapatnam city. There are many Buddhist stupas as well as a huge monastic complex on a hillock with a beautiful surroundings. Here the statue of Tara and Marichi were discovered. Buddhism spread to Sumatra and other Far-Eastern countries from this place only.
Anantapur is a district place and here is a historical tree with name 'Thimmamma Marrimanu' is saved by people since 500 years. Thimmamma Marrimanu tree is with unique feature as it is the only sacred tree grove in the whole world.
This tree is the example of worshipping natural values. It is a tree of Ficus bengalensis and it is located in a village named Gootibylu of Anantapura District in AP. It is nearly 26 kilometers on the east of Kadiri to Rayachoti Road.
At the foot of hills in Eswaramala Reserve Forest this tree is located and it come in Kadiri Forest Range. It has a little animal house and aviary existing at Thimmamma Marrimanu. There is a nursery developed by the Forest Department of Thimmamma Marrimanu.
Annavaram is at a distance of 72 kilometers from Rajahmundry and 124 kilometers from Visakhapatnam. It is one of the sacred pilgrim and located on top of a hill called Ratnagiri. Deity of Veeravenkata Satyanarayana Swamy is worshiped at Annavaram.
Vrata in the name of Satyanarayana Swamy is performed by the devotees and believed that wishes will be fulfilled by doing this. There are Bhishma Ekadasi in the month of January or February, Kalyanotsavam, Vysakha Ekadasi in the month of April or May are the main festive days.
How to reach
Araku Valley is a nice natural and relaxing place for tourism in the Andhra state. It is 112 kilometers away from Vizag and it is at an altitude of 3100 feet with green and pleasant Eastern Ghats. One can enjoy a train trip, as it has 46 tunnels and bridges while travelling to this place.
The visitors get attracts by its scenic beauty and most wooded forests. Trekking facilities are available for trek lovers and Borra caves a nice spot for trekking from this place. This place is having a different attraction due to tribal village and their different traditional folk dances.
How to reach
By Air - Nearest is Visakhapatnam airport at a distance of 112 kilometers.
Arasavalli is on the north coastal of Andhra and this is a single place with the Sun temple in this state. Arasavalli is 3 kilometers away from Srikakulam and 733 kilometers from Hyderabad city. It is one of the main pilgrims, as the huge crowd on every Sunday visits the Sun-God temple.
Shri Suryanarayana Swamy temple, a sun temple is the main attraction of visitors from all over the country. This temple is built in such a way that the rays of the sun fall at the feet of the deity directly two times in a year. These two days are the main days to visit this holy place.
How to reach
Basar is located on the banks of Godavari River. At Basar there is a Temple of Sri Gyana Saraswati, which is the only South Indian temple dedicated to the Goddess of knowledge and the second is located in the Kashmir. This temple has some reference in the 'Markendeya and Brahmanda Puranas'.
It was believed that after daily holy bath from Godavari river, Sage Vyasa bring three handfuls sand and kept it at a place, whenever he stay here. It then transformed into the Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali images. It was also believed that here Valmiki established Saraswati and wrote Ramayana.
There is samadhi and marble image of Valmiki located near this temple. One can find image of Lakshmi besides Goddess Saraswati and the presence of all three Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali, Basar is considered as divine trinity.
How to reach
There are a number of tourist places in Bhadrachalam. Bhadrachalam is one of the most famous place all over India for the Sree Seetaramachandra Swamy temple. It is located on the left side of the Godavari river and very holy pilgrimage of Hindus. It is the greatest holy shrines in South India and has a great historical background.
On Sreeramanavami that is the Lord Rama and his consort Sitadevi's marriage anniversary celebrations, it is expected that nearly three lakh people gather together to enjoy the the holy 'Kalyana Mahotsavam' - marriage ceremony of God Rama and Godess Sitadevi.
The historic tales narrate that Lord Rama, long after he had shed his mortal coils apparent himself to save his devotee Bhadra 'Maharshi whom' he assured 'moksh' after intensive prayer and thats why this village is known as 'Bhadradri' or 'Bhadrachalam'.
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Ushnagundam is 6 kilometres away from Bhadrachaiam. It is supposed that Lakshmana brought hot water to bath from here for Sita.
It is 3.2 kilometre away from here and on Venkatapuram road lies Motigadda. Legends says that Sita Devi was abuducted by Ravana from here. Parnasala where Sita dried her sarees as well as the hut in which she lived with her husband Lord Ram and Lakshaman could be visited from this place.
Borra caves are located at a distance of above 90-95 km from Vishakhapatnam. Situated at 1400 metres above sea-level, they spread over the Eastern Ghats and occupy an area of 2 sq km. William King George of the Geological Survey of India discovered these caves in the year 1807. Tribals, for whom the caves are religiously significant, inhabit the whole surrounding area.
Deep in the caves, there is a "Shivalingam", over which there is an idol of a cow "Kamdhenu", and the river Gosthani takes its origin from the udder of this cow. The mercury and halogen lamps lit inside, make the interior of the caves colourful and spectacular. There are mica mines in and around the village and it is believed that mining of precious stones like rubies is possible. The natural formations of the caves is unique and breathtakingly beautiful. Due to the pressure of the flow of the Gosthani river, the limestones in the area dissolved and gradually caves were formed. The dissolved stone trickled down drop by drop on the floor of the cave and solidified to form irregularly shaped stalagmites and stalactites. There are several interesting structures like a mushroom formation, a temple, a mosque, a church and others inside the caves.
There are a number of tourist places in Draksharamam. Draksharamam is Shaivaite shrine and located 185 kilometers from Vijayawada city. It is supposed that Sage Vyasa performed penance here and named it as Dakshina Kasi (Southern Benaras). Legend says that the Saptamaharishis means seven sages, at the end of their penance divided the akhanda Godavari named river into seven separate streams.
The Sapta Godavari Kundam means a seven river pond situated near a temple is the main attraction of the number of devotees visiting this place. There are many rock edicts means sasanas, carved on the walls of the temple.
The temple art proves the power of a merging of sculptural traditions of two typws namely Chalukya and Chola styles. Famous A Telugu poet Srinath in the 14th century said to have written a 'Prabhanda Kavya 'Bhimakhanda' about this sacred place.
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Horsley Hills is one of the famous hill resorts in Andhra Pradesh state and it is about 144 kilometers away from Tirupati. This resort is named after W.D. Horsely, who was the erstwhite collector of Cuddapah District and he had chosen the place for summer residence.
It is located at an altitude of 1265 meters and the place Horsely Hills is very delightful and with a cool environment every where. It also has teak, red sanders, eucalyptus, mangoes and gulmohar trees to increase the natural beauty.
How to reach here
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Birla Planetarium and Science Museum is located in Naubat Road. The planetarium was inaugurated in 1985 by N T Ramarao. It is one of the most modern and one of its kind planetariums in India. With technological help from Japan, the museum is located in a doom-shaped building, which stands to educate those who visit. In fact, it is a place that both entertains and educates.
The sky shows are conducted every day along with periodically varying themes about the various elements of the universe, such as comets, meteors, the cosmos, the eclipses. With its startling sound quality and the amount of information disseminated, Birla Planetarium and Science Museum is one of the places that a visitor should not miss in Hyderabad.
The museum is closed on the last Thursday of every month and is open between 10 am and 8:15 pm. Entry fee is Rs 13. Telephone: 040-23241067, 23235081.
Charminar, an excellent blend of the Indo-Islamic architecture, is one of the places that will come to mind when one plans to visit Hyderabad. It is a square-shaped structure standing as a witness to the glory of Qutub Shahi dynasty. The structure is 56 meters high and 30 meters wide. There are four minarets standing on the four corners of Charminar, each minaret having double balconies. The balconies offer a breathtaking view of the surrounding. These minarets are crowned with small, bulblike copulas.
There are four grand arches facing the cardinal directions and major roads emanate from the arches, along the four cardinal directions. On the top floor is located a small mosque. There are 45 prayer spaces and people throng to this mosque for the Friday prayers. One should not miss the beautiful view of Charminar when it is illuminated.
Chowmahalla Palace is near the Charminar. The Asif Jahi dynasty made this palace as their seat. The official guests as well as royal visitors were entertained here. Salabat Jung in 1750 initiated its construction but it was completed in 1869 during the period of Nizams. Known for its unique style and elegance, the palace mainly comprises of two courtyards – southern courtyard and northern courtyard, featuring beautiful palaces, the grand Khilwat (the durbar hall), fountains and gardens.
The southern courtyard which consist four palaces Afzal Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal and Aftab Mahal is the palace’s oldest part. It was built in the neo-classical style. Among the four palaces, Aftab Mahal is the grandest. This two-storied building constructed in European style is a beautiful palace to visit among the four palaces.
The northern courtyard of the palace features Mughal Domes and arches. This part consists of the Bara Imam, a long corridor of rooms at the east side which was once used as the administrative wing. Shishe-Alat, opposite to the Bara Imam was the guestroom for the officials. The Khilwat Mubarak is undoubtedly the heart of the Chowmahalla Palace. It was the seat of Asaf Jahi dynasty.
Chowmahalla Palace’s northern courtyard also has the Clock Tower, Council Hall and Roshan Bungalow. Roshan Bungalow was named after the sixth Nizam’s mother, Roshan Begum. The Council Hall houses the rare collection of manuscripts and priceless books of the Nizams. It is also the place where Nizam met important officials. Today, temporary exhibitions from the Palace collection also takes place here. The palace was restored and opened to public in January 2005. After five years of documentation and restoration work, the first courtyard regained its former glory.
Falaknuma Palace is located 5 kilometers due south of Charminar. The palace is located on a 2000-foot-high hill. Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra built this palace and Nizam VI purchased this palace from Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra in 1897. The latter used this palace as a royal guest house. The grandson of Nizam VII, Nawab Mukarramjah Bahadur, owns this palace now.
With lavishly decorated interiors and built by an Italian architect, this palace stands as a witness to the late nineteenth century architectural taste of Hyderabad. The palace is modeled like a scorpion whose two 'stings' are spreading out towards north. The palace has as many as 220 lavishly designed rooms as well as 22 halls.
The rosewood dining table of the palace is known for its ability to take 100 guests at a time. With its Venetian chandeliers, marble staircase, carved balustrades, a massive library with one of the unique collection of the Holy Quran, this palace deserve not to be missed out by any visitor. Prior permission is a must to visit this exotic palace.
The Golconda Fort is situated due west of Hyderabad. The fort was founded as early as the twelfth century by the Kakatias. The Qutub Sahi kings converted this fort into a mighty fort with granite walls and ramparts that extend to around 5 kilometers in circumference. The perimeter of this massive fort measures around 11 kilometers, with 15 to 18-foot-high walls. There are as many as 70 ramparts besides 8 huge gates.
Golconda was once the market city for its diamond trade. Darya-e Nur, meaning 'sea of light', measuring 185 carats and housed now in Iran, was mined here. Many other famed diamonds—including the Kohinoor Diamond, Nur-Ul-Ain Diamond, the Hope Diamond, and the Regent Diamond—are believed to belong to the mines in this region.
Highlight of the fort is a light-and-sound show. The timings of the show are different during summers and winters. During November–February, the shows begin at 6:30 pm, and during March-October, the shows begin at 7 pm. On Wednesdays and Sundays the shows are presented in English; on Tuesdays, Fridays, and on Saturdays, in Hindi; and on Thursdays, Telugu.
Purana Haveli is the main residence of Mahbub Ali Pasha, the Nizam VI. One of the neo-classical structures, it is a sprawling complex built during the mid-nineteenth century. That the Nizam lived a lavish life can be seen from the Massarat Mahal, situated on the eastern wing of the building. It houses the Nizam’s wooden wardrobe, a giant 73-square-meter room having two closets and an elevator. The two closets are of two levels, and the mechanical elevator is used to reach the top level of the closets.
The Nizam’s museum is also found in the Purana Haveli. Purana Haveli is open between 10:30 am and 5 pm, except on Fridays.
The Nizam’s Museum is an equally entertaining museum in Hyderabad. It is located in Purana Haveli, in the heart of the city. The museum is just two kilometers from Charminar. The second Nizam of Hyderabad acquired a palace around 1750 and made it into a museum with a breathtaking collection of antiques.
The gifts and mementos on the silver jubilee celebrations are being displayed here. Among this precious collection are the expensive and vintage 1930 Rolls Royce, Mark V Jaguar and Packard. Gold-furnished throne used during the celebrations; a gold tiffin box, with diamond inlaid it; coffee cups made of silver and studded with diamonds are also seen. Gold and silver models of various buildings and the silver Jubilee pavilion are also showcased.
The museum is open on all days except Fridays, between 10 am and 5 pm.
Salar Jung Museum is located on the southern side of the river Musi. It is the third most prominent museum in India domiciliating the largest one-man aggregations of antiques in the world. This museum is very famous throughout India for its well-known collections of materials belong to various civilizations starting from first century.
The museum is a majestic treat to the cognoscenti with an accumulation of more than 43,000 art materials and 50,000 books and manuscripts. The collections contain Children Art, European Art, Far Eastern Art, Indian Art, and Middle Eastern Art along with a gallery of founders and uncommon manuscripts section.
The Durgam Cheruvu is located near the Hi-tech City, the home of information-technology industries in Hyderabad. This lake, which is also called the Secret Lake, belongs to older times. This lake once served as a drinking water source to the Golconda Fort. The lake brinks on the lush green terrains of the Jubilee Hills.
Rich scenic surroundings and the picturesque lake waters made this become a major tourist attraction. Pedal boating, camping, and trekking facilities are available. A cafeteria as well as a refreshment center are located on its banks. Granite shields around here are one of its kind in Asia. They date back to around 2500 million years, bringing rock lovers from all over the world.
Hussain Sagar Lake was built in 1562 by Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali, during the reign of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah. The lake was built on a tributary of Musi River and is located in the midst of Hyderabad city. The main Tank Bund links Hyderabad and Secunderabad, which are famously called the twin cities.
The bund is laid with a broad road with well-maintained lawns and houses 33 statues of famed personalities of Andhra Pradesh state. A 16-meter-tall, 350-tonne, monolithic Buddha statue is on the middle of the lake. Lumbini Park, which houses the Buddha statue, has a musical fountain. There is a Lower Tank Bund road, which mainly serves to decongest the traffic.
The Buddha Statue is the world’s largest single-stone statue of Buddha, which is made of a white granite rock. It is 22 metres (72 feet) in height and 450 tonnes (4,50,000 kilograms) in weight. It is located in the center of the lake on the rock of Gibraltar in the tranquil waters of the Hussain Sagar Lake. It was a contribution of the Buddha Poornima Project held in the year 1985.
The statue was carved by 200 artisans for more than two years. The statue has been shipped to Hyderabad in November 1988, after some initial troubles, the Buddha statue was raised up on 12 April 1992. The atmosphere ponders peace and perseverance. A visit to the Buddha statue by boat would be an unforgettable experience.
Lumbini Park is situated a few yards from the famous monolithic Buddha statue of the Hussain Sagar Lake. Lumbini Park is part of the Buddha Poornima Project, and is named after the birthplace of Buddha. A large 'clock' designed using flowering plants at the entrance welcomes the visitors.
The park is a serene landscape decorated with seasonal flowering plants, rocks and cacti. Children have a lot to be entertained here, including the musical fountain and water cascades. The musical fountain dances to the tunes of popular Hindi and Telugu numbers.
The park is open to visitors on weekdays, except on Mondays.
Osman Sagar Lake is situated about 20 km away from Hyderabad. It is commonly known as Gandipet. The important attractions of this lake are Elless World, Ocean Park, and Treasure Island. This lake is crowded in all the seasons. The water body was made by building a dam on Moosi River in the year 1920 by Mir Osman Ali Khan. The lake supply water to the cities Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
Osman Sagar Lake covers an area of 46 square km. The environment here is very pleasing and the decorated gardens with a swimming pool are additional attractions to this lake. There is no any specific time to visit this place. It could be visited at any time of the day. It is open for the public - no entrance fee!
With approximately 1500 species of birds, reptiles and animals, and with 300 acres of land, Nehru Zoological Park is one of the largest zoos in Asia. The zoo is located near Bahadurpura, Hyderabad. Chimpanzees, white peacocks, rhinoceros, and mynahs are the significant varieties of species seen in this well-maintained park. Lion Safari is the major attraction within the zoo.
The eager visitors are taken in a closed-cage tour inside the zoo, where wild animals such as majestic lions, tigers, wild oxen, rhinos and panthers are let live in their simulated natural habitat. A nocturnal zoo, a natural-history museum, a mini train, above all the prehistoric dinosaur park make the park a place to enjoy. It would take 6–7 hours to cover all aspects of the zoo.
The zoo is open between 9 am and 5 pm. Closed on Mondays and national holidays.
Begumpet Mosque is one of the marvelous mosques present in Hyderabad. It’s well known among the people because of its amazing architecture. The architecture followed in this mosque is the Spanish Architecture. The mosque was constructed by Sir Vicar-ul-Umra a Paigah Nawab.
The various Birla mandirs constructed across the country were built by the industrialists Birlas. Sri Venkateswara, or Lord Lakshminarayana, is the deity of these temples. Strangely, however, these temples are known by the family that undertook the noble cause. The Birla Mandir in Hyderabad is built on the 280-foot-high hillock of Kalapahad. Birla Mandirs are constructed entirely using marbles. It is believed that it took 2000 tonnes of white marbles brought from the Indian state of Rajasthan to complete this holy place.
The intricate marble carvings blending the South Indian architecture, Utkal temple architecture and Rajastani architecture is simply amazing. The view from the highest level offers the viewer a spectacular view of the Hussain Sagar Lake and the Public Gardens and Lumbini Park.
The temple is open between 7 am and 12 noon and between 3 pm and 9 pm.
Chilkur is a picturesque village on the banks of Osmansagar, around 25 kilometers away from Hyderabad. Lord Balaji Venkateswara is the deity of the temple. Hundreds of thousands of devotees worship here every year. It is a serene place for retreat and meditation.
The temple was built around five hundred years ago. This temple is considered to be an alternative to the Tirumala temple. Lord Balaji Venkateswara showers his blessings to the devotees along with Rajya Lakshmi (fondly called ammavaru).
ISKCON Temple is located at Nampally in Hyderabad. It is one of the famous temples constructed by the ISKCON organization. The main deity of this temple is Lord Krishna. Other deities of this temple are Sri Gaura-Nitai, Sri Jagannatha Baladeva-Subhadra, and Sri Radha Madana-Mohana.
The temple is usually crowded on Krishnashtami since thousands of devotees visit this temple. The temple has been kept under strict watch by the police personnels. Many metal detectors have been set up at the gateways by which no frisking was executed.
Usual programmes are performed on daily basis. On Sundays special programmes are performed. The temple also distributes the Krishna Prasadam to nearly 1,000 devotees every month. Bhakti Vrksha facilitates devotees to get personal attention and guidance on how to exercise bhakti yogas and sustain good association.
The construction of Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad employed 8000 masons working round the clock for 77 years. The Masjid is one of the oldest, and biggest, mosques in the entire country. This mosque is located 100 meters from the Charminar. The myth is that bricks used for the construction of this masjid comprised of bricks from Mecca.
The masjid houses a 75-foot-high hall, which has dimensions of 220 feet by 180 feet. Belgian crystal chandeliers adorn the mosque. The structure started withering and cracking, making the government announce the region to be traffic free.
The Maula Ali Dargah was constructed in the retention of Hazrat Ali, who is the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad. It was constructed by the Asif Jahis. The 400 steps make you to contribute your religious interest. The dargah is located on the top of a hillock near Moula-Ali, which is in north-eastern part of Hyderabad. The panoramic view of the Hyderabad city from the top of the Moula-Ali hill is a breathtaking scene.
The Moula-Ali Dargah is incomparable in a sense since it does not have anybody's mortal remains. The Heritage Conservation Committee of HUDA has identified this dargah as one of the eleven heritage sites. To get life comfortable for the visitors, there is a long stairway to go up the hill to arrive at the Dargah.
Even though the Paigah tombs are recent discovered, they belong to the late eighteenth century and incarnate unique decoration and elegance in marble. These tombs cover an area of around two acres. Paigah Tombs are located in Santosh Nagar, which is 10 km away from Hyderabad. The main attractions of these tombs are the unique architecture and the carvings of the marble.
The tombs are a chain of large burial chamber built for the Paigahs and the proximate members of the families Paigahs. These structures are the examples of noteworthy artistry expressing the dainty inlaid mosaic work. The people of Hyderabad claim that the geometric conventions of the sculptural characteristics of these tombs are incomparable and not seen at any place in the world.
Qutub Shahi Tombs are located at around one kilometer away from the Golconda Fort. Qutub Shahi Tombs are a clump of tombs – there are more than thirty tombs in the composite besides some other open air tombs. It is the most trustworthy evidence of the architectural traditions of the Qutub Shahi. The Qutub Shahi phratry constituted out of the 5 fragments of the Kingdom of Bahmani, which was founded by Sultan Quli in the year 1518. He contributed numerous buildings to Golconda and reinforced its fortification.
These tombs and some other buildings of the king of the Qutub Shahi characterize the evolution of a modern architectural style. The style of architecture is a mixture of the Hindu, Pathan, and Persian forms. The main material utilized in the construction of these tombs is grey granite, which was ornamented with stucco decoration wheresoever required.
Shahi Masjid is a majestic masjid located in the premises of Public Garden in Hyderabad. The masjid reflects the Shahi architecture. The spectacular arches, columns, domes, and minarets of this masjid are adding treat to the eyes of the visitors.
Regarded as an abode of all divine worlds, Surendrapuri Mythological awareness Museum, is a center of artistic and sculptural excellence and allows the tourists to have a vision of all gods. It is a pilgrim center where tourists can see the celestial world of Lord Brahmaloka, Vishnuloka, Sivaloka, Nagaloka, Indraloka, Yamaloka, Narakaloka, Patalaloka, Padmavyuham and Padmadweepam, from proximity.
Various episodes from the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Bhagvad Gita also also been interpreted in forms of sculptures. Pilgrims co e here to get a deep insight on the lives of the various gods and goddess through various sculptures, exhibits and paintings.
Kunda Satyanarayana Kala Dhamam transports you into a new world of joy, with the exhilarating boon of a vision of all deities, Gods and Goddesses in one spectacular mythological awareness centre.
Toli Masjid is an ornate mosque, which situated in the suburban area of Karvan, near Purana Pul. It is located nearly 2 km away from the Golconda fort. It was constructed in 1671 by Mir Musa Khan Mahaldar, who was a majestic designer of Abdullah Qutb Shah. The frontage comprises of five arches, each of which consists of lotus decorations in the spandrils. The main arch is somewhat broader and more ornate. The inner side of the masjid is separated into two halls, which are a transversal outer hall and an inner hall got into the triple arches.
The masjid is one of the gorgeous memorials in Hyderabad. It is an extraordinary example of the architecture of Qutb Shahi. The masjid is embellished by two minarets of about 20 meters on either side. As per the regal records, the Toli Masjid is also called as Damdi Masjid.
Yadagiri Gutta is a mythologic pilgrim place, which is located around 60 km away from Hyderabad. The dwelling of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy (an incarnation of Lord Visnu) is present in a cave at the top of the hillock is known as Yadagiri Gutta. At the top the hillock there is a water body called kund. It is a wonderful sacred place every one must visit.
This cave temple Yadagiri Gutta is located at an altitude of 300 feet on the hillock, Yadagiri. This is an ancient sacred place of pilgrimage for Hindus. Yadagiri Gutta is renowned as Vedagiri because Lord Vishnu brought all Vedas and believed to be kept all the Vedas on this sacred place.
Shamirpet is famous for its artificial lake and other attractions near to the lake. The small lake of Shamirpet was built around 50 years ago by the Jahangir of the region. This lake is a rain-fed lake. Katta Maisamma, located in the lake bund, is a place of worship here. The deity is believed to protect the visitors.
There is a small pond near the Katta Maisamma temple, acting as a home for many small and beautiful birds. There used to be a well-laid garden earlier. A deer park is seen on the vicinity of the park, beside the lake resort, and is run by the Forest Department.
The park is open between 9 am and 5 pm. Weekends are particularly crowded with more people from the nearby towns and city came here. Shamirpet is an otherwise peaceful picnic spot.
Kolanupaka is 80 kilometers away from Hyderabad city and it is situated in-between Hyderabad and Warangal. Kolanupaka is Kalyani Chalukyas's second capital in the 11th Century AD. At that time this village was one of the main religious centers of Jains and counted as one of the important Jain centers in the South India.
Kolanupaka is the birth place of Renukacharya, the great 'Vira Saiva' saint was revealed by literal evidences. It was believed that he born from the Svayambaghu Linga, at this place and absorbed into another preaching Vira Saivism. It also has many historic monuments, sculptures, paintings and temples from 10th and 11th centuries.
How to reach
It can be reached easily by local buses and taxis till Aler, which is 6 kilometers away from this place.
Lepakshi is the nice paradise so sculptors and it is beautiful place to visit in Andhra Pradesh. It is located 124 kilometers away from Bangalore. This place has population of 7148. It can be reach easily by road from B.T. Road. The languages spoken here are Telugu, English, Tamil and Kannada. It is one of the religious centres in AP.
It has huge collection of temple architecture and mural paintings. It is situated on a distance of 480 kilometers from Hyderabad in Anantapur district. The place is easily reached from Tirupati.
It is a place connected with the legend of 'Lord Rama' as it is believed that 'Jatayu', the vulture, who confronted Ravana and after a prolonged resistance, Jatayu fell down on earth at this place. The bird then passed on the message of Ravana passed from there to Rama and Rama said Lepakshi means 'Get up Bird!', and then onwards this place is named as Lepakshi.
This small village has the famous Veerabhadra Temple, which is built in 1538 in the Vijayanagar style. It also has sculptures preserved, but all the the mural paintings found here are striking and depicting legends from Puranas. The Kalyana Mandapa is having 38 carved monolithic pillars of grey stone.
How to reach
Mahanandi is at a distance of 320 kilometers from Hyderabad city and just 16 kilometers from Nandyal. Mahanandi lies in the thickly wooded Nallamalai hills in Nandyal taluka and in Kurnool District. There is a temple of Sri Mahanandiswara Swamy in the shape of a Linga.
The Mahanandi is one of the nine Nandis in India. It has an outstanding feature of the crystalline water in the temple and that water flows throughout the whole year from the five perennial springs. This water source is so abundant, that on this alone source 100 acres of banana plantation are irrigated.
How to reach
Where to stay
Mantralayam is ona a journey of just two hours by road from Kurnool and it is located on the bank of Tungabhadra River. It is believed that nearly 300 years ago, Madhwa Saint Sri Raghavendra took Samadhi here near Kurnool. Huge number of devotees and followers of this saint may be of any religion or cast visit this small town the whole year.
How to go
Where to stay
For some visitors there is a best temple accommodation and the other is Andhra Pradesh Tourism guest house.
There are a number of tourist places in Medak Church. Medak is gifted with archaeological treasures and it was a crowded metropolis of Buddhist culture in ancient times. The main landmark of Medak is a church and the church was standing firm, tall amidst sylvan surroundings. This church is built on a large scale in solid white granite. This gothic structure is well famous for the large pointed stained glass windows.
Mr. Charles Walker Posnett, who is dedicated English missionary from England, was posted as the priest of Medak and continued for three years. Plenty of families approach the Reverend for food and blessings. Their pathetic condition of these people inspired him to build a church. The suggestion was right away accepted and as a result the church rose.
The church construction was started in the year 1914 and lasts for 10 years and completed on Christmas in the year 1924. The church is having capacity for accommodaton of 5000 people. It has a spired bell tower of 175 feet height. This church has stylish vaulting and large painted stained glass windows, which is the most fascinating feature of Church.
There is a picture book of the Bible for those who cannot read and it was created by the British artist, Sir O. Salisbury, which took 40 years to complete this book. The pictures glow actively and seems live. Each window here is a collection of many bits of painted glass which glued in a single piece and delicately set into the stone windows.
How to reach here:
There are a number of tourist places in Nagarjunakonda. Nagarjunakonda is located on 150 kilometrs from the southeast side of Hyderabad city. It is one of India's very famous and rich Buddhist sites. It now days lies entirely under the lake created by the Nagarjunasagar Dam, completed in 1960s.
Vijayapuri was served as a capital of the Ikshvaku kingdom and was best centre of Buddhist learning seventeen hundred years ago. Now there is a place flourishes named Nagarjunasagar, it is a famous township and get its name after Acharya Nagarjuna, who was the founder and father of Mahayana Buddhism.
Nagarjunakonda may be named after Nagarjuna, it is the revered Buddhist monk, who governed the sangha that is Buddhist monastery. Here many relics of the Buddhist civilization found since the 3rd century AD. The very old relics at the site were discovered by archaeologist A. R. Saraswathi.
In the year 1950 the region was selected as the site for a huge tank, called as the Nagarjuna Sagar, for the purpose of irrigation and the generation of electricity. The excavated relics were rebuild and have been carefully conserved at Nagarjunakonda, a unique island-museum in the midst of the man-made Nagarjunasagar Lake.
The museum has been created in the figure of a Buddhist Vihara and accommodates a stupendous collection of relics of Buddha, Buddhist art and culture. The main stupa named the Mahachaitya includes the holy relics of Buddha.
The centre of attraction is a partially broken monolithic statue of Buddha in an exceptional image of peace and poise. During the building of the Nagarjunasagar Dam, the remains of an prehistoric Buddhist university were unearthed in it.
It has been rebuild at Anupu, 4 kilometers away from the right bank of the reservoir. A third century vihara and amphitheatre with fine acoustics takes one back into history. The Nagarjunasagar Dam project, completed in 1966, is one of the largest in India and its two of the irrigation tunnels are said to be among the longest in the world.
How to reach here:
The Sai baba ashram itself is a huge complex with room for thousands, with canteens, shops, a museum and library, and a vast assembly hall where Sai Baba gives darshan twice daily (6.45-7.00 AM and 3.45-4.00 PM). Queues start more than an hour before the appointed time, and a lottery decides who gets to sit near the front.
On the way between Bangalore and Puttaparthi, one can find the Veerbhadra temple at Lepakshi. At the entrance of the town, there is a huge, monolithic Nandi, the sacred bull of Lord Shiva. The temple is about 500 meters away.
There are a number of tourist places in Rajahmundry. Rajahmundry was the capital of the eastern Chalukyas and it was then captured by the Muslims from the Vengi kings in the year of 1471. It again returned into the Orissan Kingdom in the year 1512. This is the site of phenomenal historic plus religious consequence.
The Deccan Muslims recaptured it in the year 1571 and it was frequently the view of harsh fighting until being settled to the French in the year 1753. It is memorized for the poet Nannaya, who wrote the first Telugu classic andhra Mahabharathamu.
Pushkaram - the Kumbh Mela of the south is celebrated once in 12 years where devotees have a sacred bathe in Godavari, and clean their sins. The long rail bridge of 56 spans is an remarkable view.
The D. Rama Rao art gallery - It hosts some of the most outstanding paintings of him. The Markandaya and Kotilingeswara Temples on the river bank draw pilgrims.
Rajahmundry is well-known for its carpets and sandalwood goods and also as a suitable base from which to visit the coastal districts.
Places to Visit in Rajahmundry
It is a small 10th century Chalukyan temple of Samalkot and located 15 kilometers on the east of Rajahmundry.
It has flourished since the earlier 1980s when the social forestry program helped out to set up nurseries. Today there are total 250 nurseries.
It is located in Godavari Bund Road. There are a enormous collection of coins, sculpture, pottery, palm leaf manuscripts and inscriptions.
It is 16 kilometers from the port city and Simhachalam is a Hill of Lord Narasimha Swamy. It is also known for the 13th century Varaha Narasimha temple which is set in the Kailasha Hills and hot springs. The deity at this place is covered with sandalwood paste at all time.
In the Chandanayatra Festival held in the month of March or April each year, one can see the real shape of the deity. It is one of the temples from 11th century, dedicated to Lord Narasimha, who is combination of the Varaha and the Narasimha, one of the incarnations of God Vishnu.
This temple is located at a distance of 16 kilometers on northeast of Visakhapatnam city. At Simhlachalam Hill at a distance of 16 kilometers on northeast is the Vishnu temple in Orissan style from 11th century.
How to reach
Andhra Pradesh in southern part of India is replete with tourist attractions like wildlife sanctuaries and parks. Pilgrimage centers like the Tirupati Temple, limestone caves at Bora, Charminar, Golconda Fort, Falaknuma Palace, hill stations, wild life sanctuaries- all these spots make the state a popular tourist destination all over the county. One of the important attractions is the Srisailam sanctuary that is located almost 29 km from Macherla. The variety of rare species and unique biotic communities are the major highlights of the sanctuary.
This sanctuary is also known as Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam sanctuary. It is one of the largest Tiger Reserves in India. It is named after the Nagarjunasagar Reservoir that is formed by a large dam in the northeastern part. The western and central parts of the sanctuary consists of a plateau that represents "Archaean", one of the oldest geological formations and it dates back some 2000 million years.
In the past, the forest in this area was always open for visitors. It was in the year 1973 that the area was declared as a sanctuary. Later it was incorporated under Project Tiger.
Area and Location:
Covering a total area of 3568 sq km, this sanctuary is situated some 29 km away from Machlera. It is 150 km away from Hyderabad, the state capital. It covers areas from Guntur, Kurnool, Nalgonda, Prakasam and Mahaboobnagar district. The pristine setting of the sanctuary is simply awesome. It is surrounded by the Nallamalai hills on the southern and eastern sides; the Krishna River surrounds the park on the other side.
The sanctuary is marked for the richness of its flora and fauna. The main vegetation of the forest is dry deciduous mixed forest with scrub and bamboo thickets. This provides shelter to the vast range of wild animals found here. Rugged terrain and winding gorges segments through the Nallamalai hills characterize the flora of the Srisailam sanctuary. The faunal species include Indian Giant Squirrels, Black Bucks, Sambhar, Chousingha Nilgai, Wild Boars, Tree Shrews, Rayels, Wild Dogs, Jackals, Wolves, Foxes, Sloth Bear, Panthers, Spotted Deer, Mouse Deer, Mugger Crocodiles and Tigers. Many tourists visit the sanctuary to view the nocturnal species here; that is the tigers.
The tiger population of the sanctuary gradually started decreasing and many measures were taken for the conservation of these species. Even then these species faces the threat of extinction.
Best time to visit:
The best time for touring this sanctuary is from June to October. March to June remains the hottest months. The temperature ranges from 12° C to 43° C. the south-west monsoon brings heavy rainfall and the average rainfall is from 590m-760m. But some areas of the sanctuary receive up to 1500 mm respectively.
There are 3 guest houses in the forest area. Hotel Sudarshan, Hotel Rajdhani, Quality Inn Dy Manor, Hotel Balaji Residency, Sri Sai Cyber Guest House, etc. are some of the best hotels near Macherla. Otherwise you can stay in luxurious hotels in Hyderabad.
How to reach the park?
Hyderabad airport is the nearest airport that is 316 km away from Srisailam.
Nearest railway station is the Markapur Railway Station that is 85 km away from the sanctuary.
The sanctuary is connected to all the major cities of Andhra Pradesh. For example it is 90 km from Kurnool and 470 km from Chennai. So travelling by road is not a problem at all.
What else do you get?
If you want to visit some attractive spots along with this wildlife sanctuary, then there are a lot of options for you. You can visit the Chenna Kesava Swamy Temple and the monuments of Macherla.
The Srisailam sanctuary is truly worth a visit. You will be astounded by the pristine setting. Roaming around the Rollapadu grasslands while exploring the nearby areas would be really very exciting. So embark in a meaningful journey along with your partner or family in this park amidst nature.
A natural rock formation, which has got enormous value from archaeological point of view, Silathoranam near the Chakra Teertham is a must see spectacle. Since the rock look likes and appears to be the hood of a serpent, a conch and a discus, it is conceived that this source is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara idol.
This arch formation is categorized as pre-Cambrian that dates back to millions of years ago. It is said that there are only two other sites like this in the entire world itself. The other two are the one that cuts through the headland of the Dalradian Quartzite in Ukand and the Rainbow Arch Bridge of Utah in USA .
Geologists found out Silathoranam accidentally whilst excavating a geological fault on Tirumala Hills. This wonderful phenomena of nature has been subjected to various schools of thoughts. Some are of the view that it could be the effect of a wave action from oceanic transgression or intensified climatic settings and corrosion. Others opined that it might have been carved out of quartzite. A national monument protected by the state government, this natural splendor fascinated quite a number of tourists.
Lies within the holy premises of lord Venketeswara, Swami Pushkarini Lake holds much religious significance. It is believed to be the holy pleasure lake of the almighty in Vaikuntha, where he takes his bathe along with his consorts. The popular belief is that Garuda brought this teertha and the water in the tank is holy, redolent, accordant and fortunate.
This lake is regarded as so pure that it shares its credentials with ganges and all the sacred rivers. So a holy bathe in this tank would fetch the devotee with great fortune and temporal prosperity. Doing daily rituals and prayers on the banks of the Swamy pushkarini is believed to cure abnormalities of the body. The holy water tank Swami Pushkarini is assumed to wipe out sins and evils.
A sprawling expansion of 460 acres of ornamental, flower and landscape gardens under the auspicious of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, TTD gardens is a flamboyant location in Tirumala. This garden supplies 500 kilograms of flowers daily to the various temples in and around Tirumala. It is responsible for the beautification of the temples on special occasions apart from providing the routine demands for flowers.
It is believed that Ramanuja and his disciple Sri Anandalwar had paved way for such a magnificent patch in the 14th century. Another legend is that Sattada Sri Vaishnavas cultivated the Tirumala flower gardens under the name of Dasa Nambis. Now the garden has four nurseries namely in the Travellers Bungalow area, Gogarbham Dam area, Sri Padmavathi Guest House area and Divyaramam area in which ten lakh plants are produced annually. One can see mixed assortments of crotons, bougainvilleas, hibiscus, which is named after great personalities like N.T. Ramarao, S.D. Sarma and Ramanuja.
There are not only the flowerbeds that allure one, the charm of the garden is prettily complimented by various streams and ponds, which are full of lovely lotus flowers.
Akasaganga Theertham in Tirupati holds fabulous legends about its origin. One of the waterfalls found in the near surroundings of the main temple, this sacred torrent gains predominance over the others since all the rituals are conducted with the holy waters of this theertha. It situates just five kilometers away from the main temple and traditionally the Tirumala Nambi family is allowed to take water from the waterfall to the temple.
Though there is an enormous legend about this lovely waterfall, which blooms to its zenith in the rainy season, the most prevalent among is the one that the lord himself had showed this waterfall to the person who used to bring water for his daily poojas. The gurgling waters of this stream make an awe inspiring scenery in rainy season. Apart from its pictorial visatas, the brook appears so tempting that one could not spare the desire to take a refreshing bath in the gushing stream. This holy theertha is found it’s rendering in the Vedas and it is believed that Akasa Ganga Teertham originates from the feet of the deity.
The Asthana Mandapam is the place where cultural programs are conducted under the auspices of Dharma Prachara Parishad. This auditorium is also known as Sadas Hall. It situates adjacent to the main temple complex.
Asthana Mandapam serves as an elite podium of cultural extravaganzas like discourses, parayanam, bhajans, musical contrives, dance concerts, harikathas. All the programs are aimed for the spiritual and devotional enlightenment of the visitors and the devotees. For the first timers in Tirupathi Devasthanam, this Mandapam would be an apt spot for embarking their spiritual voyage.
Situated just two miles away from Tirumala, Papavinasam is one of the prettiest and important waterfalls in the temple city. As the name denotes, Papavinasam is the place where all the devotees frequents with the belief that a holy dip would redeem them from their sins. Pilgrims can avail the dressing rooms as there is a separate room built for both men and women.
Since the waterfall is gushes from the top of a hill, it looks picturesquely awesome. Access to this lovely falls through the stony footpath also makes your trip quite enjoyable. Another fabulous site is the reservoir of the nearby dam, which restricts the water flow in the pond. A well maintained park and a garden attributes the charm of the scenic surroundings pretty well.
On the majestic banks of Kusasthali river is situated a marvelous temple dedicated to numerous goddess along with Lord Vishnu. This temple is at Bugga Agraharam almost 56 kilometers away from Tirupati. Temple premises holds Sri Kasi Visweswara Swami, Sri Annapurna Ammavaru, Sri Kamakshi Ammavaru, Sri Devi Bhudevi Sameta and Sri Prayaga Madhava Swami as the chief deities.
Maha Sivaratri, Kartika Somavaramu and Kala Bhairava Astamiare are the main festivals of the temple. Pradoshakala Pujathat occurring twice a month is another important ceremony in the shrine which grabs scores of devotees.
A temple, which reminiscent the childhood days of Hanuman, the temple of Sri Anjaneyaswamyis prettily situated on the banks of Pushkarini. Its faces the Mahadwaram of Sri Venkateswara shrine. It is said that the temple was constructed in the period of Mahant. This legendary holy shrine was built as per the Vishnavite tradition expressing the idol hands joining the model of postulation.
Legend has that Hanuman flee to Seshachalam to get him the Camel Vehicle. To prevent him from doing so, Hanuman’s mother handcuffed him. Every Sunday there would be special abhishekam and poojas in honour of this great devotee of Rama. The most auspicious festival that being celebrated in the temple is Hanuman Jayanthi.
A temple that boast of a rich tradition and ethnicity, Sri Chennakesavaswami temple dates back to 1000 years ago. This temple lays in a place, which is very revered as the birthplace of Sri Annamacharya, the Sankeertana Acharyulu. According to legend, the temple was constructed and administered by the Matti Rajas. Temple premises hold numerous sub temples like Sri Gopalaswami Sameta Chakrathalwar temple, Chennakesavaswami Sameta temple, Sri Kamaksh and Sri Siddeswaraswami temple
Apart from celebrating Brahmotsavam, festivals like Annamacharya Jayanthi and Vardhanti Utsavams are also conducted with much pomp and pride.
One of the important and biggest shrines in Tirupati, Givindarajaswami temple boasts of the vaishnavite traditions of temple architecture. Earlier records of this temple dates back to the year 1235 AD and it is believed that Ramanuja laid its foundation stone. After the imposing Gopuram, there are two shrines with an outer wall encircling the two. Out of the two the southern most shrine is dedicated to Parthasarathy and the other one in the north is in the name of Govindaraja.
Apart from the two shrines the premises house numerous sub temples like Sri Andal Temple, Sri Mudal Alwar Temple, Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami Temple, Sri Ramanuja Temple, Sri Kurath Alwar Temple, Sri Salai Nachiyar Ammavari Temple, Sri Vyasaraya Anjaneyaswami Temple, Sri Manavala Mahamuni Temple, Sri Madhurakavi Alwar Temple, Sri Tirumangai Alwar Temple, Sri Vedantha Desikar Temple and Sri Chakrathalwar Temple.
Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami temple is believed to be the place where Lord Venkateswara stayed for a while after his holy matrimony with Padmavathi. This temple at Srinivasa Mangapuram, carries Kalyana Venkateswaraswami as its chief deity. Main shrine in the center includes garbhagriha, mahamantapa and mukhamantap, which are highly ornate and embellished with fine carvings. All together the temple architecture displays the mix of dvitala and vesara order.
The temple premises encompass four sub temples, which include Sri Andal Ammavari temple, Sri Sita Lakshmana Sameta Ramulavari temple, Sri Padmavathi Ammavari temple and Sri Ranganayakula Swami temple. Apart from these four there are smaller shrines like Sri Agastheeswara Swami temple, Sri Sakti Vinayaka Swami temple, Sri Parasareswara Swami temple, Sri Veerabhadra Swami temple and Sri Avanakshamma temple.
Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple is the single most shiva temple in the midst of numerous Vishnu temples. It situates in the foothills of Tirumala, which is just three kilometers north to Tirupati. All important festivals such as Vinayaka Chathurthi, Maha Shivaratri and Annabhishekam and Brahmotsavam are being carried out here.
A divine waterfall known as Kapila Teertham or the Alwar teertham makes the temple precincts more divine. This temple premises houses other temples of Sri Lakshminarayanaswamy, Sri Venugopalaswamy and Sri Vinayakaswamy. Since it is the only temple dedicated to the destroyer god, the devotees never spare to visit this holy abode while their pilgrimage in Tirupati.
A 10th century shrine constructed by the chola kings, Sri Kodanadaramaswami temple is dedicated to Sri Rama one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Lakshman and Sita flank the main deity. Stories say that the almighty Lord Rama along with his Goddess Sita and Lakshman made their stay sometime in this temple while their comeback from Ceylon.
It is supposed that Narasimharaya Mudiliyar began the temple construction. The Garbha griha and antarala shows Vijayanagara influence while the cornice above the wall is decorated with Simhalalata gables. The Vimana with kuta, panjara, sala, panjara and kutaencompass are ekatala type structures. Above this tala, there is a phalaka containing lions in the four corners. Vertical ribbon in the shikhara belongs to the vesara order. The shikhara is round in shape and it holds a metal kalasa above it.
Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple in Alamelumangapuram is situated some 5 kilometers away from Tirumala. Goddess Padmavathi’s advent to earth is narrated in various sacred texts. A legendary temple, which holds the fabulous tale of Padmavathi’s birth and her marriage to Venkateswara, this temple happens to be an outstanding attraction in Tirumala.
Legends have it that Akasharaja of Thondamandalam had performed a great yagna and when the sacrificial ground was ploughed, there lies a lovely girl in a lotus. A celestial voice advised the king to look after the child with care and love. Since the child was found in a lotus, she was named as Padamavathi. When she grew up, Lord Venkateshwara came in search of her. The nuptial knot between them took place on a celestial manner.
The present temple was constructed during the reign of Tondaman Chakravarthi. It is usual practice that all the devotees take a holy darshan here in this temple before they proceed to Tirupati.
Situated 14 kilometers from Tirupati, Sri Prasanna Venkateswaraswami Temple in Appalayagunta is the place where Lord Venkateswera took his rest while his voyage to Tirumala. This legendary place is believed to be the spot where the lord blessed Sri Siddeswara and other sages after marrying Sri Padmavathi Ammavaru. The main deity in the temple is famed for its joyous mood and it is assumed that the idol is a self-manifested vigraha. Abhishekam on fridays witness large participation of pilgrims since it holds the belief that it would fulfill all their dreams.
Apart from the main shrine of Venkateswara, the temple premises houses a shrine for Anjaneyaswami, Goddess Padmavathi and Sri Andal also. This fabulous shrine is constructed under the patronage of Rajas of Karvetinagar. It is believed that the devotees, for respite from unceasing ailments, adore the impressive deity of wind-god.
Sri Varahaswami Temple on the banks of Pushkarini is situated in the northern face of the Venkateshwara Temple in Tirumala. This temple depicts lord in his Varaha incarnation. Legends say that Varaha is the guardian of the hill and lord Venkateswara had to take permission from Lord Varaha to stay here in the hill. So it is customary that the devotees pay their tribute to Varaha before proceeding to Venkateswara. It is also a testamentary practice that Naivedyam should first be offered to Sri Varahaswami.
Atri Samhita says that Varaha incarnation can be worshiped in three ways such as Adi Varaha, Pralaya Varaha and Yajna Varaha. The idol of Sri Varahaswami in Tirumala is that of Adi Varaha, which is seen as with his leg raised up and carries Bhumidevi in his arms. It reminds of the depiction of the Adi Varaha Murti in Vaikhanasa agama texts.
Another temple, which holds the Matsya incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Sri Veda Narayanaswami temple is situated in Nagalapuram. This place is 70 km southeast of Tirupati. This legendary temple holds the belief that Vishnu, in the form of Matsya, recovered the Vedas after killing Somakudu. The sanctum sanctorum is adorned by the Matsya form of the Lord with Sridevi and Bhudevi on each side. Sudarsana Chakra of the idol is portrayed in such a way that it is ready for release.
This temple is the contribution of Krishnadevaraya Raya, a Vijayanagar emperor and it reflects the richness of Vijayanagar style of architecture. Temple premises holds numerous sub temples in the name of Sri Bhakta Anjaneyaswami, Sri Vedavalli Tayaru, Sri Veeranjaneya Swami, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami and Sri Sita Lakshmana Sameta Ramulavari.
Tirupati Devasthanam offers unparalleled amenities and services to the devotees who came there from far away places. One among the so called services is the Venkateswara Dhyana Vignan Mandiram, which started its functioning in the year 1980. It works as a museum and at the same time it serves as a good meditation centre to the pious and spiritually thirsty visitors.
The Museum wing houses numerous religious artifacts of pooja utensils, along with the time-honored art and architecture. This place has meditation halls for the worshipers to make a peaceful meditation. Halls for Meditation functions round the year and it’s timing is fixed between 9 am to evening 6 pm. Only a nominal fee of one rupee is charged as entry fees and it is definite that one won’t get a nice and peaceful place than this for relaxing.
The historical and holy temple Sri Venkateswara is situated in the 7th peak of the Venkata Tirupati Hill that lies in the south banks of Sri Swami Puskharini. The 80 meter wide and 123 meters long temple covers an area of 2.2 acres. A fine example for Dravidian temple architecture, Venkateswara temple has witnessed the rise and fall of various dynasties.
The Sanctum sanctorum is adorned by the Venkateswera idol, which stands to a height of eight feet under the gold gilded dome called the Ananda Nilaya Divay Vimana. Idol is believed to be Swayambhoo and it looks exquisitely wrought in its jet-black stone structure. The deity bears a clear impression of Goddess Lakshmi on the right side of his chest. His two upper arms hold a (conch-shell) sankha and (disk) chakra. His lower left hand is turned inward, the palm of his lower right hand is turned outward offering blessings. Since the lord’s eyes are so beautiful it is covered with a tilak of camphor. It is also believed that his eyeballs are enclosed because his gawk would singe the whole planet.
The deity in the shrine is ornamented with precious stones, which gives it a unique appeal. Devotees are filled with a bizarre experience, when they stand in front of the lord. It is firmly believed that the deity is so benevolent that he grants the wish of anyone who offers him something.
Though there are bus services to clear off the 16 kilometers uphill path, many devotees prefer walking since it offers aesthetic feelings and awesome vistas. The walk up the hill takes two to four hours of steady climbing that covers about 4,000 steps. Non-Hindus are not permitted to enter in to the inner most temple of this township. Foreigners are allowed to visit if they put in papers their belief in Hinduism.
It is to be worthy to note that this is the wealthiest temple in the entire subcontinent. It is said that around 25,000 people visits here daily.
Sri Venugopalaswami Temple in Karvetinagaram lies 48 kilometers away from Tirupati. A legendary temple, which dates back to the 14th century is believed to be sanctified by Sri Ramanujacharya. This magnificent shrine holds Sri Venugopalaswami as its chief deity. He is flanked with his consorts, Sri Rukmini Ammavaru and Sri Satyabhama Ammavaru. The temple premises also hold a sub temple in the name of Sri Sita Ramula Pattabhishekam.
A sacred shrine that proffers divinity and hallowness, Venugoplaswamy temple exemplifies exquisite carvings. Awe inspiring look of the temple is mainly due to its amazing gopuram that displays dazzling craftsmanship of yesterday’s artists. Holy darshan is scheduled between 6.00 to 11.00 hrs and 16.00 to 20.00 hrs every day. Brahmotsavam, Vaikuntha Ekadasi, Teppotsavam and Gokulashtami are the most important festival that is being celebrated every year.
Yet another holy teertham that boast of Lord Vishnu’s greatness and benevolence, Vaikuntha teertham in the temple city gains remarkable significance in pilgrim’s itinery. Vaikuntha teertham is situated in the pretty surroundings of a lovely cave that lies north east to the main shrine. This teertham is associated with Vishnu’s incarnation of Sri Rama.
It is believed that the some of the monkeys in the monkey brigade of Sri Ram saw Lord Vishnu’s Vaikuntha here in this water fall and hence it became known as Vaikuntha Teertham. Legends say that, a dip in this holy teertham would bestow goodness and fortune so during your tour never miss to visit the holy Vaikuntha Teertham.
Kondapalli Fort, dating back to 14th century, is constructed on a hillock near Vijayawada. The fort with a three-storied rock tower is assumed to be built by Prolaya Vema Reddi, the founder of Reddy kingdom of Kondaveedu. Some historians claim that the fort was as old as 7th century and was built by King Krishna Deva Raya. The fort got renovated later under the control of the Qutub Shahis.
A major attraction here is the dargah of Gareeb Saheeb, a Persian saint. The village is renowned for its toys known as Kondapally Toys. This is pleasant picnic spot attracting steady growth of tourists.
One of the Lenin Statues in the whole country is erected in Vijayawada. This statue symbolizes the ideologies of communism and the struggle of working class in the whole world, especially in India. This is a marvelous statue and many people pay a visit to this statue.
This place is dynamic with many activities including garlanding on politically important days like May 1, World Laborer’s Day.
A statue of Karl Marx is also positioned in Vijayawada. These statues were erected nearly 25 years back in 1980s during which period communists were governing the state.
Mogalarajapuram Caves, located in the proximity of Vijayawada, is famous for three cave temples believed to be as old as 5th century. One among the three cave temples adorns a spectacular carving of Ardhanariswara, which is believed as the only one of its kind in South India. These cave temple have carved deities of Lord Vinayaka and Lord Shiva in Nataraja form. This is a good ancient temple to visit and see the ancient culture and ancient style of living.
Undavalli Caves, located in the Undavalli village of Guntur district, near Vijayawada are 7th century four storied caves. These cave are placed at the summit, the high mount facing the charming Krishna river. A major attraction here the mammoth statue of Lord Vishnu, sculpted from a single granite piece, in its reclining posture.
These caves are tourist attractions due to its excellent specimens of cut-in architectural and sculptural models. It is believed that Buddhist saints used these caves as a rest house during the monsoon.
A place worth for archaeology enthusiasts, Victoria Museum, the museum of the Archaeological Department, has a cautiously conserved gathering of ancient sculptures, idols, inscriptions, paintings, cutlery and weapons. This Victoria Jubilee Museum is located on Bundar Road in Vijayawada. It also exhibits pre-historic stone tools, coins, arms, metal works, Neolithic and Microlithic implements.
The major attractions in this museum are the mammoth granite statue of Buddha and the white limestone beautiful figure of Buddha in standing position brought from Alluru.
The museum is open between 11 am - 1 pm and 2 - 6 pm in summers and 10 am - 1 pm and 2 - 5 pm in winters. It is closed on Fridays and public holidays. Admission is free.
A beautiful estuary Island in the Krishna river, one of the largest islands on the river, Bhavani Island extends more than 130 acres and located near to the to Prakasam Barrage.
A marvelous picnic spot, Bhavani Island has nicely maintained swimming pools and facilities for enjoying amazing boat riding in Krishna River. Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation makes very good arrangements of boats for boating and is available from the place known as Durga ghat.
Recently the island has grown to a beautiful tourist spot with many river front resorts. The Island is good for some water adventure and fun water sports. Fishing is also on offer. Ride to the island by boat is very pleasing.
Gandhi hill also known as Gandhi Stupa, is a very famous place in Vijayawada that attracts many tourists due to a planetarium and the Light and Sound show depicting the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.
A huge Gandhi structure of 15.8 meter height was unveiled in 1968 by Dr. Zakir Hussain on this Hill to bring out the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi. It is the first Gandhi Memorial in India constructed on a hillock. It has seven stupas placed at a height of nearly 150 meter.
A well maintained library known as Gandhi Memorial Library with a good collection of books is placed nearby. The view from Gandhi hill is enchanting, the panoramic view of Vijayawada city. Gandhi hill is really a monument of India’s independence struggle and encloses stone slabs with the inscriptions of teachings of Gandhi. This is a nice place to pay homage to India’s great son.
Mangalagiri is an auspicious hill to visit, Mangala means auspicious and Giri stands for hill. Located on Vijayawada – Guntur Road, this is an elephant shaped mount.
Mangalagiri has a beautiful attraction, the temple of Sri Panakala Narasimhaswamy, adorned as a crown in its top. This has the main deity as Narasimhaswamy, one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. This temple has the credit of one of the eight chief holy temples (Mahakshetrams) in India.
The hillock holds at its foot another temple of Lakshmi Narasimha. Hinkar Tirtha, renowned as the largest Jain temple in the region, is situated here. The Mangalagiri Mountain is blessed with lusting greenery and natural beauty.
Recently built by the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation, the Rajiv Gandhi Park is presently the gateway to the city. The park is named after Late Shri Rajiv Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India, to commemorate his contributions to the development of the country.
This park is maintained with great care, and receives the visitors with grant welcome with its inspiring horticultural network. Added to this a musical fountain and a mini zoo makes merry for the tourists. This is a special attraction to the citizens during the summer period to spend their hot summer evenings in the outdoor.
A historically important pilgrimage centre with a rich collection of antique Buddhist sculpture belongs to the 3rd to 12th century BC, Amaravati is located on the banks of the Krishna river. Anciently known Dhanyakataka, Amaravati is a major Buddhist worship place in India.
One of the main attractions is the 2000-year old stupa, renowned for the marble-surfaced dome and carved pillars. Carvings depicting the life and teachings of the Buddha adorn the stupa.
Amaravati museum with ancient collections and Amareswara Temple are some other draw. The temple is assumed to be one among the five Pancharama temples. Amaravati museum showcases the archaeological materials from other Buddhist places in Andhra Pradesh, such as gold flowers, a gold necklace and relic-caskets with bone-relics.
Gundala Matha Shrine, or Mary Matha Shrine, known popularly as St Mary’s Church, is constructed on a hilly region Gunadala in Krishna district near Vijayawada. An iron cross, erected atop the hill, stands as a rare distinction of the shrine.
Annual Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes attracts many devotees and is celebrated with much enthusiasm and devotion. Many believers throng to this place during Sundays and important occasions.
A museum inside the church is another attraction, with collection of valuable gifts from devotees and holy relics of ancient period.
Hinkar Tirtha, world renowned Jain temple, is situated in Mangalagiri hills near Vijayawada in Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh. The devotees of this temple believe that the worthy blessings obtaining from the visit of this temple is praise worthy. Many devotees take shelter in this Jain temple and this is the biggest Jain shrine in the region.
This is acclaimed with the Jain style of architecture and stands as a symbol of foregone rich past of Jainism. Definitely a worth visiting place.
Kanaka Durga temple placed on Indrakeeladri hill overlooking Vijayawada, constructed by the ever-great warrior in the epic Mahabharatha Arjuna as per the legends, encloses the captivating a massive 4 ft high idol of Durga in a standing position overcoming the demon Mahishasura depicting the scene of piercing him with her trident. The idol is in position of eight powerful weapons in her eight hands and is adorned with splendid ornaments and beautiful flowers.
Vasantotsava, Dussehra and Shivratri are the important festivals celebrated here. Numerous devotees from and around the city visit here during the Dussehra festival, to offer prayers and request for the blessings of Durga.
Located in the Indrakeeladri hillock, Subramanya Swami temple overlooks the city of Vijayawada and the river Krishna, and is one of the most admired temples in Vijayawada. This temple, maintained by a famous family known as Iddipilli, has the special credit of having many regular devotees hailing from Tamil Nadu.
Important day in this temple is Skanda Shashti festival and many thousands of devotees visit here during this time. It is also a famous tourist location due to the background settings of the picturesque Indrakeeladri hills.
Besant road is famous as the busiest trade center and a dynamic place in Vijayawada. The road has grown a hub of commercial activities in recent past. This is a place where modern eateries exist with much of western style cuisines and restaurants.
Breasted with many number of cinema halls, more than 50, it is the paradise of film fraternities and lovers. People throng to this street to view the most modern films from all languages, a major source of entertainment for the citizens. A commercial, trade and entertainment center, Besant Road is a nice street to have a visit.
It has a population of approximately 12 lakhs and languages spoken here includes English, Hindi and Telugu. Vishakapatnam is set in a bay and rocky promontories, now it became one of most rapidly growing cities in India, as it is the fourth largest port in India.
Andhra Pradesh is one of the states to have nearly 1000 kilometers of coastline and it has eight of its districts having access to the sea directly. This state has the breathtaking views of sea water with the golden sands at along the different points on the coast.
It is really a very thrilling and the most fun-loving holiday place. Right from Bheemunipatnam near Vishakapatnam up to Mypad in Nellore district, the entire coastline offers lots of fun to the sun worshippers as well as sea bath lovers. Vishakapatnam was a small fishing village previously and it has history of the Ashoka, the Pallavas, Cholas and Gangas etc.
It is now a port town and this coastal city is now days a commercial and industrial heart of AP state as well as a home to largest shipbuilding yard in India. Ramakrishna Beach with 8 kilometers of Lawson's Bay is really good one to visit.
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Warangal Fort, constructed during the legendary Kaktiya period in the 13th century, is a wonderful tourist spot. The grandeur Fort with four mammoth Sanchi style gateways at the entrance is a fine example of South Indian architecture. The fort consisting of two walls and the outer wall carries the credit of being the largest of this type in Indian region. The Fort is adorned with a temple in its middle and is renowned for its sculptures.
Presently the fort is in ruins and many tourists visit here to have a view of the grand old fort. The visitors with interest in architecture, ancient history and ancient sculptures can study lot from this Fort premises.
The Majestic Musical garden in Warangal is located nearby the famous Bhadrakali temple. The Garden is spread over a wide area of more than 15 acres. A visually pleasing musical fountain with eye catching colorful lights is the main attraction in this garden; the fountain is operated through computer. A mammoth rock and an artificial waterfall in the rock structure are placed as the background of Kakatiya Musical Garden.
The Garden offers facilities for boating; the lake for boating was artificially created. Everyday an amazing show of musical fountain with dancing lights is arranged at 7pm. This is a wonderful garden to spend the evenings.
This is a garden beautifully constructed to attract the tourists and is a relaxing place for local people and their kids. Kakatiya rock garden is located near the Fort temple and this beautiful garden encloses many structures in rocks which are lively, like the statues of deer, lion, giraffe, sambar, antelopes etc. This is a garden in which rocks are arranged and flowered plants are grown in a carefully designed and decorative lawn.
Playing grounds for children are also made operational here. Evenings are crowded here with local people spending leisure time and relaxing,
An artificial lake constructed in a small tributary of famous Krishna River at a close by place in Warangal town, Pakhal Lake, is assumed to be constructed in 1213 AD by Kakatiya king. The Lake is built amidst undulated hilly terrains and lush green dense forests. Panoramic view of the lake and its surroundings is mesmerizing. The Lake is spreading over a wide area of nearly 30 sq km and has grown to a superb picnic spot in Warangal.
An added attraction to this calm Lake place is the Pakhal Wildlife Sanctuary, which is worth visiting and is located around the lake’s shoreline. Sanctuary encloses many varied kinds of wild animals and birds.
Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary or Eturnagaram forest wildlife refuge is located nearby Warangal town and is one of the grand old sanctuaries in India. The wildlife refuge is dense with deciduous teak woods, and many wild animals are conserved here, the animals include tiger, spotted dear, wolf, panther, black buck, chinkara, giant squirrels, jackals, nilgai, sloth bear and four horned antelopes. To see wildlife in its natural habitat, visit to this forest wildlife sanctuary is a must. Many numbers of tourists are attracted to this sanctuary and the number is growing day by day.
Bhadrakali Temple, eighth century old temple built by Kakatiya dynasty, is perfectly placed on a holy mount nearby Warangal city. The temple enshrines the Goddess Kali, the mother Goddess in Hindu mythology, adorned with weapons in all the eight arms and the statue of the Goddess is in the sitting posture with a crown in her head. The structure of the temple is in the amazing architectural style of Chalukya’s.
It is a good religious place to visit and all tourists visit Warangal make it a point to reach this holy temple in the lap of mother Goddess to have the blessings.
Padmakshi temple, an ancient temple believed to be built during first quarter of the 12th century, is a beautiful temple at Warangal with Goddess Padmakshi as the main deity. A wonderful pillar known as Annakonda Pillar, a stunning quadrangular column made with granite black stone, is placed at the entrance of this temple.
The four faces of the pillar are marvelous and impressive. The sculptures and carvings at the pillar lead the light to the belief that initially this was a Jain shrine dedicated to Jain Goddess Kdalalaya. The Padmakshi temple is worth visiting and the marvelous structure is eye catching. Many visitors visit here to see the exquisite structure.
Ramappa Temple, constructed in the architectural style of South India during the Kaktiya rule in the 12th century, is a grand old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Palampet not far way from Warangal. This temple is revered very much by the Hindu community and is assumed to be the great contribution of the Kakatiya Kings.
Ramappa Temple, placed in a start shaped platform 6 feet high, has a Shivalingam in the sanctum with a sikhara at the mount. A mandapam with a Nandi Idol of 9 foot high, in ruins now, placed at the entrance and many small shrines are placed around the main temple. The temple walls are decorated with impressive carvings, which display epic stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata. The major festival celebrated here is Shivarathri and which day devotees throng to this temple.
Siddheshwara Temple, an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, is located very close to Hanamkonda in Warangal. The temple architecture is marvelous and is similar to Chalukyan style of architecture. The temple as whole is decorated amazingly with intricately carved pillars. This is an important shivaite temple in Warangal. Devotees throng to this holy temple during the Maha Shivarathry festival. The temple has a majestic look and the surroundings are serene and secluded. The temple offers great peace of mind to its devotees.
Sri Veeranarayana Temple, an ancient temple built around 1104 AD, is a highly revered temple located at Kolanupaka in Warangal District. The shrine encloses Shri Veeranarayana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu as the main deity. The temple architecture is superb and it resembles the Chalukya style of architecture. This is an important Vaishnava temple in Warangal. It is claimed that this was an ancient Jain temple later converted to a Hindu temple. The intricate carvings on the walls of the temple are amazing and worth seeing. The temple itself is located in a serene environment. Many Vishnu devotees visit this temple on a regular basis
Thousand Pillar Temple, a marvel for visitors in the slopes of the Hanumakonda hill on the Hanamkonda-Warangal highway and close to Warngal, is built in 1163 AD by King Rudra Dev, a Kakatiya dynasty king. The temple is made out of intricately carved thousand pillars and is constructed in the shape of a star. Mainly the temple encloses three shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Surya.
A mandapam with the structure of an amazing 6 foot Nandi is placed at the entrance of the temple. The temple has impressively carved doorways, ceilings with rich inscriptions and pillars. Many small lingams are placed in the premises of the temple. The background of the Hanumakonda hills is eye catching. This is a worth place to visit.