Location : South India
State Capital : Hyderabad
Area : 275, 068 sq. kms.
Language : Telagu, Hindi, English and Urdu
Climate : Hot and Humid
Major Attractions : Tirupati Temple, Charminar and Golcunda Fort
Ideal Time to Visit : October to February
Andhra Pradesh, The Rice Granary of India
Located in South India, Andhra Pradesh is surrounded by Tamil Nadu in the south, Maharashtra in the North and North-West. Besides, Madhya Pradesh encircles it in the North-East, Karnataka in the West, and the Bay of Bengal in the East. It has a long coastline of 1000 kms with eight of its 23 districts having direct access to the sea.
Andhra Pradesh is the third largest state in India with Hyderabad as its capital. The landscape of the state is varied having fertile coastal plains, semi arid Deccan plateau and the lofty hills capes of the Eastern Ghats. The fertile coastal plains of Andhra Pradesh, make it one of the largest producer of rice in India. Thus, it is also known as the "Rice Granary of India". Apart from this, Andhra Pradesh tourism also offers the attractions of historical monuments and rich culture.
History of Andhra Pradesh
The state of Andhra Pradesh was created by unifying the old princely state of Hyderabad with the Telegu-speaking parts of the former state of Madras. It was ruled by the Chalukyas till the 10th century and then overpowered by the Cholas. In the 14th century, the Muslim power took the charge of this southern state and ruled it for centuries. Later, the the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb seized it. After the death of Aurangzeb, Andhra Pradesh was ruled by the his successors, called Nizams, who ruled it till Independence.
The Natural Surroundings
Andhra Pradesh, has a charming countryside, watered by 34 rivers. The main rivers of this region are Godavari and Krishna, meeting the the Bay of Bengal. Some of the incredible sights of Andhra Pradesh are the world's tallest masonry dam, million year old caves, rocks, forests, green fields, lakes and golden beaches washed by the sea. Apart from these, Andhra Pradesh tourism also offers a rich wildlife reserves, having 20 notified sanctuaries, each of these consists a variety of rare animal species such as the Great Indian Bustard, Nilgai, etc.
Culture and Traditions
The state of Nizams is known for its rich culture and traditions. The exotic crafts, lively religious festivals and a glorious past are the highlights of its magnificent culture. The mouth watering delicacies, the charming people and the mother tongue Telugu, all make Andhra Pradesh worth visiting. Apart from Telugu, other languages widely spoken in andhra are, English, Urdu, Hindi.
Andhra Pradesh state is also known for various historical monuments like Charminar, Salar Jung Museum, the mighty Golconda Fort, Warangal Fort, etc. Apart from these monuments of past, andhra is also known for its famous classical dance form, Kuchipudi and a range handloom and handicraft products. This includes lacquer toys, Anakapalli articles, Nirmal(painted pottery), Bidri(lead inlaid black metal trinklets), palm and slate articles, as well as Gadhwal, Pochampalli and Dharmavaram silk saris.
Attractions In Andhra Pradesh
There are many attractions in Andhra Pradesh including religious, historical and natural. This state has many religious pilgrim centers, visited by innumerable devotees every year. There are many beautiful temples here, which are worth visiting sites. One of the most important and famous temples in Andhra is the Tirupati temple at Tirupati. It has Lord Venkateswara as its presiding deity. It is considered as the richest and most visited Hindu temple in India. Another temple is the Srisailam, regarded as the home of Sri Mallikarjuna. It is one of the twelve Jyothirlingams in India. Then, there is temple of Yadagirigutta dedicated to an avatara of Vishnu, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha.
At Puttaparthi, there is an ashram of popular guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba. It is visited by numerous devotees everyday. Another famous temple is situated at Warangal, known as the Ramappa temple. It is famous for some exquisite temple carvings. Apart from these, there are many Buddhist centers at Amaravati, Bhattiprolu, Nagarjuna Konda, and Phanigiri.
Besides, there is a one-million-year old limestone caves at Borra. These are very popular among tourists looking for some exclusive discoveries. Then, there is the beautiful Araku Valley and the Horsley hill resort, ideal for a quite stay. The vibrant Godavari flowing through a narrow gorge at Papi Kondalu, waterfalls and rich bio-diversity at Talakona also attract the tourists. The silver virgin beaches of Vizag are some of the other natural attractions of the state, that invites tourists.
Some historical monuments of the state are the Charminar, Golconda Fort, Chandragiri Fort, and the Falaknuma Palace. These monuments are famous for there architectural excellence and beautiful carvings. They are also significant from the point of view of history. Thus, do not forget to visit these splendid pieces of past.
Andhra Pradesh tourism highlights the rich culture and traditions of Andhra Pradesh, where many colorful festivals are celebrated. Some festivals are religious whereas some are organized by the state. These festivals depict the vibrant and varied culture of the state. Many of these festivals such as Deepavali, Dasara, Mohurrum, Shivratri, etc. are celebrated nation wide. Some of the popular festivals of Andhra Pradesh are Sankranthi celebrated in the month of January, Ugadi or the Telugu New Year in March/April,Vinayaka Chavithi in August, Dasara in October and off course Deepavali in November.
Besides, there are many state festivals celebrated here. These festivals are organized by the state government to promote tourism in the state. To name a few are, the Deccan Festival, Lumbini Festival, Visaka Utsav and the Rayalaseema Food and Dance Festival.
Shopping In Andhra Pradesh
Shopping can be fun in Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad is the main shopping destination in the state. There are many lanes around the city, specially around the historical landmark of Charminar. Some of the famous bazaars of Hyderabad are Laad Bazaar and Pearl Bazaar, they are known for beautiful shops of clothes and jewelery. Here you can look forward to buy some exquisite jewelery, with precious stones set in gold and silver. Apart from these you can also buy pearls, glass embedded bangles, antique 'kundan' and enamel ornaments. The temple saris and Pochampalli silks are also a must buy.
At Hyderabad, you can also buy traditional handicrafts including bidriware, which is a black gun metal inlaid with fine silver wire in delicate patterns and filigree work that is jewelery made of twisted silver wire having a delicate trellis-like appearance. Besides these, one can also buy Nirmal lacquerware items, bags and belts embroidered by the Lambadi gypsies with sparkling mirrors and beads.
The other major shopping areas in the city of Hyderabad are Abid's, Nampally, Basheerbagh and Sultan Bazaar.
How To Get There
Air : The Begampet airport is situated 8 km north of Abids. This airport is the nearest from the capital city of Hyderabad. It is well connected to most major Indian cities and some cities in abroad. Other important airports of the state include Tirupati, Vijaywada, and Vishakapatnam.
Rail : There are three railway stations here - Hyderabad or Nampally, Secunderabad and Kacheguda. Secunderabad is the main station from where one can get trains to all major towns/cities of the country.
Road : of the several bus stands in Hyderabad, the main one is the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) Hyderabad/Imlibun complex at Gowliguda.