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Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh to this day retains much of its regal glory and mystic charm. The State is rich in natural resources, cultural heritage, history and most of all, an opportunity to explore them. It is located in the south-eastern India and is part of the linguistic-cultural region of South India . It is surrounded by Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Orissa in the north, the Bay of Bengal in the East, Tamil Nadu to the south and Karnataka to the west. Andhra Pradesh forms the major link between the north and the south of India . The state is crisscrossed by two major rivers, the Godavari and Krishna.

The area is also known because of its nomadic tribes, the Lambadis and Banjaras. These tribes can be spotted all around the area and are especially known for their brightly colored skirts and the silver jewels they sell. The craftsmen of Andhra have contributed greatly. Take for instance the Kalamkari vegetable dyed textiles, the Pochamapalli silks and the Hyderabad pearls. Besides that, it's a must to see a performance of 'Kuchipudi', the classical dance form originating from the state.

Centuries ago, Andhra Pradesh was a major Buddhist centre and part of Emperor Ashoka's sprawling kingdom. After the death of Emperor Ashok, several dynasties ruled this princely city. It was during this period that Buddhism spread from these shores to China , The Far East and to Sri Lanka .

The various dynasties that ruled the State of Andhra Pradesh have contributed significantly to the State's rich cultural tapestry and have left behind a heritage studded with spectacular monuments, temples, mosques, and palaces all vibrant with arts, crafts, dance and literature.

What to See
Hyderabad Tirupati Visakhapatnam
Vijayawada Puttaparthi Rajahmundry

The hi-tech city is the capital of Andra Pradesh. This cosmopolitain city is also known as Istanbul of India and second Silicon Valley of India. The city nurtures in its heart the love story of a young prince, Muhammad Quli and a village belle, Bhagmati that laid the foundation of the city. Hyderbad is very beautiful, lively and a perfect tourist destination. It has a perfect balance of Western and Indian cultures. It is also know as the perl city. You'll see a perfect blend of Hindu and Muslim community there. There are so many tourist spots, food markets, shopping malls, restaurants, bars, pubs and disco techs. The city has an incredible night life.

Hyderabad is making great strides in Information Technology and Telecommunications. It is now a big hub for Multinational companies is attracting foreign investment and performing the outsourcing work. Moreover, superspeciality hospitals with excellent doctors and low fees are attracting medical tourism to Hyderabad.


By Air - Air India has flights to Mumbai and Chennai. Indian Air Lines flights in both directions between Hyderabad and Bangalore (daily), Mumbai (Three daily), Calcutta (daily except Tuesday and Sunday) Delhi (twice daily). Jet Airways flies daily to Bangalore, Mumbai and Calcutta.

By Train - Trains leave for every part of the country. Major Trains form Hyderabad

To Bangalore - Bangalore Express / 790 km distance

To Chennai - Madras Express / 794 km

To Delhi - Andhra Pradesh Exp / 1397 km

To Mumbai - Mumbai Express / 800 km.

By Road - Hyderbad is well connected to the other major cities.


Best time to travel Hyderabd is October to February.


The Charminar - The majestic architectural hub of the city stands at the heart of the old city of Hyderabad , built by Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah in 1591. The structure is square, each side measuring 100 feet, with a central pointed high arch at the center. The minarets, their domed finials, rise to 180 feet from the ground.

The Mecca Masjid - Mecca Masjid is one of the largest mosques in India accommodating upto 10,000 people. Located near the Charminar, the construction of the Masjid was begun by Muhammad Qutb Shah in 1617 and completed by Auranzeb in 1693. It is a grand edifice with a huge courtyard. The other two mosques--the Jami Masjid and the Toli Masjid--are small and modest structures in the city.

Hussain Sagar - Hussain Sagar is a large artificial lake in the midst of the city and was constructed in 1562 AD. Also known as Tank Bund, it connects the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. It was built by Ibrahim Qutb Shah in around 1550, in gratitude to Husain Shah Wali, who had cured him of a disease.

Puttaparthi - The main ashram of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, in the south-western corner of AP at Puttaparthi. This town is most easily reached by bus from Bangalore . Nagarjunakonda:150 km south-east of Hyderabad . Prehistoric remnants suggest that human activity began here some 200,000 years ago. The Nagarjunakonda Museum attracts many.


Hyderbad is a city of fun and delicious food. You can try out the local restaurant which serves delicious non-vegetarian dishes, or you can choose form the chains of Indian and international Restaurant.

Checker's Cafe is a food court of the more upscale variety.

Kebab-e-Bahar - If you have a taste for barbecued fare, then this is the place to visit. With its excellent menu offering different types of chiken, meat as well as vegetarian options at an affordable price it's a complete foodies place

Annalakshmi Athithi Inn - Annalakshmi's fruit juices are special because they contain no sugar - honey is the healthier substitute - and most of them have ginger, which is excellent for digestion. The restaurant also serves an herbal Ayurvedic drink called Ambrosia, which is good for purifying blood and for overall well-being.


Tirupati is a town in the Chittoor district of the Southern portion of Andhra Pradesh. Tirumalai, on the last of the seven Hills, is home to this temple and is connected by a well maintained and picturesque mountain road constructed by the Tirumala Tirupati Devastanam.

Tirupati is a world in itself, millions of pilgrims from all over India and abroad visit the temple of Lord Venkateswara at Tirupati round the year. In addition to various shrines scattered all over Tirupati and beyond there are holy water falls, scared rivers and archaeological wonders. It is regarded as one of the most ancient temples which were mentioned in Puranas and Sastras.

View Point, S.V. Museum is the other places worth seeing at Tirumala. Kapilatheetham, Hare Rama Hare Kishna Mandir, Regional Science Centre, S.V.Zoological Park, Srinivasa Mangapuram, Kalyani Dam, Chandragiri Fort, Tiruchanur, Govindaraja Swamy Temple are the other places worth seeing in and around Tirupathi.


By Air - Nearest Airport is Renigunta, a place just 10 kms from Tirupati.

By Train - Tirupati is connected with all major cities in cities. It is just five hours by rail from Chennai and Bangalore . Two daily inter-city trains connect Chennai and Tirupati. Four daily trains from Hyderabad also means good connectivity with Hyderabad , from which the journey takes 12-14 hrs. During the return journey, train bookings can be made from Tirumala also at the South Central Railway counter there.

By Road - Tirupathi is linked by regular Bus Services with important places Chennai (130 Km) Bangalore (240 Km) Hyderabad (572 Km) Vijaywada (380 Km) Chittoor (61 Km)


Best time to travel Tirupati is September to February.


Sri Venkateswara Temple - The ancient and sacred temple of Sri Venkateswara is located on the seventh peak of the Tirupati Hill, and lies on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini. It is by the Lord's presidency over Venkatachala, that He has received the appellation, Venkateswara (Lord of the Venkata Hill). He is also called the Lord of the Seven Hills.

The temple of Sri Venkateswara has acquired unique sanctity in Indian religious lore. The Sastras, Puranas, Sthala Mahatyams and Alwar hymns unequivocally declare that, in the Kali Yuga, one can attain mukti, only by worshipping Venkata Nayaka or Sri Venkateswara.

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams - Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams is an independent trust which manages the Sri Venkateshwara temple at Tirumala, Tirupati. Hindus believe that this richest Hindu temple is the second most visited religious center after Vatican City . About 60,000 to 150,000 devotees visit the temple complex every day for the auspicious darshan (visit) of the deity donating nearly $2 million every month.

Alamelu - The main temple to Sri Alamelu is situated at Thiruchanoor, also known as Alamelu-Mangapuram, a village in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, lying at a distance of about 5 km from the temple-town of Tirupati. Tradition dictates that every pilgrim to Tirupati must offer obeisance at this temple before proceeding to the temple at Tirupati.

Sri Padmavati Mahila Visvavidyalayam - It is a women's university in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh , India . It was named after the goddess Sri Padmavati, the consort of Lord Venkateswara. The university has approximately 2,000 students.

Tirumala Brahmotsavam - Among all the festivals observed in Tirupati, the most important of them is the annual Brahmotsava festival, which derives its name from the fact that it was originally inaugurated by Lord Brahma himself. This festival is conducted once a year, and runs for nine days.


There is no dearth of restaurants in Tirupati and Tirumala and most provide delicious vegetarian food at very economic prices. Non-vegetarian fare may be difficult to find, especially near the temple areas. The Sri Venkateshwara Canteen Complex offers free vegetarian food on a meal coupon system to devotees who seek blessings at the shrine.


Visakhapatnam or Vizag as popularly known and called is major industrial town as well as major tourist hub of Andhra Pradesh. Named after the God of velour, Visakha, Visakhapatnam was a fishing village under Ashoka's Kalinga Empire, say, around 260 BC. The British converted it into a port. Today Vizag is the India 's largest shipyard. A well-known landmark in the town is Dolphin's Nose, a rocky promontory. Ramakrishna beach and Rishikonda are two popular beaches. Ninety km from Visakhapatnam is Borrox Caves , on way to Araku valley, by bus. The caves are one million years old. They have stalactite and stalagmite formations. For the tourist, the most outstanding feature of Vizag is its wonderful beaches. Unlike more well-known beach destinations, Vizag presents no problems of overcrowding.


By Air - Vizag is well connected to the major cities like Bombay , Calcutta , Hyderabad and Madras . There regular flights by Indian Airlines and Jet Airways.

By Rail - Visakhapatnam is well connected to the major cities with some express and regular trains. It is the center point for the Trains which goes between Chennai & Howra and Howra & Secunderabad. Few express trains are listed here :: Cormondal Express Chennai/Howra Mail Chennai/Howra, Falknama Express, Godawari Express, Konark Express, Link Express, Bangalore Express, East Cost Express, Howra/Chennai Mail, Gawhati Express, H. Nizamuddin Express, Okha - Puri Express, Swarna Jayanthi Express, Ratnachal Express, Bokaro Express etc.

By Road - National Highway No.5 (Howra to Chennai) passes through Visakhapatnam . The Visakhpatnam to Steel Plant - Anakapalli Road is most modern 4 Line Highway spans 45 Kms. The APS RTC runs buses which connects major cities to Visakhaptnam and the cities in the neighboring states Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.


Best time to travel Visakhapatnam is between September and March.


Borra Caves - These limestone caves were formed as a result of the action of the Gosthani River . Due to the pressure exerted by the river water on the mineral deposits, the lime stones dissolved and gradually solidify to form the irregularly shaped stalagmites formed.

Araku Valley - Hill Station that is home to aboriginal tribes.

Bhimili - it is a small town on the coast line that holds its reputation for India's first municipality. There are many Buddhist settlements of yestee years like totla konda, bavi konda etc

Kailasagiri - Kailasagiri is located on a hilltop and is a must to see place for all people visiting Visakhapatnam. The charming hill on the sea front exudes a mind blowing picturesque view, especially towards Bheemunipatnam

Rishikonda Beach - At a distance of 8 km from Visakhapatnam is the Rishikonda Beach, a golden, virgin beach, caressed by the sun-kissed sea. The beach is an ideal place to laze around.

Ramakrishna Beach - One of the most alluring beaches on the Eastern Coast is the Ramakrishna beach, which is a favorite haunt for tourists visiting Visakhapatnam .

Indira Gandhi Zoological Park - The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park is situated in Visakhapatnam amidst the picturesque eastern ghats of India , enclosed by hills on either sides and Bay of Bengal on the east.

Visakhapatnam also has other tourist attractions. There is lot to shop in visakhapatnam, like toys from Etikoppaka, tribla arts in Araku creations of Sea shells etc.


There are few good restaurants in Vizag. Swagath Restaurant, Main Rd near Poorna Market, has good cheap food. There are two good restaurants at the Hotel Daspalla, one South Indian and the Vaisakhi Restaurant, which serves North Indian cuisine .


Vijayawada literally translates to the Place of victory. It is also known as Bezawada or Blaze Wada because of its heat. It is the third largest city in Andhra Pradesh , India and is located on the banks of the Krishna River bounded by the lndrakeeladri Hills on the west and the Budameru canal on the north.

Vijayawada is a major port and among Hindus, is known for the Kanaka Durga temple. Vijayawada is also home to many cave temples, where Nataraj (Lord Shiva engrossed in His cosmic dance). It is also home to an important Muslim shrine - the Hazrat Bal mosque, which was believed to contain a holy relic, a strand of the Prophet's hair.

Kondapalli, a tiny village on the outskirts of Vijayawada is known all over India for its handmade wooden toys. Quite close to Vijayawada is also Kuchipudi town from which the famous dance form of Andhra Pradesh has derived its name.

Vijayawada is famous for Automobile, Garments, Iron and Hardware industries. The main markets are in One Town and Kaleswara Rao Market area of Vijayawada . Garments are mainly sold in Besant Road and Governor Peta.


By Air - The nearest airport is the domestic airport located at Gannavaram, about 20-km, from the city. It connects Vijayawada to Hyderabad and Vishakhapatnam . It is just a 30-minute flight away from Hyderabad .

By Train - Vijayawada is the largest railway junction of the South Central Railway. It is Situated along the Chennai- Howrah and Chennai-Delhi rail route. There are a number of express and super fast trains, connecting Vijayawada with almost all the important places of the country.

By Road - The city has a good network of roads that connects Vijayawada with all the places within the state and also with the major cities in India . One can also go to interesting Buddhist places by the buses of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation.


Best time to travel Vijayawada is September to February.


Prakasam Barrage - The Prakasam Barrage is an impressive 1223.5m long, modern regulator and road bridge that stretches across the river Krishna . Its panoramic lake and the three canals that run through the city give Vijayawada a Venetian appearance

Kanaka Durga Temple - Kanaka Durga, goddess of power, riches and benevolence is considered the presiding deity of Vijayawada . The temple is set on the Indrakiladri hill.

Undavalli Caves - The Undavalli caves in the village of Undavalli are at a distance of 8-km from Vijayawada and nearly 280-km from Hyderabad . The high hill overlooking the Krishna River hosts fine specimens of cut-in architectural and sculptural models.

Victoria Jubilee Regional Museum - The Victoria Jubilee Regional Museum was situated by Archaeological Department on Bandar Road of the city. The museum exhibits graceful sculptures and attractive paintings. But the highlight of the museum is the 'Buddha' Alluru inscriptions of first and second centuries and the idol of Mahishasura Mardhani.


You can try the special restaurant at the luxury hotels.


Puttaparthi is the abode of peace. This is the home of Bhagawan Sri Satya Sai Baba, India 's most revered spiritual master of modern times. His home (the ashram) is known as 'Prashanti Nilayam', the abode of peace. One of the most important pilgrim centers of India, the ashram lives up to its name, spend moments here and you will be filled with a sense of peace and calm.

You don't have to be an ardent follower of Bhagawan Sri Satya Sai Baba to be here and enjoy the tranquility that this place offers. All you have to have is faith in truth and this holy land will lead you to a world, you never knew existed.


By Air - Indian Airlines operate biweekly flight between Mumbai and Prasanthi Nilayam on Wednesdays and Sundays when Bhagawan Sri Satya Sai Baba is at Prasanthi Nilayam. A Coach is available to and from the Sri Sathya Sai Airport , which is 6 km away from the Ashram.

By Road - There are buses from Bangalore and Chennai but the ride is bumpy. Cars are better for long distance journeys.

By Rail - The nearest station is at Dharmavaram, well connected to Puttaparthi by bus. There are trains to Dharmavaram from Bangalore and Hyderabad.


Best time to travel Puttaparthi is September to February.


You could be visiting Puttaparthi for Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's Darshan, but while you are here you could make the most of your time. This quaint town's highlights are temples. Visit them and you will feel you've travelled back in time.

Sri Sathya Institute of Higher Learning - If architectural marvels fascinate you this magnificent structure will impress you. Situated in the Vidyagiri adjacent to the Ashram, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba founded the institute in the year 1981.

Prashanthi Mandir - To experience goodness take over, all you have to do is be here. A two-storied granite structure, built in 1949, it has a Central Prayer Hall flanked by rooms on either side with a 'verandah' in front and a corridor in the rear. Omkar Suprabhatnam at dawn, daily bhajans and spiritual activities are conducted here. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba gives interviews in the room behind the altar.

Ganesh Mandir - This temple was built around the same period as the main Mandir, in 1949 and is located at the entrance of Prasanthi Nilyam. Ganesh is the commander of Shiva's army; he is the remover of all obstacles.

Subramanya Mandir - Situated to the south of Ganesh Mandir. Subramanya Mandir was constructed in 1977.

Sarva Dharma Aikya Stambha - An impressive 500 ft high Stambha, made of reinforced concrete, it symbolizes the unity of all religions. Located in the middle of a garden, it was erected in 1975 on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the advent of the Avatar and the World Conference of Bhagwan Sathya Sai Seva Organisation.

Gayathri Mandir - This temple was blessed by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on 9th October, 1998. The five faced Goddess, Gayathri, the mother of the Vedas is the presiding deity here.

Sai Kulwant Hall - This is where daily Darshan takes place besides other festivities. With a seating capacity of about 20,000, you will be impressed by the massiveness of the hall. On the northern side entrance to Sai Kulwant Hall, the exquisitely carved icons Sri Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman were blessed by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on 30th September, 1999.

Sarva Dharma Stupa - This is a 50 ft high pillar, celebrating the unity of all religions. The Stupa was built in November 1975 to mark the advent of the Avatar. World Conference of the Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Seva organisation was also held in Prashanti Nilyam during this time.

Poorna Chandra Auditorium - Built in 1973, the auditorium can comfortably seat around 15,000 people. With its imposing appearance and column less structure, it has inspiring murals of God forms, Avatars, Saints and Seers from all religions and times. Cultural programmes, conferences and Yagna during Dassera are conducted here.

Samadhi of Baba's Parents - The mortal remains of Baba's parents are housed in a mausoleum off the Main Road , down the Samadhi Road , the road has been named after the Samadhi. It is made of black stone and always kept spotlessly clean. A majestic white Ganesha Idol is situated close by.

The Eternal Heritage Museum - It's a beautiful museum spread over three floors. Teaching of the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gita and other religions, are all depicted here. Miniature replicas of famous temples from across India and world are on display. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 12 noon everyday.

Vata Vruksha (Meditation Tree)- This Banyan tree was planted by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in 1950. Located on the left of the road uphill to the Spiritual Museum , it's possibly the best place for those wanting to meditate. Meditation is allowed only during the day.

Mosque - For the convenience of the local Muslim population, Bhagwan had a mosque and a hall constructed and inaugurated it in 1978. Prayers are conducted regularly

Temples in and around - As you go into the village, you can see the Gopal Swami Temple (Krishna as cowherd), Hanuman Temple and a small temple of Satyabhama (consort of Krishna ). There is also an old Mandir which has now transformed into a wedding hall.

Shiva Mandir - The birth place of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is now adorned by a Shiva Temple sanctified by Bhagawan in 1979. Puja is performed here everyday at dawn and dusk.

Chaitanya Jyothi - This Museum was constructed to commemorate Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's 75 birthday. The architecture represents a fusion of different cultures and architecture forms like Chinese Roofs, Gothic Arches and Moorish Domes.

Shirdi Sai Baba Statue - This attractive seven foot tall statue stands on an elevated rock that's more than ten feet above the ground.

Sri Satya Sai Hill View Stadium - With towering statues of Hanuman, Krishna , Shiva, Buddha, Zoroaster and Christ, the stadium presents an imposing view. Among other events is the sports and cultural meet for the schools and colleges held on 11th of January every year. The stadium is not open to public except when in use.

Lepakshi - Among the most famous pilgrim centres of South India , Lepakshi is located 124 km from Ananthapur. It is renowned for the Lord Veerabhadra Temple . Built in 1530 AD, it is famous for a huge 100-pillared dance hall, adorned with exquisite sculptures. One can see a life-size granite sculpture of Veerabhadra, a giant monolith of Nanandi as well as carvings of Naga linga, flying Gandharvas, Ganesha etc. Special pujas are conducted every Monday. The 10-day Asvayuja Masam Festival celebrated in February is when devotees from far and wide join in the celebrations.

Penukonda Fort - Situated 60 km from Ananthapur, the imposing hill fort with seven bastions was built during the reign of the Vijayanagara rulers. Impressive sites here include the Summer Palace , the Gagan Mahal - a court built by the British and the Bhogasamudaram - a huge lake that was used as a public bathing place.


You can try the special restaurant at the luxury hotels.


Welcome to Rajahmundry or Raja Mahendri of the olden days. It's here that the Chalukya rulers founded their capital in the 11th century and left behind many palaces and forts for you to trace their legacies.

This is the land where the first poet of Telugu or Adikavya was born and if you're looking to meet the Gods or search for your inner self. Its here you'll find them both, existing since ages.


By Plane - One can travel from Hyderabad , Vijayawada and Chennai with daily flights available from Hyderabad and Chennai.

By Train - The city is on Howrah-Chennai Main coastal railway track. It is 3.5 hrs journeys from Vishakapatnam.

By Road - Located on NH-5, Rajahmundry is on the east portion of the Golden Quadrilateral connecting Kolkata and Chennai.

By Boat - You can reach here by boat only from Bhadrachalam through River Godavari.


Best time to travel Rajahmundry is September to February.


River Godavari casts its spell over this peaceful city giving it a beauty that's pristine and pious. A fine medley of ancient and modern temples makes it one of the important Hindu pilgrimages. It has one of the greatest engineering feats of our times.

Asia's largest rail-cum-road bridge on the River Godavari - It is built on River Godavari and links Kovvur and Rajahmundry . The bridge is supported by 56 pillars and bears testimony to the engineering prowess of the humankind.

Markandeya Temple - Here's a miracle that you've to see to believe it, witness River Ganga flowing from Lord Vishnu's feet. Constructed by Gundu Sobhanadriswara Rao in 1818, this ancient temple has Lord Mahavishnu carved out of a single, five-foot-high Saligramam (a rare fossil stone found in Nepal ).

Kotilingeswara Temple - Legend has that Indra was cursed by sage Gautama. In order to relieve himself of the curse he installed a Shivalinga and anointed it with water from one crore rivers. Hence, this 10th century temple is known as Kotilingeswara temple.

ISKCON Temple - In this relatively modern temple, listen to the familiar chanting of "Hare Rama, Hare Krishna" and lose yourself in Krishna's aura that has spread all over the world. This is the residence of Lord Krishna and his followers. A huge temple built on the banks of River Godavari, the spectacular architecture is not to be missed.

Rallabandi Subba Rao Museum - Unravel the mystery of the past through the interesting range of artifacts like coins, sculpture, pottery, inscriptions and palm leaf manuscripts. Established in 1967, this Government museum will reveal many secrets of the ancient era. The museum timings are from 10.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Fridays and public holidays.

Gowthami Ghat - If you are looking for some simple fun where you can unwind and enjoy an outing with your family. Well, this is the place to be. Here, you let the kids be themselves while you take a walk all along the Ghat, hand in hand.

Papi Hills - Away from the hustle-bustle and amidst the tranquility, you can set yourself free in the beauty of the greens here. These hills are located in a village named Perantala Palli and are also famous for its spectacular waterfall at Munnivaatnam. If you're looking to spend some time in nature's bliss, then this is it.

Pattiseema - Even God must be enjoying his stay at the temple of Shree Veerabhadra Swamy , because this village on the banks of Godavari is abundant with scenic beauty. It is so inspiring that many filmmakers have shot their films here.


You can try the special restaurant at the luxury hotels.

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