In 1956 Andhra Pradesh was formed on a linguistic basis i.e. Telugu speaking. It is the first Indian state formed based on language. Andhra Pradesh is situated in the south-eastern part of the subcontinent and its boundary shared with; Tamil Nadu to the south, Karnataka to the west, Telangana to the north and the eastern boundary is a coastline along the Bay of Bengal. Andhra the name was derived from Sanskrit which means south and it is the ‘Rice Bowl of India’. It has many monuments, temples, mosques, and palaces.
10 Top Places to Visit in Andhra Pradesh
1. Tirupati – Tirupati is situated in the Chittoor district. Sri Venkateswara Temple is a famous temple in Tirupati. It is also known as ‘Govinda in South India’ and ‘Balaji in North India’. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is located on the top of the Tirumala hills. Besides, it is one of the important pilgrimage centers in India. ‘Silathoranam’ a natural arch formed from the rocks is in this hill and it is one of the three of its kind in the world. The other temples here are; Sri Kalahasti temple, Kodandaramatemple, Sri Govindarajaswami temple, Parashurameshwara Temple and the ISKCON temple.
2. Srikalahasti –Srikalahastihas situated in Chittoor district on the banks of the river Swarnamukhi 36 km away from Tirupati. It is considered as a holy city because of the famous temple ‘Srikalahasti temple’. It was built during the reign of the Pallava dynasty and it is one of the important Shiva temples in South India. It is also regarded as ‘Dakshina Kasi’ and ‘Rahu-Ketu’ temple. Its Dravidian style of construction is an excellent example of south Indian architecture.
3. Puttaparthi – Puttaparthi is a small town in Anantapur district on the banks of the river Chitravathi. It has become a pilgrim hub because of the abode of legendary spiritual guru Sathya Sai Baba. He is an avatar of Guru Dattatreya. This ashram has gained global fame as a pilgrim destination.
4. Lepakshi – Lepakshiis located in the Anantpur district. It is also the location of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, and Veerabhadra. During the reign of Aliya Rama Raya the Vijayanagara Kings’ period these temples were built. In local’s lore, they were believed that the Jatayu fell in Lepakshi after getting injured by Ravana. The main attraction of Lepakshi is the largest monolithic idol of Nandi Bull which is the only one of its kind in the entire subcontinent made of granite.
5. Visakhapatnam – Visakhapatnam is situated in the heart of Andhra Pradesh and is amidst the Eastern Ghats and the coast of the Bay of Bengal. It is also known as Vizag. It is considered as the oldest port city of the country and it has the oldest shipyard. Yarada beach is one of the most fascinating beaches in Visakhapatanam. Other places to be visited are; Borra caves and Katiki Waterfalls. It has also a variety of handicrafts, Kalamkari paintings and Pochampalli and Ikat sarees.
6. Nellore –Nellore City is situated on the banks of River Penna 275 km from Hyderabad. The name Nellore is a combination of two Tamil words where ‘Nel’ stands for Paddy and ‘Ooru’ means Place. Its ancient name was VikramaSimhapuri. Nellore is the 6th most famous town in Andhra Pradesh. Nellore is famous for its rich agriculture as its large percent population is rural and dependent on agriculture.
7. Vijayawada –Vijayawada is located on the banks of River Krishna. A literal translation of Vijayawada is “The Place of Victory”. It is the second-largest and populous city in the state and known as; ‘Commercial, Political and Media capital of Andhra Pradesh’. Vijayawada is covered by hills and canals and it has many caves and temples. Places to be visited are; Undavalli Caves, Bhavani Island, Kondapalli Fort, Victoria Museum, Hazratbal Mosque, Mangalagiri Hill, Rajiv Gandhi Park, and Kolleru Lake.
8. Srisailam – Srisailam is a hill town and located in Kurnool district. Srisailam is famous for its Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Temple situated on the banks of river Krishna. This temple is one of the eighteen Shakthi Peethas of Goddess Parvathi. It is considered as one of the holy pilgrimage sites for Saivism and Shaktism. The main festival celebrated here is Mahashivratri. Other important places are; wildlife sanctuary and a dam, Sikhareswara Swamy temple or BhramarambaMallikarjunaswamy Temple and Nallamala forest ranges.
9. Yaganti- Yaganti is located in the Kurnool district. It is famous for its temple of Sri Yagantiswamy. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The main attraction of this temple is; here Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of an idol, instead of Shiva Linga. This ‘Ardhanareeswara idol’ is carved out of a single stone. It is also known as Uma MaheshwaraTemple. It has the Agastya Pushkarni which is considered sacred, where water flows from the bottom of the hill, throughout the year.
10. Tadipatri – Tadipatri (also known as Tadpatri) is a town in Anantapur district and at the border of Kurnool district and Kadapa district. This town is a veritable pilgrimage place, with many ancient temples to its credit.