Andhra Pradesh is a tourist's paradise and is promoted by the tourism department as the 'Kohinoor of India'. This Indian state is rich in culture and heritage. There is a wide array of ancient sculptured temples, modern cities, scenic hill ranges, unexplored forests and endless beaches. This diverse nature is due to the fact that since history this place has been a seat of power for many dynasties such as the Mauryas, Pallavas, Cholas, Satavahanas, Chalukyas and the empire of Vijayanagar who have had their own culture and tradition that is reflected in the monuments and buildings of each era. Various religions have also cast its influence and contributed to the rich heritage of Andhra Pradesh. The wild life, caves and museums offer imposing vista that has continued to fascinate the observer over the years.
Pilgrimage Tourism in Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh is a popular pilgrim site. It is the home to many religious pilgrim centres. The Tirupati temple situated on the Tirumala hills is the major religious center of the state. The temple is the abode to Lord Venkateshwara and is the richest Hindu temple in the world. People from all over the world come here to offer prayers to the lord. Apart from this Amaravati's Shiva temple is also a renowned religious place. Srikalahasti temple in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh is one of the ancient Hindu pilgrimage sites. The Shiva temple here is renowned for its magnificent 'gopuras'. The Ramappa temple and Thousand Pillars temple in Warangal are famous for their temple carvings.
The state has numerous Buddhist centers at Amaravati, Bhattiprolu, Nagarjunakonda, Ghantasala, Nelakondapalli, Phanigiri and Kolanpaka. Islam, too, is one of the important religions here. Hyderabad is dotted with mosques that are worth visiting. Once the abode of Nizams this city is has been quintessentially shaped by Muslim culture. Rajahmundry or Rajamahendri is another impressive city in this state which houses several sacred temples. The Basar Temple is yet another ancient temple dedicated to Goddess Sarawathi, as well as Goddess Kali and Goddess Lakshmi.
Nature Tourism in Andhra Pradesh
The flora and fauna of Andhra Pradesh has enabled the survival of wild species and has, in turn, led to the several national parks. The breathing spaces of the state are the gardens. Vizag in the state of Andhra Pradesh is nestled among the hills of the Eastern Ghats and facing the Bay of Bengal. The beaches of Vizag are a major tourist haunt. The scenic Araku valley and the Borra caves enhance the natural beauty of Andhra Pradesh. The natural caves at Yaganti such as Rokalla cave, Venkateswara cave, Sanka cave, and Veera Brahmam caves add serenity to this place. Vijayawada is a beautiful city of Andhra Pradesh and is located on the banks of the Krishna River bounded by the Indrakeeladri Hills on the west and the Budameru stream on the north. Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh is more popularly known as the land of golden beaches.
Wild life is an integral part of Andhra Pradesh tourism. The Alisagar Deer Park established in 1985 is flanked by natural hillocks and attractive flower gardens, the lake and its environs are loaded with picturesque exquisiteness. The park is a home to many deer species and is also a good picnic spot for tourists. The Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the oldest sanctuaries of Andhra Pradesh and has tropical dry deciduous type of teak, thiruman, bamboo etc. The fauna comprises a number of endangered animals like tiger, four horned antelope, chinkara, black buck among others. The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Visakhapatnam houses eighty species of animals.
Leisure Tourism in Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh is loaded with historical monuments and buildings. Hyderabad is one of the most visited historical cities. It houses the Charminar, an Islamic structure, which is built upon four grand arches facing north, south, east and west. It has four minars which gives the city its name, Charminar. Each minar stands on a lotus leaf base, a particular recurring motif in Qutub Shahi buildings. Walking around the Charminar area, one is continually astonished by vestiges of the past merging with the present. Golconda, one of the most famous forts in India is located in Andhra Pradesh. It is a traveller's delight. The fort is eminent for its acoustics, palaces, factories, ingenious water supply system and the famous Fateh Rahben gun, one of the cannons used in the last siege of Golconda by Aurangzeb.
The Falaknuma palace of Andhra Pradesh is a majestic palace which served as the imperial guest house for the rulers of Hyderabad. This palace was designed by an Italian architect. The Purani Haveli of the state is also a quite well known destination for the tourists. This is also a building based on Western architecture and distinguished for it's enriching and historical milieu. Andhra Pradesh is a store house of a number of museums which are a pleasure for the art lovers. The Andhra Pradesh State Museum is one of the richest repositories of antiques and art objects in India. The museum contains a Buddhist gallery, arms and armour gallery, bronze gallery, Ajanta gallery, Brahmanical and Jain gallery and more. The Amaravati museum and the Nizam's museum are among the other visiting sites of Andhra Pradesh.
Visiting Information on Andhra Pradesh
How to Reach Andhra Pradesh
Being a leading tourist destination in the sub-continent Andhra Pradesh is well connected by air, rail and road.
By Air: The capital city of Hyderabad has the main international airport of Andhra Pradesh and is well connected to most major Indian cities and overseas. There are flights to all the major cities in the country and abroad. Auto-rickshaws and taxis are available from the airport. Other important airports of the state include Tirupati, Vijaywada, and Visakhapatnam.
By Rail: There are three railway stations in Andhra Pradesh which are at Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Kacheguda. Secunderabad is the main station from where one can get trains to all major towns or cities of the country. Bookings are not made at the Kacheguda station.
By Road: Of the several bus stands in Hyderabad, the main one is the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation. The Jubilee bus stand at Secunderabad is also very busy. From these bus stands, one can find buses to all corners of the state and some important locations of neighbouring states. Most private buses have their offices at Nampally High Road.
Pearls found in Hyderabad in the state of Andhra Pradesh are famous worldwide. Apart from these the travellers can check out the craftsmanship of the local artisans. Souvenirs, silk sarees, block prints, embroidered apparels and others are the most sought after here. Hyderabad is would definitely prove to be a shopper's paradise. The food of Andhra Pradesh is scrumptious beyond words. Hyderabadi Biryani, Mirchi-ka-Salan, Qubani-ka-meetha and others are some of the famous foods out here. The travellers must also try out the 'paan' or the betel leaf.
The best time to visit Andhra Pradesh is from the month of October to March. The climate of the state is generally hot and humid. Local transportations are easily available to tour the state. Almost all the tourist destinations in this state have tourism offices. So in case the tourists need any help they can easily avail these. There are excellent accommodation facilities in and around the state of Andhra Pradesh.