The temples of Andhra Pradesh are the best specimens of architecture. The Varaha Narasimha temple of Andhra Pradesh was built during the reign of the East Ganga dynasty at the same time that the temples in Puri and Konark were built. At the entrance of the temple is a south Indian style gopura. Thus the East Indian and south Indian styles are mixed here. A high double-fence surrounds the temple. Inside the precincts is a small shrine which resembles the Konark temple with the horse and wheels on the north-eastern side. The shikhara on top of the shrine is in the step design of the south. There are high quality sculptures depicting humans and fantasy animals on the walls and foundation platform. The Ramappa temple in Palampet village of Andhra Pradesh sports broad eaves that are engraved even on the underside. The pillars supporting the eaves carry sculptures of angels, musicians, animals etc. the Hindu temples of Alampur are dedicated to Lord Shiva and has the basic style of shrine and mandapa which is surrounded by a rectangular fence and has a pathway for devotees to walk around the shrine. The shrine is crowned with a north-style shikhara and the outer walls have niches, where various Gods are placed. On top of the niches, the Chaitya window style motif has been sculpted with dancing angels on both sides. The architecture of the Venkataramana temple of Andhra Pradesh belongs to the latter era of the south Indian style and hence the embellishments and engravings look more mature. The pillars in the mandapa give an incredible illusion of space and have created a graceful Indian rococo pattern.
Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh houses the Charminar which is a magnificent Islamic structure. Now Charminar has become the symbol of Hyderabad and is the signature style of Islamic architecture. The height of the entrance gate is fifty seven meters and has the latticework prevalent during the time. Each minaret has four stories, marked by a skillfully engraved ring around the minaret. Charminar emerges as a graceful and romantic structure proclaiming its architectural distinction in all its aspect and dignity. The tomb of Qutub Shahi is in nearby but it was damaged during the Mughal rule. There are twelve tombs of the Qutub Shahi Emperors outside the city walls. These reflect the early Islamic style of the Deccan. A cubic tomb room has been built on the foundation platform and a dome-like roof has been placed on top. Most magnificent is the Tomb of Muhammed Kuri Qutb Shahi, who built Hyderabad city. The royal flower pattern has been sculpted on it very delicately and beautifully. Glass tiles were inlaid on the tombs, but not many remain now.
Andhra Pradesh has some fascinating monuments which speaks volumes of the Buddhist legacy of this place. Buddhist architecture of Andhra Pradesh is seen in the Chezarla village which is a home to many Buddhist shrines. The Kapoteshwara temple which was formerly a Buddhist temple was converted into a Hindu temple and a mandapa was built in front of it. It has a Chaitya shrine with the Chaitya window sealed and Hindu sculptures carved on it. The Amaravati Stupa is a famous specimen of the Buddhist architecture of ancient India and is located at Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh. It is made of brick and comprises a circular vedika which depicts Lord Buddha in a human form over an elephant. The Stupa has elevated platforms mounting up to ninety five feet which project in four directions. The Stupa is a significant example of Mauryan architecture in South India. The ruins of Nagarjunakonda are bears imperative Buddhist architectural features.
Thus architecture of Andhra Pradesh is a magnanimous array of Hindu, Islamic and Buddhist architectural creations. This diverse character of Andhra Pradesh's architecture makes it one of the most coveted destinations on the map of India.
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