Located on the southeastern coast of India, Andhra Pradesh is the fourth largest state in India. The capital of the state was Hyderabad which is the largest city. However, due to the declaration of the recently formed state of Telangana, Hyderabad will be a part and capital of Telangana from 2 June 2014.
The state of Hyderabad will continue to serve as the capital of Andhra Pradesh for more than 10 years. Years until the new capital is fixed. The kingdom of Andhra Pradesh is mentioned in Sanskrit epics like Aitareya Brahmana and Mahabharata from 800 BC onwards. The original language ‘ Telugu ‘ is often associated with the early Cholas.
Andhra Pradesh also came under the rule of the Maurya Empire, the Ikshvaku Dynasty, the Pallavas, the Rashtrakutas, the Chalukyas and later the Cholas. Geographically, Andhra occupies the eastern part of the Deccan Plateau and much of the plains east of the Eastern Ghats. .
The Eastern Ghats being a mineral rich region is densely vegetated and these two regions are connected by sparse vegetation. The state of Andhra Pradesh is well promoted by its tourism department and is famous for its rich natural resources, temples and rivers. Andhra state also shares a part of the coastal area of the Bay of Bengal. Rich cultural heritage, ancient architecture and historical significance make Andhra Pradesh one of the top tourist destinations in India. We will briefly discuss the top 15 places to visit in Andhra Pradesh state .
Visakhapatnam was the second largest city in Andhra Pradesh and a major seaport of India. However, with the recently declared state of Telangana, Visakhapatnam will be the largest city in Andhra Pradesh and the potential capital of the future state of Andhra Pradesh. The climate is tropical and humidity is high throughout the year.
The city has all the necessary attractions and resources to make it one of the top tourist destinations in India. Its various beaches, hilltops and wildlife sanctuaries attract a large number of tourists. This place is the main port of the Indian National Army and is the deepest port in India.
There are various valleys like Araku Valley, which is a picturesque spot for a picnic, and it is a hill station that has some really great hotspots for trekking.
Tirupati is one of the major cultural and religious pilgrimage sites in India. The city is situated in the southern part of Andhra Pradesh and lies at the foot of the Eastern Ghats in Chittor district.
Although Telugu is the predominant language spoken here, the word Tirupati is a Tamil word as Saint Ramanujacharya was a Tamil Vaishnava saint who was responsible for the founding of the city. The city is famous for the ‘Balaji’ temple of Lord Vishnu.
The foundation history of the temples is unknown and was expanded over the centuries by various kingdoms and dynasties including the Chola, Pallava and Vijayanagara empires. This temple is one of the major pilgrimage sites in India and particularly in South India. Apart from temples, there are various other attractions like parks and zoos.
Vijayawada , the third largest city in Andhra Pradesh is ranked 3rd in the list. The city is an agriculturally rich state and has been identified by McKinsey as a global city of the future.
The city was formerly known as Bejwada and has been under the rule of various ancient kingdoms in the south and is one of the places where the Chinese pilgrim Hyun Tsang stayed. River Krishna flows through the city and lies on the hills of the Eastern Ghats.
The location of the city is unique as its west lies deep forest of Kondapalli reserve forests known for leopards, foxes, wolves, wild boars and wild dogs. The city itself is a cultural and religious center with various temples, religious monuments, rivers, ancient caves and more in the city. Don’t forget to buy the famous Kondapalli toys as a souvenir. Some of the popular tourist attractions in Vijayawada are:
- Undavalli Caves
- Mogalarajapuram Caves
- Prakasam Barrage
- Bhawani Island
- Victoria Museum
- Kondapalli Fort
- Kolleru Lake
- Gandhi Hill
The name ‘ Nellore ‘ literally means ‘paddy place’ and thus it is one of the primary agricultural cities of Andhra Pradesh. The vast paddy fields of Damramadugu are the major source of rice in the state and the country. The city is divided into two parts by the river Pennar and thus lies on both banks of the river.
To the east of the city lies the Bay of Bengal and thus Nellore occupies a unique and strategic geographical location. The city has witnessed various ancient dynasties like Maurya, Chola, Pallava and Vijayanagara etc. Nellore is also famous for its ancient temples which are amazing due to their wonderful architecture and cultural history associated with them.
Nellore also has Nelpattu Bird Sanctuary which is a great destination for photography enthusiasts and professionals. Various lakes, temples, forts in the ancient agricultural town of Nellore will surely enchant you. Here are some important tourist places in Nellore:
Chittoor is situated on the banks of the Shahraponnai River and is thus an important agricultural town in Andhra Pradesh. The major source of the city’s economy is its crops and agricultural products such as grains, sugarcane, mangoes and groundnuts.
The city has a unique climate which is higher in the eastern part and lower in the western part due to the change in altitude. This place is considered an economically backward district; Still it is a great place and an undiscovered gem for tourists.
With various hills, rivers, temples, forts and a rich collection of flora and fauna, this city is a must see. A personal recommendation is to spend more time and relax in the western area near Horsley Hills. Most of the attractions in Chittoor can be covered in a day, yet it is a place to relax and rejuvenate.
- Horsley Hills
- Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary
- Gururamkonda Fort
- Urban hills
- Sri Venkateswara Temple
The largest of all the districts of Andhra Pradesh, Anantapur is famous for diamond mining and agricultural products like rice, cotton, maize, chilli etc. The city is located near the border of Karnataka state and 6 rivers flow through the district.
The city is an undiscovered tourist spot with many monuments exemplifying the ancient rule of the Vijayanagara kingdom and is also famous for its ancient temples. The old ruins of the hilltop forts, with its hidden waterfalls make it a fantastic tourist attraction.
The city of Anantapur is famous for the mighty banyan tree ‘Thimmamma Marimanu’, one of the largest trees in the world. Its branches are spread over a canopy of about 2.5 acres and about 19,107 square meters. Anantapur is a must visit for all those visiting Andhra Pradesh. Major places to visit in Anantapur are given below:
Kurnool is known as the former capital of Andhra Pradesh state. The city is one of the oldest and based on the rock paintings of Ketavaram, the city has seen humans since Paleolithic times.
The ruins of ancient caves and forts in Kurnool are far back in history and are a sight to behold. The city is surrounded by mountain ranges running parallel from north to south. The various temples and shrines in this ancient city are not only important in their cultural history but also constitute the important architectural heritage of the city.
Rollapadu Bird Sanctuary is one of the major reasons to visit this city as it is a great destination for nature lovers and shutterbugs alike. Some of the major attractions of Kurnool are given below:
- Kurnool Fort
- Belum Caves
- Nallamala Forest
- Rollapadu Bird Sanctuary
- Adoni Fort
- Kurnool Museum