Andhra Pradesh is one of the southern states of India. Andhra Pradesh was created by combining the old princely state of Hyderabad and the Telugu speaking portions of the former Madras state. Andhra Pradesh is bordered by the states of Maharashtra, Orissa, Chhattisgarh in the north, Tamil Nadu in the south, Karnataka in the west and the Bay of Bengal in the East. With 2,75,045 sq. Kms of area and 7,57,27,541 population, Andhra Pradesh is the fourth largest state of India by area and fifth largest by population. Andhra's population is a fusion of two religions, Hindu and Islam including a score of aborigines and tribes. Andhraites is colorful people proud of their sonorous language, Telugu and love music, dance, stage play and cinema.
Andhra Pradesh is a treasure trove of lush landscape, stalagmite and stalactite caves, fragrant and fruit-laden groves, dense forests teeming with varied wildlife, rich traditional and cultural heritage, old and new temples and magnificent forts and monuments. Besides, the state is crisscrossed by 34 big and small rivers, among them Godavari and Krishna are the largest peninsular rivers. The Godavari and Krishna rivers form large web-shaped deltas in the Andhra region, which make Andhra Pradesh’s reputation as the 'Rice bowl of India'.
History of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh is an ancient realm whose history can be traced back two thousand years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Since its origin, Andhra Pradesh has seen a succession of dynasties such as Mauryas, Satavahanas, Ikshavakas, Pallavas, Eastern Chalukyas, Cholas, Kakatiyas, Vijaynagar Kings, Qutab Shahi Kings, the Mughals and finally the Asaf Jahi Nizams.
History of Andhra Pradesh says that it was a part of the kingdom of the Maurya King Chandragupta and Ashoka. With the spread of Buddhism in the region, Andhra became a stronghold of Emperor Ashoka around 230 BC. Even today, you can see traces of that early Buddhist influence in several places of the state. Just after the death of Ashoka, Satavahana, built up the kingdom in the 2nd century BC, which is now known as Hyderabad.
The Satavahanas ruled over Andhra Pradesh for 450 years and later Pallavas held power, but they in turn fell to the Chalukyas in the 7th century. In the 10th century, the Chola Kings of the south held power and in the 12th century, the Kakatiyas of Warangal became the rulers of Andhra Pradesh. Later, the Hindu Vijaynagar kings occupied Andhra and in the 14th century Muslim rulers reached here.
A series of wars broke out between the Hindu and Muslim rulers over the control of this region. In 1707, Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb died, eventually the power of the Mughals in the south began to decrease. Finally in 1713, the Emperor’s Viceroy of the South, Mir Qamruddin Khan took over the region and declared himself as the Subedar. Further, in 1724, Mir Qamruddin Khan assumed the title of Nizam-ul-Mulk and became the Nizam. Hence, the rule of Nizams in Hyderabad began and they ruled the state right down to India’s independence in 1947.
On 1st October 1953, in order to build up a democratic state, the Nizami Hyderabad was cut off from Madras Presidency. To the South-west Telugu speaking districts and 1,200 km long coastal area of the Bay of Bengal, Andhra Pradesh state came into existence.
Andhra Pradesh - Tourist Destinations
A perfect blend of old and new, Andhra Pradesh - Tourist Destinations attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. Andhra Pradesh was ruled by several rulers, who built a number of temples, shrines, churches and mosques in the state. Today, people with a keen interest in architecture or archaeology visit the excavations or old sites of Andhra Pradesh. River and valleys, mystic wildlife and unexplored caves, delectable food and invigorating drinks, excellent architecture and exotic handicrafts, rich arts, crafts and culture, colourful fair and festival, together draw large number of tourists every year to the state. In Andhra Pradesh, there are hundreds of tourist destinations, but each offers something unique in itself. Some of the popular tourist destinations in Andhra Pradesh include Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Warangal, Vijayawada, Tirupati, Nagarjuna Sagar, Khammam, Kurnool and Karim Nagar.
Temples of Andhra Pradesh
The historic land of Andhra Pradesh was ruled by a number of dynasties and rulers who built several temples in this region. The architecture, sculpture and the intricate construction patterns unique to several royal dynasties are reflected in the temples of Andhra Pradesh. Although, some of the old temples are in ruins, but many of them still stand as a witness to the centuries of history and the patronage of various kingdoms such as the Cholas, the Pallavas, the Chalukyas, the Eastern Gangas and the Vijayanagar Kings. Some of the popular temples are Tirupati Temple, Vijayeswara Swami Temple, Vemulawada Shiva Temple, Veerabhadraswami Temple, Thousand Pillar Temple, Birla Mandir and Kanakadurga Temple.
Andhra Pradesh - Forts & Monuments
Andhra Pradesh houses a number of forts and historical monuments which attract large number of tourists from all parts of the country and the world as well. Built several centuries ago by the Hindu and Muslim rulers, the forts and monuments of Andhra Pradesh retain their original charm even today. In fact, they narrate the stories of their past and offer a glimpse of the bygone era. Some of the important forts and monuments are Charminar, Golconda Fort, Falaknuma Palace, Purani Haveli, Asmangarh Palace, Bhongir Fort, Bobili Fort, Chandragiri Fort, Elgandal Qila, Gandhi Hill, Khammam Fort, Kush Mahal, Kondapalli Fort, Kurnool Fort, Manthani Temples, Warangal Fort and Udayagiri Fort.
Arts & Culture of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh is bestowed with a rich and varied heritage of arts and culture. Fine arts and traditional art forms have been revered and treasured in the region for a very long time now. Andhra Pradesh is known for having all important categories of Indian handicrafts, which reflect the genius of its local craftsmen. Some of the popular handicrafts of Andhra Pradesh are Kalamkari, Bidri, Himroo, Nirmal and Filigree. You can see the skills of artisans in handcrafts like caskets, vases and trays. Andhra Pradesh is also known for other art forms like stone-carving, wood-carving, Metalware, normal painting and leather puppet-making. Andhra Pradesh, the land of Telugu speaking people is home to prominent poets of Telugu including Nannaya, Tikkana, Sri Krishna Devarayulu and several other poets. Dance and music are also an important part of Andhra’s life. The dance styles in Andhra are based on the standard treatises, such as Abhinaya Darpana and Bharatarnava of Nandikeshwara. Kuchipudi, a fine combination of music and abhinaya, is Andhra’s unique contribution to dance forms of India as well as world.
Andhra Pradesh - Cuisine
When it comes to delectable cuisine, Andhra Pradesh is not behind from other states of the country. Andhra is known for its hot and spicy cuisine, which include both the traditional Andhra cuisine and the famous Hyderabadi cuisine, with an influence of Mughlai delicacies Spices are prominently used in the traditional dishes of the state and every meal has its own specialty. The eating habits of Andhraites are quite different, the majority of people prefers vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, while seafood is popular only in the coastal areas.
Fairs and Festivals of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh, a land of varied people, religions, languages, culture and tradition, celebrates several festivals all through the year. Most of the Andhra’s festivals are religious, while some are exclusive to certain temples and regions. Apart from these, the Andhra Pradesh state government organizes some festivals every year. Be it the Hindu festivals of Dusshera, Deepawali, or the Muslim festivals of Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, or the Christian festival of Christmas, all festivals are celebrated by people of all religions with equal excitement and enthusiasm. Fairs and Festivals in Andhra Pradesh are characterized by colour, gaiety, feasts and various kinds of prayers and rituals. In fact, fairs and festivals in Andhra Pradesh populate the cultural scene of this state and draw large number of tourists from both far and near.
Lakes and Rivers
Lakes and rivers form an important part of Andhra’s land. There are a number of lakes and rivers in the state which offer excellent boat cruising options. Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation runs cruises on Hussain Sagar Lake and also in Godavari and Krishna rivers. Most important lakes and rivers include Alisagar, Ashok Sagar, Durgam Cheruvu, Hussain Sagar Lake, Osman Sagar Lake, Ramappa Lake, Krishna River and Godavari River.
Hills and Valleys of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra’s captivating landscape is ringed with rugged hills and mysteriously deep valleys. Some of the popular hills and valleys are Ananthagiri Hills, Araku Valley, Horsley Hills, Kailasagiri, Papi Kondalu and Talakona.
Andhra Pradesh - Caves
Andhra Pradesh boasts of a number of natural wonders such as the million year old caves. Belum and Borra are most popular caves of Andhra Pradesh. Other important caves are Guthokonda Caves, Mogalrajapuram Caves, Undavalli Caves and Yaganti Caves.
Andhra Pradesh - Beaches
Bapatla BeachIf beaches are your passion, then Andhra Pradesh offers some of the country’s finest beaches for you. With gentle waves, miles of golden sand and a peaceful ambience, Andhra Pradesh has everything for making a perfect beach holiday. Most popular Andhra Beaches are Ramakrishna Beach, Rishikonda Beach and Lawson’s Bay. Besides, Andhra has many other beaches such as Bapatla Beach, Bheemunipatnam Beach, Kalingapatnam Beach, Koduru Beach, Kothapatnam Beach, Maipadu Beach, Manginapudi, Perupalem, Ramapuram Beach and Vodarevu Beach.
Wildlife of Andhra Pradesh
With its thick vegetation and moist evergreen forests, Andhra Pradesh provides shelter to a variety of wildlife. Its lush green coastal belt, moist deciduous Eastern Ghats, dry deciduous forests of the Nallamalais and the mangrove stretch at Coringa are home to most of the wildlife sanctuaries and parks. While you visit the wildlife sanctuaries of Andhra Pradesh you can see a variety of wild animals like the Tiger, Wild Boar, Gaur, Wild Dog, Jackal, Fox, Spotted Deer and Sloth Bear etc. Apart from these, you can also see several bird species and a lot of reptiles such as Salt-water crocodile and Fishing cats. Important wildlife sanctuaries include Alisagar Deer Park, Coringa Wild Life Sanctuary, Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary, Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary, Kolleru Lake Bird Sanctuary, Pakhal Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, Rolapadu Bird Sanctuary, Sri Lanka Malleswara Wildlife Sanctuary, Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary and Srisailam Nagarjuna Sagar Tiger Reserve.
Andhra Pradesh has a hot and humid climate, dominated by the South-west monsoon as well as the northeast monsoon. Summers are hot with the temperature varying between 20oC to 40oC, but as the monsoon arrives in the middle of June, there is a decline in the heat and humidity increases. Winter arrives in the month of December, winters are not chilly and the temperature ranges between 16oC and 30oC.
Best Time to Visit
Between the months of October and February.
How to Reach
By Air: Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh has good air connections with major cities in India and the state. A number of airlines connect Hyderabad with Vishakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Warangal, Tirupati, Ramagundam and Rajamundry. From Hyderabad flights are available for other countries too.
By Rail: The twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad are the main railway stations of the state. A number of express and super fast trains connect these cities with major cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. Other cities like Vishakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Warangal have also trains from all parts of the country.
By Road: National and State Highways connect cities and town of Andhra Pradesh with each other and neighboring states. All places of tourist interest are connected by good roads with regular bus services. The Andhra Pradesh Travel and Tourism Development Corporation organize conducted tours to the tourist destinations of the state and also outside the state.
Shopping in Andhra Pradesh
In your vacations, Andra Pradesh offers you exciting shopping experiences. In fact, your trip to Andhra Pradesh is incomplete without doing some shopping at the colourful shopping joints along the streets or the big shopping malls, or Art & Crafts village or the Governments Emporium. Andhra Pradesh offers a striking range of items popular among them are Pearls, Silver Filigree, Banjara Mirror work, Atar, Fabric, Kalamkari, Bidri and Nirmal toys.