The capital of Andhra Pradesh in Southern India, located on the banks of the Musi River and on the Deccan Plateau, Hyderabad and Secunderabad are “twin cities” near Hussain Sagar Lake. The gives insights on the booming high-tech city in India that is well-known for its rich historical and cultural architecture, museums and sparkling pearls. Once the largest princely state in India, the city once had its own flag, currency, railway, and postal system. Home to the Nizams, reportedly, the world’s richest royals, it is also home to famous folk arts like shadow puppetry and kuchipudi. Located on north-western part of Andhra Pradesh, the city was founded in the year 1591 by Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah, the fifth sultan of Qutb Shahi dynasty and has a historical tradition straddling over 400 years. The Qutb Shahi dynasty lasted till 1687, when the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb defeated the sultanate and took over Hyderabad. He appointed his governor as ruler of the region and granted him the title of Nizam-ul-Mulk. However, Mughal rule was short-lived and in 1724, the Nizam Asaf Jah I gained independence from a declining Mughal empire. Both Hyderabad and Secunderabad grew together and are known as twin cities. Well-known for its rich culture and culinary style, it is one of the most popular tourist places of the not just the state but of the entire nation. The culture of Hyderabad is a blend of different cultures and had emerged as the foremost centre of culture in India with the decline of the Mughal Empire in Delhi in 1857 AD. Traditional Hyderabadi attire also reveals a mix of Muslim and South Asian influences with men wearing Sherwani and Kurta–Paijama and women wearing Khara Dupatta and Salwar kameez. Dances such as the Kuchipudi and Kathakali styles are popular here. The city has a history of patronizing arts, literature and architecture since the rule of Qutb Shahi rulers, which continued even during the time of the Nizams. Hyderabadi biryani and Hyderabadi haleem, with their blend of Mughlai and Arab cuisines, have become iconic dishes of India. Hyderabadi cuisine is highly influenced by Mughlai and to some extent by French, Arabic, Turkish, Iranian and native Telugu and Marathwada cuisines. Other popular native dishes include nihari, chakna, baghara baingan and the desserts qubani ka meetha, double ka meetha and kaddu ki kheer. Besides the variety of delicacies, the city also houses a number of historical monuments that are worth-visiting. Charminar, Paigah Tombs, Qutub Shahi Tombs, Mir Alam Tank, Ramoji Film City, Golconda Fort, Yadagirigutta Temple, Hussain Sagar Lake, Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, Chilkur Balaji Temple, Raymond Tomb, etc. are some of the must-see attractions of the city.
Also known as Vizag, Vishakhapatnam is a port city situated on the southeast coast of Bay of Bengal. Dubbed as Jewel of the East Coast and the City of Destiny, it is the largest city of the state as well as the commercial hub. The city also serves as the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy. The city houses the oldest shipyard of India and boasts of being the largest seaport of the country. Although considered to be an industrial city, Vizag has a rich and vibrant culture and heritage. The city was part of the ancient Kalinga Empire and was ruled by renowned kings, such as Ashoka and Krishnadeva Raya. The city was a major Dutch colony during the 18th century and some of the houses and monuments stand as evidence of it. Today, it embraces its past and present flawlessly, making it one of the top tourist destinations in the state. Endowed with natural beauty, surrounded by enchanting beaches, hills, mystic valleys, pristine coastline, this city is worth visiting. The city is bounded by three hills and each of these hills houses a shrine of three different religions. Sri Venkateswara Konda houses the shrine named Vekateswara Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Dargah Konda is houses the tomb of a Muslim saint named Baba Ishaq Madina Dargah and the Ross Hill has the Church of Virgin Mary. Borra Caves, Yarada Beach, Katiki Waterfalls, Rishikonda Beach, Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, Kailasagiri Hill Park, VUDA Park, etc. are some of the major attractions of this port city.
A major hindu Pilgrimage destination, Tirupati is a holy town located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. Lying on the foothills of the Eastern Ghats, this town is famous for the Venkateswara Swamy temple, dedicated to Lord Venkateswara. The town remains thronged by devotees across the globe all throughout the year, making it one of the most important pilgrimage centers of the country. It is also considered to be the busiest pilgrimage destination of the World. It is a captivating town for religious people and it is believed that a visit to the temple will fulfill all the innate desires of the devotees. Besides this temple, there are numerous temples in the town and the tranquil and serene ambience of that surrounds it adds to its charm. The town houses the second oldest rock mountains in the world, named Tirumala Hills and is one of the ancient cities of the country. This holy town is one of the most frequented and coveted Hindu pilgrimage destinations of the country. Besides Venkateswara Swamy temple, tourists can as well visit Talakona Waterfalls, Deer Park, TTD Gardens, Sri Govindarajaswami Temple, Kanipakam, Sri Vari Museum and Srikalahasti.
A city as well as district headquarters of Ananthapur district, Anantapur is a major tourist place of the state. Situated on the westernmost part of the state, this hamlet is home to a number of ancient temples, forts and other historical monuments that speaks aloud about its rich and glorious historical past. Puttaparthi, the birthplace of the Spiritual Guru Satya Sai Baba is one of the most popular destinations of the town, which remains thronged by devotees across the globe all the year round. It is a small hamlet located in the Ananthapur District on the banks of River Chitravathi. A picturesque town, surrounded by unsoiled hills, it is popular mainly for being a religious destination and a swarm of devotees visit this place to seek blessings of the Guru. Prasanthi Nilayam is the prime attraction of this place, which was constructed in the year 1950, offers a serene and calam environment, which entices most of the tourists. Besides Puttaparthi, travelers can as well visit Tadipatri, Lepakshi, Dharmavaram, ISKCON Temple, Ravadurg Gooty Fort, Penukonda, Thimmamma Marrimanu, Hemavathi, Aluru Kona and Raidurga Fort.
A major center for business and trading of Andhrad Pradesh, Vijayawada is the 2nd largest city of the state located on the banks of River Krishna. The city stands overlooking the majestic Bay of Bengal with Indrakeeladri Hills forming its backdrop. Endowed with rich history and culture, this is an ancient city that finds its mention in the ancient mythological scriptures. It is believed that Arjuna was blessed by Lord Shiva atop the Indrakeeladri Hill and after that he founded the city. According to another legend, Goddess Durga, after killing the demon Mahishasura, rested at this particular place and hence the city got its name. The city is also known as the Business capital of Andhra Pradesh. Not just famous for being an industrial city or for housing the largest railway junction of the region, it is also famous for housing some of the ancient temples, Buddhist shrines and historical monuments. The city is quite popular among the tourists, which makes it one of the most frequented tourist places of the state. Kanaka Durga Temple, Bhavani Island, Amaravati, Undavalli Caves, Mogalarajapuram Caves, Prakasam Barrage, Kondapalli Fort, Victoria Museum, Kolleru Lake and Gandhi Hill are some of the prime attractions of this rich and enchanting city.
The cultural capital of Andhra Pradesh, Rajahmundry is a must visit tourist place of the state, located on the banks of River Godavari, which is considered as the Ganga of South India. It is believed that Telegu, the official language of the state had originated here. About 400 km from the city of Hyderabad, this city has a rich historical past and was under the rule of Chalukya king Raja Raja Narendra. The city is well-known for its contribution towards forming the culture, history, politics and economy of the state. The town had immensely contributed towards the literature of the state along with forming a strong social background. It is an important town established during the 11th century. Markandeya Temple is one of the major attractions of this town. Many believed that the ruins that are found on the site of this temple are that of a mosque; however, recent archaeological surveys discovered that the ruins were that of a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Later, in the year 1818 the temple was rebuilt by Gundu Sobhanadriswara Rao. The earlier temple is believed to have been built by Muni Mrukhanada’s son, who was blessed with life by Lord Shiva after he was pleased with his devotion and dedication. Travelers can as well visit Dandi, a panoramic village famous for its pristine backwaters. About 80 km from Rajahmundry, this village is a paradise for those who want to spend time in a serene and tranquil environment. ISKCON Temple, Kotilingeshwara temple, view of River Godavari, Papi Hills, Kadiyapulanka, Rallabandi Subbarao Government Museum, Pattiseema and Dowleswaram Barrage are some of the must-visit places in this enchanting town.
Known as the Gateway to Rayalaseema, Kurnool was once the capital of the state between 1953 and 1956. It is a city as well as the administrative headquarters of Kurnool District and is flanked by Rivers Tungabhadra and Hundri. This town is an ideal place in the state for history buffs as well as heritage lovers as it houses a number ancient temples, places, forts as well as ruins of some medieval forts built during the rule of Vijayanagar Kingdom. Endowed with natural bounties, this town is dotted with cascading waterfalls, spectacular hills and lush greenery; all these add to the beauty and charm of this town. A trip to the state will remain incomplete without a visit to this enchanting town as it is well-known for its rich cultural and historical heritage. The history of this town dates back to the 11th century and it was known as ‘Kandenavolu’. It was mainly a greasing place for the carts used for transportation of stone that were used for construction of temples at Alampur. During the 12th and 13th century, it was under the rule of Kakatiya kings after the decline of Chola Dynasty. Later, this town as well came under the rule of Vijaynagar Dynasty and it is evident from the ruin of the forts and places present in the town. Kurnool Fort, Belum Caves, Mahanandi, Mantralayam, Srisailam, Ahobilam, Nallamala Forest, Rollapadu Bird Sanctuary, Adoni Fort, Kurnool Museum, Oravakallu and Yaganti are some of the tourist places in and around the town.
A hill station located in the Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh, Araku Valley is worth-visiting owing to its enchanting landscape. Not a very popular hill station among the tourists, it is among the least frequent tourist places of the country. The Sunkarimetta and Anantagiri Reserve forest which are part of this hill town, still untouched by urbanization and commercialization; it is inhabited mainly by the tribes of the state. Perched at an altitude of 3200 ft, it is popular for its vast coffee plantations enclosed by mystic valley, rhythmic waterfalls, gardens, streams and brooks. This hill town is popular among adventure enthusiasts as it offers opportunities for trekking as well as nature walks. It is also the perfect weekend getaway from the major cities of the state allowing its visitors to rejuvenate and unwind amid the unspoiled beauty of nature. Anantagiri Ghats, Sangda Waterfalls, Matsyagundam, Siva temple and Paderu are some of the prime attractions of this valley.