Andhra Pradesh is one of the 28 states of India, situated in the south-eastern part of the country. It is the eight-largest state in India, covering an area of 162,975 km². As per the 2011 census, it is the tenth-most populous state, with 49,386,799 inhabitants.

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TIRUPATI | BALAJI TEMPLE | TOURIST PLACES TO VISIT

At a distance of 71 km from Chittoor, 413 km from Vijayawada, 556 km from Hyderabad, 763 km from Vizag, 134 km from Chennai and 259 km from Bangalore, Tirupati is a pilgrimage city in the extreme southeast of Andhra Pradesh in Chittoor district. It is often referred as a synonym to Tirumala (called as Tirumala Tirupati), which is a sacred temple town famous for Sri Venkateswara Temple also known as Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Temple. Tirupati along with Chandragiri is an ideal Chennai getaways for a two day trip and also one of the top Andhra Pradesh tourist places.

TOURIST PLACES TO VISIT in tirupati

Tirupati is one of the most ancient and sacred pilgrimage sites in India. Tirumala, the home of Lord Venkateswara is at a distance of 22 km from Tirupati. However, Tirupati is the town and transport hub to Tirumala at the bottom of the hill. The initial temple at Tirumala was built by the Tamil king Thondaimaan. The Pallavas of Kanchipuram (9th century), Cholas of Tanjore (10th century), Pandyas of Mathura and Vijayanagara Kings (14th & 15th centuries) regularly visited the temple and contributed largely to the temple. Especially, Sri Krishna Devaraya of Vijayanagara Empire contributed a lot to the temple. Now the temple is under the maintenance of TTD.

Spread over an area of 450 sq. km, Tirupati offers a magnificent religious and natural delight to devotees as well as tourists. Apart from Lord Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala, Varahaswami temple, Tiruchanur temple of Goddess Padmavati, Govindaraja temple, Srinivasa Mangapuram, Avanakshamma temple, ISKCON Lord Krishna Temple etc. are the important temples in Tirupati. Best places to visit in tirupati and tirumala are Kapila Theertham, Parasurameswara Temple in Gudimallam, Kodanda Rama Swamy Temple, Chandragiri Fort, Kanipakam, Srikalahasti and Talakona Falls are the famous Tirupati tourist places.

Tirupati is also known for its fairs and festivals. The biggest festival though is Tirumala temple Brahmotsavam, the Vijayanagara Festival held at Chandragiri Fort and the Rayalaseema Food and Dance Festival are some other attractions of the temple town. The Gangamma Jatra held for a week in May is another important festival here. It is held at the Tataiah Gunta Gangamma temple in Tirupati and is known for its unusual rituals.

TIRUPATI | BALAJI TEMPLE | TOURIST PLACES TO VISIT

Renigunta is the nearest airport (15 km Tirupati) which serves direct flights from Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai as well as Bangalore. Tirupati Railway Station is well connected with Hyderabad, Chennai, Trivandrum, Kanyakumari, Kakinada, Nagercoil, Kolkata, Pondicherry, Jammu, Bangalore, Mumbai, Bhubaneswar, New Delhi, Vizag, Mangalore, Gujarat, Kochi and Jharkhand. Buses are available from Tirupati to the adjacent cities like Chennai, Kanchipuram, Vellore, Vizag, Bangalore, Vijayawada, Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy, Mysore and Hyderabad.

The best time to visit Tirupati is from October to March while the Peak Season is April to May & September to December. Usually it takes 1-2 days to visit major places in and around Tirupati.

Places to Visit in Tirupati:

  • Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple, Tirupati.
  • Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple, Tirupati.
  • Srivari Padala Mandapam, Tirupati.
  • Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple, Tirupati.
  • Sri Kapliswaraswamy Temple, Tirupati.
  • Srikalahasti Temple, Tirupati.
  • Sri Venkateswara National Park, Tirupati.
  • Deer Park, Tirupati.

Places around tirupati:

Tirupati is an ultimate holy destination in itself but there are also quite a few wonderful places around Tirupati. In fact, while visiting Tirupati, many travellers make it a point to check out such places around Tirupati. To cut a long story short, some of these piping hot places around Tirupati are Mysore, Thanjavur, Nellore, Shore Temple, Kailashnath Temple, and Rock Fort Temple. All of the places mentioned here are within a 100 to 335 km radius of Tirupati.

places to visit in tirupati balaji:

Tirupati is a city in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Its Sri Venkateswara Temple sits atop one of the 7 peaks of Tirumala Hills, attracting scores of Hindu pilgrims. Sri Venkateswara National Park, home to the temple, also contains the Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park with lions and primates. Nearby, next, to a waterfall and cave believed to be sacred, Sri Kapileswara Swamy Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Here are top 10 places to visit in Tirupati Andhra Pradesh

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this product Stop At: Tirumala Temple, Tirupati, Chittoor District, Andhra PradeshTirumala darshanDuration: 2 hours

what are the places to visit in tirupati?

Whenever people plan to go to Tirupati, they’ll visit some places. But, there are many more less known but more significant places . In this answer, I’ll try to cover almost all the places.(Here, I’m not going to focus on the places on the hill.

A common trip plan of any Bangalorean consists of-

  1. Kanipakam
  2. Tirumala hill temple
  3. Kapila theertha
  4. Govinda raja Swami temple
  5. Alamelu mangapura(Tiruchanuru)
  6. Srinivasa Mangapura
  7. TTD Gardens
  8. Rock garden
  9. Iskcon temple
  10. Deer Park,Zoo,Geeta Mandiram ,etc

 

VISAKHAPATNAM | BEACHES, TOURIST PLACES TO VISIT

At a distance of 602 km from Hyderabad, 355 km from Vijayawada, 168 km from Kakinada, 203 km from Rajahmundry and 444 km from Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam (also called Vizag) is a coastal & port city in the state of Andhra Pradesh, located on the shores of Bay of Bengal. It is the headquarters of Visakhapatnam district and is the base for Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy. Vizag is also one of the top places to experience Andhra Pradesh tourism.

The city of Vizag, as Visakhapatnam is popularly called, derives its name from the Hindu God of valour, Visakha. The city is located beautifully among the hills of the Eastern Ghats with facing towards the Bay of Bengal. According to the Archaeological records, Visakhapatnam was built by Kulotunga Chola between the 11th and 12th centuries AD. Kailasagiri, Rama Krishna Beach and Rishikonda Beach are among the must include places in your Vizag tour packages.

VISAKHAPATNAM

The religious Hindu texts mention that the region of Visakhapatnam in the 5th century BC was part of the vast Kalinga territory which extended up to River Godavari. The relics found in the area also prove the existence of a Buddhist empire in the region. Kalinga later lost the territory to King Ashoka in the bloodiest battle of the time which prompted him to embrace Buddhism. The city was also under the rulers of Chalukya, Pallava,Vengi, Chola and the Gajapathi dynasty. The Mughals ruled this area under the Hyderabad Nizam in the late 15th and early 16th century. The port of Vizag played a very crucial role for the East India Company during the rule of the British.

Visakhapatnam is the largest city of Andhra Pradesh with around 2 million population and spread over 550 sq. km. It is an industrial city and one of the major tourist destinations in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The city is home to several state owned heavy industries; one of the most advanced steel plants and one of the country’s largest ports & shipyard are located here. It is the only natural harbor on the eastern coast of India.

places to visit in Vizag:

The city is home for several beaches along the Bay of Bengal coast, scenic hills, valleys and caves. places to visit in vizag in 3 days are Rushikonda Beach, Ramakrishna Mission Beach, Yarada Beach, Submarine Museum, Lighthouse, Kailasagiri hill park, Venkateswara Temple, VUDA Park and Bheemili Beach are important tourist places. Simhachalam, ISKON temple, Araku Valley, Anantagiri Hills and Borra Caves are the nearby attractions to Vizag.

Vizag airport is the nearest airport, which is about 10 km from the city. It is well connected by flights with major international destinations like Dubai, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, USA, Europe, Sri Lanka and domestic destinations including Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Bhubaneswar and Andaman Islands. Visakhapatnam is situated on the Kolkata-Chennai main railway line and is connected to the cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mysore, Puri, Kanyakumari, Kollam, Tirupati, Howrah, Ahmedabad, Mangalore, Jamshedpur, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Trichy, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jodhpur, Pondicherry, Goa and New Delhi. Vizag is well connected by bus with Hyderabad, Vizianagaram, Vijayawada, Bangalore and Chennai.

10 places to visit in vizag

Best places to visit in vizag:

  • Yarada Beach
  • Rushikonda Beach
  • INS Kursura Submarine Museum
  • Indira Gandhi Zoological Park
  • Borra Caves
  • Araku Valley
  • Dolphin Hill or Nose
  • Rama Krishna Mission Beach
  • Kailasagiri
  • Simhachalam Temple
  • Katiki Falls

The best time to visit Vizag is from November to February. Usually it takes 2-3 days to visit all the places in and around Vizag.

Places to visit in vizag and araku:

Araku Valley is a hill station and valley region in the southeastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It’s surrounded by the thick forests of the Eastern Ghats mountain range. The Tribal Museum is dedicated to the area’s numerous indigenous tribes, known for their traditional Dhimsa dance, and showcases traditional handicrafts. A miniature train runs through Padmapuram Gardens, with its sculptures and tree-top huts.

  • Orra Caves
  • Ananthagiri
  • Chaparai / Chaaparai
  • Tribal Museum
  • Katiki / Katika Waterfalls
  • Padmapuram Gardens
  • Tadimada Waterfalls / Anantagiri Waterfalls
  • Mastyagundam
  • Duduma Waterfalls
  • Araku Waterfalls / Ranajilleda Falls
  • Tyda Nature Camp
  • Tatipudi Reservoir, Near Vizag

Places to visit in and around vizag:

BEscape the sweltering heat of the city to the Araku valley which is home to several tribal communities offering insight into a very different rural lifestyle. One of the more popular Visakhapatnam weekend getaways, this area is known for its pleasant weather and breath-taking greenery which you can explore before returning to the villages to watch tribal dance performances and indulge in authentic cuisine. Distance between Araku Valley and Visakhapatnam is around 114 kms by road.

Located about 186 kms away, the coastal beauty of Yanam awaits travellers seeking escape from the monotony of urban life with plenty of entertainment and temple sites available. Tourists can visit the Venkanna Babu Temple, the famous Alivelu Manga Sametha Shri Venkateswara Temple, the 15th century Shivalayam temple as well as a resplendent Catholic Church.

The vacation choices do not end there with Rajahmundry offering a range of possibilities. Travellers can take cruises down the Godavari river, visit the 10thcentury Kotilingeshwara temple and then the Dowleswaram Barrage for magnificent views of the river. Distance between Rajahmundry and Visakhapatnam is 190 kms by road.

Visakhapatnam weekend getaways ensure a diverse experience with Srikakulam, situated at a distance of 115 kms, offering several options whether you wish to see beautiful Hindu temples, a sangam or an impressive fort in the village of Mandasa.

The rare scenic beauty of this region does not come to an end there with the Duduma waterfalls also open to travellers, both Indian and international. Situated at a distance of 179 kms, amidst splendid greenery with a township close by, it promises a relaxing weekend getaway near Visakhapatnam.

A perfect weekend trip from the city lies at the Kothapalli waterfalls, located at a distance of 133 kms from Visakhapatnam. Tourists here can enjoy the cool weather at the waterfalls and explore the lush greenery around it with several nearby lodges offering an array of fun activities.

What are the best places to visit in Vizag:

places to visit in Visakhapatnam (Vizag) are:

  • Borra Caves
  • INS Kurusura Submarine Museum
  • Kailasagiri
  • Rishikonda Beach
  • Yarada Beach

The best outdoor activities in Visakhapatnam (Vizag) are:

  • Borra Caves
  • Yarada Beach
  • Rishikonda Beach
  • Kailasagiri
  • Rama Krishna Beach

ARAKU VALLEY | TOURIST PLACES TO VISIT

At a distance of 112 km from Vizag, 432 km from Vijayawada, 85 km from Vizianagaram, 26 km from Anantagiri and 635 km from Hyderabad, Araku Valley, popularly known as Araku, is a scenic hill station in the Vishakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. Often referred to as Andhra Ooty, it is one of the most famous places to experince Andhra Pradesh tourism and is one of the top attractions you must include in Vizag tour packages.

Located on the Eastern Ghats at an altitude range of 900 to 1400 meters above sea level, Araku Valley is home to a number of tribal communities. Spread over an area of 36 sq. km, Araku is a perfect tourist destination with pleasant climate, lush greenery, waterfalls and streams. It is popular for its famous coffee plantations.

Araku has

At a distance of 112 km from Vizag, 432 km from Vijayawada, 85 km from Vizianagaram, 26 km from Anantagiri and 635 km from Hyderabad, Araku Valley, popularly known as Araku, is a scenic hill station in the Vishakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. Often referred to as Andhra Ooty, it is one of the most famous places to experince Andhra Pradesh tourism and is one of the top attractions you must include in Vizag tour packages.

Located on the Eastern Ghats at an altitude range of 900 to 1400 meters above sea level, Araku Valley is home to a number of tribal communities. Spread over an area of 36 sq. km, Araku is a perfect tourist destination with pleasant climate, lush greenery, waterfalls and streams. It is popular for its famous coffee plantations.

Araku has some interesting places to visit including Borra caves, Tyda, Katiki Falls, Tribal Museum & Padmapuram Botanical Gardens. Besides, these the coffee plantations are a must visit for those who want to indulge themselves in the flavors of nature. The tourists can see tribal folk dances like Dhimsa and Mayuri. The Araku Tribal Museum houses rich tribal tradition and number of artifacts and displays related to Eastern Ghat Tribal Culture.

The Anantagiri Reserved Forest and Sunkarimetta Reserved Forest are part of the Araku Valley. This valley is surrounded by mountains like Galikonda, Raktakonda, Sunkarimetta and Chitamogondi. Jindhagada Peak, the tallest peak in Eastern Ghats and the tallest in Andhra Pradesh is situated near Araku. The Anantagiri hills on the way to Araku Valley are famous for coffee plantations. The hill is also popular for its forests, lovely orchards and the serene environment. The valley is also a perfect place for trekking and it offers several interesting trails. Most known and popular trekking trails go through dense forests to the summit but a few adventurous trails go through many streams and are ideal to view breathtaking waterfalls like the Katiki waterfall.

The train journey from Vizag to Araku is a memorable experience with 46 tunnels, several bridges through lush green valleys. Araku is famous for the mustard flowers that change the landscape of the valley from green to yellow in the months of November & December. Several accommodation facilities are available here. AP Tourism runs very good resorts in Araku, called Valley Resort (also called Yatri Nivas).

Vizag airport is the nearest airport, which is about 107 km from Araku. Araku valley is connected through both rail and road to the city of Visakhapatnam. There are two railway stations at Araku on the Kothavalasa-Kirandul railway line of Visakhapatnam division of the East Coast Railway. Shimiliguda railway station is located at an altitude of 996 m above mean sea level. It is well connected to Vizag and Kirandul. Araku has frequent buses from Vizag and Vizianagaram.

The best time to visit Araku Valley is from September to May while the peak season is September & March to May. Usually it takes 1-2 days to visit all the places in and around Araku Valley.

Best places to visit in araku valley are the Anantagiri Reserved Forest and Sunkarimetta Reserved Forest are part of the Araku Valley. This valley is surrounded by mountains like Galikonda, Raktakonda, Sunkarimetta and Chitamogondi. Jindhagada Peak, the tallest peak in Eastern Ghats and the tallest in Andhra Pradesh is situated near Araku. The Anantagiri hills on the way to Araku Valley are famous for coffee plantations. The hill is also popular for its forests, lovely orchards and the serene environment. The valley is also a perfect place for trekking and it offers several interesting trails. Most known and popular trekking trails go through dense forests to the summit but a few adventurous trails go through many streams and are ideal to view breathtaking waterfalls like the Katiki waterfall.Borra caves, Tyda, Katiki Falls, Tribal Museum & Padmapuram Botanical Gardens. Besides, these the coffee plantations are a must visit for those who want to indulge themselves in the flavors of nature. The tourists can see tribal folk dances like Dhimsa and Mayuri. The Araku Tribal Museum houses rich tribal tradition and number of artifacts and displays related to Eastern Ghat Tribal Culture.

Read More:   Places to Visit in Srisailam, Tourist Sightseeing Places near Srisailam

The train journey from Vizag to Araku is a memorable experience with 46 tunnels, several bridges through lush green valleys. Araku is famous for the mustard flowers that change the landscape of the valley from green to yellow in the months of November & December. Several accommodation facilities are available here. AP Tourism runs very good resorts in Araku, called Valley Resort (also called Yatri Nivas).

Vizag airport is the nearest airport, which is about 107 km from Araku. Araku valley is connected through both rail and road to the city of Visakhapatnam. There are two railway stations at Araku on the Kothavalasa-Kirandul railway line of Visakhapatnam division of the East Coast Railway. Shimiliguda railway station is located at an altitude of 996 m above mean sea level. It is well connected to Vizag and Kirandul. Araku has frequent buses from Vizag and Vizianagaram.

The best time to visit Araku Valley is from September to May while the peak season is September & March to May. Usually it takes 1-2 days to visit all the places in and around Araku Valley.

Places to visit in Araku Valley: (top 10 places to visit in araku valley)

  • Borra Caves
  • Ananthagiri
  • Chaparai / Chaaparai
  • Tribal Museum
  • Katiki / Katika Waterfalls
  • Padmapuram Gardens
  • Tadimada Waterfalls / Anantagiri Waterfalls
  • Mastyagundam
  • Duduma Waterfalls
  • Araku Waterfalls / Ranajilleda Falls
  • Tyda Nature Camp
  • Tatipudi Reservoir, Near Vizag

SRISAILAM | PLACES TO VISIT, SRISAILAM TEMPLE

At a distance of 160 km from Nandyal, 181 km from Kurnool, 229 km from Hyderabad, 263 km from Vijayawada and 527 km from Bangalore, Srisailam is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva situated on the banks of River Krishna in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the most important pilgrimage centers of Lord Shiva in India and also one of the top Places to visit in Andhra. Srisailam is also one of the most popular weekend getaways from Hyderabad.

Srisailam is famous for Srisailam Dam & Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The sanctum enshrines Lord Mallikarjuna in the form of a linga protected by a three-hooded cobra. This ancient temple built in the Dravidian style with lofty towers and sprawling courtyards is one of the finest specimens of Vijayanagara architecture. Though the exact origins of the temple are not available, the Satavahanas of the 2nd century AD have referred to it. The Kakatiyas and the Vijayanagara kings have made several endowments here.

The unique feature of this kshetram is the combination of Jyothirlingam and Mahasakthi (in the form of Bhramarambika) in one campus, which is very rare and only one of its kind. The great religious leader Aadi Sankara is said to have visited this shrine and composed his immortal Sivananda Lahiri here.

 

Srisailam is a perfect combination of temples and scenic spots. Srisailam Dam built over River Krishna is one of the largest dams in South India. Best places to visit in Srisailam are Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple, Bhramaramba Devi Temple, Akka Mahadevi Caves, Pathala Ganga, Shikaresvara Temple, Sakshi Ganapathi Temple and Mallela Theertham are the other attractions here.

Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Sanctuary, India’s largest tiger reserve is spread over 3500 Sq. km. This Sanctuary is a natural habitat of diverse species of flora and fauna. The lush and dense Nallamala forest range is a popular destination for trekking, hill climbing, forest exploration and research, to which Srisailam town acts as a base camp.

The Mahasivarathri festival in the month of February/March is celebrated as Brahmothsavam (annual festival).

Srisailam offers a vast array of moderately expensive to budget hotels run by Temple Board, AP Tourism and private operators. Advanced reservation is recommended during peak season, festivals and long weekend.

Hyderabad Airport is the nearest airport, 202 km from Srisailam. The nearest railway station to reach Srisailam is the Markapur Railway Station which is 87 km away. Markapur station is well connected to all major cities like Bhubaneswar, Puri, Bangalore, Kolkata, Machilipatnam, Vasco da Gama, Guntur and Hyderabad. Srisailam is most easily accessible by road. Buses connect Srisailam with Hyderabad, Tirupati, Bangalore, Vijayawada, Kakinada, Vizag, Kurnool, Guntur, Kadapa and Nellore.

The best time to visit Srisailam is from September to March while the peak season is September to December & February to May. Usually it takes 1-2 days to visit major places in Srisailam.

Temple Timings: 5 AM to 3:30 PM & 6 PM to 10 PM

Places to visit in Srisailam:

Srisailam is a census town in Kurnool district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is the mandal headquarters of Srisailam mandal in Kurnool revenue division. The town is famous for Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Temple and is one of the holy pilgrimage site for Saivism and Shaktism sects of Hinduism.

  • Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple
  • Bramarambha Temple
  • Srisailam Dam
  • Pathala Ganga
  • Sikharam
  • Mallela Theertham
  • Akka Mahadevi Caves
  • Uma Maheshwaram
  • Nagarjuna Sagar – Srisailam Sanctuary
  • Bairluty Jungle Camp
  • Tribal Museum
  • Sakshi Ganapathi Temple
  • Phaladhara Panchadhara
  • Hatekeswaram
  • Kailasadwaram
  • Kadalivanam Caves
  • Saleshwaram
  • Gupta Mallikarjunam
  • Nagarjuna Sagar

Places to visit in and around Srisailam:

  • Bhramaramba Mallikarjunaswamy Temple
  • Nagarjunakonda Buddhist Stupas
  • Nagarjunakonda Hill
  • Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple
  • Shikaresvara Temple
  • Sakshi Ganapati Temple
  • sri kalyana ventateswaraswami temple
  • Hathakesvara Temple
  • Srisailam Hills
  • mallikarjunaswamy jyotirlingam temple
  • Srisailam Dam
  • Hanuman Temple
  • Temple Entry
  • Radhapuram Temple
  • Hanuman Temple

PAPIKONDALU

At a distance of 60 km from Rajahmundry, 180 km from Vijayawada, 20 km from Polavaram, 260 km from Vizag & 410 km from Hyderabad, Papi Kondalu is a breathtakingly beautiful hill range bounded by River Godavari in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Papi hills are a set of three hills which form a beautiful gorge on the Godavari River spread across East Godavari and West Godavari districts. Entire area of Papi Kondalu is covered by tropical rain forests and it was recently declared as a protected National Park and is one of the top places to experience the Tourism in Andhra Pradesh. Papikondalu is one of the top attractions you must include in Vizag tour packages.

The original name for this hill range was ‘Papidi Kondalu’. Papidi is a rough translation for partition in Telugu. It is believed that the place was visited by Lord Rama and goddess Sita during their exile. Papi Kondalu has to be reached by boat from Rajahmundry, Pattisam (35 km from Rajahmundry), Polavaram (40 km from Rajahmundry), Kunavaram (50 km from Bhadrachalam) or Sriram Giri (60 km from Bhadrachalam). The boat service from Rajahmundry to Bhadrachalam is a wonderful experience and it is operated in post monsoon season.

Apart from enjoying the view of the hills, valley and waterfalls, tourists can engage in activities like camping and trekking. There are several sights that fall on the way like Perantallapalli, Gandipochamma Temple and Pattiseema. Several tribal communities have made their dwellings on these hills whose main occupation is agriculture, fishing and making handicrafts. There is a waterfall at Munivaatam that is a popular tourist attraction.

The boat rides usually include full-day trips starting from Rajahmundry/ Pattisam / Polavaram / Kunavaram / Sriram Giri with break at Perantallapalli and back. Both AP Tourism and Private operators offer these tours from Rajahmundry. There are also one-way trips between Rajahmundry/ Pattisam/Polavaram and Kunavaram/Sriram Giri. There are few private operators who offer 2 day trips from Rajahmundry with overnight stay at Kollur Bamboo Resort. Trips usually start early morning between 6 to 9 AM. One has to book the boat and the huts in advance through tourist agencies or AP Tourism.

AHOBILAM | NARASIMHA SWAMY TEMPLE | PLACES TO VISIT

At a distance of 66 km from Nandyal, 137 km from Kurnool, 114 km from Kadapa, 348 km from Vijayawada, 350 km from Hyderabad and 407 km from Bangalore, Ahobilam or Ahobalam is an important pilgrimage center located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. Ahobilam is one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in Andhra Pradesh and also one of the best Places to visit in Andhra Pradesh.

Ahobilam is the holy abode of Lord Narasimha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu in man-lion form. According to legend, this is the place where Lord Narasimha killed Hiranyakasipu and saved Prahalada. Though the initial temples were built by Chalukyas in 8th century, most of the current structures were rebuilt by Vijayanagara kings around 15th century.

Situated amidst dense Nallamala Forest, Ahobilam is one of the 108 Divya Desams. This place is also called as Nava Narasimha Kshetra since Lord Narasimha is worshipped in 9 different forms and separate temples exist for all the forms within a radius of 5 km from the main temple. Jwala Narasimha, Ahobila Narasimha, Malola Narasimha, Kroda Narasimha, Kaaranja Narasimha, Bhargava Narasimha, Yaogananda Narasimha, Chathravata Narasimha and Paavana Narasimha are the nine forms of Lord Narasimha in Ahobilam. Few of these temples have easy access, but most of them have to be reached by difficult treks through thick forest and rocky paths.

The town is divided into two parts, Lower Ahobilam and Upper Ahobilam. Of these nine shrines, Yogananda, Chathravata and Bhargava Narasimha swami shrines are situated in Lower Ahobilam and the remaining six are in upper Ahobilam. There is also another temple of Lord Narasimha Swami in the lower Ahobilam where the idol of the Lord is believed to be installed by Lord Venkateshwara of Tirupati.

Ahobilam is a small town and food is available at small hotels and canteens. There is a Brahmana Nitya Annadana Satram in the Upper Ahobilam where food is provided daily for nearly 400 people. In addition, Sri Ahobila Matham has established a trust called Annamacharya Nitya Annadana Trust. Food is provided free of cost to the devotees of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy.

Brahmothsavam is celebrated in the month of February to mid-March. All the 9 shrines can be visited in 2 days with help of guide.

Hyderabad Airport is the nearest airport, 333 km from Ahobilam. Nandyal Railway Station is the nearest railway station, located 66 km away from Ahobilam. It is connected to major cities like Howrah, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Goa, Machelipatnam, Vijayawada, Hubli, Puri, Vizag and Bhubaneswar. Ahobilam is very well connected by bus with nearest town Allagadda (25 km). There are state buses available from Chittoor, Nandyal, Kadapa, Hyderabad, Tirupati, Nellore, Chennai and Kurnool for Allagadda.

The best time to visit Ahobilam is from October to March while the peak season is from February to May. Usually it takes 1 day to visit Ahobilam.

Temple Timings:
Lower Ahobilam: 6 AM – 2:30 PM and 5 PM – 8 PM
Other Temples: 6 AM – 1 PM and 3 PM – 5:30 PM

How to Reach Ahobilam?

  1. By Air. Nearest Airport: Hyderabad – Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (333 Kms) Direct Flights to Hyderabad.
  2. By Train. Nearest Train Station: Nandyal Railway Station (66 Kms) Direct Trains to Nandyal.
  3. By Bus. Nearest Bus Station: Lower Ahobilam Bus Station (0 Kms) Allagadda (25 Kms)

How to reach ahobilam from chennai:

The best way to reach Ahobilam from Chennai is by bus, which takes around 6 hours. The places covered between Chennai to Ahobilam are Chennai– 106 km -> Narayanavanam- 71 km-> Venkatagiri-175 km -> Cuddapah-51 km-> Proddature-79 km -> Ahobilam.

How to reach ahobilam from hyderabad:

he best way to reach Ahobilam, is by train. The best option, is to take the Thungabhadra Express, from Hyderabad (Kacheguda) to Kurnool. This train leaves Hyderabad (Kacheguda) at 19:00 hours and reaches Kurnool at 22:30 hours. From Kurnool, Ahobilam is about 150 km.

We started from Hyderabad(hitech city)(2 PM) and through Mahboob nagar we travelled to Kurnool. In mahboobnagar there is a place called “Pillalamarri” there is a tree which spread almost for 3 Km. It is an optional visit if you want to see and we have a small zoo over there.

We reached Kurnool at 6 PM and had a hotel booked already (DVR Mansion) we took rest that night and in early morning we started for Ahobilam and we reached there at 11 o’clock, we started the trek which is almost 8 Km’s and it was very thrilling and the trek required lot of strength as the way is steepy and temperatures are also hot.

We started trekking at around 11:30 and reached on top of the hill at around 2:00 and when we reached on the top it was a breathtaking view of the deep forest and we forgot all the pain we had while trekking. The cool breeze and view were just amazing.

Then we got down the mountain by 5 and we were completely tired and drove back to a lodge nearby and took rest.

The next day we visited Mahanandi and Rock gardens and Gandikota it was an amazing and memorable trip.

Roads are good as we travel on highway but we need to be careful while driving in villages.

VIJAYAWADA | TOURIST PLACES TO VISIT

At a distance of 37 km from Guntur, 273 km from Hyderabad, 354 km from Vizag, 453 km from Chennai and 643 km from Bangalore, Vijayawada, also known as Bezawada, is the second largest city in Andhra Pradesh State and also one of the top Places to visit in Andhra Pradesh. It is located on the banks of the Krishna River to the South, Budameru River on the north and the Indrakiladri Hills on the west. This is the largest railway junction of the South Central Railway, situated along the Chennai-Howrah and Chennai-Delhi rail route.

Legend says that Goddess Durga took rest in this sacred place after destroying a Rakshasa and since then the name ‘Land of Victory’ or Vijayawada came into existence. The discovery of Stone Age artifacts along the banks of River Krishna from Machilipatnam to Nagarjuna Sagar indicates that this area was inhabited long before. The Chalukyas once conquered this place and it was later part of Vengi Kindom, Eastern Gangas, Vijayanagaras and Reddy Dynasty. Finally it came under British Madras presidency.

Best places to visit in Vijayawada are Kanaka Durga temple and Mangalagiri temple. Apart from these, other tourist attractions include Prakasham Barrage, Gandhi Hill, Mogalarajapuram Caves, Victoria Museum, Hazarat Bal Mosque, Rajiv Gandhi Park and Bhavani Island. The Kondapalli Reserve Forest in the western outskirts that sprawls over an area of 121.5 sq. km is also another attraction. This forest is a source of soft wood that is used for making Kondapalli Toys. There are popular Buddhist sites such as Amravati, Gudivada, Ghantasala, etc.

The Krishna Pushkaram is a popular festival here that is held once in every twelve years. Apart from this the other common festivals celebrated here includes Diwali, Dussehra and Makara Sankranthi.

The Vijayawada airport is located at a distance of around 20 km from the city, at Gannavaram. It has flight to Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Bangalore, Coimbatore and Delhi. The Vijayawada railway station is connected to several major cities of India like Chennai, Trivandrum, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai, Gandhinagar, Jaipur, Bhopal, Luknow, Jammu, Bilaspur, Pondicherry, New Delhi, Kolkata, Varanasi, Patna and Chandigarh. Vijayawada is also well connected by all the major towns and cities in Andhra Pradesh. It has regular buses from Chennai, Tirupati, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Vizag.

The best time to visit Vijayawada is from November to February while the peak season is from November to February. Usually it takes 1-2 days to visit places in and around Vijayawada. This is very humid place and summer is usually very hot and humid.

Temple Timings: 4 am to 10 pm.

Places to visit in Vijayawada:

1.Bhavani Island
2.Kanaka Durga Temple
3.Undavalli Caves
4.Kondapalli Fort
5.Mogalarajapuram Caves
6.Subramanya Swamy Temple
7.Victoria Museum
8.Besant Road
9.Amaravathi
10.Shopping in Vijayawada
11.Hinkar Thirtha
12.Rajiv Gandhi Park
13.Gunadala Matha Shrine
14.Gandhi Hill
15.Lenin Statue
16.Prakasam Barrage
17.Rajahmundry
18.Mangalgiri
19.Amravati Museum,Vijayawada
20.Sri Ramalingeswara Swami Vari Devasthanam
21.Lenin Statue
22.Hazrat Bal Mosque
23.VMC Disney Land
24.Gunadala Matha Shrine
25.Haailand
26.ISKCON Vijayawada
27.Rajiv Gandhi Park

Places to visit in Vijayawada in one day:

There are 11 places to visit in Vijayawada which can be covered in one day.

Gunadala Matha Shrine, Bapu Museum, Rajiv Gandhi Park, Prakasam Barrage, Gandhi Hill, Hinkar Thirtha (Jain Temple), Bhavani Island, Undavalli Caves, Narasimha Swamy Temple, Kanaka Durga Temple, Kondapalli Fort,

What are the places to visit in Vijayawada?

1. Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Varla Devasthanam

2. Undavalli Caves
3. Mangalagiri
4. Bhavani Island
5. Prakasam Barrage
6. Paritala Anjaneya Swami Temple
7. ISKCON Vijayawada
8. Trendset Mall
9. Gunadala Matha Shrine
10. Amaravati Museum
11. Sri Ramalingeswara Swami Vari Devasthanam
12. Hinkar Thirtha (Jain Temple)
13. Gandhi Hill
14. Subramanya Swamy Temple
15. Mogalarajapuram Caves
16. Lenin Statue
17. Ripples Mall
18. Radha Krishna Temple
19. Rajiv Gandhi Park

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MANTRALAYAM|RAGHAVENDRA SWAMY TEMPLE

At a distance of 74 km from Kurnool, 148 km from Nandyal, 49 km from Adoni, 43 km from Raichur, 253 km from Hyderabad, 301 km from Hubli, 402 km from Bangalore and 416 km from Vijayawada, Mantralayam, also known as Manchale or Mantralaya is situated in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. This is the place where the Vaishnava saint Sri Guru Raghavendra took Jeeva Samadhi (tomb) and is also one of the popular Places to visit in Andhra. Mantralayam is situated near the border of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh along the banks of River Tungabhadra, a chief tributary of River Krishna.

Mantralayam is associated with the famous saint Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy, renowned Hindu saint and philosopher. Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy, lived between 1595 and 1671 was an influential saint in Hinduism. Followers of the saint consider him to be an incarnation of Bhakta Prahallada, who was saved by Vishnu in the avatar of Narasimha. Sri Raghavendra Swamy is said to have performed many miracles during his lifetime and has a large following even today. Mantralayam is a small and peaceful town situated on the banks of the River Tungabhadra and gets thousands of devotees from all over the country. He also served as the head of Sri Mutt of Kumbakonam from 1621 to 1671.

Mantralayam is also popular for Manchalamma Temple located near the Samadhi Temple, inside the Mantralayam Mutt complex. It is a custom at Mantralayam that the devotees offer prayers at the Manchalamma Temple before visiting the Samadhi Temple. As per records, the barren land around Mantralayam along the river banks of Tungabhadra was handed over to the Mutt of Sri Raghavendra Swamy by Nawab Siddi Masud Khan of Adoni. Panchamukhi Anjaneya Temple, Chinna Tumbalam, Bichchali and Alampur are the nearby attractions to Mantralayam.

The male devotees who want to perform Pooja themselves have to wear dhoti. While male devotees paying normal visit have to remove their shirt and female devotees have to wear Sarees or other traditional cloths.

Accommodation is provided by the Mutt near the temple and room charges vary between Rs. 200 to Rs. 1000 per day (online booking not available yet). Private hotels and lodges also provide accommodation. It is advised to book the accommodation in advance as the place attracts devotees throughout the year.

Hyderabad Airport is the nearest airport, 236 km from Mantralayam. The nearest railway station is Mantralayam Road Station on Madras-Raichur route, which is about 15 km away from Mantralayam town. It has train connectivity with Bangalore, Coimbatore, Varanasi, Aurangabad, Ahmedabad, Tuticorin, Shirdi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Dadar, Nagarcoil, Chennai, Kolhapur, Kanyakumari, Nanded, New Delhi, Gulbarga, Mysore and Tirupati. Mantralayam is well connected by bus with Bangalore, Kurnool, Raichur, Hyderabad, Tirupati and Chennai.

Usually it takes one full day to visit Mantralayam and nearby places.

Darshan Timings: 6 AM to 8:30 AM, 9:30 AM to 2 PM & 4 PM to 9.30 PM.

Important places to visit in Mantralayam:

Brundavan – Samadhi Temple

At a distance of 1 Km from Mantralayam Bus Station, Samadhi Temple is the place where Raghavendra Swamy entered alive into Jeeva Samadhi (tomb), also called Brundavan. Samadhi Temple is the prime place to visit in Mantralayam, The Guru attained Samadhi in 1671 AD.

The main shrine is situated in a large builing inside the sprawling temple complex. The building has large verandah inside with administrative blocks and Samadhi temple at the center of the building. The main shrine has large hall with queue lines and inner sanctum housing Brundavan of Guru Raghavendra.

Devotees visiting Mantralaya believe that the Saint still exists in his holy form after he had relinquished the material world and that he will continue to dwell in this form till the completion of 700 years from the time he attained ‘Jeeva Samathi’. The male devotees who want to perform Pooja themselves at Brundavan have to wear dhoti. While male devotees paying normal visit have to remove their shirt and female devotees have to wear Sarees or other traditional cloths.

There are three chariots in the temple coated with silver, sandalwood and gold. The idol of the saint is carried on the chariot around the temple at 8 PM everyday. Golden chariot is used in special occasions.

Darshan Timings: 6 AM to 8:30 AM, 9:30 AM to 2 PM & 4 PM to 9.30 PM.

Brundavan – Samadhi Temple

At a distance of 1 Km from Mantralayam Bus Station, Samadhi Temple is the place where Raghavendra Swamy entered alive into Jeeva Samadhi (tomb), also called Brundavan. Samadhi Temple is the prime place to visit in Mantralayam, The Guru attained Samadhi in 1671 AD.

The main shrine is situated in a large builing inside the sprawling temple complex. The building has large verandah inside with administrative blocks and Samadhi temple at the center of the building. The main shrine has large hall with queue lines and inner sanctum housing Brundavan of Guru Raghavendra.

Devotees visiting Mantralaya believe that the Saint still exists in his holy form after he had relinquished the material world and that he will continue to dwell in this form till the completion of 700 years from the time he attained ‘Jeeva Samathi’. The male devotees who want to perform Pooja themselves at Brundavan have to wear dhoti. While male devotees paying normal visit have to remove their shirt and female devotees have to wear Sarees or other traditional cloths.

There are three chariots in the temple coated with silver, sandalwood and gold. The idol of the saint is carried on the chariot around the temple at 8 PM everyday. Golden chariot is used in special occasions.

Darshan Timings: 6 AM to 8:30 AM, 9:30 AM to 2 PM & 4 PM to 9.30 PM.

Panchamukhi Anjaneya Temple

At a distance of 20 Kms from Mantralayam, Panchamukhi Anjaneya Temple is situated at Panchamukhi in Karnataka, on the other side of River Tungabhadra. Panchamukhi is said to be the place where Raghavendra Swamy has performed meditation for 12 years before settling in Mantralaya. This is an important pilgrimage site for devotees visiting Mantralayam.

It is said that Panchamukha Anjaneya, Kolhapur Mahalakshmi, Lord Venkateswara and Lord Vishnu as Varaha appeared to Raghavendra Swamy at this location after his meditation. This famous five headed Anjaneya Temple is situated on a hillock and is very ancient. The idol of the Hanuman is believed to be self incarnated on a huge rock.

This place attracts large crowd during special days and Hanuman Jayanthi. Several devotees who visit Mantralayam pay a visit to the Hanuman temple here. Few shops near the temple sell food & drinks. There is a huge rock formation on eastern side of the temple in the shape of a bed and pillow.

Buses and private vehicles run regularly to this place from Mantralayam at affordable prices.

Timings: 6 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 8 PM (Sun – Fri). 6 AM – 8 PM on Saturday.

ALAMPUR

At a distance of 218 kms from Hyderabad, 22 Kms from Kurnool, 126 Kms from Mahbubnagar & 200 kms from Srisailam, Alampur is a historical place located in Mahbubnagar district of Telangana. Alampur is famous for Jogulamba Temple (a Shakti Peetha), Navabrahma temples and Sangameswara Temple built in 7th century. Alampur is considered as the western gateway to the famous pilgrimage town Srisailam. The temple consists of several inscriptions dated between 7th and 16th centuries. Alampur is one of the famous places to visit near Hyderabad.

Situated on the banks of River Tungabhadra close to the place where the mighty rivers of Krishna and Tungabhadra merge, Alampur has rich historical and pilgrimage importance. Several dynasties ruled this place including Satavahanas, Chalukyas, Kakatiyas, Bahamani sultans, Vijayanagara kings and finally falling under Hyderabad. Alampur is one of the top attractions you must include in Hyderabad tour packages.

As per history of this place, Lord Brahma, after losing his powers due to a curse of a saint, performed penance for Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Shiva appeared in nine different forms, thus nine different temples to celebrate each form. The shivalinga in the main temple of Bala Brahma temple is seen in the form of footprint of a bull.

Jogulamba Temple is very ancient and one of 18 Maha Shakti Peethas of Goddess Shakti. This temple is 5th Shakti Peetha representing Upper teeth part of Goddess Shakti. The current temple of Jogulamba was built in 2005 as the original temple was destroyed. The idols of Goddess were places in Bala Brahmeswara temple for 6 centuries.

Chalukyas, who ruled this area from Badami for over two centuries, constructed nine magnificent temples called Navabrahma temples along with Sangameswara Temple between 640 AD and 753 AD. The temple construction was initiated by Chalukya King Pulakesi II during his visit to Alampur while returning to Badami after his victory over Pallavas of Kanchi. Later, the rulers of Rashtrakuta and Kalyani Chalukya Empires have contributed to the enhancement of these temples. The Navabrahma temples, named as Bala Brahma, Taraka Brahma, Swarga Brahma, Padma Brahma, Garuda Brahma, Kumara Brahma, Arka Brahma, Vira Brahma and the Vishwa Brahma are built in close proximity on the banks of River Tungabhadra. Among these, Bala Brahma temple is the biggest and only active temple. The Jogulamba Temple is also located near these temples and all the places can be visited together. Sangameswara Temple is about 2 Kms from Navabrahma temples site.

The original Jogulamba Temple and Taraka Brahma Temple were completely demolished by Bahamani Sultan army towards the end of 14th century. Vijayanaraga king Harihara Raya sent his army to stop the plunder of Bahamani Sultan’s army and fortified the temple complex to stop further attacks on the temple.

The temples at Alampur could not be preserved pretty well, primarily due to the encroachments, lack of space and religious activity of Jogulamba and Balabrahma temples.

It takes about 3-4 hours to visit all the places in Alampur.

Venkateswara Swamy Temple

At a distance of 1 Kms from Mantralayam Bus Station, the Venkateswara Swamy Temple is situated at a distance of 500 meters from Brundavan Temple.

This idol of Venkateswara is believed to have been worshipped by Sri Raghavendra himself during his tenure. Located inside the village of Mantralayam amidst the houses, the temple has a gopura with dwarapalakas, followed by the main shrine which has a large pillared mandapa and the sanctum.

The mandapa is adorned with figures of Lord Venkateswara and his consorts. The idol of the deity is in blank stone inside the sanctum.

Bichali / Bichchali

At a distance of 20 Kms from Mantralayam, Bichali, also spelled as Bichchali, is a picturesque place on the banks of river Tungabhadra, and famous for Appannachararya who was the closest disciple of Raghavendra Swamy. Guru Raghavendra performed meditation at Bichale for several years. The place where the meditation was performed was called Japadakatte. It is situated on the banks of River Tungabhadra and prime attraction of Bichali.

Appanacharya has written Stotras and lifestyle of Sri Raghavendra Swamy which has spread across and became famous. Upon hearing of Swamiji’s decision to enter Brindavana, Sri Appanacharya rushedto Mantralayam and found that Tungabhadra in full flow due to suddent rain. Unable to cross the river, he started singing Raghavendra stotra as a prayer to Swamiji. It is said that on hearing the stotras, River Tungabhadra slowed down to allow him to cross.

As Appanacharya arrived into the Math, he was mid-way through singing the last stanza of his hymn. At the same time, the last slab was placed on Sri Raghavendra Swamy in the Brindavana. On seeing this, Sri Appanacharya was overcome with emotion and was unable to sing any further to complete the stanza. Suddenly, a voice of Raghavendra Swamy from inside the Brindavana completed the Stotra.

This 32 stanza sloka has acquired fame as Sri Raghavendra Stotra or Sri Poornabodha sloka.

Chinna Tumbalam

At a distance of 25 Kms from Mantralayam, Chinna Tumbalam situated on Adoni road is famous for 200 years old Narasimha Swamy Temple.

Several buses and private vehicles from Mantralayam run to this place throughout the day.

Urukunda

At a distance of 30 Kms from Mantralayam, Urukunda situated on Adoni road is famous for Narasimha Swamy Tample, also known as Veeranna Swamy Temple. This temple is recently renovated and a good place to visit in a close proximity to Mantralayam.

Several buses and private vehicles from Mantralayam run to this place throughout the day.

Adoni Fort

At a distance of 4 km from Adoni Railway Station, 100 km from Kurnool, 52 km from Mantralayam & 310 km from Hyderabad, Adoni Fort is a wonderful historical site built in 15th century. This is also a good place for trekking in the rocks and ruins of the fort.

Adoni fort is one of the largest forts in India with the fortification walls running beyond 50 km in length. Adoni was a military base for the Vijayanagara Empire in the 15th century. After the downfall of Vijayanagara empire, it was taken possession by the Bijapur sultan. Adoni continued to be ruled as relatively independent region by nobles appointed by Bijapur sultans. Siddi Masud, the governor of Adoni made several additions to the fort including the construction of Jamia Masjid and several townships. Siddi Masud had been an avid collector of painting. Adoni later went into the hands of Mughal empire followed by Hyderabad Nizams. Tipu Sultan briefly occupied this region. After the defeat of Tipu Sultan, Adoni came under British rule and remaining part of Ceded region (Rayalaseema) until independence.

The fort has several entrance gates, and it is encircled atop seven huge granite hills. The fort is actually a collection of 12 sub-forts built throughout several centuries. There are several places of interest within the fort premises including Nawab Darbar Hall, Jamia Masjid, Venu Gopala Temple, Malik Rahman Dargah, Shiva Temple, Amba Bhavani Temple and several water bodies. Most of the core fort area remains in ruins and efforts are needed from archeology department to revive the fort to attract large number of tourists. Venu Gopala Temple is a wonderful temple built during Vijayanagar period in a grand scale with their signature architecture.

Ranamandala Anjaneya swamy Temple, located within the fort premises is one of the famous pilgrimage sites in Adoni. It attracts large number of tourists from nearby locations, especially on Hanuman Jayanthi and other major festivals.

It takes about 4 hours to explore all the important places in the fort. It is believed that the fort has secret tunnels that connect to Bellary and Hampi forts.

Carry enough water as there are no regular shops around this place. Few shops are opened during season at the entrance of Ranamandala Anjaneya swamy Temple.

Places to visit in and around Mantralayam

1.Ranamandala Konda – 51 km from Mantralayam
2.Adoni Fort – 51 km from Mantralayam
3.Tomb of Abdul Wahab – 92 km from Mantralayam
4. Sai Baba Temble – 93 km from Mantralayam
5. Oravakallu Rock Garden – 114 km from Mantralayam
6. Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary – 144 km from Mantralayam
7. Yaganti – 145 km from Mantralayam
8. Anantapur – 158 km from Mantralayam
9. Hampi – 160 km from Mantralayam
10. Belum Caves – 170 km from Mantralayam
11. Mahanandi – 184 km from Mantralayam

SRIKALAHASTI | SRI KALAHASTI TEMPLE

At a distance of 37 km from Tirupati, 113 km from Chennai, 291 km from Bangalore, 375 km from Vijayawada and 552 km from Hyderabad, Srikalahasti, popularly known as Kalahasti is one of the ancient and most important Shiva Kshetras situated in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. Srikalahasti is famous for Srikalahasteeswara Temple (referred as Srikalahasti Temple) built in 10th century. The entire temple was carved out of the side of a huge stone hill. Srikalahasti is among ideal weekend getaways from Chennai city for a two day trip and also one of the top places to experience AP Tourism.

Srikalahasti got its name from three words – ‘Sri’ meaning a spider, ‘Kala’ meaning a serpent and Hasti meaning an elephant, as these three creatures are believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva at this place and attained salvation. It is located on the banks of the River Swarnamukhi, which is a tributary to River Pennar, one of the major rivers in South India. The ancient Shiva temple of Srikalahasti finds reference in the three ancient epics the Skanda Purana, Shiva Purana and the Linga Purana. According to Skanda Purana Arjuna came to this place to worship Kalahasteeswara (Lord Shiva) and met Rishi Bharadwaja on the peak of a hill.

The temple of Kalahasteeswara is one of the most impressive Siva temples in India. This temple features 120 feet high enormous and ancient gopuram over the main gate. The entire temple is carved out of the side of a huge stone hill. The initial structure of this temple was constructed by Pallava kings in the 5th century. Chola kings renovated the temple and constructed the main structure in 10th century. The outer walls and the 4 gopurams were constructed in the period of Sri Veera Narasimharayar of Vijayanagara kingdom. The main gopuram and the 100 pillar mandapam were constructed by Krishna devaraya, the great Vijayanagara king in 1516.

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Sri kalahasti is regarded as one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams of Lord Shiva; the other four includes Tiruvannamalai, Thiruvanaikaval, Chidambaram and Kanchipuram. The place is representative of the Vayu Sthalam or the Element of Air. This temple is also associated with Rahu and Ketu, two of the nine celestial bodies in the Indian astrological scheme. It is believed that a visit to this temple will provide relief to those who have the planet Rahu in inimical positions in their horoscopes.

This small town is dotted with many small and big temples; most of which were constructed during the reign of Pallava, Chola and Vijayanagara kings. Srikalahasti is associated with Bhakta Kannappa, one of the greatest devotees of Lord Shiva how offered his eyes to the lord. The festival of Maha Shivaratri is celebrated with great zeal in February to March.

Renigunta is the nearest airport (26 km from Kalahasti) which serves direct flights from Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai as well as Bangalore. Kalahasti Railway Station is well connected with Hyderabad, Kakinada, Machilipatnam, Vizag, Bangalore, Karimnagar, Patna, Kochi, Puri and Bilaspur. Buses are available from Srikalahasti to the adjacent cities like Tirupati, Chennai, Vizag, Bangalore, Vijayawada and Hyderabad.

Srikalahasti temple timings are Timings: 6 AM to 9 PM.

Places to Visit in SRIKALAHASTI:

  • Srikalahasteeswara Temple
  • Swarnamukhi River
  • Pathala Vinayaka Temple
  • Bharadwaja Tirtham
  • Tada Falls / Ubbalamadugu Falls
  • Pulicat Lake & Sanctuary
  • Kannappa Temple
  • Varadaraja Swami Temple
  • Veyilingala Kona Waterfalls
  • Tirupati
  • Tirumala
  • Subrahmanya Swami Temple

TALAKONA WATERFALLS

At a distance of 49 km from Bakarapet, 64 km from Tirupati, 120 km from Horsley Hills, 192 km from Chennai, 241 km from Bangalore and 89 km from Chittoor, Talakona Falls are situated in Sri Venkateswara National Park near Nerabailu Village of Yerravari Mandal of Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh. The gorgeous waterfall falling deep into a valley from a height of around 270 feet makes it the highest waterfall in Andhra Pradesh and also one of the top Tourist places in Andhra Pradesh. It is also one of the popular waterfalls near Bangalore.

The waterfalls are placed amidst dense forest surrounded by natural beauty and greenery. It is believed that the water of Talakona Falls is enriched with herbs with healing powers. Talakona was declared as Bio-Sphere Reserve in 1990 because of wide variety of plant species present in the region. In this forest, one can find variety of endangered species like sambar, porcupine, cheetal, golden gecko, Indian giant squirrel, slender loris, panther and mouse deer etc. Talakona means ‘head hill’ in Telugu. This place is believed to be the starting point of Seshachalam Hills which are extended till Tirumala.

There is a 240 m long canopy rope walk, about 35 to 40 feet in height, giving a thrilling experience to the visitors while walking. There are mighty trees around with birds and monkeys during the canopy walk. There are number of trek routes in different categories of difficulty, giving an option for the visitor to choose their route. There are also several caves dotted over the mountains where it is believed that sages meditate eternally.

Situated close to this waterfall is a small temple dedicated to Lord Siddeswara Swamy. This temple is believed to be built by a devotee named Appa Swamy in 1811 AD. The temple is usually crowded by devotees during the festival of Shivaratri, which is a very popular event in this region. The falls have to be reached by 2 km trek from Siddeswara Swamy Temple which is the nearest motorable road to the falls. The duration of the trek is about 30 minutes (one way) through dense forest and slippery road.

 

Accommodation is also available in this dense forest; it gives immense pleasure for visitors to spend time during nights. One can find two different Guesthouses – Forest Guest House and TTD Guest House. The forest guest house is maintained by Forest Department of AP, where you have 6 Suites (rooms) and 2 Dormitories with attached toilets and cost is also very minimal, Room costs around Rs 600/- per day and Dormitory costs around Rs 1000/- per day. Visitors can avail the facility of advance booking from the forest department website www.seshachalavanadarshini.com.

TTD Guest House at Talakona is for pilgrims. There are 12 rooms and each room has two beds with attached toilets costing Rs 250/- per day. There is no advance or online booking for TTD rooms.

October to January is the best season to visit. Usually it takes one full day. There are several private transport facilities to Talakona Falls from Bakarapet, which has direct bus services from Tirupati and Chittoor.

How to reach Talakona waterfalls from Tirupati?

Talakona waterfalls situated in the forest areas near Tirupati. Road to reach this place is good and covered with greenery. You have to walk about 750 mtrs, to reach the falls, from the final parking lot. Talakona Water falls is shown in many films. The gorgeous waterfall falling from a height of 270 ft  into a deep valley makes it the highest waterfall in Andhra Pradesh.

Distance:

It is located at 62KM from Tirupati Bus Stand.

How To Reach:

  • Bus – APSRTC Ply buses to Talakona. Catch any bus going towards Pileru or Madanapalli and get down at Bhakarapeta and catch an auto . Only two buses were operated from Bhakarapeta to Talakona so people will be highly depending on own vehicles or Auto Rickshaws
  • Direct Bus is available from Tirupati Central bus stand. It starts at 7.30 AM and the return bus is available at 4 PM.
  • Cab

GANDIKOTA TOURISM | TOURIST PLACES TO VISIT IN GANDIKOTA

At a distance of 15 km from Jammalamadugu, 94 km from Kadapa, 155 km from Kurnool, 233 km from Tirupati, 280 km from Bangalore, 386 km from Hyderabad and 391 km from Chennai, Gandikota is a small village in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. Situated on the banks of Pennar River, it is one of the popular historical places to visit in Andhra Pradesh and among the weekend gateways from Hyderabad as well as from Bangalore.

Gandikota is a small village spread in and around the historical Gandikota Fort. According to history, Gandikota area was first identified and made Sand fort in 1123 CE by Kapa Raja of nearby Bommanapalle village and a subordinate of Ahavamalla Someswara I, the Western Chalukyan king of Kalyana. The village transformed into major fort after the emergence of the Kamma kings, who ruled Gandikota more than 200 years. The fort fell into hands of Qutub Shahis of Golconda in 1650 CE. The medieval fort of Gandikota is named after the adjoining gorge which means gandi in Telugu. It is also believed that Vemana, the Telugu poet lived in Gandikota area for a short period.

Known to few ardent travelers, Gandikota is not the usual tourist hub as it is neither a world heritage site, nor is it marketed well by state tourism agencies. This untouched and unexplored place is worth a visit for history buffs as well as nature lovers. A frozen in time village in the middle of centuries old structures such as forts and temples is known for its spectacular gorge formed by river Pennar that cuts through the Erramala hills, also known as Gandikota hills. This stunning piece of Nature’s architecture has come to be known as the Hidden Grand Canyon of India by travelers who visit and get bewitched by its beauty.

Apart from the unparalleled beauty of the gorge, there are several other attractions in and around the village that allure visitors, the most special being the ancient Gandikota Fort. The magnificent Gandikota Fort, one of the most impregnable strongholds of its time, has remains of temples, a granary, a royal pond and a mosque and is today scattered with ruins. The fort is built in such a way that the gorge provides a natural defence on its west and north sides. One can also visit Mylavaram Dam nearby and do some boating in the serene waters of the reservoir. The sight of distant windmills with small stretches of visible roads along with pretty hues painted in the sky during the sunset is worth experience during your Gandikota trip. One can also visit Belum Caves, Owk Reservoir, Lepakshi and Banaganapalle along with Gandikota.

The government run Haritha Resort is the only option for overnight stay in Gandikota. It has just 10 rooms so better to book in advance on weekends. There are multiple camping areas outside the Fort and on the banks of the Pennar River for those who are looking for quirky stay options and wish to sleep under the stars with the river gushing beside you.

Tirupati Airport at Renigunta (226 km) and Bengaluru International Airport (255 km) are the nearest airports to Gandikota. Jammalamadugu Railway Station is the nearest railhead which is about 17 km from Gandikota and is well connected by trains with Kadapa, Nandyal, Dharmavaram and Vijayawada while Kadapa is the nearest major railway station to Gandikota. Jammalamadugu Bus Stand (15 km) is the nearest bus station to Gandikota and has well bus connectivity with Kadapa, Kurnool, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Proddatur, Tadipatri, Anantapur, Vijayawada, and Tirupati. There are buses available from Jammalamadugu Old Bus Stand (Gandhi Statue Junction) to Gandikota.

September to March is the best time to visit Gandikota as the weather is pleasant and comfortable for sightseeing while the summer months are hot and humid with soaring temperatures.

How to reach Gandikota?

The nearest railway station to Gandikota are at Jammalamadugu (18 km away), Kadapa (77 km away), and Tirupati (219 km away). One can also take a direct train from Bangalore to reach this place (which shall surely turn out to be more convenient and less tiring than a bus journey from Tirupati or Bangalore).

LEPAKSHI | LEPAKSHI TEMPLE, NANDI

At a distance of 125 km from Anantapur, 124 km from Bangalore City Junction, 225 km from Tirupati, 478 km from Hyderabad & 569 km from Vijayawada, Lepakshi is a small village which lies 14 km east of Hindupur in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. It is the one of the important heritage sites in Andhra Pradesh highlighting the legacy of Vijayanagara Dynasty. It is one of the famous Tourist places in Andhra Pradesh and also one of the popular one day trip from Bangalore.

Lepakshi was founded in the 16th century during the reign of the Vijayanagara king, Aliiya Rama Raya. Virupanna, the royal treasurer was accused of drawing funds without the king’s permission from the state treasury to build the Veerabhadra temple at Lepakshi. However, he blinded himself to avoid the king’s punishment. Even today one can see two dark stains upon the wall near the Kalyana Mandapa, which are said to be the marks made by his eyes. Hence the village is called ‘Lepa-akshi’, means a village of the blinded eye.

Lepakshi is the centre of some of the finest temple architecture and paintings. Lepakshi consists of three important shrines dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Veerabhadra, of which Veerabhadra temple is the most important place to visit in Lepakshi (this is also referred as Lepakshi Temple). The temples of Papanatheswara, Raghunatha, Srirama, Veerabhadra and Durga are located in the same complex on a hillock named as Kurma Saila (tortoise shaped hill).

The Vijayanagar styled temple has several wonderful paintings on the ceiling. The hanging pillar supported from the top is a surprise for the visitors. To the south of the main shrine is a huge Nagalingam, standing on a granite block, shrouded by a seven-headed cobra, magnificently carved out of single rock. The monolithic Nandi in Lepakshi village is another remarkable feature.

The handicrafts of Lepakshi are also quite popular among women all over the country.

Bangalore Airport, about 100 km from Lepakshi, is extremely well-connected by air. Hindupur Railway station is the nearest railway station, which is about 14 km from Lepakshi. It is well connected by rail with cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Hubli, Mysore, Vizag, Shirdi, Coimbatore, Luknow, New Delhi, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Machilipatnam, Bagalkot, Trivandrum, Nagercoil, Bhubaneswar, Gujarat, Jaipur, Jabalpur, Vijayawada and Tuticorin. Lepakshi is connected by bus with Hindupur. Hindupur has regular buses from Bangalore, Hyderabad, Anantapur, Vijayawada, Tirupati, Chennai and Nellore.

The best season to visit Lepakshi is from October to March while the Peak Season is January & April to May. It usually takes around halfday to visit all places in Lepakshi. Accommodation is also available with newly built AP Tourism Haritha resort near Nandi statue.

Temple Timings: 6 AM – 7 PM

Places to visit in Lepakshi:

Here are the top 4 tourist attractions to see in Lepakshi:

  • Veerabhadra Temple.
  • Lepakshi Temple.
  • Nandi Bull and Paintings
  • Shopping in Lepakshi.

RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM (RAJAMUNDRY)

Rajahmundry is a blend of various qualities like picturesque landscapes, monuments of cultural importance, ancient temples and adventurous tourist spots that make the place unique, interesting and suitable for tourism for all ages. This is one of the major Pushkara Ghats on Godavari River. Pushkaras, held once every 12 years, is a holy congregation which sees millions of devotees taking a dip in the River Godavari. The last Pushkara was held in 2015. Godavari Bridge, Sir Arthur Cotton Museum, Dowleswaram Barrage, Kadiam Flower Nurseries, Papikondalu, Maredumilli Eco Tourism, Dindi and Pattiseema are some of the tourist places around Rajahmundry. Apart from the temples and film shootings around Godavari, this place is also known for Pulasa Fish, found only during monsoon season.

Rajahmundry is primarily a pilgrimage center due to the presence of a large number of temples in the city. Iskcon Temple / Gowthami Ghat, Sri Bala Tripura Sundari Temple, Kotilingeswara Temple, Draksharamam Temple and Markandeya Temple are the important pilgrimage centers around Rajahmundry. It is also famous for boat trips. The cruise on river Godavari from Rajahmundry to Rajahmundry (via Papikondalu) is one of the best tourist attractions in Andhra Pradesh.

The Rajahmundry Airport at Madhurapudi (17 km from city) has limited domestic services from Chennai, Madurai, Vijayawada, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Rajahmundry is well connected to other neighboring cities of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana by road and rail. It has trains from Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Vizag, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Bilaspur, Trivandrum, Kochi, Kakinada, Nagercoil, Bhubaneswar, Tirupati, Puri, Kolkata, etc.

The city has 4 bus stations. The main APSRTC Bus complex is located on the Morampudi Road. The other three bus stands are Kotipalli Bus Stand in Innispet, Gokavaram Bus Stand in Aryapuram, and the Kakinada Bus Stand near Kambalcheruvu. It is connected by bus with Chennai, Bangalore, Vizag, Tirupathi and Hyderabad.

The best time to visit Rajahmundry is from October to February, while the peak season is from October-December. Usually it takes 1-2 full days to explore all the places in Rajahmundry.

 

AMARAVATI TOURISM

At a distance of 33 km from Guntur, 38 km from Vijayawada, 111 km from Machilipatnam, 162 km from Khammam, 178 km from Nalgonda, 178 km from Bhadrachalam, 194 km from Rajahmundry, 270 km from Nellore, 274 km from Hyderabad, 403 km from Vishakhapatnam, 450 km from Anantapur, Amaravati is a popular historical town situated on the southern bank of Krishna River in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. It is the new capital of Andhra Pradesh state and one of the popular pilgrimage sites for Hindus as well as Buddhists.

The town gets its name from Amareshwara or Amaravati temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The town has been mentioned in the Indian epics as Dhanyakataka and Andhranagari. It was also served as the capital of the Satavahanas, who ruled Andhra Pradesh from the 2nd century BCE to the 3rd century CE. Later it was ruled by several major dynasties like Andhra Ikshvakus, the Pallavas, the Cholas, the Kakatiyas, the Delhi Sultanate, Musunuri Nayaks, Bahmani Sultanate, Vijayanagara Empire, Sultanate of Golconda and Mughal Empire successively before the founding of the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1724. It was ceded to France in 1750 but was captured by England in 1759. It was briefly captured by Hyder Ali, but remained under British rule for the majority of time since the 1780s. Amaravati is currently the de-facto capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh, following its bifurcation from Telangana in 2014.

Amaravathi has gathered attention from all over the world because of the Amareshwara Temple that is situated here. Amaravathi is also famous for being the site of the one of the greatest Buddhist Stupas ever built. This stupa is believed to have been built during the reign of Emperor Ashoka (269-232 BC) under Mauryan Empire. It was in Amaravati that Lord Buddha preached and conducted the ceremony of Kalachakra. The proof of all this exists in the text of Vajrayana, which historically establishes the fact that Amaravati, was much in existence even during the 500 BCE. Amaravati Archaeological Museum, Mangalagiri Temple, Amaravati Mahachaitya, Undavalli Caves, and Kondaveedu Fort are some of the popular places to visit in Amaravati.

There are a few accommodation options available in Amaravati whereas Vijayawada and Guntur are the nearest places to get the better accommodation options that range from budget to luxury hotels.

Places to visit in Amaravati:

  • Amaravati Stupa / Mahachaitya
  • Amaravati Museum
  • Amareswara Temple
  • Dhyana Buddha Statue
  • Kondaveedu Fort
  • Vijayawada

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