Spirituality, culture, history and nature; Andhra Pradesh offers an eclectic mix of experiences for a tourist. With magnificent temples, sprawling beaches, rundown forts and breathtaking hills and caves, there is not much else for which you will be left pining. Recently announced, Andhra Pradesh won the honour of ‘Best State’ award towards overall growth in the tourism industry at the National Tourism Awards 2017-2018. The awards were presented by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.
One cannot blame the urge to visit the state after this information. Thus, we have compiled for you the most attractive destinations in the state for one to visit:
Banked on rivers Handri and Tungabhadra, Kurnool is one of the largest cities in the state. What once served as the capital of the state in the 1950s, now holds immense cultural and historical significance. Within the Kurnool district, there are many natural and cultural attractions to visit. Belum caves offer stunning landscapes lined with stalactite and stalagmite formations. For the wildlife enthusiast, the district also offers tours of Rollapadu wildlife sanctuary where one can view the biodiversity of the area. Additionally, one can visit Konda Reddy fort, Sri Yagantiswamy temple and Srisailam Mallikarjuna temple.
Despite being an industrial port, Visakhapatnam stands its own ground as a tourist destination. Natural beauty is abundant in the area, whether it is the beaches, caves or even the nearby Eastern Ghats. The area is locally known as Vizag. Take your pick between the numerous beaches: Bheemili, Rama Krishna, Rishikonda or Lawson’s Bay. Or take a dip under Katiki falls. The greenery at Vizag can be witnessed at Kailash Hills or Kambalakonda. Araku Valley is another popular place for a one day trip away from the city centre. Additionally, maintained parks such as Indira Gandhi Zoological Park attract hundreds of visitors daily.
While we may have gotten around the spiritual and natural hotspots of the state, Vijaywada offers the historical marvels. A rapidly growing urban area, the name spells victory. Literally! The iconic Prakasam Barrage flanks on river Krishna, connecting the districts of Krishna and Guntur. While it also carries the everyday road traffic of the city, the views of the river from the bridge are a must-see. At night, the barrage is doused with lights; quite a sight to witness. For the history buffs, Victoria Jubilee Museum charts centuries of culture. Many other attractions in and around the city also give you a good look into the history of the area- Kondapalli Fort, Undavalli caves, Mogalarajapuram caves, Gandhi Hill and Hazratbal Mosque.
Paddy fields sprawl across Nellore, the area getting its name for this very aspect. The city is an agricultural centre, also home to many of the popular temples of Andhra Pradesh. While the area is a prominent trade and commerce site, it is also an incredible tourist destination for those who enjoy spiritual journeys. Sri Ranganathaswami is a popular temple, constructed over 600 years ago. Another temple is the towering Galigopuram, an astonishing 70 feet structure. For those who wish to experience more nature oriented attractions, Mypadu Beach, Pulicat Lake and Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary are merely short rides away from the centre.
Pilgrims flock to the famous Sri Venkateswara temple in Tirupati from all corners of the country (even other countries). The grandeur of the temple is dedicated to Lord Sri venkateswara, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is one of the most frequently visited shrines in the world. While the word ‘Tirupati’ straightaway takes people’s minds to the temple, there are other attractions that the area has to offer. You can visit Talakona waterfalls, TTD Gardens, Deer Park or even Sri Vari museum. The area is a major site of religious significance and is home to many temples- Sri Govindarajaswami, Srikalahasti and Kanipakam.
The gateway to the Sri Venkateswara temple in Tirupati, Kadapa lies 8 km south of the Penneru river. Nestled amidst the Palkonda and Nallama hills, the area offers a gorgeous view. Tourists are drawn to various attractions in and around the area. Gandikota fort is one such destination. One of the largest forts with a gorge, the valleys alongside the fort are a breathtaking view. Additionally one can visit Sidhout Fort, Bhagvan Mahavir Government Museum and Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary. A concoction of history and nature, tourists get a well rounded view of the state at Kadapa.