Ananthagiri Hills: Cradle of the Musi River

The lush hills, once the hunting ground of the Nizams, is a big hiking destination

Verdant landscape around Ananthagiri Hills
Ananthagiri Hills: Cradle of the Musi River

With forests stretching for miles, scenic views and ample opportunities for trekking and adventure sports, it is not surprising that the Ananthagiri Hills is one of the most popular destinations in the state for day trippers from Hyderabad. Historically, Ananthagiri was one of the hunting grounds of the Nizams. It is believed that the forests here have many medicinal herbs that give the air a healing touch. To take advantage of the supposed restorative properties of the region’s air, a sanatorium was built here in 1946.

The source of the Musi river is in these hills. According to folklore, Rajarshi Muchikunda, after having fought with demons for years, came to rest at Anathagiri and soon passed into a deep stupour. He was granted a boon that whoever disturbed his sleep would be burnt to ashes. After Kalayavana, a demon, captured Dwarka and followed Lord Krishna to Ananthagiri, he inadvertently disturbed Muchikunda and was immediately reduced to ashes. Then, Padmanabha appeared in front of Muchikunda and blessed him by making him eternal in the form of a river – the Musi that originates in Ananthagiri and flows through Hyderabad city.

During the monsoon, small streams and waterfalls form at various places here. The Kotapally lake is close to the hills.


Ananthagiri Hills is about 6km southwest of Vikarabad, the headquarters of Rangareddy District. The major landmark in the hills is the Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple, close to which many restaurants and hotels are located.


Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple

Amidst the verdant hills of Ananthagiri, there is a temple dedicated to Ananatha Padmanabha Swamy, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He is depicted as reclining on Anantha, the snake which floats on the cosmic waters in Vaikuntha (the abode of Vishnu); Goddess Laxmi is seen sitting on his left-hand side.

Mythological tales in the Skanda Purana relate that Markandeya, a sage, used to practice yoga in these hills. Having achieved a heightened state of consciousness, he would go from Ananthagiri to Kashi every day – a distance of 1,300km – through a cave to take a holy dip in the Ganga. One day, he was unable to go, so Padmanabha appeared in his dreams and brought the Ganga next to him so that he could take a holy bath. After giving him darshana, the deity turned into a chakra and the sage built a temple for him.

Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple
Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple
Courtesy Telangana Tourism

There is a relatively contemporary legend which ascribes the construction of the temple to a Muslim ruler. About 400 years ago, a Muslim noble from Hyderabad came to Ananthagiri Hills for a few days on a hunting expedition. One night, Padmanabha appeared in the king’s dream and instructed him to build a temple. Inspired by the divine revelation, he built the Anantha Padmanabhy Swamy temple.

During the months of Ashada (June–July) and Kartika (October– November), especially on poornima (full moon nights), devotees throng the temple to celebrate various utsavams (festivals).

Temple timings 4.30am–1.00pm, 3.00–8.30pm


The forests on Ananthagiri Hills are a popular spot for trekking and adventure sports. There are two well known trails through the woods, one of which starts next to Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple. Many visitors choose to go off these trails and explore the jungle further. In the forests, there are nilgai, deer, python, porcupine, wild hare, monitor lizard, spiders – look out for the funnel web spiders that build elaborate webs – and birds such as parakeet, drongo, green bee eater, black winged kite and grey fancolin. You may also come across historical ruins and abandoned bungalows.

Various companies such as Deccan Trails (W, Wildwoods Adventure (W wildwoods. in) and Great Hyderabad Adventure Club (W conduct treks, rock climbing, rappelling and other activities in the hills.


There are a many resorts in and around Ananthagiri Hills. Telangana Tourism’s Haritha Valley View Resort (Tel: 08416-256800, Cell: 09010911122; Tariff: 2,047–4,207) has AC rooms and suites with a restaurant, bar, gym and swimming pool. Hills & Valley Adventure Resort (Cell: 09849020041; Tariff: 4,300–5,000), set in a scenic place, has a swimming pool and conducts activities such as kayaking, mountain biking, archery, paragliding and zip lining. Tariff is inclusive of meals and some of the activities. The Grasswalk Resort (Cell: 098851- 67854; Tariff: 3,000–8,000) is located at the edge of Damagundam forest and offers stay in tents.

The restaurant at Haritha Valley View Resort serves decent fare. There are many eateries in Vikarabad.


When to go July–March (during the monsoons and winter). Best time for trekking is September–March

Tourist Office

Central Reservations

Telangana Tourism

NSF Shakar Bhawan

Opp Police Control Room



Tel: 040-2980140

Cell: 09848540371

Telangana Tourism Development Corporation

3-5-891, Tourism House

Himayath Nagar, Hyderabad

Tel: 23262151-54/ 57


STD code 08685

District Rangareddy

Location Centre of Rangareddy District

Distances 80km W of Hyderabad; 6km SW of Vikarabad

Route from Hyderabad Via SH 4 upto Manneguda



Air Nearest airport: Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Hyderabad (82km/ 1.5hrs). Taxi costs approx 2,300 for a day trip

Rail Nearest railhead: Vikarabad (7km/ 30min) is connected to Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Tatanagar, Ahmedabad, Guntur, Hubli, Tirupati and others by daily express, passenger and Shatabdi trains. Important trains serving the station include Hussainsagar Express, Hyderabad Express, LTTVisakhapatnam Express, Yeswantpur- Tatanagar Express, Yeswantpur-Bidar Express, Bengaluru-Nanded Express, Pune Shatabdi, Rayalseema Express and Palnadu Express. From the station, an auto to Ananthagiri costs approx Rs. 50 for a drop

Road Hyderabad is connected to Vikarabad by SH 4 upto Manneguda

Bus TSRTC operates regular buses from Hyderabad to Vikarabad. From there, autos and buses are available for Ananthagiri Hills