Best Places to Visit in Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh, 4th largest state situated on the southeastern coast of India. The capital of the state is Hyderabad, which is also one of the most major cities. However, after the formation of Telangana recently, Hyderabad will now be a part and capital of Telangana. The local language spoken here is Telugu, which is often associated with Early Cholas. The tourism department well promotes the state and known for its natural resources, temples, and rivers. Geographically, the region shares a part of the coastal areas of the Bay of Bengal and eastern part of Deccan Plateau. Carrying the rich cultural heritage, ancient monuments, and historical significance has made Andhra one of the leading tourist destinations in India.
Here are 15 cities that are worth to explore in Andhra Pradesh:
Tirupati is one of the major cultural and religious hubs in India. The city is placed in the southern part of Andhra Pradesh at the foothills of the Eastern Ghats in the Chittoor district. Saint Ramanujacharya, a Tamil saint founded the city.
It is famous for its temple ‘Tirupati Balaji’, dedicated to a form of Lord Vishnu. The temples foundation history is still unknown, and it was expanded over the centuries by various kingdoms and dynasties. Other than this, there are many attractions like Talakona waterfalls, TTD Gardens, Sri Vari Museum, Srikalahasti, Deer Park, Sri Venkateswara Temple, Kanipakam, etc. to visit in Tirupati.
Visakhapatnam serving as one of the major seaports of India was the second largest city of Andhra Pradesh. However, with the recent announcement of Telangana State, Vishakhapatnam will now be the biggest city in Andhra Pradesh and anticipated Capital of Andhra in future. It is one of the tourist attractions in India comprising various beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, hilltops, and so on. Vizag also has hill station and scenic locations that are relatively clean and frequented by many tourists. Some of the places here are Araku Valley, Borra Caves, Yarada Beach, VUDA Park, Rishikonda Beach, Katiki Waterfalls and much more to visit.
The Largest of all the districts, Anantapur is famous for the diamond mining and agricultural produce like rice, cotton, maize, chillies, etc. The town has 6 rivers that flow through the district bordering Karnataka. Being an undiscovered tourist location with some monuments that exemplify the ancient reign of the Vijayanagar Kingdom is famous for its ancient temples as well. Old ruins and places like Penukonda, Thimmamma Marrimanu, Dharmavaram, Hemavathi, Aluru Kona, Lepakshi, and Raidurga Fort that are worth visit once.
Vijayawada, being the third largest city in Andhra Pradesh is agriculturally rich and has been recognised as the Global City of the Future by McKinsey. Earlier, it was known by the name Bezawada. The location of the town is unique as well as to its west lays the dense jungles of the Kondapalli Reserve Forests, which is a house to leopards, jackals, wolves, wild boar and wild dogs. The city is a hub of culture and religion with its various sites namely Undavalli caves, Prakasam Barrage, Bhavani Island, Victoria Museum, Kondapalli Fort, Kolleru Lake, Gandhi Hill, etc.
The word ‘Nellore’ means ‘Paddy Place’ and is thus one of the primary agricultural cities in Andhra. The large paddy fields of Damaramadugu are one of the principal sources of rice in the state and the country. Nellore has a unique and strategic geographical location with the split in two between Pennar River and Bay of Bengal. It has seen various ancient dynasties like the Mauryas, Chola, Pallava and Vijaynagar, etc. Nellore is also famous for its ancient temples, which are amazing owing to their stunning architecture and the cultural history associated with them. For the best spot for photography and travellers, Nellore has Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary, Penchalakona, Jonnawada, Mypad Beach, Pulicat Lake, Udayagiri Fort, Venkatagiri Fort, and Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple that are sure to keep you enchanted.
The city of Chittoor lies on the banks of the Ponnai River. Following the major source of economy in its crops and agricultural products like grain, sugarcane, mango and Peanuts, the town has an unusual climate, which is high in the Eastern areas and low in the western regions because of the change in the altitude. The city with its several hills, rivers, temples, forts and a rich collection of flora and fauna is a must visit. For relaxing and calm experience, Horsley Hills, Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary, Kalavagunta, Nagari Hills, Mogili, Ramgiri, etc. are best locations to visit here.
Kurnool is known for being the erstwhile capital of the State of Andhra Pradesh. The town is one of the oldest cities and based on the rock paintings of Ketavaram. The ancient caves and fort ruins in Kurnool date back pretty far in history and are a marvel to behold. The parallel running mountain ranges from north to south surround the town. The various temples and pilgrimage sites in this ancient town are not only significant when it comes to their cultural history but are also an important architectural heritage of the city.
Kadapa means a “Gateway”. This name owes to its exceptional location, which acts as a gateway to the pilgrim spot of the Tirumala Hills. The town was a part of the various ancient kingdoms of the South, and it’s famous for its various temples and forts that exemplify a marvellous Dravidian style architecture and prowess of the artisans when it comes to stone carving. The Bellum Caves are few of the longest caves in the Indian subcontinent and a spot that one shouldn’t miss. The town got its economic boom when the vast deposits of natural Uranium were discovered here and are one of the world’s top 20 reserves of the nuclear fuel. The Shree Venkateshwara wildlife sanctuary located here is also a great spot worth visiting and is rich with flora, fauna and some breathtaking views.
Located on the banks of the Swarnamukhi River, Srikalahasti is located near the pilgrim city of Tirupati. The name of the town comes from the native names of three animals (spider, snake and elephant), which are said to have received salvation owing to their worship of Lord Shiva. Many different spots of this sacred town have been mentioned in the ancient texts and epics like Mahabharata. The town being a holy place for the Hindu pilgrims boasts of its various temples which are architectural marvels and are located in few of the most picturesque locations between the surrounding hillocks. The town’s primary sources of the economy are agriculture and tourism so the visitors can expect good food and hospitality.
Ongole is an ancient city that came under the reign of the ancient southern Indian kingdoms like Mauryas and Sathavahanas and the Pallava Ruler Krishna Deva Raya. Due to this ancient history behind the town’s origin, it is famous for its Hindu temples, which date back to the 17th century. The city’s major produce is tobacco and is known for its various small-scale industries. Ongole is known for its small beaches that are often devoid of huge crowds and has various water sports facilities. The sands are grainy and golden, and the waters are clean. The hidden waterfalls of Bhairavakona are also not to be missed, and you’re sure to get lost in the breathtaking and relaxing surroundings.
The significance of Puttaparthi rose to fame due to it being one of the major religious centres of ‘Satya Sai Baba’. The various temples and sociocultural centres in the town attracted a majority of the tourist population and pilgrims. The city houses many religious sites and temples popularised by Satya Sai. The Chitravathi River is also referred as being the new Ganges and was used a cleansing spot for the pilgrims who visit here. One of the most distinctive places to visit here would be the Chaitanya Jyoti Museum, which is a modern architectural marvel. The museum combines a mix of Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Gothic style architecture into a single monument. The Satya Sai Hill View Stadium and planetarium is also worth visiting.
Cultural capital of Andhra Pradesh, Rajahmundry is notable for its ancient Vedic culture. According to natives, Chalukyas founded the town in the 11th century. However, many historians and archaeologists claim that the town existed before the Chalukyas rule. Rajahmundry is also known to be the birthplace of the Telugu language. The river Godavari is its banks locate the major attraction in this town and famous for Godavari Boat travels. The tourist from all around makes frequent visit to famous Dravidian Hindu temples, Papi Hills, Kadiyapulanka, Pattiseema, Markandeya Temple, Dowleswaram Barrage, Kotilingeswara Temple, Rallabandi Subbarao Government Museum.
Secundrabad is famous by its nickname ‘The twin city of Hyderabad’. Founded in 1806 AD as a British cantonment; the city differs in significant ways from Hyderabad. The town developed directly under the rule of the British as opposed to the Nizam ruled the princely state of Hyderabad. Being in one of the largest cantonment areas of India, the town is distinct from the other places in Andhra due to the majority of its population being Anglo-Indian and Parsis. Places like Golconda fort, Konaseema, Hussain Sagar Lake, Birla Mandir, Trimulgherry Fort, Birla Planetarium, etc. are places to see here.
A small town which is mainly known for its agricultural production of coconuts and rice, Amalapuram has a rich Vedic culture and various ancient temples. While there isn’t much to see in this town but main places namely Appanapalli Temple, Ainavilli Siddhi Vinayaka Temple and Sree Veereswara Swamy Temple are worth a visit. The town also lies at the head of the Konaseema Delta, formed by the Godavari River. Amalapuram is also a hub of financial and education institutes in the Konaseema region.
The town of Srikakulam is located on the banks of the Krishna River and is placed on the northeast corner of Andhra Pradesh. This city came into the Kalinga region of ancient India and is known for its various ancient temples and monuments. The town has one of the longest coastlines in the state of Andhra Pradesh, and its various beaches are a sight to explore. Srikakulam is also a major producer of Khadi products.