Not only a prominent landmark of the city, but also a monument whose name is brightly mentioned in the history of Hyderabad. The name 'Charminar' is made up of two very distinct words- Char and Minar means four towers. Each part of the monument has a plaza like opening overlooked by a tower. The oldest mosque, Mecca Masjid of Hyderabad is also a part of the Char Minar. This was built by the 5th Sultan named Quli Qutb Shahi on the banks of the Musi River. It is right in the heart of the city and was taken for diving the city into four parts for government purposes in the earlier times. Some say that this monument was built as a symbol of love for his queen Bhagyavathi and some say it was built to mark the end of a fatal plague that had affected the city. There is also known to be a decret tunnel beneath the floors of the Charminar, which connects it to the Golconda Fort staright. This was the Escape route for the royals during an emergency.
This was the capital of the Qutub Shahi dynasty and is also known as the Golla Konda Fort. It is a few kilometers from the Hussain Sagar Lake and is a huge and mighty fort till date to have been built on a hilltop. Originally known as Mankal, this was a palace built in the 12th Century in place of what was earlier a mud palace built by the king of Warangal. This was later fortified in the 14th and 17th centuries and the credit for this goes to the Bahmani Sultanate. One of the architectural marvels of Hyderabad, there are a numkber of gates out of which the most famous is the Fateh Darwaza which could be crossed by Aurangzeb once. This fort is on top of a granite hill and is itself also made of granite.
Hussain Sagar Lake
This is one of the very few man- made lakes of the country and is one of the most beautiful too. The statue of Lord Buddha made in granite stands in the middle of the sparkling lake and it looks nothing less than a dream. The lake connects Hyderabad and Secunderabad and was built by Sultan Nawab Shah Wahi in the 17th century to provide the people with adequate water supply. To one part of the lake is the Lumbini Park and in the middle is this place which has a royal entrance with two lions guarding it just like many other ancient temples. on the banks of this lake are the Birla Temples all in white marble. The view of the lake becomes even better after evening with the white lights put up which make it look like a diamond necklace. You get the best views from the Tank Bund Road as well as the Neklace Road. You can cruise around here and enjoy a romantic lunch date on board only.
The official residence of the Nizams while they were the authority of the state, this ws a prominent seat of the famous Asaf Jahi Dyansty. The palace in the local language is called as the Chowmallattuu Palace. The construction began in the year 1750 by Nizam Salabhat Jung and was finally completed in the year 1864- 69 by Nizam Afzar- Ud Dawla Bahadur. Stretching from the Laad Bazar to the Aspan Chowk, the palace is a replica of the Shah's Palace in Teheran of Italy. The palace in spite of being so old has held on nicely to its former beauty and glory and is ageing with absolute grace. The detailing of the architecture and designs is fantastic. Apart from the beautoful lawns and and gardens the Tehniyat Mahal, Afzal, Mehtab and Aftab Mahals are very popular attractions in here.
Salar Jung Museum
Situated on the south western banks of the Musi River and in the Afzalgunj Region, this is the 3rd largest museum of the country. This is also the largest museum with one man collections. There are 38 galleries with over 500000 exhibits here which were earlier housed in a private museum which was then inaugrated by the Prime Minister Jawaharlak Nehru. The present Museum we see was opened in the year 1968. Mir Yousuf Ali Khan Salar Jung III was the able Prime Minister of the 7th Sultan of Hyderabad and is known to have spent almost all his income and 35 years of his life in collectiong the unique pieces which are still conserved here from all over the world. He was extremely passionate about his hobby and the museum is also named after him. The collections remained in the Deodi Palace even after his death before these were showed to the public. The most prized possessions are the statue of Veiled Rebecca and Marguerite and Mephistopheles.
Nagalapuram Water Falls
This fall is still not very well known among nature lovers but slowly & gradually getting famous as a Picnic spot but there is more to that. In order to reach the trail, one has to reach the Arai village & look for the route for the lake which is a kind of a reservoir of the stream.The trail route is pretty straightforward however as I mentioned earlier this trail consists of five falls & most of the crowd goes uphill till the second fall (I noticed that it became a picnic spot) however if you are planning to go beyond this point , I would suggest to hire a local guide or some experience person from village (but most of them only understand either Telugu or Tamil) because the trail gets really difficult & risky .Day 1
The fort of Gandikota acquired its name due to the 'gorge' (in Telugu it is called 'gandi'), formed between the Erramala range of hills, also known as Gandikota hills and the river Pennar that flows at its foot, reducing its width to a mere 300 ft (see the river image below). Situated amidst beautiful landscape and wild forests, it is endowed with vast natural resources. Surrounded by a deep valley and impassable hills AND with massive boulders of red granite and the river Pennar that flows about 300 ft. below on the west and northern sides, its location affords strong natural defence to the occupants of the Fort.
This is one of the most beautiful beaches of the country and is in the Yarada Village of Andhra Pradesh. The beach is never really crowded mainly beacause it is quite a distance from the nearest city of Vizag. As you drive till the beach you will be able to enjoy the beauty of nature in the form of lush green sights and the beauty of the Bay of Bengal. As you reach the beach you will be welcomed with very clean crystal waters and golden sands. It is not advisable to swim in this area as the sea here is foerce and the slope of the beach is quite steep too. You can instead enjoy a picnic here or simply spend some quiet time and refresh yourself.
Very close to the remarkable monuments of the Charminar, Mecca Masjid as well as the Chowmahalla Palace, this is also known as the Choodi Market. This is because it is the main bangle market of the city and that laad means the laquer which is used in the making of bangles. These bangles are afterwards studded with artificial and sometimes semi- precious stones as well. The main other things sold here are zari sarees, silver ware, kalamkari items, wedding items, nirmal, bidriware, borcade, velvet and other gold and silver embroidered fabrics. The scenario here is just of old wooden buildings and burkha clad women haggling and bargaining. The shops are small and some have clean, soft cotton mattresses for customers to feel comfortable inside.
Rama Krishna Beach
In short known as the RK Beach of Vizag, this beach is located in the center of the city and is usually very crowded with lots of people ans stalls. A walk along this buzzing beach is always fun and you can also relax here after a busy day of shopping in the malls around this place. There are also a number of good restaurants around.
A completely marble made Mandir, Birla Mandir in Jaipur is not only famous but one that gives a feeling of peace and calmness to the visitors. Though, there are a number of Birlan Mandirs around the nation, the one in this city is quite hugs. The cleanliness, the maintenance and the well-planned structure and system is bound to take you off your feet. Apart from that, the architecture of the entire monument is worth a heavy sigh. The temple is a dedication to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi. It is also known as the LaxmiNarayan Temple for these reasons. There are quite a number of foreign tourists visiting this place all throughout the year.
Taj Falaknuma Palace
The Falaknuma Palace is probably the most royal and luxurious on this list, primarily because it was not allowed to turn into a ruin with time. Until 2000, Falaknuma was a private property of the Nizams, but due to the decline of zamindari in Hyderabad (and India), the family agreed to a more economically beneficial step and let the Taj group of hotels protect their legacy. The five acre complex has some of the world's greatest accessories, like the largest collection of Venetian chandeliers in the world, the famed dining hall, which seats 100 guests at a time and a walnut-wood library which has one of the finest collections of Quran.
Nagarjuna Sagar Dam
Amongst many other great dams and reservoirs built on the ferocious waters of Indian rivers stands one another great embankment on the Krishna river and its tributaries- the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam. While it’s a piece of wondrous creation of man and cement, what followed this exploration was even better as I got to the lakes of reservoir water and then the Nagarjunakonda Island. Earlier known to have been a Buddhist site, this island floats near Nagarjuna Sagar, near the dam, in the Guntur-Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh. The interesting ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) sites dug out in the past decade or so makes this an amazing stopover on my trip.
A leading manufacturer and seller of desserts, baked sweets and pattiseries in Hyderabad, it is like a legacy which is successfully running for more than 6 decades. Known mainly for the variety of biscuits, cookies and chocolate related items, their specialties are their Karachi desserts, Osmania cookies, double chocolate cookies and also the fruit based bakery products. Their quality is assured and the products they sell are all freshly baked.
You can visit the NTR Memorial or NTR Garden and see around the Garden in the toy train there. Sit there on the lush carpet of grass and watch the children enjoying the rides and games. There is something for everyone.On the other side of Tank Bund, you have Snow World - for the feel of Shimla in Hyderabad. Go play in the snow and have a ball.Alone, with someone special, with your friend, or friends, or even if you are with your family, this place makes you have some moments of peace.Be here, to unwind and relax.
Surya Lanka Beach
A strip of the coastline 50 km before Guntur district falls the Suryalanka beach. The attraction here was the hustle bustle of the town coming to a calm stop at the awe-inspiring beauty of nature as the sea meets the shore at this beach. It's wide a spacious and perfect for a drive along the coast! With crystal blue waters overlooking the coast makes it for a perfect sunrise point for the one-day stay I had!
Sri Kanaka Mahalakshmi Temple
As one of the most distinctive part of Jaipur, Hawa Mahal located amidst the busy streets is something that cannot be missed. The grandeur of the place surely catches the attention of each one passing by. The structure is made from pink sandstone and has a honey-comb like shape that makes it all the more interesting. There are 5 storey in the monument and surely looks extraordinary. The place was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in the year 1799 to help the ladies watch all the happenings on the streets including the processions that took place from time to time. From the extreme top of the Mahal, you can have a spectacular view of the Jantar Mantar as well as City Palace. For those interested in exhibits, the good news comes in the form of a small museum within the mahal that has great paintings, ceremonial armours as well as rich relics. For the entry, move to the backside of the complex.
This is a dazzling island in the midst of the mighty Krishna River. This is a tpurist hotspot due to the wonderful views and the luxurious holiday resorts such as the Haritha and the one which is supervised by the APTDC. You can drive till the banks and then reach the island via boats. Boating is a favorite activity you can do here and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings slowly while you boat around the river. The lights of the resorts and buildings on this small island makes it look like a piece of celebration from far off.
This beautiful waterfall is in the Venkateshwara National Park in the Tirupathi Region. The waterfall is surrounded bhy lush greenery, dense forests and rich flora which makes each part of this place look immensely beautiful. The waters of the fall are said to be filled with therapeutic values due to the goodness of of medicinal plants and herbsinfused in the waters. This place has also been declared as a Bio Reserve in the year 1990 due to the presence of the herbal plants here. As you drive up this place you will come across many tall and shady trees with exoyic birds and monkeys too. Canopy walks are a major activity that you can enjoy out here. Lord siddheshwara Swamy temple is a beautiful temple that attracts many vosotors annually.
Gandikota Penna river View
There is an AP tourism sponsored resort "Haritha resort", you can do online bookings. Unfortunately, there are no other modes of accommodation available. However, you are free to lodge your own tent.If you or someone in your group understands Telugu, this may help you a lot. Since, this place is still trying to find it's mark on tourism circle, English or Hindi language is not common here . You can essentially arrange things like food or accommodation easily, if you understand the native language.Bellum CavesThe Belum Caves is the largest and longest cave system open to the public on the Indian subcontinent, known for its speleothems, such as stalactite and stalagmite formations. I just loved it. AP government is trying to put these places in a better shape and make it tourism friendly. This is almost 60 KM away from Gandikota and it's a must visit if you are in that region.
Araku valley and Borra Caves
Known as the "Food Bowl of south India", the Araku Valley is one of the most prominent tourist destinations of Andhra Pradesh. The Borra Caves are the major attraction over here. The pristine sceneries and the marvellous views make this place a hot favorite of nature lovers and photography buffs. The coffee plantations are a sight to behold as well. the other attractions in this beautiful valley are the Padmapuran Botanical Gardens, Tyda Village and Park, Dumbriguda Fall, Sangda and Katiki Waterfalls, Matsyagundam village and Bheemunipatnam Beach. The Araku Tribal Museum is a place where you get detailed information about ancient tribes, their culture and lifestyles in a very organized manner.
We joined the Free Darshan system at around 7 am in the Vaikuntham Queue Complex. After half an hour, we passed through the security gate and we were directed in to a big Hall. It is a stepped room with metal grill walls on all four sides. Its looks like a cage. There are more than such 30 hall. Each hall can accommodate nearly 300 devotees. To our surprise, as soon as we entered the hall/cage, every one (who was experienced) spread out their sheets of clothes and prepared to sleep. And some were started to stand in queue of Laddu counter. They have Laddu Token counters in each of the waiting hall. Before we could understand anything, the cage was full and it was locked from outside! In the hall ventilation systems were working efficiently. It never felt smelly. And surprisingly Toilets were clean and dry. RO filter drinking water is available.There was a huge TV screen showing the temple activities like performing pooja and priests were chanting shlokas in local language live. One of my friend told that sometimes it takes more than 24 hours of waiting in free darshan. We felt trapped! However, there is a mechanism to temporarily leave the hall by registering at the photometric registration system. But luckily we completed darshan in 7 Hrs.Around 10am devotees started rushed to the back of the cage to collect Coffee and Breakfast (Upama) offer by TTD for free. TTD offers breakfast and food for free for devotees waiting in hall for evry 3-4 Hrs.Around 10.45 AM whistles started blowing and suddenly it became clear that our lot will be taken for Darshan. Devotees started running, pushing each other to get out of hall. But we were waiting for our turn in Laddu token counter. Some of peoples left queue and started leaving hall for darshan. We were in dilemma whether to leave hall or wait for our turn. Finally we decided to take Laddu token since we were standing in queue for more than 3 Hrs. Finally my turn came at around 11.15 AM but bad luck, the person at counter closed the counter. All my friends standing ahead of me got Token. There were only 6-8 devotees Including me were reaming to get the token in that hall. We requested him to give token to remaining few of us then close the counter, but he said NO rudely and asked us to wait... Ridiculous. We waited for 15 min, then they told us that they are going to close the exit door of the hall. So we decided to leave the hall without token. After coming out of the hall, we saw all passage was packed. All devotees who released from hall are waiting in passage. After waiting of 30 min more, Finally queue started moving. We passed through a maze of queue system for next hour getting pushed and squeezed in an crazy crowd. The problem is with the devotees: their number and their behaviour. They don't care about children, elderly persons, just wanted to go ahead of the other!Finally we reached the main temple around 1.00 PM. There we didn't have to make any effort to move forward. We simply floated through the main temple with the help of pushes from the more devoted devotees. Our Darshan part was over in less than a second. Queues didn't end there. We were to go to another building where 'laddus' were handed over in return for coupons.The entire Darshan ritual ended at 2PM afternoon.My Personal View based on the my experience…. I was very disappointed seeing such commercialization of a religious place, Pathetic management ever seen and angry at the way they are manipulating the faith of ordinary people to make money. There needs to be some major change in the way things are managed at Tirupati Temple.1. After you enter the main temple, there is only 1 way to go inside and come outside. the way they are sending people inside and then outside is worst. Pathetic management ever seen, the management should learn from so many other temples in India where peaceful darshan is possible despite the crowds like Shirdi, Siddhi Vinayak - way better managed than Tirumala.2. This is one of the richest temple in India, but the fact is they don't have simple things like single lane barricades implemented to make queue systematic. All investments are going in vain.3. The building is two hundred meters from the main temple and they have built around 30 halls (could be little more) each with a capacity to hold around 300 people. From the hall the temple premises is visible and it was obvious that there were no huge crowd in the temple, still they kept was holding for hours. When they have sufficient numbers to create a false impression of huge crowd, they open the gates of few of the halls at a time. May be it's the strategy of the temple administration to force the "general" pilgrims to wait for longer hours, so that they can justify those paying money to get quicker darshan. Otherwise no one would pay to get darshan.4. There was no announcement to tell the waiting people in the hall when the gates would open, or how they can go out of the hall. They had literally locked the hall from outside. After entering one of the hall, people coming for the first time would be confused as to what to do next.5. They have Laddu Token counters in each of the waiting hall and the volunteers would mislead you to buy Laddu tickets. It's not mandatory to buy laddu token for darshan6. The management is pathetic. Volunteers are rude and apathetic. The police were also not helpful in keeping the crowd in order. Not a single Volunteer or a police man in passage from Hall to main temple, its obvious why they would like to get squeeze in suffocating queue.7. No sign boards, lack of multi lingual volunteers, suffocating queues. Shame on the management. Plus the crowds are extremely rude and arrogant. Be prepared to be threw and pushed and squeezed in a crazy crowd. Do NOT take kids or elderly in this mess.8. And finally after 6-7 hrs of waiting , the darshan was not even a second in front of Lord Venkateshwara, but we were already knowing this.In my View… It’s just a business centre rather than being a temple" (No offence here).
Shilparamam Cultural Society
A part of the South India Shopping Mall, this is a restaurant which is famous for its Hyderabadi Biryani and kebabs. Paradise has now become like a brand name and people refre it to Paradise biryani rather than biryani from Paradise Restaurant. The quality and quantity are both more than awesome and the taste of the juicy kebabs are simply to die for. It is a little down from the mark during the peak hours but then this happens when you have to manage such a huge place. Dine in and take away are both available.
Sub Marine Museum
Our next stop was the Submarine Museum housed inside a real submarine and located on the RK beach -- a must visit for anyone who goes to Vizag.After that we made our way towards the fishing harbour where a boat ride is offered but we passed on it as it doesn’t provide much kick.Strolling down the beach after that, which is not as clean as Rushikonda but offers the same beautiful views, we tasted the local mirchi vadas and tea and then headed back to our lodge.Magic Ahead...
How we Reached?An evening prior to the trek day, while sipping coffee, we brewed up with the plan to hit Tada falls trek. As this place is very near to Chennai, It could be an instant escape from routine.Next day, in the wee hours, we boarded on a bus from Koyambedu at 5.00 am, reached Varadaiahpalem bus stand at 7.00 am. After having breakfast at bus stand, we took a shared auto to forest gate, and reached there at 7.30 a.m. Even though we reached half an hour before the opening time, we somehow got permission to enter the forest. Indeed, we were the first one to enter into the wild for that day.Follow our story along with a few photographsThe way, the forest had ushered us in, was quite unimaginable and gave aesthetic pleasure. The gate opens with a great foot-over bridge built upon the still water body, where one side was sheltered by the lush green trees and while the other side was guarded by the big marble rocks. Tiny fish were moving hither-thither to celebrate the day start. And standing amidst the dense forest, we were looking at the day ahead to seize about.
Lepakshi Temple RdLepakshi
This is an ancient temple of God Veerabhadra. It is wonder of pure stone art. This was a memorable bike trip for us. This place is 130 km from the Bangalore city. Best one day bike trip destination.Me and 3 of my friends planned this trip. We started from Bangalore at 7am of a foggy Saturday morning. I guess weather could not be more pleasant than this 😊. We reached there around 10.30 am. We spent one and half hour at the temple and clicked some awesome pics.At 12 we started our journey towards Bangalore again. We had our lunch at a restaurant near Nandi hills junction. By 4 we reached Marathahalli. It was a fun and memorable journey, we hope to continue this kind of journey through out 2017 and keep you posted 😁.
Sri Venkateswara Swamy Vaari Temple
The most famous temple which spreads in an area of 2.2 acres. This is located on the seventh hill of Tirumala Hills. If you plan to visit the temple in a general line, be prepared for a marathon and the tug of war competition as the Darshan is similar to these games. People have a lot of faith and indeed the temple is very beautiful but it is always flooded with the devotees. You would also see a lot of security arrangements and various other arrangements done to make sure no one faces any issue. The temple is located on the south of the holy Swami Pushkarini River. People who have the faith in Balaji, feel at peace when they are here, donate a lot of precious stuff also there is a strange practice of donating your hair here. The temple is considered most divine. It is the second most frequented shrine all over the world, the first being Vatican. It is also one of the richest temples in the world.
Tyada Railway Station
Tyada is a sleepy hamlet in Araku Valley, near Vizag. East Coast Railways makes it a wonderful journey to reach this place thorough 58 tunnels and 84 bridges through the Anantagiri Forests that cover Araku Valley. It can also be reached by bus, which will give you an experience with the numerous hir-pin bends on the road. It is a 45 minutes long bus ride from Borra Caves.
Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary
Coringa Wildlife SanctuaryAround 500 Km from Hyderabad, Coringa is an ideal place for nature lovers. Named after a tiny village in East Godavari District, this sanctuary is unique as it has the only surviving mangrove forest. On the backwaters of river Godavari, Coringa offers an ideal natural habitat for different animals and birds. The tourism department has made efforts to provide all necessary amenities to tourists to make their trip memorable. Preferred mode of travel: Bus or CarTravel Tip: Book yourself a suit at the forest rest house as it offers excellent accommodation and services.
ISKCON is the International Society for Krishna Conciousness and the temple in Bangalore is dedicated to Lord Krishna of course. The temple is situated on a hillock also known as the Hare Krishna Hill. The temple is built in a neo- classical style with typical South Indian temple Gopurams in it. There are 4 gopurams inside the temple which are joined by a glass canopy which looks spectacular. This temple was built to mark the birth anniversary of Sri Prabhupada, the founder of the whole community. The peaceful atmosphere and the continuous chanting of "Hare Rama, Hare Krishna" is extremely soothing. There is also a separate prayer hall, vedic theatre, vedic museum and lecture hall in the temple. There is an average footfall of around 8000- 10000 people everyday and this goes up to 15000 or even more on weekends. The main festival celebrated here is the Krishna Janmashtami.
Known as the Gateway to Rayalaseema, this is a city in the Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh. There are total four railway stations in this city out of which Kurnool is the main one. The other stations are the Adoni, nandyal and Dhone Junctions. This is declared as the 5th most populous city of Andhra Pradesh and since there are junctions here, the traffic in terms of passengers is quite high.