About Andhra Pradesh
10. Andhra Pradesh, The "Southern Province" Best time to travel - September-April Connectivity - 232kms from Hyderabad Airport, 30kms from city railway station ! Visit the largest stretch of undisturbed forest in South India abutting the the Nagarjuna-Srisailam Tiger reserve.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Andhra Pradesh is from March to June
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now Padmapuram Gardens are quite popular among tourists and that’s why perhaps I was being gently nudged to visit it. And visit I did. The gardens are certainly beautiful and mostly famous for the adorable hanging huts! I spent about 2 hours here and most of my time was spent around these absolutely gorgeous huts.
This is the most beautiful as well as the most popular building inside the Zenana Enclosure in Hampi. The actual purpose of this monument is not known but it is assumed that this was the socializing place for the royal ladies. The name is derived from the shape of the palace. It is one of the very few non- religious structures in hampi and strangely was not destroyed during the seige here. It is two storey and has an open base with pillars and balconies and high arched windows. The palace is decorated with lights in the evening and this makes it even more beautiful.
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.
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...
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.
Associated with the Vishnukundana Kings of the 5th- 7th century, these are excellent examples of rock- cut architecture in the Guntur district. These are monolithic caves just on the banks of the Krishna River and these date back to the 4th and 5th centuries. The largest of these caves is is a four storey one with a huge monolithic granite statue of Lord Vishnu in a reclining position. The other caves are also dedicated to the Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Since, this was the time of the Gupta Empire and Buddhism was prevalent in cave arts, you will also find it out here. The caves are all in the shapes of Buddhist viharas and expert carvings are done inside each one of these.
We took the Nashik Highway and took the left turn to Bhimashankar from Peth after Rajgurunagar rather than from Manchar some 10 KM ahead.This detour will save us around 15 KMs. The main reason for this detour is to view the lake India,this is a monsoon lake which resembles the map of India by at least 90%.
Just adjacent to the Main temple there is a massive stretch of 460 acres of a beautiful garden called the TTD gardens. You would find some beautiful flowers and the smell also is just awesome. The garden is a visual feast, as you will find greenery everywhere and beautiful flowers in various colors. There are many ponds and tanks in the garden and this is a source of water supply to the natives as well as to the pilgrims.
Araku Valley Coffee Museum
Next I went on to visit the Araku Valley Coffee House. Located behind the main bus stand, this popular spot is quite a charmer. Housing various varieties of coffee, it takes your through the history of coffee not only in India but other countries including Africa. I was surprised by an enthralling sound and light show taking place here and immediately signed up for it. And what a pleasant surprise it was!The best part of course is the best cup of coffee you will ever sip along with the best bite of chocolate cake ever! Yes, ‘best’ really is the only adjective for this absolutely enlightening foodie moment (it is said that good food can instantly increase the happy neurons in the brain)!There is a tribal museum here that helps one understand the culture, the lifestyle, the traditions and also the way of life for tribals. Unintentionally the museum also awakens feelings of sadness and helplessness as one realizes how dependent the human race is on technology and how unnecessary it really is.
Katiki Waterfalls Road
I combined my trip to Borra Caves with a trip to Katiki Waterfalls. Just before Borra Caves, a road takes you down to this gorgeous waterfall. The road is a little tricky so hold on tight and trust the local drivers with their skills. The waterfall is breathtaking and certainly a must visit even if you are in a hurry! Though remember that the last one km of the road is by foot and can be a bit much for the elderly so avoid it in case you are travelling with too many young children or elderly people. The restaurants around the waterfall are splendid and serve the best bamboo marinated chicken in India (no, really!)
Like someone said, “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us”. This so very apt for I.T sector's Labors like us to disconnect the world to reconnect to LIFE. A weekend getaway for Hyderabad can be any place near but I personally identify Vizag for my retreat. I might have been to this place many a time before but it keeps surprising me every time. Here is my take on the Port city of Andhra Pradesh .
A lazy Friday morning when the thought of leaving for office was not letting me wake up from bed. Sleep deprived as I slept at 4 in the morning and was in no mood to open my eyes... I see some photos in one of my WhatsApp group with my friends sleeping in the car.. And they traveled all the way from Hyderabad to the nearest hill station, Horsley Hills, which was 550 kms away... Slept off thinking it was such a waste of time for them coming all the way here. Never been to this place even though it was just 150 from Bangalore as it was always over shadowed by the ghats to the southwest of Bangalore.. Then one of them asks me to come down if I was interested. Though not keen, the thought of catching up with them and skipping office on a Friday woke me up and i was ready to leave, knowing nothing about this place!!! <br /><br />Packed up some booze from Bangalore (not sure of availability though there was a bar atop the hill) and on the road by 11:00 am. Reached the foot of the hill by 1:30 and was a beautiful road uphill..<br /><br />A small township at the top of the hill where AP tourism has cottages which can be booked online.. Prefer the ones where the whole cottage can be booked. Should be around 2500 for a 2 room cottage. <br /><br />Two of my friends were asleep when i reached there, driving overnight. Two of us went to the nearest view point and spent some time there.. Being a Friday, very few people around. An adventure camp was available where they would organize treks if more than 10 people were available. We chose to trek downhill and we went upto the farthest possible point. A great view of the sunset. <br /><br />Reached our cottage by sunset and left to get some food packed. There are 2-3 hotels outside but the restaurant of AP tourism is the best place for food.. They serve liquor too. Came back to the cottage and had a great time with friends over a drink... You can just go around the hill at midnight as there would be noone to bother you much... A must visit during the night, the Gaali Banda (Wind Rock)... The winds blowing at really high speeds, its fun to have a good party at one of the sitting areas of the view point
The second concern I get is 'Food'. Agreed that when in Andhra, I expect much of meals and veg hotels but this is not even that.. Not much of option on main road, few small hotels. You have a very Lil/pathetically maintained IRCTC canteen right in front of the Railway station. To clear some doubts,  both Railway and Bus station are almost opposite to each other on road, small city in short. The bus stop host a clean pay and use Dormitory in case you need to quick freshen up.
Railway Station Road
Guntakal Railway Station: And there could not be a perfect end to this amazing tour by yummy fritters along with tea at the Guntakal railway Station. So that’s how I covered checked out another place out of my bucketlist. Beautiful place. Super amazing and helpful people. Break from the routine. Must Visit. “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity.” - John Muir
6. Hope Island, Andhra PradeshHope Island is a 200 year old formation which was made by the sand drifting from a tributary of the Godavari River. This really small island is a tadpole shaped marvel, which protects the Kakinada harbour and city from several cyclones that Bay of Bengal throws its way. It is because of Hope Island that Kakinada has become the safest natural harbour in east India.Currently Hope Island inhabits only a few government buildings and fisherman shacks. The northern tip of it is called Godavari Point, which overlooks Bay of Kakinada and the Kakinada harbour. How to reach: Ferry from Kakinada Port. The city of Kakinada is the closest city to the island.