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 January
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.
Our Trip started from Hyderabad around 7 o'clock in the morning after the early breakfast. Hyderabad to Chirala by road is 5 hrs 30 min (302.1 km). It was the most memorable road journeys as we were 11 members traveling in a van and was fun. We had to stop at the check post from where we entered Andhra Pradesh. After a few kilometers you will find a small city. Where we got to eat some snacks in a bakery. As we had kids travelling we took extra water like 20 ltrs can and few chips and snacks which saved all of us from hunger as there are no good dhaba's on the way. Our journey continued with few hassles as we were traveling in a van which could not pass the fitness test (Felt like killing the travel agent). Check post people allowed us to reach the next town which was few kilometers away. We booked another vehicle immediately and continued the journey. Finally we reached our destination around 2 o'clock. We stayed at a "Palm cost Beach Resort" there services were slow need to wait for almost an hour after ordering which wasted our time. We killed that hunger time by enjoying the view of sea from the resort.
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.
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
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.
Surya Lanka Beach
Earlier, I have been to Suryalanka beach which is few kilometers on the north from chirala where we have harita resort which is good. However, I liked chirala beach better than suryalanka beach as it neater with less crowd and peaceful where you can enjoy the pleasant breeze and the soothing sound of the waves. After some snacks we could not wait anymore to enjoy. We all went to beach and while walking on the sand saw tiny little baby crabs were all around the place and were too fast. I was scared thinking what if I stamp cute little tiny crabs and what if they bite me. It was an amazing experience all over enjoying in the clean water and clean beach and awful sunset. When it was little dark we headed back to resort as there is less crowd and few local people try to booze lighting up bonfire. Had enough fun for that day.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
Lepakshi Temple RdLepakshi
Get whisked away on a spiritual sojourn at the Lepakshi TempleEvery painting here, every fresco, expertly encapsulates the art and culture of Andhra Pradesh as it progressed through the centuries. The amazing fact about India that the symbols of its rich cultural heritage can be spotted even at the most distant of villages. This temple at Mandal village in the Anantapur District is one such example.
The Brindavan Gardens, a celebrated beauty spot in this part of India is famous for its symmetric design. The creation of this garden is the achievement of Sir Mirza Ismail, then the Dewan of the princely State of Mysore. Garden is enriched with fountains, lush green lawns, flower beds, shrubs and trees. The Brindavan Gardens is famous for its ethereal beauty, grandeur, and illumination,musical fountain.
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.
Araku Valley Coffee Museum
The coffee museum is located very close to Tribal museum. This complex has a coffee souvenir store, craft store, snacks bar, trampoline, cricket nets along with the coffee's discovery and processing history hall. Dhimsa dance form, popular among the tribals, can be experienced live here.It is a great place to hangout and taste sumptuous coffee products. Coffee raspberry chocolates are a must try here along with hot/cold coffee. The craft store is enormous and hosts a huge variety of art and craft items for sale. I stayed here until sunset before moving back to my hotel.
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.
Padmapuram gardens are just a few minutes walk from town center. I usually prefer walking for short distances but there are autos for hire for the lazy ones. While walking towards the garden, I saw a tractor down the road coming towards me. Without even giving a moment's thought, I stretched my hand to signal the driver for a hitchhike. He slowed down this vehicle, and I embarked on a free bumpy ride upto the gardens.
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.
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.
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.
It is one of the famous beaches of Visakhapatnam. It got its name from the Ramakrishna Mission Aashram. This place is very happening and occupied by local vendors. There one can find delicious Corn and other local food items. The bus stand is near and can be reached by public transport easily.
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.
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!)
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.
Back to Vizag, we have some unfinished business and this being the last day here, we had to rush a lot. There are many things to cover in vizag, be it Marine museum, a lot of temples, more 3 beaches and some excellent view points. First thing would be not to miss the beauty at Par "Beach Road", a ride on this stretch is simply content. Public buses 10K, 900K or 900T from Complex would take you along the whole length. Auto would charge you 30 bucks and that should also be fine.
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.