TOP 4 SITES OF ANDHRA AND TELANGANA HERITAGE CIRCUIT - EXCLUSIVE TRAVEL GUIDE

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Photo of TOP 4 SITES OF ANDHRA AND TELANGANA HERITAGE CIRCUIT - EXCLUSIVE TRAVEL GUIDE 1/2 by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita

Here we are going to discuss about some heritage sites of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana recommended by Archaeological Survey of India. But one might wonder, suddenly why we are concentrating on Archaeological sites? To know the importance of the same, first you have to understand what is Archaeology.

Archaeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The objects, called artifacts can be as small as button or as large as a building. These objects are the connectivity between our past and the present. Archaeological investigations are the sole source of knowledge of our ancient and extinct culture.

Many of you have surely heard the term ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’. Do you know that among 32 World heritage properties in India, 25 are cultural properties and 7 are Natural Properties? So it's high time to focus on our cultural heritage.

Photo of TOP 4 SITES OF ANDHRA AND TELANGANA HERITAGE CIRCUIT - EXCLUSIVE TRAVEL GUIDE 2/2 by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita
Interior of Charminar, P.C.- Chinmayee Mishra, (CC BY-SA 4.0)

In this article I will share my TOP 4 choices among ASI ‘Must See’ Indian Heritage sites of Andhra Pradesh (Including Telengana). Till now there are 8 sites which they have considered as ‘Must See’. But the list may increase in future and then we will also update this article accordingly. Now, the name of those 8 monuments are :

1. Charminar

2. Golconda Fort

3. Warangal Fort

4. Four Storeyed Rock-cut Hindu Temple, Undavali

5. Buddhist Monuments, Guntapalle, Near Kamavarapukota

6. Lower Fort (Raja and Rani Mahal), Chandragiri

7. Nagarjunakonda

8. Ruined Buddhist Stupa and other remains, Amravati

I will give you a brief idea about the top 4 places among the ASI ‘Must See’ Indian Heritage Sites and how you can plan to cover those place.

1. Charminar :

Night view of Charminar

Photo of Charminar, Charminar Road, Char Kaman, Ghansi Bazaar, Hyderabad, Telangana, India by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita

As we all know, The Charminar has inevitably recognised as symbol of Hyderabad globally. This magnificent structure was built by Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah, the fifth ruler of the Qutub Shahi dynasty and who was also the founder of the City. This is a square structure measuring 31.95 mts. on each side with imposing arches spanning a distance of 11mts. There are four minarets, each having three storeys, rising to a height of 56 mts. The spiral staircase inside the minarets has 149 steps leading to the top with 12 landings.

The Charminar was constructed in 1591-92 A.D. There are several theories regarding the purpose for which Charminar was constructed. ASI has mentioned in their article that, “It is widely accepted that Charminar was built at the center of the city, to commemorate the eradication of plague.”

Entrance fee:

Citizens of India and visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) – Rs. 25 per head & Foreigner: Rs.300/-

(Free entry for children below the age of 15)

For online entry ticket to Charminar, you can check ASI website : https://asi.payumoney.com

Timing : 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM, all days of the week

Interior of Charminar

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How to Reach :

The nearest Airport to Charminar is Hyderabad which is only 16 KM away and the nearest railway station is either Hyderabad Deccan Nampally (HYB) or Secundrabad (SC). It is only 6 km from Hyderabad Decaan Nampally station and 11 km from Secundrabad Railway Station. As it is very near to the Hyderabad city, you can cover it easily during your tour to Telengana. Actually it covers under the city tour package of Hyderabad.

You can also avail Hop-On Hop-Off Service bus in Hyderabad run by TELANGANA STATE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION LTD. The points you can cover by this city tour bus is : Birla Mandir, Salarjung Museum, Nizam Museum, Charminar. Chowmahalla Palace, Nehru Zoological Park, Golconda Fort, Quli Qutb Shahi Tombs and Lumbini Park. The bus service starts at 9.00 A.M. from Tourism Information & Reservation Counter, Tankbund and you will get this bus upto 5.30 P.M. at intervals of every 30 minutes. You will get this bus service throughout the week except Friday.

At the entrance of Charminar

Photo of TOP 4 SITES OF ANDHRA AND TELANGANA HERITAGE CIRCUIT - EXCLUSIVE TRAVEL GUIDE by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita

You can visit Telengana Tourism website for booking of the sightseeing : https://tourism.telangana.gov.in/home

2. Golconda Fort :

Golconda Fort

Photo of Golconda Fort, Khair Complex, Ibrahim Bagh, Hyderabad, Telangana, India by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita

Golconda fort, one of the most famous and the biggest fortress in the Deccan plateau, was built on a 400 ft. high hill. It has three lines of massive fortification walls one within the other and rise to a height of over 12 m. The outer most wall was provided with a deep moat all around covering a vast area of the town with a circumference of 7 km. It has 8 imposing gateways and is buttressed with 87 bastions rising to a height of 15 to 18 meters. Each of these bastions was surmounted by cannons of varying caliber rendering the fort impregnable and strong among the forts of the medieval Deccan. The well-planned township of Golconda located within the fort was one of the splendid cities famous during the medieval world for its extensive trade in gems and diamonds

Entrance fee:

Citizens of India and visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) – Rs. 25 per head & Foreigner: Rs.300/-

(Free entry for children below the age of 15)

For online entry ticket to Charminar, you can check ASI website : https://asi.payumoney.com

Timing : 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM, all days of the week

Light and Sound Show at Golconda Fort :

Light and Sound Show at Golconda Fort

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You can also experience the Light and Sound show at Golconda Fort. The timing of the shows are as follows :

1st Show English (All Days) 2nd Show in Telugu on Monday, Wednesday & Friday, and Hindi on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday. Show Timings: (Nov to Feb) 1st Show 6:30pm 2nd Show 7.45pm (Mar to Oct) 1st Show 7:00pm 2nd Show 8.15pm.

Ticket counter for the same is open from 5.30 PM. There are two type of tickets, one is Executive Class and the other one is Normal Class. The fare for Adult is Rs 150 and 80 simultaneously and for Child Rs. 110 and 60.

You can check this website : https://tourism.telangana.gov.in/home

How to Reach :

The nearest Airport to Golconda fort is Hyderabad which is only 27 KM away and the nearest railway station is either Hyderabad Deccan Nampally (HYB) or Secundrabad (SC). It is only 11 km from Hyderabad Decaan Nampally station and 16 km from Secundrabad Railway Station. As it is very near to the Hyderabad city, you can cover it easily during your tour to Telengana. Actually it covers under the city tour package of Hyderabad.

Golconda Fort

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Golconda Fort

Photo of TOP 4 SITES OF ANDHRA AND TELANGANA HERITAGE CIRCUIT - EXCLUSIVE TRAVEL GUIDE by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita

You can also avail Hop-On Hop-Off Service bus in Hyderabad run by TELANGANA STATE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION LTD. The points you can cover by this city tour bus is : Birla Mandir, Salarjung Museum, Golconda Fort, Nizam Museum, Charminar. Chowmahalla Palace, Nehru Zoological Park, Quli Qutb Shahi Tombs and Lumbini Park. The bus service starts at 9.00 A.M. from Tourism Information & Reservation Counter, Tankbund and you will get this bus upto 5.30 P.M. at intervals of every 30 minutes. You will get this bus service throughout the week except Friday.

You can visit Telengana Tourism website for booking of the sightseeing : https://tourism.telangana.gov.in/home

3. Warangal Fort :

Pillared mandapa with a Nandi (bull) in the fort complex, P.C. : Peejaey (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Photo of Warangal Fort, Mathwada, Warangal, Telangana, India by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita

Warangal fort is one of the finest example of the art form of the Kakatiya Dynasty. It was built in 13th Century. The fort has four ornamental gates, known as Kakatiya Kala Thoranam, that originally formed the entrances to a now ruined great Shiva temple. The Kakatiyan arch has been adopted and officially incorporated into the emblem of Telangana after the state bifurcation. The important edifices of Warangal fort include Swayambhu temple, Ramalingeshwara, Venkateswara and Ekasila Temples and the Kush Mahal or the Shitab Khan Mahal. The Fort is included in the "tentative list" of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Entrance fee:

Citizens of India and visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) – Rs. 25 per head & Foreigner: Rs.300/-

(Free entry for children below the age of 15)

Timing : 9:00 AM to 8.00 PM, all days of the week

Warangal Fort Complex, P.C. : Manoj K (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Photo of TOP 4 SITES OF ANDHRA AND TELANGANA HERITAGE CIRCUIT - EXCLUSIVE TRAVEL GUIDE by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita

Light and Sound Show at Warangal Fort :

The Sound & Light Show at Warangal fort reveals the history of great rulers of Kakatiya dynasty with span of 50 minutes duration in Telugu and English. The colourful laser lighting system accompanied by excellent sound track. The show mesmerizes the audience and takes backs to the history Kakatiyas. The timing of the shows are as follows :

1st Show Telugu (All Days), 2nd Show in Telugu or English as per the demand (All Days). Show Timings: 1st Show 6:30pm to 7:20pm; 2nd Show 7.30pm to 8.20pm.

The fare for Adult is Rs 40 and for Child Rs. 20.

You can check this website : https://tourism.telangana.gov.in/home

How to Reach :

The nearest Airport to Warangal Fort is Hyderabad which is 176 KM away and the nearest railway station is Warangal (WL). You will get train from Hyderabad Deccan Nampally (HYB) or Secundrabad (SC). So if you are planning to visit Warangal with your Hyderabad Tour, you can keep a whole day for it. The easiest and the cheapest option to reach Warangal is by train.

4. Four Storeyed Rock-cut Hindu Temple, Undavalli

Undavalli Caves

Photo of Undavalli Caves, Penumaka - Vijayawada Road, Near Prakasam, Barrage, Andhra Pradesh, India by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita

Undavalli caves is one of the finest testimonials to ancient Viswakarma Sthapathis. This monolithic architecture is situated in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. These caves are said to be found in 7th century. They are associated with the Vishnukundi kings of 420-620 A.D. This impressive four storey rock cut architecture with east facing facade is 29 m in long and 16 m in wide. From the distance, it resembles an abandoned fort.

There are variation in depth of each floor :

1. The ground floor is an unfinished low pillared hall with 8 pillars and 7 door openings on facade.

2. The first storey accommodates triple shrine at back, each with the pillared hall in front, originally dedicated to the Trinity (Siva, Vishnu, and Brahma).

3. The second storey has a pillared rectangular shrine of Lord Vishnu on a Serpent.

4. The top floor was unfinished with a Triple Shrine. The view from the top floor of the cave is awesome.

Entrance fee:

Entry fee is very nominal i.e., Rs. 5 for Indian and Rs. 100 for foreigners.

Timing : 9:00 AM to 5.30 PM, all days of the week

Undavalli Caves

Photo of TOP 4 SITES OF ANDHRA AND TELANGANA HERITAGE CIRCUIT - EXCLUSIVE TRAVEL GUIDE by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita

How to Reach :

The nearest Airport to Undavalli caves is Vijayawada which is 27 KM away and the nearest railway station is Vijayawada Junction (BZA) which is well connected with major cities in India. There are so many places in Vijayawada to visit. If you have one full day in Vijayawada, you can also visit Bhavani Island, Prakasam Barrage, Mangal Giri Hills, Kondapalli Fort along with Undavalli Cave. As, Vijayawada is located almost at same distance from Hyderabad and from Visakhapattanam and also there are frequent number of trains from both the city to Vijayawada, you can add this either during Visakhapattanam tour or during Hyderabad tour.

Padmanabaswami inside Undavalli Caves, P.C. : Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Photo of TOP 4 SITES OF ANDHRA AND TELANGANA HERITAGE CIRCUIT - EXCLUSIVE TRAVEL GUIDE by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita

Here is a 4 day Tour Plan to cover this 4 Top ASI Must See Indian Heritage Sites. Here, I have considered that your journey will start from Hyderabad and will end at Vijayawada.

4 DAY TRAVEL PLAN

Day 1

Reach Hyderabad in the morning and after check in to the hotel, you can proceed for Local Sight seeing Tour. In this local sightseeing tour you can cover Birla Mandir, Salarjung Museum, Nizam Museum, Charminar. Chowmahalla Palace, Nehru Zoological Park, Golconda Fort, Quli Qutb Shahi Tombs and Lumbini Park. For this one day city tour either you can hire a local cab or you can avail Hop-On Hop-Off Service bus run by TELANGANA STATE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION LTD. Try to experience the Light and Sound show at Golkonda Fort. Night stay at Hyderabad. So on the first day, you have covered two among the 4 ASI Must See Indian Heritage Sites i.e. Golkonda Fort and Charminar.

Clock of the Charminar, P.C. : Bgag (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Photo of Hyderabad, Telangana, India by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita
Day 2

Today after breakfast, you can take train for Warangal. By train, it will take hardly 2.5 hours to reach Warangal. After reaching there you can check in to a nearest hotel to the railway station. Or you can do one thing, you can hire a cab for a full day trip from Hyderabad to Hyderabad. In that case you donot have to stay in Warangal’s hotel. So whatever option you want, your main focus is to cover Warangal Fort. So after visiting Warangal Fort you can either return back to Hyderabad or you can stay at Warangal. If you are staying at Warangal for that night, you can experience the Light and Sound Show at Warangal Fort. So one more among the top 4 ASI Must See Indian Heritage Sites has been covered.

Khush Mahal, Warangal Fort, P.C. : Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Photo of Warangal, Telangana, India by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita
Day 3

Today after breakfast you will proceed for Vijayawada. It will take 3.5 to 4 hour to reach from Warangal to Vijayawada. And if you are coming from Hyderabad, it will take 5.5 to 6 hour to reach there. After reaching at Vijayawada, quickly check in to the hotel and then go for the sightseeing. Today you can cover Victoria Jubilee Museum, Kanak Durga Temple, Bhavani Island and Kondapalli Fort. Night stay at Vijayawada.

Kondapalli Fort, P.C. Koushik Avula (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Photo of Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita
Day 4

Today after breakfast, you can check out from the Hotel. Because after today’s sightseeing, you may proceed for your return journey. So book a cab at Vijayawada and go out for Undavalli Caves and Ruined Buddhist Stupa and other remains, Amravati. So basically today before your return journey, you will cover two among the ASI Must See Indian Heritage Sites i.e., Undavalli Caves and Ruined Buddhist Stupa and other remains, Amravati. In the evening you can take return flight or train from Vijayawada.

Amaravati Museum

Photo of Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita

Undavalli Caves, P.C. : Narahc (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Photo of Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita

So total 5 out of 8 and all the top 4 ASI Must See Indian Heritage Sites are covered in the above mentioned plan.

Accomodation :

Hotel in Hyderabad/Secunderabad :

There are ample number of hotels in Hyderabad at various price range. So there will not be any problem to find out budget hotels in Hyderabad. Few names are mentioned below :

It is located very near to the Hyderabad-Deccan Railway station. The double bed room starts from Rs. 900. It is an ideal option for family budget traveller.

Contact Number : 04066465500, 04024765050, +919849057177 (Whatsapp number)

Email: reservations@hotelgeetanjali.com

For On-line Booking : https://hotels.eglobe-solutions.com/hotelgeetanjali/Booking/Detail/

It is located at the heart of the city, only two kilometres from Secunderabad Railway Station. This hotel is good for Mid-Budget Traveller. Double bed room range starts from Rs. 2000.

Contact Number : +914027818989,

Email : tristar@tmhgroup.in

Website : www.tmhgroup.in/taj-tristar

It provides young people on their educational excursions inexpensive hostelling facilities in the form of dormitories - separate for ladies and gents, a dining hall with self-service, a common room or lounge. Tariff of Dormitory is Rs. 80 for students and Rs. 120 for Non students. A/C Dormitory tariff is Rs. 150.

Contact Number : +91 - 040-27540763, +91 - 9246291079, 9032136053

Email : secunderabadyouthhostel@yahoo.co.in

Website : https://tourism.telangana.gov.in/home

Evening view of Charminar, P.C. : Vivekanand Pokala (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Photo of Youth Hostel Hyderabad, behind Shankermut, Vidyanagar, Padma Colony, New Nallakunta, Hyderabad, Telangana, India by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita

Hotels in Warangal :

It is located only 5 KM apart from Warangal Fort. The double bed room starts from Rs. 1300.

Contact Number : 08702500645/6/7/8/9

Email : hotel_ratna@yahoo.in

Website : www.hotelratna.in/home

Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation (TSTDC) offers luxurious, comfortable and world-class accommodation with its Haritha chain of hotels and resorts all over the state. These resorts are well maintained and reliable with many amenities for the comfort of tourists. The double bed room starts at Rs. 1850.

Contact Number : +91 - 0870-2562236

Website : https://tourism.telangana.gov.in/home

Hotels in Vijayawada :

Located very near to Vijayawada Railway Station. Double bed room rate starts from Rs. 1200.

You can book FabHotels through online : https://www.fabhotels.com/hotels-in-vijayawada

Haritha Berm Park, is set in a stunning locale on the banks of the river Krishna, by A.P. Tourism, is a picturesque property. This is only 5 km apart from railway station. The double bed room starts from Rs. 2500

Contact Number : 9848779686

Website : https://tourism.ap.gov.in/home

Golconda Fort

Photo of Haritha Berm Park, Bhavanipuram, V D Puram, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India by Bongyatri - Sourav & Anindita

All the pictures appeared in this blog (unless and otherwise it is mentioned) is clicked by my friend Mr. Soham Roychowdhury

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