Exploring The Interiors Of Chittoor!

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Located in the southernmost part of Andhra Pradesh, Chittoor has earned its place in history. The region has been ruled by several dynasties, including the Dravidian's, and they have left many indelible marks here. In 1911, the district was formed by dividing Cuddapah, SPS Nellore District, and North Arcot, and Chittoor District celebrated its centenary in the year 2011.

Silathoranam is a natural arch in Tirumala.

Photo of Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, India by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

In fact, the latter has given our nation many leaders, poets, scholars, and artists and it is home to some of the most magnificent temples in the country. Not only does the district attract devotees, but its rich cultural legacy also brings travellers in search of superior handicrafts, artefacts, and hand-loom. Plan your trip between October and January and a cooler weather will welcome you to this multifaceted district

Chittoor District

ONE DAY: Travel a little over 170kms from Bengaluru to Angallu and further up, to the Horsely Hills and enjoy the lush greenery, gorgeous sight, and the fresh crisp air at the hilltop destination.

TWO DAY: Adding to the above, this journey also takes you to Neerugattuvari Palli.

THREE DAY: On a different route, this three-day trip from Bengaluru stops first at Palamaneru, then Chandragiri Fort, continues to Tirumala, Tiruchanur, and Srikalahasti before making the last stop at Kanipakam and heading back to the city.

How To Get There!

Chittoor is well connected to the rest of India. You can take a flight to Tirupati—it has its own airport with regular flights from major Indian cities. The closest airport to SPS Nellore District is in Chennai. There are regular trains to both Chittoor and the government also runs buses to these districts.

Best Time To Visit!

Summers are hot and dry in Chittoor. The best time to visit is between September and February when the weather is very pleasant. If you don’t mind moderate showers, then visit between June and September.

Going Around!

The easiest way to get around in Chittoor is to rent a cab. The distance between Chittoor and SPS Nellore Districts is 225 kilometres.

You can book one, two and three day travel packages with APTDC to travel deeper into Andhra Pradesh.

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DESTINATIONS BEYOND TIRUPATI

These are some of the must-see sites in the Chittoor District!

SRI VENKATESWARA SWAMY TEMPLE

Day 1

This world renowned temple in Chittoor district is a must visit. Located on the seventh peak of the Tirumala Hill, Venkatachala, this temple houses the most breathtaking idol of Lord Venkateshwara that will leave you spellbound. According to the Hindu scriptures, Vishnu, driven by the love for his devotees, incarnated as Venkateswara and appeared for the salvation and upliftment of humanity in Kaliyuga. This is considered the supreme form of Vishnu in this age. Hence, the Venkateswara Swamy Temple is also called Kaliyuga Vaikuntam.

Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple. Credit: Dinodia

Photo of Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple, New Street, Tirupati, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, India by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

KAPILATHEERTAM

Day 2

While all the temples in and around Tirupati are dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara, this holy place is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Situated in Tirupati, on the way to Tirumala, it is one of the most illustrious South Indian Shiva temples and also features a majestic waterfall. The temple derives its name from Kapila Maha Muni, who received the Shiva-Parvati Divya Darshan due to his devotion and sacrifice.

The Kapilatheertam Temple.

Photo of Sri Kapileswara Swamy Temple, Ambedhkar Colony, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

CHANDRAGIRI FORT

Day 3

Once the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire, Chandragiri is a small village, popular with tourists because of its beautiful fort. The main fort, called the Raja Mahal, features a museum with antique sculptures, swords, and household items which belonged to the Vijayanagara empire and their beloved king, Sri Krishnadevaraya. Tourists visit the fort for its historical importance. Take a stroll in the lavish gardens and don’t miss the light and sound show that happens in the evenings.

The Chandragiri Fort.

Photo of Chandragiri Fort, Chandragiri, Andhra Pradesh, India by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

SRI KALAHASTI TEMPLE

Situated around 38 kilometres from Tirupati in the town of Sri Kalahasti is this famous Shiva temple. ‘Sri’ means spider and ‘Kala’ means snake and ‘hasti’ stands for elephant. These three sacrificed their lives for Lord Shiva (or Lord Maheshwara) and were granted moksha; the temple is named after them. The inner sanctum of the temple was constructed around the fifth century and the outer temple was built in the 12th century. Devotees come here to perform the Rahu Ketu Pooja to get rid of the faults in their planetary orientation.

Vayu Lingam at Sri Kalahasti Temple.

Photo of Srikalahasti Temple, Srikalahasti, Andhra Pradesh, India by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

SILATHORANAM

Day 4

Silathoranam is a natural rock arch in Tirumala. It is 3-metre-high and 8-metrelong and is believed to be about 1.5 billion years old. A geological wonder, there are only three such structures in the world. ‘Sila’ means rock and ‘thoranam’ means a garland strung over a threshold, connecting two vertical columns or an ‘arch’ as in this case. According to the myth, Lord Venkateswara, the presiding deity of Tirumala, appeared through this arch and made this place his abode.

Silathoranam is a geological wonder. There are only three such natural features in the world, the other two being in the U.S and the U.K.

TALAKONA

Falling from a height of 270 feet, it is the highest waterfall in Andhra Pradesh. Surrounded by dense sandalwood and wild flowers, this place is quite unique. It does get crowded by noon but come here in the morning and you can see the magnificent sight of waters descending from the skies above and pooling at your feet undisturbed. It is said that the waters of Talakona are enriched with herbs and they can treat skin conditions.

PARASURAMESHWARA TEMPLE

Day 5

In the small sleepy village of Gudimallam, the Parasurameshwara Temple has the earliest shivalingam in India, dating back to third century. The main temple consists a shrine in the lower level. The entrance to the shrine is fascinating with a walled enclosure; while the ornamental pillared porch makes the architecture truly unparalleled.

Parasurameshwara Swamy Temple, Gudimallam.

Photo of Parasuramesvara Temple, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

HANDICRAFTS

Discovering the finest centres of art and craft in the state.

Photo of Exploring The Interiors Of Chittoor! by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

SRIKALAHASTI

Kalamkari, a style that involves hand painting a fabric using a pen, is prevalent in Andhra Pradesh and the centre for all the work is Srikalahasti (38 kilometres from Tirupati). Artists draw motifs and fill their designs with natural dyes. At the handloom shop set up by the side of APTDC Hotel, you can find pretty table cloths, folders, wall hangings, sarees, and bags. An artist spends long hours to create these beautiful products, so expensive as they may seem, they are definitely worth the price.

Photo of Srikalahasti, Andhra Pradesh, India by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia
Day 6

MADHAVAMALA

Madhavmala is a small village near Srikalahasti, popular for its wooden crafts. The handicrafts have intricate work depicting Hindu mythological stories Pradesh and you will find many artists selling flower pots, vessels, and decorative pieces. Around 100 families from the village are engaged in this craft and they are keeping alive this heritage of the state. When here, buy earthy lamps, musical instruments, animal figurines, and other items. These make for great souvenirs and on the other side, buyers support the livelihood of these artists who put their life and blood into each piece. Angallu is another place in the Chittoor district is also famous for terracotta.

Photo of Madhavamala, Andhra Pradesh, India by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

PAPANAIDUPETA

Beadmaking craft has been around since 2,500 BC and the craftsmen in the village of Papanaidupeta have inherited it. There are very few artists who are still involved in the beadmaking crafts, so visit them and encourage this age-old craft and they are carved out of red sandalwood that is locally sourced. The ingenuity of artists is evident in their works—panels, columns, framework, furniture, mythological figurines, and traditional dolls tell the story of their dedication and skills.

PALAMANERU

Palamaneru is the hub of terracotta in Andhra Pradesh and you will find many artists selling flower pots, vessels, and decorative pieces. Around 100 families from the village are engaged in this craft and they are keeping alive this heritage of the state. When here, buy earthy lamps, musical instruments, animal figurines, and other items. These make or great souvenirs and on the other side, buyers support the livelihood of these artists who put their life and blood into each piece. Angallu is another place in the Chittoor district is also famous for terracotta.

LITTLE BOUTIQUE GEMS

The properties in Tirupati that offer the best locations to explore in the region.

Photo of Palamaner, Andhra Pradesh, India by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

MARASA SAROVAR PREMIERE

This luxury hotel is conveniently located at the foot of Tirumala Hills, mere 33 minutes from the Lord Venkateswara Temple. For the first time in India, a hotel has themed its concept around the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu and the result is soothing. Its 121 rooms and suites offer stunning views of the hills or the hotel’s water bodies. The property also features two speciality restaurants, a bar, a fully-equipped health club, a swimming pool, and a spa. For business travellers, it has a business centre to host trainings, workshops, meetings, and events.

Marasa Sarovar Premier Hotel has themed its concept around the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu and the result is soothing.

Photo of Marasa Sarovar Premiere, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

HOTEL FORTUNE SELECT GRAND RIDGE

The 138-room hotel is just a few minutes away from the city centre. It has two speciality restaurants, a bar, a swimming pool, a gym and spa, and a business centre. A great advantage is the travel desk that can assist you in planning your excursions. Also, the hotel also has a banquet that can accommodate up to 1,500 people.

Photo of Fortune Select Grand Ridge, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

HARITHA HILL RESORT BY APTDC, HORSLEY HILLS

Escape to the hills of Tirupati and stay at the Haritha Hill Resort run by the state government. This quaint property features rooms with idyllic views of the surrounding hills and forests. You can choose from a range of bungalows, cottages and the suites, and visit nearby tourist attractions.

Photo of Haritha Hill Resort, Horsley Hills, Andhra Pradesh, India by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

HOTEL MINERVA GRAND

A boutique business hotel, Minerva Grand has comfortable rooms equipped with flat screen TVs and coffee/tea makers. For your daily dose of coffee, head to the hotel’s café, Minerva Coffeehouse. You can have your meals at Blue Box, a multi-cuisine restaurant. The hotel offers a 24-hour front desk, a business centre, and a fitness centre.

Photo of Hotel Minerva Grand, AP State Housing Board, Hyderabad, Telangana, India by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

Dont finish your trip right here! Go on further to explore the SPS Nellore District. Check out the next article for more details on SPS Nellore District!

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