Halo Holidays - Andhra Pradesh Tour Operator - Hyderabad Tour, South India Package, Kerala Travel Tourism Package

 

Andhra Pradesh Toursim

Covering an area of over a quarter million sq. kms, Andhra Pradesh is the largest state in the south both in terms of area and population. The word 'Andhra' is equally applicable to the land, the people and the language, although the language in coarse of time developed a name of its own - Telugu. Richly endowed with mineral and organic resources, including oil and natural gas, the land .of the Telugu-speaking people has seen a succession of dynasties 300 BC onwards.

Originally an Aryan race, the Andhra migrated south of the Vindyas where they mixed with the non-Aryan stocks and they first enter history as part of the great Mauryan Empire. Subsequently Satvahanas, Ikshavakas, Pallavas, Eastern Chalukyas, Cholas, Kakalyas, Vijanagar kings, Qutab Shahi Sultans, the Mughals and finally Asaf Jahi Nizams ruled Andhra till he was who was forced to enter into a subsidiary alliance with the British in 1800.

Following independence, Andhra was the first state in India to be formed on purely linguistic basis. Basically a Hindu state influenced by the Buddhism and ruled for nearly two centuries by the Muslims, Andhra has a diversely rich heritage of Mughal architecture, Buddhist centres and is home to Indias most important place of pilgrimage the Tirupati Temple at Tirumalai.

The Telugus are warm and friendly and have a very interesting cuisine because of its northern influence and large number of non-vegetarians.


GENERAL INFORMATION

Area: 277,354 sq Kms; Capital: Hyderabad; Population: 77 million; Language: Telugu, and Urudu; Literacy: 30%; Best time to visit: October to February; Airports: Hyderabad, Visakapatnam, Vijay Wada, Tirupati & Puttaparthi.

The Geography

Bounded by Madhya Pradesh and Orissa in the north, the Bay of Bengal in the east, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in the south, and Maharashtra in the west, Andhra forms a major link between the north and south of India. From its extensive coastline, the coastal plains give rise to the Eastern Ghats. These in turn rise to form one of the oldest geological formations in India, the Deccan Plateau, on which most of Andhra Pradesh is situated at approximately 500m above sea level. Northern Andhra is mountainous. The highest peak in northern Andhra, Mahendragiri rises 1500m above sea level. The climate is generally hot and humid.

The Krishna and the Godavari are the major river systems in the state. The Godavari is the largest and broadest river of South India and the Tungabhadra is an important tributary of the Krishna. The other important rivers are the Pennar, Vamsadhara and the Nagavali, all of which is rain fed and of great economic significance because of their rich hydropower and irrigation potential. Andhra Pradesh is fed primarily by the southwest monsoon, which at times can wreck havoc in the low-lying areas, flooding the deltas and destroying lives and crops.

Highlights of Popular Places

Temples: Tirupathi - Tirumalai

Special sites: Golconda, Hyderabad, Nagarjunakonda, Qutb Shahi tombs, Warangal


 Hyderabad and Secunderabad

Hyderabad was established in the 16th century on the southern banks of the River Musi by Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah and named after his queen Hyder Mahal. Emperor Aurangzeb routed the Qutb Shahis and appointed Asaf Jah the governor of Deccan. As the Mughal Empire tottered, under Aurangzeb's successors, the Asf Jahis made themsel ves independent rulers under the title of Nizam. The Nizams became involved in the Anglo-French wars in the Deccan and had finally to enter into a subsidiary alliance with the British in1800. With Secunderabad, the former British military barracks of early 19th century, which is linked to Hyderabad by the Hussain Sagar; it forms a twin city and is the capital of Andhra Pradesh.

Hyderabad is a combination of Hindu and Islamic cultures, and is a city of f ascinating contrasts with centuries old monuments standing chock-a block with modern skyscrapers and shopping malls.

 Places of interest in and around Hyderbad

(1) Charminar (2) Laad Bazaar (3) Chowmahalla Place (4) Mecca Masjid (5) Salar Jung Museum (6) Birla Mandir Temple (7) Palanetarium & Science Museum (8) Buddha Statue & Hussain Sagar (9) Archaeological Museum (10) Osmania University (11) Nehru Zoological Park (12) Tombs of Qutb Shahi Kings and (13) Golconda Fort.

Hotel Accommodation: The Taj Krishna, Welcome Group Grand Kakatya Hotel, Holiday Inn Krishna, Hotel Bhaskar Plalace, Ramada Hotel Manohar, Viceroy, Ashok, Asrani International Hotel, Hotel Basera, The Central Court Hotel, Hotel Golonda, Hotel Java Internations, Hotel Nagarjuna, Hotel Rajdhani, Hotel Ambassador.

 

Nagarjunakonda

Named after Nagarjuna one of the most revered monks of Buddhism, Nagarjunakonda one of India's richest Buddhist sites is situated on the banks of the Krishna River in central Andhra Pradesh about 150 Kms away from Hyderabad. Archaeological evidences point to human inhabitation here from pre-historic times as early as 200,000 years back.

In 1950, the area was chosen as the site for a massive reservoir, the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam to generate electricity and for irrigation. The reservoir when full rises to a level of 180m arid is 175 Kms wide. Before the flooding in 1960, evidences of early inhabitations were excavated and restored within the walls of the nearby hilltop fort, now an island in the middle of the dam.

The Nagarjunakonda Museum also situated on the island is well laid out with Stone Age tools, coin moulds, coins and impressive sculptures including those of the Buddha. Apart from the exhibits, which offer a fascinating insight into the history of ancient Buddhist and Hindu civilizations, a model of the NagaIjunakonda Valley with the original positioning of the stupas, monasteries and university is also displayed. The museum is open on all days except Fridays and there are launches which ferry visitors between the small village of Vijayapuri on the banks of the Nagarjuna Sagar to the island twice a day.

Nagarjuna Sagar - Srisailam Wild Life Sanctuary

The largest Wild Life Sanctuary in the state, it is located 200 kms from Hyderabad near Srisailam. It is also India's largest Tiger reserves covering an area of over 3500 sq kms, it is deeply incised by the Nallamalai Hills and has a mixed deciduous and bamboo forest as well as semi-desert scrubland. There are tigers, leopards, Indian pangolins, panther, wild dogs, civet, hyena, jackals, wolves, giant squirrels, crocodiles, lizards, pythons, vipers, kraits etc., apart from over 150 species of birds.


Vishakhapatnam

This industrial and commercial heartland of Andhra Pradesh is India's largest shipbuilding yard. Popularly referred to as Vizag for short, it is the Eastern Headquarters' of the Indian Navy and the best-known sight here is the Dolphin's Nose a rocky cliff jutting into the harbour with a lighthouse on top. The hilly seaside twin city in the north known as Waltair has long beaches overlooking the Bay of Bengal.

Hotel Accommodation: Taj Residency, The Park, Dolphin Hotels, Hotel Daspala, Green Park, Hotel Meghalaya, Welcome group Grand Bay.


Vijayawada

This ancient city over 2000 years old is located at the head of the Krishna delta 70 Kms away from the coast and is surrounded by bare granite hills. Originally known as Bejjawada, its current name is believed to be after Goddess Kanakadurga or Vijaya, the presiding deity. During the Qutb Shahi rule Vijayawada was an important inland port. Today it is a major industrial hub of Andhra Pradesh and is about 256 Kms east of Hyderabad.

A colossal granite Buddha statue in the museum bears witness to the fact that Vijayawada was an important Buddhist site in the 7th century. The other attractions here include the Hindu temples, the ancient rock cave temples, 2000 years old Jain Temples and Amaravathi one of the most important Buddhist sites.

Vijaywada airport is about 20 Kms from the city and there are regular flights connecting it to Chennai and Vizag. As it is on the main Chennai to Kolkata and Chennai to Delhi railway lines, Vijaywada is an important railway junction and all express trains halt here and connects to the rest of the country very well. Being an important commercial center, Vijaywada is also well connected by road to all major towns and there is an efficient network of bus routes connecting Vijaywada to all parts of Andhra Pradesh including half hourly services to Hyderabad.

Places of interest in and around Vijayawada

(1) Kanakadurga Temple (2) Mogalarajapuram Caves (3) Undavalli Caves (4) Gandhi Stupa (5) Prakasam Barrage (6) Amaravathi (7) Kuchipudi (8) Kondapalle (9) Khamman Fort.

Hotel Accommodation: Hotel La Puram, Hotel Kandhari, Hotel Krishna Residency, Hotel Mamata, Hotel Raj Tower,


Tirumala & Trirupathi

The Tirumala hills provide a picturesque setting for one of the most important pilgrim centres in India and one of the busiest in the world, overshadowing even Jerusalem, Rome and Mecca in the sheer number of devotees visiting here. Everyday is a festival here and shops remain open day and night to serve the multitudes that throng here throughout the year. Tirupathi town situated about 20 Kms downhill Tirumala. Organization here is efficiently administered by the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams [TTD], keeping visitors fed sheltered and moving. There are special pilgrim shelters both at Tirumala and Tirupathi called Choultries. There are private hotels and lodges too at Tirupathi and buses plying from dawn to dusk ferrying visitors 'up and down the hill.

Places of interest in and around Tirumala & Tirupathi

(1) Venkateshwara Temple (2) Sila Thoranam (3) Chandragiri (4) Sri Kalahasti Temple

Hotel Accommodation: Guestline Hotels and Resorts, Hotel Mayura, Bhima Deluxe Hotel, Hotel Bhimas Paradise.


Puttaparthi

In the southwestern comer of Andhra Pradesh is Puttaparthi, the birthplace of Satya Sai Baba who claims to be the reincarnation of the Sai Baba of Shridi. The main ashram of Sri Sathya Sai Baba called "Prasanthi Nilayam" or the Abode of Highest Peace is the centre of attraction here. Thousands of his followers converge here to catch a glimpse of the Sai Baba who spends most of his time here apart from his visits to Whitefield Ashram near Bangalore in neighboring Kamataka or Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu during the hot season. He is reputed to perform various miracles and his messages of universal brotherhood have become very popular, swelling his followers worldwide to over a million.

Places of interest in and around Puttaparthi

(1) Penukonda (2) Lepakshi.

Warangal

Warangal – “one stone” – 150 km northeast of Hyderabad, was the Hindu capital of the Kakatiyan Empire in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Warangal’s fort, 4km south, is famous for its two circles of fortifications: the outer made of earth with a moat, and the inner of stone.

Hotel Accommodation: Hotel Ashok, Hotel Ekasila, Hotel Chariot.

   
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