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At a distance of 60 Kms from Hyderabad, Yadagirigutta is a popular Hindu Temple of Narasimha Swamy situated on a hillock. This is a cave temple that happens to be on the very summit of a hill. The conventional structure of a temple that is visible from the outside has been superimposed upon it. This temple has five forms of Narasimha.This cave temple is situated at an altitude of 300 feet on the hillock, Yadagiri. Yadagiri Gutta is renowned as Vedagiri because Lord Vishnu brought all Vedas and believed to be kept all the Vedas on this sacred place. Annual Brahmothsavams are held from Shudha Vidiya to Dwadasi for 11 days (in Febrauary & March months).Timings: 4:30 AM to 9:30 PM.
At a distance of 81 Kms from Warangal and 81 Kms from Hyderabad, the 2000 years old Jain Temple of Mahavira is located in Kolanupaka village (also called as Kulpak) in Nalgonda district. The temple is decorated with beautiful images of Tirthankaras and it's one of the important Jain pilgrimage sites in the country. The 5 ft high image of Mahavira is carved entirely out of jade. Kolanupaka was the second capital town of Kalyani Chalukyas during the 11th century. During this period the village was a great Jain centers in the south. The architecture of the temple is stunning with wonderful carvings on the temple walls. To visit Kolanupaka, one has to take diversion at Aleru town (the nearest Rail head) between Hyderabad & Warangal (75 Kms from Hyderabad & Warangal) and travel for 6 Kms. The Jain temple is 0.5 Kms from Kolanupaka Bus Station.Timings: 5 AM to 8 PMIf you are travelling from Hyderabad to Warangal, Kolanupaka can be visited with 1-2 Hrs extra effort.
At a distance of 96 kms from Hyderabad, Medak Cathedral is the largest church in entire Asia. The Cathedral built in Gothic style was inaugurated in 1914 and completed in 1924. The main tower of the church is 175 feet high and the cathedral can accommodate 5000 people at a time. There are 3 magnificent stained glass windows depicting the life of Jesus Christ. The farmers toiled to erect the church and Thomas Edward Harding, the architect, left no stone unturned in building the cathedral. The tile's design is an intricate one in six colours red, brown, black, yellow, chocolate and grey. The roof of the church is sound proof being made by hollow sponge material and has an impressive style of vaulting. A window depicts the birth scene of Jesus, angels, Prophet or Issaiah, Mary and astrologers. The left side of the church bears the painted crucification scene and in the center the ascension of Jesus is painted bright.Medak Buses usually start from Jubilee Bus Station.
Warangal or Orugallu or Ekasila Nagaram is a historical city in Warangal district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is located in the Telangana region of the state. At a distance of 150 Kms from Hyderabad, Warangal is the district headquarters and fourth largest city in Andhra Pradesh.Warangal was the capital of a Hindu Shaivite kingdom ruled by the Kakatiya dynasty from the 12th to the 14th centuries. The Kakatiyas left many monuments, including an impressive fortress, four massive stone gateways, Thousand Pillar Temple, the Swayambhu temple dedicated to Shiva, and the Ramappa temple situated near Ramappa Lake. Along with these, there are many Architectural Monuments, Wild Life Sanctuary, Musical Garden, Rock Garden, etc.The cultural and administrative distinction of the Kakatiyas was mentioned by the famous traveler Marco Polo. Famous rulers of Kakatiya dynasty include Ganapathi Deva, Prathapa Rudra, and Rani Rudramma Devi. After the defeat of Prataparadura, the Musunuri Nayaks united seventy two Nayak chieftains and captured Warangal from Delhi sultanate and ruled for fifty years. Jealousy and mutual rivalry between Nayaks ultimately led to the downfall of Hindus in 1370 A.D. Bahmani Sultanate later broke up into several smaller sultanates, of which the Golconda sultanate ruled Warangal.
At a distance of 60 Kms Nagajuna Sagar, 30 Kms from Srisailam and 140 Kms from Hyderabad, the Nagarjuna Sagar - Srisailam Sanctuary (or Srisailam Sanctuary) is the largest tiger reserve in the country, spread across 3568 Sq. Kms. It is spread between Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir & Srisailam reservoir. It was declared a sanctuary in 1973 and was incorporated under Project Tiger a decade later.Animals that can be found here are the panthers, tigers, spotted deer, mouse deer, black buck, sambars, chousingha nilgai, tree straw, mugger crocodile, and wolfs, sloth beer & wild dogs. Mannanur (104 Kms from Mahbubnagar towards Srisailam), Kandla Kunta (30 Kms from Macherla & 60 Kms from Sagar towards Srisailam), Vatwarla Palle (30 Kms from Srisailm towards Mahbubnagar) are different gateways into the sanctuary. No forest department safaris are available. Accommodation is available at Srisailam, Macherla & Mannanur and private tour operators can arrange trip into the forest from here.
Nagarjuna Sagar, located at a distance of 165 Kms from Hyderabad in Nalgonda district, is one of the most prominent Buddhist centers in India. Known in ancient days as Vijayapuri, Nagarjuna Sagar takes its present name from Nagarjuna, one of the most revered Buddhist monks lived in 2nd century AD. It is also a place of immense archaeological significance & excavations revealed this place as a center for the propagation of Buddhist teachings in South India during 3rd century AD.One of the early river valley civilizations took birth here. Enthused by the peaceful environs of this place, Buddhists made this land a great hub of learning, setting up one of the four major Viharas here. Further down in history, one of the first Hindu kingdoms of South India, Ikshvakus made this city their capital. Today known as Nagarjuna Sagar, this holy land now boasts one of the world's tallest dams.Nagarjuna Sagar Dam was completed in 1966 with a height of 124 meters and a length of over 1450 meters with 26 crest gates. The lake created by the dam is the third largest manmade lake in the world. There is a viewpoint at a distance of 4 Kms from the dam that offers a panoramic view of the amazing landscape. Nagarjuna Konda, where the ancient Buddhist excavations are found is in middle of the waters of Nagarjuna Sagar and can be reached by a boat.AP tourism operates a wonderful cottage on the banks of Sagar lake, called Vijaya Vihar.
At a distance of 23 Kms from Nagarjuna Sagar Bus Station & 14 Kms from Boat Launch Station, Nagarjuna Konda is a small island in Nagarjuna Sagar Lake which houses the excavated remains of the Buddhist civilization of 2nd century.Discovered in 1926, the remains of the Buddhist settlements and university are preserved in the museum on Nagarjuna Konda. There are many structures of those ancient days still remain scattered on the island. Constructed in the shape of a Buddhist Vihara, the museum houses a stupendous collection of relics of Buddhist art and culture. Famous relics include a small tooth and an ear-ring believed to be of the Buddha. The main stupa of Nagarjuna Konda called Mahachaitya is believed to contain the sacred relics of the Buddha. A partly ruined monolithic statue of the Buddha, that's at once a striking-image of peace and poise, is the main attraction at the museum. This place can be reached by a boat ride from Boat Launch Station operated by AP Tourism from Vijayapuri South. There are only two trips per day at 9:30 AM and 1:30 PM.
At a distance of 58 Kms from Srisailam & 173 Kms from Hyderabad, Mallela Theertham is a charming waterfall located in the dense Nallamala forest. With a height of about 150 feet, water directly falls from a high cliff on a Shiv Lings kind of rock formations. Bordered by think forest, the surroundings of the falls offer different experience. The water comes from a small stream which flows through the dense jungle and meets the Krishna River. About 380 well laid steps need to be walked down to reach the falls from the road point. The pool below the falls is closed with fencing on all sides. However, there is a path to reach the bottom of the falls and play in the water, if the flow of the stream is not peak.After travelling 50 Kms from Srisailam towards Hyderabad, you have to take right turn into forest at Vatwarlapally and drive for about 8 Kms to reach the falls. The approach road towards the falls is bumpy and gets worse in peak monsoons. Autos and Jeeps are also available from Vatwarlapally. You may not find much water in summer season.The water from main falls flow into another pool in the vicinity forming another small but cute waterfall, though reaching bottom of this fall is little difficult.Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM. Entrance: Rs. 10 per head, Car Parking: Rs 20.
At a distance of 14 Kms from Nagarjuna Sagar & 176 Kms from Hyderabad, Ethipothala waterfalls are striking falls on River Chandra Vanka (a tributary of River Krishna), down the waters of the Dam. With an elevation of about 70 feet, the water flows down from Chandravanka Mountains. The falls are located in a beautiful locality surrounded by greenery all the sides. It is possible to climb down to get close to the falls and bath in the waters of the pool at bottom. But not allowed to go to foot of the falls and it's dangerous as well.To reach the falls from Nagarjuna Sagar, go towards Macherla on SH1 for about 8 Kms and take left turn to Ethipothala Falls (sign board available) and drive for 3 Kms; the road is good throughout.AP Tourism has developed a very good restaurant with two rooms for accommodation and wonderful garden with toilet facilities at this place. Once can enjoy half day trip at this place watching falls, bathing and roaming around.Timings: 6:30 AM to 9 PM. Entry fee: Rs 20 for adults & Rs 15 for children.
At a distance of 50 Kms from Warangal and 130 Kms from Hyderabad, Phakal Lake is constructed by Ganapathi Deva in 1213 AD by harnessing a small tributary of the Krishna River. This lake is spread over an area of 30 Sq. Kms.Adjacent to the lake, Pakhal Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over 839 sq. kms. The sanctuary presents a beautiful landscape with a dense and a rich store of animals. it is indeed a delight for the tourists to see so many animals amidst a wonderful backdrop.One can spot a tiger or a leopard or a bear and one can find a herd of deer roaming about freely in the wild. The sanctuary is also harboring Marmals like panthers, hyensa, wolf, wild dogs, jackals, sloth bear, nilgal, porcupine, langoor, Reptiles like python, cobra, common krait, monitor lizard and Crocodiles.This place is connected by direct buses from Warangal.
At a distance of 75 Kms from Warangal, 29 Kms from Ramappa Temple & 219 Kms from Hyderabad, Laknavaram Lake is a wonderful lake close to Etunagaram highway (NH202).Built by Kakatiyas in 13th century, this is the largest lake in Warangal district. It still provides irrigation water for over 50,000 acres of land. The lake is surrounded by thick forests of Etunagaram Sanctuary. It is advicable to leave this place before it gets dark. Boating facility is available here. The suspension bridge across the lake is a special attraction. This place is currently being developed as a tourist attraction.To reach this place from Warangal, take Etunagaram highway, go straight past Mulug and Jangalapally (left turn here takes to Ramappa Temple - 11 Kms). After 11 Kms past Jangalapally on the highway (about 1.5 before Chalwai), take right turn go straight for 7 Kms and reach the destination.
At a distance of 190 Kms from Srisailam, 90 Kms from Mantralayam, 90 Kms from Mahanandi and 220 Kms from Hyderabad, Alampur is famous for very ancient Navabrahma temples dedicated to Lord Shiva built in 7th century by Badami Chalukyas. Located at a distance of 20 kms from Kurnool, Alampur is the place where River Thungabhadra and River Krishna confluence, and known as Dakshina Kailasam. Alampur is considered to be the western gateway of SriSailam. The Nava Brahma temples are Taraka Brahma, Swarga Brahma, Padma Brahma, Bala Bhramha, Garuda Bhramha, Kumara Bhramha, Arka Bhramha, Vira Bhramha and the Vishwa Bhramha. These temples are all enclosed in a courtyard on the left bank of the river Tungabhadra. The temples in Alampur exhibits excellent specimen of Chalukyan architecture and sculpture. Several sculptures on the temples which date back to the 8th century are still prominent and beautiful.Frequent buses and private vehicles are available from Kurnool.
Srisailam is one of the most important pilgrimage centers of Lord Shiva in India, and it's one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. Srisailam, also known as Sriparvata is situated in the Rishabgiri Hills on the banks of River Krishna in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, at a distance of 215 Kms from Hyderabad and 180 Kms from Kurnool.At an altitude of 457 meters above sea level, this ancient temple built in the Dravidian style with lofty towers and sprawling courtyards is one of the finest specimens of Vijayanagar architecture. Though the exact origins of the temple are not available, the Satavahanas of the 2nd century AD have referred to it. The Kakatiyas and the Vijayanagara kings have made several endowments here. This temple is of immense religious, historical and architectural significance with self-manifested linga. The Skanda Purana has a chapter dedicated to it. The great religious leader Aadi Sankara is said to have visited this shrine and composed his immortal Sivananda Lahiri here.The unique feature of this kshetram is the combination of Jyothirlingam and Mahasakthi (in the form of Bramarambha) in one campus, which is very rare and only one of its kind.Srisailam Dam built over River Krishna is one of the largest dams in the state of Andhra Pradesh and the largest hydroelectric project in the state. The dam offers wonderful views of the surrounding Nallamala hills.Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Sanctuary, India's largest tiger reserve is spread over 3500 Sq kms.
At a distance of 109 Kms from Warangal and 253 Kms from Hyderabad, Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the oldest sanctuaries of AP state. This sanctuary is spread across 806 sq. kms area. Eturnagaram Sanctuary has a water source called Dayyam Vagu, which separates the sanctuary into two parts. This sanctuary provides shelter to Tiger, Leopard, Panther, Wolf, Wild Dogs, Jackals Sloth Bear, Chousingha, Black Buck, Nilgai, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Four Horned Antilope, Chinkara, Black Buck and Giant Squirrels. The sanctuary is also home to a wide range of bird species.Best time to visit Eturnagaram Sanctuary is October to April.
At a distance of 40 Kms from Vijayawada, 33 Kms from Guntur, 105 Kms from Nagarjuna Sagar & 253 Kms from Hyderabad, Amaravati, on the banks of River Krishna, is the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage center.It is best known for the Great Stupa or Maha Chaitya, believed to have been 32m height and 32m diameter, larger than the one at Sanchi (Bhopal). The origins of the stupa go back to the 2nd / 3rd century BC, the reign of Ashoka. The Stupa is partly reconstructed on the same site. The excavations by Colin Mackenzie in 1797 recovered the magnificent railings and sculptured friezes.Amaravathi is also known for the Amaralingeswara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva built in 10th/11th century by eastern Chalukyas.The Archaeological Museum includes collections from Buddhist sites belong to 3rd century BC to 12th century. It contains panels, chakras and caskets containing relics, broken railings and sculptures etc, arranged in different galleries. Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM. Friday Closed.
Mantralayam is associated with the famous saint Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy. Located at a distance of 80 km from Kurnool and 253 Km from Hyderabad, Mantralayam is the place where the saint took Jeeva Samadhi (tomb). Situated in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, this place is also known as Manchale. Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy lived between 1601 and 1671 was an influential saint in Hinduism. Followers of the saint consider him to be an incarnation of Bhakta Prahallada, who was saved by Vishnu in the avatar of Narasimha. Shri Raghavendra Swamy is said to have performed many miracles during his lifetime and has a large following even today. Mantralayam is a small and peaceful town situated on the banks of the River Tungabhadra, and gets thousands of devotees from all over the country.The male devotees who want to perform Pooja themselves have to wear dhoti. All the devotees are allowed in normal wear to pay a visit to the inner sanctum where the Samadhi is located. Accommodation is provided by the Mutt in the premises of the temple and rooms are available from Rs.200 onwards per day.
Vijayawada, also known as Bezawada, is a city in the state of Andhra Pradesh located on the banks of the Krishna River. At a distance of 257 Kms from Hyderabad, it is bounded by the Indrakiladri Hills on the West and Budameru River on the North. This is the largest railway junction of the South Central Railway, situated along the Chennai-Howrah and Chennai-Delhi rail route. This is the third largest city in Andhra Pradesh with population over 1 million. Vijayawada, the 'City of Victory' gets its name from the legend, which says it was here on the Indrakiladri Hill, that Arjuna won the blessings of Lord Shiva for his penance. The discovery of Stone Age artifacts along the banks of River Krishna from Machilipatnam to Nagarjuna Sagar indicates that this area was inhabited long before.Vijayawada is also the centre of Andhra culture. The Chalukyas once conquered this place. Kings Choda Gangadeva and Ananga Bhimadeva of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty in the 12th century whose capital was in modern Bhubaneswar and who built the Lingaraja temple had re-annexed considerable part of modern Andhra region and marched up to Godavari but could not cross the wide river bed. He established a town 'Vijaya Bahuda' which means 'return after winning' which became known as Vijayawada.
At a distance of 18 Kms from Vijayawada Railway Station & 258 Kms from Hyderabad, Kondapalli Fort is situated in the Kondapalli village. This 14th century Fort is believed to have been built by the Reddy King of Kondaveedu, Prolaya Vema Reddy. The King used to visit this fort for relaxation and recreation. Later, the Fort was used as a business centre and then again as a military training base by the British rulers. Situated on a hill, the fort has an impressive three storied rock tower. It passed hands successively and was witness to the rise and fall of many dynasties. Near the fort there is a Dargah of a Persian Saint, Gareeb Sahib. Kondapalli is also famous for its wooden toys. Kondapalli toys are carved out of locally available special light softwood and painted with vegetable dyes, and vibrant enamel colours are world famous artistic wonders.Public and private transportation is available to reach Kondapallli from Vijayawada. Kodapalli village is situated on NH221
At a distance of 95 Kms from Warangal & 260 Kms from Hyderabad, Medaram is famous for Samakka Sarakka Jatara held once in every two years during the month of February. It is located within Ethurnagaram Wildlife Sanctury.Sammakka is mother of Sarakka; both belong to the tribal community in Medaram village. In 14th century, Sammakka & Sarakka fought against Kakatiyas ruler Prathaparudra who tried to occupy the tribal territories. Finally, they lost their lives along with all their family members during the brutal fight.The Sammakka Sarakka Jatara (Festival) is held to offer tribute to the brave mother-daughter warriors. Approximately 6 million people converge over three days around the small village of Medaram and its adjacent, Jampanna Vagu. This fair is said to be the largest repeating aggregation of tribal communities in the whole world.
At a distance of 12 Kms from Vijayawada Railway Station & 287 Kms from Hyderabad, Mangalagiri in Guntur district is famous for Panakala Narasimha Swamy Temple on the hill and Laxmi Narasimha Swamy Temple at foot of the hill.Panakala Narasimha Swamy Temple - The idol is said to be Swambhu. The idol is covered by metal face and only the mouth is visible & it's widely opened. The God takes jaggery water (Panakam) as offering. The water is poured into the mouth, only half of the water is consumed and remaining is thrown out.The temple is opened only till 3 PM.Laxmi Narasimha Swamy Temple ' Yudhishtira, the eldest of the pandavas is said to be the founder of the chief image of this temple and the deity here is called Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy. The temple has a very tall 153 feet tower with beautiful sculpture which has 11 stairs. It was constructed by Raja Vasireddi Venkatadri Naidu, during the years 1807-09.The Brahmothsavams held in feb/march attract lakhs of devotees.
Mahanandi is a holy Shivaite pilgrimage center located in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh. At a distance of 15 km from Nandyal, 80 Kms from Kurnool and 290 Kms from Hyderabad, it is located near Gopavaram village. Located to the east of Nallamala Hills, Mahanandi is a picturesque village surrounded by thick forests. Within 15 km radius from Mahanandi, there are nine Nandis (Bulls) known as Nava Nandis. Mahanandi is famous for the Mahanandiswara Temple and it houses one of the Nava Nandis. This 7th century shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva is very famous and sacred place. Though the initial structure was built by Chalukyas in 7th century, several additions were done by Nanda Dynasty in 10th century and Vijayanagara Kings in 15th and 16th centuries. The gopuram over central sanctum is built in Badami Chalukyan style of architecture and other structures in the temple are in Vijayanagara style.The remarkable feature here is the crystal clear water in Pushkarini which flows throughout the year. The water is so clear and pure that even a needle at the bottom can be seen clearly. There is a huge Nandi statue outside the Mahanandiswara Temple.Other places of interest include Kodanda Ramalayam and the Kameswari Devi Temple. A famous festival is held here annually in the months of February and March.
Yaganti in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh is famous Sri Yagantiswamy Temple (also called Umamaheshwar Temple) dedicated to Lord Shiva, constructed in 15th century. At a distance of 53 Kms from Nandyal, 85 Kms from Kurnool & 305 Kms from Hyderabad, the temple is situated at a distance of 13 kms from Banaganapalle, the mandal head quarter. This temple was constructed by the first Vijayanagara Kings Harihara & Bukka Rayalu in 15th century according to Vaishnavaite tradition. An amazing feature of this temple is its Pushkarini with very pure water. No one knows how the water flows in & out of Pushkarini in all the seasons. Devotees consider that a bath in the holy Pushkarini before visiting Shiva is highly beneficial. It is proved that the Nandi idol in front of the temple is continuously increasing its size, at the rate of 1 inch per 20 years.According to history, 'crows' do not fly near temple premises. As per legend, when Agastya was praying here, crows disturbed him from his meditation so, he blight the crows not to enter the premises. Shivarathri is celebrated and a large number of devotees from all over the state.Buses are available to Yaganti from Banaganapalli twice a day at 7 AM & 3:30 PM.
At a distance of 53 Kms from Yaganti, 80 Kms from Nandyal, 100 Kms from Ahobilam & 318 Kms from Hyderabad, Belum Caves are the second largest caves in India and the longest caves in India.Situated between Nandyal and Tadipatri in Kurnool district, the caves are 3229 meters long. These caves have long passages, spacious chambers, fresh water galleries and siphons. The deepest point of caves is at 120 feet from entrance level. The caves were formed due to erosion in limestone deposit in the area by Chitravati River, millions of years ago. Now Chitravati River flows almost 30 km south of Belum. There is a big Buddha statue near the caves. This place was used as Meditation Hall by Buddhist monks in ancient days. AP Tourism has developed pathways and bridges for easy access of the caves. A small canteen is run AP Tourism near the entrance of the caves. This place is very close to Kolimigundla village (around 2 Kms) on Nandyal - Tadipatri route, connected by frequent buses.
Ahobilam is an important pilgrimage center located in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh at an altitude of above 3000 feet. At a distance of 50 kms from Nandyal, 120 Kms from Kurnool and 340 Kms from Hyderabad, this is said to be the place where the Lord Narasimha (an incarnation of Vishnu - meaning 'Human with Lion head') killed Hiranyakasipu and saved Prahalada. The temples are built by Vijayanara kings around 16th century, there are few inscriptions indicating the involvement of Chalukyas of 8th century.Situated amidst dense Nallamala Forest, Ahobilam is one of the 108 Divya Desams. This place is also called as Nava Narasimha Kshetra since Lord Narasimha is worshipped in 9 different forms and separate temples exist for all the forms. Few of these temples have easy access, but most of them have to be reached by difficult treks through thick forest and rocky paths. The holy shrines of Ahobilam are praised by the famous Tamil poet Thirumangai Mannan. The consort of the Lord, Mahalakshmi took avatar as Chenchulakshmi among local tribal and married the Lord. The town is divided into tow parts, Lower Ahobilam and Upper Ahobilam. All the 9 shrines can be visited in 2 days with help of guide. Ahobilam is very well connected by bus with nearest town Allagadda (20 Kms away), which is connected to Kurnool, Cudappah, any many other towns in Andhra Pradesh.
At a distance of 70 Kms from Vijayawada & 340 Kms from Hyderabad, Machilipatnam is a port town and the headquarters of the Krishna District. It is renowned for its cotton textiles, especially the finely woven muslins and brightly coloured prints. Products include Hand printed silk and cotton saris, upholstery, sling bags and dresses. This was once the principal port town in the Krishna Delta, but now little can be seen of this port town's mercantile past. There are Dutch tombs with carved instructions and coats of arms bearing dates from 1649 to 1725, a reminder of the colonial history of Machilipatnam.Regular RTC buses are operated to Machilipatnam from Vijayawada Central Bus Station.
At a distance of 95 Kms from Vijayawada & 349 Kms from Hyderabad, Kolleru Lake is a large freshwater lake spread over an area of 300 Sq. Miles between Krishna and Godavari delta. It is home to migratory birds between October and March every year. Now declared as Bird Sanctuary, the lake is a great picnic spot and a paradise for birdwatchers. The lake was an important habitat for an estimated 20 million resident and migratory birds. The visitors include Open Bill Storks, Painted Storks, Glossy Ibises, White Ibises, Teals, Pintails, Shovellers, Red-Crested Pochards, Blackwinged Stilts, Avocets, Common Redshanks, Wigeons, Gadwalls and Cormorants, etc. The lake is approachable from all four sides of the lake by road: Atapaka - 2.5 Kms from Kaikaluru & 25 Kms from Eluru, Murthiraju Tank - 8 kms from Nidamarru & 45 Kms from Eluru, Gudivakalanka - 15 kms from Eluru. Watchtowers are available at these places for bird watching. Eluru is connected by frequent buses from Vijayawada.
At a distance of 83 Kms from Vijayawada, 11 Kms from Machilipatnam & 351 Kms from Hyderabad, the Manginapudi Beach is scenic beach on Bay of Bengal. A unique feature of this beach is that it has black soil instead of the sand like other beaches. On the occasion of Magha Poornima lakhs of pilgrims gather here to take a holy dip in the sea. An old light house is one of the added attractions. A number of beach resorts are coming up to cater to the tourist crowd. On the banks of the sea coast, Dattashram is an ancient pilgrimage site comprising a temple of Lord Shiva. Owing to the sanctification of 9 wells of bath, like Rameswaram, Manginapudi is also known as Datta Rameswaram. Several buses are available to Manginapudi from Vijayawada and Machilipatnam.
Bhadrachalam is a pilgrimage town in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh, situated on the banks of the river Godavari. At a distance of 120 Kms from Khammam and 320 Kms from Hyderabad, Bhadrachalam is renowned for the famous Sri Rama Temple built in 17th century.According to legends, a saint called Bhadra did penance here to seek Rama's blessings. Sri Rama appeared before him and named him Bhadrachalam or Bhadradri, after whom the place was named. The temple for Lord Rama was built by a devotee called Kancherla Gopanna popularly known as Bhakta Ramadasu in the 17th century. Gopanna was the Tasildar of Bhadrachalam and constructed the temple using public donations. But the Golconda Sultans were misled and felt that Gopanna had misused the government funds to build the temple. He was imprisoned in a dungeon at Golconda Fort. Lord Rama is said to have miraculously appeared before the Sultan and paid the money spent by Gopanna, after which he was released. Gopanna then became Bhadrachala Ramadasa and went on composing several songs in Telugu in praise of Rama.This holy town with beautiful landscapes provided by River Godavari attracts several devotees throughout the year from all parts of AP and surrounding states. This holy river houses most of the sacred shrines of the town in and around its banks.Sri Rama Navami and Kartika Poornima are the major festivals celebrated here.
Papi Kondalu is a breathtakingly beautiful hill range bounded by River Godavari in the state of Andhra Pradesh. At a distance of 410 kms from Hyderabad and 60 Kms from Rajahmundry, Papi Kondalu is spread across East Godavari, West Godavari and Khammam districts. Entire area of Papi Kondalu is covered by tropical rain forests and it was recently declared as a protected National Park.Papi Kondalu has to be reached by boat ride from Rajahmundry, Pattisam (35 Kms from Rajahmundry), Polavaram (40 Kms from Rajahmundry), Kunavaram (50 Kms from Bhadrachalam) or Sriram Giri (60 Kms from Bhadrachalam). Earlier there used to be boat services from Rajahmundry to Bhadracham, but currently they are restricted for different reasons.The boat rides usually include full-day trips starting from Rajahmundry/Pattisam/Polavaram/Kunavaram/Sreeram Giri with break at Perantallapalli and back. Both AP Tourism and Private operators offer these tours from Rajahmundry. There are also one-way trips between Rajahmundry/ Pattisam/Polavaram and Kunavaram/Sreeram Giri. There are few private operators who offer 2 day trips from Rajahmundry with overnight stay at Perantallapalli. Trips usually start early morning between 6 to 9 AM.From distance you would feel that the hills are merging together, however the boat cruises through the narrow width of Godavari and this is the best of the entire trip. The beauty of Godavari and Papi Kondalu is exposed to the maximum in the Telugu movie - Godavari.
At a distance of 160 Kms from Annavaram, 15 Kms from Narasapur & 430 Kms from Hyderabad, Antharvedi is the place where Godavari confluences with Bay of Bengal. This place is also famous for Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple situated on the banks of River Godavari. In this temple, the deity is faced towards West instead of East as in other temples. Vashishta Sevashram is situated on a small island near River Godavari and can be reached by a boat from the bank near temple. There is a small Shiva Temple near the main temple. Bramhotsavams celebrated here are very famous and attract lakhs of devotees from the whole state. Other festivals celebrated here include Sri Swamy Vari Kalyanam, Rathayatra ,Sri Venkateswara Swamy kalyanam, Sri Narasimha Jayanthi.There is a small light house near the temple, from where the whole surroundings of the temple, the confluence of River Godavari can be seen clearly. It is accessible by frequent buses from Narasapur town (150 Kms from Annavaram)
At a distance of 36 Kms from Bagalkot, 104 Kms from Hubli & 457 Kms from Bangalore, Badami, also called as Vatapi is a historical place situated in Bagalkot district of Karnataka. Badami is famous for cave temples, entryways, fortresses, carvings. It is located in a valley at the foot of a red sandstone rock formation that surrounds Agastya Lake. The Chalukyas who had ruled Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh during 6th & 8th centuries had Badami as their capital from 540 to 757 AD.Overlooking the sandstone caves, there is an artificial lake lined with four temples on its shores. While three of the temples belong to Vedic faith, the fourth and natural cave is a Jain temple dedicated to Tirtankara Adinatha. Out of the three Hindu temples, two are dedicated to Lord Vishnu while one is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The beautiful carvings, paintings and bracket figures depict Lord Vishnu in different forms along with various figures & scenes from Hindu mythology.Badami is famous for several early inscriptions dating back to 6th century. The earlier of the inscriptions is in Sanskrit dates back to 543 CE, the period of Pulakeshi I or Vallabheswara. The second inscription is found on a rock, which testifies Mamalla Pallava's victory over the Chalukyas in the year 642 CE.
At a distance of 65 Kms from Annavaram, 17 Kms from Kakinada & 466 Kms from Hyderabad, Draksharamam is famous for one of the pancharama temples called Draksharama Bheemeshwara Swamy temple. This temple is situated in a green belt of river Godavari.This temple was constructed by the East Chalukyan king during 9th century. The temple also consists one of the Shakti Peethas called Sri Manikyamba. The speciality of this Shiva Lingam in this temple is that, the early morning tender Sun light falls on the Linga. There are nearly 800 ancient scripts on the walls of the temple. The celebrations in this temple were started during 14th century in the period of Reddy Kings. Shiva Lingam is nearly 9 ft height and the top part is seen at the first floor. There are other small temples inside the main temple premises. Once upon a time Draksharama was considered as a Buddhist complex.It is easily accessible by Bus from Kakinada & Rajahmundry (40 Kms).Timings: 6 AM to 12 PM & 3 to 8 PM
Srikalahasti is one of the ancient and most important Shiva Kshetras situated in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. At a distance of 35 kms from Tirupati, 114 Kms from Chennai and 562 Kms from Hyderabad, Srikalahasti is famous for Kalahastheswara Temple built in 10th century. The entire temple was carved out of the side of a huge stone hill. Srikalahasti got its name from three words - 'Sri' meaning a spider, 'Kala' meaning a serpent, and Hasti meaning an elephant, as these three creatures are believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva at this place and attained salvation. It is located on the banks of the river Swarnamukhi, which is a tributary to Pennar, one of the major rivers in South India. It has an ancient Shiva temple that finds reference in the three ancient epics the Skanda Purana, Shiva Purana and the Linga Purana. Several Tamil Shaivite saints have also sung hymns in praise of the deity of this temple. It is believed that a visit to this temple will provide relief to those who have the planet Rahu in inimical positions in their horoscopes.Other impressive temples in Sri Kalahasthi include Suka Brahmaashrama, Kumaraswami temple, Chakreshwara Temple.