Andhra Pradesh (AP) is situated in the southeastern part of India and shares its borders with Maharashtra, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. It was formed in 1956 with Hyderabad as its capital.
The state is popularly called as the ‘Rice Bowl of India’. There are several important religious and other tourism sites in the region. It is one of the fastest-growing states in the country with regards to economy and infrastructure development.
Physical aspects you must now
Andhra Pradesh is a big state and is internally divided into 23 districts. Area-wise, it ranks fourth and has one of the largest coastlines in the country. The state falls within the region of Eastern Ghats and is virtually divided into three important parts of Telangana, Coastal Andhra, and Rayalaseema. Coastal Andhra was also known as Kosta. The three most important rivers flowing through the territory are Godavari, Penner, and Krishna.
The state has a forest cover of more than 12,000 km which amounts to around 4% of its geographical area. Majority of the plantation is in the areas of Deccan Plateau. The forests are of dense tropical type in the Eastern Ghats and become sparse tropical as we progress towards the Deccan Plateau. Most of the coastal area is engaged in heavy agriculture. Neem is declared as the state tree while Water Lily is the state flower.
The climate varies greatly in different parts of the state though the three main seasons of winter, summer, and monsoon form the basic structure of the climatic changes. There is a lot of humidity in the air due to which the summers are not very hot. The average temperature is generally between 20 degree Celsius to 40 degree Celsius.
The season falls in the months of March to June and the mercury level in coastal areas is higher than that in rest of the territory. Winters are not very cold and the temperature varies between 12 degree Celsius to 30 degree Celsius. The season is experienced from November to February. Monsoon is the prime season of the state when most of the agricultural cultivation activities bear fruits. The state records heavy to very heavy rainfall during July to September.
Andhra Pradesh ranks fifth in India in terms of population and has an approximate population density of 310 persons per square km. The region has an excellent sex ratio of 992 females per 1000 males. The literacy rate in the area is approximately 68%. Telugu is the official language used throughout the state. Other languages like Hindi, Urdu, English, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada, Oriya, Malayalam, Gujarati, and Sindhi are also used to some extent by a small section of the society here.
More than 80% of the people follow Hinduism, 9% follow Christianity, and another 9% follow Islam. Other communities like Jain and Sikh are also present in small numbers.
Main religious places in Andhra Pradesh
The most celebrated site in the state is Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple in Chittoor. The construction of this holy place dates back to 300 BC. This monument is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara and is the second richest religious place in the world. The area around the site is comprised of seven peaks of Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabhadri, Narayanadri, and Venkatadri. The main temple is located on Venkatadri. A few other popular names for the site are Balaji Mandir, Srinivasa Temple, and Govinda Temple.
The five important Shivlingas in the state are Amararama, Somarama, Kumararama, Draksharama, and Ksheerarama. Simhachalam is an important place of worship dedicated to Hindu God Narsimha. Kanaka Durga Temple in Vijayawada is another celebrated site in Andhra Pradesh. It is dedicated to Hindu Goddess Kanaka Durga.
Srisailam Mandir in Kurnool is a significant place of worship dedicated to Lord Shiva. The site is also one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in the country. Raghavendra Swami Matth in Kurnool is another ancient monument worth seeing. Bhadrachalam Temple is a popular ancient site dating back to 1647 AD and is dedicated to Lord Rama. The place is magnificently decorated during Ram Navami and is a hub for several religious activities.
A few other important sites are Ameen Peer Dargah, Srikurmam Temple, Penchalakona Temple, Bhadrakali Temple, Yaganti Mandir, Mantralayam Temple, Ramappa Temple, Narsimhakonda Temple, Ahobilam Temple, Arasavalli Temple, Mahanadi Mandir, Alampur Temple, Ahobilam Mandir, Sri Kalahasti Temple, Birla Mandir, Prasanthi Nilayam, Annavaram Temple, Sri Kapileswaraswami Mandir, Basara Saraswathi Temple, ISKCON Temple, Penna Ahobilam Temple, Kanipakam Mandir, Mecca Masjid, and Medak Church.
Other places to visit in Andhra Pradesh
The statue of Lord Buddha erected in the Hussain Sagar Lake looks dazzling at night and should not be missed out. The famous heritage sites in Andhra Pradesh include Charminar, Chowmahalla Palace, Golconda Fort, Salar Jung Museum, Qutub Shahi Tombs, Falaknuma Palace, Chandragiri Fort, and Gandikota Fort. Ramoji Film City is a major site for entertainment and attracts millions of tourist every year. The locations of Khammam Fort, Thousand Pillars Temple, Hitech City, Papi Kondalu, Talakona Waterfalls, Konaseema, Belum Caves, Borra Caves, the waterfalls at Katiki and Ethipothala, and the beaches at Rushikonda and Ramakrishna, Visakha Museum, and Salar Jung Museum should not be missed out on your tour.
The state is also a major home for wildlife. Kolleru Lake, the largest fresh-water lake in India, is an eminent bird-watching spot. You may also enjoy visiting Pulicat Wildlife Sanctuary, Sri Venkateshwara Zoo Park, the bird sanctuaries of Telineelapuram and Telukunchi, and Nagarjunsagar Srisailam Wildlife Sanctuary.
Andhra Pradesh is a great tourist spot offering a variety of tourism options. The state is also famous for delicious and spicy cuisine. Winter is the best season to tour the state through tourist inflow is consistent throughout the year.