Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Andhra Pradesh

South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is fourth largest state in India by area and population. Popularly called the "Rice Bowl of India", Andhra Pradesh is bordered by the states of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to the west. Considered as the gateway to South India, Andhra Pradesh is a historical place and ruled by several dynasties and rulers over the centuries. All over the state you can see a number of forts and palaces that provide a glimpse of the bygone ear. Andhra Pradesh had been the major centre for Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims. Andhra Pradesh is dotted with numerous temples, Buddhist sites and mosques that draws tourists and pilgrims every year. Broadly we can divide the tourism aspects of Andhra Pradesh in various categories which are as follow.

Andhra Pradesh Heritage Tourism : Andhra Pradesh has wealth of edifices and heritage structures, that draw tourists from all over the world. Be it historical or religious, the monuments of the state bear a testimony to their master craftsmanship. Erected several centuries ago, the monuments of Andhra Pradesh are visual feast for tourists. Charminar in the capital city Hyderabad is one of the splendid piece of architecture. Standing in the heart of the city, the magnificent monument was built by Quli Qutub Shah in 1591. Adjacent to Charminar, Mecca Masjid is an architectural masterpiece and it also one of the largest mosques in India.

Golconda Fort, just 9 kms away from old city is another jewel of Hyderabad. Constructed by Mohd Quli Qutub Shah in 1525, the fort stands as the epitome of Islamic culture and grandeur. Chandragiri, one the capital of Vijaynagar empire is home to the massive fort and mahals. A splendid piece of architecture, Chandragiri Fort stands on a 183 m high hill and houses two mahals (palaces) including the Raj Mahal. Besides the historical structures, Andhra Pradesh is home to around 50 Buddhist sites. In Hyderabad in the middle of Hussain Sagar lies the huge monolithic 17 m high statue of Buddha. Amaravati, set on the banks of river Krishna is present-day Guntur and believed to be one of the oldest Buddhist sites having the largest stupa in the country.

Andhra Pradesh Pilgrim Tourism : Towns of Andhra Pradesh are home to innumerable temples which attracts tourists and pilgrims all through the year. Andhra Pradesh houses the richest Hindu religious institution, Tirupati. The abode of Lord Venkateswara, Tirupati earns an annual income of Rs 100 billion, from the offerings of devotees. Pattuparthy, a small village of Andhra Pradesh is the home of Sri Satya Sai Baba, considered to be a living god by millions. People seeking peace of mind and soul make a beeline to visit the Prasanthi Nilayam, an imposing edifice at Puttaparthy. Srisailam is another revered pilgrimage centre of Andhra Pradesh and it is home to one of the 18 shaktipithas and one of the 12 jyothirlings. Vijayawada has the second biggest temple of Goddess Durga also known as Kanaka Durga. Veerabhadra temple of the town is known for typical Vijayanagar architectural style and art. Bhadrachalam temple is another important temple of Vijayanagar. Mangaliri situated between Vijayawada and Guntur is also a temple town. Vemulavada is popular for the Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy temple complex, which houses the temple of Sri Raja Rajeswara Swamy and temples dedicated to other deities namely Ram, Laxman, Ganesh, Lord Bhimeshwara and Lord Padmanabha Swamy.

Andhra Pradesh Culture and Cuisine : Andhra Pradesh, a culturally land is known for its traditional festivals and musical heritage. Besides, the cuisine of the state is a delight for food lovers. Andhra Pradesh cuisine is dominated by vegetarian food and sea food is preferred in the coastal areas. Pulihote or tamarind rice is the main food of Andhra Pradesh which is served alongwith green chillies, pickles and chutneys. Fish and prawns are favourite seafood that are eaten with rice. Hyderabadi food is the highlight of the Andhra cuisine. Biryani of Hyderabad is famous all over the country and liked by the visitors. Among the traditional festivals of Andhra Pradesh, Sankranti is an important one for rural folk. Mahashivarathri is another important festival which is celebrated with great fervour across the state. Andhra’s musical heritage is legendary, all the three legendary personalities of Carnatic Music Trinity – Thagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Shashtri were of Telugu descent.

Andhra Pradesh Eco Tourism : Andhra Pradesh has a 1,000 km long coastline, a vast forest area spread over an area of 11,980 sq. km with 20 wildlife sanctuaries and national parks that provide natural habitat to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Bestowed with such natural jewells, Andhra Pradesh offers excellent opportunities for eco tourism. Andhra Pradesh government has introduced programmes to increase awareness about nature, the environment and its conservation. Tyda is an important and famous spot for eco-tourism. Set in the lush forests of the Eastern Ghats, Tyda provides an idyllic holiday to the common tourists, ornithologists and adventure enthusiasts. Talakona, 76 kms from Tirupati is famous for its gushing waterfalls, dense forests, varied wildlife, picture perfect setting and pleasant atmosphere. Other popular eco-tourism spots of Andhra Pradesh are Belum Caves, Borra Caves, Ettipthala Waterfalls and Durgamcheruvu lake.


Andhra Pradesh Medical Tourism : Medical Tourism is new kind of tourism that is growing day by day. In general, Medical tourism can be defined as provision of cost effective private medical care in collaboration with the tourism industry for patients needing surgical and other forms of specialised treatment. Due to availability of medical facilities at a reasonable cost, Andhra Pradesh draws large number of tourists every year. Andhra Pradesh has made special mark in areas like alternative medicine, traditional healing systems and rejuvenation therapy. The state has several associations, ashrams and centres offering courses in Pranic Healing, Reiki, Siddha Samadhi Yoga and Art of Living. So, visit Andhra Pradesh and experience a whole new of getting cured and felling better.

Andra Pradesh Business Tourism : Andhra Pradesh has became popular as a business tourism destination in last few years. All the roads for business tourism lead to Hyderabad which provides an ideal base for international conventions, meetings or trade shows. Hyderabad is accessible to most important cities of India by air, rail and road, makes it the perfect destination for the business traveller. The convention centres in Hyderabad are easily accessible from five star hotels, shopping centres, resorts and theme parks. Hyderabad’s potential as a tourist destination also makes it a favourite place for business travellers. After most the day has been taken up with meetings and conferences, one would surely like to unwind. Hyderabad offers wonderful options.

6 comments:

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