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Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Office of Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation.
Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (Telugu: ఆంధ్ర ప్రదేశ్ పర్యాటక అభివృద్ధి సంస్థ) (APTDC) is a state government agency which promotes tourism in Andhra Pradesh, India.
The department offers tour packages of Heritage, Nature, Adventure, Health and Rural tourism representing rich historical and natural background of Andhra Pradesh state.[1] The tours covering 8 centers of Andhra Pradesh. The department maintains resorts at popular tourism destinations such as Tirupatti, Horseley hills, Araku valley, Vizag, Hyderabad and Srisailam. A wide range of vehicles including 63 hi-tech coaches, 29 Volvo coaches, 8 air-conditioned hi-tech coaches, 4 semi-slippers, 11 mini vehicles, 1 vintage coach and 10 Qualis are being used.
It has identified a number of potential tourism developments.[2] In 2006, it opened an office to serve the Tamil Nadu market.[3]



Belum Caves
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Entrance to Belum Caves
Belum Caves is the second largest cave in Indian subcontinent and the longest caves in plains of Indian Subcontinent, known for its stalactite and stalagmite formations. Belum Caves have long passages, spacious chambers, fresh water galleries and siphons. The caves reach its deepest point (120 feet from entrance level) at the point known as Pataalaganga. Belum Caves derives its name from "Bilum" Sanskrit word for caves.[1] In Telugu language, it is called Belum Guhalu. Belum Caves has a length of 3229 metres, making it the second largest natural caves in Indian Subcontinent.
Originally discovered in 1884 by a British surveyor Robert Bruce Foote, later in 1982-84, a team of German speleologists headed by H Daniel Gebauer conducted a detailed exploration of the caves. Thereafter in 1988, the state government declared them protected, and Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) developed the caves as a tourist attraction in February 2002. Today, 3.5 km of the cave has been successfully explored, though only 1.5 km is open to tourists.[1]
Contents  [hide] 
1 The site
2 Discovery
3 Historical importance
4 Development of Caves
5 Main Sections of Belum Caves
6 Entrance to Caves
7 Awards to APTDC for Belum Caves
8 Accommodation near Belum Caves
9 Distance from major cities/towns
10 See also
11 References
12 External links
[edit]The site

Belum Caves is located at Belum Village in Kolimigundla Mandal of Kurnool District in State of Andhra Pradesh, India. 15.102346°N 78.111541°E Kolimigundla is situated 3 km from Belum Caves.
[edit]Discovery

Even though the Belum Caves were known to the locals, the first records of Caves were mentioned in expedition report of Robert Bruce Foote, in 1884. Thereafter, Belum Caves remained unnoticed for almost a century till a German team headed by Herbert Daniel Gebauer conducted detailed exploration of the caves in 1982 and 1983. The German expedition was assisted by the locals Mr B. Chalapathi Reddy, Mr Ramaswami Reddy, Mr Boyu Madduleti, Mr K. Padmanabhaiah, Mr K. Chinnaiah and Mr A. Sunkanna.[2]


Buddha's statue near Belum Caves
4500 BC Remnants of vessels of that age were found in the caves.
???? occupied by Jains and Buddhists.
1884 existence of the caves recorded by Mr Robert Bruce Foote.
1982 explored by the German Herbert Daniel Gebauer.
1983 explored by the German Herbert Daniel Gebauer.
1988 declared protected by the Andhra Pradesh Government.
1999 development of the cave by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation started.
FEB-2002 cave opened to the public.
JUL-2002 Musical chamber discovered.
[edit]Historical importance

Belum Caves are geologically and historically important caves. There are indications that Jains and Buddhists monks were occupying these caves centuries ago. Many Buddhists relics were found inside the caves. These relics are now housed in Museum at Ananthapur.
Archaeological survey of India (ASI) also found remnants of vessels, etc. of pre-Buddhist era and has dated the remnants of vessels found in the caves to 4500 BC.[3]
[edit]Development of Caves



Meditation Hall inside Belum Caves
The caves was being used to dump wastes of nearby places till 1988. The local people of nearby areas, notably Retired Additional Superintendent of Police M. Narayana Reddy, residents of Belum Village like B. Chalapathi Reddy,B.Maheswara Reddy and others followed up Government of Andhra Pradesh to develop the caves as tourist attraction. Finally their almost two decade long efforts resulted in when Government of Andhra Pradesh declaring entire area to be protected zone. Finally in the year 1999, Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation took over the task of beautifying and maintaining the caves. APTDC sanctioned Rs.75,00,000.00 to develop the caves.[3]
The caves are now managed by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC). Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) has developed the pathways in around 2 km of the length of the caves, provided soft illumination and has created fresh-air-shafts in the caves. At many places inside the cave, APTDC has installed bridges, staircase, etc. for easy movement inside tha cave. It has also created a canteen, washroom and toilet facilities near the entry point.
There is a giant Buddha Statue near a hillock near the Belum Caves. The area of cave known as "Meditation hall" was used by Buddhist Monks. The relics of Buddhist period were found here. These relics are now housed in museum at Ananthapur.
[edit]Main Sections of Belum Caves



Meditation Hall inside Belum Caves
Simhadwaram — Simhadwaram means lions gate. It is a natural arch of stalactites formed in the shape of a lion’s head;
Kotilingalu Chamber - This section contains stalactite formations which are akin to shiva lingams. This section has thousands of such stalactite giving it a surrealistic look. It has one huge pillar formed due to stalactite and stalagmite joining together.
Patalaganga - It is a small perennial stream which disappears into the depths of the earth. This stream flows from the southeast to northwest. It disappears and is believed to be heading towards a well at the Belum village, located 2 km away from the caves.
Saptasvarala Guha or Musical Chamber - Saptasvarala Guha means chamber of seven notes. The stalactite formations in this chamber reproduce musical sounds when these are struck with a wooden stick or knuckles. This section was opened to the public in 2006.[4]


Banyan Tree formation inside Belum Caves
Dhyan Mandir or Meditation Hall - This section is near to the entrance. An interesting formation at Meditation hall looks like a bed with pillow to recline. The local legend has it that in ancient times many sages used to live here. This section was used by Buddhist Monks. Many relics of Buddhist period were found here which are now housed in museum at Ananthapur.
Thousand Hoods - This section has amazing stalactite formations shaped like hood of Cobra. The stalactite formations on the ceiling looks as if thousands of cobras have opened their hoods.
Banyan Tree Hall - This section has a huge pillar with stalactites hanging from the ceiling. This gives a look of Banyan Tree with its aerial roots when seen from below. The locals call it "Voodalamari" since it looks like a Banyan Tree with its aerial roots hanging from the branches.
Mandapam - This is a huge area inside the cave with magnificent stalactite structures on the sides giving it a look of a hall with pillars.

Interiors

 

Ceiling of Hall of Thousand Hoods

 

Man striking stalactite formation to produce musical notes.

 

Passage inside the Caves

 

Visitors inside the Caves

[edit]Entrance to Caves



Map of Belum Caves engraved on a Board near entrance
The tourists are charged an amount of Rs.30.00 for entrance. Foreign Tourists are charged Rs.300.00 per person for entrance. APTDC has installed electronic gates at entrance. After passing through the gates, one can reach the caves by a metal staircase installed by APTDC.
The entrance pit was originally smaller than what one sees today. It has been broadened as part of development of the caves to install the staircase to allow visitors to descend and ascend easily.
The entrance is like that of a Pit Cave. From the ground you can only see two pits side by side and third pit a little further away. After descending around 20 meters by a the stairs from the entrance, the caves become horizontal. The first section one enters is called Gebauer Hall named after Speleologist Mr H. Daniel Gebauer, who had explored and mapped the caves in 1982-1983. The path to Gebauer Hall leads below the second opening, which lies next to the main entrance.
[edit]Awards to APTDC for Belum Caves

In, 2003, APTDC won the prestigious "National Tourism Awards" instituted by Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India, for its initiatives in developing and promoting Belum Caves.
Belum caves was also adjudged the best destination award 2002 at the Tourism and Travel Fair held in Bangalore in 2002.[5]
[edit]Accommodation near Belum Caves



APTDC Punnani Hotel at Belum Caves
APTDC runs Punnami Hotel in vicinity of Belum Caves. The only accommodation type offered is a 32 beds dormitory. The charges for dormitory accommodation is Rs.40.00 per person. This hotel is planned to be upgraded in future. APTDC also runs a restaurant and a small shop at the entrance to Belum Caves.
Nearest towns are Tadipatri (30 km) and Banganpalli (20 km) where one can find hotels to stay. There are no other place nearby where one can find a restaurant or any sort of eating joint. It is advisable to carry bottled drinking water when visiting the caves since it get very hot and humid at certain sections.[6]
Kurnool (106 km) and Ananthapur (85 km) are other places to stay and these places have good hotels. Both these places are well connected by road and rail.This cave can also be reached from Nandiyal railway station falling in Guntur-Bangalore section of South Central railway,which is about 60 km away.
[edit]Distance from major cities/towns

320 km from Bangalore
320 km from Hyderabad
420 km from Chennai
106 km from Kurnool
85 km from Ananthapur
68 km from Proddatur
30 km from Tadpatri
60 km from Nandyal
25 km from Banganapalle
34 km from koilkuntla
44 km from Jammalamadugu
It is very near to Owk, and adjacent to Belum Village,
[edit]See also



Visakhapatnam
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Visakhapatnam
(విశాఖపట్నం)
Vizag
—  city  —

Aerial view of Visakhapatnam.


 
Visakhapatnam
(విశాఖపట్నం)

Location of Visakhapatnam
(విశాఖపట్నం)
in Andhra Pradesh and India
Coordinates 17°41′18.16″N 83°13′07.53″ECoordinates: 17°41′18.16″N 83°13′07.53″E
Former name Waltair
Country India
State Andhra Pradesh
District(s) Visakhapatnam
Municipal commissioner B. Ramanjaneyulu
Mayor P. Janardhana Rao
Population
• Density
• Metro
4,288,113 [District] (17th) (2011)
• 3,240 /km2 (8,392 /sq mi)
• 1,730,320 (2011)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Area
• Elevation
543 km2 (210 sq mi)
• 5 metres (16 ft)
Codes[show]
Visakhapatnam (Telugu: విశాఖపట్నం  pronunciation (help·info)) also called as Vaishakhapuram (shortened and anglicized as: Vaishakh->Vaizak->Vizag, finally pronounced as 'yzag') is a major port city on the south east coast of India. With a population of approximately 14 lacs (14,35,099),[1] it is the second largest city in the state of Andhra Pradesh and the third largest city on the east coast of India after Kolkata and Chennai. It is located 625 kilometres (388 mi) east of the state capital Hyderabad. Visakhapatnam is home to several state-owned heavy industries, a major steel plant, and has one of India's largest sea ports and its oldest shipyard. It has the only natural harbour on the east coast of India.
Visakhapatnam was named after Visakha, the Hindu god of valor. The city is nestled among the hills of the Eastern Ghats and faces the Bay of Bengal to the east. It is the administrative headquarters of Visakhapatnam district and is also headquarters to the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy. Visakhapatnam is often referred to as The City of Destiny[2] and more recently also as the Goa of the East Coast. Just like its west coast counterpart, it offers attractive beaches, laterite hillocks, and a dramatic landscape. It is also the focus of rapid urban and tourist development.
Contents  [hide] 
1 Overview
2 Etymology and history
2.1 The epic city
2.2 Buddhist influence
2.3 Sankaram
2.4 Bavikonda
2.5 Thotlakonda
2.6 Later history
3 The city
4 Strategic importance
5 Demographics
6 Language
7 Climate
8 Transport
8.1 Air
8.2 Road
8.3 Rail
8.4 Sea
8.5 Education
9 Economy
9.1 Visakhapatnam City economy
9.2 On-going and coming projects related to Visakhapatnam as on 2010
9.3 Naval establishments
10 Tourism
10.1 Buddhist sites
11 Retail and entertainment
11.1 Shopping malls
11.2 Entertainment
12 Sports
13 Educational institutes in and around the city
13.1 Universities
13.2 Engineering colleges
13.3 Polytechnic colleges
13.4 Schools
14 Hospitals in and around the city
15 Religious places in and around the city
16 Steel plant township
17 Members of Parliament
18 Members of Legislative Assembly
19 Administrators
20 References
21 External links
[edit]Overview



Sunrise at Tenneti park in Visakhapatnam of Andhra Pradesh, India


Aerial view of Visakhapatnam port
Apart from being a major seaport on the east coast of India, Visakhapatnam is primarily an industrial city. It is also home to the Eastern Naval Command.
The city sometimes goes by its now mostly defunct colonial British name, Waltair. During the colonial era, the city's hub was the Waltair Railway Station, and the surrounding part of the city is still called Waltair.
[edit]Etymology and history



3rd century BC Buddhist ruins of Thotlakonda
Visakhapatnam was ruled by King Visakha Varma during BC's, according to Hindu Puranams. It was a part of the Kalinga Kingdom, under Ashoka's rule in 260 B.C.Till 16th century it was pat of Utkala Kingdom. It passed on later to the Andhra Kings of Vengi and later to Pallavas. Another story of this place is it was named after Subrahmanyeswara, the deity of valour, the second son of Lord Shiva. The beauty of the place was often compared to the beauty of Sakhi Visakha. The legend is that Radha and Visakha were born on the same day and were equally beautiful. Locals believe that an Andhra king, impressed by the beauty, built a temple to pay obeisance to his family deity, Visakha.
[edit]The epic city
The city has been mentioned in the Indian epics Rāmāyana and Mahābhārata, as well as the forests of the Eastern Ghats where the two brothers Rama and Lakshmana wandered in search of Sita, wife of Lord Rama. According to the epics, Rama formed his army of monkey men in the region with the help of Hanuman and Jambavant. The monkey army of Rama later defeated the King Ravan to claim back his wife Sita. An episode of Mahābhārata when Bheema killed the demon Bakasura, was believed to have happened in the village Karmanvati, just 40 km from the city.


Statue of lord buddha Thotlakonda
[edit]Buddhist influence
The religious Hindu texts mention that the region of Visakhapatnam in the 5th century BC was part of the vast Kalinga territory which extended up to the Godavari River. The relics found in the area also prove the existence of a Buddhist empire in the region. Kalinga later lost the territory to King Ashoka in the bloodiest battle of the time which prompted him to embrace Buddhism.
[edit]Sankaram
One of the most significant Buddhist sites in Andhra Pradesh, Sankaram is located some 41 km away from Visakhapatnam. The name Sankaram derives from the term Sangharama. Sankaram is famous for the whole lot of votive stupas, rock-cut caves, brick-built structural edifices, early historic pottery and Satavahana coins that date back to the 1st century AD. The main stupa here was initially carved out of rock and then covered with bricks. In close proximity lies yet another significant Buddhist sites, Bojjannakonda, where you can see a number of images of the Buddha carved on the rock face of the caves. At Ligalametta, there are hundreds of rock cut monolithic stupas in rows, spread all over the hill. Among other Buddhist attractions here are relic casket, three chiatya halls, votive platforms, stupas and Vajrayana sculptures. The Vihara was functional for around a millennium and saw the development of the not only Theravada form of Buddhism but also Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism.


Rock-cut Lord --Buddha-- Statue at Bojjanakonda near Anakapalle of Visakhapatnam dist in AP
[edit]Bavikonda
The term Bavikonda in Telugu language means a hill of wells. As per its name, Bavikonda is a hill which has wells for the collection of rainwater. Bavikonda is located 15 km from the town of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, India and is an immensely significant Buddhist site. Excavation carried out in 1982–87 revealed an entire Buddhist establishment comprising a Mahachaitya, embedded with relic caskets, large vihara complex, numerous votive stupas, a stone pillared congregation hall, rectangular halls, a refectory etc. Artefacts discovered from the site include Roman and Satavahana coins and pottery dating back to the 3rd century BC to the 2nd century AD. A significant finding here is a piece of bone stored in an urn. This bone is widely supposed to be the mortal remains of the Buddha. In the urn, there is also a large quantity of ash. The Bavikonda site, today, is counted amongst one of the oldest and immensely sacred Buddhist sites in the Asia. The ruins of the site stand reminder to the great Buddhist civilisation that once existed in the southern part of India. The site, in fact, also reminds a number of visitors of the Borobudur in Indonesia.
[edit]Thotlakonda
Around 16 km from Visakhapatnam is the Thotlakonda, a Buddhist complex situated on the top of a hill. The site spreads over an area of 120 acres (0.49 km2) and has been declared a protected monument by the government of Andhra Pradesh. Excavations carried out here have brought to surface three kinds of structural remains – religious, secular and civil. To be more precise the structures include a Mahastupa, 16 votive stupas, a stone pillared congregation hall, 11 rock-cut cisterns, well paved stone path ways, an apsidal chaitya-griha, 3 circular chaitgya-grihas, two votive platforms, 10 viharas, a kitchen complex with three halls and a refectory (dining hall). Apart from the structures, the Buddhist treasures excavated from here include nine Satavahana and five roman silver coins, terracotta tiles, stucco decorative pieces, sculptured panels, miniature stupa models in stone, Buddha padas depicted with asthamangal symbols, early historic pottery etc.
[edit]Later history
The territory of Visakhapatnam then came under the Andhra rulers of Vengi. Then Chalukyas, Pallavas ruled over the placid land. This region was under Eastern Ganga Kings, Surya Vamsi Gajapati kings of Orissa from 10th century to 16th century AD. This region came under Hyderabad rulers in 16th century. The Chola kings and Eastern Ganga Kings of Orissa built the temples in the city in 11–12 century AD as established by archeological findings. The Mughals ruled this area under the Hyderabad Nizam in the late 15th and early 16th century. European merchants from France, Holland and the East India Company used the natural port to export tobacco, paddy,coal,iron ore,ivory, muslin and other textile products.
Local legend states that an Andhra king, while on his way to Benares, rested there and was so enchanted with the sheer beauty of the place. He ordered a temple to be built in honor of his family deity, Visakha. Archaeological sources however reveal that the temple was possibly built between the 11th and 12th centuries by the Cholas. A shipping merchant, Sankarayya Chetty, built one of the mandapams (pillared halls) of the temple. Although it no longer exists (it may have been washed away about a hundred years ago by a cyclonic storm), elderly residents of Visakhapatnam talk of visits to the ancient shrine by their grandparents. Noted author Ganapatiraju Atchuta Rama Raju contradicted this.[3]
In the 18th century, Visakhapatnam was part of the Northern Circars, a region comprising Coastal Andhra and southern coastal Orissa that was initially under French control and later the British. Visakhapatnam became a district in the Madras Presidency of British India. In September 1804, British and French squadrons fought the naval Battle of Vizagapatam off the harbour. After India's independence it was the biggest district in the country and was subsequently divided into the three districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam.
The city has the tomb of the Muslim saint Syed Ali Ishak Madina, located atop the dargah-hill near the harbour in old city, which is dated to 18th century, where Hindus make vows at it as often as Muslims. The saint is considered to be all potent over the elements in the Bay of Bengal. Many old residents say that every vessel passing the harbour inwards or outwards used to salute the saint by hoisting and lowering its flag three times, and that many ship-owners offer chadar at the shrine after a successful voyage. It's been said that the name Visakhapatnam is named after him i.e. Syed Ali Ishak Madina, the saint. Initially it was Ishaqapatnam which has been modified into present Visakhapatnam may be because of mispronunciation of an Arabic word by the local people.
[edit]The city



The city overlooking the Beach Road
From a small fishing village in the 20th century, Visakhapatnam has grown into an mega-industrial hub. Its saga began when the British needed a suitable port that could serve move the rich mineral wealth from the central India. Unlike the western coast of India, the east coast is devoid of any natural harbours.To their surprise they located Visakhapatnam which was naturally protected from sea by Dolphin's nose hill and also the estuary of Meghadri river ending into sea formed a natural channel which was protected on south by Dolphin's nose which made it very natural and most suited for major port in those days. They started building the harbour in 1927; in 1933 it was opened to traffic.


Statue of a standing man at Vizag Beach


Rajiv Gandhi Children's Park at Vizag Beach
One important milestone is the setting up of the Scindia Steam Navigation Co, later known as Hindustan Shipyard Limited in 1940. With the construction of the Kottavalasa-Kirandul (K.K. )line connecting the iron ore mines of Bailadila in M.P. (present day Chattisgarh), its importance grew. In the 1950s and 1960s the government and the private sector set up large scale basic industries like Bharat Heavy Plates & Vessels Ltd, Hindustan Zinc Ltd., Dredging Corporation of India Ltd., Caltex oil refinery (later acquired by government as H.P.C.L.), Coromandel fertilizers, and Andhra Polymers (now LG Polymers). The 1980s saw a major development with the development of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and other major industries. Economic liberalization in the 1990s brought a modest growth to the city but not as much as it did to Hyderabad. However, some industries sprang up like Rain Calcining Ltd., expansion of HPCL, setting up of Visakhapatnam Export Processing Zone, and the Simhadri Thermal Power plant of N.T.P.C. Visakhapatnam was declared one of ten fastest growing cities of the world in a recent study conducted by the United Nations.


Ramakrishna Mission near RK Beach
Due to the presence of the Eastern Naval Command, Steel Plant and H.P.C.L., the city has been the home to people from different parts of the country and due to this the city has a cosmopolitan nature.
The city's main commercial and shopping centres are in the Dwarakanagar,R.T.C. complex area and Jagadamba Junction area. It has two multiplexes, namely Varun Beach and CMR Central. Since 2000, the Dwarakanagar-R.T.C. complex area has transformed into a commercial hub with new shopping malls and complexes springing up within a radius of 2–3 kilometers. The city is home to many five-star hotels such as Taj group, ITC-WelcomGroup, Four points by Sheraton and Park Hotels.
Various large and small software and BPO companies have announced plans for starting development and outsourcing centers in Visakhapatnam, which has also contributed to the rise in real estate prices. Inflows from Non-resident Indians (NRIs) from Visakhapatnam have further added to this rise.


St Aloysius Anglo Indian High School (SAS) was established in the year 1847 in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
The city also owes its economic growth to the availability of an educated English-speaking workforce. English is the first language in many places of higher education in the city. This availability of a highly educated workforce allowed the entry of many ITES companies such as HSBCHSBC, thus providing the roots for the growth of the ITES industry in the city. The city registered over 100% growth in the IT sector over the last year, contributing millions of dollars to the economy. The city has 102 small and medium software and BPO units, of which about 10 units started their operations during the year 2005–07. Software exports from the Visakhapatnam in 2007 were worth Rs. 245 crores – an increase of over 100% over the previous year.
Various national and international IT and banking giants have set up or will be setting up offices in the city. These include Mahindra Satyam, Wipro, iSOFT, HSBC Sankhya Technologies, iFlex, Sutherland Global Services, Kenexa, E Centric Solutions Pvt Ltd, and OpenWindow Technologies Inc.The Andhra Pradesh government provided infrastructure and land for these companies to set up their development centers in the city outskirts via Special economic zones to improve employment and increase the economic growth.
Many City-based SME's such as Gaian Solutions, Acclaris, Manuh Solutions, NuNet Technologies, Patra Corp, Prospecta Technologies, Quant Systems, Sankhya Technologies, Samudra Software, Symbiosys Technologies, Xinthe Technologies, etc., have been providing IT and ITES services. Many of these companies have formed an association called Vizag Information Technology Association (VITA) to help promote IT in Visakhapatnam as well as bridge the Industry-Institution gap. To help companies in and around Visakhapatnam build their human capital, companies like IndiGenius, Mafoi among others have been providing Human Resource (HR) consulting services such as recruitment, temporary staffing and training.
Indira Gandhi Zoological Park was set up in 1972 on the coastal hills north of the city. The zoo park features some of the rarest species in India.
[edit]Strategic importance

Many battles have been fought in the city during such conflicts as World War II, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and the Bangladesh Liberation War. It was only the second region in South Asia to be attacked by Japanese fighter planes during World War II. Recognising the strategic importance of the city and the role it played during the Bangladesh Liberation War, Pakistan allegedly sent its submarine, PNS Ghazi to destroy India's only aircraft carrier. The submarine sank off the coast (Pakistan claims, accidentally hitting one of the mines it laid; India claims, from a depth-charge dropped by the destroyer INS Rajput). The remnants of the submarine are on display on the beach road and it has become a major tourist attraction.


Victory at Sea 1971 commemorating victory over Pakistan
The city was so important during times of war that the Indian government decided to set up the Eastern Naval Command, overlooking the more populous Chennai and Kolkata, and developed Visakhapatnam during that period. The establishment of the E.N.C. soon after the construction of the ship building yard firmly secured Visakhapatnam's place in the annals of the Indian Navy. Some of the defence related establishments are N.S.T.L. (Naval Science and Technology Laboratories), which is responsible for the development and testing of warship technology, equipment and weapons and Bharat Dynamics Ltd is coming up for manufacturing heavy and light weight torpedoes. The navy also has a naval dockyard [started in 1949] in the city where recently India's first Nuclear Submarine was launched. The navy has plans to set up submarine base in the city at the alternate ENC base in Rambilli near Visakhapatnam.


The famous submarine museum near "Victory At Sea", Visakhapatnam
The Navy is also constructing a second base as the current base is overpopulated and not sufficient to meet the needs of the E.N.C. Despite its importance, the Naval establishment has become a hindrance for the development of Visakhapatnam. The harbour is not open to the general public for reasons of security, while in Mumbai and Kochi, the entire port along with Naval docks are opened for boating and tourism.
Visakhapatnam is surrounded on three sides by the overlapping mountain ranges, and the southeastern city is safeguarded by the Bay of Bengal. Visakhapatnam is far away from any international border, both land and sea, making it the choice for strategic placement of the headquarters of the eastern naval command.
[edit]Demographics

Visakhapatnam is a cosmopolitan mix of people from various parts of the country. From a population of a few thousand locals during the 18th century and early 19th century the population grew steadily every decade. The city doubled its population from 1990–2000 owing to a large migrant population from surrounding areas and other parts of the country coming to the city to work in its heavy industries.
Religion in Visakhapatnam
Religion Percent
Hinduism
  
93%
Others
  
7%
According to the 2001 India census,[4] Visakhapatnam had a population of 2,569,608 and that of urban area 3,329,472.[4] After the state government approved the formation of Greater Visakhapatnam with the merger of Gajuwaka municipality and 32 villages in the vicinity in the Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, the population of the city and the metro area swelled present population may be between 2.6 to 3.8 million.[citation needed] Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. The city has an average literacy rate of 70%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. Male literacy is 74% and female literacy is 64 %. 10% of the population is younger than six. Visakhapatnam is listed as one of the 100 Fastest Growing Cities of the World.[5]
Hinduism is practised by the majority of citizens, followed by Islam and Christianity. The city patronised Buddhism for 2 millennia as evident from the presence of many Buddhist sangharamas in the outskirts. The Buddhist population has however waned since. All the religions co-exist peacefully
[edit]Language


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Visakhapatnam is predominantly Telugu speaking. The Telugu spoken by the middle classes is a standard dialect, while a significant population who have settled down in the city from the adjoining villages and neighbouring districts of East Godavari, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam speak Uttarandhra (North Coastal) Mandalikam dialects.
Historians[who?] believe that centuries ago, when Uttarandhra was part of the Kalinga Empire, Buddhist missionaries and merchants might have taken Telugu (derived from Brahmi script) script to Southeast Asia from the shores of Uttarandhra where it parented into the scripts of Mon, Burmese, Thai, Khmer, Javanese and Balinese languages and even Sinhala of Sri Lanka.[citation needed] Their similarities to Telugu script can be discerned even today.
Visakhapatnam is home to small Sikh, Gujarathis, Oriya, Bengali, Nepali and Malayalee communities; their migration is recent due to the naval presence and high concentration of public sector industries.There is also a presence of a Dominant Anglo-Indian Community.
[edit]Climate



A NASA Satellite Image Showing Visakhapatnam Experiencing Monsoon in 2010
Visakhapatnam experiences a tropical savanna climate (Köppen climate classification Aw) with little variation in temperature through the year. May is the hottest month with average temperatures around 32 °C (90 °F), while January is the coolest month with average temperatures near 23 °C (73 °F).
As the city is located on the Bay of Bengal, the humidity remains high throughout the year. The total annual rainfall is around 945 mm (38 inches), the bulk of which is received during the south-west monsoon. October is the wettest month with around 204 mm (8 inches) of rainfall.
The months from November to February are the best times to visit the city, with moderate temperatures.
[hide]Climate data for Visakhapatnam
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 28.9
(84.0) 31.3
(88.3) 33.8
(92.8) 35.3
(95.5) 36.2
(97.2) 35.3
(95.5) 32.9
(91.2) 32.7
(90.9) 32.5
(90.5) 31.7
(89.1) 30.4
(86.7) 28.9
(84.0) 32.5
(90.5)
Average low °C (°F) 18.0
(64.4) 19.9
(67.8) 23.0
(73.4) 26.1
(79.0) 27.7
(81.9) 27.3
(81.1) 26.1
(79.0) 26.0
(78.8) 25.6
(78.1) 24.3
(75.7) 21.6
(70.9) 18.6
(65.5) 23.7
(74.7)
Precipitation mm (inches) 11.4
(0.449) 7.7
(0.303) 7.5
(0.295) 27.6
(1.087) 57.8
(2.276) 105.6
(4.157) 134.6
(5.299) 141.2
(5.559) 174.8
(6.882) 204.3
(8.043) 65.3
(2.571) 7.9
(0.311) 945.7
(37.232)
Source: [6]
[edit]Transport

[edit]Air


Visakhapatnam Airport
The Visakhapatnam Airport is the busiest Airport in Coastal Andhra. Visakhapatnam is connected well with daily flights from Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Vijayawada, Tirupati, Kolkata, Pune, Kochi, Raipur and Indore. Visakhapatnam Airport has recently received permission to operate night flights and now the airport is working up to 22:00. A new 10,000 foot [3 km] long runway became operational to accommodate international flights and larger aircraft. The airport was one of the few chosen by the center for modernization including facilities such as aerobridges and immigration booths. The new terminal was inaugurated on 21 March 2009.
[edit]Road


Visakhapatnam seaport; harbour interchange fly-by road can be seen here
Visakhapatnam is one of the major cities on the east coast of India connected by NH5, a major barrier national highway and a part of the Golden Quadrilateral system of Indian highways connecting Chennai and Kolkata. The section of Golden Quadraleteral(NH5) from Kolkata to Chennai connects Visakhapatnam to the North-East and to the South. The highway is an important route for transporting cargo and people from these cities to and from Visakhapatnam.Visakhapatnam is the seventh largest city in India with metro eligibility since 2007.Visakhapatnam has a good network of roads. There are frequent buses to Kakinada, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, Araku, Guntur and Rajahmundry. There are even bus services to Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guntur, Tirupati, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata and few other parts of Orissa and Karnataka.
Residents of Visakhapatnam make use of extensive public transport provided by the APSRTC, which runs metro buses across various routes across the city and its suburbs. The APSRTC complex at Asilametta is the hub for most of these buses causing major traffic jams during rush hours on the heavily populated, congested Asilametta Junction. The city corporation is planning to dig subways, construct pedestrian overpasses and flyovers to address the traffic woes.
A Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) was approved for the city under the JNNURM.[7] This will make use of dedicated lanes for buses allowing for an efficient and high speed mode of transport for the public and significantly reduce traffic congestion, improving safety. This project is under construction and will be completed by the end of 2015
[edit]Rail
Main article: Visakhapatnam Junction


Visakhapatnam Railway station
The railway station at Visakhapatnam is under the control of East Coast Railway of Indian Railways. It stands on the Chennai Central -Howrah Station route, though the mainline bypasses the Central Station. Consequently a suburban halt on the mainline near Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, at Duvvada, is being developed into a major satellite station to improve services for the city.
There are direct rail links to Machilipatnam, Vijayawada Junction, Secunderabad Railway Station, Tirupati, Bhubaneswar, Nagpur, Bangalore Bhopal Junction, Mumbai, Surat, Porbandar, Okha, Mangalore, Tiruchchirapalli, Puri, Raipur, Bilaspur, Korba, Nasik, Amritsar, Patna, Ernakulam, Trivandrum, Kanniyakumari, Shirdi, Aurangabad, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Gaya, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, Jammu Tawi, Bhilai, Gwalior, Chennai Central, Howrah Station, New Delhi Railway Station etc., and also has direct services to Indore, Ujjain, Coimbatore and Jaipur amongst other major cities.
[edit]Sea


Visakhapatnam Port.
Situated on the east coast of India, Visakhapatnam serves as the gateway for waterways for the state of Andhra Pradesh. Visakhapatnam has one of the country's largest ports and its oldest shipyard on the eastern coast of India. It is a land-locked harbour[8] as it is connected to the sea by a channel cut through solid rock and sand. The Visakhapatnam port is one of the busiest ports in India.Vizag Seaport Pvt Ltd., own two berths in the inner harbour of VPT, EQ-8 is fully mechanized and at EQ-9 berth vessels are handled by conventinal means, both berths are capable to handle panamax vessels. The shipbuilding yard situated at Visakhapatnam is the largest in India. Situated on Chennai – Kolkotacorridor, the city is also a hub of on-ground traffic. The Gangavaram Sea Port is India's deepest sea port. In December 2010, Coal India agreed a deal that would allow an additional berth to be built at the port.[9]
[edit]Education
Visakhapatnam is considered a centre for education in Andhra Pradesh. There are several primary, high school and college institutions in the city. Apart from state-run schools for the poor, there are many private institutions, missionary schools and colleges.
The IMU has been established as a Central University by the Government of India under an Act of Parliament, namely, the Indian Maritime University Act 2008. The Indian Maritime University, established through an Act of Parliament on 14/11/2008 as Central University, is poised to play a key role in the development of required human resource for the maritime sector. The Indian Maritime University, being the first of its kind in the country will cater to the educational requirement of the maritime fraternity. It is a teaching and affiliating University which will offer degree, post graduate degree and research programmes in all disciplines of maritime sector. The city also has National Institute of Oceanography.
Established in 1878, A.V.N. College is one of the city's oldest educational institutions.[10] Famous freedom fighter Alluri Seeta Rama Raju studied in A.V.N College.
Visakhapatnam is the home of Andhra University (AU) which was established in 1926. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, before he became the President of India, worked as the Vice Chancellor of the University between 1931 and 1936. AU and its affiliated colleges provide education to thousands of students from the state. Post-graduate and graduate courses are offered in various branches like arts, commerce, science & technology, engineering, IT, business management, law and pharmacy. The AU college of pharmacy is the second oldest pharmacology institute in India. The university is in the process of obtaining IIESTstatus and there is also a proposal for setting up an IIM at Visakhapatnam.
The Andhra Medical College, established in 1902, is the home of various teaching hospitals. The GITAM and the GVP College of Engineering are other prominent technical education institutions in the city.
Some of the other engineering colleges in the city: Chaitanya Engineering College, Raghu Engineering College, Vignan's Institute of Information Technology, Sanketika Vidya Parishad college of engineering, Pothinamallayapalem, Pydah College of Engineering and Technology, Vignans Institute of Engineering for Women, Al Ameer College of Engineering & Technology, Avanthi Institute of Engineering & Technology, Anil Neerukonda Institute of Technology & Sciences and VITAM College of Engineering. Graduation Degree Colleges: VIPS, Pydah, Gayatri, AVN, DR.V.S.Krishna, etc.
Schools: St. Aloysius Anglo Indian High School is the oldest school in the district and one of the oldest schools in the country. It was established in 1847 and is in the old town region, also, St. Joseph's Girls' High School was established in 1893 in Waltair R.S centre of Visakhapatnam and affiliated to ICSE.Naval Childrens School is the best school in Visakhapatnam. Kotak Salesian School, D.A.V Cent. Public School, Delhi Public School, S.F.S. School, St. Anthony's high school, Bethany School, Visakha Valley School, Timpany School are the best schools in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Other schools include Public School at MVP Colony, Pollocks School, St. Joseph's sec school, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sri Krishna Vidya Mandir, Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Siva Sivani, Saraswathi Vidya Vihar, Little Angels, Little Flowers, Visvodaya High School and Pavani School. The city has around 10 Kendriya Vidyalaya's with total student strength of 18000. Timpany School has three branches —one affiliated to ICSE and the other two to CBSE. Vikas Vidyaniketan is the largest CBSE +2 residential school affiliated to CBSE. Vijnana Vihara(Gudilova),Visakha Valley School and Sri Krishna Vidya Mandir are affiliated to CBSE.De Paul School affiliated to SSC and ICSE. Municipal Corporation also running the schools in Telugu medium, which offers education at free of cost to the poor. Kurupam Durga Prasad Municipal Corporation High School Est.,in 1954, Zilla Parishad High School are to name a few.
The International Science Congress (I.S.C.) was hosted by Andhra University in 1976 and again in 2008. It is the largest congregation of scientists from different disciplines in the world. Over 8,000 people participated in the I.S.C. in 2008, including prominent Nobel Prize winners from around the world.
[edit]Economy



Fishermen in Visakhapatnam.


Megadri River Channel that connects Outer Harour of Visakhapatnam Port with Inner Harbour


Naval warship
[edit]Visakhapatnam City economy
From being a tiny hamlet of local fishing communities during the early days of the Indian Independence Struggle and for a few decades later, the city exploded economically, in fact the rise has been so dramatic that the city was identified as one of the fastest growing cities in the world economically and demographically.[11][12] Various factors contributed to the city's growth economically, including the natural harbor, its location between Madras and Calcutta, access to the NH5 (a major National Expressway) and the developed network of railways which metamorphosed the village into a burgeoning industrial city.[13]


Visakhapatnam Outer Harbour
The city has developed into a hub for many heavy industries. The Visakhapatnam Port, the largest in the country, was the ideal gateway contributing to the development of petroleum, steel and fertilizer industries. The Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (recently expanded from 3.1 to 6.3 MT) and the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. were the two multi-billion dollar investments which put Visakhapatnam on the world's industrial map. The city also has two N.T.P.C. power plants to satisfy the huge power needs of the industries. Visakhapatnam also houses the headquarters of the Dredging corporation of India.
It is hub for iron ore and other mineral exports of India, where iron ore from Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh is transported to the Visakhapatnam port by means of both Rail transport & Road transport and from here minerals are exported using ships to China and other countries. Visakhapatnam district and its surroundings have Bauxite reserves of 1,000 MT, manganese ore and titanium reserves in the beach sand.[citation needed]
The city also owes its economic growth to the availability of an educated English-speaking workforce. English is the first language in many places of higher education in the city. This availability of a highly educated workforce allowed the entry of many ITES companies such as HSBC, IBM Daksh, Sutherland and Acclaris. The city registered over 100% growth in the I.T. sector over the last year, contributing millions of dollars to the economy. The city has 102 small and medium software and call centre units, of which about 10 units started their operations during the year 2005–07. Software exports from the Visakhapatnam in 2007 were worth Rs. 245 crores and 502 crores in 2008, 1000 crores in 2011 – an increase of nearly 90% every year. Various national and international IT and banking giants have set up or will be setting up offices in the city. Some IT companies started already are Mahindra Satyam, Kenexa, Infotech, Softsol, and Miracle Software. Wipro has finished construction of its campus and is about to start operations.Recently IBM has started a new branch office in Vizag as on 2011. IBM already has a BPO IBM-Daksh in Vizag since 2007. The Andhra Pradesh government provided infrastructure and land for these companies to set up their development centers in the city outskirts. The Andhra Pradesh govt has also started an IT SEZ in Rushikonda hills at Visakhapatnam. IT industry is growing and it is believed that the pace of growth would increase once international flights start from the city's airport.


Mahindra Satyam Development Center
The growing population and economy have resulted in the revamping of the real estate prices with prices at some prime locations in the city quadrupling over the past couple of years. Various real estate companies are setting up housing projects in the outskirts of the city which is being touted as the future IT destination of the country.
The fishing industry is also on the rise with both foreign and domestic exports of tuna doubling over the past decade. The city has a port called Visakhapatnam Port started in 1933 and a second port called as Gangavaram Port started in 2008 [15 km from Visakhapatnam Port. It started with an investment of 2 billion dollars and is the deepest port in the country with the ability to handle the larger international vessels. Visakhapatnam Port is also expanding and planning to set up a Satellite Port at Bhimili 20 km away from Visakhapatnam.
The city has APIIC Industrial Park at Autonagar and SEZ called as Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone started in 1989. The exports from VSEZ stood at approx 1582 crores in 2011.[14]
Multi Product Special Economic Zones (SEZ) called APIIC SEZ has been sanctioned for the city and this is coming up in 5,770 acres (23.4 km2) at Atchutapuram, Visakhapatnam. Some of the Industries coming up in this SEZ are WS Industries, Pokarna limited, Uniparts, Confidence Petroleum, Southern Online Bio, Nagarjuna AgriChem, Anjaney Alloys, Maithon Alloys, Abhijit Ferro Alloys etc. and railway line is being laid connecting this SEZ with the Gangavaram Port.
Brandix Apparel City is already in operation in Atchutapuram. This is specifically a textile based SEZ spread over 1,000 acres (4.0 km2). The aim of this project is to provide 60000 jobs to the local people. It is expected that exports would reach up to 5500 crores once it is fully operational.[15] Currently this has foreign textile manufacturers like Pioneer Elastic Fiber, Ocean India, Quantum Clothing, Fountain Set group, Limited Brands, etc.
Pilkington an automotive glass manufacturer and Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City (JNPC) are also in the city. JNPC is only the Pharma SEZ in the country, and currently JNPC has 38 pharmaceutical companies with international pharmaceutical players like PharmaZell of Germany and Japan's Eisai Pharma. US-based Hospira Chemicals has purchased land for setting up plant in the city.
Companies like Reliance, Brandix and HPCL have purchased huge areas in the SEZ for setting up their industries and Aluminium refineries like Anrak Aluminium, Jindal Aluminium are coming up in the city because of availability of Bauxite reserves around Visakhapatnam, Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) plans to set up its second research facility in the country after Trombay in this region. The city was one of the five in the country selected to hold strategic crude reserves for the nation in times of national emergency.
Other heavy industries include Hindustan Zinc Limited, GAIL, IOC Bottling Unit, BPCL Bottling Unit, Synergies Castings Ltd., Rain Calcining Limited, Coromandel Fertilizers, Hindustan Ship Yard and Bharat Heavy Plate and Vessels Limited (BHPV), Visakha Dairy, Vizag Profiles, Essar Pellet Plant, Andhra Polymers [now called as LG Polymers], Andhra cements, Andhra petrochemicals, Andhra Ferroalloys which contribute to the economy of the city. The city also has some Ferro Alloy units because of availability of Manganese Ore around Visakhapatnam. The city is the headquarters for Waltair division of East Coast Railway. The Waltair division has generated 3483 Crore revenues in 2009–2010 and is one of the highest revenue grosser in the Country.[16]
Its traditional importance in shipbuilding is confirmed by the fact that India's first ship, the Jala Usha was launched in Visakhapatnam. It is also one of India's main fishing ports, has a dedicated harbour for the fishing industry and handles a large percentage of India's seafood exports.
The Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone plays a vital role in the industrial growth of the city. The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre has started its operation at autonagar (temporary) while the construction for the center is taking on currently. It is expected to be completed soon, the second only centre for India after Mumbai. Nuclear power technologies are to be set up at this centre including a University of its own by BARC.
The city has office of National Institute of Oceanography, Indian Meteorological Department.
The Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) has awarded the bid to construct a Knowledge City to Unitech Limited in an area of 700 ha, with an investment of Rs. 35 thousand crores.
India aims to build its first strategic oil reserve facility at Visakhapatnam by October 2011.


HPCL Petro-Chemical Complex
[edit]On-going and coming projects related to Visakhapatnam as on 2010
Hindujas have also started construction of Thermal Power Plant of 1070 MW in Visakhapatnam district with 7000 Crores, HPCL is also expanding Visakh Refinery from 7.5 MT to 15 MT with an investment of 13000 Crores, NTPC-Simhadri is expanding from 1000 MW to 2000 MW with 5000Crores, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant completed its expansion from 3.1 MT to 6.3 MT with 9000 Crores, Visakhapatnam Port is expanding with 3000 Crores to increase its capacity to handle load up to 80 MT per year, HSL has been transferred to Defence Ministry recently some big Naval projects for building long range submarines up to 20,000 Crores are expected, NTPC is also coming with another Ultra Mega Power Project of 4000 MW with an investement of 23,000 Crores in Pudimadaka Village in Visakhapatnam district. Brighton group is coming up with Nuclear Manufacturing equipment factory near Nakkapalli with nearly 3000 Crores, BARC investing 2000 Crores for their new facility in Visakhapatnam, Anrak Aluminium investing up to 8000 Crores in 02 Phases for their Aluminium Refinery in Makavaripalem, Strategic Oil reserve facility coming up at Visakhapatnam with 6700 Crores, Other investors big investors in APSEZ are Confidence petroleum −1000 Crores, Abhijit Ferroalloys −2600 Crores. Recently RINL has announced some Joint Venture Projects inside RINL Facility - RINL Slag Cement Factory project worth 1000Crores ,RINL-BHEL Seamless tubes project worth of 2000Crores,RINL-Power Grid Tower Manfacturing project worth of 350Crores.
[edit]Naval establishments
The city has Eastern Naval Command [ENC] office and Naval Science & Technological Laboratory(DRDO Lab), CQAE [Chief Quality Assurance Establishment] [EFS] Office, Naval Docky yard [started in 1949] and nearly some 05 Naval bases like INS Kalinga, INS Samudrika, INS Satavahana, ENC Base, INS Dega etc. are present in the city. A new base called INS Rambilli is being constructed in 5,000 acres (20 km2) with an investment of 1500 Crores and it is believed to be a dedicated submarine base in India. Recently India's first nuclear submarine INS Arihant was launched in Naval dockyard, Visakhapatnam and Bharat Dynamics Ltd has started recently in the city for manufacturing of Torpedoes. The city also has Indian Coast Guard offices. NSTL has plans for expansion in Visakhapatnam and has land in Simhachalam area has been allotted for this purpose.
Visakhapatnam is a part of the PCPIR [Petroleum and Chemical & Petrochemical investment region] proposed between Visakhapatnam and Kakinada. This PCPIR region is expected to generate employment of 1.2 million and projected investement of 34,30,000 million.
[edit]Tourism


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A park on RK beach


A view of the Beach Road from Kailasagiri


Kailasagiri.
Visakhapatnam has a range of tourist attractions including beaches, cliffs, parks on the hilltop facing the sea, long drives along the beach road, a zoological park and wildlife sanctuary, a submarine museum, hill stations, limestone caves, mountain ranges and colorful valleys, all within 100 km from the city. There are two five-star hotels, The Taj and The Park, and a full range of other accommodation[17]
Kailasagiri is a park developed by VUDA on a hilltop adjacent to the sea. It offers views of the Bay of Bengal, Visakhapatnam city and the Eastern Ghats. A ropeway connects this park from the bottom of the hill.[18]
The Beach Road from East point colony to Coastal battery is studded with parks, statues, etc., and is an evening gathering point. Along the road can be found India's only submarine museum, INS Kursura, as well as the Visakha museum and Matsyadarsini (an aquarium). VUDA park, at the beginning of the Beach Road, has a musical fountain, and entertainment for children. It has a roller skating ground, which has served as the venue for several national[19] and international skating competitions.[citation needed]
Rushikonda Beach, 6 km away from Visakhapatnam city, has become a favorite evening spot. Bhimili-Visakhapatnam beach Road, 30 km long, offers one of the best views of the sea, sand, hills and greenery. Many parks are constructed adjacent to this road. Tenneti park beach park is constructed on the cliff of Kailasagiri. There are several points from which the beautiful rocky beach beneath can be seen. Many Telugu, Tamil and Hindi movies were filmed here.[20][21][22][citation needed]


Simhachalam Temple
Simhachalam is a hill shrine of Lord Narasimha 16 km north of the city. The carved 16-pillared Natya mantapa and the 96-pillared Kalyana mandapa are highlights at the Simhachalam temple. It was constructed by Gajapathi Kings of Orissa before 1500 AD. Mr.Poosapati Ananda Gajapati Raju (heir to His Highness Maharaja Vijayrama Gajapati Raju Bahadur of former Vizianagaram princely state).[citation needed]
The city has Ramanaidu Film Studios which has started recently.[23][citation needed]
Indira Gandhi Zoological Park: Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, between the National Highway 5 and Beach Road, spreading over an area of 250 ha, exhibits about 700 animals belonging to about 89 species.


Araku-valley
Outside the city, 112 km from Visakhapatnam, Araku Valley is an important tourist destination.[24] It is a hill station at an elevation of over 1000 m. famous for its gardens, valleys, waterfalls and streams.[18][25][26] On the way to Araku Hill station are the Borra Caves[27] which are naturally formed. They were discovered by British Geologist William King in 1807.
The Marriage Bureau For Rich People series of novels, written by Farahad Zama and published worldwide in over twelve languages, are set in Visakhapatnam and feature many landmarks of the city and its surroundings.[28][29]


A panoramic photo of the Bay of Bengal, from Beach Road, Vizag
[edit]Buddhist sites


Buddhist stupa at Bojjannakonda
Visakhapatnam is surrounded by ancient Buddhist sites, most of which have been excavated recently. The imprint of Buddhist legacy is so strong here that the interest of archeologists in this area is growing by the day.
The Buddhist Complex on the Mangamaripeta hilltop, locally known as Thotlakonda, lies about 16 km from Visakhapatnam on Visakhapatnam-Bheemili Beach Road. After its discovery (during an aerial survey), the Government of A.P declared the 48 ha site as a protected monument in 1978. Excavations in 1988 to 1992 exposed structural remains and artifacts, classified as Religious, Secular and Civil. These structures include the Stupa, Chaityagrihas, pillared congregation halls, bhandagaras, refectory (bhojanasala), drainage and stone pathways.
Bavikonda is an important Buddhist heritage site located on a hill about 15 km, northeast from Visakhapatnam city. Here the Buddhist habitation is noticed on a 16 ha flat terraced area. The Hinayana school of Buddhism was practiced at the monastery between the 3rd century B.C. and the 3rd century A.D. Bavikonda has remains of an entire Buddhist complex, comprising 26 structures belonging to three phases. A piece of bone stored in an urn recovered here is believed to belong to the mortal remains of the Budda.
In 1907 a British archaeologist, Alexander Rea, unearthed Sankaram, a 2000-year-old Buddhist Heritage site. Located 40 km from South of Visakhapatnam, it is known locally as Bojjannakonda. The three phases of Buddhism flourished here, viz. Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana. This complex is famous for its numerous monolithic votive stupas, rock-cut caves, and brick structural edifices. Excavations yielded several historic potteries and Satavahana coins dating back to the 1st century A.D. Similarly at Lingalakonda, there are innumerable rock-cut monolithic stupas in rows spread over the hill. The Vihara was active for about 1,000 years, spanning the Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana phases of Buddhism.
Pavuralakonda, or 'the hill of the pigeons', is a hillock lying to the west of Bhimli, at about 24 km from Visakhapatnam. The Buddhist settlement found here is estimated to have witnessed human habitation between 1st century BC to 2nd century AD. Sixteen rock-cut cisterns for impounding rainwater are found on the hillock, which offer a panoramic view of the coastline.
Gopalapatnam, situated on the left bank of River Tandava, is a village surrounded by brick stupas, viharas and other Buddhist remains. Ancient pottery was also excavated from these sites.
[edit]Retail and entertainment

[edit]Shopping malls
The city has seen rapid growth in the retail and entertainment sectors during the past decade. Visakhapatnam contains a number of shopping malls. Some of the malls are Visakhapatnam Central, CMR Central, CMR Shopping Mall, V-Square Shopping Mall, Kalanjali, Kalaniketan Mall, and M&M Mall.Recently Novotel has started a HOTEL in Vizag with TAJ Gateway already being present in the city.


Grand Bay Hotel
[edit]Entertainment
The City has seen a new high in the entertainment sector with INOX, a famous Indian Multiplex chain, setting up 10 screens here. The multiplex in the city constitutes 6 Screens at Varun Beach and 4 screens at CMR Central Mall and Vmax multiplex has been recently opened. Few more mutiplex chains evinced interest in this fast growing city, most of which would complete construction in the next 2 years. Visakhapatnam has a good number of outlets for famous brands like Fabindia, Lee, Levis, H&A, United Colours Of Benetton, Pepe Jeans etc. in Waltair uplands and Siripuram.Baskin Robbins has also been opened recently in the city at multiplexes like CMR Central Mall and VARUN Beach INOX Mall. There are about 35 Movie Theaters[30] in city.
[edit]Sports



ACA-VDCA Stadium at Madhurawada hosting the India-Sri Lanka ODI.
Cricket is the most popular game followed by tennis and football. The city is home to a number of local cricket teams participating in various district and zonal events. Gully cricket – a form of cricket played in empty streets or maidans is a popular pastime for local school/college going kids in the evenings. Visakhapatnam also co-hosted the 32nd National Games along with the state capital, Hyderabad. Visakhapatnam has 7 cricket stadiums which are used for Ranji Trophy matches. However only 2 of these stadiums have been used for One Day International matches.
Indira Priyadarshini Stadium (5 ODI Matches): Also known as the Municipal Corporation Stadium, it hosted the first ODI match on 9 December 1988 and the last of the 5 on 3 April 2001. The stadium has discontinued hosting ODI matches in favor of the newer ACA-VDCA Stadium, which is situated in the satellite township of Madhurawada. The stadium is set amidst the hills and offers a scenic view.
YSR ACA-VDCA Stadium: (4 ODI Matches): The ACA-VDCA Stadium has hosted 4 ODIs with India winning against Pakistan in the first, Sri Lanka in the second, Australia in the third and West Indies in the fourth. Now this stadium is upgraded to host day/night matches. It has the most advanced flood lights in India after Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi. This stadium is recently named as YS Rajasekhara Reddy Stadium.
The city of Visakhapatnam has never hosted a Test Match. The ACA-VDCA Stadium was recently awarded Test status. This makes the ACA stadium the ninth stadium to have a Test status in the country and the second in Andhra Pradesh.
Port Trust Golden Jubilee Stadium: It is the second largest stadium in Visakhapatnam city. It hasn't hosted any ODIs but has hosted Under-19 Youth Internationals.
[edit]Educational institutes in and around the city

[edit]Universities
Andhra University
GITAM University
AP Law University
Indian Maritime University
Indian Innovation University (Proposed)
[edit]Engineering colleges
Gayatri Vidya Parishad College of Engineering - Madhuravada
Anil Neerukonda Institute of Technology and Sciences(ANITS) - Sangivalasa
Sanketika Vidhya Parishad College of Engineering (SAVE) - Pothinamallayya palem
Chaitanya Engineering College(CEC) - Madhuravada
Vignan Vidyalam - Duvvada
Viswanadha Institute of Technology & Management(VITAM) - Sontyam
Avanthi Institute of Engineering & Technology
Al-Ameer College of Engineering - Gudilova Anandapuram
Al-Aman College of Engineering - Gudilova Anandapuram
Pydah College of Engineering & Technology - Anandapuram
Dadi Institute of Engineering & Technology - Anakapalle
Vignan's Institute of Info. Technology - Gajuwaka
Raghu Engineering College - Dakamarri
Raghu Institute of Technology - Dakamarri
Baba institute of technology and scicences(bits)-pm.palem
[edit]Polytechnic colleges
Government polytechnic visakhapatnam
[edit]Schools
Stella Maris School - Marripalem (Karasa)
Visakha Tutorial College (School) - Rajendra Nagar
St Francis High school - Seethammadhara
St Aloysius School
ETASI Timpany School - Asilametta & Steel Plant
Pollocks - Diamond park
Visakha Valley School
Fort Catholic Girls' School
Kotak Salesian School
St. Anns School ,NAD
Vignan Vidyalayam Timmapuram
St. Joseph's Girls High School
St. John's Parish School
Siva Sivani Public School - Kirlampudi Layout & Steel Plant
DAV Public School - Steel Plant
Delhi Public School - Steel Plant
Little Angels High School - MVP Colony
MVP Public School - MVP Colony
Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar- MVP Colony
St Peter's High School - Gnanapuram
St.Marys School - Seethammadhara
Balaji public school - Gopalapatnam
Nehru Muncipal corporation high school - Maddilapalem
[edit]Hospitals in and around the city

King George Hospital
Queens NRI
Seven Hills Hospital
Simhadri Hospital
Appollo Hospital
CDR
[edit]Religious places in and around the city

Simhachala kshetram - Lord Naramisha - near Gopalapatnam
Kanaka mahaalakshmi Gudi - Godess Lakshmi - near Old Town
Madhava dhaara - Lord Madhaaveshwara - near Muralinagar
Sagara Durga Gudi - Godess Durga - on Dolphins Nose Mountain
Shankara Matam - Saint Shankaracharya - near Dwaraka Nagar
Lalitha Gudi - Godess Lalitha - near Lalitha Nagar
SampathVinayaka Gudi - Lord Ganesha - near Asilametta
Worldwide Faith Missions - Bananapalem Village
Dayal Nagar - Radha Soami
[edit]Steel plant township

Main article: Ukkunagaram


Jagannath temple in Ukkunagaram
The beautiful and well planned township for the employees of the Visakhapatnam steel plant is called Ukkunagaram (ukku in Telugu for steel,nagaram in Telugu for town).
The design of the Township itself is state-of-the-art. The designers followed the Roman Circular design for the layout of homes and roads to keep the distances equal between any two points within the township.
There are 12 sectors in the Township, oldest of them being sectors 1, 2 and 3, and Sector 7 which is the exclusive domain of the directors and the chairman's homes,and the newest being Sector 12 which have CD type housing units and are available for senior officers . Other sectors came into being as the plant's staffing matured. On the average, each sectore consists of about 300 housing units, which vary from multi-storied quarters (3 floors) to single family homes. There are also bungalows exclusively for the directors of the plant. There are 5 types of housing units viz. A Type,B,C,D & director's bungalow.
Sector 1 used to house the Russians who came to erect and commission the first blast furnace "Godavari", The RMHP, Sinter, and Coke Oven Batteries I & II.
The Township is located in forest belt starting at the Valleys of Araku through Elamanchili to Narsipatnam. The township comes under the mandate of the Town Administration. The continued afforestation efforts of the management has ensured a green and pollution-free environment and thereby creating a unique ecosystem in itself. The township has well kept roads, regulated traffic. The township also has all market places, parks, clubs, sports facilities exclusively for the employees and their dependents.
Big Kanithi Balancing reservoir provides water for the captive consumption of the plant and the township alike, and sits between the Township and the NH5. It draws its water from a special canal built exclusively for it from the River Yeleru, a tributary of the major river Godavari.
The road that leads from the plant plaza main gate into the township actually travels ahead as a bypass to the busy NH5 and skips Anakapalli directly to Elamanchili and Tuni, cutting almost 30 km on the road route from Visakhapatnam to Vijayawada.
[edit]Members of Parliament

Daggubati Purandeshwari (INC) – Visakhapatnam
Sabbam Hari (INC) – Anakapalli
V Kishore Chandra Deo (INC) – Araku
[edit]Members of Legislative Assembly

Paderu(ST): Pasupuleti Balaraju (INC)
Visakhapatnam South: Dronamraju Srinivas (INC)
Visakhapatnam East: Rama Krishna Babu (TDP)
Visakhapatnam North: Thynala Vijaya Kumar (INC)
Visakhapatnam West: Malla Vijaya Prasad (INC)
Pendurthi: Panchakarla Ramesh (PRP)
Gajuwaka: Chintalapudi Venkataramayya (PRP)
[edit]Administrators

The current Collector of the district is Lav Agarwal while the Joint Collector is Pola Bhaskar. The Additional Joint Collector is S. Satyanarayana. The mayor is Pulusu Janardhan Rao and the deputy mayor is Dora Babu.


Suryalanka Beach
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Coordinates: 15.83454°N 80.50507°E
Suryalanka Beach is located 9 km from Bapatla in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh. It is located 50 km south of Guntur City. Also known as the Bapatla Beach, it draws a large number of visitors on weekends and holidays.
Contents  [hide] 
1 About
2 Accessibility
3 Recreation
4 External links
[edit]About

Suryalanka Beach is situated at a distance of 9 kilometers from the town of Bapatla, in Guntur district. The natural beauty of the beach and its closeness to the town attracts tourists who often return to the calmness of the sea for the weekend. The shore of the beach is wide and spacious. The Suryalanka Beach overlooks the crystal blue waters of the Bay of Bengal. It's the only nearest beach from Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh and quite spoken about.but it is a small and beautiful beach
[edit]Accessibility



APTDC Cottages at Suryalanka Beach
Suryalanka beach is 7 km from Bapatla railway station (Station Code: BPP) in Guntur district. Buses are available to Suryalanka from Bapatla. Bapatla Beach (Surya Lanka) is well connected by road and there are frequent buses from Guntur also.
[edit]Recreation

Thanks to Andhra Pradesh Tourism and Development Corporation, they have a Haritha Beach Resort set-up over there which is the only one available. If anyone is unlucky to get an accommodation which means they can still get a hotel or a lodge booked in Bapatla town and have to commute all the way to the beach for fun. APTDC has built-up 10 A.C. rooms with a restaurant and camp fire facility.


Udayagiri Fort
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
There are two forts named Udayagiri Fort in South India.
Contents  [hide] 
1 Fort in Tamil Nadu (Kanyakumari District)
1.1 Location
1.2 History
1.3 Architecture
2 Fort in Andhra Pradesh (Nellore District)
2.1 Location
2.2 History
2.3 Architecture
2.4 How to reach
3 Reference
4 External links
[edit]Fort in Tamil Nadu (Kanyakumari District)



Udayagiri Fort in Kanyakumari District, Tamilnadu, with a view of the Western Ghats and hillock within the fort.
[edit]Location
The fort in Tamil Nadu is located at a distance of 14 km from Nagercoil town in Kanyakumari District. The fort is situated on the Thiruvananthapuram-Nagercoil National highway at Puliyoorkurichi. This was the most important military barracks of the Travancore rulers, when Padmanabhapuram was their capital. 8°14′38.4″N 77°19′55.2″E
[edit]History
It had been originally built in the 17th century, and then rebuilt later by Maharaja Marthanda Varma of Travancore in the 18th century.
Enclosing an area of about 90 acres (36 ha), with an isolated hill 260 feet (79 m) high, the fort contains an old foundry which was used for casting guns.
The fort was rebuilt during the reign of Marthanda Varma, Venad King, during 1741-44 under the supervision of Eustachius De Lannoy, a Flemish naval commander of the Dutch East India Company, who later served as the Chief of the Travancore Army.[1]
In the early days, the fort was of strategic importance. Prisoners captured in the campaign against Tippu Sultan were confined in the fort for some time. In 1810, the East India Company's Army under Colonel Leger marched into the Travancore State through the Aramboly Pass to quell a rebellion under the leadership of Velu Thambi Dalava.
In the later years, the English East India Company's troops were stationed there till the middle of the 19th century. Foundry for the manufacture of guns, mortars and cannon balls were also established within the fort under the supervision of the General.
[edit]Architecture


De Lannoy's Tomb at the Udayagiri Fort on the Kanyakumari-Trivandrum highway in Kanyakumari District.
The fort is built of massive granite blocks around an isolated hillock.
The tombs of the Dutch Admiral Eustachius De Lannoy, (in whose honour the fort was once called Dillanai Kottai— De Lennoy's Fort), and of his wife and son can still be found inside a partly ruined chapel in the fort.
De Lannoy's body was buried within the fort and a chapel was built at his burial site . De Lannoy's tombstone lies within the walls of the ruined chapel. The inscriptions on his stone are both in Tamil and in Latin. His wife and son were buried by his side.
Recently, officials of the Department of Archaeology found an underground tunnel within the fort.
Presently, the fort has been turned into a bio-diversity park by the Tamilnadu forest department, with sites of historical importance, such as De Lannoy's tomb, remaining as protected archaeological sites under the Archaeological Department of India.
[edit]Fort in Andhra Pradesh (Nellore District)

[edit]Location
The fort in Andhra Pradesh state is located in Udayagiri Village in Nellore district. It is located 96 km from Nellore city. 14°51′55.8″N 79°16′26.33″E
[edit]History
The fort was built by Gajapatis and Vijayanagara kings in the 14th and 15th centuries. The army of Krishna Deva Raya attacked the fort. The fight lasted for 18 months and resulted in the end of Gajapatis rule from the Telugu region. It was later ruled by chieftains of the Nawabs of Golconda and Arcot. During the rule of the Gajapathis and the Vijayanagara rulers, this town grew to great splendour and the ruins of 365 temples reflect the sculpture and architecture of various periods.[2]
[edit]Architecture
A towering peak reaching a height of 994 m (3,261 ft) can be seen here, which is called Sanjiva Hill because a wide variety of medicinal herbs grow on it. Local stories have mentions of the existence of "Sanjeevani" (a life saving herb) on these hills. The remains of several ancient temples, remarkable for their architecture are also seen. The fort complex consists of thirteen fortresses, eight on the hill and three below covering an area of about seven miles. The structures on the hill such as the Ranganatha Temple (Chola period), the Balakrishna Mandiram (Pallava period) and the Paruveta Mandapam (Vijayanagara period), reflect the respective styles and culture.Other structures include Chinna Masjid and Pedda Masjid. A great Sufi saint belonging to the 18th century, Rahamathulla Nayab Rasool, got absorbed in the higher-self here. Every year the Sandal Festival is celebrated on the 26th of the Rabi-UI-Aval month.
[edit]How to reach
The only mode of reaching the fort at the top of the hill is by walk.


Andhra Pradesh
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Andhra Pradesh
ఆంధ్రప్రదేశ్
—  State  —

Lepakshi Nandi (bull) - Historical Landmark of the State

Seal

Location of Andhra Pradesh in India

Map of Andhra Pradesh
Coordinates (Hyderabad): 17.366°N 78.476°ECoordinates: 17.366°N 78.476°E
Country India
Established 1 November 1956 (55 years ago)
Capital Hyderabad
Largest city Hyderabad
Districts 23 total
Government
 • Body Government of India, Government of Andhra Pradesh
 • Governor E. S. L. Narasimhan
 • Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy (INC)
 • Legislature Bicameral (294 + 90 seats)
 • Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Raja Narasimha
 • High Court Andhra Pradesh High Court
Area†
 • Total 275,045 km2 (106,195.5 sq mi)
Area rank 4th
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 84,655,533
 • Rank 5th
 • Density 307.8/km2 (797.2/sq mi)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
ISO 3166 code IN-AP
HDI 0.572 (medium)
HDI rank 20th (2005)
Literacy 67.77% (2011)
Official language Telugu (1st official language),
Urdu(2nd official language)[2]
Website ap.gov.in
Andhra Pradesh (Telugu: ఆంధ్ర ప్రదేశ్, [aːnd̪ʱrə prəd̪eːʃ] ( listen)), is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the country's southeastern coast. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city is Hyderabad. Andhra Pradesh lies between 12°41' and 22°N latitude and 77° and 84°40'E longitude, and is bordered by Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Orissa in the north, the Bay of Bengal in the east, Tamil Nadu to the south and Karnataka to the west.
Andhra Pradesh has the second-longest coastline of 972 km (604 mi) among the states of India.[3] Two major rivers, the Godavari and the Krishna, run across the state. The small enclave (30 square kilometres (12 sq mi)) of Yanam, a district of Pondicherry, lies in the Godavari delta in the northeast of the state.
The primary official language of Andhra Pradesh is Telugu with Urdu a common secondary official language in some areas.[2] Other languages often spoken in the state include Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada, and Oriya. According to the 2001 census, 10,281 persons in Andhra Pradesh declare English as their first language.[4]
The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh exceeds $100 billion, ranking it third among the states of India.[5] It is historically called the "Rice Bowl of India". More than 77% of its crop is rice; Andhra Pradesh produced 17,796,000 tonnes of rice in 2006.[6]
On 1 November 1956, the States Reorganization Act formed Andhra Pradesh by merging Telugu-speaking areas of Hyderabad State with the already existing Andhra State .[7]
Contents  [hide] 
1 Ancient and medieval history
2 Modern history
3 Geography and climate
3.1 Adjacent states
4 Demographics
4.1 Religions
5 Economy
5.1 Information technology and other key sectors
6 Administration
7 Tourism
8 Religious tourism
8.1 Other temples and piligrimage sites in Andhra Pradesh
9 Culture
9.1 Cuisine
9.2 Dance
9.3 Literature
9.4 Cinema
9.5 Music
10 Sports
11 Education and research
12 Transport
12.1 By road
12.2 By rail
12.3 By air
12.4 By sea
13 Newspapers and journals
13.1 In Telugu
13.2 In Urdu
13.3 In English
14 See also
15 References
16 External links
[edit]Ancient and medieval history

Main article: History of Andhra Pradesh


Kondaveedu


Kakatiya sculpture at Warangal


A pillar at Ahobilam temple in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh


Rock-cut Lord --Buddha-- Statue at Bojjanakonda near Anakapalle, Visakhapatnam

The first historical records appear in the Buddhist text Anguttara Nikaya, when what is now Nizamabad and Adilabad districts of the Telangana region constituted parts of the Assaka Mahajanapada(700–300 BCE)[8] An Andhra tribe was mentioned in the Sanskrit epics such as Aitareya Brahmana (800 BCE) and Mahabharata (400 BCE).[9] The Natya Shastra written by Bharatha (1st century BCE) also mentions the Andhra people.[10] The roots of the Telugu language have been seen on inscriptions found near the Guntur district[11] and from others dating to the rule of Renati Cholas in the 5th century CE.[12]
Megasthenes, a Greek traveller and geographer who visited the Court of Chandragupta Maurya (322–297 BCE), mentioned that the region had three fortified towns and an army of 100,000 infantry, 200 cavalry, and 1,000 elephants. Buddhist books reveal that Andhras established their huts or tents near the Godavari River at that time.[13]
Inscriptional evidence shows that there was an early kingdom in coastal Andhra (Guntur District) ruled first by Kuberaka and then by his son Varun, with Pratipalapura (Bhattiprolu) as the capital. Around the same time, Dhanyakatakam/Dharanikota (present day Amaravati) appears to have been an important place, which was visited by Gautama Buddha. According to the ancient Tibetan scholar Taranatha: "On the full moon of the month Chaitra in the year following his enlightenment, at the great stupa of Dhanyakataka, the Buddha emanated the mandala of 'The Glorious Lunar Mansions' (Kalachakra)".[14][15]
Literary evidence shows that long before Bhogala's, a legendary king named Bhogala Hari Siva Kumar Reddy ruled in and around the Diviseema region of Andhra Pradesh. After his reign, people came to believe that he had an amsa of the divine savior Lord Maha Vishnu himself. Perhaps in his honor, people dedicated a new temple now located at Srikaku?am, Krishna District. The lord of the temple is known as Andhra Vi?h?u or Srikaku?andhra Vi?h?u. The Mauryans extended their rule over Andhra in the 4th century BC. With the fall of the Maurya Empire in the 3rd century BC, the Satavahanas became independent. After the decline of the Satavahanas in 220 CE, the Ikshvaku dynasty, Pallavas, Ananda Gotrikas, Rashtrakutas, Vishnukundinas, Eastern Chalukyas, and Cholas ruled the land.[16]
During this period, Telugu emerged as a popular language, supplanting Prakrit and Sanskrit.[17] Telugu was made the official language by the Vishnukundina kings (5th and 6th centuries), who ruled from their capital city of Vengi. Eastern Chalukyas ruled for a long period after the decline of Vishnukundinas; their capital was also Vengi. As early as the 1st century CE, Chalukyas were mentioned as being vassals and chieftains under the Satavahanas and later under the Ikshvakus. The Chalukya ruler Rajaraja Narendra ruled Rajahmundry around 1022 CE.[18]
The battle of Palnadu (1182) resulted in the weakening of the Eastern Chalukya dynasty and led to the emergence of the Kakatiya dynasty in the 12th and 13th centuries CE. The Kakatiyas were at first vassals of the Rashtrakutas, and ruled over a small territory near Warangal. Eventually all the Telugu lands were united by the Kakatiyas. In 1323 CE, Delhi Sultan Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq sent a large army under Ulugh Khan to conquer the Telugu country and captured Warangal. King Prataparudra was taken prisoner. Musunuri Nayaks recaptured Warangal from the Delhi Sultanate in 1326 CE and ruled for fifty years.
State language Telugu (తెలుగు)
State symbol Poorna kumbham (పూర్ణకుంభం)
State song Maa Telugu Thalliki (మా తెలుగు తల్లికి మల్లె పూదండ)
by Sri Sankarambadi Sundaraachari
State animal Black Buck (కృష్ణ జింక)
State bird Indian Roller (పాల పిట్ట)
State tree Neem (వేప)
State sport Kabaddi (చెడుగుడు)
State dance Kuchipudi (కూచిపూడి)
State flower Water lily (కలువ పువ్వు)
Inspired by their success, the Vijayanagara Empire, one of the greatest empires in the history of Andhra Pradesh and India, was founded by Harihara and Bukka, who served as treasury officers of the Kakatiyas of Warangal.[19] In 1347 CE, an independent Muslim state, the Bahmani Sultanate, was established in south India by Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah in a revolt against the Delhi Sultanate. The Qutb Shahi dynasty held sway over the Andhra country for about two hundred years from the early part of the 16th century to the end of the 17th century.[20]
Although Hyderabad was founded less than 500 years ago, archaeologists have unearthed Iron Age sites near the city that could date back to 500 BC. Approximately over 1000 years ago this region was ruled by Kakatiyas until 1310 AD, and fell under Delhi sultanate from (1310–1345), when the central sultanate became weak the Bahmani Sultan revolted against the Sultan of Delhi Muhammad bin Tughluq and established an independent state in Deccan within the Delhi Sultanates southern provinces and ruled until 1518 AD. Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk, governor of golconda, declared Independence from Bahmani Dynasty, and announced himself a sultan of golconda in the year 1518 AD, and founded the Qutb Shahi dynasty.[21]
Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, a fifth Sultan of the Qutb Shahi dynasty (the ruling family of the Golconda Sultanate, previously a feudatory of Bahmani sultanate that declared independence in 1512) founded the city of Hyderabad on the banks of the Musi River in 1591[20] to relieve a water shortage the dynasty had experienced at its old headquarters at Golconda city(11 kilometers west of Hyderabad city on the other side of Musi). He also ordered the construction of the Charminar. The Mughal emperor Aurangzeb captured kingdom of Golconda including the city of Hyderabad in 1687 and, during this short Mughal rule, Mughal-appointed governors of the city soon gained autonomy.[22]
In 1724, Asaf Jah I, who was granted the title Nizam-ul-Mulk ("Governor of the country") by the Mughal emperor, defeated a rival official to establish control over kingdom of Golconda renamed it as Hyderabad state. Thus began the Asaf Jahi dynasty that ruled Hyderabad State until a year after India's independence from Britain. Asaf Jah's successors ruled as the Nizams of Hyderabad. The rule of the seven Nizams saw the growth of Hyderabad city both culturally and economically. Hyderabad city became the formal capital of the kingdom (Hyderabad state) and Golkonda city was almost abandoned. Huge reservoirs, like the Nizam Sagar, Tungabhadra, Osman Sagar, and Himayat Sagar, were built. Survey work on Nagarjuna Sagar had also begun during this time; the actual work was completed by the Government of India in 1969. The wealth and grandeur of the Nizams is demonstrated by the fabled Jewels of The Nizams, which is a tourist attraction. The state was the richest and the largest among the princely states of India. The land area of the state was 90,543 mi²; its population in 1901 was 50,073,759. It enjoyed an estimated revenue of £90,029,000.[23][24]


Charminar at Hyderabad
[edit]Modern history



Vizag skyline
See also: Andhra State, Vishalandhra Movement, and Telangana Rebellion
In Colonial India, Northern Circars became part of the British Madras Presidency. Eventually this region emerged as the Coastal Andhra region. Later the Nizam rulers of Hyderabad ceded five territories to the British which eventually emerged as Rayalaseema region. The Nizams retained control of the interior provinces as the princely state of Hyderabad, acknowledging British rule in return for local autonomy. However, Komaram Bheem, a tribal leader, started his fight against the erstwhile Asaf Jahi Dynasty for the liberation of Hyderabad State.[25] Meanwhile, the French occupied Yanam, in the Godavari delta, and (save for periods of British control) would hold it until 1954. India became independent from the United Kingdom in 1947. The Nizam wanted to retain the independence of the Princely Hyderabad State from India, but the people of the region launched a movement to join the Indian Union. The state of Hyderabad was forcibly joined to the Republic of India with Operation Polo in 1948.[26]
In an effort to gain an independent state based on the linguistic and protect the interests of the Andhra (Telugu-speaking) people of Madras State, Potti Sreeramulu fasted until death in 1952. After his death, Andhra attained statehood on 1 November 1953, with Kurnool as its capital.[27]
On 1 November 1956, the States Reorganization Act merged the Telugu-speaking areas of the former Hyderabad state with the Telugu-speaking areas of the former Madras state to form the state of Vishalandhra, which is named as Andhra Pradesh. The city of Hyderabad, the former capital of the Hyderabad State, was made the capital of the new state.
There were several movements to disintegrate Andhra Pradesh into two states viz. Andhra and Telengana in the late 1960 which are continuing till date.
On 9 December 2009, it was announced that a separation proposal for Telangana would be introduced to the state assembly.[28] Controversy arose as to the future status of Hyderabad City, part of one of the ten districts of Telangana region.[29] This move was opposed by protesters from Kosta and Rayalaseema regions,however the protests in the state capital Hyderabad was rocked only by pro-bifurcation protests. On 23 December 2009, the government decided to put the decision of bifurcating the state on hold until a consensus is achieved among the different political parties.
This agitated supporters of a separate Telangana state.[30] On 5 January 2010, the Central Government represented by Home Minister P Chidambaram conducted a meeting by inviting all the recognised political parties of AP and recorded their stand on the issue. The Government of India appointed a committee, headed by B. N. Srikrishna, to guide the central government to settle the issue of Telangana amicably.[31] The committee submitted its report on 30 December 2010, a day before its term was to expire.[32]
[edit]Geography and climate



The Mouth of the Godavari River (East) emptying into the Bay of Bengal


Greater Flamingoes (Phoenicopterus roseus) taking off Pocharam lake


Aerial view of Visakhapatnam port


Ethipothala Falls
Geographically, Andhra Pradesh is composed of most of the eastern half of the Deccan plateau and the plains to the east of the Eastern Ghats. Andhra Pradesh is divided into three regions. The northern part of the plateau is the Telangana region and the southern part is known as Rayalaseema. These two regions are separated by the River Krishna. The third region is Coastal Andhra.[33] The plains to the east of Eastern Ghats form the Eastern coastal plains. The Eastern Ghats are discontinuous and individual sections have local names. The Kadapa Basin[34] formed by two arching branches of the Eastern Ghats is a mineral rich area. The coastal plains are for the most part delta regions formed by the Godavari, Krishna, and Penner rivers. The Eastern Ghats are a major dividing line in the state's geography. The Ghats become more pronounced towards the south and extreme north of the coast. The Eastern Ghat region is home to dense tropical forests, while the vegetation becomes sparse as the Ghats give way to the Deccan Plateau, where shrub vegetation is more common. Most of the coastal plains are put to intense agricultural use. The west and southwest parts of Andhra Pradesh have semi-arid conditions.
Indian Space Research Organisation's Satish Dhawan Space Centre is located at the Barrier Island of Sriharikota, in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.
The climate of Andhra Pradesh varies considerably, depending on the geographical region. Monsoons play a major role in determining the climate of the state. Summers last from March to June. In the coastal plain, the summer temperatures are generally higher than the rest of the state, with temperature ranging between 20 °C and 41 °C.[35]
July to September is the seasons for tropical rains in Andhra Pradesh. The state receives heavy rainfall from Southwest Monsoon during these months. About one third of the total rainfall in Andhra Pradesh is brought by the Northeast Monsoon. October and November see low-pressure systems and tropical cyclones form in the Bay of Bengal which, along with the Northeast Monsoon, bring rains to the southern and coastal regions of the state. November, December, January, and February are the winter months in Andhra Pradesh. Since the state has a long coastal belt the winters are not very cold. The range of winter temperature is generally 12 °C to 30 °C.[35]
Hyderabad is the capital and, along with the adjoining twin city Secunderabad, is the largest city in the state.Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh's main seaport, is the second largest city and is home to the Indian Navy's Eastern Naval Command. Due to its location and proximity to major rail and road routes, Vijayawada is a major trading center and is the third largest city of the state, is the fourth largest city of the state, followed by Guntur, Warangal, Kurnool, Nellore, Kakinada. Other important places of the state are Tirupati, Rajamundry, Srikakulam, and Kadapa.
[edit]Adjacent states
Maharastra Maharastra, Chattisgarh & Orissa Bay of Bengal
Karnataka Bay of Bengal
   Andhra Pradesh    

Karnataka Tamil Nadu Bay of Bengal
[edit]Demographics

[hide]Population Trend 
Census Pop.
1961 35,983,000
1971 43,503,000 20.9%
1981 53,550,000 23.1%
1991 66,508,000 24.2%
2001 75,727,000 13.9%
2011 84,655,533 11.8%
Source:Census of India[36]







Languages of Andhra Pradesh in 2001[37]
  Telugu (84.77%)
  Urdu (8.63%)
  Hindi (2.77%)
  Tamil (1.13%)
Telugu and Urdu are the official languages of the state, spoken by 83% and 8.63% of the population. Major linguistic minority groups are Hindi (2.77%), and Tamil (1.13%).
Other languages spoken in Andhra Pradesh by less than 1% each are Kannada(0.80%), Marathi (0.74%), and Oriya (0.44%). Languages spoken by less than 0.2% of the population include Malayalam (0.08%), Gujarati (0.06%), Bengali (0.05%), Gorkhali/Nepali (0.03%), Punjabi (0.01%) and Sindhi(0.01%).[38]
The main ethnic group of Andhra Pradesh is the Telugu people, who are primarily Dravidians.
Andhra Pradesh ranks tenth compared to all Indian States in the Human Development Index scores[39] with a score of 0.416.
The National Council of Applied Economic Research district analysis in 2001 reveals that Khammam, Krishna, West Godavari, Chittoor, and Medak are the five districts with the highest Human Development Indexscores in ascending order in rural AP. The data show that the poor make up 16.3 per cent of the total population in rural AP and expenditure on consumption is around 13.5 per cent of the total consumption expenditure. The female literacy rate is 0.66 compared to male literacy rate in rural AP. The district-wise variations for poverty ratio are high and low for the ratio of female/male literacy rate.[40]
[edit]Religions
The state is home to Hindu saints of all castes. An important figure is Saint Yogi Sri Potuluri Virabrahmendra Swami. He was born in the Vishwabrahmin (goldsmith) caste and had Brahmin and Dalit disciples.[41] Fisherman Raghu was a Shudra saint.[42] Saint Kakkayya was a chura (sweeper) Harijan saint.
Religion in Andhra Pradesh
Percent
Hinduism
  
89.01%
Islam
  
9.16%
Christianity
  
1.7%
Jainism
0.05%
Sikhism
0.04%
Others
0.17%
Several important Hindu modern-day saints are from Andhra Pradesh. These include Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Sri Sivabala Yogi Maharaj who advocates religious unity in worship; Swami Sundara Chaitanyanandaji of the Aurobindo Mission; and Brahmarshi Subhash Patri, founder of the pyramid spiritual societies movement.[citation needed]Islam in Hyderabad, with historical patronizing by the rulers, has a strong Sufi influence, with various moments active in the last two decades. Hyderabad has also produced many renowned religious scholars of representing different Islamic sects and trends, including Abul Ala Maududi, Turab-ul-Haq Qadri, and Allamah Rasheed Turabi.[43] Most Telugu Christians are Protestant belonging to major Indian Protestant denominations such as the Church of South India, the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Samavesam of Telugu Baptist Churches and several others.

Tirumala Gopurams Temple

[edit]Economy

Main article: Economy of Andhra Pradesh
GDP by year
Year State GDP ( MM)
1980 81,910
1985 152,660
1990 333,360
1995 798,540
2000 1,401,190
2007 2,294,610
Andhra Pradesh's GSDP for 2010 was estimated at $100.35 billion in current prices. The state ranks third in terms of overall Gross State Product among all the states of the Indian Union.[44] In terms of per capita GSDP the state compares very favorably with other large states. In the 2010 list by Forbes Magazine, there are Seven from Andhra Pradesh among the top 100 richest Indians.[citation needed]


Coconut fields in East Godavari


Srisailam Dam - Hydro Electric Power Source
Agriculture has been the chief source of income for the state's economy. Andhra Pradesh is an exporter of many agricultural products. Four important rivers of India, the Godavari, Krishna, Penna, and Thungabhadra flow through the state, providing irrigation. Rice, sugarcane, cotton, Chili pepper, mango, and tobacco are the local crops. Recently, crops used for vegetable oil production such as sunflower and peanuts have gained favour. There are many multi-state irrigation projects in development, including Godavari River Basin Irrigation Projects and Nagarjuna Sagar Dam.[45][46]
The service sector of the state accounts for 43% of the gross state domestic product (GSDP) and employs 20% of the work force.[46] Andhra Pradesh economy has registered over 5.5% annual economic growth rate during the last two decades.[citation needed] The state is one of the most industrially developed states of India.[citation needed]
Andhra Pradesh ranks second in India in terms of mineral wealth. The state has about one third of India's limestone reserves, estimated at about 30 billion tonnes. The Tumalappalli Uranium mine in Andhra has confirmed 49,000 tonnes of ore and there are indications that it could hold reserves totalling three times its current size, The Times of India quoted Srikumar Banerjee as saying. The mine's proven reserve is enough to support a 8,000 mega watts nuclear power plant for 40 years, the report added. The Krishna Godavari Basin has huge reserves of natural gas and petroleum. The state has a large amount of coal reserves.[46] The state ranks first nationwide in hydro electricity generation, with a national market share of over 11%. Andhra Pradesh has the second largest power generating utility in the country, with an installed capacity of around 10,650 MW. The two cheapest sources of thermal power generation – coal and natural gas – are in abundance.[citation needed]
[edit]Information technology and other key sectors


Cyber Towers at Hyderabad


The Andhra Pradesh State Legislative Assembly at the centre of Hyderabad City.
Main article: Software industry in Andhra Pradesh
In 2004–2005, Andhra Pradesh was at the second position[citation needed] in the list of top information technology exporting states of India. The IT sector is expanding at a rate of 52.3% every year. The IT exports reached 19,000 crores ($4.5 billion) in 2006–2007, contributed to 14 per cent of total IT exports of the nation and ranked fourth in India.[47] Other key sectors include, Biopharmaceuticals, Power, Automobile, Tourism, Textiles, Retail, Leather, Mining and Religious tourism.
[edit]Administration

Main articles: Government of Andhra Pradesh, Politics of Andhra Pradesh, and List of Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh has a Vidhan Sabha (legislative assembly, lower house) of 294 seats, and a Vidhan Parishad (legislative council, upper house) of 90 members. 31 members are elected from local bodies, 31 members are elected from the assembly, eight members are elected from teachers, eight members are elected from graduates, and 12 members are nominated by the Governor. In the Parliament of India Andhra Pradesh has 18 in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House, and 42 in the Lok Sabha, the Lower House.[48][49]
Andhra Pradesh had a series of governments headed by Indian National Congress (INC) Party until 1982. N. Chandrababu Naidu held the record for the longest serving chief minister (1995 to 2004). P. V. Narasimha Rao served as the chief minister of the state from 1971 to 1973, and went on to become the Prime Minister of India in 1991. The first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh was Neelam Sanjiva Reddy who later served as President of India. The Congress chief ministers of the state are Damodaram Sanjivayya, Kasu Brahmananda Reddy, P. V. Narasimha Rao, Jalagam Vengala Rao, Marri Chenna Reddy, Tanguturi Anjaiah, Bhavanam Venkatarami Reddy, Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, Kotla Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy, Nadendla Bhaskara Rao, Nedurumalli Janardhana Reddy, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Konijeti Rosaiah and N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.


Andhra Pradesh High Court at Hyderabad, the main judicial body for the State
[citation needed]
Until 1962, the CPI, along with socialist parties, played an important role as opposition parties. Parties namely Praja Socialist Party and Krishi Lok Party played important role in 1950's. In the 1967 state assembly elections all socialist parties were eliminated and CPI lost opposition party status. N.G. Ranga's Swatantra Party became the Opposition Party. They also failed to hold control later and became defunct. In 1978 Jalagam Vengal Rao and Kasu Brahmananda Reddy formed the Reddy Congress and contested against INC but lost.
In 1983 the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) won the state elections and N.T. Rama Rao (NTR) became the chief minister of the state for the first time. This broke the long time single party monopoly enjoyed by the INC from 1956 until 1982. A few months after the election, Nadendla Bhaskara Rao usurped power when NTR was away in the United States for medical treatment. After coming back, NTR campaigned for a comeback by demonstrating the support of the majority of the elected MLAs. The governor Thakur Ram Lal was ousted by Indira Gandhi and in his place she appointed Shankar Dayal Sharma. NTR was reinstated as chief minister. Within a month NTR recommended the dissolution of the assembly and called for fresh elections. Gandhi was assassinated on 31 October 1984 by her Sikh bodyguard and Rajiv Gandhi was made Prime Minister by President Giani Zail Singh. In the ensuing elections for Lok Sabha and the AP Assembly, the Telugu Desam Party won in Andhra Pradesh and NTR came back to power.
The 1989 elections ended the rule of NTR, with the INC party returning to power with Marri Chenna Reddy at the helm. He was replaced by Janardhan Reddy in 1990, who was replaced by Kotla Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy in 1992. In 1994, Andhra Pradesh gave a mandate to the Telugu Desam Party again, and NTR became the chief minister again. Nara Chandrababu Naidu, the son-in-law of NTR, usurped power with the backing of a majority of the MLAs. The Telugu Desam Party won both the assembly and Lok Sabha election in 1999 under the leadership of Chandrababu Naidu. There was an assassination attempt on Naidu in 2003 in Tirupathi; he survived the attack. In the ensuing elections the party lost power to a resurgent INC and its allies. Y. S. Rajasekhar Reddy became the Chief Minister.
Y. S. Rajasekhar Reddy became the CM again by fending off the Praja Rajyam Party and a major alliance of TDP, TRS, CPI and CPM. He died on 2 September 2009 in a helicopter crash. Konijeti Rosaiah, a senior statesman and former state finance minister, became the Chief Minister on 3 September 2009. On 24 November 2010, Rosaiah submitted his resignation on the grounds of increased work pressure. Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy was sworn in as the new Chief Minister on the following day.[50]
[edit]Tourism



Belum Caves


Rishikonda beach


Borra Caves (stalagmites and stalactites)
Andhra Pradesh is promoted by its tourism department as the "Koh-i-Noor of India."
Andhra Pradesh is the home of many religious pilgrim centres. Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in Tirupati is according to believers the abode of Hindu god Venkateswara. Srisailam, nestled in the Nallamala Hills is the abode of Mallikarjuna and is one of twelve Jyothirlingas in India. Amaravati's Shiva temple is one of the Pancharamams, as is Yadagirigutta, the abode of an avatara of Vishnu, Lakshmi Narasimha. The Ramappa temple and Thousand Pillars temple in Warangal are famous for their temple carvings. The state has numerous Buddhist centres at Amaravati, Nagarjuna Konda, Bhattiprolu, Ghantasala, Nelakondapalli, Dhulikatta, Bavikonda, Thotlakonda, Shalihundam, Pavuralakonda, Bojjannakonda(Sankaram), Phanigiri and Kolanpaka.[51] The Vijayanagara Empire built number of monuments, including the Srisailam temple and Lepakshi temples.


Araku Valley


North View of Bhimili beach
The golden beaches at Visakhapatnam, the one-million-year-old limestone caves at Borra, picturesque Araku Valley, hill resorts of Horsley Hills, river Godavari racing through a narrow gorge at Papi Kondalu, waterfalls at Ettipotala, Kuntala and rich bio-diversity at Talakona are some of the natural attractions of the state. Kailashagiri is a park near the sea in Visakhapatnam. Visakhapatnam is home to other tourist attactions such as the INS Kursura S20 Submarine museum (the only one of its kind in India), the longest beach road in India, Yarada Beach, Araku Valley, and Indira Gandhi Zoological Gardens.
The Borra Caves are located in the Anatagiri Hills of the Eastern Ghats, near Vishakapatnam. They are at an altitude of about 800 to 1300 metres and are famous for million-year-old stalactite and stalagmite formations. They were discovered by British geologist William King George in 1807. The caves get their name from a formation inside the caves that looks like the human brain, which in the local language, Telugu, is known as burra. The Belum caves were formed due to erosion in limestone deposits in the area by the weakly acidic water of the Chitravati River millions of years ago.
The Papi Hills are located in Khammam district, near Bhadrachalam. Boat cruises are available on the river Godavari.
The Belum Caves in Kurnool District have a length of 3,229 metres (10,594 ft), making them the second largest natural caves on the Indian subcontinent. The Belum Caves derive their name from Bilum, the Sanskrit word for caves. In Telugu, the caves are known as Belum Guhalu. The caves have long passages, spacious chambers, freshwater galleries, and siphons. The caves' deepest point is 120 feet (37 m) from the entrance and is known asPatalganaga.
Horsley Hills, elevation 1,265 metres (4,150 ft), is a summer hill resort in Andhra Pradesh, about 160 km (99 mi) from Bangalore and144 km (89 mi) from Tirupati. The town of Madanapalle lies nearby. Major tourist attractions include the Mallamma temple and the Rishi Valley School. Horsely Hills is the departure point for the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary at a distance of 87 km (54 mi).
Nirmal is famous for its handicrafts and paintings. Kuntala waterfall, at 45 metres (148 ft), is the biggest in the state. Charminar, Golconda Fort, Chandragiri Fort, Chowmahalla Palace, and Falaknuma Palace are some of the monuments in the state.
Kanaka Durga Temple in Vijayawada in Krishna district, Venkateswara Temple in Dwaraka Tirumala, West Godavari District, and Surya temple in Arasavelli in Srikakulam District are also places to see in Andhra Pradesh.
The Annavaram Satayannarayana Swami temple is in East Godavari, near Kakinada.Konaseema is another place in East Godavari for nature lovers with scenic greenery of lush paddy fields and coconut groves. All along the banks of river Godavari and its canals.
[edit]Religious tourism



Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, an important pilgrimage site in Tirupati


Birla Mandir Hindu temple


Diguva Mangalagiri Temple


Durga Temple in Vijayawada


Ramappa Temple


Malluru Ugra Narasimha Swamy Temple at Mangapet of Warangal District Andhra Pradesh, India
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in the town of Tirumala in Chittoor district is a very important pilgrimage site for Hindus throughout India. It is the richest piligrimage city of any religious faith in the world.[52] Its main temple is dedicated to the god Venkateswara. In 1517 Vijayanagara ruler Sri Krishna Deva Raya, on one of his many visits to the temple, donated gold and jewels, enabling the Vimana (inner shrine) roofing to be gilded. Statues of Sri Krishna Deva Raya and his spouse stand in the premises of the temple.
The five ancient Hindu temples of Lord Shiva, known as Pancharama Kshetras, are located at - Amararama, Draksharama, Somarama, Ksheerarama and Kumararama. The Sivalingas at these temples are made from a single Sivalinga.
Simhachalam is another popular pilgrimage site of national importance located on a hill 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of the Visakhapatnam city centre. Simhachalam is said to be the abode of the savior-god Narasimha, who rescued Prahlada from his abusive father Hiranyakashipu. One of the most exquisitely sculpted shrines of Andhra Pradesh, it has a beautifully carved 16-pillared Natya mantapa and a 96-pillared Kalyana mantapa. The temple was built in 11th century by Kullotunga chola. Engaged couples go to this temple as a ritual just before marriage. It is one of the most crowded temples of Andhra Pradesh.[citation needed]
Srisailam temple in Kurnool district is a very famous Shiva temple, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines. Lord Ramahimself installed the Sahasralinga, while the Pandavas lodged the Panchapandava lingas in the temple courtyard. The Skanda Purana, an ancient religious text, has a chapter called "Srisaila Kandam" dedicated to this temple, which points to its ancient origin. It is said that Adi Shankara (c. 788–821 CE) visited this temple at the time that he composed his Sivananda Lahiri. Srisailam is located in Kurnool district.[citation needed]
Bhadrachalam Temple is a temple to Lord Rama in the town of Bhadrachalam in Khammam district. It is situated on the banks of the river Godavari. This is the place where Kancherla Gopanna (1620–1680) wrote his devotional songs dedicated to lord Rama. It was believed that lord Rama spent some years on the banks of river Godavari here in Treta Yuga. Kancherla Gopanna raised the funds and constructed the temple during the reign of Tanisha in the 17th century. Sri Rama Navami, a celebration of the Marriage of Lord Rama and sita, is celebrated here every year. Government of Andhra Pradesh sends pearls for the event.[citation needed]
Kanaka Durga Temple is a temple to the goddess Durga situated on the Indrakeeladri Hill in the city of Vijayawada on the banks of Krishna River. Special pujas are performed during Dasara, also called Navratri. The most significant are Saraswati puja and Theppotsavam. The festival of Dasara for the Goddess Durga is celebrated there every year. A large number of pilgrims attend the colourful celebrations and take a holy dip in the Krishna River.[citation needed]
[edit]Other temples and piligrimage sites in Andhra Pradesh
Gnana Saraswati Temple, Basar is a temple to the goddess Saraswati, goddess of education. Basar is located in Adilabad district 50 kilometers from Nirmal.
Yaganti Caves and Mahanandi are pilgrimage centres in Kurnool District.
Kailasagiri Temple Hill, in Visakhapatnam.
Birla Mandir, in Hyderabad.
Sanghi Temple, at Hayathnagar, in Hyderabad.
Chilkur Balaji Temple, on the banks of Osman Sagar Lake.
Ramappa Temple, constructed in 1213, is located 77 km (48 mi) from Warangal.
Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad.
There is a statue of Buddha that was erected in 1992 on the Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad.
Srikalahasti Temple is an ancient Shiva temple located on the banks of river Swarnamukhi in Chittoor district.
Satyanarayana Swamy temple in Annavaram in East Godavari district.
Vemulavada in Karimnagar district is another popular place of pilgrimage. It is best known for the Sri Raja Rajeshwara temple.
Venkateswara Temple in Chinna Tirupathi(Dwaraka Tirumala) near to Tadepalligudem and Eluru.
Sri Kanakadurga amman temple at Vijayawada in Krishna district
Veerabhadra temple at Lepakshi in Ananthapur district.
Sri Viswa Viznana Vidya Adhyatmika Peetham is a theosophical congregation based on the principles of oneness of God, and discovering divinity in the self. The ashram is situated in Pithapuram, East Godavari district.
[edit]Culture

Bapu's paintings, Nanduri Venkata Subba Rao's Yenki Paatalu (Songs about a washerwoman called Yenki), mischievous Budugu (a character by Mullapudi), Annamayya's songs, Aavakaaya (a variant of mango pickle in which the kernel of mango is retained), Gongura (a chutney from Roselle plant), Atla Taddi (a seasonal festival predominantly for teenage girls), the banks of river Godavari, and the Dudu basavanna (the ceremonial ox decorated for door-to-door exhibition during the harvest festival Sankranthi) have long defined Telugu culture. The village of Durgi is known for stone craft, producing carvings of idols in soft stone that must be exhibited in the shade because they are prone to weathering.[citation needed] Kalamkari is an ancient textile art form dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization. Andhra Pradesh is famous for doll making. Dolls are made from wood, mud, dry grass, and lightweight metal alloys. Tirupathi is famous for redwood carvings. Kondapalli is famous for mud toys with rich colors. The village of Etikoppaka, located in Visakhapatnam district, produces lacquered toys. Nirmal paintings are expressive and are usually painted over a black background. Story telling in Andhra Pradesh is an art form in itself. Folk dances unique to Andhra Pradesh include Yaksha ganam, Burra katha (usually done by three people, telling stories using three different musical instruments), Jangama kathalu, Hari kathalu, Chekka bajana, Urumula natyam (usually done at festivals, where a group of people dance in circles with loud music), and Ghata natyam (performances done with earthen pots over one's head).[citation needed]
Andhra Pradesh has many museums, the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad, which features a varied collection of sculptures, paintings, and religious artifacts, including the Archaeological Museum[53] at Amaravati near Guntur City that features relics of nearby ancient sites, and the Visakha Museum, in Visakhapatnam, which displays the history of the pre-Independence and thotla konda which depicts the age old budhist stupa's and cultural style, Madras Presidency in a rehabilitated Dutch bungalow.[54] Victoria Jubilee Museum in Vijayawada has a good collection of ancient sculptures, paintings, idols, weapons, cutlery and inscriptions. Other ancient sites include dozens of ancient Buddhist stupas in Nagarjunakonda which is now an island in Nagarjuna Sagar, an artificial lake that formed after the construction of Nagarjuna Sagar Dam. The Island has a large museum that houses many Buddhist relics.[55]
Just like in other parts of the country, many festivals are celebrated in Andhra Pradesh, which include - Ugadi, Sankranthi, Dasara, Varalakshmi Vratham, Vinayaka Chavithi, Deepavali, Batukamma, Rakhi poornima, Christmas, Sri Rama Navami, Bonalu, Maha Shivaratri, Nagula Chaviti, Holi, Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Muharram, Milad-un-Nabi etc.
[edit]Cuisine


Hyderabad biryani served with other Indian dishes


Uggani bajji - typical snack of Rayalaseema
Main article: Andhra cuisine
The cuisine of Andhra Pradesh is one of the spiciest of all Indian cuisines. There are many variations to the cuisine (all involving rice) depending on geographical regions, caste, and traditions. Pickles and chutneys, called thoku also called as pachadi in Telugu, are particularly popular in Andhra Pradesh and many varieties of pickles and chutneys are unique to the State. Chutneys are made from practically every vegetable including tomatoes, brinjals (eggplant), and roselle (Gongura).Avaakaya (mango) is probably the best known of the Andhra Pradesh pickles. Rice is the staple food and is used in a wide variety of ways. Typically, rice is either boiled and eaten with curry, or made into a batter for use in a crepe-like dish called attu (pesarattu is made of a mixture of this batter and mung beans) or dosas, a crepe filled with black beans or lentils.[citation needed]
Meat, vegetables and greens are prepared with different spices (masala) into a variety of strongly flavored dishes such as Hyderabadi Biryani, fish curry, brinjal curry, and Gongura pachadi the most popular dish of andhra pradesh.An Andhra dish is recognized with the dish being listed in the menu. The coastal region is even more well versed with the varieties in sea food specially known for "Chapala Pulusu", "Bommidala pulusu", "Koramenu kura". Especially Hyderabadi cuisine is influenced by the Muslims who arrived in Telangana in the 14th century. Much of the cuisine revolves around meat. It is rich and aromatic, with a liberal use of exotic spices and ghee (clarified butter). Lamb, chicken, and fish are the most widely used meats in the non-vegetarian dishes. Biriyani is perhaps the most distinctive and popular dish of Hyderabadi cuisine.[citation needed]
[edit]Dance
Classical dance in Andhra can be performed by both men and women; women tend to learn it more often. Kuchipudi is the state's best-known classical dance form. The various dance forms that existed through the state's history are Bonalu, Dappu, Chenchu Bhagotham, Kuchipudi, Bhamakalapam, Burrakatha, Veeranatyam, Butta bommalu, Tappeta Gullu, Lambadi, Dhimsa, Kolattam, and Chindu. Jaanapadam theenmar is a popular folk dance.
Jayapa Senani was the first person to write about the dances prevalent in Andhra Pradesh.[56] Both Desi and Margi forms of dances are included in his Sanskrit treatise Nrutya Ratnavali.

Kuchipudi, dance by Yamini Reddy

 

Kuchipudi Dancer

[edit]Literature
Main article: Telugu literature
Nannayya, Tikkana, and Yerrapragada form the trinity who translated the great Sanskrit epic Mahabharata into Telugu. Pothana is the poet who composed the classic SriMad Maha Bhagavatamu, a Telugu translation of Sri Bhagavatham, authored by Veda Vyasa in Sanskrit. Nannayya (c. 11th century AD), the earliest known Telugu author, was patronized by the king Rajaraja Narendra who ruled from Rajamahendravaram (now Rajahmundry). The Vijayanagara emperor Krishnadevaraya wrote Amuktamalyada. The Telugu poet Vemana, a native of Kadapa, is notable for his philosophical poems. Telugu literature after Kandukuri Veeresalingam (1848–1919) is termed modern literature. Known as Gadya Tikkana, Satyavathi Charitam was the author Telugu-language social novel, Satyavathi Charitam. Jnanpith Award winners include Sri Viswanatha Satya Narayana and Dr. C. Narayana Reddy. The Andhra Pradesh native and revolutionary poet Sri Sri brought new forms of expressionism into Telugu literature.[citation needed]
Other modern writers include Gunturu Seshendra Sarma, the only person nominated from India for a Nobel prize in literature since Rabindranath Tagore. The West Bengal Government conferred on him the title Rashtrendu ("Moon of the Nation"). Telugu University awarded him an honorary Doctorate in Literature in 1994. He received the Kalidas Samman award from the Madhya Pradhesh government, and he won the Central Sahitya Akademi fellowship in 1999. Puttaparthi Narayanacharyulu is one of the scholarly poets of Telugu literature. He wrote the books Sivatandavam and Panduranga Mahatyam. Other notable writers from Andhra Pradesh include Srirangam Sreenivasarao, Gurram Jashuva, Chinnaya Suri, Viswanatha Satyanarayana.[citation needed]
[edit]Cinema


A western street replica at Ramoji Film City
Main article: Telugu Cinema
In the early 1990s, the Telugu film industry had largely shifted its base to Hyderabad from Madras. The Telugu film culture (or, "Tollywood") is the second-largest film industry in India.[57] Hyderabad houses the Prasads IMAX theatre, which was the biggest 3D IMAX screen in the world when it was built in 2007.[58] It is also home to Ramoji Film City which is the world’s largest integrated film studio complex at over 2,000 acres (809 ha) of land.[59] Prolific film producer from the state, D. Ramanaidu holds a Guinness Record for the most number of films produced by a person.[60] Andhra Pradesh has around 5500 cinema halls. The state produces about 200 films a year. It has around 40% (330 out of 930) of the Dolby Digital theatres in India.[citation needed]
[edit]Music


Balamuralikrishna during a concert in Kuwait on 29 March 2006, accompanied by Mavelikkara Sathees Chandran (violin), Perunna G. Harikumar (mridangom), Manjoor Unnikrishnan (ghatam)
Main article: Music of Andhra Pradesh
Many composers of Carnatic music like Annamacharya, Tyagaraja, Kshetrayya, and Bhadrachala Ramadas were of Telugu descent. Modern Carnatic music composers like Ghantasala and Sri M. Balamuralikrishna are also of Telugu descent. The Telugu film industry hosts many music composers and playback singers such as S. P. Balasubrahmanyam. Folk songs are popular in the many rural areas of the state. Forms such as the Burra katha and Poli are still performed today.[61]
[edit]Sports

The Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh, is the governing body which looks after the infrastructure development in Cricket, Field hockey, Association Football, Olympic weightlifting, Chess, Water Sports, Tennis, Badminton, Table Tennis, Cycling etc.[citation needed] Sports like kho kho, kabaddi, chinni daandu and goli (marbles) are played mostly in coastal Andhra & Telangana areas.
One of the most popular sports in Andhra pradesh is cricket. The Hyderabad Cricket Association nurtures potential international players. The Hyderabad cricket team has won the Ranji Trophy twice. The Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad, regularly hosts international matches. The Deccan Chargers, an Indian Premier League franchise, is based in Hyderabad.
Notable cricketers from Andhra Pradesh, include C. K. Nayudu, Maharajkumar of Vizianagram, M. V. Narasimha Rao, Mohammad Azharuddin, M. S. K. Prasad, V.V.S. Laxman, Tirumalasetti Suman, Arshad Ayub, Ambati Rayudu, Paul Valthaty, Venkatapathy Raju, Sravanthi Naidu, Yalaka Venugopal Rao etc.
Other accomplished sports-persons include, A. Ramana Rao, Karnam Malleswari, Pullela Gopichand, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, Sharath Kamal, Chetan Anand (Badminton), Mukesh Kumar (Hockey), Abdul Najeeb Qureshi, Jwala Gutta, Raman Subbarao, Kamineni Eswara Rao, etc. Grandmasters in Chess like, Koneru Humpy, Pendyala Harikrishna, Dronavalli Harika and Gogineni Rohit hail from the state.
[edit]Education and research



Indian School of Business
Andhra Pradesh is served by more than 20 institutes of higher education. All major arts, humanities, science, engineering, law, medicine, business, and veterinary science are offered, with first degrees and postgraduate awards available. Advanced research is conducted in all major areas.[citation needed]
Andhra Pradesh has 1,330 arts, science and commerce colleges; 1,000 MBA and MCA colleges; 847 engineering colleges; 53 medical colleges, and one Indian Institute of Technology (in Hyderabad). The student to teacher ratio in higher education is 19:1. According to the 2001 census, Andhra Pradesh has an overall literacy rate of 61.11% (as per Andhra pradesh Govt's official website). The male literacy rate is 70.3% and the female literacy rate is 67.4%.[citation needed]
Andhra Pradesh is the home to Osmania University, it is one of the oldest modern universities in India. It is one of the largest university systems in the subcontinent with over 300,000 students on its various campuses and affiliated colleges.[62] The Government of Andhra Pradesh has established Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies (RGUKT)[63] in 2008 to cater to the educational needs of the gifted rural youth of Andhra Pradesh. The Institute specializes in teaching and research in Information Technology and other emerging disciplines under the control of a common university Governing Council and following a common syllabus.


School children in an elementary school in Andhra Pradesh
The state has recently made strides in setting up several institutes. Andhra Pradesh is home to the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (Hyderabad Campus), Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad,[64] Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Hyderabad,[65] International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H),[66] National Institute of Technology NIT Warangal,[67] the Nalsar University of Law, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) Hyderabad, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad, University of Hyderabad, School of Planning and Architecture, Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies[68] and the Indian School of Business (ISB). The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and The Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition are also located in Hyderabad. Also Georgia Institute of Technology,[69] is in the process of setting up their campus in Hyderabad.
Apart from this Andhra Pradesh was home to many more top class university's like English and Foreign Languages University, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University,[70] Osmania University,[71] Andhra University,[72] Nagarjuna University,[73] Kakatiya University,[74] Sri Venkateswara University,[75] Sri Krishnadevaraya University,[76] Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University,[77] Acharya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University, Rayalaseema university, Kurnool,[78] and private engineering colleges like Sreenidhi Institute of Science and Technology, Vasavi College of Engineering, Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology, MVSR Engineering College, GRIET to serve their people across Andhra Pradesh.
The Government of Andhra Pradesh has established the first University of Health Sciences, fulfilling the recommendations of several committees. The Andhra Pradesh University of Health Sciences was established by Act.No. 6 of the Andhra Pradesh legislature and was inaugurated in 1986 by the late Sri N.T. Rama Rao, then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. After the death of its founder Sri N.T. Rama Rao the University was named after him as NTR University of Health Sciences, Andhra Pradesh.
[edit]Transport

[edit]By road


Major road links of Andhra Pradesh


The railroad bridge between Rajahmundry and Kovvur
A total of 146,954 km (91,313 mi) of roads are maintained by the State, of which State Highways comprise 42,511 km (26,415 mi), National Highways 2,949 km (1,832 mi), and District Roads 101,484 km (63,059 mi). The growth rate for vehicle ownership in Andhra Pradesh is the highest in the country at 16%.[79]
Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) is the major public transport corporation owned by the government of Andhra Pradesh that connects all the cities and villages. APSRTC is in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest fleet of vehicles (approximately 21,000), and the longest distance covered daily.Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station[M.G.B.S] in Hyderabad is the largest in the World. Vijayawada is the 2nd largest Bus-Standing in Asia.[80] Thousands of private operators also run buses connecting major cities and towns. Private vehicles like cars, motorised scooters, and bicycles occupy a major share of the local transport in the cities and adjoining villages.
[edit]By rail


The Secunderabad Railway Station, headquarters of the South Central Railway


Visakhapatnam seaport
Railways are a major means of transport connecting all major cities and towns. The history of railways in Andhra Pradesh dates back to the time of Nizam of Hyderabad. Most of Andhra Pradesh falls under the auspices of the South Central Railway, founded in 1966 with its headquarters at Secunderabad. The East Coast Railway serves Srikakulam, Vizianagaram District, and part of Visakhapatnam district including Visakhapatnam City. Vijayawada Railway Station is one of the busiest railway junctions in India. Second largest & busiest Railway station in Asia.
[edit]By air
Hyderabad International Airport, also known as Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, is the international airport for the city of Hyderabad. It has won WORLD NO 1 Airport award twice(2009,2010) in 5 - 15 million passenger category. It is the largest airport in the state and one of the busiest airports nationwide. Other airports in the state are Visakhapatnam Airport, Vijayawada Airport, Rajahmundry Airport, and Tirupati Airport. The government also has plans to start airports in eight other cities: Guntur, Ongole, Nellore, Warangal, Kadapa, Tadepalligudem, Kurnool, Karimnagar, Ramagundam and Kothagudem.
[edit]By sea
Andhra Pradesh has two of the major ports of India at Visakhapatnam and Kakinada and three minor ports at Krishnapatnam (Nellore), Machilipatnam, and Nizampatnam (Guntur). A private port is being developed at Gangavaram, near Visakhapatnam. This deep seaport can accommodate ocean liners up to 200,000–250,000 DWT.
[edit]Newspapers and journals

[edit]In Telugu
Andhra Bhoomi
Andhra Jyothy
Andhra Prabha
Eenadu
Islamic Voice - Telugu
Namaste Telangana
Prajasakti
Suryaa
Vaartha
Sakshi
[edit]In Urdu
Awam
Etemaad daily[81]
The Munsif Daily
The Siasat Daily
[edit]In English
Deccan Chronicle
Hindustan Times
The Business Line
The Economic Times
The Hindu
The New Indian Express
The Times of India
The hans of India

Dwaraka Tirumala
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dwaraka Tirumala

Dwaraka Tirumala Temple
Dwaraka Tirumala or Dwarakatirumala (Telugu: ద్వారకా తిరుమల) is a village and a mandal in West Godavari district in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India.[1] It is famous for temple of Lord Venkateswara. Dwaraka Tirumala is located about 40 kilometres from the west Godavari district headquarters, Eluru. This is also called as 'Chinna Tirupathi'.
Contents  [hide] 
1 Geography & How To Reach?
2 Temples in and around Dwaraka Tirumala
3 References
4 External links
[edit]Geography & How To Reach?

“Dwaraka Tirumala” is an ancient holy place and a popular pilgrim center in Andhra Pradesh of South India.It is popular as chinna Tirupathi. Dwaraka Tirumala is nearer to Eluru, the head quarters of West Godavari District, which is 42 KM away from Eluru.
By Road: Direct buses are available from Eluru. It takes about One hour and fifteen minutes by road from Eluru. Dwaraka Tirumala is situated at 15KM distance from Bhimadole Junction.Bhimadole is between Vijayawada and Rajahmundry State Highway.Though,there are no direct buses/trains available to reach Dwaraka Tirumala ,one can catch buses from rajahmundry to vijayawada / Vijayawada to Rajahmundry and alight at Bhimadole and catch buses to Dwaraka Tirumala. By Rail:Though there is a Railway station at Bhimadole, very few trains (mostly local) stop. This railway station is on the main railway line of Vijayawada to Visakhapatnam.One can alight at Eluru (if you are coming from Vijayawada) or at Rajahmundry/TadepalliGudem (if you are coming from Vishakapatnam) and catch a local train to Bhimadole and from Bhimadole,Catch a bus.at,tirumala exp stops at bhimadolu every one must watch this temple.at bhimadole the transportation is well devolopped across the andhra and other states like orissa and bangalore,kolkata,....we can reach badrachalam from here...the cottages of temple and aptdc are established.the help line center at bhimadole junction bus stand will help you to reach the temple.by air you can reach dwaraka tirumala by reaching gannavaram (vijayawada)or madhurapudi(rajahmundry)and take a bus or train to eluru or bhimadole junction,autos and buses are available to reach dwaraka tirumala. [2]
Dwaraka Tirumala
—  village  —


 
Dwaraka Tirumala
Location of Dwaraka Tirumala
in Andhra Pradesh and India
Coordinates 16°34′N 81°09′ECoordinates: 16°34′N 81°09′E
Country India
State Andhra Pradesh
District(s) West Godavari
Subdistrict(s) Dwaraka Tirumala
Population 34,000 (2011)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Codes[show]


Dwaraka Thirumala Gopuram
[edit]Temples in and around Dwaraka Tirumala

The following temples which are situated with in a radius of 35 km (22 mi) from Dwaraka Tirumala.
Sri Venkateswara Swamy vari Temple, Dwaraka Tirumala
Sri Konda Malleswara Swamy Temple, Dwaraka Tirumala.
Sri Kunkullamma (Renuka Devi) Vari Temple, Dwaraka Tirumala
Sri Anjaneya and Sri Subrahmanyeswara Swamyvarla Temples, Dwaraka Tirumala
Sri Santana Venugopala Jagannadha Swamy temple, Lakshmipuram (V)
Sri Seeta Ramachandra Swamy vari Temple, E. Yadavalli (V)
Sri Bhu Neela Sametha Sri Satyanarayana Swamy Temple, Rangapuram (V)
Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy vari Temple, I.S. Jagannadha Puram (V)
Parijata Giri Venkateswara Swamy vari Temple, Jangareddygudem
Sri Maddi Anjaneya Swamy Temple, Guravaya Gudem (V)
Buddha Caves, Jeelakarra Gudem (V)
sivalayam at challachintalapudi denduluru mandal


Yadagirigutta, Andhra Pradesh
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is an orphan, as few or no other articles link to it. Please introduce links to this page from related articles; suggestions may be available. (May 2010)

Yadagirigutta
—  city  —

Coordinates
Country India
State Andhra Pradesh
District(s) Nalgonda
Population 13,267 (2001)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Yadagirigutta is a census town and mandal headquarters in Nalgonda district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
It is popular for the Narasimha Swamy Temple called as Yadagirigutta.


Yadagirigutta temple


Lake near the village
Contents  [hide] 
1 Demographics
2 Transport
3 Commercial area
4 References
5 External links
[edit]Demographics

As of 2001 India census,[1] Yadagirigutta had a population of 13,267. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Yadagirigutta has an average literacy rate of 61%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 71%, and female literacy is 52%. In Yadagirigutta, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.
[edit]Transport

Yadagirigutta is about 60 km (approx. 38 miles) from Hyderabad and is well connected by Rail and Road.
The nearest airport is Hyderabad. There are number of buses from Hyderabad, Secunderabad and other parts of the state to Yadagirigutta.
The nearest railway station is Raigiri (about 3 km) where we can catch passenger trains. After alighting at Raigiri, one can take an auto rickshaw or Tanga.
The nearest railway stations for Express trains are Bhongir (14 KM) & Aler (14 KM) where you can get the express trains towards Vijaywada, Nagpur & Hyderabad.
[edit]Commercial area

Punnami Hotel, Andhra Pradesh Tourism Dev. Corp.


Prasanthi Nilayam
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Prasanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthi, A.P.
Prasanthi Nilayam (14°9.91′N 77°48.70′E - 800 meters (2624 feet) above sea level[1]) is the main ashram of Sathya Sai Baba. The "township of Prasanthi Nilayam is located in the village of Puttaparthi, the hamlet where Sathya Sai Baba was born. This area is part of the Anantapur district in the state of Andhra Pradesh, in South India.".[2]


Main entrance to Prasanthi Nilayam
"Prasanthi Nilayam" means literally "Abode of the Highest Peace".[1][2] Sathya Sai Baba gave daily darshan to his thousands of devotees in this ashram. Sathya Sai Baba was "usually present in Prasanthi Nilayam from early June to the middle of March."[2]
Contents  [hide] 
1 History
2 Ashram policies
3 Ashram schedule (as of May 3rd, 2011)
4 Climate
5 See also
6 References
7 External links
[edit]History

At the age of seventeen, Sathya Sai Baba told one devotee, "The Sai Pravesh (the advent of Sai) will transform that region into Prasanthi Pradesh (a region of highest peace). There will rise a bhavan (mansion)! Lakhs of people from all over India, why only India, from all over the world, will come and wait there for Sai darshan!"[3]
In 1944 a mandir was built to facilitate the growing number of Sai Baba devotees,[4] it is now commonly referred to as the "old mandir".[5][6] Prasanti Nilayam was "inaugurated on November 23, 1950, the twenty-fourth birthday of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. It took about two years to build."[4] "Sathya Sai Baba can be said to be the architect and engineer who directed the entire work for construction",[4] says Narayana Kasturi. Sathya Sai Baba "supervised the construction, acquiring of equipment, and watched over the devotees who, standing in long queues along the slope of the hill, passed from hand to hand metal, stones, bricks, water, mud, mortar, and everything needed for the structure that dominates the landscape today."[4]
There are stories of the problems faced in trying to "transport huge heavy girders for the central prayer hall," as they had to come "from near Trichinopoly by train to Penukonda... (and then had to be) brought over the District Board Road, sixteen miles long with a sandy stream at the seventh mile."[4]
The mandir was painted blue, yellow, and pink "communicating the message of the harmony of spirit, intellect, and heart respectively; for blue stands for spirit, yellow for intellect, and pink for heart (love). The rich harmony of the three does result in santhi (peace) and Prasanthi (supreme peace); and that really is the message of the Prasanthi mandir."[3]
"In October 1957 a hospital was inaugurated on the hill behind the Nilayam."[4]
Poornachandra Auditorium was built in 1973, "it is the venue for conducting cultural programmes, conferences and yagnas during Dasara."[7] It can seat around 15,000 people in the 60 x 40 metre area.[7] Sathya Sai Baba's "simple living quarters are upstairs above the stage."[8]


Chaitanya Jyoti, a world-religions museum
The Sarva Dharma Stupa, "a 50 ft high pillar celebrating the unity of all religions, was built in November 1975 to mark the advent of the Avatar." [9]
Sai Kulwant Hall is where daily darshan took place.[9] "It is a spacious enclosure"[8] with a seating capacity of about 20,000.[8][9] Sai Kulwant Hall is located between Sathya Sai Baba's residence (Yajur Mandir) and the Prasanti Mandir. The "carved icons of Sri Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman were blessed" by Sathya Sai Baba on 30 September 1999.[9]


Sathya Sai Music College, Prasanthi Nilayam
The Prasanti Nilayam ashram also hosts various mandirs; a Ganesha Mandir, Subramanya Mandir, Gayatri Mandir,[7] a meditation tree (planted by Sai Baba himself in 1950),[8][9] two museums (The Eternal Heritage Museum and the Chaitanya Jyothi Museum)[9][10] North and South Indian Canteens, a Western Canteen[11] and the administration buildings for the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Sri Sathya Sai University).[9]
"There is a branch office of the State Bank of India in Prasanthi Nilayam itself."[12]
[edit]Ashram policies



The sculpture of Jesus Christ in the ashram Prasanthi Nilayam
Certain guidelines and codes of conduct have been laid down for devotees while in the ashram.[13] Devotees are asked to "dress in modest, clean and sober clothing at all times." [13] As far as socializing is concerned, "men and women are not expected to mix for the sake of passing time either outside or inside the rooms."[13] Other ashram rules include,
maintaining silence
restricting behavior that will cause a disturbance to others, i.e. not playing radios loudly, no loud singing of bhajans by groups or individuals, keeping children under control, etc.
smoking, gambling, consumption of alcoholic beverages or non-vegetarian food (including eggs), and drugs are strictly forbidden in the ashram.
devotees are asked not to "associate with strangers"[13] and to "beware of cheats and persons collecting funds."[13] The ashram explicitly warns people to be wary of "those who claim close association with Sai Baba or claim to have inner messages or special blessings of Sathya Sai Baba."[13]
additional guidelines for safety and cleanliness[13]
[edit]Ashram schedule (as of May 3rd, 2011)



Western Canteen, Prasanthi Nilayam
5:00 AM- Temple bell rings 9 times
5:10 AM- Temple bell rings 5 times
5:20 AM- Temple bell rings once, followed by 21 Aumkars then Suprabhatham
5:40 AM- Veda chanting around the ashram, then Nagarsankirtan
8:00 AM- Veda chanting in Sai Kulwant Hall
9:00 AM- Bhajan singing in Sai Kulwant Hall
9:40 AM- Mangala Arati in Sai Kulwant Hall
4:30 PM- Veda chanting in Sai Kulwant Hall
5:30 PM- Bhajan singing in Sai Kulwant Hall
All lights out by 9 P.M.[13]
[edit]Climate

The climate is "generally hot and dry throughout the year,"[1] summer temperatures ranging from 30°C-40°C, (86F - 104F) and winter 20°C-27°C (68F - 81F).[14]
[edit]See also

Puttaparthi
Sathya Sai Baba
Sri Sathya Sai University


Araku Valley
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Araku-valley
అరకు లోయ Araku Valley
—  mandal  —


 
అరకు లోయ Araku Valley
Location of అరకు లోయ Araku Valley
in Andhra Pradesh and India
Coordinates 18°20′00″N 82°52′00″ECoordinates: 18°20′00″N 82°52′00″E
Country India
State Andhra Pradesh
District(s) Visakhapatnam
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Area
• Elevation

• 911 metres (2,989 ft)
Codes[show]
Araku Valley (Telugu: అరకు లోయ) is a hill station and a Mandal in Visakhapatnam district in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India.It has got an amazing nature with thick forests surrounded all over.Araku is popular for its world famous coffee plantations.For every traveller it gives a wonderful and a unique experience.[1]
Contents  [hide] 
1 Geography
2 Transportation
3 Panchayats
4 In Films
5 References
6 External links
[edit]Geography



Unripe Coffee Pods in Araku


Coffee Plantation in Araku
Araku is located at 18.3333°N 82.8667°E.[2] It has an average elevation of 911 meters (2992 feet).
It is located 116 km from Vishakhapatnam, close to the Orissa state border. This place lures people with pleasant weather, hills and valleys. The natural beauty of this valley comes alive with its rich landscape. The area of the valley is roughly 36 km², and the altitude is between 600 and 900 meters above sea level.
The journey to this place on the Ghat road with thick forests on either side is in itself interesting and pleasant. One can have a wonderful trekking trip. Traveling on train gives you a memorable experience. A total of forty-one tunnels and numerous bridges will greet you on the way. The Ananthagiri hills on the way to Araku Valley are famous for coffee plantations. The Borra caves, located 29 km from Araku Valley, are a nearby tourist attraction full of stalactites and stalagmites.


Tribal Woman in Araku
Located on the Eastern Ghats of India, the valley is inhabited by tribal people. One of the other attractions of this valley is a Tribal Museum which showcases tribal handicrafts and lifestyle.
[edit]Transportation



Road through Araku Valley
The valley is connected through both rail and road to the city of Vishakapatnam. There are two railway stations at Araku and Araku Valley on the Kothavalasa-Kirandul railway line of Visakhapatnam division of the East Coast Railway, on the Indian Railways network.
[edit]Panchayats

There are 14 panchayats in Araku Valley mandal.[3]
Baski (village and panchayat)
Bondam (village and panchayat)
Chinna Labudu (village and panchayat)
Chompi (village and panchayat)
Gannela (village and panchayat)
Iragai (village and panchayat)
Kotha Bhalluguda (village and panchayat)
Lotheru (village and panchayat)
Madagada (village and panchayat)
Madala (village and panchayat)
Padmapuram (village and panchayat)
Pedda Labudu (village and panchayat)
Siragam (village and panchayat)
Sunkarametta (village and panchayat)
[edit]In Films

This scenic beauty is also a host for many Tollywood films like Happy Days, Katha.


A panoramic photo of Araku Valley


Annavaram
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the Chittiannavaram Temple in madanapalle, see Chitti annavaram. For the Tollywood film, see Annavaram (film).
Annavaram
అన్నవరం
—  village  —

Annavaram Temple


 
Annavaram
అన్నవరం
Location of Annavaram
అన్నవరం
in Andhra Pradesh and India
Coordinates 17°16′55.1598″N 82°24′19.8894″ECoordinates: 17°16′55.1598″N 82°24′19.8894″E
Country India
State Andhra Pradesh
District(s) East Godavari district
Nearest city Rajahmundry, Visakhapatnam, Kakinada
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Codes[show]
Website annavaramdevasthanam.nic.in
Annavaram (Telugu: అన్నవరం) village is situated on the banks of the river Pampa in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh in India.
Contents  [hide] 
1 Etymology
2 Temple
3 History
4 Location
5 Train Transport from Hyderabad
6 References
7 External links
[edit]Etymology

Anna means whatever you say or you desire and varam means boon, hence whatever you desire will be given as boon by the deity.
[edit]Temple

The most distinctive feature of Annavaram is the shrine to Lord Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy on the hill top. The name of the Goddess is Ananta-lakshmi Satyavathi Ammavaru.
National Highway (NH)-5 passes via Annavaram. The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) operates regular bus services from Kakinada to Tuni, Rajahmundry to Tuni, and Yele-swaram to Tuni via Annavaram. Important trains links of the South Central Railways (SCR) passing through are the Vijayawada-Vishakapatnam Ratnachal superfast express, the Chennai-Howrah Mail, Kolkata-Chennai halt at Annavaram, which is the nearest railway station about 2 miles from the temple. The temple, situated on the hill top is about four furlongs away from its base. It can be reached either by steps covered with canopy, via ghat road or trekked through a rusty stone paved trail road.
The popularity and importance of the temple is gaining among the pilgrims and this place is considered as second only to Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. Festivals are celebrated round the year at this temple with great pomp and show. Some of the popular festivals celebrated are the Kalyanam festival in May, Devi Navaratri festival in September, the Swayamvara Vardhanti of Sraavana Suddha Ekadashi Day, Srirama Kalyana, Kanakadurga Yatra, Prabha Utsavam, Teppa Utsavam and Jalatoranam.
The serene atmosphere of the temple and its surroundings captivate devotees of Lord Veera Venkata Satya-narayana Swamy. The prasadam offered to the devotees has a wonderful taste that cannot be replicated.


Pampa reservoir at annavaram
[edit]History

According to the puranas, the presiding deity of the place blesses the devotees with Anina Varam (Wanted Boon) the place is called Annavaram.
The hillock by the side of the village is considered to be very sacred. Meruvu the Lord of the hills and his consort Menaka did great penance and begot two sons by the grace of Lord Vishnu. One was named Bhadra and the other Ratnakara. Bhadra pleased Lord Vishnu with his devotion and penance and with his grace became Bhadrachalam on which Lord Sri Rama had permanently settled. Ratnakara desired to emulate his brother and succeeded in pleasing Lord Vishnu by his penance to settle on him as Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy, Ratnakara remaining as Ratnagiri hill.
The temple of Sri Veera Venkata Satya-narayana Swamy is the main temple on the Ratnagiri hill. There is also a temple of Sri Rama and the shrines of Vanadurga and Kanaka Durga nearby. The temple of grama-devatha (village deity) is in the village at the foot of the hill.
It is said that Raja I.V. Rama-narayanam, the then zamindar of Gorsa and Kirlampudi estates, having been ordained by the Lord in his dream, traced the idol on the hill, worshipped it and installed it at the present spot on sravana suddha vidhiya of the telugu year Khara, 1891.
The Vishwakarma Brahmin stapathis architectural cognizance is at its best in sculpting this temple. The hillock itself is about 300 ft above sea level, green fields all-round the hills and the pampa river encircling Ratnagiri. About 460 well laid stone steps leads to the top of it.
The main temple constructed in the form of a chariot with the four wheels at each of the four corners. In front of the main temple is the kalyana mantapa, constructed and decorated with modern pieces of architecture. As we go down the way, we come across Ramalaya and then the shrines of Vana Durga and Kanaka Durga.
The Akriti of any temple is, according to the Agni Purana, merely a manifestation of the Prakriti. According to this the chariot of the temple is intended as a symbol of the Seven Lokas and the seven Lokhas above with, the garbhalaya of the Lord, at the heart’s center ruling over the entire Universe.
The temple at Annavaram has been constructed to depict this idea concretely. The front side of the temple depicts the chariot. The Meru on the floor with the pillar at the center, and the idols at the top are intended to bring forth the idea that the Lord not only remains at the heart’s center but also permeates the entire universe. The wheels depicting the Sun and the Moon serve to remind us that this Juggernaut moves on the wheels of time, and goes on for ever and ever, Thus the Annavaram temple satisfies both the ritualistic values and the spiritual aspirations of the devotees.”


Statues of lordvishnu annavaram
[edit]Location

Annavaram temple of Lord Sri Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy is located at a distance of 125 KM from Visakhapatnam, 40 KM from Kakinada and 80 KM from Rajahmundry. National Highway number 5 passes through Annavaram. The bypass road (NH - 5) goes straight and to visit the temple take right turn in the junction near the Annavaram. It takes two and half hours from Visakhapatnam and from Rajahmundry side it will take 2 hours. Separate pooja halls are available for offering special pujas.
Annavaram railway station is located at main Chennai – Howrah (Kolkatta ) railway line. Many trains stops here and from the railway station the temple is 3 KM. While going towards Chennai side this temple falls in right side and can be seen from the moving trains. Railway station and moving trains are visible from the temple also.
There are so many parking places for private vehicles on the hill surrounding the temple. Well equipped lodge facilities available. Free darshanam is with normal que and special darshanam with additional fees of either INR 25/- or INR 116/- are also available.
Prasadam counter is available on the national highway for those who are not able to visit the temple. This temple is located at a hill top. Vehicles are allowed to climb up the hill. At the top of the hill guest houses for staying are available. Many marriages are preformed here so during this seasons you may have to book in advance if you a plan to stay here. There is a facility of quick Darshan in busy seasons. The main status is covered in two floors. The ground floor is for Pada darshan or to view the feet of the god. The first floor is the upper part of the Lord Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy.
From this hill top you can get a panoramic view of the surrounding green fields and villages. There is a river water barrage with boating facility and it can be visited while going up or while returning from the temple, available nearer to the main entrance of the hill. This place is called Pampa Sarovara. Boat ride gives a memorable experience to the visitors. Inside the main temple complex photography is not allowed. However, around the temple there are so much of panoramic view available for viewing and enjoying the nature's beauty. From Anavaram Vizag 125 KM Kakinada 40 KM Rajahmundry 80 KM Some more places near Annavaram having importance of tourism include Samalkot, Thalupulamma Thalli and Draksharama. Travellers interested in visiting Simhachalam in Visakhapatnamcan reach as APTDC has arranged bus service directly from Annavaram to Simhachalam (up to hill top nearer to the temple). =
[edit]Train Transport from Hyderabad

you can reach from secunderabad to annavarma through trains. the main trains lead you to the annavaram are JANMABHOOMI EXPRESS, EASTCOAST EXPRESS,VISAKHA EXPRESS,GODAVARI EXPRESS AND HOWRAH - CHENNAI SUPERFAST MAIL.


Borra Caves
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Borra Caves
(Borra Guhalu)


Location within Visakhapatnam district
Coordinates: 18°10′N 83°0′ECoordinates: 18°10′N 83°0′E
Ananthagiri Mandal Andhra Pradesh
Visakhapatnam District Visakhapatnam
Area
 • Land 0.8 sq mi (2 km2)
Elevation 2,313 ft (705 m)
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Located in Borra village in the Ananthagiri hills of Eastern Ghats
The Borra Caves, also called Borra Guhalu in Telugu language (‘Borra’ means something that has bored into the ground and ‘guhalu’ means caves), are located on the East Coast of India, in the Ananthagiri hills of the Araku valley (with hill ranges elevation varying from 800 m (2,624.7 ft) to 1,300 m (4,265.1 ft)) of the Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh. The Caves, one of the largest in the country, at an elevation of about 705 m (2,313.0 ft), distinctly exhibit a variety of impressive speleothems(pictured) ranging from very small to big and irregularly shaped stalactites and stalagmites.[1][2] The Caves are basically Karstic limestone structures extending to a depth of 80 m (262.5 ft) (considered the deepest cave in India).[3][4]
Contents  [hide] 
1 History
2 Legend
3 Geography and climate
4 Geology
4.1 Genesis
5 Biological environment
5.1 Microorganisms
5.2 Fauna and flora
6 Access
7 Visitor information
8 See also
9 References
10 Notes
11 External links
[edit]History

In 1807, William King George of the Geological Survey of India discovered the caves.[5]
[edit]Legend

On the discovery of the caves, there are several legends, which the tribals (Jatapu, Porja, Kondadora, Nookadora, valmiki etc.[4]) who inhabit the villages around the caves narrate. The popular legend is that a cow, grazing on the top of the caves, dropped 60 m (196.9 ft), through a hole in the roof. The cowherd while searching for the cow came across the caves. He found a stone inside the cave that resembled a Lingam, which he interpreted as the Lord Shiva who protected the cow. The village folk who heard the story believed it and since then they have built a small temple for Lord Shiva outside the cave. People flock to the temple for worship and the cave to get a glimpse of the Lingam.[5]


Worship of Stalagmite Lingam inside the Borra Caves
Another lyrical legend is that the Shiva Lingam representing the Hindu God Lord Shiva, is found deep in the caves and above which is a stone formation of a cow (Sanskrit: Kamadhenu). It is surmised that the udder of this cow is the source of the Gosthani (Sanskrit: Cow’s udder) River which originates from here, flows through Vizianagram and Visakhapatnam districts before debouching into the Bay of Bengal near Bheemunipatnam.[5]


A view of Araku Valley about 29 km (18.0 mi) from the caves
[edit]Geography and climate

The caves are located in the Araku Valley of the Ananthagiri hill range and is drained by the Gosthani River. At the entry, the cave measures up to 100 m (328.1 ft) horizontally and 75 m (246.1 ft) vertically. Stalagmite and Stalactite formations are found in the caves.[6] The average annual temperature of Araku hills, where the caves are situated, is about 25 °C (77.0 °F). The average annual rainfall reported is 950 mm (3.1 ft) (mostly occurring during the northeast monsoon).[7] The Gosthani river provides water supply to the Visakhapatnam city.[4]
[edit]Geology



A view of the six most common speleothems with labels. (Enlarge to view labels


Line art representation of w:Stalactites
The Regional Geology in the Eastern Ghats mobile belt, where the caves are located, is represented by the Khondalite suite of rocks (garnetiferrous sillimanite gneisses, quartzo-feldsphatic garnet gneisses) of Archaen age. Quaternary deposits consist of red bed sediments, laterites, pediment fans, colluvium, alluvium and coastal sands. Particularly, the Borra caves are stated to be one of the largest caves in the Indian subcontinent.[1] The caves, in the reserved forest area consisting of 14 villages inhabited by tribals, basically host a variety of speleothems ranging from very small to big and irregularly shaped stalactites and stalagmites. The carbonate rocks are pure white, and coarsely crystalline and the deformed and banded marbles cover a triangular area of 2 km2 (0.8 sq mi); surrounded by Diopside–scapolite–feldspar calc-granulites. The pyroxenite outcrops are dark and massive and include discontinuous calc-silicate bands, some of brown mica and others with calcite.[7] The Gosthani River, which originates from these caves and flows between the solidified stalactites and stalagmites in the Karstic lime stones formation, is the cause for the development of the odd shapes of structures. Water percolating from the roof of the caves dissolve limestone and trickle drop by drop to form stalactite at the roof of the cave and then dripping down to the ground form stalagmite. (see picture). Stalactites are calcium carbonate deposits that hang from the top of the cave. Stalagmites are deposits that form at the bottom of the cave and grow upward. These deposits have developed into interesting forms and structures inside the caves such as Shiva –Parvati, Mother–Child, Rishi’s beard, Human brain, mushrooms, crocodile, temple, church, etc. These shapes have captured the imagination of tourists, while some have been given religious interpretations.[7][8] The Caves are deep and totally aphotic. There is a twilight zone in the caves with limited light penetration. The Stalactites seen in the caves are about 0.1 m (0.3 ft) to 3.5 m (11.5 ft) in length while the Stalagmites are 1.2 m (3.9 ft) long and columns are 6 m (19.7 ft) in height and 0.75 m (2.5 ft) in width. The height of the cave is 12 m (39.4 ft) and the length is about 200 m (656.2 ft). The average temperature of the inner cave wall is reported to be about 16 °C (60.8 °F). Sulphur springs discharge into the cave passages causing corrosion of limestone. The spring waters display floating Mucus-like biofilms. These are thick orange microbial mats (2.5 cm (1.0 in)–3 cm (1.2 in) thick) with patches of yellow biofilms extending 3 m (9.8 ft) from the aphotic deep cave orifice.[7] While the caves are basically limestone formations, the area surrounding these are of mica formations which are prospected for precious stones like rubies.[6] The geological features of these caves are stated to be found only in Borra in India. Archeological artifacts (Paleolithic implements) have been found in the caves.[9] The excavations carried out in the caves by the Archeologists of the Andhra University, have unearthed stone tools of middle Paleolithic culture dating back to 30,000 to 50,000 years, which confirm human habitation.[4]
[edit]Genesis
Speleothem carbonates (considered as inorganic precipitates) found in the caves have been subject to scientific studies. In fluviatile, spring, cave and soil environments Microbial carbonates are important. In the biofilms and/or microbial mats, which are formed in the caves, the principal organisms associated are bacteria, particularly cyanobacteria, small algae and fungi. Petrographic analysis of a thin section has uncovered the presence of lithified structures and micrite, present as laminated to clotted with chocolate-brown blebs. These are identical to microbialites observed in modern and ancient stromatolitic carbonates. Laboratory observations with Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) have also confirmed the presence of calcified bacteria, micro-rods, and needle calcite. Organic mats (yellow-orange in colour) comprise of mineralized filamentous bacteria, bacterial stalks, cells and sheaths. Thus, these studies have indicated that biological (microorganisms) have actively influenced in the genesis of speleothem carbonates of the Borra Caves.[7]
[edit]Biological environment

[edit]Microorganisms
The effect of microorganisms in the mats on the cave formation and their role on iron mineral precipitation has been further studied. A report by Sushmitha Baskar et. al indicates a link between iron–rich mats formation and iron precipitating bacteria[10]
The abstract of their report states:
The spring waters (pH neutral 7.5–7.7) contained dissolved metals like iron and the organic mat sludge (pH 7.0–7.3) had a TOC content of approximately 5.4 wt%. Geochemically, the spring waters deep below the microbial mats contained Fe 369 ppb, Sr 198 ppb; and the organic mat sludge contained Mg 9 ppm, Fe 427 ppb, Zn 149 ppb, Sr 190 ppb. XRD observations displayed Fe minerals (dominantly hematite), minor amounts of zinc gallium sulfide and nitrofuryl compounds. At least four groups of bacteria identified by direct microscopy and SEM-EDX on the basis of morphology could be observed in all samples: Leptothrix–like organisms, entombed bacterial mineral sheaths, a few stalks of Gallionella–like organisms and some additional bacteria that could not be further identified. Leptothrix–like organisms contained 43.22–60.08 wt % Fe and the mineral precipitated near and around these bacteria (in the actual unaltered samples on site) contained 30.76–45.22 wt% Fe as identified and quantified by SEM-EDX.
[edit]Fauna and flora
The fauna observed in the caves are predominantly bats, as well as the golden gecko. The type of bat reported is the fulvous fruit bat (Rousettus leschenaultii) – a species which roosts in large caves, old buildings, dungeons and dark areas of old forts. This species has short and slender musculature with large, well developed eyes. They feed on flowers and fruits, particularly jamun, guava, silk, cotton and mango.[7][9][11] The forests in the area are of semi-evergreen deciduous type.[4] The flora in the cave consist of mosses and brown-to-green algae. Since many of the species found are endangered, mining operations are considered to be in violation of the Environmental Protection Act.[7][9]
[edit]Access

The caves are well connected by road, rail and air services. Vishkapatnam, the nearest airport and the district headquarters, is 90 km (55.9 mi) by road, which is mostly a hill road and the journey takes about 3 hours.[6] Train services operate on the Kothavalasa-Kirandul railway line in East Coast Railway, Indian Railways. The train journey over a distance of 100 km (62.1 mi)from the Vishkapatanam Rly station passes through Eastern Ghats (hill) section), which has 30 tunnels en-route. The journey by train takes about 5 hours to the Railway Station near the caves called the ‘Borra Guhalu Railway station’.[5]


Official Information Board outside the Borra Caves
[edit]Visitor information

Guided tours for a day trip to the Borra Caves cover interesting attractions like the Tyada Railway Tunnel, Damuku View Point, Ananthagiri Coffee Plantation, Padmapuram Gardens and the Araku Valley. For the benefit of the visitors, an information board at the entry point to the caves gives some details of the caves and its surroundings (pictured).[4][8] An Arraku and Borra rail-cum-road package tour organized by the Andhra Pradesh State Tourism Department is available for visitors keen to see the Borra caves.[12]


Beautifully lit Borra Caves
A walk around the caves provides an impressive view of the mountainous area which is rich in flora and fauna. The Andhra Pradesh State Tourism Department has installed 26 mercury, sodium vapor and halogen electric lamps, which provide beautiful views of the formations (pictured). Geologists and tourists visiting the caves are enchanted by the lighted caves. The Araku valley, a famous hill station, about 29 km (18.0 mi) from the Borra caves is also an interesting tourist attraction for people visiting the caves.[6][8] November and December are ideal months to visit the caves. The caves are open to visitors from 10 am to 5:30 pm.[6]
[edit]See also





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