Hey peoplessss! *SalluBhaiIshhtyyllee* July came by, August flew by, September is going by, and here I am. LOL.
I hope all of you have been well. So basically, I’ve been caught up in the ‘studies vs. literature club vs. fitness vs. beauty vs. reading vs. all-other-dumb-things’ rat race for a couple of fortnights now. And, I finally managed to take some time out to vent my feelings to the world over.
So basically, it is month end. This weekend is festival time, and most of us have TRAVEL on our cards. So, I figured; why not do a LISTicle for a change, and bingo.
Here are 10 places you MUST visit in South India –
1. The Dhyana Budhdha Statue.
Amaravati is a town located 19 miles north of Guntur District. It is also referred to as Amareswaram for it’s famousAmareswara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
It is said that the region between Krishna and Godavari rivers was important for Buddhism from the 2nd century, with Amaravati being one of them to own a Buddhist stupa that was built during the reign of Ashoka in 200 BCE.
After several years of neglection, Dalai Lama of Tibet conducted a Kalachakra initiation at this location in 2006.
2. Udayagiri Hills.
The Udayagiri Hills are mentioned in the Ramayana, where Lord Hanuman carried the hill to Lanka for a rare herb called Sanjeevini to cure Lakshman. It was found on this hill. After serving its purpose, the hill was supposedly thrown by Hanuman from a great height into the same place. The hill landed upside down, and till this day one can find many boulders strewn around the hill. Also it is believed that some trees here grow upside down too! The hill has crystal clear water flowing downhill from an unknown source, which till date has not been found. The water from the hill is used for drinking by the residents.
3. Thimmamma Marrimanu.
Thimmamma Marrimanu is named after the famous banyan tree, which is also called ‘Thimmamma Marrimanu’. With its branches spreading over 5 acres, it is regarded as the biggest of its kind in South India. This tree was recorded as the biggest tree in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1989.
Under the tree, there is a small temple dedicated to Thimmamma. Local people believe that if a childless couple worship Thimmamma they are blessed with a child the very next year.Its branches spreads over nearly 5 acres. (2.1 ha.). Located about 35 km from Kadiri, and 100 km from Anantapur.
4. Pulicat Lake.
Located at the border of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake covers an area of 500 km2. It is a brackish water lagoon, the second largest in India, and is situated along the coast of Bay of Bengal. The lake encompasses the ‘Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary’ which attracts many migratory birds, and is also a feeding and nesting ground for aquatic and terrestrial birds such as flamingos, pelicans etc.
The lake is said to be facing an ecological crisis now.
This place is the hub of some great Engineering and Architectural monuments such as Godavari Bridge (Asia’s second largest Road cum Railway Bridge), Papi Hills, Iskon Temple, Tantikonda, Sir Arthur Cotton Museum, Pushkar Ghat and Gowthami Ghat.
6. Kondapalli Fort, Krishna District
Kondapalli Fort, also locally known as Kondapalli Kota, is located in Krishna District, in the vicinity of Vijayawada. The historic fort on the hill located to the west of the Kondapalli village was built by Prolaya Vema Reddy during the 14th century, initially as a relaxation area and a business centre, along with the Kondavid Fort in Guntur District. In later years, it was used as a military fortification and the British placed a strong garrison here.
7. Bhagwan Mahavir Government Museum.
It is an archaeological museum located in Kadapa. It was established by the government in 1982 to protect the ancient artifacts of archaeological importance. It’s establishment was funded by a Jain businessman and hence was named after their deity, Lord Mahavira. The idols of Lord Ganesha, Lord Vishnu, Lord Hanuman and Lord Shiva are present inside the museum. Some of them date back to the period between the 5th and the 18th century. All these antiquities made of granite, dolomite, limestone, bronze icons were found in the excavations carried out at different places of Cuddapah, Hyderabad and Kurnool districts.
8. Shivaram Wildlife Sanctuary, Manthani
It is a wildlife preserve located 10 km from Manthani, 80 km from Karimnagar and 50 km from Mancherial. This 37 km2 riverine forest mixed with teak and terminalia is home to marsh crocodiles of the river Godavari. It also harbours leopards, sloth bears, nilgari, black buck, cheetahs, pythons, and langurs. The undulating natural terrain adds to the beauty of the sanctuary. This riverine forest also has Teak, Terminalia, Bamboo, Anogeissus and Cassia.
9. Nagunur Fort, Nagunur
Its ramparts were once alive with the sounds of a bustling town and people of the Kakatiya dynasty. It was one of the most important forts of the emerging Kakatiya dynasty and contains ruins of a cluster of Kalyana and Kakathiya temples.
Nagunur is also famous for its Shiva Temple.The pillars and galleries around the Shiva temple here are worth seeing. The most important temple in the complex is the temple which has three shrines. The main entrance to the temple is on the northern side and the three shrines face the other three directions.
The beams of the temple have sculptured images of musicians playing on Mridangam and other instruments. Panels are carved with visuals of dancers in graceful poses.
This place, in the vicinity of Nagarjuna Sagar dam, was part of the Ikshvaku dynasty. This village shot into prominence after scores of ancient Buddhist structures like pillared halls and monasteries were unearthed. The relics that were unearthed during a series of excavations are today displayed at the Phanigiri Museum of Central Archeological Department here. Also found here is an impression of a footprint which is believed to be that of Lord Buddha.
There are also ruins of a fort dating back to Ikshvaku Dynasty. The citadel consists of gates, strong fortifications, water trenches, and even as rectangular-shaped stadium were found during archeological excavations.
Did you know? The Nagarjuna Sagar dam was initially called ‘Nandikonda’.
11. Bhuvanagiri Hill, Bhongir.
Bhuvanagiri, also known as Bhongir is located only at a distance of 48 kilometers from Hyderabad. The place, which falls on the way to the well-known temple town of Yadagirigutta, is well accessible by road and rail. It is quiet popular for its mesmerizing fort atop the monolithic hill, which has many tales of times immemorial. The Bhongir hill is a huge rock formation. It is more than 700-feet high and is sprawled over 40 acres of land. This unique rock is locally known as the ‘Eka sila’.
The Telangana Tourism Department has launched several adventure sports here. Also, as part of promoting adventure tourism in the state, the Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation has established a Rock Climbing School at Bhongir in association with Transcend Adventures Pvt Ltd, Hyderabad, the sameschool where Poorna Malavath (the youngest girl ever to climb Mt. Everest) trained.
12. Kumbhakarna Gardens, Penukonda.
Once ruled by several dynasties, Penukonda is said to have once been home to 365 temples each worshipped on one day of the year. However not many have survived today, of the many temples here some intriguing temples include the Temple of Lord Kasha Vishwanatha, Lord Yogarama Temple, Lord Yoga Narasimha Swami temple etc.
The Penukonda Fort is another tourist attraction, followed by the Babaiyya Dargah and the several Jain temples found here.
But the Kumbhakarna Gardens stands out ! 😀
13. Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, Nampally Gutta
This creative temple was built a few years ago.
The entrance fee is a mere 2 rupees. Once you enter and climb a few stairs, you will enter into the belly of the snake where the whole pathway is filled with statues depicting the story of Bhakta Prahalada and Hiranyakasipu.
Must-visit ! 🙂
14. Nirmal, Adilabad District.
This is a prominent town in Adilabad district and the ancient history of the town has a glorious past due to patronization of arts and culture by ruling nobility. The region was ruled by Kakatiyas, Chalukyas, The Qutubshahis and Nizams; who have contributed immensely to the growth of cultural heritage.
This legacy of the heritage is seen in the town where the French established a strong presence by building a magnificent fort, which stands majestically till date. The fort by the name, Nirmal fort is also called the Shamgarh fort.
Nirmal is renowned for wooden toy industry that sells toys by the name PONKI CHEKKA Toys and also, Nirmal Plates that depict miniature paintings and floral design.
15. Belum Caves, Kurnool.
The BELUM Caves are the second largest natural caves in India. Seriously!
Okay, have fun. Adios.