Andhra Pradesh, A State whose recorded history begins in the Vedic period, Is a treasure house of heritage structures. Thanks to varying influences from rulers,
Religious Leaders and locals over centuries, the state serves up a profusion of majestic monuments, forts, Temples and other manmade structures that depict its rich heritage. Take an exciting and educational journey through Andhra Pradesh’s magnificent architectural heritage.
The Lord Veerabhadra temple at Lepakshi, located 112 km from anantapur is renowned as one of the 108 Shiva temple of India. It reflects classical Vijayanagara architecture. The dance hall or the Natya Mandapa is supported by 100 pillars, with finely sculpted figurines of dancing gods. From the middle of the hall emerges a dome, reminiscent of a giant lotus reaching out to heaven.
The Vizianagaram Fort is a spacious and sprawling campus with a cluster of stone buildings. The fort is a generous contribution of the surviving Rajus and many of the building with it have been converted into educational institutions. Inside is the Rani’s Mahal, a structure shaped like a hemisphere, with window high enough to touch the ceiling.
Chandragiri, situated on the banks of the swarnamukhi River in chittoor District, was the last capital of the Vijayanagar Empire. Situated atop a huge rock that rises 56 m tall, the fort is 12 km from the temple town of tirupati. AP Tourism has a sound & light show at chandragiri that captures the bygone glory of the vijayanagar Empire.
Gandikota Fort is situated on the banks of the pennar river, located 77 km from Kadapa and 15 km from Jammalamadugu, Built upon a hill, this stone fort has a 20-foot-high entrance and 101 bastions. Within the fort lie the Ranganatha and Madhava swamy temples, The Jama Masjid, a ‘pigeon Tower’ and other attractions. From atop the fort, one can enjoy pamoramic views of the breathtaking scenery. Within 200 m reach of the fort, one many enjoy breathtaking view of the river canyon. The gorge is often refereed to as the ‘Grand Canyon of India’.
Another interesting location near Vijayawada, is the ancient Undavalli caves. These caves are said to have been carved in the 7th century AD. The entire cave complex is a cluster of 64 caves, each are housing a lovely carved figurine. This double storeyed cave structure was said to have been used as a rest house by Buddhist monks. A huge monolith of the lord Buddha in reclining posture is a magnificent sight.
Konda Reddy Buruju
Located in the heart of Kurnool and believed to have been built by the Rajas of Vijayanagaram, Konda Reddy Buruji was originally used as a prison. Other interesting places around include the Gol Gumbaz, the Church, Shiridi Sai Baba Temple and Jagannatha Gutta.
Ketavaram Rock Paintings
Ketavaram is a small town close to Kurnool, with a fascinating secret. The important archeological site is popular for finding of painting on the basalt rocks Evidence suggest that these were created by inhabitants in the area from 6000 to 4000 BC.
Penukonda is located 70 km from Anantapur on the Bangalore Highway. One of the early capitals of the Vijayanagaram Empire, the penukonda Fort was impregnable during its heyday. The two most noteworthly sight in the fort are the “Gagan Mahal” – the summer resort of the kings, and the “Babayya Darga” – a Quintessence of communal harmony.
This Ancient fort, located 45 km from anantapur on the Kurnool-Bangalore National Highway, is a must see for history buffs. Situated at a height of 300 mts on a hill, it is one of the oldest hill forts in Andhra Pradesh. Built during the Vijayanagram era, the fort is built in the shape of a shell and is significant for its water resources available at such height.
Amaravati Maha Stupa
Amaravati, located 35 km from Guntur, was once considered the most sacred pilgrimage centre for Buddhists in India. It’s the site where one of the largest Buddhist stupa was once built. The Amaravati stupa, an imposing structure adorned with marble sculptures stands 38 m tall and is carved with scenes from the life of Lord Buddha.