Travel in Rajasthan, India
A Rajasthani Kid is playing "Ek Tara"
Thar Desert Jaisalmer in Background, Rajasthan, India

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Travel Itineraries

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Rajasthan Tourist Destinations

  Jaipur
  Jodhpur
  Jaisalmer
  Udaipur
  Mandawa
  Pushkar
  Barmer
  Bharatpur

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Wildlife Sanctuaries

  Ranthambore National Park
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Fairs & Festivals Rajasthan

  Pushkar Fair
  Camel Festival
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  Elephant Festival
  Mewar Festival
  Camel Festival Pushkar
  Desert Fair Jaisalmer

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Indian States Information

Anndhra Pradesh Travel

Andhra Pradesh is the fifth largest state in the peninsular India. It is a historic land of temples and mosques, a combination of Dravidian culture and the Muslim cultural heritage from the western and central Asia. Andhra Pradesh is a mineral rich and industrially developing state.
History of Andhra Pradesh

The history of Andhra Pradesh dates back to the epic era of Ramayana and Mahabharatha. But the documented history points to 236 BC when Satavahana established a kingdom and a dynasty around the modern Hyderabad. During the reign of 450 years, Buddhism flourished in the kingdom. The Ikshvakus succeeded the Satavahanas and ruled the kingdom for 57 years. The Pallavas annexed the area South of River Krishna and ruled till the end of 6th century.

Fast Facts of Andhra Pradesh : -

Area

276,754 sq. km.

Population

76 Million

Capital

Hyderabad

Climate in Summer

March to June - [Warm]

Climate in Monsoon

July to August - [Warm]

Clothing in Winter

Nov. to Feb - [Cool & Pleasant]

Clothing in Summer

Cotton

Clothing in Winter

Light Woolens or Cotton

Languages Spoken

Telugu, Urdu

Best Time to Visit

October to February

P l a c e s  to  V i s i t

Basar: This village on the bank of river Godavari has one of India's only two temples dedicated to Goddesses Saraswathi. The other temple is in Kashmir. It is believed that the temple is one of the three temples constructed near the confluence of Manjira and Godavari rivers by Astrakutas. According to 'Brahmandapuranam', Valmiki installed Saraswathi and wrote Ramayana in Basar. The temple festival during Feb. Mar. and Sept.-Oct. attracts large crowds of pilgrims from all over the country.

Kunthala Water falls: This is the highest waterfall in Andra Pradesh. It drops from a height of 45 meters and is near Kunthala village on the banks of Kadam River.

Nirmal: Nirmal town is known for its fort built by the French engineers in the Nisam's service. Nirmal is also famous for toys and Nirmal Plates(plates with miniature paintings and floral design) which flourished with the availability of light wood in the area.

Kawal Sanctuary:The sanctuary, established in 1965, is 260 km from Hyderabad and is accessible by road. It spreads over 893sq.km with dry deciduous teak forest, bamboo and miscellaneous species of flora. Cheetal, Sambar, Nilgai, Muntjac(barking deer), Indian Bison(Gaur), Sloth Bear, Panther, Tiger and variety of birds are seen in the sanctuary.

Pranahitha Sanctuary: Another wildlife sanctuary situated approximately 300 km from Hyderabad. The habitat is dry deciduous teak forests spread over 136sq. km along the Pranahita River with undulating terrain. Cheetal, Black Buck, Nilgai, Sloth Bear, Panther, Tiger and birds including Brahmin Ducks, Teals, Storks and Herons are seen here

Places to Visit in Ananthapur District

Ananthapur town is connected to Bangalore, Hyderabad, Bellary,Kurnool and Chittoor. It is also connected to most important cities of the state.

 Lepakshi: Lepakshi is a religious center 480 km from Hyderabad. It is easily accessible from Tirupati. Lepakshi is famous for the Veerabhadra temple built in Vijayanagar style. The huge Nagalingam standing on a granite block shrouded by a seven headed serpent carved out of rock and the monolithic Nandi(4.5m x 8.23m) carved in a single rock are attractions for devotees and tourists.

 Puttaparthi: Puttaparthi, once a sparsely populated village, shot into international fame as the abode of Bhagwan Sri Satya Sai Bhaba. People seeking spiritual solace come to Prasanthi Nilayam at Puttaparthi throughout the year.

The nearest railway station is Dharmavaram, 30 km away. Nearest airports are at Tirupati(250km) and Bangalore(300km). Regular bus services are available from most of the towns

Places to Visit in Chitoor District

Chittoor is the capital of Chittoor district. It is 154 km from Chennai and 183 km from Bangalore. The town is well connected by rail and road with other parts of the state and neighboring states. The nearest airport is Tirupati.

 Tirupati: Tirupati is one of the most venerated and ancient shrines in India. The deity is Lord Venkateswara, the preserver of the trinity. The temple is situated in the foothills of Thirumala. The main temple is a magnificent example of Dravidian temple architecture. The annual festival in September attracts tens of thousands of devotees from all over India. There are many more temples dedicated to Lord vishnu and other deities in the vicinity of Tirupati. Tirupati is connected by air to Chennai, Hyderabad and Vijayawada.

 Horsely Hills: It is a hill station named after former collector of Cuddapah district who used it as his summer residence. Horsely Hills is at 1265 m above sea level. It is 144 km from Tirupathi. The shady slopes are wooded with green lush vegetation. The popular Rishi Valley Public school is here amidst the thick wooded hills.

Srikalahasthi: A religious center where Lord shiva is worshipped in the form of 'Vayulinga'. The temple is about 36 km from Tirupati and between two steep hills on the bank of River 'Swarnamukhi'.

 Kailasnath Konda: Kailasnath Konda is a perennial waterfall in Nagari valley of Chittoor district with mineral rich and clear water. The water is considered sacred with curative value. It has a small temple of Shiva and Parvati.

Chandragiri: Chandragiri was a strong hold of the Vijayanagar Empire for a long time. Situated on the bank of River Swarnamukhi, the fort was built on a huge rock a thousand years ago. Ruins of palaces and temples can be seen in the fort. The fort is 11 km from Tirupati

Places to Visit in East Godavari District

The capital is Kakkinada that is a busy fishing harbor and a minor port. Rail and road connect the city to other important centers of the state.

Coringa wild life sanctuary: A sanctuary of 235sq.km was established in 1978. It is in the Godavari delta. Fishing cats, crocodiles, otters and many water birds are seen here.

Papikonda Sanctuary: Spread over an area of 591sq.km, the sanctuary is situated along the slopes of Papikonda range. Many animals including tiger and birds are seen here.

Rajamundry: 155 km from Vijayawada, Rajamundri is a place of historical and religious importance. 'Pushkaram', the 'Kumbhamela' of South is celebrated here once in every 12 years. The long rail and road bridge over 56 spans (2743m) is another impressive sight.

Draksharamam: 'Draksharamam' is a Shivite temple 17 km from Kakkinada and 185 km from Vijayawada. The temple has a unique "sphadika lingam" and many inscriptions on the walls. The temple art shows influence of Chalukya and Chola styles. The temple festival of 'Bhimaswami's Kalyanam' is celebrated for five days in Jan.-Feb.

HISTORY
The history of Andhra Pradesh dates back to the epic era of Ramayana and Mahabharatha. But the documented history points to 236 BC when Satavahana established a kingdom and a dynasty around the modern Hyderabad. During the reign of 450 years, Buddhism flourished in the kingdom. The Ikshvakus succeeded the Satavahanas and ruled the kingdom for 57 years. The Pallavas annexed the area South of River Krishna and ruled till the end of 6th century.

CULTURE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
cultural heritage of Andhra Pradesh is rich with classical and folk arts ranging from the ballad singing 'Burrakatha' to the refined classical form of 'Kuchipudi' dance. As the home of abundant folk tradition, Andhra Pradesh has more than sixty classical and folk dance forms. A few of the popular performing arts are :

1. Kuchipudi Dance

 Kuchipudi, one of the famous classical dances in India takes its name from a village, Kuchelapuram, 60km away from Vijayawada. This dance drama enactment throbs with Telugu lyrics and Sanskrit verses. It is distinguished from other dance forms by narrative interruptions that makes it very popular and expressive. This art form emphasizes on animation. Apart from that it is akin to 'Bharathanatyam'. The present style of Kuchipudi and its developemet are accredited to 'Siddhendra Yogi' and 'Tirtha Narayana'.

2. Andhra Natyam

The traditional dance form of 'Andhra Natyam' originated as a temple dance that dates back to as early as 2000 years. The dance form was categorized as 'Agma Nartana' performed in the temples, 'Carnatakam' performed in the royal courts, and 'Darbari Attam' performed in the courtyards of temples for the common man. Andhra Natyam is similar in style to Bharatanatyam and is based on Nandikesa's 'Abhinaya Darpana' and Bharata's 'Natya Shastra'. This was the female tradition (Lasya) of dance that was characterized by a rich display of foot work and superior 'abhinaya'. Unlike the original version, the present Andhra Natyam is performed with stylish costumes, makeup, ornaments and orchestra.

3. Perini Thandavam

'Perini Thandavam' is a vigorous male dance form flourished during the Kakatiyas of Warangal. The warriors enacted the dance in front of the idol of 'Lord Siva' before they left for the battlefield. The dance is done to the resounding beats of drums. The dancers invoke and invite Siva offering their bodies to him to dance through. Perini almost disappeared after the decline of Kakatiya dynasty. Dr. Nataraja Ramakrishna revived the dance form to the present day status.

4. Tappetta Gullu

It is a folk dance in narrative form that combines devotion with entertainment. 'Tappatta Gallu' is confined to Visakapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts. The dance involves 15 - 30 dancers dressed in colorful attire with a small drum locally called 'tappetta gundu'. With rhythmic beat of the drum, the performers sing and dance to enchant the villagers. This dance form has become a popular ballad being performed at important cultural festivals in Andhra Pradesh.

5. Burra Katha

'Burra Katha' is the most popular narrative folk form in Andhra Pradesh. The name Burra Katha came from the percussion instrument used in the narrative. This folk form has perfected by fusing the dramatic and narrative elements with music and humor. The performing team consists of three narrators in colorful dress. The main narrator co-ordinates with narration, description, explanation etc. while the assistants provide rhythm with a small drum and chorus.

6. Dappu Dance

Used to publicize information and royal orders in the olden days, the present 'dappu' dancer still plays an important role during village festivals and village Panchayat. Using 'dappu', a percussion instrument, the dappu dancer moves rhythmically in circles during a performance. Over the years 'dappu dance' had transformed into two variations, dappu with songs and 'kolattam dappu' where players use sticks to make rhythmic strikes at each other's.

7. Kolattam

'Kollattam' or the stick dance is one of the most popular dance narratives in Andhra Pradesh. Known in different names in different places of the state, kolattam can be traced back to 7th century AD. A rural art usually performed during village festivals, kolattam is a combination of rhythmic movements, songs and music. In kolattam, performed by 8 to 40 artists grouped in pairs, The stick provides the main rhythm. The artists lead by the leader move into two circles, the inner circle receiving the strikes while the outer circle delivering them

8. Yakshagana

Began as a ballad singing art form in the olden days, Yakshagana transformed into a dance drama form. It was initially performed by a single dancer and gradually evolved into a complete dramatic form with many characters. The ballad form, the poetic patterns, the musical styles and the theoretical works contributed to the making of Yakshagana. With passing of time, the structure of Yakshagana form underwent a lot of changes with the interaction of classical drama tradition. The evolution of Kuchipudi Yakshagana form set an example for the performing groups where verses and prose were introduced. The art form is experimented with social themes without altering the basic structure.

9. Puli Vesham

 This is an open air performance usually enacted during Dasara or Moharrum in villages and during festivals in towns. It is one of the most popular dance forms in Andhra Pradesh and variations are seen throughout South India.

The Puli Vesham is a dance performed by two, the hunter and the hunted. The dance is supplemented with musical instruments. The dance usually starts with the 'tiger' jumping and marching to the rhythm of drum-beats. The hunter enters and wounds the tiger. Then the encounter to subdue each other begins. The dance ends with the tiger falling dead.

The costume and makeup of the Puli Vesham is complicated. The body of the person who plays tiger is smeared with yellow paint with bold black stripes. He also wears a mask and a long tail. The acrobatic skills, fearful facial expressions and charging moves make Puli Vesham a very active, awe-inspiring and popular entertainment.

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