Are you in desperate need of a vacation to get away from all your worldly woes? How about going someplace where history, culture, nature, and religion jostle to grab your attention and admiration. If that excites you, it’s time for you to go backpacking to Andhra Pradesh
Let’s start with Andhra Pradesh’s capital city, Hyderabad. Sultan Quli of Qutub Shahi dynasty established this city in 1495, kicking off its historical, architectural, and cultural tradition. In Hyderabad, make sure you visit:
The Charminar: This 4-towered structure stands in the centre of bustling old Hyderabad, surrounded by markets buzzing with people thronging shops offering famous Hyderabadi pearls, bangles, silks, and perfumes (attar).
Golconda fort: Spread magnificently over 5 km, this fort boasts of impressive acoustic and water-supply systems.
Salar Jung Museum: Houses objects like miniature paintings, rare manuscripts, weapons, pottery, and even clocks collected from all over the world by Salar Jung, Prime Minister to the Nizam of Hyderabad in early 19th century.
Hussein Sagar Lake, Ramoji film-city, Cyberabad are other interesting spots in this city!
Try sampling specialties like Hyderabadi Biryani, Khubani-ka-meetha (apricots-and-cream), Irani tea in an Irani cafe, Double-ka-meetha (bread pudding with cashews and almonds), and of course Mughlai and Andhra cuisine.
Travel by local buses offering day-tickets at Koti bus stop. Car rentals are available from the Nampally station area. To travel beyond Hyderabad, you can board a bus from Mahatma Gandhi bus station and Secunderabad’s Jubilee bus station.
150 km north-east of Hyderabad, green Warangal boasts of the richly carved thousand-pillar temple, 13th century Warangal fort, 2,000 year old Jain Mandir, Chalukyan style Veeranarayan temple, and the Pakhal Lake. Buses ply frequently between Hyderabad and Warangal.
This modern industrial city was part of the ancient Kalinga dynasty in 200-300 B.C. It embraces rich topological contrasts. Take your pick from the beautiful Rishikonda Beach, Bhimli port with ancient cave temples, SOS children’s village, Dolphin’s Nose, Submarine Museum, Araku hill station, and the Borra caves.
Don’t miss out on the rest of AP though – historical Vijayawada, Amravati, the richest Hindu temple – Tirupati, and Putaparthi - Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s home and the centre of his educational institutions.
Have you visited or have plans to visit Andhra Pradesh? What do you think is unique about this state? Tell us about your favorite Hyderabadi hideaways!