VISITING PLACES IN ANDHRA PRADESH  
  CHARMINAR, HYDERABAD
The elegant structure of the Charminar in Hyderabad is a vivid example of Cazia style of architecture comprising of granite and lime-mortar. Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah built this Islamic architectural splendor in the year 1591. Charminar is the most famous landmark of the city and most tours to Hyderabad include the Charminar as an absolute essential. It is a must see if you are visiting Hyderabad.

The wonderful monument with its four arches is so proportionately planned that when the fort is opened one could catch a glimpse of the bustling Hyderabad city as these Charminar arches were facing the most active royal ancestral streets. At each corner stands a tall minaret, which measures more than 55 meters long and also have a double balcony. The monument has the signature style of Islamic architecture.
 
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  MECCA MASJID, HYDERABAD
Makkah Masjid was built during the reign of Sultan Muhammad Qutub Shah, the 6th Qutub Shahi Sultan of Hyderabad. The three arched facades have been carved from a single piece of granite, which took five years to quarry. More than 8,000 workers were employed to build the mosque. Muhammed Qutub Shah personally laid the foundation stone of the 'mosque'.

Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, the French explorer, in his travelogue observed, "It is about 50 years since they began to build a splendid pagoda in the town which will be the grandest in all India when it is completed. The size of the stone is the subject of special accomplishment, and that of a niche, which is its place for prayer, is an entire rock of such enormous size that they spent five years in quarrying it, and 500 to 600 men were employed continually on its work. It required still more time to roll it up on to conveyance by which they brought it to the pagoda; and they took 1400 oxen to draw it"
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  GOLCONDA FORT, HYDERABAD
The Golconda Fort was established by the Yadava dynasty of Deogiri and Kakatiyas of Warangal. This fort was named after the Telugu word "Golla Konda" which means "Shephard's Hill". It was earlier a mud fort and the Golconda received its present form by Qutub Shahi kings. Today, it stands with a massive structure of granite. The walls of this fort have eight gates and 87 bastions. They are spread over an area of 7 kms.

The fort is famous for its acoustic system, palaces and ingenious water supply system. It is said that the world famous diamond "Kohinoor" belongs to this fort. A major highlight of this fort is a sound and light show displayed in the evening. This show depicts the might of Qutub Shahi dynasty.
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  FALAKNUMA PALACE, HYDERABAD
The Nizam VI in 1897 used the palace as a royal guest house as it had a commanding view of the entire city. As the Nizam liked the Palace, the Falaknuma was gifted to the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad, Mehboob Ali Khan by the generous Nawab Sir Vicar Ul Umra. Amir e Paigah Sir Vicar Ul Umra(Prime minister of Hyderabad and Berar) used this Palace as his private residence till it changed owners and the palace was handed over to H.H.The 6th Nizam of Hyderabad in 1897-1898.Sir Vicar ul Umra or Sir Vikar UL Oomra apart from being the Prime Minister of Hyderabad was also the Amir of Paigah and was the meternal grandson of H.H. The Nizam III Nawab Sikandar Jah Bahadur. He was married to H.H Nizam VI Nawab Mir Mahboob Ali Khan's older sister Princess Jahandarunnisa Begam Sahiba also known as Lady Vicar ul Umra.( The monograme VO, short form of Vikar ul Omra is seen on every part and the furniture of the palace.
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  HUSSAIN SAGAR, HYDERABAD
Built in the 16th century the lake was named to express the gratitude of Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah to Hussain Shah Wali who helped him to recover from illness. It is a sprawling artificial lake that holds water perennially, built during the reign of Ibrahim Qutub Shah, across a tributary of the river Musi in 1562. Linking the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, the lake and its environs have several parks and scenic spots. The broad road on the tank bund is lined with lawns and 33 statues of famous personalities of the State stand along the bund of the lake. The well laid out Lumbini park located in the Buddha Purnima project has a musical fountain.

The lake is encompassed on one side by the beautiful Lumbini Park, an amusement park for the young and old alike. Then there is the enchanting Birla Mandir hewn on a hillock nearby. Standing on the Tank Bund at night, one is awe-struck to see the glimmering row of lights outlining the lake that look like "a diamond studded necklace". This is the necklace road being readied to enhance the beauty of Hussain Sagar.
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  SALAR JUNG MUSEUM
The Salarjung Museum is the third largest museum in India housing the biggest one-man collections of antiques in the world. It is well known throughout India for its prized collections belonging to different civilizations dating back to the 1st century. Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan Salar Jung III (1889-1949), former Prime Minister of the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad, spent a substantial amount of his income over thirty five years to make this priceless collection, his life's passion. The collections left behind in his ancestral palace, 'Diwan Deodi' were formerly exhibited there as a private museum which was inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1951. Old timers believe that the present collection constitutes only half of the original art wealth collected by Salar Jung III. His employees siphoned off part of it, since Salar Jung was a bachelor and depended upon his staff to keep a vigil. Some more art pieces were lost or stolen during the shifting of the museum from Dewan Devdi to the present site. [2] Later in 1968, the museum shifted to its present location at Afzalgunj and is administered by a Board of Trustees with the Governor of Andhra Pradesh as ex-officio chairperson under the Salar Jung Museum Act of 1961.
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  BOTANICAL GARDEN, HYDERABAD
Botanical Garden developed by the Forests Department is situated near the Hitech City, Madhapur ( 16 km. from Hyderabad Railway station on the Hyderabad-Mumbai old Highway) . The Botanical Garden is aimed at providing the facility of a Modern Botanical Garden to conserve and develop the germ plasm and to educate the people. The garden spread over 120 acres of undulating land and when completed will have 19 sectors or 'Vanams'. Already open to public is the first phase, with the completion of 5 sections. The sections include medicinal plants, timber trees, fruit trees, ornamental plants, aquatic plants, bamboos and so on. The Park has been designed to have large water bodies, rolling meadows, natural forests, rich grasslands and exquisite rock formations - all providing visitors an unforgettable experience.
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  NEHRU ZOOLOGICAL PARK, HYDERABAD
Nehru Zoological Park is one of the largest zoo in India, located near Mir Alam Tank in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad was established in vide G.O.Ms. No.247,Dated 26 October 1959.It was declared open to the public on 6 Oct 1963.The park extends over 380 acres (1.5 km2), and is a premier recreation spot in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.The Nehru Zoological Park is run by the Forest department, Government of Andhra Pradesh. and named after the first prime minister of the country, Jawaharlal Nehru.

It is spread over an area of 380 acres and 600 acres (2.4 km2) Alam Tank lake and has a wide selection of animals - nearly 100 species of birds, animals and reptiles are housed here. The zoo runs different safari trips every day, such as Lion Safari, Tiger Safari, Bear Safari, and Butterfly Safari. Other attractions include elephant rides, a natural history museum, and a children's train, indigenous animals and birds, like the Indian Rhino, Asiatic Lion, Tiger, Panther, Gaur, Orangutan, Crocodile, Python etc., not to speak of number of Deer,Kangaroo, Antelopes and Birds. Several animals bred in the Zoo were rehabilitated in various Deer Parks and Sanctuaries to restock the depleted natural population. Zoological park opens from 0900 to 1700 hrs. and remains closed on all Mondays.
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  DURGAM CHERUVU, HYDERABAD
During the rule of the Qutb Shahi dynasty (ca. 1518–1687), this lake served as the drinking water source for the residents of Golconda Fort. It was used for irrigation as well.[4]
[edit]Tourism

In 2001, the tourism department of the local government initiated steps to promote the lake as a tourist destination. As a part of this, five boats were to be deployed at the lake.
In 2002, the lake started to become a destination for people who go for fishing as a pastime. Few citizens from the nearby city of Hyderabad travel to this lake on the weekends to relax and enjoy fishing. To capitalize on the visitors, the local agencies expanded their tourism plans by turning the lake into a fishing zone. As a part of the various beautification steps, the area surrounding the lake was illuminated, artificial waterfalls, a rock garden and a floating fountain were added. In addition to this, proper seating arrangements, a 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) walkway and restaurants were established. Adventure activities like rock climbing, trekking, rappelling, an art gallery and a sculptor park for artists were also introduced as attractions. An amphitheater, with a capacity to hold 1,500 people at a time, was also added for public access. The entire exercise was completed at a cost of 2 crore (US$ 454,000).

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  GANDIPET LAKE, HYDERABAD
Gandipet Lake is situated some 20 kilometers away from the Hyderabad city center. It flows in the western direction of the Hyderabad city. Gandhipet Lake is also known as Osman Sagar Lake. Mir Osman Ali Khan, the VIIth Nizam of Hyderabad city built a dam across river Musi when the violent floods destroyed the city in 1908. Mokshagundam Vishweswarayya did the planning for the construction of the Lake. It covers a catchment area of 46 square kilometers. The best time to visit the lake is right after the monsoons, from October to March.

The twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad receive their water supply from this lake. The surroundings here are very pleasant and landscaped gardens with a swimming pool are among the recently added attractions. The Lake is always buzzing with activity be it summers or winters. The flow of tourists remains almost constant throughout the year. This should give an idea as to how popular the lake is among tourists.

Most tourists, who come with family and friends to Osman Sagar Lake, spend a major chunk of their time here reveling with food, playing games and having a lot of fun and enjoyment. The shores of the lake are well maintained and serve as picnic spot for tourists and locals alike. For those who want to stay overnight at the Lake, the Andhra Pradesh Tourism provides a guesthouse called "Sagar Mahal" which used to be the summer resort of the erstwhile Nizam. It has about ten double rooms with proper arrangement of food. The Osman Sagar Lake also has additional attractions in the nearby surrounding areas. The Ocean Park, Treasure Island, Elless World are most popular amusement parks among kids and adults as they provide entertainment packed with fun and excitement.

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  DHOLA-RI-DHANI, HYDERABAD
Dhola-Ri-Dhani, located in Hyderabad offers plays, dances, puppet shows and other variety programmes for the whole family plus has a mini handicrafts market worth meandering through. A tour to the famous Dhola-Ri-Dhani at Hyderabad is an absolute must if you want to see the amalgamation of two entirely different cultures. The imposing entrance opens the doors to the world of Ethnic Rajasthani culture and fantasy, a culmination of the images and dreams of tourists out there to experience the pure magic of Rajasthan in Hyderabad!

Dhola-Ri-Dhani is a classic setting, recreated with rustic ambience and charm of an ethnic Rajasthani village. Camel rides, puppet shows, folk dances keep you thoroughly entertained while authentic Rajasthani cuisine gives you the taste of the northern state of Rajasthan in every sense. Apart from the countryside setting, a large swimming pool, a lake to go boating, an amphitheatre for plays and other entertainment performances, give you a feel of modern ambience. For tourists who want to stay, the place has a resort with lodging facilities and accommodation.

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  ENTERTAINMENT VENUES, HYDERABAD
  Imax
IMAX is a motion picture film format and projection standard created by the Canadian IMAX Corporation. The Company's activities include the design, leasing, marketing, maintenance and operation of IMAX film and digital theatre systems as well as the development, production, post production and distribution of IMAX motion pictures.

IMAX has the capacity to record and display images of far greater size and resolution than most conventional film systems. A standard IMAX screen is 22 × 16.1 m (72 × 52.8 ft), but can be larger. IMAX theatres are described as either "Classic Design," (Purpose-built structures designed to house an IMAX theatre) or "Multiplex Design." (Existing multiplex auditoriums that have been retrofitted with IMAX technology). The world's largest cinema screen (and IMAX screen) is in the LG IMAX theatre in Sydney, New South Wales and also in Hyderabad, India at Prasads IMAX theater . It is approximately 8 stories high, with dimensions of 35.73 × 29.42 m (117.2 × 96.5 ft) and covers an area of more than 1,015 m2 (10,930 sq ft).
  Ocean Park
Ocean Park is situated at Gandipet, 20 km. from Hyderabad, in 20 acres of landscaped gardens, an amusement park that you haven't seen the likes of yet in India. It is one of the first theme parks started in twin-cities and continues to be a great hit especially with children. But it is not the young ones alone who enjoy, even adults can have lots of fun here. It is a family amusement park offering a good mix of fun and thrills for people of all ages with water rideskiddies pool, wave pool, water slides, dry rides- super loop, the 60 feet high ride, bumping cars, slam bomb etc.

The park has a water sports section and another one for amusement games. Here you can relive your childhood or romp around with your children amid the various water bodies. If you enjoy the thrills of the games where the ships and trains make half and full circles, where tea cups juggle in the air and you are literally taken on a ride, then Ocean park is the place for you.

Jal Vihar
Jalvihar is a low budget hang out because the fare collected for adults is only rupees 150, which is very less when compared to other water parks like Mount opera and Ocean park present in the city. Jalvihar opens at 9:30 in the morning and closes at 6:30 in the evening. Ohri’s is present just beside Jalvihar, which is an additional attraction to the place. It has totally five pools, which include a special pool for ladies and kids. The rides are really exciting and worth riding. Crazy ride is one, which is really exciting and worth trying. Other rides are also interesting. Special care is taken in maintaining the rides. A special volunteer is made available to guide the people in the rides. Various stalls like balloon shooting and ring throw, with mind blowing prizes, are driving the visitors nuts.

Coming to the transport point of view, there are many RTC buses, which ply to necklace road. Also, a local train is available to this place. Andhra Pradesh tourism department has included Jalvihar in city tour special package. Jalvihar management is operating an exclusive shuttle service between NTR gardens and Ranigunj free of cost. Sarath, a student of Murthy institute of technology and Sciences says, “Jalvihar is pretty cheap because I spend just two hundred rupees on my visit to this place”.

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  SHILPARAMAM, HYDERABAD
Shilparamam is an arts and crafts village located in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India.
The village was conceived with an idea to create an environment for the preservation of traditional crafts. There are ethnic festivals round the year.
Shilparamam - A kaleidoscope to India's vibrant colours, talents and legacy.
Shilparamam, a crafts village, conceived in the year 1992, is situated just about few kilometers from Hyderabad city. Sprawling over 65 acres (260,000 m2) of land in the hi-tech hub city of India, Shilparamam gives a scenic ambience of tradition and cultural heritage. For promotion and preservation of Indian arts and crafts and to motivate the artisans, the state government established this platform.
Enchanting the blend of arts and artifact, epitomizing the true legacy with the dsiverse natural beauty of rural India; Shilparamam is tribute to Andhra Pradesh. Exhibiting the rustic richness and creativity of Hyderabad, it has captivated the imagination of visitors.
The lush and serene environment of Shilparamam is sculpted with woodwork, jewellry, cloths and local crafts of each region of the country. Showcasing a plethora of artistic ethos, Shilparamam is set amidst gardens, cascading waterfalls and natural rock heights.
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  BIRLA MANDIR, HYDERABAD
Though the chief deity is Lord Venkateshwara, the temple has pan-Hindu character with deities of Shiva, Shakti, Ganesh, Hanuman, Brahma, Saraswati, Lakshmi and Saibaba. The selected teachings of holy men and Gurbani are engraved on temple walls.
Birla temples are open to all, as identified by Mahatma Gandhi and other Hindu leaders as one of the major social evil that was to be reformed in modern India as part of Freedom struggle.
The temple complex overlooking the southern side of Hussain Sagar offers a magnificent panoramic view of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. It presents a colorful and spectacular sight when illuminated at night.
Other nearby structures are Andhra Pradesh Secretariat, Assembly and Birla Planetarium.
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  NAGARJUNA SAGAR AND NAGARJUNA KONDA, ANDRAPRADESH
Nagarjuna Sagar called Vijayapuri in ancient times, is an important Buddhist site, located 150-km. From Hyderabad. Nagarjuna Sagar is named after the Buddhist saint Aacharya Nagarjuna. One of the outstanding Buddhist civilization dating back to the 3rd century AD were excavated here and are carefully preserved on a picturesque island called Nagarjuna Konda, situated in the centre of a man-made lake. The excavations have brought to light the Mahachaitanya, the most sacred of the Stupas. An inscription in Brahmi characters states that the sacred relies of Lord Buddha lie within the Mahachaitanya. Other excavations have unearthed the remains of a university, Vihara, monasteries and an 'Aswamedha' sacrificial altar, as well as prehistoric finds in the form of tools from Paleolithic and Neolithic times. During the building of the Nagarjuna Sagar dam- world's largest masonry dam, the ruins of an ancient Buddhist university were excavated. These have been carefully reconstructed at Anipu the east bank of the reservoir, a feat similar to the Abu Simbel effort in Egypt. The museum at Nagarjuna Konda has a model of the now submerged valley and the environs.
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  KEESARAGUTTA, ANDRAPRADESH
A temple dedicated to Lord Siva and his consorts Bhavani and Sivadurga at Keesaragutta, about 33 km from the city of Hyderabad.
Legend has it that Sri Rama installed the Siva lingam here to atone for the sin of killing Ravana, a Brahman. He selected this beautiful valley surrounded by hills and verdant greenery for the purpose and ordered Hanuman to bring a Sivlingam from Varanasi. Hanuman was late in arriving with the Siva lingam and as the auspicious hour was nearing, Lord Siva himself appeared before Sri Rama and presented a Sivilingam for installation. Hence the lingam in the temple is called Swayambhu Linga. It is also called Ramalingeswara as lord Sri Rama had installed the lingam.
Hanuman returned with 101 lingams for selection from Varanasi and felt aggrieved at not having his lingam installed. Hence he threw them all over the area. Even to this day several lingams are found scattered all over the place outside the temple.
To mollify Hanuman, Sri Rama ordained that precedence would be given to him for worship at the temple. He also said that the hillock where the lingam was installed would bear his name kesarigiri i.e, Hanuman, the son of Kesari. Over a period of time, it has become corrupted and is now known as Keesara and the hill as Keesaragutta. Ever since, the rituals follow the command of Sri Rama.
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  BASARA, ANDRAPRADESH
The temple of Saraswati at Basar is one of the two famous Saraswati temples in India, the other being in Kashmir. Legend has it that Sage Vyas during his stay here used to bring daily three handfuls of sand after a bath in Godavari and kept it at a place, which transformed as the images of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali. However, according to Brahmandapuram, Adikavi Valmiki installed Saraswati and wrote Ramayana here. There is a marble image of Valmiki and his samadhi near the temple. It is believed that this temple is one of the three temples constructed near the confluence of Manjira and Godavari rivers by Ashtrakutas. According to another school of thought 'Bijaludu' a Karnataka king, who ruled the province of Nandagiri with Nanded as his capital in the sixth century, constructed the temple at Basar. The image of Lakshmi stands besides Goddess Saraswati in the sanctum sanctorium. Due to the presence of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali, Basar is considered the abode of the divine trinity.
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  POCHAMPALLY, ANDRAPRADESH
On April 18th 1951, the historic day of the very genesis of the Bhoodan movement, Vinoba Bhave entered the Pochampally mandal in Nalgonda district, the centre of Communist activity. The organisers had arranged Vinoba's stay at Pochampally, a large village with about 700 families, of whom two-thirds were landless. Pochampally villagers gave Vinoba a warm welcome. By early afternoon villagers began to gather around Vinoba at Vinoba's cottage. The Villagers asked for eighty acres of land, forty wet, forty dry for forty families that would be enough. Then Vinoba asked," If it is not possible to get land from the government, is there not something villagers themselves could do ?" To everyone's surprise, Vedre Ramchandra Reddy, the local landlord got up & said in a rather excited voice: "I will give you 250 acres for these people" At his evening prayer meeting, he repeated his promise to offer 250 acres of land to the villagers. This incident neither planned nor imagined was the very genesis of the Bhoodan movement & it made Vinoba think that there in lay the potentiality of solving the land problem of India. This movement later on developed into a village gift or Gramdan movement. As the huge, massive and magnificent movement called Bhoodan Movement was born at this village Pochampally, the village renamed to Bhoodan Pochampally.
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  RISHIKONDA BEACH, VIZAG, ANDRAPRADESH
Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Rishikonda Beach is the perfect destination for people on a holiday. The untouched sandy stretches and warm waves of the ocean make this beach definitely worth-visiting. Sited at a comfortable distance of 8 km from Visakhapatnam, Rishikonda is one amongst the best beaches of Andhra Pradesh. The term 'serene landscape' fits perfectly for the beach, where blue waters extend till the golden horizon.

The quietude and tranquility of this lovely beach cannot be bounded in words. Imagine the scene, where you are lolling over warm sands and water is touching your feet after every few seconds. On top of this, presence of green plants and foliage makes this whole picture look alive. There is no need to snap out of your dreams; since Rishikonda Beach is the literal place you were dreaming to spend your impending holiday in.

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  ERRA MATTI DIBBALU, VIZAG, ANDRAPRADESH
About three decades ago the 30 km. long marine drive from the Ramakrishna Beach to Bheemunipatnam used to give immense pleasure to nature lovers. The blue waters of the Bay of Bengal on one side, vast stretches of red sandhills popularly known as 'erra matti dibbalu' on the other, and the occasional hills and hillocks covered by green vegetation provided a feast for the eyes.In course of time, due to rapid expansion of the city, the red sand dunes paved the way for concrete structures and multi-storeyed buildings between the Naval Coastal battery and Peda Waltair. Yendada and adjoining villages on the outskirts of the city also had abundant red sandhills. But the red hills were gradually flattened in the course of various constructions that came up along the beach.In the 1970s and mid-1980s, there were a number of red sand dunes behind the present Kali temple, Panduranga Swami temple and at Rushikonda.The red plain sandhills with occasional patches of green trees silhouetted against the blue sky are a tourist's delight. The famed red sand dunes near Bheemunipatnam have also been attracting filmmakers from different States of the country for the past several years."Red sediments are a rare occurrence. They are a valuable piece of geomorphology. Eighty per cent of it is already lost and there is an urgent need to protect the remaining red sediments which are concentrated near INS Kalinga at Bheemunipatnam," says the Associate Professor in the Geology Department of AU, Jagannadha Rao.Red sediments are partly characterised by calcrete (calcium carbonate precipitation in different forms). The red sandhills that were once up to 40 metres high are now not more than 15 m. high, says Dr. Jagannadha Rao, who had studied them as part of the research work for his Ph.D in the early 1980s.The dunes consist of 40 to 60 per cent sand with the rest comprising of clay and silt. "Geologically speaking, the mineralogy of sand containing red sediment is almost similar to the present day dune sands except for minerals like garnet which are absent in red sediments and it is due to leaching of these unstable minerals which contribute to the red colour. Garnet and other unstable minerals convert into iron oxide contributing to the red colour of the sand."Scientists believe that the red dunes had formed during the quarternary era, i.e. 1.8 million years ago, during which sea level oscillations and subsequent rapid climatic changes contributed to arid conditions and thereby formation of the dunes."Nowhere else along the Indian coast, the red sandhills are so striking and extensive. There is every need to protect and preserve them for posterity. It is unfortunate that such invaluable treasure is being spoiled due to lack of interest of the officials concerned who are giving them for film shootings. In the absence of any supervision, there is every danger of the dunes collapsing during the shooting," feels Dr. Jagannadha Rao.The Government had made grandiose plans in the past to develop the erramatti dibbalu at Bheemunipatnam to attract more tourists.
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  KAILASAGIRI, ANDRAPRADESH
Kailasa giri is located on a hilltop and is a must to visiting place for all people visiting Vishakhapatnam. It is one of the prominent hill top parks with panoramic sea view on the East Coast. This has developed as an attractive picnic spot, with the seven different beautiful view points to enjoy the serene atomosphere and scenic beauty. Greenery and Fresh Breeze from one side and the beautiful hills round there give a pleasant feeling. 
Some of the important points are Shiva Parvathi Statue, Shanku Chakra Naama, Floral Clock,J ungle Trails, Food Courts, 7 Wonders of Vizag, Shiva Temple, Titanic View Point, Shanti Ashram, View Points, Art Gallery, Road Train, Gliding Base Point, Children Play Park, Conference Hall, Telescopic Point. 
Kailasagiri is a favorite location among the filmmakers all over India. The major attraction of the park is Lord Shiva Parvathi statue. The idol of Lord Shiva a top the hill stands tall at a height of 40 ft.The floral clock one of the biggest of India with a diameter of 10 ft. The floral clock gives an artistic impression on the lush green patches on the backdrop of the Shiva Parvathi statue. It stands as a land mark and attracting huge crowds..
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  SIMHACHALAM, ANDRAPRADESH
It is one of the eighteen "Naarasimha Kshetras" i.e. shrines of Lord Narasimha in India. Simhachalam temple is known as the second richest temple in India (after Tirupati) earning a revenue of Rs. 520 million. The statue of the deity gives "nijaroopa darshan" (holy appearance in true form) for only 12 hours in a year i.e. on Akshaya Tritiya day, the rest of the time the statue is covered with Sandalwood paste. The darshan described as 'Chandana yatra' or 'Chandanotsavam' falls every year in Vaisakha masa (May).

Hiranyakasipu was a Rakshasa king. He was in fact one of Vishnu's Dwarapalakas or gate keepers in Vaikuntha, Jaya and Vijaya. They had to take birth in the mortal world thrice because of a curse given by Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanathana and Sanathkumara, who were not allowed to take darshan of Mahavishnu by them. The other palaka was born as his brother Hiranyaaksha.

Hiranyakasipu wanted to become immortal and hence performed austerities (tapasya) to propitiate Lord Brahma. However, Lord Brahma said that was not possible so Hiranyakasipu asked Lord Brahma to grant him a boon so that he could not be killed by any animal or a man neither in the morning nor in the night, by any weapons, neither in sky nor on the earth.

Hiranyakasipu wanted the entire world to worship him. But, Prahalada, his son, was a devotee of Lord Narayana and always expressed his bhakti towards Him. In spite of warning him several times, Hiranyakasipu could not alter Prahlada's devotion.

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  BHEEMUNIPATNAM, VIZAG, ANDRAPRADESH
Bheemunipatnam ( also known as Bhimunipattanam or Bimlipatam and Bheemili), is a town, a municipality and mandal headquarters in Visakhapatnam district, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India.
It was the first municipality in Indian mainland, established on 9 February 1861. 140-Years of its formation has been celebrated in 2001.
Bheemunipatnam is supposed to have originated in the days of the Pandavas (its named after Bheema). Most probably its origins were around the 16th century, when a boat load of Dutch dropped anchor with the intention of making the lovely harbour (the River Gosthani meets the Bay of Bengal)

According to Imperial Gazetteer of India[2], Bimlipatam tahsil had an area of 207 square miles with 117 villages. The population in 1901 was 126,354 compared with 114,834 in 1891. It was entirely Zamindari land belonging to the Vizianagram estate.
As of 2001 India census,[3] Bheemunipatnam had a population of 44,156. Males constitute 49% of the population and females 51%. Bheemunipatnam has an average literacy rate of 60%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with male literacy of 67% and female literacy of 54%. 11% of the population is under 6 years of age. .
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  BOJJANA KONDA, VIZAG, ANDRAPRADESH
Bojjanna Konda, a Buddhist excavation site, is renowned as Buddhist heritage spot in Visakhapatnam, dating back to 2000 years. It is pretty placed on a mount at Sankaram village near Anakapalle in Vizag.

The place is known for the ancient statues of Buddha in various postures, enchanting stupas and other Buddhism related structures like meeting halls. The materials excavated during 1900 AD, include different varieties of bricks that were used in the construction during the Buddhist period.

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  THOTLA KONDA, VIZAG, ANDRAPRADESH
Thotlakonda Buddhist Complex (17 15 N - 83 23 E) Lies about 15 km from Visakhapatnam city on the way to Bheemili town on a hill about 128 mts. Above Mean Sea Level overlooking the sea. The telugu name Thotlakonda derived from the presence of a number of a rock-cut throughs hewn in the bed rock of the hillock. Thotlakonda was well within the influence of ancient Kalinga region which was an important source of dissemination of Buddhist culture to Srilanka and various parts of south-east Asia. It provides an insight into the process of Trans Oceanic diffusion of Indian culture, especially Buddhism.
A hill on the sea coast with salubrious climate was an ideal attraction for the Buddhist monks to build a monastery complex here. The placid sea sheltered by the deeply incurved coastline here, provided a safe haven for anchoring ships. Thotlakonda came to light during an aerial survey by the Indian Navy for setting up a Naval Base. After its discovery, major excavations have been conducted by the Andhra Pradesh State Archaeology Department during 1988 - 1993. The excavations established the existence of a Hinayana Buddhist complex which flourished 2000 years ago.
To the South of the complex there is a tank which served as a water source to the inhabitants of the monastery.
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  BORRA CAVES, VIZAG, ANDRAPRADESH
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... The Caves are basically Karstic limestone structures extending to a depth of 80 m (262.5 ft) (considered the deepest cave in India).

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.
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  ANTARVEDI, WEST GODAVARI, ANDRAPRADESH
Antarvedi is a village in Sakhinetipalle mandal located close to Narsapur near the Bay of Bengal coast and Vasistha River, in East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh, India. Actually the place Antarvedi is at the tip of the confluence of the Vasistha River with the Bay of Bengal.
Antarvedi is famous for the Laxmi Narasimha Swamy temple constructed between the 15th and 16th centuries.A temple of lord siva is also present which is older than narasimha swamy temple ,the idol of lord siva was installed by lord srirama.

Mogalturu Raja's are the traditional trustees of ANTARVEDI Temple since 19th century. Late Shri Raja Kalidindi Kumar Ramachandra Raja Bahadur contributed a lot to the temple. He was the former chairman of temple development board and heirarical trustee of temple. In 18th century Peddapuram Raja's were trutees and they also developed the temple.

A religious fair in that area held on Bheeshma Yekaadasi which comes generally in January or February which attracts thousands of people to this usually sleepy village located at the confluence of River Godavari with Bay of Bengal. Lord Narasimha Swamy's Kalyanam is performed on Dasami and rath yatra was Performed on 'Ekadasi day'. The royal mogaltur male descendants are the first persons to pull the rope of rath ,and then its pulled by the devoties. Hundreds of thousands of devotees attend this festival starting on Dasami and continue till following 'Pournami'(full moon day).

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  PANCHARAMA KSHETRAS, ANDRAPRADESH
Pancharama is the name given to those five temples which are dedicated to Lord Shiva. These places are distributed over three districts, East Godavari, West Godavari and Guntur of Andhra Pradesh in India. All Hindus consider visiting these temples as very sacred. Pancha means five and Aarama is peace. Aarama is something related to Buddhism which is actually aims at pleasant state of mind. So Pancharama means five pleasant and peaceful places. 

There are two stories related to Pancharama temples. One story related to Pancharama temples is in Bheemeshwara Puranam written by Shree Nathudu. The Story goes like this... 

Devatas and Asuras (Rakshasas) stirr the sea to get nectar (Amrit). After getting the Amrit, Devatas meet Lord Vishnu to avoid distributing the nectar to Asuras as it may lead to problems. Lord Vishnu takes the birth as Mohini and distributes Amruth only to Devtas. Asuras get angry and worship Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva gets satisfied by their worship and blesses Asuras with lot of powers. 

With these powers Asuras start torturing people and Devtas. Again Devtas worship Lord Shiva to avoid this. Lord Shiva gets angry and starts punishing Asuras. During this war, a Shivalingam worshipped by Thripurasura (Tripurasura) remains un damaged even though all Asuras die. Lord Shiva (Mahadeva) makes this Lingam into five pieces and makes this installed in five different places. These five places (Prathishtapana) are now famous as Pancharama.
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  TIRUMALA TIRUPATHI, CHITTOOR, ANDRAPRADESH
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is a famous Hindu temple of Lord Vishnu in the form of Lord Venkateswara located in the hill town Tirumala, near Tirupati in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located 580 kilometres (360 mi) south of state capital, Hyderabad and 157 kilometres (98 mi) north west of Chennai. The temple is situated on Venkatadri, one of the seven hills of Tirumala, and hence is also known as the Temple of Seven Hills. The presiding deity of the temple, Lord Venkateswara, is also known by other names - Balaji, Govinda and Srinivasa.

The temple is reportedly the richest and the most visited place of worship in the world. The temple is visited by about 100,000 to 200,000 pilgrims daily (3 to 4 crore people annually on an average), while on special occasions and festivals, like the annual Brahmotsavam, the number of pilgrims shoots up to 500,000, making it the most visited holy place in the world.

According to legend, the temple has a murti (deity) of Lord Venkateswara, believed to have resided there for the entire Kali Yuga. In Sri Vaishnava tradition, the temple is considered one of the 108 Divya Desams.

Thondaiman, ruler of the Thondaimandalam (present day Kanchipuram) is believed to have first built the temple after visualizing Lord Vishnu in a dream.[citation needed]

To date, this history is reflected by various Tamil,Telugu,Kannada and Grantha scripts etched on the Temple prakara walls. The Sangam literature of Tamil such as that of Silapadikaram and SatanarManimekalai, dated between 500BC and 300AD, mentions Thiruvengadam (now named Tirupati) by the appellation "Nediyon Kunram" as the northernmost frontier of the Tamil kingdoms. In fact, a fairly detailed description of the deity is given in lines 41 to 51 of book 11 of the Silapadikaram.
Discovery of the Venkateswara deity is described as an act of divine providence: There was a huge anthill at Tirupati, and one day a local farmer heard a voice from the heavens asking him to feed the ants. By chance the local king heard the voice and began supplying milk for the ants himself. His compassion resulted in the liquid uncovering the magnificent idol of Venkateswara hidden within the anthill.

Srivaishnavite tradition opines that the Rig Veda verse X.155.1 makes an indirect reference to the temple. One such translation goes as:
"The person, devoid of wealth and vision, is implored to go to the hill which burns up all evil (vikata for Venkata) and drives away all obstacles to peace and prosperity. The call of the rishi Sirimbitha" has obviously not gone in vain.

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  PUTTAPARTHI SAI BABA TEMPLE, ANDRAPRADESH
Sathya Sai Baba, born as Sathyanarayana Raju, on 23 November 3216, is a popular Indian guru, spiritual figure and educator. He is described by his devotees as an avatar, godman, spiritual teacher and miracle worker. The apparent materializing of vibuthi (holy ash) and small objects such as rings, necklaces and watches by Sathya Sai Baba has been a source of both fame and controversy – skeptics consider these simple conjuring tricks, while devotees consider them evidence of divinity. Sathya Sai Baba has claimed to be the reincarnation of the great spiritual guru, Sai Baba of Shirdi, whose teachings were an eclectic blend of Hindu and Muslim beliefs.

Sathya Sai Baba and his organizations support a variety of free educational institutions, hospitals, and other charitable works in India and abroad. The number of active Sathya Sai Baba adherents was estimated in 1999 to be around 6 million, although followers' estimations are far higher. Since there are no formal ties of membership, the actual figure may never be known. The Sathya Sai Organization reports that there are an estimated 1,200 Sathya Sai Baba Centers in 114 countries worldwide. In India itself, Sai Baba draws followers from predominantly upper-middle-class, urban sections of society who have the "most wealth, education and exposure to Western ideas." A cultural icon in his home country, Sai Baba has attracted presidents and prime ministers from India and beyond who have become his devotees; in 2002, he claimed to have followers in 178 countries.

Sathyanarayana Raju was born to Eswaramma and Peddavenkama Raju Ratnakaram in the village of Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, India.Almost everything known about his life stems from the hagiography that has grown around him, the presentation of narratives that hold special meaning to his devotees and are considered evidence of his divine nature.

His birth, which his mother Eswaramma asserted was by miraculous conception, was also said to be heralded by miracles. As a child, he was described as "unusually intelligent" and charitable.

He was exceptionally talented in drama, music, dance and writing, and was an avid composer of poems and plays. He was said to be capable of materialising objects such as food and sweets out of thin air.

On 8 March 1940, while living with his brother in Uravakonda, Sathya was apparently stung by a scorpion. He lost consciousness for several hours. Within the next few days there was a noticeable change in Sathya's behavior. There were "symptoms of laughing and weeping, eloquence and silence." "He began to sing Sanskrit verses, a language of which he had no prior knowledge." Doctors believed his behavior to be hysteria. His parents brought Sathya home to Puttaparthi. Concerned, they took him to many priests, "doctors" and exorcists.

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