Andhra Pradesh is a symbol of the true spirit of Indian secularism where people of all faiths -Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu form a symphony of religions.
Once among the poorest states of the Indian Union, it's transformation to one of the most industialized states has been slow but steady. The state stands on the high Deccan plateau, sloping down to the low-lying coastal regions in the the east where the Godavri and Krishna meet the Bay of Bengal.
The capital Hyderabad, was built by the Qutb Shahi Kings in 1590. Once here visit the Char Minar literally meaning the Four Quartets was built in 1591 to commemorate the end of a plague in Hyderabad. At the Safdar Gunj Museum are on display art , artifacts and trinkets of a wide variety.Also worth visiting are the Golconda Forts and the Qutb Shahi Tombs and the Mecca Masjd Mosque.
Hyderabad's answer to Victoria and Albert Museum is the Salar Jung Museum ,built by Mir Yusaf Ali. It has more than 35,000 exhibits including works of sculpture, wooddrawing, religious objects , armoury and weaponry.
The Nehru Zoological Park is on an area of more than 1.2 square k.m and is home to many exotic ,rare species.
The Hussain Sagar Lake separates Hyderabad from its twin city of Secunderabad. Vishakapatnam is one of the fastest growing port cities in India Its best known sight is the Dolphin's Nose which is a rocky promontory jutting out into the harbor.
At Nagarjunasagar is Nagarjunakonda where Buddhist ruins have been found from the waters of the dam and re-sited from the island.
Tirupati, the holiest of holy places of 'Indian worship is situated at the base of the Tirumala hills.It holds the temple of Lord Venkatweshwara where innumerable faithful line upto to have an audience(darshan) with their lord. It is one of the few holy places where access is permitted to even a Non-Hindu.
Called the Abode of Highest Peace the Prasantha Nilayam Ashram of Lord Sri Sathya Sai Baba at Puttaparthi has many followers to its faith. It offers excellent food and accomodation to its visitors/devotees.
The best time to visit is between October and February.
Places to visit:
Char Minar - This magnificent monument built by Quli Qutub Shah, is synonymous with Hyderabad. It was built in 1591 by Quli Qutb Shah. to mark the end of the plague that had ravaged the city. Four graceful minarets from which 'Char Minar' derives its name, literally meaning 'Four Minars' soar to a height of 48.7 m above the ground. All around the Char Minar is the bustling Laad bazaar selling pearl, antiques, perfume and ittar.
Golconda Fort -This massive fort of perimeter 11 km has the history of medieval Deccan written in its ruins. The fort was the capital of Qutb Shahi kings throughout their rule. Once famous for its diamond market, the 'Kohinoor', the largest diamond in the world, was quarried here.
Salar Jung museum - A one-man collection of antiques, the artifacts on display are unique and range through varied periods of time and places in the world. The collection at this unique museum was put together by Nawab Mir Yusaf Ali Khan (Salar Jung III), the Prime Minister of the Nizam. It contains about 43,000 art exhibits and 50,000 books from all over the world. .