Rayalaseema : They say – “Road is life” and one always takes the road of exploring and discovering new places to meet new people and make lifetime memories. And one such region is – Rayalaseema that is in the state of Andhra Pradesh. We say you will be filled with awe and love after uncovering the region – Rayalaseema that carries very rich history and culture on its shoulders. The Rayalaseema is one among many major regions for travellers to explore as it is full of temples, monuments, waterfalls and wildlife sanctuaries. 

In case if you haven’t explored these places, then you should make some time and start visiting them right now. And also note that this region in the state holds a very special place in the hearts of the people, travellers in particular, as it is too good for architecture enthusiasts. Undeniably, the Rayalaseema is a special region in the country as it reflects the culture and tradition of great historians in our histories. 

To be crystal clear, the Rayalaseema got its name after the great ruler – Sri Krishna Deva Raya and also note that this region is rich in mineral resources. Also, the Rayalaseema consists of four major districts – Kurnool, Kadapa, Anantapur and Chittoor. And to ease your research work as to what are the best places to explore in Rayalaseema, we have come up with this piece that explains you the best places of the same.

This article tells you the best and top ranked places or locations in the Rayalaseema and also why these places hold the special status in the eyes of tourism. In order to explore the region, just give a quick read of the same.

Rayalaseema Tourist Places- Best Places To Visit In Rayalaseema:

The best tourist places of Rayalaseema are listed below and they include –  Belum Caves, Tirupati, Horsley Hills, Yaganti, Chandragiri Fort, Konda Reddy Buruju, Talakona Waterfalls and others. Read on.

Tirupati

The first thing that comes to our minds when we think of Rayalaseema is – Tirupati Balaji Temple. It is no secret how popular the temple is and also how rich the god is. Well yes, thousands in fact countless people flock to the temple to seek blessings of Lord Balaji. Situated on the hill top of Tirumala, the Tirupati is located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. 

Tirupati
Tirupati

The temple is an abode of Lord Venkateshwara, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The god is believed to have appeared here to save mankind from troubles of Kali Yuga. The Tirumala Hills are part of Seshachalam Hills range and they are 853 metres above the sea level. The hills are of seven peaks and represent the seven heads of Adisesha. These peaks are – Seshadri, Neelari, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri.

With this, the temple is also referred to as – Temple of Seven Hills. The architecture deserves a mention as it boasts Dravidian architecture. It is believed that the iconic temple was constructed over a period of time starting from 300 AD. The temple is one of the richest temples in the world. If you can manage visiting the temple, do it now as it is totally worth it. 

Gandikota

Often referred as – The Grand Canyon Of India, the Gandikota is a must visit place in Rayalaseema. Gandikota is a village on the right bank of the river Penna and is located in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. The place was ruled by one of the powerful Telugu dynasties – Pemmasani dynasty. Also, it is one of the iconic forts of the nation. 

Gandikota
Gandikota

Before visiting the place, just take a quick look at the photographs of the same. We say, pictures speak louder than the words. The River Penna surrounded by the hills that are covered with some thick vegetation will make a gorgeous memory for your lifetime. Also, the trekking experience before watching the same adds more colour to it. The sunset or sunrise at Gandikota will steal your heart for sure. Also, the place holds a great significance in the history of Andhra Pradesh. Visit our own Great Indian Canyon now. 

For more details check our blog about Gandikota.

Chandragiri Fort 

Forts are not new to the list of best places of any region. But here, in this case, the fort of Chandragiri holds a very unique place. Built in the 11th century, the fort is located in Chandragiri, Tirupati in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. It is rich in history and is connected with the kings of Vijayanagara empire. The fort was built by Yadava Naidu Kings. 

The Chandragiri fort is one of the most iconic monuments in the country and also a very popular tourist attraction in Rayalaseema. Another important aspect to mention here is its architectural style. The fort features the Indo –  Saracenic architecture of Vijayanagar period. And the palace was constructed using brick, lime mortar, stone and devoid of timber. Several people, especially travellers, visit the Chandragiri fort to take a closer look at the architecture of the same. We also say that you should not miss the opportunity.

Horsley Hills 

The Horsley Hills are yet another major attraction in the Rayalaseema. Also referred to as Horsleykonda, the place is a charming hill station and is located in Madanapalle taluk of Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh. It is about 9 miles from the town of Madanapalle and makes a great place to spend some quality time with your loved ones. 

Horsley Hills
Horsley Hills

The rich flora and fauna of the same makes it an even more beautiful place. The local name of the hill was Yenugu Mallama Konda. A British collector’s name – W.D. Horsley built his home around 1870 after whom it is named. People say that an old woman named Mallamma, who lived on top of the hill, was fed by the elephants (Yenugulu in Telugu) and this is the reason why it was called Yenugu Mallama Konda

It is a great spot for vacations and also one of the best locations for honeymoon destinations. The cool climate of the place is another prominent aspect that makes it more beautiful. It is one of the most attractive locations in the region and also a gorgeous hill station. If you are a mountain person, then this place should be on your bucket list. 

This place is also called – Andhra Ooty and it boasts the house of some rare plant species. Also it serves as a home for several animals including – deer, sambar, sloth bear and many others.

Yaganti 

We are sure that you would have heard about this place even before we have mentioned it because it is a popular tourist attraction. Situated in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, the place holds a great place in history and is also a must visit if you are a great fan of architecture. 

Yaganti Temple
Yaganti Temple

Surrounded by the hills, the Yaganti or Sri Yaganti Uma Maheswara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple was constructed by King Harihara Bukka Raya of the Sangam dynasty of the Vijayanagara empire. Built in the 15th century, the temple boasts the culture and traditions of the Vaishnavite. Another attractive spot of the temple is the water pond or Pushkarini. The water flows into this Pushkarini from the bottom of the hill through the mouth of a Nandi (Bull). Note that the water is sweet and fresh as it comes from the hills.

The three caves at the spot are – Agastya cave, Venkateswara cave and Veera Brahmam cave. The growing statue of the Nandi (bull) is another highlight of the temple. The locals say that the idol of the Nandi was much smaller than its present size. The temple is a great place to explore and also you can spend a complete day at Yaganti with family and friends.

For more details check our blog about Yaganti Temple

Belum Caves  

The site of Belum Caves is like a precious jewel in the crown of best places in Rayalaseema. The Belum caves is the longest cave system in the country. The caves are open to the explorers and have long passages, galleries, spacious caverns with fresh water and siphons. Over the course of tens of thousands of years, this natural underground cave system was formed by the constant flow of underground water. 

Belum-Caves
Belum-Caves Pic credits: Belum-Caves

The cave system is one of the attractive tourist destinations in the country and it reaches its deepest point at the point known as – PatalGanga. Also referred to as – Belum Guhalu. They have a length of 3,229 metres making them the second largest natural caves in the nation after the Krem Liat Prah caves in Meghalaya. Including the main entrance, there are 16 different pathways and also there are deposits of quartz in the caves that consist of black limestone. Note that the caves are historically and geologically important. We say it is a prominent site to take a look and explore the same. Visit the Belum caves and make the most of it. Another highlight of the cave system is its lighting. 

Srisailam 

The Srisailam temple is one of the most iconic places to visit in Rayalaseema. With its cultural rich heritage, tradition and history the Srisailam or Sri Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple is dedicated to the deities – Shiva and Parvati. Located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, the Srisailam temple is the most significant spot to both sections of Hinduism – Shaivism and Shaktism. 

Srisailam temple
Srisailam temple

Also, the temple is referred to as one of the Twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva and also one of the Eighteenth Shakti Peethas of goddess Parvati. Another highlight of the temple is that it is the only temple in India that is referred to as both Jyotirlinga and Shakti Peeth. The thick forest named – Nallamala forest around the temple is worth travelling through. In this place, Lord Shiva is worshipped as Mallikarjuna and is represented by the Lingam and also Goddess Parvati is depicted as Bhramaramba. 

Also, the temple architecture deserves a mention. The temple is classified as one of the Paadal Petra Sthalam. Also, there are many other tourist attractions around the temple including – Pathala Ganga, Srisailam Dam and many others. 

Talakona Waterfalls 

Located in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, the Talakona waterfalls is in Sri Venkateswara National Park. The waterfalls pull huge crowds as it is ranked highest waterfall in the state of Andhra Pradesh with 270 feet fall. Also known as the Lord Siddeswara Swamy Temple, Talakona is located close to the waterfall and also it is named so. 

Talakona Waterfalls
Talakona Waterfalls credits: https://lbb.in/bangalore/talakona-waterfalls-andhra-pradesh/

The Talakona waterfall is a major attraction in Rayalaseema. It is also a home to a wide range of flora and fauna. It is a great place to explore as it is full of dense forests, wildlife and waterfalls. We strongly recommend this – Talakona Waterfalls for nature lovers as they enjoy a lot feeling the essence of Mother Nature. In other words, it is a sight to behold. Start now and explore the region with great spirits and energy.

Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary 

Home to a wide range of species, the Rollapadu wildlife sanctuary is one of the most attractive tourist spots in Rayalaseema. Located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, the wildlife sanctuary houses several animals including – foxes, black bucks, jackals, monkeys, jungle cats, sloth bears and others.   

Primarily known as a habitat of the great Indian bustard, the Rollapadu wildlife sanctuary is a boost to the ecosystem as the species suffered a drastic fall in its numbers in the same sanctuary. With the mixture of thorny bushes and dense forests, the Rollapadu wildlife sanctuary is primarily a grassland ecosystem. Near the sanctuary, agricultural lands grow cotton, sunflower, tobacco and many other crops. The sanctuary is also rich in fauna and is a home to several rare species. If you are an animal lover, then make time, plan it and visit the same without fail. We are sure you will make some lovely memories. 

Konda Reddy Fort

The Konda Reddy Fort or Konda Reddy Buruju is a prominent tourist attraction in the Rayalaseema as it is one of the iconic monuments in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. Situated in the heart of Kurnool city, the fort was constructed in the 12th century and was used as a base for halting before crossing the river Tungabhadra. 

The Konda Reddy Fort was named after Konda Reddy, who was the last ruler of Alampur. He was imprisoned in the fort by Kurnool Nawab in the 17th century. History says that the Konda Reddy escaped from the fortress digging a tunnel across the River Krishna to Alampur but then he lost his territory to the Nawabs of Golconda. This magnificent Fort – Konda Reddy Buruju was a sentinel and was used as a prison. 

Srikalahasti 

The Srikalahasti temple is another arresting masterpiece. Located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, the Srikalahasti temple is a must visit one in the list of best places in Rayalaseema. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is also said to be the site where Bhakta Kannappa was ready to offer both his eyes to cover blood flowing from the Siva linga before the god stopped him and granted him mukti. 

Constructed by the Chola kings and Vijayanagara kings in the 12th century, the inner temple of the Srikalahasti temple was constructed in the 5th century. It is situated just 36 kms away from Tirupati and is also referred as the Rahu – Ketu Kshetra and Dakshina Kasi. The temple that is rich in history, is popular for its Vayu linga, one of the Panchabhoota Sthalams, representing Wind. Countless people throng to the temple for pujas. 

Other highlights of the temple are 100 pillar mandapam and 120 feet high main gopuram. These were constructed by Sri Krishna Deva Raya, who was the Vijayanagara king in 1516. 

Mahanandi 

Another major attraction of tourists is – Mahanandi and it is situated in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. It is primarily known for fresh water pools called Kalyani or Pushkarini.

The temple is surrounded by three pools – two pools at the entrance and one big pool inside the temple itself. Another prominent aspect of the same is the constant flow of water even though there is change in seasons. Remember that the water is known for healing qualities. And the source of the water is at the Garbhagriha that is just below Swayambhu Linga. The devotees can touch the water near the Shiva Linga. They can offer prayers and touch the idol as well. 

The architecture of the temple is another important thing to discuss. The temple boasts a great and elegant architectural style. Also, the statue of Nandi is the largest idol in the world. It would be a great experience to visit the prominent temple that holds cultural and religious significance. 

Ahobilam  

This is a great and only place where all the nine forms of the Lord Narasimha Swamy are worshipped. The Ahobilam temple is a place that is located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. This is the place where Lord Narasimha Swamy killed Hiranyakashipu. Often regarded as the holiest place of Rayalaseema, the temple also features stunning architecture. 

Ahobilam
Ahobilam

Plan a day and visit the temple. This is a wonderful place to explore as it is a perfect mix of devotion and knowledge. 

Mantralayam : 

Ever heard of a temple – Mantralayam ? We are sure you would have. This is yet another prominent temple in the Rayalaseema. The village Mantralayam lies on the banks of River Tungabhadra and also shares the border with neighbouring state – Karnataka. Located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, the temple attracts several devotees every day. 

In other words, it is the most popular pilgrim center in the country and is a home to Sri Raghavendra Swamy. The temple is an ancient one and is rich in culture, tradition and history. It is a unique one and has significance of its own. 

Lepakshi 

The Lepakshi is a worth visiting place in the region of Rayalaseema. Situated in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh, the Veerabhadra temple was built in the 16th century. 

lepakshi
lepakshi image credits :https://www.pelago.co/en-IN/activity/pk39dtev5-lepakshi-temple-day-tour-from-bangalore-bangalore/

The temple features great architectural style and design that demands your attention. The temple reflects the style of Vijayanagara kings and is often referred as the masterpiece in the field of art work. 

Other attractions of the place are the paintings that show the scenes of Rama and Krishna from the epic – Mahabharat and also the stories of Ramayana and Puranas. The large Nandi is an awesome idol to look at as it is carved from a single block of stone. Also this is said to be one of the largest of its kind in the world. 

Conclusion 

The Rayalaseema region in Andhra Pradesh has its own importance and holds a special place in our hearts as it helps you to connect yourself with some spectacular tourist destinations. All the above mentioned places in the region boast a great significance in the terms of culture, history and tradition. All of them will help you to spend some quality time with yourself along with your family members and friends. 

The Rayalaseema is a wonderful region for travellers to explore as it is an amalgamation of history and nature. If you notice properly, you can observe that the monuments including temples, waterfalls and sanctuary are situated in the thick foliage of nature. And this quality makes them more special. And also the region is filled with several prominent temples that are popular in the world. 

These tourist attractions of the Rayalaseema are the top spots for the explorers to know their value and gain some amazing experiences while visiting them. The significance of the region is beyond imagination in regard to its history and culture.  

 

 

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