Andhra Pradesh, located in the South India, is India’s fifth largest state and extends over an area of 275, 068 sq. km. It is also known as the “Rice Granary of India” and is the only tourist state in India which has a coast line of 1000 kms with eight of its 23 districts having direct access to the sea. Andhra Pradesh is surrounded by Tamil Nadu in the south, Maharashtra in the North and North-West, Madhya Pradesh in the North-East, Karnataka in the West, and by the Bay of Bengal in the East. The medieval city of Hyderabad is its capital. The main languages that are spoken in Andhra are Telugu, English, Urdu and Hindi.
Andhra Pradesh was, in fact, created by combining the old princely state of Hyderabad with the Telugu speaking portions of the former state of Madras. The Chalukyas held sway till the 10th century, when the Cholas seized power. In the 14th century, Muslim power reached this southern state and for centuries ruled over this princely state. It was finally taken over by a General of the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb. The General’s successors, called Nizams, ruled the state till Independence.
A little over a third of the geographical area is tilled under agriculture and 22 per cent of the area is under forest cover. Forests occupy 63,814 sq. kms with rich flora and fauna. The State has a coastline of 974 Kms. The Krishna and Godavari rivers account for 84% of the total riparian water resources of the state. Andhra Pradesh boasts of some of the best sun kissed beaches in the country. Andhra Pradesh has a typical tropical climate of hot summers but relatively pleasant winters, especially in the plains of the interior.
Its unique blend of history, beaches and mountains make it a great travel destination. The state of Andhra Pradesh is renowned for its legendary dynasties, revered temple, beautiful language – Telugu, lacquer toys and beautiful weaves, rich literature and the vibrant Kuchipudi. The places to see in Andhra Pradesh are Sri Venkateswara Temple at Tirupati, Charminar, Salar Jung Museum, Golconda Fort in Hyderabad and Buddhist Viharas at Nagarjunasagar. Andhra Pradesh is also a vital seat of rich Buddhist heritage. Andhra Pradesh also owns the largest IT Park and largest Film City in Asia. Andhra Pradesh has the world’s tallest masonry dam, million year old caves, South Asia’s first lion safari and the world’s richest temples, all these are the gems in the crown of Andhra Pradesh.
How to reach Andhra Pradesh
By Air: The state has one international Airport in its capital – Hyderabad. Other important airports are located at Tirupathi and Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry and Vijayawada.
By Rail: Around 4,104 km of the National Highways network pass through Andhra Pradesh. State highways measure up to nearly 60,000 km and there is another 1,04,000 km of Panchayati Raj road network.
By Road: Early 5,085 km of the railways route cover the state Andhra Pradesh out of which 4,362 km is broad-gauge, 686 km is metre-gauge and 37 km is narrow gauge.