The Akkana and Madanna Caves are two rock-cut caves which are named after two ministers of the court of Abul Hasan Tana Shah, who ruled the region in the 17th century. Both these ministers were associated with the carving of these caves. The caves are said have existed since the 6th and 7th centuries. Travellers can visit this site on the way to the famous Kanaka Durga Temple as the caves are located just below the hillock on which the temple is located.
The cave on the top has a rock-cut temple, which was constructed in the name of the Hindu Trinity - Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara.
Aryabhatta Science And Technology Society was inaugurated on 20th of November, 2006 in Rajahmundry. It is located on the Andhra Pradesh Housing Board Colony and is easily approachable from the city. It houses a wide range of scaled down models which are of interest to the science buffs.
Among the models displayed here include a 36 ft long model of an aeroplane made in concrete. The Aryabhatta Science and Technology Museum also houses a detailed list of scaled down models and even includes a planetarium, built specifically for the purpose of inculcating interest among the students in the study of Astronomy.
Several specimens of marine creatures and reptiles have also been preserved here by the society and can be viewed by the public during working hours of the Museum. The main aims of the society include the upgradation of the quality of life of the poor by undertaking suitable activities to improve their standards of living.
Barah Shaheed Dargah is a famous mausoleum which is located in Sulurpet, Nellore District. It was erected in memory of 12 great martyrs or Shaheeds. It is believed that every wish of the devotee who comes to pay his respects here will be fulfilled.
Moharram is a very important time of the year in this Dargah. Every year, during the time of Moharram, a three-day festival known as the Rottela Panduga is observed here at the Dargah. The Barah Shaheed Dargah is located very close to the sea. It is only 5 km away from the seashore. It is advisable to visit and stay overnight at the Dargah during the period of Amavasya.
The Akka Mahadevi Caves are located on the ranges of the Nallamalai Hills and are at a distance of about 10 km from Srisailam. There is evidence to believe that the caves have been in existence since the prehistoric times. In fact, the caves have played a pivotal role in the history of the town.
The cave has obtained its name, for it is believed that the famous 12th-century philosopher and lyricist from Karnataka, Akka Mahadevi did penance and offered prayers to a Shivalingam that was naturally existant deep inside the very same cave.
The Akka Mahadevi Caves are naturally formed caves and are located very near to the upstream of the river Krishna. The main cave has a naturally formed rock arch that is considered a geographical marvel. The arch measures approximately 200x16x4 ft and has no support of any kind at all.
Tourists are attracted more to the arch than to what lies inside the caves. The rocks, without doubt, are the most attractive things inside the cave especially since they are proven to be as old as life on earth. Travelling to the cave is an experience in itself as one has to journey through river Krishna. Exploring the 150 m depth of the cave is an experience that is sure to leave the travellers spellbound.
Sri Venkateshwara Temple is one of the oldest and most popular pilgrimage sites. It is situated at the 7th peak of the Venkata Tirumala Hill. Located in the south of Sri Swami Puskarini River, the temple has been construed in the traditional Dravidian architecture style. It houses an 8 feet tall idol of the Lord Venkateshwara that is placed under the gold glided dome called Ananda Nilaya Divya Vimana and the eyes of the idol are covered with a tilak of camphor, and ornamented with semi-precious and precious stones. According to practice, the temple of Varahaswami should be paid a visit to before visiting Sri Venkateswara swami temple.
A beautiful temple that it is it also enjoys the privilege of being one the riches pilgrimage centers and the most popular place of worship on globe. If you are eager to know how many people might be visiting the shrine daily, here are the figures for you: While about 50,000 to 1 lakh people visit this temple per day, the holy place receives almost not less than 500,000 on special occasions, festivals and during the annual Brahmothsavam!
The Lord's Wondrous Idol
At the famous Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple, the lord's idol inside the sanctum is nothing short of a wonder in all ways. While the legend has it that the eight feet idol has been installed at the place by no human, but is actually self manifested, it is adorned with a golden crown with a huge emerald, a double tilaka on the forehead that also partly cover his eyes and with decorative golden earings. The lord's right fist is embedded with a gem-set chakra, and the left fist holds a shanka (conch shell). And tha's not all. Tirumala Venkateshwara is wrapped in a gold hued cloth that is tied to the idol with a golden string and a gold belt with trinkets. The idol is also adorned with a yagnyopavita (sacred thread) and has Goddess Srilakshmi on his right chest and goddess Padmavati on his left chest. And lastly, his feet have a gold frame covering and are adorned with gold made anklets!
The lord is renowned by many names such as Balaji, Venkateshwara, Venkatachalapathy, Srinivasa and edukondalavada (lord of seven hills). Brahmothsavam and Vasantothsavam are two main festivals celebrated here.
Bala Sai Bala Temple is located close to the Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple. It is dedicated to Sri Bala Sai Baba, a new God Man of the Kurnool city. Sri Bala Sai Baba has gained prominence in the recent times, and a huge complex has come up as a temple dedicated to him. If you believe in religious god men and their spiritual powers, then this place can be given a visit.
Avanakshamma Temple is located at a distance of 42 km away from Tirupati. This temple gets hundreds of devotees every year during Brahmotsavam and Navratri which are celebrated with much pomp and glory.
The temple is one of the five temples attached to and closely associated with Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami. The other temples include Sri Veerabhadra Swami Temple, Sri Parasareswara Swami Temple, Sri Agastheeswara Swami Shrine and Sri Sakti Vinayaka Swami Temple.
Bhagavan Mahaveer Museum, a must-see attraction in Kadapa, was built in the year 1982. The museum was a combined effort of the Jain community who gave large donations for the construction of the museum. The museum contains pieces from ancient art and architecture pertaining to the religion of Jainism.
Inside the museum are sculptures carved from stones, icons prepared from bronze, clay figurines, tablets with inscriptions and scriptures carved on them and much more. All the pieces date back to very ancient times, when Jainism was a flourishing religion in India.
The collection at the museum comes from various parts of India including Nandalur, Gundluru, Thimmayapalem, Attirala, Mantamapampally, Poli, Kolathur and many more places that flourished as towns between the 5th and 18th centuries AD. The artifacts stored at the Bhagavan Mahaveer Museum were earthed during archaeological diggings and then brought to Kadapa for the purpose of showcasing.
Some of the unusual artifacts at the museum include a statue of Lord Ganesha with His feet made to look like an elephant’s, a statue of Lord Hanuman with His hair tied in the form of a braid and a Shiva statue in which the river Ganges is seen flowing from His side instead of from the top of His head.
Aanamkalakendram is the only indoor stadium in the city of Rajahmundry. It was established by the Anam family and is maintained by the Rajahmundry Municipal Corporation. It has been an avenue for the exposition of various indigenous forms of art since its opening and has promoted the growth of several forms of art that are practised nowhere else in the world.
It is currently under the control of the District Collector and the Commissioner. The Aanamkalakendram underwent a process of renovation during the Nandi Natakotsavams of 2008. It has greatly supported the growth of theatre through such cultural festivals and has attracted artists from far and wide.
It would be a good idea to visit the Aanamkalakendram to capture the full glory of the thriving art movement in Rajahmundry.
Alcot Gardens is a place of leisure and recreation that is named after Mr. Alcot who headed the Divya Gyana Samaj. Regular meetings of the Samaj were conducted on the very same site. It is popular now as a picnic spot for tourists and natives.
Annie Besant is known to have visited this spot twice, when the foundation of Divya Gyana Samaj was being laid at Alcot Gardens and also during the inauguration of the same. Alcot Gardens has seen many great men and women debating and forming plans for reforming the society they lived in.
It has been the birthplace for many radical ideals and schools of thought. It lies on the main road connecting Innespeta with Cotton Peta.
The Anjaneya Swami Temple is located on the Gorupuram Road and can be entered through an entrance marked by a Siva Lingam. This Lingam was brought from Kasim by Satya Sai Baba. The temple has a sanctum on which the idol of the deity is installed in such a way that it looks etched on a cavern.
At the foot of the deity, there is a pool of water which symbolises Lord Hanuman’s devotion for Lord Rama. It is believed that the pool represents Hanuman’s tears.
Legends state that the deity stopped Satya Sai Baba, by saying that it is the god who is to pay respect, when he was about to observe circumambulation at the temple. The image of the temple shows carvings of Hanuman standing inside a cave.
Archaeological Museum at Amaravathi is located on the right side of the river Krishna. The museum has a lot of importance for the people of Amaravathi as it helps outsiders understand their history, culture and traditions of the region. The museum is important for the history of Indian art as well since the museum showcases the immense wealth of Amaravathi in the form of historical pieces of art and crafts. The Buddha sculptures that are displayed in the museum date back to the beginning of the 3rd century. Then there are the pieces taken from the tradition of Amaravathi - the lotus and the purnakumbha motifs that give Amaravathi its traditional identity. They are also symbols of the good times and wealth for the people of Amaravathi. The museum has pieces taken from historical times that have become synonymous with the existence of Amaravathi. A tourist can get so much information by visiting the museum that he/she may not be able to get through numerous history books.
Ameen Peer Dargah is a Sufi shrine in the city of Kadapa. The shrine is visited by people of all religions because of its popularity. The shrine, which is a symbol of communal harmony, is open on all days to tourists and locals alike.
However, the shrine is bustling with activity on Thursdays and Fridays when people of all religions gather at the dargah to seek blessings of two popular sufi saints Peerullah Hussaini and Arufullah Haussaini II.
The shrine contains the dargah or graves of the two saints. It is believed that praying at the dargah will fulfill all your wishes. The descendants of the two saints also work at the shrine and are dressed in saffron to separate their identity from other workers in the shrine.
The devotees of the two saints wear only saffron-coloured caps. Many people believe that Peerullah Hussaini was a descendent of Prophet Mohammed. He would visit the dargahs of all Sufi saints of India, and it was in Kadapa that he was asked to settle.
Amaravati Stupa, also known as Mahachaitya, is one of the chief attractions of Amaravathi. It was initially built during the times of Emperor Ashoka who was a great follower of Lord Buddha and had embraced Buddhism during his later years. The work on the stupa was completed by the year 200 CE and the carvings on the stupa depicted the life story of Buddha and his teachings. When Amaravathi became the capital of the Satavahana kings, the stupa was decorated with limestone reliefs and freestanding figures of Buddha were carved on to it. However, with the decline of Buddhism, the stupa also got neglected and was found buried by Colonel Colin Mackenzie, who visited the site in 1796 CE. Once the excavation work started, many other sculptures which once formed the constituent parts of the stupa were also unearthed. Today, the stupa is the only example of an Ashokan pillar to have been found in the whole of South India.
The Addala Mandapam is located inside the Ranganathaswamy temple in Nellore. It is famous for its detailed inlay work in stone and is indeed a sight to behold. Addala Mandapam, or “minor hall” is famous for the various mirrors that are installed inside it. They still cast an impeccable reflection centuries after being installed here in the hall.
The Addala Mandapam is also famous for one other reason. It is the seat of the lord Sri Ranganathaswamy. It is here that the presiding deity of the temple is worshipped. The house of mirrors that the Addala Mandapam has become is of special interest to the devotees.