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Andhra Pradesh Tourism

Discussion in 'Destination Guides' started by briannagodess, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member


    Andhra Pradesh is one of the southern states of India, located specifically in the southeastern side of the country. Recently, in the year 2014, the northwestern part of the state was separated to form a new state named as Telangana. In itself, Andhra Pradesh has a very rich history, having been in existence since the Mauryan empire of the 4th century BCE according to gathered references. However, there was a mention of a certain Andhra in some Hindu Indian epics such as the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Puranas as well. Despite this uncertainties in the true beginnings of the state, there's no doubt that it is a very biodiverse region, filled not just with natural attractions, but also with religious and heritage sites.

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    Background on the History of Andhra Pradesh

    As mentioned above, Andhra finds mention in early Indian epics, mainly as a region in South India. Specifically, its history can be traced back to the 232 BCE, the year of the death of King Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty. Thereafter, the Satavahanas conquered the region and during their reign, Buddhism flourished as the main religion of Andhra Pradesh. With the decline of this empire, several smaller dynasties became functional but most noteworthy of which is the Ikshvakus, as they contributed much to he Buddhist structural remnants that the state has today. You might have heard about Nagarjunakonda, which was built by this dynasty, a known Buddhist institution at that time that was flocked to by students from all over the world, including Sri Lanka and China.

    The succeeding years, from the 3rd century to the 11th century have seen a generation of various rulers. The Salankayanas and Pallavas had their fair shares of territories in the region. The Vishnukundins also rose to power during this time, but it is not clear when they began or ended their rule in the region. Buddhism is still at large the main religion during this time but it can be said that art flourished as well, especially with the distinct Undavalli Caves that were carved out during the reign of the Vishnukundins. The Chalukyas ruled the region by the 6th century to 11th century, a time of turmoil and chaos within Andhra Pradesh. There was a shift, from being mainly Buddhist, to being Vaishnavites, then now into being Shaivites. By the latter half of their reign, the local language has changed from Sanskrit into Telugu.

    During the 12th century to the 13th century, the Kakatiya dynasty rose in power. Being mainly Hindus, with a preference for Lord Shiva, temples during this time are very ornate and architecturally magnificent. The language of Telugu was emphasized mainly and flourished during their reign. It can be said that this is the glorious era of the state, whereby arts, culture and literature were at their very best. The Kakatiya dynasty was then usurped by the Delhi Sultanate and thereafter by numerous Mughal and other dynasties. One such important dynasty during this era is the Reddy dynasty, from when Errana, the Telugu poet who translated the Mahabharata epic into Telugu, came from. Before the Indian Independence, certain parts of Andhra Pradesh were also annexed to the French and the British.

    How to Reach Andhra Pradesh

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    There are many ways of reaching Andhra Pradesh, whether by land or by air. Whether you come from the north or from the south, you have options that you can choose from to reach the state. Even for those coming from abroad, you won't need to worry about reaching this part of India. There is also a number of ports that line the coastal areas of the state, the main port being the Visakhapatnam Port.

    1. By Air - As of now, Andhra Pradesh has one international airport, the Visakhapatnam International Airport. It is located around eight kilometers away from the centre of Visakhapatnam. It has direct flights to local cities such as Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Raipur and Vadodara. It also has flights to international cities such as Colombo, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Alternatively, you can also opt for the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, located on the city of Hyderabad, which is the still the de jure capital of Andhra Pradesh. This airport has more extensive international flights including cities such as Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Bangkok, Dubai, Chicago, Dammam, Doha, Jeddah and many more. There are also some more smaller airports in the state that you can utilize for domestic flights or area-specific travels such as the Tirupati Airport, Rajahmundry Airport and Vijayawada Airport.

    Air India Flights from Delhi (DEL) to Visakhapatnam (VTZ)

    Flight NumberDeparture TimeArrival TimeJourney DurationScheduleFare for Round Trip
    AI4876:559:052 Hours and 5 MinutesMondays and FridaysRs. 8,933
    AI45115:0017:152 Hours and 15 MinutesDailyRs. 7,988
    IndiGo Flights from Delhi (DEL) to Visakhapatnam (VTZ)

    Flight NumberDeparture TimeArrival TimeJourney DurationScheduleFare for Round Trip
    6E7195:307:402 Hours and 10 MinutesDailyRs. 7,542
    2. By Rail - Andhra Pradesh has around 230 railway stations spread around its major cities and minor towns. The busiest railway station here is none other than the Vijawada Junction Railway Station. It is also interesting to note that it is considered as one of the busiest railway stations in India. It has around 247 unique trains running through it daily, making it the railway station with the highest number of unique trains running to and from it everyday in India. From the north, the railway station has direct connections to cities like Agra, Delhi, Ghaziabad, Mathura and many more. From the south, the railway station has direct connections to cities like Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata and Mumbai. The Visakhapatnam Railway Station is another busy railway station, with the distinction of being the cleanest railway station in India, based on the survey conducted by the Union Railway Ministry in 2017. These railway stations, along with the other ones in the state, are designated under the South East Central Railway of the Indian Railways.

    Trains from New Delhi to Vijayawada Junction

    Train Name & NumberDeparture TimeArrival TimeJourney DurationSchedule
    Andhra Pradesh AC SF Express Train No. 224166:2511:5529 Hours and 30 MinutesDaily
    Kerala Express Train No. 1262611:2514:4527 Hours and 20 MinutesDaily
    Andaman Express Train No. 1603214:1500:4034 Hours and 25 MinutesSundays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
    Himsagar Express Train No. 1631814:1519:0528 Hours and 50 MinutesTuesdays
    Navyug Express Train No. 1668814:1523:3533 Hours and 20 MinutesFridays
    Grand Trunk Express Train No. 1261618:4023:1528 Hours and 35 MinutesDaily
    Tamil Nadu SF Express Train No. 1262222:3000:1525 Hours and 45 MinutesDaily
    New Delhi Puducherry SF Express Train No. 2240423:457:1031 Hours and 25 MinutesSundays
    3. By Bus - The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) is the main government unit handling the bus transport in and around the state. Did you know that the APSRTC has over 5,400 buses in its fleet? This makes them one of the biggest companies when it comes to the bus industry. Local bus transport from cities like Hyderabad, Tirupati, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and other areas in the state are possible. There are also bus connections to cities from other states such as Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and Pune. If you're coming from northern cities though, there are no direct bus connections from these areas to Andhra Pradesh. Your best option would be to utilize a connecting bus journey or a combination of train and bus journey.

    APSRTC Buses from Hyderabad to Visakhapatnam

    Bus NumberTypeDeparture TimeArrival TimeJourney DurationFare
    3448Super Luxury Non AC15:005:3014 HoursRs. 746
    3376Ultra Deluxe16:4510:4518 HoursRs. 755
    3450Super Luxury Non AC17:007:4514 HoursRs. 746
    2975Super Luxury Non AC17:456:4513 HoursRs. 746
    3356Amarathi AC18:007:1513 HoursRs. 1,280
    3372Super Luxury Non AC18:309:3015 HoursRs. 746
    3358Garuda Plus AC19:008:1013 HoursRs. 1,171
    3133Super Luxury Non AC19:009:0014 HoursRs. 746
    3382Super Luxury Non AC19:4510:0014 HoursRs. 746
    3364Garuda AC20:159:1012 HoursRs. 1,100
    3360Garuda Plus AC21:009:2512 HoursRs. 1,171
    3374Super Luxury Non AC21:0010:3013 HoursRs. 746
    3452Super Luxury Non AC22:0012:0014 HoursRs. 746
    4. By Road - Andhra Pradesh is also easily accessible by road from major parts of the country. For example, there's the National Highway 16 which runs around the states of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Tamil Nadu. Specifically, it touches on the cities of Rajamahendravaram, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam. Both National Highway 26 and National Highway 30 run around Chhattisgarh to various cities in Andhra Pradesh like Vizianagaram and Vijayawada. Then there's the National Highway 7 that runs from Maharashtra, to the western side of Andhra Pradesh, up to Bangalore in Karnataka. If coming from Vijayawada, you can take the National Highway 9 to reach Mumbai via Hyderabad. So even for those coming from further cities, you can easily reach Andhra Pradesh, whether you have your own vehicle or you intend to rent one.

    5. By Sea - Although there is a number of ports around Andhra Pradesh, the Visakhapatnam Port is considered as the largest and most commercial one. While it doesn't have passenger ferries to and from other ports of the city, it does have cruise ships running to and from it. In fact, there is a regular monthly cruise service from Visakhapatnam to the Andaman Islands via Port Blair. There is also a cruise from Chennai, with a stopover at Visakhapatnam, reaching other countries such as Bangladesh and Myanmar.

    Quick Facts About Andhra Pradesh

    Andhra Pradesh is a coastal state located on the southeastern side of India. Its de jure capital, after its bifurcation with the state of Telangana, is Hyderabad, while its proposed new capital is Amaravati. The metro city of Visakhapatnam is considered as its largest city, with an area of around 544 kilometers squared. Telugu, known as the Italian of the East, is the official language of the state, which has its origins from the earliest rulers of Andhra. Other languages spoken by locals are Urdu, Banjara, Hindi and English, as well as many more dialects. The tourist destinations in the state vary from beaches, to heritage sites, to religious sites, to hill stations and even wildlife reserves.

    At A Glance - Quick Facts

    RegionSoutheast India
    CapitalHyderabad (De Jure) or Amaravati (Proposed)
    Largest CityVisakhapatnam
    Official LanguageTelugu
    Other LanguagesUrdu, Banjara, Hindi and English
    DestinationsBeaches, Heritage Sites, Religious Sites, Hill Stations and Wildlife Reserves
    Best Time to Visit Andhra Pradesh

    Generally, Andhra Pradesh has a warm and humid climate all-year round, except perhaps for the hill stations which are slightly elevated. Summer season extends from March to June. The temperatures vary depending on the region that you're visiting. If you're visiting coastal and plain areas, like Visakhapatnam, then expect temperatures to be around 35°C. At its peak, temperatures can reach as high as 41°C, even higher at times. If you're visiting hilly regions, like Tirumala or Araku Valley, temperatures range around 30°C to 33°C. If you intend to do plenty of sightseeing, especially around open areas, summer won't be the best time to visit Andhra Pradesh for that. But for relaxing in a hill station or maybe getting that perfect tan in the beach, then summer would suit those goals well.

    Monsoon season extends from July to October but can be subdivided into two periods. The southwest monsoon occurs from July to September, which has moderate to heavy rain showers. By October, the northeast monsoon arrives which brings about intense but shorter periods of rain showers. If you're planning to visit Andhra Pradesh during this season, then it's best to be equipped with essential rain gears such as waterproof jackets, boots and umbrellas. Alternatively, you can explore the western side of the region, where rain falls are less frequent. For the nature lovers, you would enjoy the greenery of the state during this time albeit it would be more challenging to do some sightseeing.

    The last months are considered as the winter season, which extends from November to February. Now, this is considered as the best time to explore the state, as the pleasant climate is suitable for lots of sightseeing. This is especially true if you intend to visit cities or plains, as well as heritage sites like Anantapur and Kadapa. Chances of rain showers are lower, except maybe for the first few weeks of November. Do consider visiting Lambasingi, a little known hill station in the state, which is also known as the Kashmir of South India. It is the only place in South India that has ever recorded snowfall. With temperatures as low as 10°C during winter, you can enjoy the cooler vibe that is hard to find in the state.

    Places to Visit in Andhra Pradesh


    We now go to the tourist destinations that Andhra Pradesh has. They vary as well, natural attractions and man-made attractions, so that each tourist can enjoy their time here. While it's hard to list all such destinations here, this guide would highlight the best places to visit in the state. They would be categorized accordingly, so that you can choose the specific type of destination you prefer.

    Beach Destinations

    1. Visakhapatnam - Visakhapatnam is the largest city in the state, at least after the bifurcation with the state of Telangana. This city is known best for two things, namely, its gorgeous beaches and its surrounding cleanliness. If Mumbai has the Marine Drive, then Visakhapatnam has the Rama Krishna Beach. This is a very lively beach with golden sands and rocky areas. The waves and uneven seabed make it unsuitable for swimming though. But if you want to enjoy a leisurely stroll with your loved one or maybe just have that glimpse of the sunset in the city, this beach would be suitable for any of these activities. The adjoining Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) Park provides for entertainment options for the little ones too. It takes around 30 minutes of driving to reach the nearby Rishikonda Beach, which is more serene and pristine. The blue water is very inviting, along with the golden shores with interspersed rocks in some areas. The views are beautiful too, with the combination of hills and sea all around. Water skiing, surfing and jet skiing are just some of the water sports one can enjoy here. Yarada Beach is around a 30-minute drive from the city centre as well. This is not much of a developed beach, only a few food stalls can be found nearby. But the stunning views of the sea and the greenery, plus the cleanliness, are enough to make the trip all worth it.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Rama Krishna Beach, Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) Park, Rishikonda Beach and Yarada Beach which is a beautiful clear water beach.
    2. Chirala - Next we have Chirala, which is a lesser known beach destination in the state. Although it's a sleepy village, it does boast of serene beaches that are naturally enticing. The Ramapuram Beach is a fishing beach mainly so it's not yet that developed. It has creamy sands that are very powdery, a gently sloping seabed and calm waves, the trio that makes it perfect for swimming. It remains rather serene and unpolluted that families and couples can enjoy their time away from the city life here. For the seafood lovers, make sure you reach it during early morning, when the fishermen are gathering their catches for the day and you can take your pick of fresh fishes. There are a few resorts close to the beach though nothing sort of the luxury ones. The Vodarevu Beach is around six kilometers away from the town centre of Chirala. With its golden sands, shores lined with coconut trees and truly turquoise water, it's yet another gem of the state. You might find crowds during weekends though nothing as bad as other commercialized beaches. You can find some resorts here as well, but they are very basic and simple so you need to keep your standards lower. Further to the north is the Suryalanka Beach which is a busier beach option, with more resorts and water sports facilities such as jet skiing, speed boating and banana boat riding. So if you love adventure, this beach should be at the top of your list.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Ramapuram Beach, Vodarevu Beach and Suryalanka Beach
    Heritage Sites

    3. Anantapur - Anantapur is famed for one attraction and that is the Veerabhadra Temple. The temple was built during the reign of the Vijayanagara empire around the 16th century. Interestingly, the temple was not commissioned to be built by the then king but instead by two officials from the era, named Virupanna and Viranna. As the name suggests, the temple is dedicated to Veerabhadra, a frightening form of the Lord Shiva. It has a unique shivalinga made of black stone whilst a hooded cobra, known as Shesha, surrounds it. According to local legends, this stone carving was made in an hour by hungry workers while waiting for their food. Though the temple wasn't finished, due to misunderstandings between the then king and the builders, the beauty of the carvings is still breath-taking. If you have the time, do explore and find out where the hanging pillar is located, it's the only 1 of the 70 pillars that don't have foundations on its lower side. You also can't miss the huge Nandi Statue just around a two-minute walk from the temple. It is regarded as one of the largest Nandi statues in the country, carved out of a monolithic hillock. Surrounded by lush greenery and a small pond, you can enjoy a serene time here. For the thrill-seekers, you can also take excursions into the nearby Gooty Fort and Penukonda Fort.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Veerabhadra Temple, Nandi Statue, Gooty Fort and Penukonda Fort
    4. Nagarjunakonda - As have been mentioned above, during the reign of the Ikshvakus, the region of Andhra Pradesh became a prominent name when it comes to Buddhism. Nagarjunakonda is one such evidence of that phase in Andhra Pradesh. The Ruins of Nagarjunakonda Complex is comprised of various Buddhist structures from the 2nd century to the 3rd century. You would find the university complex here, the main scholastic part of the complex, wherein students from all over the world studied during that era for the religion of Buddhism. The ruins include viharas, chaityas and even dormitories for students. A number of stupas and bathing ghats were also excavated in the area. Since the area was once located near the river and was thereafter submerged, it was necessary to transfer the artifacts into a higher hillock. You can combine a trip in this island hillock with the Archeological Museum. You can find other relics dug from the site in this museum like earthenwares, stupas, carved pillars, sculptures and seals. Nagarjunakonda is only accessible by a boat ride from the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, so it adds to that adventure-like appeal.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Ruins of Nagarjunakonda Complex, Archeological Museum and Nagarjuna Sagar Dam
    Religious Sites

    5. Tirupati - If you're a devout Hindu, it's a must to visit Tirupati when in Andhra Pradesh. It is home to the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, known as the richest Vaishnavite temple in the world. The temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, a form of Lord Vishnu, and is flocked to by devotees from all over the country and the world. The temple itself was built during the 8th century and thereafter, gained its wealth from the contributions of various Vishnu devotee rulers like the Pallavas and Cholas. The pure white gopuram stands in contrast with the gilded main shrine, with various idols installed inside it, the main one being the stone idol named Tirumala Dhruva Bera. The consort of the deity also has her own temple here, known as the Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple. The temple is nothing short of divine, from its colorful entrance, to the pure white intricately carved gopuram, to the enchanting idol of Goddess Padmavathi. It is believed that a trip to Tirupati won't be complete without having darshan here, as the deity fulfills the wishes of the pilgrims. Also not to be missed is the Sri Govindarajaswamy Temple, an 8th century temple dedicated to the brother of Venkateswara, named Lord Govindaraja. The deity is depicted here in the reclining position and the interiors of the main shrine are filled with carvings of the various forms of Lord Vishnu. Other temples worth visiting here are the Sri Varahaswami Temple and ISKCON Tirupati.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple, Sri Govindarajaswamy Temple, Sri Varahaswami Temple and ISKCON Tirupati
    6. Vijayawada - Vijayawada has plenty of things to boast about, like being home to the busiest railway station in the state or even being the home of the largest mango market in India. But beyond these tags, Vijayawada also has plenty of religious sites worth visiting. The Kanaka Durga Temple is another prominent temple in the state, perhaps second only to the fame of the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple. The complex has this golden gopuram while the main temple itself has pinkish motifs. Here, Goddess Durga is depicted as having eight arms, with weapons on each one of them. The temple is located upon a hillock, overlooking the city and the nearby Krishna River. The Undavalli Caves, as has been mentioned above, were built during the reign of the Vishnukundins around the 6th century to the 7th century. The caves remain unfinished for unknown reasons. Situated upon a cliffside, it takes a bit of an effort to reach the caves. What's interesting about these caves is that they depict the transition of the religious beliefs during that time, from being a Jain temple, to transitioning into a Buddhist temple and by the end, being converted into a Hindu temple. Most noted of the these caves is the one depicting the Sri Anantha Padmanabha in the reclining position. For the devotees of Lord Hanuman, you can't miss the Paritala Anjaneya Swami Temple, which has this 135-feet statue of Lord Hanuman, made from pure white marble.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Kanaka Durga Temple, Undavalli Caves and Paritala Anjaneya Swami Temple
    Hill Stations

    7. Araku Valley - There's a paradise in Andhra Pradesh that goes by the name of Araku Valley. The hill station is sometimes compared to the beauty of Ooty as they have some similarities. The enticing coffee plantations, lovely greenery surrounding the place and even the scenic train ride are their resemblances. Yet Araku Valley exudes a more virgin vibe, not being as commercialized as other hill stations of the south. It only has a few attractions though like the Padmapuram Botanical Gardens, which was once a vegetable farm for the soldiers during the war. It was converted into a tourist attraction thereafter, with proper flower patches, shaded sitting areas and even a toy train that takes guests around the entire garden. The Araku Valley Coffee House is another must-visit attraction, especially for the coffee lovers, since you can learn more about the history of the coffee industry in the region here. The Tribal Museum showcases the unique culture and traditions of the indigenous tribes of the hill station, truly worth a visit for the history buffs. If you're visiting during the monsoon season, then visit the numerous of waterfalls of the hill station as well. The Katiki Waterfalls, considered as one of the highest in the region, requires a bumpy ride and a short trek before you can reach the main waterfall itself. The milky water would entice one to jump in and enjoy in the laps of nature. Other waterfalls near Araku Valley that you can visit are the Dumbriguda Waterfalls and Chaparai Waterfalls. If you still have the time, the nearby Borra Caves can also be explored, which have these millions of years old stalactite and stalagmite formations. You can use your imagination as these limestone formations take on various shapes of animals and even Hindu deities.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Padmapuram Botanical Gardens, Araku Valley Coffee House, Tribal Museum, Katiki Waterfalls, Dumbriguda Waterfalls, Chaparai Waterfalls and Borra Caves
    8. Lambasingi - Lambasingi is fast emerging as another tourist destination in the state. Recently, it has gained popularity as the Kashmir of South India. Why so? Well, it is the only place in South India to have ever recorded a snowfall in history. Even during the peak of summer season, temperatures rarely go beyond 35°C making it an ideal getaway from the city heat. This is not a developed destination though, at least as of the moment. You need to venture outside of it for proper attractions. Particularly, the Thajangi Reservoir, about six kilometers away from the centre of the hill station, is a preferred picnic getaway of tourists. This small dam has a lake in its vicinity, formed from the water that is released from the reservoir. With the backdrop of the mountains and forests, it is the perfect spot for bonding with your loved ones or friends. You can also visit the Kothapally Waterfalls, which is a picturesque waterfall forming a stream of water under it. It does require a short trek to reach, moderate in difficulty especially during monsoon season.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Thajangi Reservoir and Kothapally Waterfalls
    Wildlife Reserves

    9. Pulicat Lake Wildlife Sanctuary - Pulicat Lake Wildlife Sanctuary is located in both Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, with the former having most part of it. For the bird watchers, this is a haven for them, being home to a number of aviary species. The lake is of the brackish type, one of the largest in the country, very rich in biodiversity when it comes to the marine animals living within it. You can find the sanctuary specifically in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. It is mostly famed for being the breeding ground of the migratory bird species known as the greater flamingoes. Every year, thousands of these bird species flock to the region to avoid the extreme climates in other regions. Other species of birds that you can find here are pelicans, egrets, storks, Eurasian spoonbills, cormorants and gulls. For better viewing of the birds, you can hire a boat from the banks, since these boats can take you the various islands of the lake. The best time for bird watching is early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Keep in mind that birds might not be as abundant during other seasons except for the winter.
    • Must Spot Animals - Greater Flamingoes, Pelicans, Egrets, Storks, Eurasian Spoonbills, Cormorants and Gulls
    10. Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary - The Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary is located 26 kilometers to the south of Kakinada. This is a lesser known wildlife sanctuary in the region, still under the radar of most tourists. This is the largest mangrove forest in the state and the best part is that it has been developed by the government. The forests have wooden ramps where tourists can trek to explore the jungles. Just like the former sanctuary, this is pretty much home to a wide variety of bird species, more so during the winter season. You can spot bird species such as egrets, kingfishers, herons, cormorants and flamingoes. If you're lucky, you can spot endangered species of birds such as white-backed vultures, long-billed vultures and spot-billed pelicans. You can take a boat ride into the river, make sure you visit the confluence of the Gautami River with the sea. If you have more time, you can even venture in the nearby Hope Island for a more isolated wildlife experience.
    • Must Spot Animals - Egrets, Kingfishers, Herons, Cormorants, Flamingoes, White-Backed Vultures, Long-Billed Vultures and Spot-Billed Pelicans
    Accommodation Options in Andhra Pradesh

    You can find many hotels and other accommodation options in the main cities of Andhra Pradesh. Generally, the top two cities where you would find the most number of accommodations are Visakhapatnam and Tirupati. Generally, these two places are the usual bases for tourists who go to Andhra Pradesh. You can just take day trips to the nearby destinations since these cities have the best tourist facilities and infrastructures. Prices range from budget ones to luxury ones, so you can choose according to your preference.


    Best Budget Hotels in Visakhapatnam

    1. Hotel Akshaya - Hotel Akshaya is a budget property located at the heart of the city. It is just a walkable distance from the Visakhapatnam Railway Station. It is also just under four kilometers away from the Rama Krishna Beach. The hotel has this white facade accentuated by the reflective windows. The reception is very simple, with just a wooden lobby table for guest reservations. You can choose from two types of rooms, either the Executive Room or the Deluxe Room. Both have homely interiors, with tiled flooring and light wooden furnitures. The bathrooms are spacious although there is no separate provision for showering. Tasty Point is their on-site restaurant which serves South Indian, North Indian and Western cuisines dishes to guests. The property also has facilities for banquets, a travel desk, shuttle services, free parking and currency exchange. Internet can be accessed from all areas of the hotel without any additional charges.
    • Room Rates - Executive Room at Rs. 1,658/Night and Deluxe Room at Rs. 1,882/Night (Inclusive of Taxes)
    • Address - Station Road, Opposite DRM Office, Dondaparthi, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh 530016, India
    • Contact Number - +91 89 1253 3188
    2. Landmark Hotel - The Landmark Hotel is located in the Dolphin Circle, under 10 kilometers away from the Visakhapatnam International Airport. It has the same white exteriors accentuated by the blue reflective windows. The reception has marble flooring and mainly neutral hues. Rooms are contemporary in interiors, spacious and have marble tiled flooring. You can choose from their Executive Standard Room or Executive Deluxe Room, with the former being more affordable. There's an on-site restaurant which serves pure vegetarian meals from the Indian cuisine. Facilities available in the hotel are a travel desk, shuttle transfers, banquet hall and covered parking area. Internet can be accessed freely from any area of the hotel but signal isn't that good especially on the upper floor rooms.
    • Room Rates - Executive Standard Room at Rs. 1,932/Night and Executive Deluxe Room at Rs. 2,273/Night (Inclusive of Taxes)
    • Address - No. 31/29/104, Dolphin Circle, Beside Geet Sangeet Theatre, Dabagardens, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh 530004, India
    • Contact Number - +91 81 2544 4489
    Best Mid-Range Hotels in Visakhapatnam

    1. Hotel Winsar Park - Hotel Winsar Park is a three-star hotel located in Maharanipeta, under kilometer away from the Rama Krishna Beach. Easily a favorite amongst business travelers and tourist, the hotel has a white facade. The reception is vast, with neutral hues plus plenty of sitting areas for waiting guests. All rooms and suites exude a classy ambience, with their pure white interiors and modern amenities. For that luxurious stay, opt for their Winsar Suite, which has its own separate living room and a glass-enclosed shower area in the bathroom. The hotel has two on-site restaurants that you can choose from. Relish is their multi-cuisine restaurant which serves South Indian and North Indian cuisines dishes to guests. Complimentary breakfast buffet spreads can be enjoyed in their Cafe De Win as well. For the facilities offered by the hotel, they have parking, travel desk, banquet halls and elevator. Internet can be accessed without any charges by resident guests though signal isn't that good, especially on the upper floor rooms.
    • Room Rates - Winsar Luxury at Rs. 3,393/Night and Winsar Suite at Rs. 4,809/Night (Inclusive of Taxes)
    • Address - No. 17/1/18, Opposite KGH, Maharanipeta, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh 530002, India
    • Contact Number - +91 77 9977 0450
    2. Encore Inn - Just a walking distance from the Daba Gardens Bus Stop is the Encore Inn, another three-star property in Visakhapatnam. The hotel was established just in 2013 by businessman, PVS Raju, and his philosophy is to provide for quality accommodations for tourists that won't break the bank. True enough, Encore Inn holds true for that standard, a pure white reception area, air conditioned and fitted with an LCD television is there to cater to the waiting guests. Their Executive Room is not just spacious, it has been tastefully designed with impressive wall decals and framed paintings. The rooftop restaurant serves authentic South Indian cuisine dishes. The hotel also has a well-equipped business centre with computers and printers. Other facilities are a travel desk, parking, shuttle transfers and banquet halls. Internet can be accessed without any charges and speed is quite good as compared to the previous properties.
    • Room Rates - Executive Room at Rs. 3,061/Night (Inclusive of Taxes)
    • Address - No. 30/15/163, Daba Gardens Main Road, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh 530020, India
    • Contact Number - +91 89 1254 6699
    Best Luxury Hotels in Visakhapatnam

    1. Novotel Visakhapatnam - Novotel Visakhapatnam has its own stretch of beach in the southern part of the Rama Krishna Beach. This five-star property is one of the best-rated hotels in the city, boasting of a pure white exterior amidst a seven-storer building. The expansive reception is just the start of the opulence, with eccentric lightings and marble-laden flooring. There's a variety of rooms and suites that one can choose from, ultimately all of them faces the sea so you can enjoy the views at your own privacy. The hardwood flooring and all-wooden furnishings truly make for a comfortable and relaxing stay. The glass-panelled bathroom has its own shower area as well. Dining choices are also varied, starting with The Square, where you can enjoy buffet spreads filled with Asian, Continental and Indian cuisines. Infinity is their open-air dining set amidst the backdrop of the sea where you can enjoy grilled dishes the most. Zaffran offers fine dining of regional dishes whilst Vue is their casual bar slash lounge where you can enjoy drinks. Facilities are very diverse too, from the infinity swimming pool, to the fitness centre and to the spa. Other necessary facilities such as banquet halls, travel desk, parking, shuttle, elevator and shops are also available here. Internet is available in all areas and speed is quite acceptable for the free charge.
    • Room Rates - Superior Room at Rs. 6,489/Night, Executive Room at Rs. 8,849/Night and Executive Suite at Rs. 14,719/Night (Inclusive of Taxes)
    • Address - Beach Road, Nowroji Road, Maharani Peta, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh 530003, India
    • Contact Number - 91 89 1282 2222
    2. The Gateway Hotel Beach Road - The Gateway Hotel Beach Road is located on the southern end of the Rama Krishna Beach as well. In contrast, this property has an old-world charm to it especially with the creamy facade and traditional exteriors. Even the lobby seems to be taken from the bygone era, with its atrium and dark wood furnishings. The rooms and suites are very regal, with the hardwood flooring, draped curtains and antique furnitures. The windows overlook either the gardens or the sea. Bathrooms aren't as remarkable but the furnishings are also of the dated times with marble inlays. For dining, you have Gad, their all-day dining Indian cuisine restaurant, and Ming Garden, their fine dining Chinese cuisine restaurant. Lawson's Lounge is where you can indulge in cocktails and music. The hotel also has facilities for leisure such as a swimming pool, spa and fitness centre. Also not missing are the banquet halls, parking, elevator and travel desk. Internet is complimentary for staying guests and speed is good enough for email checks or social media viewing plus updating.
    • Room Rates - Executive Room at Rs. 6,490/Night and Deluxe Suite at Rs. 23,040/Night (Inclusive of Taxes)
    • Address - Beach Road, Opposite Varun Beach, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh 530002, India
    • Contact Number - +91 89 1662 3670

    Best Budget Hotels in Tirupati

    1. KVP Inn - First up is the KVP Inn which is located close to the APSRTC Bus Stand. From the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple though, it is around 25 kilometers away. The hotel has a homely facade, a mixture of yellow and white, along with some brick accents. The reception exudes spirituality and elegance at the same time. Rooms aren't as spacious but are well-maintained and clean. The interiors are basic, with one brightly colored wall and simple furnitures. One downside with the property is that it doesn't have its own restaurant. They serve meals via room service only. But further to the north of the hotel, you would find a variety of dining options that are within walking distance. Facilities such as elevator, parking, travel desk and business centre are available in the property. For internet, it is free all throughout the hotel but speed isn't up to the mark at times.
    • Room Rates - Deluxe Room at Rs. 1,736/Night (Inclusive of Taxes)
    • Address - No. 19/9/1A, Near Venkateswara Theatre, Old Tiruchanoor Road, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh 517501, India
    • Contact Number - +91 87 7225 6997
    2. Athidhi Residency - The Athidhi Residency is also just walking distance from the APSRTC Bus Stand. But from the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, it is around 23 kilometers away. It is a simple hotel option, with a variety of rooms to choose from, the most affordable ones being the non air-conditioned rooms. But for that comfort, the Deluxe Room still fits within the budget and has air conditioning for hot summer days. The interiors are simple with marble flooring and wooden furnishings. The hotel doesn't have its own restaurant but don't worry because it is at a prime location. You can take a few minutes walk to the southeastern side and reach the Sarana Bhavan, a highly rated South Indian cuisine restaurant in the area. Facilities offered by the hotel are very limited with just parking, internet and travel desk.
    • Room Rates - Deluxe Room at Rs. 1,847/Night (Inclusive of Taxes)
    • Address - No. 864, Peddakapu Layout, Opposite Srinivasam, North of APSRTC Bus Stand, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh 517501, India
    • Contact Number - +91 87 7228 1222
    Best Mid-Range Hotels in Tirupati

    1. Pai Viceroy Hotel - The Pai Viceroy Hotel is a mid-range hotel located right at the foothills of Tirumala. The contemporary property has a white facade which stands out from the greenery surrounding the hills. The reception is the perfect balance of luxury and simplicity, it is not overbearing but also not plain looking. You can choose the Superior Room for a cozy yet affordable stay or the Suite for an indulging opulent stay experience. Either way, you would enjoy the classically designed rooms and suites. The windows overlook the lush mountains as well. Gufha is their unique jungle-themed restaurant, a sight to behold with its lush forest setting, cave-like areas and even faux animals. Cuisines served here are Indian, Chinese and Continental. Plaintain Leaf caters to the palate of the pure vegetarians, with a variety of dishes from the Indian and Chinese cuisines. The hotel comes with complete facilities of parking, travel desk, shops, banquet halls, business centre, elevator and shuttle transfers. You can access the internet for free as well, but make sure you acquire for a password coupon from the lobby area.
    • Room Rates - Superior Room at Rs. 2,728/Night and Suite at Rs. 4,383/Night (Inclusive of Taxes)
    • Address - No. 18-1-5/6, 18th Ward, Tirumala Bypass Road, Near Kapila Teertham, Ramachandra Nagar, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh 517501, India
    • Contact Number - +91 87 7227 5777
    2. Hotel Mayura - Hotel Mayura is just a short walk from the Bhuma Cine Complex of Tirupati. This is one of the oldest properties in the area and have a loyal following of clients already. The hotel has a dated style, from the exteriors up to the interiors. The rooms have all-wooden furnishings which add to their cozy and homely vibe. You would even find rooms that have the traditional box-style of television. The hotel is a favorite amongst foodies who want to sample local Andhra cuisine since it is the home of the Surya restaurant. You can't miss their thali here for a complete meal that can give you an overview of what local Andhra cuisine is all about. Facilities such as parking, travel desk, banquet halls and elevator are available on the property. However, internet needs to be paid for if you intend to use it whilst in the hotel.
    • Room Rates - Standard Room at Rs. 2,744/Night and Deluxe Room at Rs. 3,540/Night (Inclusive of Taxes)
    • Address - No. 209, Opposite Bus Stand, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh 517501, India
    • Contact Number - +91 87 7222 5925
    Best Luxury Hotels in Tirupati

    1. Fortune Select Grand Ridge - For that relaxing stay after a hectic darshan, you can opt for the Fortune Select Grand Ridge, a four-star property in Tirupati. The hotel is just under two kilometers away from the Pushkarini Mandapam in the city. Unlike other luxury hotels, this property is set upon an unassuming medium-rise building. The reception has marble flooring, classic lamps and plenty of regal couches. You can choose from their Standard Room or Fortune Club Room, both have the same interiors but the latter allows for access to the special lounge area. Like the rest of the hotel, the rooms are simple but exude elegance, with the hardwood flooring and dainty curtain plus bedsheets pieces. Rainbow is their award-winning vegetarian restaurant that specializes on the local Andhra cuisine. Zodiac is open all-day long to cater to your early morning cravings or late night hunger pangs. Neptune is the perfect place to unwind amidst a glass of wine with your loved ones or friends. The property has a swimming pool, spa and fitness centre too. There is also a variety of banquet and conference halls that guests can rent for special events or meetings. Other facilities such as parking, travel desk, shuttle transfers, elevator and shops are also available within the premises. You can access their internet without any charges and speed is good enough for checking of your email or social media accounts.
    • Room Rates - Standard Room at Rs. 4,874/Night and Fortune Club Room at Rs. 6,589/Night (Inclusive of Taxes)
    • Address - Near Shilparamam, Tiruchanoor Road, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh 517501, India
    • Contact Number - +91 87 7222 1818
    2. Marasa Sarovar Premiere Hotel - The Marasa Sarovar Premiere Hotel is a luxury property located on the base of the hill of Tirumala. The pure white exteriors of the hotel is set amidst the greenery of the hills. The reception has these diamond-shaped chandeliers which are truly show stoppers. You can choose from three types of accommodations, namely, Deluxe Room, Premier Room and Suite. They have classy interiors with neutral tones though there are accents of gold and maroon. The huge windows overlook the hills of Tirumala. You have two options for dining, Lotus Cafe, their multi-cuisine restaurant, and Krishna, their vegetarian only restaurant. The hotel also has this beautiful outdoor swimming pool which is spacious enough to accommodate a few families. Other facilities such as a spa, business centre, fitness centre, parking, banquet halls and travel desk are also available in the hotel. Internet is accessible from all areas without any charges for resident guests.
    • Room Rates - Deluxe Room at Rs. 4,247/Night, Premier Room at Rs. 5,191/Night and Suite at Rs. 9,144/Night (Inclusive of Taxes)
    • Address - Upadhyaya Nagar, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh 517507, India
    • Contact Number - +91 87 7666 0000
    Cuisine in Andhra Pradesh


    We have now come to the last part of our guide, the local cuisine in Andhra Pradesh. We can classify the Andhra cuisine under the Telugu cuisine, which also includes the Telangana cuisine. As far as the Andhra cuisine is concerned, it can be subdivided further into the coastal Andhra cuisine and the southern Andhra cuisine. We also cannot disregard the Hyderabadi cuisine in the equation since it is such an integral part of the overall Telugu cuisine. It's hard to truly distinguish all of the regional differences of the Andhra cuisine because the state is so huge. But if we have to depict between the Andhra cuisine and the Telangana cuisine, a major difference is that the former relies mainly on rice and vegetables while the latter relies mainly on poultry and other meat ingredients.

    Let's focus on the Andhra Pradesh cuisine proper, with the subdivisions of coastal Andhra and southern Andhra. If you are visiting the coastal Andhra side, evidently, you would be served more of the seafood dishes. Aside from the long coastal area of the Bay of Bengal, various rivers also flow into the region, like the Godavari River. Hence, the abundance of seafood makes for the perfect excuse for delicious seafood dishes. Along with seafood, the region relies on their staple carbohydrate source which is rice. Since Andhra Pradesh is one of the primary producers of rice in the country, this really isn't surprising.

    So if you're planning on a foodie trip focusing on the coastal side of Andhra Pradesh, which dishes are worth trying out? First up is the Korameenu Pulusu, a delicious delicacy hard to find in the state because of the higher price of the fish involved in the recipe. Korameenu is also known as the bullseye snakehead fish and is a seasonal fish found in muddy areas of the river. The tangy taste of the tamarind along with the flavors given by the various spices are sure to keep you wanting more. There's also their variation of the fish fry, so-called the Andhra Vepudu or Fish Fry, which has the same mechanics of cooking only more spices are added for an intense kick of flavor. This region also has its fair share of delicious vegetarian dishes such as Pappu Koora and Gongura Pappu. And why be satisfied with plain white rice, when there are flavorful alternatives such as Pulihora and Curd Rice?

    Now we go to the southern Andhra Pradesh cuisine which has its distinctions as well. Generally, when one thinks of Andhra Pradesh cuisine, what pops to mind is the spiciness of their dishes. But specifically, such designation can be attributed to this cuisine in the souther side of the state. Since this region is closer to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, it's inevitable that the two regions have their influences in the meals here as well. So when you reach this part of the state, don't be surprised to find South Indian stapes such as dosas, idlis and rotis. So if you have that penchant for spicy dishes, better reach the southern side of Andhra Pradesh for that kicking foodie adventure.

    A must-try dish here, especially for non-vegetarians, is the Natu Kodi Pulusu, which is simply chicken cooked in curry. It is prepared just like other curries but it is richer in flavor due to the use of coconut and more spices in the mix. To go with the delectable rotis, pair it with the Gutti Vankaya Aura, which is simply eggplant filled with a peanut stuffing and has this tangy spicy gravy. Whilst strolling the streets of southern Andhra, take your time to find street food stalls that sell delicious local snacks such as the Mirchi Bajji, Pakodi, Gaare and Upma. Their version of the popular jalebi is known here as the Jaangri.


    This ends our travel guide on the state of Andhra Pradesh. Such a diverse place filled with heritage sites and culturally-infused people, Andhra Pradesh is definitely a must-visit state in India. It has that balance of modernity and tradition, that variety in the attractions that you can cover and to top it all, delicious food found elsewhere in the country. If you find yourself wanting more information about this charming state of India, just click on the links given above as they can provide more threads related to the places that you're interested in. Happy traveling!

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  2. Prteeksh

    Prteeksh New Member

    Thank you for this wonderful information about Andhra Pradesh. Please, can you also provide some information about the water sports costs, so that I can get decide upon a budget.

  3. Deven

    Deven Member

    Hi Prteeksh,

    This is just an idea of the costs, it may differ from Rs50 - Rs100 depending on what beach you may visit.

    Kayaking - Rs200 per person
    Speedboat - Rs300 (three rounds)
    Jet Ski - Rs250
    Banana boat - Rs150