Andhra Pradesh’s capital city, Hyderabad has the atmosphere of an Arabian Nights fairy tale. Whimsical palaces, erstwhile stately homes and crowded bazaars filled with shops selling Hyderabadi pearls, incense and copper utensils characterise the city, while in the distance looms Golconda Fort. The city’s historical connection traces itself to the rulers or Nizams whose wealth was legendary. Rooms full of jewels and currency notes, a garage full of gleaming Rolls Royce’s are all now part of history, but a unique culture lives on, colouring the city with its distinctive charm. The Epicurean tastes of this most exalted royal house of princely India gave rise to a fabled cuisine based on painstaking preparations and slow cooking. Much of Hyderabad’s old town can be covered on foot. The city’s important landmarks include Charminar, a 16th century gateway; the Salar Jung Museum which exhibits priceless treasures alongside trivia that made up the personal collection of the owner; Mecca Mosque and Golconda Fort. Nagarjunakonda is the site of ongoing excavations which have revealed Buddhist temples, stupas and monasteries.
There are dream destinations and then there is Andhra Pradesh. A state that offers everything from amazing beaches to serene lakes, dense forests to dynastic forts, delectable seafood to rich biryani, historic places to sanctuaries, shopping zones to parks … you will find it all.
Andhra Pradesh has a population of 76,210,007 comprising of 38,286,738 males and 37,923,369 females. The literacy rate in the state is 45.11%.
Andhra Pradesh is the 5th largest state in India and the largest in South India, with an area of 2,75,086 kms. Geographically located in the South-eastern part of the country, it is bounded by Orissa in the North, Tamil Nadu in the South, Karnataka to the West and the Bay of Bengal in the East. The state comprises three regions – Costal Andhra, Telangana and Rayalaseema. These regions even though parts of the same state, are distinctly different in dialect, cuisine, lifestyle and climate. The state has a coastline of about 1000 kms with sparkling white beaches.
Telugu, Urdu, Hindi and English are the most widely spoken languages here. A tourist will find no difficulty conversing here as almost everyone knows either Hindi or English.
Nizami cuisine is the most popular choice here, closely followed by the spicy Andhra cuisine. Tantalizing non-vegetarian dishes such as Kodi-Vepudu (chicken fry), Ghongura-Maamsam (sour lamb), Chaapala-Pulusu (fish gravy), etc, are a part of the lip smacking Andhra cuisine. Rayalaseema delicacies include Akukura Pulagura (sour green gravy), Aalasananda Vadalu (lentil donuts) and Ragi Sangati (dumplings).
The people of Andhra Pradesh celebrate all festivals with great pomp and grandeur. The important festivals here are Ganesh Chaturthi, Dusherra, Diwali, Christmas, New Year, Ugadi, Shankaranthi, Shivaratri, Holi, Mahankali Jatra and Id-ul-Fitr.
The excellent infrastructure of roads, rail facilities, airports and ports, makes Andhra Pradesh easily accessible from every part of India. The availability of transport, accommodation and the variety of cuisines make the state a preferred tourist destination.
The best time of the year to visit Andhra Pradesh is during the winter months (November to February), when the climate is pleasant 13°-33°C. Summers (March to May) are quite hot with the mercury rising up to 20°-41°C. Monsoons (June to October) are sultry yet fun for those who enjoy rains.