Tuesday, 10 December 2013


Andhra Pradesh has a variety of attractions including beaches, hills, wildlife, forests and temples. The state has a rich cultural heritage and is known for its rich history, architecture and culture. Andhra Pradesh is the top tourist destination in India.The weather is mostly tropical. June to September are the monsoon months and travel is not advised during this time. November to January are the best time to visit. Andhra Pradesh is recognized for its artistic temples, rich literature, legendary dynasties and its natural beauty. Discovering nature in the state can be a series of surprises that can leave visitors yearning for more. As one travels through the state, what strikes is the diverse landscape, from the emerald green coast regions to the dry deciduous forests and the mangrove belt teeming with hidden life. The state has the distinction of being home to the country’s largest tiger reserve, the Nallamai Forest. The Godavari River, besides being a holy river for the Hindus, also is the home of saltwater crocodiles, fishing cats and many other animals. The Kolleru Bird Sanctuary with its lush vegetation is a riot of colours because of the migrating birds that come from as far as Siberia and Australia. Andhra Pradesh is blessed with breathtaking natural beauty. Its cascading waterfalls, misty hills, verdant forests, shimmering rivers and undulating mountains can be a treat for the eyes and soul.

           The state of Andhra Pradesh comprises like scenic hills, forests, beaches and temples. Also known as The City of Nizams and The City of Pearls,Hyderabad is today one of the most developed cities in the country and a modern hub of information technology, ITES, and biotechnology. Hyderabad is known for its rich history, culture and architecture representing its unique character as a meeting point for North and South India, and also its multilingual culture.

     Andhra Pradesh's cultural history can be summarized under the sections of Art, Architecture, Literature, Cuisine, Clothing and Religion/Philosophy. Annamayya, Tyagaraja, Kuchipudi summarize the rich artistic traditions of Andhra Pradesh. Contributions of Annamacharya and Tyagaraja to the "grammar of sound" made Telugu language the preferred language of composition for Carnatic Music and made Andhra Pradesh the mother of all modern music. Their influence not only on Carnatic but global classical music and the organisation of sound as a medium of emotional resonance has no parallel in human history. Kuchipudi as a refinement of the ancient Tamil art of Bharathanatyam, and in the context of the unique religious and cultural traditions of Andhra Pradesh stands on par with all the great global traditions of Classical Dance.

          Art :  There are three distinct and rich architectural traditions in Andhra Pradesh. The first traces back to the building of the legendary city of Amaravathi under Satavahanas. This unique style of architecture emphasizes the use of intricate and abstract sculpture with inspiration from religious themes. The second tradition draws on the enormous granite and lime stone reserves of the region and is reflected in the various temples and forts built over a very long period of time. The Temples and the ruins of Warangal stand as examples to this tradition. The third tradition is the Hyderabadi tradition, that emerged as fusion of local artistry with the rich Persian architectural traditions and tastes of the various nizams of Hyderabad. Charminar and the countess palaces of Hyderabad exemplify this genre of architecture.

     Literature: As a recognized ancient language, Telugu has a rich and deep literary culture. Nannaya, Tikkana, Yerrapragada, Srinatha,Pothana, Molla (poet), and Tarikonda Venkamamba made Telugu language "The Italian of the East" - lingua franca for religious,

musical composition and philosophy. The contributions of Charles Phillip Brown, Gurram Jashuva, Sri Sri (writer) and Viswanatha Satyanarayana made Telugu a vibrant and evolving modern language. The contributions of various Telugu/Tamil/Sanskrit grammarians to the formalization of English Grammar gave Telugu Literary traditions a truly global reach.

          Cuisine: Andhra Pradesh culinary traditions are some of the richest in the world. Bandhar Laddu, Avakaya, Gongura, Pulusu, pappu charu, jonna kudu, bobbattu, kaza, arisa ..etc. draw on unique spices and rich fruit and vegetable harvests of the region. Various sauces and ancient bread making techniques that use a very diverse and rich variety of pulses are a testament to ancient Telugu culinary innovation. It is rumored that Roman king Nero lamented Romans paying more to the Chili farmers of Andhra Pradesh than to Roman treasury as taxes during the effort to rebuild Rome after the great fire. It is documented that he banned all imports from Andhra Pradesh during Rome rebuilding era. Andhra Pradesh spice traders and their ancient global trading traditions are considered the precursors to modern option-and-derivatives pricing models for commodities. Rich wine making traditions are evident in the Taati kallu and Etha Kallu produced by the region to this day. Modern innovations to Telugu cuisine happened as a fusion of the spicy culture of Telugus and oven/hearth traditions of Persian cooking to form the modern Hyderabadi Biriyani tradition.

    Clothing/Fashion: Andhra Pradesh is home to some of the finest historical cloth making/fashion and dying traditions of the world. Its rich cotton production, with its innovative plant dye extraction history stand next to its diamond mining, pearl harvesting and jewelry traditions to form an impressive fashion tradition that has stood the test of time. The ancient Golconda mine is the mother of the numerous legendary gems such as the Koh-i-Noor and Hope Diamond. Andhra Pradesh had a virtual monopoly in the global jewelry industry till 1826 (founding of the diamond mines in Rhodisia - Africa) and eight of the 10 most valuable jewelry pieces on earth today trace their history back to Andhra Pradesh. Langa-Voni (Half saree), Sarees made in Kalamkari, Bidri, Nirmal paintings, fascinating weaves from Pochampalli, Gadwal, Venkatagiri are the result of this time tested (3000 year) fashion tradition. Vaddaanam, Aravanke, Kashulahaaram, Buttalu and various standard gold jewelry designs are fine examples of this continuously evolving ancient tradition.

          Religion and Philosophy: These contributions can be classified into four distinct eras. Ancient Hindu traditions of Andhra Pradesh, Medieval Buddhist traditions, Modern Islamic-Hindu fusion traditions and the currently emerging Hindu-Christian fusion traditions. Dharanikota, Nagarjuna Konda monasteries and the associated literary contributions stand as a testaments to Andhra Pradesh's central role in the evolution of Ashokan Buddhism. Tirupati, the associated religious traditions of Lord Venkateswara as a personification of the merger of various Shivite and Vaishavite Hindu traditions stands as a testament to the rich and
progressive religious-philosophical schools of Andhra Pradesh. The contributions of Andhra Religious traditions to Bhakti Movement (Fusion movement for Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist Traditions) inspired numerous world renowned modern secular philosophers like Jiddu Krishnamurti to draw on this rich and progressive intellectual tradition of religion and philosophy. A living history of this rich tradition is daily visible in the lives of the people of this region and historic snap shots are frozen into stone at various times on the walls of these temples Telugu arts and literature are an embodiment of this vibrant philosophical tradition.