Planning for a summer vacation and cannot decide where to go? You must be considering a hill station or a beach city such as Goa or Pondicherry. for a vacation. But look at these architectural heritage sites in Andhra Pradesh instead for an offbeat vacation. Not just visual wonders, these places offer a lot for you to learn about the history of this holy land. From forts built by kings to caves and Buddhist conservation sites established centuries ago, this list has it all. If you are a history enthusiast, these sites are sure to excite you and make your summer one of the best.
Here is the list of architectural heritage sites in Andhra Pradesh you must shortlist for a summer vacation.
The closest architectural gem to the City of Destiny is the historical fort of the Vizianagaram Maharajas. Built in the early 18th century by Maharaja Vijaya Rama Raju, a part of it was later donated to the Maharajah Alak Narayan Society of Arts and Science (MANSAS Trust) by its founder Dr P.V.G. Raju. The fort is surrounded by several other well-sculpted architectural structures, which have emerged under the rule of the Vizianagaram Maharajas over time. One of the major highlights of the fort is the Ganta Stambham, a 68 ft sandstone clock tower built in 1885. The gates of the fort were built in a Rajasthani style, with one of them being accompanied by a drum tower meant to inform the arrival of royal guests. The Vizianagaram Fort is located at a distance of 53 km from Visakhapatnam Railway Station.
Located in the Sri Sathya Sai District of Andhra Pradesh, Lepakshi is home to the Lord Veerabadhra Temple. A Nandi, the sacred bull of Lord Shiva, is artistically sculpted on a single stone and is regarded as one of the largest of its kind. The stupas or the pillars are carved with dancing gods and other Hindu gods. One can find Kannada inscriptions on the walls of this historical temple as it is located close to the Karnataka Border. It is one of the reasons why the temple is constructed in the Vijayanagara architectural style. Lepakshi is located close to 950 km from Visakhapatnam.
Situated on the banks of the Swarnamukhi River is the Chandragiri Fort, built during the Vijayanagara rule. Chandragiri was the 4th and last capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. This architectural edifice is located in the Tirupati District and is 12 km from the Tirupati Temple. The fort is now under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Chandragiri Palace is surrounded by ruined temples of Shiva Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The architectural style of this palace resembles the Mughal palaces though it was of the Vijayanagara kings. This architectural heritage site is 779 km away from Vizag.
Undavalli Caves are located near Vijayawada and date back to the 4th century. The caves are finely sculpted with the incarnations of Lord Vishnu, as they were formed under the rule of Guptas, ardent devotees of Vishnu. These monolithic structures were carved out of solid sandstone and the largest of these caves is a four-storeyed formation. Undavalli Caves are home to Buddhist artwork, depictions of Hindu Gods and rishis. These caves were once home to Buddhist and Jain monks. This architectural wonderland is located 368 km from Visakhapatnam.
Amaravati Maha Stupa
The Amaravati Maha Stupa is home to one of the largest Buddhist Stupas ever built. This imposing structure depicts the various stages in the life of Lord Buddha. The Dalai Lama of Tibet conducted a Kalachakra initiation at this heritage site in 2006. Amaravati Stupa was said to be founded in the 3rd century under the rule of Ashoka. This place is located 396 km from Vizag.
Ketavaram Rock Painitngs
Ketavaram is a small town close to Kurnool, with a fascinating secret. The important archaeological site is popular for findings of painting on the basalt rocks. Evidence suggests that these were created by inhabitants of this place from 6000 to 4000 BC. The Ketavaram Village is located close to Kurnool and 694 km from Visakhapatnam.
Gooty Fort is located close to Anantapur and 795 km from Visakhapatnam. A must-visit site for history enthusiasts, it is one of the oldest forts built in Andhra Pradesh during the Vijayanagara era. The fort is home to a Narasimha Temple and dates back to the Chalukya period. During the early 17th century, the Vijayanagara rulers lost this fort to the Qutb Shahi Dynasty of Mughals and eventually came under the rule of the British East India Company.
The Gandikota Fort is situated on the banks of the Pennar River and is 77 km from Kadapa. Built on a hill, this stone fort has a 20-foot-high entrance. Within the fort lie the Ranganatha and Madhava Swamy temples, the Jama Masjid, a Pigeon Tower, and other striking architectural wonders. Just 200 m from the fort is the breathtaking river canyon, fondly referred to as the Grand Canyon of India. Gandikota 775 km from Vizag.
Let us know if you have visited any of these architectural heritage sites in Andhra Pradesh.