Andhra Pradesh, one of the first states to be formed after India got its independence, is home to many heritage sites and cultural destinations. Throughout the year, people from across the country visit the temple towns of Andhra Pradesh and seek the blessings of the powerful deities that reside in the Telugu state. One such world-famous temple is the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam. Similarly, AP is also famous for multiple heritage sites that carry with them legends from the past. Heritage and history enthusiasts who love taking weekend tours to places with stories to tell, here is your chance. Shortlist these heritage sites in Andhra Pradesh and visit them in 2023.
Here is a list of heritage sites in Andhra Pradesh you must visit in 2023
Constructed by the Gupta Dynasty in the 4th century, these caves are referred to as rock-cut cave temples. The caves are located at a distance of 6.5 km from the Vijayawada Railway Station, making them accessible. This monolithic structure is located atop a hill overlooking the Krishna River and is a protected monument of national importance. Carved out of solid sandstone, these caves are associated with the Vishnukundin Kings of 420 AD. The four-storey caves are a famous attraction of Heritage in Andhra Pradesh.
#2 Guntupalli Buddhist Caves
Located near the Eluru District, the Guntupalli Buddhist Caves are today preserved in the form of their remains. This includes two viharas made of brick, one chaitya hall and a stone stupa with an enclosed path around it. It is to be believed that three relic caskets were found during the excavation, with precious elements like gold, silver and crystal beads. Visit these caves and get a glimpse of life from the 9th and 10 centuries.
A historical fort on the banks of the Penna River, Gandikota is located in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. This heritage site in Andhra Pradesh was once the centre of power for various dynasties, such as the Kalyani Chalukyas, Golconda Sultanate and the Pemmasani Nayakas, whose capital city was Gandikota for over 300 years. Best known for the Gandikota Canyon, which is also called the Grand Canyon of India, is a beautiful sight for enthusiasts. Efforts are being put in to make Gandikota a world heritage site.
The historic village of Hemavathi is home to many temples built between the 8-10th centuries under the reign of the Nolamba Dynasty. One of the most visited temples here is the Siddeshwara Temple which has an idol of Lord Shiva in his seated yoga form, unlike the usual linga form. The Virupaksha temple, Doddeshwara temple and Mallaeshwara temple, along with the Siddeshwara temple, form a temple complex around which this village has grown. Spread across 15 acres of land, this heritage site also has a museum where the sculptures, ancient carvings and scriptures are preserved.
#5 Borra Caves
Located in Araku Valley near Visakhapatnam, these caves are one of the most visited heritage sites in Andhra Pradesh. These unique formations were discovered in 1807 by Willian King George, who was then a part of the Geological Survey of India. Many legends by the local tribes believe in the presence of Lord Shiva here, and they have also constructed a small temple. A few of them also believe that the river Gosthani originates from below the Shiva Lingam and flows through Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam before reaching the Bay of Bengal.
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.