Temples, Shrines And Spiritual Places Across Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh is known for its cultural heritage, charming countryside and mouth-watering delicacies. Amaravati is the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh while Hyderabad is de jure capital of the state. Since times immemorial, Andhra Pradesh has been renowned as a spiritual destination with its thousands of temples that subtly blend stunning architecture and artistic magnificence with delightful legends and tumultuous history.
The first temple that most pilgrims visit in Andhra Pradesh is the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple – one of the richest temples in India and famed as one among the eight Swayambu Kshetras dedicated to Lord Vishnu. A fine example of Dravidian architecture, it draws millions of devotees from all over the world. Srisailam is home to the famed Siva Mallikarjuna Temple featuring one among the twelve Jyotirlingas of Shiva in India. The 600 year old temple is also regarded as a Shakthipeetha of Goddess Parvathi. Lepakshi is a fascinating village dotted with interesting archaeological remains and ancient temples featuring intricate sculptures. Most famous among the temples in Lepakshi is the Veerbhadra Temple that boasts of a huge, monolithic Nandi statue made of granite – one of the largest in India. Built in the 16th century in the Vijayanagara architectural style, the artistic brilliance of the temple is a breathtaking sight.
Undisputedly one of the most famous temples in Andhra Pradesh is the Kanaka Durga temple in Vijayawada believed to be created by Arjuna for the worship of Goddess Durga. As astounding example of Dravidian architecture, the temple that finds mention in numerous sacred texts is visited by millions of devotees each year. Yaganti Temple in Kurnool is another famous Shiva temple dating back to the 15th century and featuring various caves such as Veera bRahmam Cave, Agastya Cave and Venkateshwara Cave. Known as Kashi of the South, Srikalahasti Temple in Chitoor built in 1516 is a major Shaivite temple renowned for its fabulous carvings.
One among the 108 Divya Desams, Ahobilam Temple in Kurnool is a unique temple where Lord Narasimha is worshipped in nine different forms and is believed to be the spot where Lord Narasimha slayed Hiranyakasipu. Another prominent temple dedicated to Lord Narasimha is the Simhachalam temple featuring enchanting architectural styles from the times of Cholas and Chalukyas. Dating back to the 11th century, the Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple is believed to house an idol of Lord Ganesha that keeps growing. The water available at the temple is said to be a cure for many ailments.
Buddhism that was once deeply entwined in the culture of Andhra Pradesh is now evident in the numerous Buddhist monasteries that still echo the holy chants. Salihundam in Srikakulam district dating back to the 2nd century and Ramatheertham in Vijayanagaram are replete with Buddhist temples and stupas. Thimmapuram was a bustling Buddhist center that was home to over 100 monks in the 3rd century. Bojjannakonda, Kotturu, Kodavali, Guntupalli and Amaravati are other famous Buddhist centers in the state.
A tour of temples in Andhra Pradesh offers visitors a breathtaking insight into the rich history, cultural heritage and spiritual legends of the state. To experience the best of ancient architecture and indulge in spirituality like never before, set off on a tour of the famous temples in Andhra Pradesh.