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Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh

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Andhra Pradesh is the third largest state in India with an area of 275,000 sq. km. A state in the southern region of India, Andhra Pradesh is bordered on the south by Tamil Nadu state, on the west by Karnataka state, on the north and northwest by Maharashtra state, on the northeast by Madhya Pradesh and Orissa states, and on the east by the Bay of Bengal. The northern area of Andhra Pradesh is mountainous. The highest peak Mahendragiri rises 1500 m above the sea level. The climate is generally hot and humid. Annual rainfall is 125 cm. The Krishna and The Godavari are the major river systems in the state.

Andhra Pradesh has a very rich cultural background. Historians date life in the area to the Palaeolithic age of some 3,00,000 years ago. Of course, recorded history points to existence of societies as early as the sixth century BC in the Krishna and Godavari valleys.

From such a background emerges the modern day Andhra Pradesh, on the forefront not just alphabetically. Its people are achievers who display a rare hospitality and courtesy. The State is today on the top internationally in regard to information technology and its capital Hyderabad has metamorphosed into one of the best cities in the country.

Centuries ago, Andhra Pradesh was a major Buddhist centre and part of Emperor Ashoka's sprawling kingdom. Not surprisingly, traces of early Buddhist influence are still visible in several places in and around the state. After the death of Emperor Ashoka, several dynasties from the IkshvakusPallavasChalukyasKakatiyasVijayanagaram kingsQutb ShahisMughals and the Asaf Jahi's, ruled this princely city.

Heritage & Culture

The various dynasties that ruled the State of Andhra Pradesh, from the Ikshvakus, Pallavas, Chalukyas, Kakatiyas, Vijayanagaram kings, Qutb Shahis, Mughals, to the Asaf Jahis, all have contributed significantly to the State's rich cultural tapestry and have left behind a heritage studded with spectacular monuments, temples, mosques, palaces all vibrant with arts, crafts, dance and literature.

 

The state has a rich cultural heritage. The great composers of carnatic music Annamacharya, Tyagaraja and many others chose Telugu as their language of composition, thus enriching the language. Kuchipudi is the state's classical dance form.Andhrites have been movie buffs decades. The state produces about 200 top notch movies per year. 

 

Andhra Pradesh has several museums, including the Salar Jung Museum, which features a varied collection of sculptures, paintings, and religious artifacts, and the Archaeological Museum, which features Buddhist and Hindu sculptures and other antiques; both museums are located in Hyderabad.

The State is rich in natural resources, cultural heritage, history and most of all, an opportunity to explore them, created by combining the old princely state of Hyderabad with the Telugu speaking portions of the former state of Chennai, Andhra Pradesh to this day retains much of its regal glory and mystic charm.

Telugu, the official language of Andhra Pradesh, is described by C.P. Brown as the " Italian of the East ". It has been influenced by Sanskrit. The prominent poets of Telugu include Nannaya, Tikkana, Sri Krishna Devarayulu and a host of others.

The dance styles in the State are based on the standard treatises, viz. Abhinaya Darpana and Bharatarnava of Nandikeshwara, which is sub-divided into Nattuva Mala and Natya Mala.

 

Kuchipudi, a blend of music and abhinaya, is Andhra Pradesh‘s unique contribution to dance it have flowered from a village called Kuchelapuri or Kuchelapuram in Krishna district. From its birth around 300 B. C., it has remained a continuous and living tradition of this region, performed by men of the Brahmin community.

 

Arts & Crafts

In keeping with the rich traditions of the State, the people of Andhra Pradesh have patronised a host of arts and crafts that not only enrich the milieu but earn the artisans a decent livelihood. KalamkariBidriNirmal paintings, fascinating weaves from Pochampalli, GadwalVenkatagiri and a number of other centres have earned a name all over the world.

The State is well known for its handlooms and textiles and its silk sarees are among the best produced in the country. The people of the State too have been patrons of the arts and crafts and this has resulted in the traditions being kept alive through the ages.

It is not only such exclusive and delicate material as silk that the artisans of Andhra Pradesh deal in, but metalwarecarpetswood and stone carving too. From the exquisite silver filigree and brass and sheet metalware, artisans of Andhra Pradesh strive to bring out the best and it is sheer magic when they get down to producing their ware.

Kalamkari, using a quill (kalam) and vegetable dyes, is an art found nowhere else but in and around Machilipatnam and Srikalahasti of the State. While the Srikalahasti style is to draw outlines with a pen or quill and fill in the colours through a wax process, the Machilipatnam practice is to use wooden blocks carved into designs for printing.

All dyes and colours are natural and the painstaking process of Kalamkari printing on fabric goes through as many as a dozen stages. 

Wall hangings come in another style from Siddipet in Medak district. This method, known as Batik, utilises the ‘cold’ process involving wax to create graphic designs and figures. Batik cloth also comes in the form of dress material, scarves and even sarees.

Cherial Scroll paintings done on cloth in earth colours is one of the traditional crafts practised mainly at Cherial in Warangal district. Painted in freestyle and depicting mythological stories, they are used as visual aids, and have attained great popularity as wall decorations.

Decorative hand-crocheted lace from Narsapur and Palakollu of West Godavari district adorns many a dining table in the form of mats. Curtains and bedspreads are some of the lacework produced here.

Fairs & Festivals of Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh is a calendar of one long procession of festivals. Festivities here are characterized by color, gaiety, enthusiasm, feasts and a variety of prayers and rituals. Travelers and tourists are struck by the scale and multiplicity of the festivities that populate the cultural scene of this land. The state is famous for celebrating festival of every region and religion with equal pomp and gaiety. Be it the age old traditional Hindu festivals or the Muslim festivity of brotherhood or Christmas. The diversity of the state is manifested in its people, languages, religions and cultures.

 

Fairs of Andhra Pradesh

Srirama Navami Festival At Bhadrachalam, Lumbini Festival - The Festival Of Buddhist Heritage, Pushkaram Of Godavari, Krishna, Pennar, Visakha Utsav, Urs Of Hazrat Ali, Deccan Festival, Pearls & Bangles Fair, All India Festival Of Art & Crafts At Shilparmam, All India Industrial Exhibition At Hyderabad.

Festivals Celebrated in Andhra Pradesh

Deepavali, Holi, Idd-Ul-Fitr, Krishna Ashtami, Maha Sivarathri, Milad-Un-Nabi, Muharram, Vijaya Dasami (Dasara), Christmas, Nagapanchami or Nagula Cahvithi, Sankranthi, Sri Rama Navami, Ugadi, VaraLaxmi Vratam, Vinayaka Chavithi

Tourism

Andhra Pradesh is the home of many religious pilgrim centres. Tirupati, the abode of Lord Venkateswara, has the richest and most visited Hindu temple in India. Srisailam, the abode of Sri Mallikarjuna, is one of twelve Jyothirlingalu in India, Amaravati's Siva temple is one of the Pancharamams, and Yadagirigutta, the abode of an avatara of Vishnu, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha. The Ramappa temple at Warangal is famous for some fine temple carvings. The state has numerous Buddhist centres at Amaravati, Bhattiprolu, Nagarjuna Konda, and Phanigiri.

The golden beaches at Visakhapatnam, the one-million-year old limestone caves at Borra, picturesque Araku Valley, hill resorts of Horsley Hills, Godavari racing through a narrow gorge at Papi Kondalu, waterfalls and rich bio-diversity at Talakona, the beaches of Vizag are some of the natural attractions of the state.

Charminar, Golconda Fort, Chandragiri Fort, and Falaknuma Palace are some of the monuments in the state.