Monuments of Andhra Pradesh
The people of Andhra Pradesh, also known as Andhras came from the Emperor Ashoka Maurya. After his victory in the Kalinga war, he sent the envoys to the south and took Buddhism with them. Andhra Pradesh emerged as a major Buddhist center at the time of Ashoka in the third century B.C.
The Satavahans also encouraged various groups including Buddhists. In the 13th century, the Muslim power reached the regions of Andhra and Warangal was captured by the armies of Muhammed bin Tughlaq.
Table of Content
- 1 Monuments of Andhra Pradesh
- 1.1 Jami Masjid (Hyderabad)
- 1.2 Char Minar
- 1.3 Mecca Masjid
- 1.4 Gulbarga Fort
- 1.5 Golconda Fort
- 1.6 Qutb Shahi Tomb
- 1.7 Birla Mandir
- 1.8 Kurnool fort
- 1.9 Adoni
- 1.10 Trupati
- 1.11 Sri Govindrajaswamy Temple
- 1.12 Chandragiri
- 1.13 Gandhi memorial
- 1.14 Mogalarajapuram Caves
- 1.15 Undavalli Caves
- 1.16 Kondapalli Fort
- 1.17 Amaravati
- 1.18 Ramappa Temple
- 1.19 Warangal Fort
- 1.20 Thousand Pillar Temple
But the Muslim rule was further prevented for two centuries by the rise of the Vijaynagar Empire. Krishna Deva Raya expanded the Hindu territorial power and literary development across South India from Hampi, its capital. However his empire was also destroyed in the Battle of Talikota in 1565 by the Muslims.
Hyderabad was the most important centre of the Muslim power in the central and south India from the 17th to the 19th centuries. It was founded by the Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah in 1591 and became the capital of the princely state, ruled by various Muslim Nizams from 1724 till after the India’s independence in 1947.
In the 18th century, the British and French traders spread their influence from the coast. The Andhra Pradesh was created on the basis of the Telugu-speaking districts of Madras Presidency.
In 1956, the state took its present form and all the Telugu- speaking areas were grouped together in the new state of Andhra Pradesh. It was the first state in India to be defined on the basis of language.
Jami Masjid (Hyderabad)
The magnificent mosque built by Firoz Shah (1397 – 1432) is only one of its kinds in the country. It resembles the great Spanish mosque of Cordoba and is said to be designed by North African architect from the Moorish court.
The entire area of 3,500 sq. mtrs. Is covered by a dome over the mihraab, there are also 4 corner domes and 75 minor domes which makes it an impressive structure.
Char Minar is one of the major monuments in Hyderabad. The Char Minar is one of the most magnificent emblems of Hyderabad like Taj Mahal in Agra and Eiffel Tower in Paris. When Mohamad Quli Qutb Shah laid the foundation of the city of Hyderabad, he also reserved the location of Char Minar, near the site of his beloved queen’s village, Chickalam.
He laid the new city around Char Minar and called it Bhavyanagar after his queen’s name. Char Minar was built in 1591 by Mohamed Quli Qutub Shah and straddles the city’s original grid of broad intersecting boulevards.
According to the legend, the Char Minar was built as a charm to work off a deadly epidemic which was raging at that time. Char Minar means four towers or a minaret that stands 48.7 meters high and 30 meters wide creating four arches facing each cardinal point. Within the Char Minar complex are 45 prayer spaces and a mosque.
Mecca Masjid is one of the largest mosque in the world and lies just beyond the Char Minar. This mosque was named so because it is said that Mohammad Quli Shah brought bricks from Mecca to build the Masjid. The Qutb Shahis could not complete the Masjid as Aurangzeb defeated them and was completed by Aurangzeb in 1694.
Mecca Masjid is poetry in stone with a hall that measures 67 meters and soar to height of 54 meters. The roof is supported by 15 graceful arches, five each on three sides.
The marble graves of Nizam Ali Khan and the families of the Asaf Jahi dynasty are situated towards the southern end of the mosque. About 10,000 devotees can be accommodated in the mosque. During Ramajan, the people can be seen on the streets outside the mosque
The historic town earlier known as Kalburgi was the first capital of the Bahmani’s (1347 – 1525). It is also known as the abode of Saiyid Muhammad Gesu Daraz Chisti (1320 – 1422), who propagated Islam in the Deccan.
It was originally built by Raja Gulchand and was later renovated and strengthened by Ala-ud-din Bahmani. Today, most of the fort lies in ruins but the Bala Hisar (citadel) is in good condition.
Golconda Fort is one of the most famous fort in South India. The name “Golconda” originates from the Telugu word “Golla Konda” that means the Shephered’s Hill. The origin of the fort can be traced to the Yadava dynasty of Deogiri, and the Kakatiyas of Warrangal.
Golconda was originally a mud fort, which passed to the Bahmani dynasty and later to the Qutb Shahis from 1518 to 1687 AD. The first three Qutb Shahi kings rebuilt Golconda from 62 years.
The Golconda fort is famous for its acoustics, palaces, factories, indigenious water supply system and the famous Fateh Rabben gun, one of the cannons used in the last siege of Golconda by Aurangzeb, to whom the fort ultimately fell.
Qutb Shahi Tomb
The Qutb Shahi Tomb lies about a kilometer away from the Banjara Darwaza of the Golconda Fort. These tombs were planned and built by the Qutb Shahi kings and one of the oldest historical monuments in Hyderabad.
These tombs form a large group of domes and terraces and stand on a raised platform. All the Qutub Shahi kings except Abdul Hassan Tana Shah are buried here.
These graceful domed tombs are surrounded by landscaped gardens. The tombs are built in Persian, Pathan and Hindu architectural styles using grey granite with stucco ornamentation.
The white marble shrine of Lord Venkateswara is set at top Kala Pahad hillock, towards the southern end of Husain Sager Lake. It affords a fine view of the city, especially at sunset.
The shrine is decorated with intricate carvings depicting scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata. There are also several splendidly sculpted marble statues of Hindu gods and goddesses.
Kurnool was the former capital of Andhra Pradesh from 1953 until 1956. It is the headquarters of the district. In 12th century AD. Some of the places are the Kondareddy Buruz protected under the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, tomb of Abdul Wahab, the remains of the palace of Gopal Raju, the last Hindu rulers of Kurnool and the ruins of a royal fort.
This fort belongs to the medieval kingdom of Vijayanagar, which flourished from the 14th to the 16th century. Some temples like ‘Nagareswarasawami’, ‘Peta Anjaneyaswami’, ‘Venugoplaswami’, ‘Iswaraswami’, ‘Saibab’, and ‘Birla Mandir’ or ‘Stayanarayaswami’ are also there in Kurnool.
Several Persian and Arabic inscriptions, which throw light on various aspects of historical interests, are noted at the place.
There is a fort in Adoni which was once a stronghold of Vijayanagar Empire, but now stands in ruins upon five rocky granite hills. There are two of hills each of about 800 feet in height. Jama Masjid is a fine piece of Muslim architecture located in Adoni.
Tirupati, one of the famous pilgrimage centres is located in the extreme south of Andhra Pradesh. The temple town of Tirupati is situated amidst the thickly-wooded hills in the Eastern Ghats in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.
The Eastern Ghats looks like a snake where Tirumala forms the hood. Tirupati is the town and transport hub at the bottom of the hill. The hill near the temple is known as ‘Tirumala’ or the sacred hill.
The Tirumala Hill is 3200 feet above sea level and comprises of seven peaks that represent the seven hoods of Adishesha. Tirupati means the Lord of Lakshmi and is applied to the village on the Venkat hill.
Tirupati is the abode of the “Lord Venkateshwara”, also known as the Lord of the Seven Hills and Balaji. The Lord Venkateshwara is the ‘Kaliyuga’ incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Tirupati is the most famous, richest and ancient temple in the South India.
This temple is mentioned in the ancient texts and was patronized by the Pallavas, Pandyas, Cholas, Vijayanagar rulers and the Maharaja of Mysore. The temple is an excellent example of early Dravidian art and South India temple architecture.
The temple is surrounded by mango and sandal trees and stands on top of a 2500-feet peak. In front of it is the Hall of Pillars, an attractive stepped-way that leads to the temple gate. The vimana over the sanctum sanctorum and the Dhwajastambham are gold plated. This temple is visited by millions of pilgrims from all over the world.
The main monumental attraction in Tirupati is the Lord Venkateshwara Temple. Besides this temple, there are various other places in Tirupati like Sri Govindrajaswamy Temple, Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple, Akasa Ganga, Goddess Alamelumanga Temple, Sila Thoranam, Chandragiri temple etc.
Sri Govindrajaswamy Temple
Sri Govindrajaswamy Temple has an imposing gopuram or elaborate gateway that can be seen from the distance. This temple was consecrated by the Saint Ramanujacharya in 1130 AD. This temple is dedicated to Vishnu and Krishna.
Chandragiri is located close to Tirupati on the banks of the Swarnamukhi River in the Chittoor district. Chandragiri was the last capital of the Vijaynagar kings. The Vijayanagar Empire contributed vastly to the Telugu culture, art and literature.
The last Vijayanagar king, Ranga Raya, also approved of the sale of the land on which Saint George fort was built in Madras at this place. Today, only there are ruins of the Chandragiri fort and the Raja Mahal and Rani Mahal places. The fort is situated on the top of the rock and 56 meters tall.
The first Gandhi Memorial with seven stupas in the country was constructed on the Gandhi hill at a height of 500 feet. The 52 feet stupa was unveiled on 6 October 1968 by Dr. Zakir Hussain, the President of India. Gandhi Memorial Library, a Sound and Light Show on Mahatma Gandhi’s life and a planetarium are the other attractions on this hill.
Sri Vedanarayana Swamy Temple
Sri Vedanarayana Swamy Temple is believed to have been constructed by the Vijaynagar emperor, Sri Krishna Devaraja on the behalf of his mother. This temple is a fine specimen of the Vijaynagar style of architecture.
The sanctum sanctorum houses an image of Lord Vishnu in the form of fish (Matsya) accompanied by the Sri Devi and Bhu Devi on either side. One of the important feature of the temple is the sun worship.
Mogalarajapuram Caves were excavated in 5th century A.D. The caves are reputed to be the first of their kind in South India. The idols of Lord Nataraja, Vinayaka and Arthanareeswara are carved here.
Undavalli Caves are situated about 8 kms. from Vijaywada. These caves were carved in 7th century A.D. During monsson, these caves were used by the Buddhist monks as a rest house. A huge monolith of the Lord Buddha in reclining posture is a magnificent sight in the caves.
Kondapalli village is situated 16 km from Vijaywada. Kondapalli Fort, a 7th century fort is situated on the hill with an impressive three storey rock tower. This fort was witness to the various dynasties. This fort was built by Krishna Deva Raya and served as a business centre.
Later, the fort was used as a military training base by the British rulers. The Kondapalli wooden toys were first made in Kondapalli. These toys have characteristic Indian themes of mythological figures, birds, animals, fruits and vegetables.
Amaravati, formerly known as Dhanyakataka and Andhranagari, is one of the most important Buddhist sites in the country. Acharya Nagarjuna constructed the country’s largest stupa here, 2000 years back. Amaravati is considered as the most sacred pilgrim centre for Buddhists in South India.
This major Buddhist pilgrim centre on the banks of river Krishna was the former capital of the Satvahanas and one of the four important places of Buddhist worship in the country.
The 2000 years old Mahastupa, locally known as Deepaladinne or ‘Hillock of Lamps’ is the largest stupa in India, measuring 36.5 metres wide and 16.5 metres metres high.
Besides this, only few scattered ruins is all that remains of the once grand city. A small replica of the few scattered ruins is all that remain of the once grand city. A small replica of the Mahastupa can be seen at the nearby museum. The Amareswara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is another famous holy site.
This temple is a piece of architecture found from the city of Palampet, Andhra Pradesh.which is situated about 77 kilometers away from the city of Warrangal. This temple represents a combination of Chalukya and Hoysala art of architecture. It is one of the finest examples of temple architecture in South India.
Warangal fort is situated about 12 km from Hanamakonda and belongs to the 13th century. The Kakatiya king, Ganapati Deva and his daughter Rudramma built the fort of mud and brick. This massive fort was an impregnable fort.
It was under continuous attack from the Delhi Sultans from the 13th to 14th centuries. The Warangal fort was once surrounded by the two walls and now only the remains of the four huge stone gateways, similar to those of Sanchi, along with several exquisite pieces of sculpture can still be seen in and around the fort.
Thousand Pillar Temple
There are various places in Warangal of architectural attractions and this temple is one of them.The Thousand Pillar Temple is situated on the slopes of the Hananakonda Hill.
This temple was built by Rudra Deva in 1163 AD in the style of Chalukyan temples; star shaped and triples shined and a fine specimen of Kakatiya architecture and sculpture. There are three shrines which are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Surya.
The temple is known for its richly carved pillars, screens and detailed sculpture. The black basalt Nandi, a monolith, has a lovely polished finish.