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Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh is a state/Union Territory of India.

Andhra Pradesh is the India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. The capital and largest city in Andhra Pradesh is Hyderabad. It is bordered by Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Odisha in the north, the Bay of Bengal in the east, Tamil Nadu to the south and Karnataka to the west. It is sprawled over an area of 276,754 sq. km. The mighty rivers Godavari and Krishna cut their way through the plateau, forming large deltas before entering the Bay of Bengal.

The state can be divided into three important regions-the coastal region, comprising of nine districts, also known as Andhra; the interior region, consisting of four districts collectively known as Rayalaseema; and the Telengana region, consisting of the capital Hyderabad and nine adjoining districts. There are 23 districts, 1128 blocks and 28123 villages. The State has population density of 277 per sq. km.

The Places to see in Andhra Pradesh are Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirupati, Charminar, Salar Jung Museum, Golconda Fort in Hyderabad and Buddhist viharas at Nagarjunasagar. Andhra Pradesh had been an important seat of rich Buddhist heritage.

The history of Andhra Pradesh dates back to the time of Ashoka the Great. This state became an important Buddhist center during his reign. The evidences of the Buddhist influence can be seen in Amaravathi and Nagarjunakonda. The earliest dynasty that ruled Andhra Pradesh was the Satavahana dynasty ( 2nd century BC 2nd century A.D), also known as the andhras. Later, Andhra Pradesh was ruled by the Pallavas from Tamil Nadu, the Chalukyas from Karnataka, and the Cholas. The Kakaityas also ruled this state in 13th century and they established their capital at Warangal. The Kakatiya dynasty ended in 1323, when the Tughlak Sultan of Delhi captured the Kakatiya ruler. Four local kingdoms arose out of the old Kakatiyan empire. One of these kingdoms was Vijayanagar. They fought against the Muslim expansion for more than 200 years. The Vijayanagar army was defeated by the Deccan sultans at the battle of Talikota in 1565. In the mid 16 th century, the Muslim Qutb Shahi dynasty was established. Hyderabad was built by the Qutub Shahis of Golcunda. They were defeated by Aurangzeb in 1687. Aurangzeb appointed Asaf Jah as the governor of Deccan. After the death of Aurangzeb, in 1707, Hyderabad was declared independent and established the Asaf Jahi dynasty of Nizams. Andhra Pradesh was created by combining the old princely state of Hyderabad with the Telugu speaking portions of the former state of Madras on 1 November 1956.

There are many attractions in Andhra Pradesh. It has many religious pilgrim centers. One of the most important and famous temple is the Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirupati. It is considered as the richest and most visited Hindu temple. Another important temple is Srisailam. It is the home of Sri Mallikarjuna, one of the twelve Jyothirlingams. Some historical monuments of the state are the Charminar, Golconda Fort, Chandragiri Fort, and the Falaknuma Palace. Some of the popular festivals of Andhra Pradesh are Sankranthi, Ugadi (Telugu New Year),Vinayaka Chavithi, Dasara and Deepavali.

The topography of Andhra Pradesh is quite varied with dense forest in the north east, flat paddy lands in the coastal plains and several noteworthy beaches along the Bay of Bengal. Andhra Pradesh has many hill ranges that stretch from the north to the south. These hill ranges divide it into western and eastern or coastal Andhra. In the northern part of the state, there are Simhachalam and Annavaram hills. The Srisailam hill ranges are located in the middle of the state and Tirumalai-Tirupati hills are located in the south.

The climate of the state is generally hot and humid. The temperature in summer varies between 20 degree Celsius to 40 degree Celsius. In winter it is between 13 degree Celsius and 32 degree Celsius. The climate of the state is dominated by the South-West monsoons. Best time of the year to visit the state is between the months of October and February.

Andhra Pradesh attracts many tourists. Around 3.2 million visitors visit the state every year. There are more than 600 tourist locations, the second largest coast line in India, thousands of years of history and pilgrimage centers of every major religion of India.