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Chittoor

Chittoor, situated in the valley of the Ponni River, is a major town in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Its convenient location on the junction of NH 4 and NH 18 draws quite a number of tourists.

It is believed that some of the earliest settlers of Chittoor district were the Kurumbas. In the 8th and 9th century, Chittoor came under the Chola dynasty. In the 11th century, it was ruled by the Ballal dynasty, and later by the Vijayanagar kingdom. The East India Company entered in 1640 and made settlements, and Chittoor was a British military post until 1884.

Places to Visit in Chittor

Kanipakam is a small village on the bank of Bahuda River.

"Kani" means wetland and "Pakam" means flow of water into wetland. According to the legend of the temple there were three brothers and each one had a handicap. Viz., Dumb, Deaf and Blind. They were earning out their livelihood by cultivating a small piece of land.

In olden days water was drawn from the well by way of 'Piccota System'. As one of them used to irrigate the field through the channels, the other two used to ply on the Piccota. On one such operation they found that the water in the well got dried up and they could no longer continue their job. One of them got into the well and started digging it up. He was taken aback to see the iron implement hitting a stone like formation.

Later, he was shocked to see blood oozing out from it. Within in a few seconds the entire water in the well, turned blood red in colour. Thus, startled by this divine sight, all the three became normal getting rid of their deformities. As soon as the villagers came to know about this miracle, they thronged to the well and tried to deepen the well further. But their attempt proved futile because the 'swayambhu' idol (the self-manifested) of Lord Vinayaka emerged from the swirling waters.

Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaka as up-holder of 'Truth'

The swayambhu idol of Kanipakam is the up-holder of truth. Day to day disputes between people is resolved by taking a 'special oath'. The people in the dispute take a holy dip in the temple tank and swear before the lord. It is taken as gospel truth.

There are instances when the person who committed that sin voluntarily agrees as soon as he had the dip and much before entering the temple itself. It seems the Lord lawns invisibly on the sinner and makes him repent & feel guilty for his sinful deeds.

Tirupati is situated at 67-km from Chittoor in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Tirupati is one of the important pilgrim centres in India. The ancient and sacred temple of Sri Venkateswara is located on the seventh peak, Venkatachala (Venkata Hill) of the Tirupati Hill. This historic shrine of Sri Venkateswara is famous all over the country and attracts pilgrims from all over the country who stand in line for hours together to obtain a glimpse of the presiding deity for a few fleeting seconds.

The shrine is located on a hill at Tirumala, a cluster of seven hills known as Seshachalam or Venkatachalam with an elevation of 853m (2, 800ft.) above the sea level. It is said to be the richest temple in the world. This temple is a vibrant cultural and philanthropic institution with a grand history spanning several centuries.

All the great dynasties of rulers of the southern peninsula paid homage to Lord Sri Venkateswara in this ancient shrine. The Pallavas of Kancheepuram (9th century AD), the Cholas of Thanjavur (a century later), the Pandyas of Madurai, and the kings and chieftains of Vijayanagar (14th - 15th century AD) were devotees of the Lord.

Tirupathi is a fine example of dravidian temple architecture. The 'gopuram' or tower of the Tirupati Temple shows a characteristic feature of Dravidian architecture. The 'Vimana' or Cupola over the sanctum sanctorum is covered entirely with gold plate and is known as "the Ananda Nilayam". The Shrine consists of three 'Prakarams' or enclosures. The outermost enclosure contains the 'Dhvajastambha' or the banner post and, among others, the statues of Vijayanagara king Krishnadevaraya and his consorts, and of Todarmal, the minister of Akbar.

The idol of the deity, the full figure of Lord Venkateswara or 'Venkataramana' or 'Srinivasa' or 'Balaji' has the attributes of both Vishnu and Shiva, preserving and destroying aspects of the Hindu Trinity.

Srikalahasti, a town on the banks of River Swarnamukhi, is one of the holy centres in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. The township is close to Tirupati and is a part of the Tirupati Urban Development Authority (TUDA). Srikalahasti is one of the Pancha Bhoota Sthalams of Lord Shiva, the other being Tiruvannamalai, Chidambaram, Thiruvanaikaval and Kanchipuram.

The name of the town is a combination of three words, 'Sri' meaning a spider, 'Kala' meaning a serpent and ‘Hasti’ meaning an elephant. As per mythology, these three creatures are believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva at the site to attain salvation. The religious centre known as Kalahasti or Dakshina Kailasam is referred to as a spiritual abode of Lord Shiva.

There are several testimonies in the form of religious shrines that date back to the pre-Christian era. Most of the Hindu shrines in and around the town have been constructed during the reign of Pallava, Chola and Vijayanagara kings.

The temple town is a combination of traditions, customs, myths and folklore, which is famous for the Srikalahasti shrine. The religious centres are a fine example of South Indian architecture, featuring well carved gopuram and delicately carved Dravidian structural designs. The religious centres are situated on high altitudes, providing a beautiful sight of the surroundings.

Srikalahasti has an ancient Shiva temple that has several mentions in Skanda Purana, Shiva Purana and Linga Purana. Several Tamil Shaivite saints had visited the shrine for seeking the blessings of Lord Shiva. The famous shrine of Srikalahasti was built by Kulothunga Cholan I, II and III during the 11th century. A huge mandapam was later added in the 16th century by Krishnadevaraya.

Aragonda (Ardhakonda) Anjaneya Swami Temple - Ardhakonda - Ardhagiri - Chitoor - Andhra Pradesh - India Sri Veera Anjaneya Swamy Temple The main mountain is about 300feet high. A small temple was in existence in this kshetram for quite a long time, said to be from 300 years back. Today the temple had seen improvements. Even now the temple is quite small and maintains the sanctity. Though the main attraction here is the Puskaarini and Sri Veera Anjaneya, there is a small temple for the Vinayaka just before reaching the Hanuman temple. Recently a temple for Ayyappan had also been built on the hillock just opposite to the Hanuman temple. Sri Veera Anjaneya Swamy In the main sanctum sanctorum the kaupinam wearing Sri Veera Anjaneya Swamy is facing north. The nearly three feet idol is covered with copper plate. The embossment of the main deity is clearly seen. His right hand is showing Abhya mudra, in the left hand He is seen holding the sowganthika flower. His tail is seen raised above the head and there is a small bell typical of Hanuman idols of Andhra about

Chittoor has a rich and diversified history. There are hundreds of monuments, memorial rocks and memorials that remind us of the rich history Chittor had. The Historical Memorials date back to over 1000 years and each of them present the rich cultural diversity and art of sculpture in it.

The Chandragiri Fort is located at Chandragiri which was once upon a time the Capital city of the Vijayanagara Empire and is linked with the Aravidu dynasty. The Chandragiri Fort dates back to 1000 AD the year in which Immadi Narasimha Yadavaraya had begun the construction work. Overtime, more and more improvements were made to it to make it more beautiful and elegant to look.

The fort is strategically located over the top of a small 183m hill. The southern side of the hill is enclosed by strong walls, surrounded by a ditch so as to prevent any intruder from entering into the fort. The remains of the lower fort contain the two Mahals, the lower portion of which is built in stone and the upper in brick. The main building known as the 'Raj (Chandragiri) Mahal' is majestic in appearance and with the modern colorful lighting system introduced, the Mahal is a delight to the eyes and gives a nice view to the eyes during night. The modern town of Chandragiri lies to the east of the hill on which the fort stands.

The fort was originally a mud & rock construction, under the control of the Vijayanagara (Hampi) kingdom. Later it passed through the hands of the Golconda sultans who strengthened the fortifications with rock walls, later the fort was taken over by the Marathas, the Cuddapah Nawabs, Hyder Ali & Tipu Sultan and was eventually by the British.

The fort was originally a mud & rock construction, under the control of the Vijayanagara (Hampi) kingdom. Later it passed through the hands of the Golconda sultans who strengthened the fortifications with rock walls, later the fort was taken over by the Marathas, the Cuddapah Nawabs, Hyder Ali & Tipu Sultan and was eventually by the British.

The waterfall is natural, perennial and water comes from a big rock at a height of 40 feet, irrespective of seasons. But its force and beauty is increased during the annual Monsoon season. There are several natural ponds below the falls. Its situation in a forest gives it and added advantage with natural unspoilt surroundings with plenty of exotic birds, shrubs, trees and wildlife.

The falls is formed by the Kaigal stream which is one of the two streams to flow in the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary, the other being Koudinya stream.

Papavinasanam ia one of the sacred and prominent theertham located in Tirumala. According to Sri Venkatachala Puranam, A HOLY BATH in this theertham will purify the sins of the devoties and bless with peace, prosperity and progress. Sunday combined with shukla paksha sapthami in the month of aswayuja or dwadasi with uttarabhadra star is an auspicioy day. The prominence ot this theertham was also mentioned in skanda puranam. The authorised purohiths of TTD purohitha sangam of tiurumala are performing daily pujas, Sankalpa etc. In the intrest of visiting pilgrims as per the TTD approoved rates. Hear, the dieties of godess Ganga and god Sri Anjaneya Swamy are established.

Kailasakona waterfalls are a natural perennial waterfall in the valley of Nagari Hills in Chittoor District. The water originates from a split in the mass rock. The water here is crystal clear having considerable mineral values. There is a small temple of Lord Shiva and Parvati near the waterfall. It is said that the water here, has some medicinal powers and can heal ailments.

Horsley Hills is the famous hill resort of Andhra Pradesh. Horsley Hills is an enthralling, charming little hill station. It is a beautiful summer resort with luxurious vegetation and rich fauna. Named after WD Horsley, the then collector of Kadapa District, these hills are situated at an altitude of 1,265m from the sea-level. It is said that WD Horsley built himself a bungalow to escape the heat waves from the plains during summer.

The Gajapath hill is an ideal spot for picnickers and trekkers, lending its beauty with one of the most visually pleasing waterfalls. The hill is covered with herbal floral greenery and the water passes through them seems so crystal clear water reaches a small pond through two cascades. One coming from the eastern part of the hill opposite to the temple of Goddess Parvathi Devi shrine facing north and the other from the northern part of the hill, just opposite to Lord Sangameshwara Swamy shrine facing east , water from the hill falls into a small pit of about 10feet deep and reaches the pond and the other cascade passes to the .Lord Jalalingeshwara swamy along with a nandhi is installed in the middle of the pond on a 7feeted platform .Lord Ganesha facing north are also installed here just beside the pond

The Sadasiva Kona is famous for its waterfalls and it is a religious location as well as a nature spot situated remotely on the Puttur-Tirupati route and just 10 km from Majjiga Gunta. The place is densely populated with thick trees and vegetation with snobbish hillocks and mountain heads covering around giving a panoramic view of waterfall. The temple of Lord Sadasiva (an incarnation of Lord Shiva) along with his wife Goddess Kamakshi is situated near the waterfalls and the major festivals celebrated here are Maha Shivaratri, Vaikunta Ekadasi and all Mondays during the Karthika Masam. During these days devotees in a large number visit the temple from several parts of the state and Tamil Nadu state as well. The king of Karvetinagaram who patronized and worshipped Lord Sadasiva and Goddess Kamakshi constructed the temple.

This is a dam about 18kms from Tirupati and falls under Rangampet forest. It is a nice place to visit and is like a picnic spot for recreation. Kalyani Dam, the reservoir of drinking water for pilgrims and residents of Tirumala and Tirupati, stands in middle of the Bakarapeta Forest. The catchment area of the dam is around 48.56 sq Km and the full reservoir level touching to 900 feet.

 

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