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Kurnool

Legend has it that during the 11th century AD, the Odderas, who carted the construction stones for the Alampur temple, camped at Kumool before crossing river Tungabhadra. The town got its name 'Kandenavolu' (town of grease), as the locals supplied oil for greasing carts which subsequently became Kurnool. The temples of Ahobilam, the Jyothirlinga at Srisailam and the Belum Caves, stand testimony to the significance of this district as a pilgrimage center and a tourist destination.

Places to Visit in Kurnool

There is a bastian named Konda Reddy Buruju, constructed as a strategic watch tower by the rulers of the Vijayanagara Empire. There is an underground passage (tunnel) from this buruju to Gadwal which is 52 km away. The speciality of this tunnel is it crosses under the river Tungabhadra. Stories tell that the ruler of Gadwal Kingdom utilised this tunnel to escape from the Muslim conquerors in 17th century. The government of Andhra Pradesh closed the tunnel somewhere around the 1950s.

The second largest and longest cave in the Indian subcontinent. Belum Caves have long passages, spacious chambers, fresh water galleries and siphons. The deepest point of the cave is Patalganaga.The main sections of the caves are Simhadwaram,Kotilingalu Chamber,Patalaganga,Musical Chamber, Meditation Hall, Thousand Hoods,Banyan Tree Hall and the mandapam.

Mantralayam or Manchale is a town located in the Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh, at a distance of 256 km from the capital city of Hyderabad. Mantralayam, the abode of the Samadhi of Vaishnava saint Shri Raghavendra Swamy, is a famous pilgrimage destination in South India.

Mantralayam is situated near the border of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh along the banks of River Tungabhadra, a chief tributary of River Cauvery. Mantralayam is considered as a holy place of ancient origin. According to legend, King Prahalada performed his yagnyas to Lord Rama in this region, during the Dwapara Yuga.

Shri Raghavendra Swamy was the disciple and the successor of Sri Sudheendra Theertharu of Kumbakonam, who taught him Dwaita Vedanta, grammar and ancient literary works and Vedic texts.

Later, Shri Raghavendra Swamy came to be known as ‘Manchale Ragappa’ by his ardent followers. He attained Jeeva Samadhi at Mantralayam in 1671. It is believed that Shri Raghavendra Swamy was the incarnation of Bhakta Prahalada, who was deeply devoted to Lord Vishnu. It is also believed that, by attaining Samadhi, Shri Raghavendra entered in to the Vrindavana (Sajeeva Vrindavana) and that he will fulfill his devotees’ wishes for another 360 years.

Ahobilam is located in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh in the hills of the eastern ghats, about 400 KM northwest of Chennai.

Ahobilam has a major religious significance and is the major centre of pilgrimage in south India located in Nandyal in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. Also known as "Singavel Kundram", Ahobilam is the abode of Lord Narasimha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu in man-lion form. The temple is located in the dense forest of Nallamala. The place consists of ten shrines of Lord Narasimha located within 5kms of radius between the hills and valleys of volcanic origin. The nine forms of Lord Narasimha swami that resides in Ahobilam are Jwala Narasimha, Ahobila Narasimha, Malola Narasimha, Kroda Narasimha, Kaaranja Narasimha, Bhaargava Narasimha, Yaogananda Narasimha, Chathravata Narasimha and Paavana Narasimha. As all the nine forms of Lord Narasimha are worshipped here, this place is also called as Nava Narasimha kshetram (abode of nine forms of Lord Narasimha).

Serene Srisailam, 232 km south of Hyderabad is situated on the banks of river Krishna. The 512 metre long Srisailam dam located here is an amazing structure. On the south bank of the Krishna river, in the Nallamalai forest, on a 457 metre high hill is the Bhramaramba Mallikarjunaswamy temple. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, and one among the 18 Mahashakthis in India. It is said that Vrishabha, the sacred bull of Lord Shiva performed penance here. Lord Shiva appeared before him, with his consort Goddess Parvati in the form of Mallikarjuna and Bhramaramba.

A massive fort, with 6 metre high walls encloses the temple. A cluster of minor shrines within the temple enclosure include the Sahasra Linga, Panchapandava temples and Vata Vriksha. The most appealing feature of this temple is that anyone of any caste and creed can touch the deity and worship here. At Sikharam, the highest of the Srisailam hills, is Sikhareswara Swamy temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, and also a beautiful Sri Ganapathi temple.

The nearest airport to Srisailam is Hyderabad at a distance of 237 km. The nearest railhead is Nandyal on Guntur-Hubli broad gauge line, at a distance of 158 km. Srisailam is well connected by state buses with all important towns in the state.

Sri Yagantiswamy Temple in Banaganapalle mandal of Kurnool district, is a popular Lord Shiva Temple, which is located 17 km away from Banagapalle. Every year, Shivarathri is celebrated here and a large number of devotees from all over Andhara Pradesh visit Sri Yagantiswamy Temple. An amazing feature at this temple is its Pushkarini. No one knows how the water flows out from the bottom of hill to the Pushkarini in all the seasons. Devotees consider that a bath in the holy Pushkarini is highly beneficial before paying tributes to Lord Shiva.

Yaganti Umamaheswara Swamy temple was constructed and completed by the first Vijayanagara Sangama king, Harihara Bukkarayalu in the 15th century. It was built according to Vaishnavaite tradition. Umamaheswara Swamy, Parvati Devi, and Nandi (Basavanna). According to Potuluri Veera Brahmam, the Basavanna of Yaganti will come out and shout when Kaliyuga ends. People believe that the stone Nandiswara (Basavanna) is increasing in its size. Saint Agasthya came to this place and took a bath in Agasthya Pushkarini and worshipped Lord Shiva. The water in this Pushkarini is fresh and sweet, as it comes from the Hills.

Rollapadu Bird Sanctuary is located in Kurnool district and extends over an area of 614 sq km. The sanctuary is covered by dry thorny forests scattered with dry cereal crops, cotton, groundnut and castor. Rollapadu Bird Sanctuary is home to Black Buck, Bonnet Macaque, Indian Bustard, Indian Roller, Sparrows and Mynas. Russell's Viper, Indian Cobra, Jackal, Wolf and Indian Fox also can be spotted in the sanctuary.

The Bird Sanctuary is about 60 km from Kurnool and is near Nandikotkur. Best time to visit is October to February. Tourists can stay at the forest rest house in Kurnool and the inspection bungalow at Nandikotkur.

80 km from Kurnool and 14 km from Nandyal, amid dense forests, is the noted pilgrimage center of Mahanadi. It is famous for its Mahanandishwara temple that dates back to the 7th Century. Another attraction is the Pushkarni temple tank, where the crystal clear waters show up even a tiny pin at the bottom.

135 km from Ananthapur, is the Veerabhadra Temple at Lepakshi, one of the 108 temples of Lord Shiva in India, famous for its giant Nandi sculpture. The temple's construction has the distinct and exquisite style of Vijayanagara architecture. The dance hall or Natyamandapa is supported by 100 pillars, intricately carved with sculptures of dancing Gods and its 21 ft dome rises like a giant lotus from the middle of the hall. The temple also houses a massive granite figurine of Veerabhadra, as well as a giant Naga Linga, the great bull, flying Gandharvas and Ganesha amongst others. Lepakshi gives tourists a true and complete picture of the Vijayanagara kings' fine taste for art and architecture.

135 km from Ananthapur, is the Veerabhadra Temple at Lepakshi, one of the 108 temples of Lord Shiva in India, famous for its giant Nandi sculpture. The temple's construction has the distinct and exquisite style of Vijayanagara architecture. The dance hall or Natyamandapa is supported by 100 pillars, intricately carved with sculptures of dancing Gods and its 21 ft dome rises like a giant lotus from the middle of the hall. The temple also houses a massive granite figurine of Veerabhadra, as well as a giant Naga Linga, the great bull, flying Gandharvas and Ganesha amongst others. Lepakshi gives tourists a true and complete picture of the Vijayanagara kings' fine taste for art and architecture.

135 km from Ananthapur, is the Veerabhadra Temple at Lepakshi, one of the 108 temples of Lord Shiva in India, famous for its giant Nandi sculpture. The temple's construction has the distinct and exquisite style of Vijayanagara architecture. The dance hall or Natyamandapa is supported by 100 pillars, intricately carved with sculptures of dancing Gods and its 21 ft dome rises like a giant lotus from the middle of the hall. The temple also houses a massive granite figurine of Veerabhadra, as well as a giant Naga Linga, the great bull, flying Gandharvas and Ganesha amongst others. Lepakshi gives tourists a true and complete picture of the Vijayanagara kings' fine taste for art and architecture.

135 km from Ananthapur, is the Veerabhadra Temple at Lepakshi, one of the 108 temples of Lord Shiva in India, famous for its giant Nandi sculpture. The temple's construction has the distinct and exquisite style of Vijayanagara architecture. The dance hall or Natyamandapa is supported by 100 pillars, intricately carved with sculptures of dancing Gods and its 21 ft dome rises like a giant lotus from the middle of the hall. The temple also houses a massive granite figurine of Veerabhadra, as well as a giant Naga Linga, the great bull, flying Gandharvas and Ganesha amongst others. Lepakshi gives tourists a true and complete picture of the Vijayanagara kings' fine taste for art and architecture.

 

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