The capital Hyderabad, the City of Pearls, is home to many architectural gems, mosques, ornate tombs and palaces. It boasts rich Muslim heritage, with huge, lavish mosques and palaces while the state itself is 95% Hindu. Adding to the religious mix is a 17.5 metre statue of Buddha in Hyderabad’s North, bearing testimony of the state’s 1500 years long history as a Buddhist centre. Today, parts of the city are also known as “Cyberabad”, as part of India’s software hub, antipodal to the ancient Muslim quarters.
For those interested in Buddhism and archaeological sites Andhra Pradesh is a great destination. There are many sites of great significance in Buddhist history, inviting to be explored. Few people go to these places, and it is definitely off the beaten track. Stunning excavations can for example be found at Nagarjunakonda, where stupas, temples and white marble depictions of Buddha’s life have been unearthed.
The Eastern Ghats, a stunning mountain range, wind through the state. Beautiful views can be seen on a journey through the Araku Valley. This pleasant hill station also offers scenic gardens, waterfalls and streams and tribal cultures to discover. The best time to visit Andhra Pradesh is October to February.