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State
Andhra Pradesh
   
 

Introduction

Sight Seeing

Accommodation

State Andhra Pradesh 
City Hyderabad
Airports Hyderabad  Airport
Distance from City Centre 16 Km/ 10 Mile
Railway Junctions Hyderabad /Secundarabad
Local Languages Hindi
Adilabad - Sightseeing

In keeping with the rich traditions of the State, the people of Andhra Pradesh have patronised a host of arts and crafts that not only enrich the milieu but earn the artisans a decent livelihood. Kalamkari, Bidri, Nirmal paintings, fascinating weaves from Pochampalli, Gadwal, Venkatagiri and a number of other centres have earned a name all over the world.

The State is well known for its handlooms and textiles and its silk sarees are among the best produced in the country. The people of the State too have been patrons of the arts and crafts and this has resulted in the traditions being kept alive through the ages.

It is not only such exclusive and delicate material as silk that the artisans of Andhra Pradesh deal in, but metalware, carpets, wood and stone carving too. From the exquisite silver filigree and brass and sheet metalware, artisans of Andhra Pradesh strive to bring out the best and it is sheer magic when they get down to producing their ware.

Kalamkari, using a quill (kalam) and vegetable dyes, is an art found nowhere else but in and around Machilipatnam and Srikalahasti of the State. While the Srikalahasti style is to draw outlines with a pen or quill and fill in the colours through a wax process, the Machilipatnam practice is to use wooden blocks carved into designs for printing.

All dyes and colours are natural and the painstaking process of Kalamkari printing on fabric goes through as many as a dozen stages. 

Wall hangings come in another style from Siddipet in Medak district. This method, known as Batik, utilises the ‘cold’ process involving wax to create graphic designs and figures. Batik cloth also comes in the form of dress material, scarves and even sarees.

Cherial Scroll paintings done on cloth in earth colours is one of the traditional crafts practised mainly at Cherial in Warangal district. Painted in freestyle and depicting mythological stories, they are used as visual aids, and have attained great popularity as wall decorations.

Decorative hand-crocheted lace from Narsapur and Palakollu of West Godavari district adorns many a dining table in the form of mats. Curtains and bedspreads are some of the lacework produced here.

Sheets of Artistry
Metalware is another area in which the artisan of Andhra Pradesh excels. Be it the brass sheet metal of Pembarti in Warangal district, the silver filigree of Karimnagar, the Bidriware of Hyderabad or the bronze castings in Chittoor and East Godavari district, the artistry stands out to international acclaim and acceptance.

Bidriwork originated some three centuries ago at Bidar, which was part of the erstwhile Hyderabad State. Alloys are used in moulds to create shapes and the dark metal is then inlaid with designs using silver thread. Decorative pieces, bangles, ashtrays, pen-stands, caskets, cufflinks and paper-cutters are some of the Bidriware manufactured in and around Hyderabad.

From sheet metal to wood, craftsmen vie with each other to produce delicate and intricate designs. Wood carving in Chittoor district is one of the oldest traditional crafts. The carvings depict scenes from mythology as well as figures of deities.

In other parts of the State, wood carving is done to make musical instruments and in places like in Vizianagaram town and in Nuzvid of Krishna district, such instruments as Veena and Tambura are carved out of a single block of wood.

The Simple Wood
The soft wood available in many parts of the State is used in doll and toy making as well. The wooden figures are painted in bright colours that are pleasing to the eye.

Kondapalli is a small village in Krishna district and it is here that toys and dolls that have won international acclaim are made. The simple-looking

dolls depict the typical rural Indian life. Kondapalli dolls take the shape of humans, birds, animals and fruits.

The craftsmen of Nirmal too take advantage of the locally-available soft wood to carve brightly coloured vegetables, fruits and animals. Wooden dolls are made of the soft Poniki or Ankudu wood and Etikoppaka in Visakhapatnam district is another centre that makes exquisite dolls with a rustic touch.

Weaving Magic
An area that Andhra Pradesh excels in is Sarees. Silk and cotton and a mixture of both are used to create alluring weaves and designs. Pochampalli, Gadwal, Venkatagiri, Narayanpet and Chirala are some of the places where some of the world’s best sarees are woven.

Among the cottons, Narayanpet and Venkatagiri are preferred. Venkatagiri in Nellore district is known for its excellent cotton sarees with gold borders and large golden ‘pallav’. Narayanpet cotton sarees are less expensive and long-lasting. Silk sarees from Dhamavaram compare with the rich silks of Kancheepuram in broad borders with extensive gold ‘zari’ work.

In Pochampalli sarees of Nalgonda district adjoining Hyderabad, a unique method of tie-and-dye is used and this is known as ‘ikat’. Weavers in Andhra Pradesh have mastered the art of using cotton and silk alternately for warp (length) and weft (across). Known as ‘Himroo’, the art originated in Kashmir and was brought down south by Moghal rulers.

Pearls & Bangles
Shopping for bangles in the narrow bazaars of the Old City of Hyderabad is an experience one should not miss. Lac is used to manually create designs on glass bangles and the array in which they come is mind boggling. More romantic are the names given to sets of bangles by the local sellers.

Hyderabad is also known as the ‘city of pearls’. Though not close to the sea, Hyderabad has had a flourishing trade in pearls, as the Golconda kingdom was famous for its diamonds. The processing of pearls has been skillfully mastered in Hyderabad in that craftsmen can sort, refine and polish pearls with ease.

Andhra Pradesh has turned out to be a gem of a State even in the sphere of arts and crafts.

Cuisine

The rich heritage and culture of Andhra Pradesh are reflected in the culinary skills of its people. The mere mention of Andhra and Hyderabadi cuisine brings before the mind’s eye a wholesome meal accompanied by hot tasty pickles or ‘Biryani’ accompanied by an appetising aroma.

But there is more to the cuisine of the State with each of the three regions — Coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema and Telangana — having its distinctive style of cooking. Chillies and spice are used in abundance but this need not deter food lovers from indulging themselves in a feast. By and large, the cuisine is vegetarian but the Moghal influence in the Deccan made ‘Moghlai’ cooking popular.

Moghlai
While Hyderabad is known for its wholesome Biryani and a wide range of non-vegetarian as well as vegetarian fare, the coastal region of the State offers a wide choice as far as vegetarian cooking and pickles are concerned. The chillies grown in the region are highly potent and this gives the special flavour to the pickles.

Those willing to let themselves go for Moghlai cooking can choose from a large variety. ‘Sheermal’, a local variety of bread, or tandoori roti baked on hot coals are on the starting line. The non-vegetarian dishes include ‘paya’ — hoof of lamb cooked over a slow fire overnight in a spicy soup so that by morning the bones become soft and chewable — and ‘zubaan’ — lamb tongue cooked in the same manner.

Haleem is pieces of boneless mutton cooked over a long period with pounded wheat to form a spicy porridge. Most of the dishes are available in the evening and before sunrise in hundreds of hotels and restaurants during the fasting month of Ramzan and are popular meals to break or begin the fast with.

And it is not only meat and fowl that Moghlai deals with. The brinjal or ‘eggplant’ that has no taste of its own is given a spicy, tangy flavour in the ‘bagara baigan’, using tamarind and spices. Dalcha is a watery dal in which ‘kaddu (pumpkin)’ or boneless mutton is used. ‘Bagara tamatar’ and ‘mirchi ka salan’ are equally rich in spice and chillies and `bagara khana’ makes up for the vegetarians who miss out on the biryani.

Hot Stuff
Avakai’ is the really hot and tangy mango pickle and there is hardly any household in the region that does not prepare it during the summer. The raw mangoes too are extremely sour and the pickle combined with the harsh chilli-powder and pungent mustard in oil gives it a heady taste.

Gongura, known as ‘ambada’ in Hindi and Urdu, is a sour-tasting leaf that goes into either ‘dal’ or is converted into a ‘chutney’ — another speciality in Andhra. Gongura chutney with either red or green chillies gives a taste hard to find elsewhere. You also find a lot of tasty non-vegetarian dishes blended with green leafy vegetables, like ‘palak mutton’, ‘methi chicken’, ‘kheema methi’ and ‘mutton ambada (Gongura)’, which has resulted from combination of Hyderabad and Andhra cuisine.

A typical Andhra meal has lots of chillies and is often accompanied by pickles. While raw mango pickle is the hot favourite, others include lemon, gooseberry, ‘Gongura’ and even ripe chillies pickles. Ripe red chillies and tamarind are used to make ‘chutney’ that is preserved throughout the year.

Curried prawns and fish with rice are specialities in many coastal Andhra towns and cities. Rice is the staple food in Andhra Pradesh and forms the main dish even in Moghlai cooking.

Something Sweet
Sweets and ‘kheer’ are not everyday affairs but form part of the meal on special occasions in any part of the State. It is mainly during festivities that full rein is given to the preparation. While `Sheer Khorma’ is the milky vermicelli sweet popular in Hyderabad, other dessert delicacies include "Double-ka-meetha (a bread pudding)" and "Khubani-ka-meetha", a syrupy speciality made with apricots and lots of sugar. In other parts of Andhra, a rice and milk delicacy is "ksheerannam" in which jaggery (gur) and powdered cardamom enhance the taste.

While Moghlai cuisine tops the list, Andhra food comes a close second. It is often that regular non-vegetarians break their routine by going in for a typical Andhra meal.

The cuisine of Andhra Pradesh is a gourmet’s delight, truly. Such delicacies are offered by the hotels, restaurants and dhabas in and around all major cities of the State.

Tourist Attractions

S.No Tourist Spot Theme Place
 1  Dokra metal Crafts Handicrafts   Adilabad  
 2  Jainath Temple Pilgrim Centres   Adilabad  
 3  Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary Wild Life   Jannaram  
 4  Kuntala Waterfalls Water Falls   Kuntala  
 5  Nagoba temple, Keslapur Pilgrim Centres   Keslapur  
 6  Nirmal Arts - Paintings & 
 Toys
Handicrafts   Nirmal  
 7  Pochera Waterfalls Water Falls   Pochera  
 8  Pranahita Wildlife 
 Sanctuary
Wild Life   Mancherial  
 9  Sri Gyana Saraswathi 
 Devasthanam
Pilgrim Centres   Basara  
 10  Utnur Temple Pilgrim Centres   Utnur

 

 

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