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Charminar, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
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About Andhra Pradesh

The most interesting aspect of the state is its rich blend of Hindu Muslim culture. Though main speaking language in the state is Telugu, Urdu also has its speakers all around, particularly in cities like Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The fifth largest in India, Andhra Pradesh is crisscrossed by River Godavari. The twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad once served as the seat of the ‘nizams’ of Hyderabad. At time referred to as a dry area, the state does offer a couple of must-see tourist destinations that are rich both in terms of their historical legacy and culture. During your tour to the state, you can spend some wonderful time shopping and relishing a variety of delicious cuisines as well. However the heady blend of the Hindu and Muslim culture has always remained the biggest draw for visitors from every nook and crevice of the world.

Major Cities
Though the cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad happen to be the most frequented in the state, there are others that should also be visited. The city of Vishakhapatnam is known for its ship building yard. Vjaywada and Warangal are also popular for their ancient history. As a pilgrimage destination, Tirupati is held in high regard by the Hindu community. The Tirupati Balaji Temple is a must see for all, whether domestic or international traveler. The Dwarka Tirumala Temple at Tirumala is another major religious attraction in the state.

Cultural Heritage
During your holidays in Andhra Pradesh, you have an opportunity to experience the dualistic mélange of the Hindu Muslim culture. Though in the recent past there have been some incidences of communal violence, the people of cities like Hyderabad and Secunderabad have displayed a renewed sense of unity and integrity. Performances of dance performances like Kuchipudi are extremely popular with tourists. The cuisine in the state has also been a major crowd puller in the state. How can one forget the ever popular ‘Hyderabadi biryani’ and ‘haleem’, the later being available only during the Muslim fasting season of Ramadan?

Festivals and Celebrations
Whether it’s a Hindu festival or a Muslim celebration, people display a deep sense of friendliness and come together with all pomp and fervour. Falling in the month of January, Pongal is an important harvest festival in Andhra Pradesh. Popular religious festivals are Shivratri (February-March), Ugadi (April-May), Deccan Festival (February), Visaka Utsav (January) and Lumbini Festival (December) among others.

Architectural Heritage
Before shifting their seat to Hyderabad, the Qutub Shahi kings ruled from the fort city of Golconda. Established back in 1590 by Muhammad Quli, the city of Hyderabad houses a number of historical monuments and other tourist attractions. The Char Minar, the main landmark of Hyderabad, is the biggest attraction in the city. The triumphal structure was erected in 1591 by Quli Qutub Shah to mark the end of an epidemic in the city. The Mecca Masjid and the Salar Jung Museum are the other must visit historical places to visit. At 11 km from Hyderabad lies the much seen Golconda Fort, from where the Qutub Shahi Kings initially ruled Deccan.