Anantapur ( Andhra Pradesh , South India)
Inscriptions reveal that Anantapur region was once a part of the Mauryan Empire in the 3rd century B.C. Pallegars ruled over this country and later the Chalukyan Emperor Vikrmaditya ruled over the area. After the Rashtrakutas, Gangas and Cholas, it passed hands to the Mughals, the Nizam and finally to the British. There are many interesting places in this region.
Dharmavaram: Dharmavaram is 42 kms away from Anantapur. Situated on the main railway line, it was founded by Kriyashakthi Udeyar who fortified and built the town on the edge of a beautiful and vast tank by erecting a dam across river Chitravati. The place has become famous for the manufacture of silk sarees and cotton cloth which has a market all over South India.
Gooty: Gooty is located about 28 kms away from Guntakal. The place is of historical importance and the fortress is of tourist interest. A roughly circular and steep bare rocky hill, each connected with the next by lower spurs enclose a considerable area of level ground. On the top of the hill are several monuments associated with the Maratha chief Morari Rao.
Kadiri: Kadiri, 92 kms from Anantapur, is an important religious place having the famous temple of Narasimha built by Ranga Nayadu, a local chieftain. The temple has a huge corridor and several Mandapams which are full of excellent sculpture.
Lepakshi: About 9 kms from Hindupur, the famous Veerabhadra temple and Durga temple built in Vijayanagar style are very interesting. Some of the finest sculpture and paintings can be seen in the halls of these temples. The unfinished Kalyana Mandapa has 38 pillars having superb sculptural images on them. On the southern side of the shrine is a huge Nagalinga standing on a granite block shrouded by a seven headed Cobra magnificently carved out of a huge boulder. The monolithic Nandi near the temple is 5 metres high and 8 metres long with remarkable features of art decoration. It is said to be the largest of its kind in the country.
Penukonda: Penukonda, 40 kms from Hindupur, is a fortified old town of historical interest. Krishnadevaraya of Vijaynagar is believed to have lived here in the old palace. Ganan Mahal is a handsome two storeyed structure which is built in the Indo- Muslim style of architecture.
Tadipathri: Tadiparthi, 42 kms from Hindupur, is home to two ancient temples, the Chintala Venkataramana and Bugga Ramaligeshwra. These temples of sculptural finesse are of architectural interest in Tadipathri. Apart from the fine sculpture, one of the temples has the stone chariot hewn out of a solid boulder with four wheels. It is a splendid specimen of art. The first rays of the Sun pass through the chariot and reach the feet of the presiding deity in the shrine. A little away from the town is the Alur Kona water fall which is a popular place of picnic with natural surroundings.