Chittoor ( Andhra Pradesh , South India)
A region of ancient historical place associated with the Vijayanagar kingdom, it was developed by the Pallavas and later by the Cholas. There are many interesting monuments worth visiting in this area.
Chandragiri: Chandragiri is 11 kms away from Tirupati. Situated on the right bank of Swarnamukhi river, Chandragiri has a fine fort built by the Vijayanagar rulers. Within the fort are two beautiful monuments known as Raja Mahal and Rani Mahal. The artistic towers and Durbar Hall are decorated with excellent sculptures. According to tradition, the original document granting the old Chennai land to the East India Company was signed at the Raja Mahal in 1639.
Horsley Hills: Horsley Hills are located about 144 kms away from Tirupati. A delightful summer resort named after W.D. Horsley, a former Collector of Cudappah district who chose this place as his summer residence. Situated at an altitude of 1265 metres, this place is cool with temperature not exceeding 32 degrees. The shady slopes are wooded with luxurious vegetation. Easily accessible to the top by a motorable road, it is very close to Madanapalle and the Rishi Valley School originally started by Annie Besant.
Kalahasti: : Situated between two hills on the banks of river Swarnamukhi, Kalahasti temple is temple of Shiva. 36 kms from Tirupati, Kalahasti temple is one of the famous Panch Lingas representing Vayu Linga. According to the legend, the deity was worshipped by a spider, a snake and an elephant, thus giving its name to the place. The flickering oil lamp inside the main shrine proves the existence of the Vayu Lingam.
Kanipakkam:Kanipakkam, 10 kms from Chittoor, is famous for ancient temples. An ancient shrine of Vinayaka of Chola times with excellent architecture attracts large crowds of devotees. A fare lasting for about a week is celebrated during Ganesha festival.
Madanapalle: Madanapalle is located about 140 kms from Tirupati. It was at this place that Annie Besant started her activities of Theosophy movement choosing Jiddu Krishnamurthy, as a young boy. A memorial building exists even to this day indicating the inauguration of the Theosophical Movement in the country. Known as Arogyavarama famous sanatorium has come into existence on the outskirts of the town for the rehabilitation of T.B. patients.
Nagalapuram: Nagalapuram is located about 50 kms from Tirupati. The Vedanarayana Swamy temple built by Krishnadeva Raya and his mother Nagamba is a popular place of worship. Every year in March, this town stirs into festive activity for the Surya Puja (Worship of Sun) when the rays of the sun fall on the deity's feet, navel and forehead at different times of the day.
Udayagiri: 177 kms from Chennai, Udaygiri is famous for its ancient fort consisting of thirteen separate strongholds. Part of the hill is so precipitious as to be inaccessible, some of the cliffs being nearly 305 metres high. This place was the capital of a kingdom founded by Lalgula Gajapathi in the 14th century, later taken over by the Vijayanagar Empire. On the top of the hill stands a mosque with two Persian inscriptions referring to its construction in 1660. This is an ideal place for mountaineering expeditions.