Kurnool ( Andhra Pradesh , South India)
Kurnool region is said to be the earliest settlement of the Cholas. Later it came under the Kakatiyas. The word Kurnool is said to be a corruption of Kandenavolu meaning the lubricating centre for the bullock carts. The local story goes to say that all the carts bound to Holy Srisailam used to stay here for getting the wheels lubricated. This region has many interesting places for the tourist.
Ahobilam: Situated on Nallamalai hills in the thick forest and 46 kms from Nandyal, Ahobilam is an ancient place of pilgrimage and noted for the Narasimha temple. There are three shrines, the lower one at the foot of the nearby hills, another on a small hillock and the third at the summit of the hill. The lower temple is full of excellent sculpture depicting nine forms of Narasimha, popularly known as Nava Narasimhas as illustrated in the stories from the epic Bhagavatha.
Alampur: Situated 25 kms from Kurnool and at the confluence of the rivers Tungabhadra and Krishna, Alampur is known to be Shaiva Kshetra which is the gateway to Dravidian architecture. In fact, it is the confluence of three systems of architecture-Chalukyan, Hoysala and Eastern Ganga. The place has a cluster of Nava Brahma temples,dedicated to Shiva. Some of them resemble the Orissan style. The goddess Parvati is represented here as Jogulamba, one of the Chief Shakti Devis among the eighteen found elsewhere in India. The wonder of the place is the re-erected temple of Sangameshwara from its original place in the valley which was submerged by the dam, to a new place a little away from Alampur. Each stone from the original temple has been brought and carefully assembled here. Papanasham, a nearby village has temples of Chalukyan architecture.
Kondapur: Situated 62 kms from Hyderabad, Kondapur is known as the Takshashila of the South. Also, Kondapur is known as the Town of Mounds. The recent excavations at Kondapur have revealed the existence of two Buddhist Chaitya Halls, a Stupa and underground chambers which throw a great deal of light on the ancient history of Andhra Pradesh, particularly of the Satavahana period. Roman coins and iron weapons of the olden days have also been found here. It is an interesting place for study by historians.
Mahanandi: The famous Shaivite centre is situated 16 kms from Nandyal. It is located by the side of a picturesque range of hills which is the source of a perennial hot water spring. The water flows down from the hill to a place near the Shiva temple and comes out through the mouth of a stone Nandi and falls into a small pond. The warm water is so clear that even a small needle at the bottom of the pond can be seen from the top. Devotees use this pond for bathing purposes as it is considered sacred besides having curative properties. The temple of Shiva at this place has a lofty tower and the interior sculptures reveal the past influence of Buddhist origin. Most of the pilgrims visiting Srisailam pass through this place as there are ample numbers of choultries and rest houses to provide accommodation to the visitors. A banana research centre has been developed at this place by the Andhra Pradesh Government.
Manthralayam: Located 10 kms from Adoni, Manthralayam is a very famous centre having the Holy Brindavanam of Madhva Saint Raghavendra Swamy along with a few temples on the banks of river Tungabhadra. It is said that this ancient place was patronized even by the Muslim rulers of Hyderabad who have made rich endowments. There are many choultries and guest rooms to provide accommodation to the visiting pilgrims, who are also fed by the temple. The place attracts thousands of devotees as excellent transport service is available from all parts of the neighbouring states also. Manthralayam Road railway station on the main line from Chennai or Bangalore to Mumbai is the most convenient halt to visit this place.
Peddatumbulam: 19 kms from Adoni, Peddatumbulam is an important Jain centre built during the time of Western Chalukyas. The place is known as the Temple City in the bygone days. Some of the ancient temples have idols of Jaina Tirthankaras finely carved in stone. There is also a Chalukyan style Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Rama, probably built in the 12th century. The temple is unique in its style and perhaps the only one of its kind in this region.
Pushpagiri: 25 kms from Cudappah and situated on the banks of Pennar river, Pushpagiri derives the name as the Hill of Flowers due to the cluster of eight temples on the nearby hill. This temple complex was created by a Chola king to prevent evil omens affecting his kingdom. Prominent among them is the Chenna Keshava temple with magnificent carvings and sculpture. There is a Mutt of the Shankaracharya order at Pushpagiri with a pontiff.
Tripuranthakam: The hillock at this place is named as Kumaradri, easily approachable from Markapur. An ancient temple dedicated to Tripuranthkeshwara is situated at the top. Said to be the guardian deity of the eastern gateway to Srisailam, it is visited by a large number of pilgrims.
All the places are connected by excellent roads and are served by regular buses operated either by State or private agencies. Good lodging facilities are available in all the places.