The temple town of Tirupati is renowned the world over for its ancient temple of Lord Venkateshwara or Balaji on the Tirumala Hills. The black idol of Balaji is covered in gold, jewellery and precious ornaments and is 2 metre high. It is believed to be the richest temple the country and is made in the Dravidian style. Tirupati is a famous centre for wood carving. Typical items are sculpted icons of various Gods and Goddesses.
Visiting Nagarjunkonda is like journeying into the past. At one end stands, in the words of Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, “one of the greatest temples of modern India”-the Nagarjunsagar Dam-and at the other end is the glistening green island, Nagarjunkonda, containing treasures of the priceless heritage of an ancient civilization.
Surrounded by huge pre-historic rocks and built around a lake, is Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh. A curious blend of the fairytale and the earthy, Hyderabad is a pot-pourri of the old and the new. Today, together with its twin-city Secunderabad, it is one the largest cities in India. Medieval Indian, Saracenic, Mughal and colonial architecture create an exuberance and richness, rarely found in other parts of the country.