After the umpteenth darshana at the many temples in and around Tirupati, one could do with a change of scene.
After the umpteenth darshana at the many temples in and around Tirupati, one could do with a change of scene. And that is where Chandragiri comes in. Visitors to Tirupati often make a stopover at Chandragiri and perhaps, that is why it is the most visited fort in Andhra Pradesh, and also the most 'developed' there are facilities like toilets, drinking water, sign posts, information boards and paved walkways and some of the major structures inside have been restored.
Spread over an area of 25 acres, the citadel is divided into two parts- the Lower and the Upper Fort. The Lower Fort stretches out along plains to the south of a hill. It is roughly crescent in shape and hence the name Chandragiri (meaning 'hill of the moon'). There are two well-preserved structures here, Raja Mahal and Rani Mahal.
The Raja Mahal, the larger of the two, is a three-storeyed building built of stone and mortar and plastered with stucco decorations. It is crowned with pyramidal towers akin to the shikhara of temples-there is a large central tower and smaller ones at the periphery. A museum was established in the Raja Mahal in 1988-89.It has a collection of armoury, sculptures,coins and documents amassed from excavations in and around the fort as well as information on places of historical importance of Andhra Pradesh.
Close to the Raja Mahal is the Rani Mahal, a two storeyed edifice whose ground floor was probably a stable and the first floor living quarters. An inscription in the building suggests that it was the commander's residence. Overzealous restoration work has given a rather pink hue to both the buildings. Opposite the Raja Mahal, there is a reservoir at the foot of the hill,where there used to be boating facilities. There are many more structures within the fort-ruins of temples, mandapas and tanks.
In the Upper Fort, located on top of the hill, you can see the ramparts, built with cyclopean masonry, a few watch towers and bastions with arched parapets. Most tourists avoid the strenuous climb to the top, but it is worth a visit for the historical ruins and wonderful views of the surrounding terrain.
Tickets: Indians Rs.15; Foreigners Rs.100
Sound and Light Show Entry Adults Rs.45; Children Rs.35
Timings March-October 7.00pm (Telugu) & 8.00pm (English)
November-February 6.30pm (Telugu)7.30pm (English)
The fortification is thought to have been established in 1000 CE by Immadi Narasinga Yadavaraya who ruled from Narayanavanam.After three centuries of Yadavaraya rule, the Vijayanagara dynasty conquered it in 1376.Following a defeat in the Battle of Talikota(1565),they shifted their capital from Hampi to Chandragiri, after which the fort gained prominence,It passed into the hands of the Sultan of Golconda in 1646 and Hyder Ali in 1782, who incorporated it into the Mysore Kingdom.
Tirupati Airport is the nearest to Chandragiri Fort.
Chandragiri is well connected to other major cities of the country
Chandragiri Fort has regular buses to from other major cities of the country.
"One can pay a visit to this place at any time of the year and Closed on Friday".
SV Museum-The Museum has about 6,000 artefacts and displays, both historical and contemporary, related to the temple.
Silathoranam-One of the few natural arches in Asia, Silathoranam is a unique geological formation that took shape about 1,500 million years ago.
Chakra Theertham-A sacred waterfall next to which there are shrines with idols.
Srivari Padalu-It said that Lord Venkateswara first set his feet on earth at Narayanagiri.
Akasaganga Theertham-On the route from Tirumala to Akasaganga, you will first come across the Gogarbham Dam on your left.
Papavinasam-Papavinasam is where visitors go to wash off their sins (papa-sin,vinasam-destruction).
Govindaraja Swamy Temple-It is one of the largest and most significant temples in the region, built in 1130 CE by Ramanujacharya.
Kapila Theertham-Waterfalls cascading from the Seshachalam Hills to Tirupati, Kapila Theertham is one of the most marvellous.
Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park-Spread over an area of 290 hectares in the Seshachalam foothills has about 500 animals, birds and reptiles.
Tiruchannur-A trip to Tirupati customarily ends at the padmavathi Ammari Temple in Tiruchanur, also known as Alamelumangapuram.
Srikalahasti-Is an important Shaivite pilgrimage centre, which has earned it the moniker of Dakshina Kasi
Talakona Waterfalls-Cascading from a height of 270ft,Talakona is the tallest waterfall in Andhra Pradesh.
Horsley Hills-From atop Horsley Hills, the terrain seems beautiful yet bleak. Dry, rugged hills and stony plains stretch as the eye can see.
Bhuvaraha Swamy Temple-After that,prayers are offered at the Bhuvaraha Swamy Temple before heading to the Venkateswara Temple.