About Guntur District :
Guntur District is located in Andhra Pradesh along the east coast of Bay of Bengal. The district has a coastline of around 100 kilometers. Guntur City is the largest city in the district and administrative center of Guntur District. The district is a major center for learning. Telugu and Urdu are the main languges spoken in this district.
Guntur district covers an area of 11,391 Sq.km, and has a population of 4,465,144 of which 28.80% is urban as of 2001,AD. The Krishna River forms the northeastern and eastern boundary of the district, separating Guntur District from Krishna District. The district is bounded on the southeast by the Bay of Bengal, on the south by Prakasam District, on the west by Mahbubnagar District, and on the northwest by Nalgonda District. It is divided into 57 mandals.
Paddy, tobacco, cotton and chillies are the main agricultural products cultivated in the district. Places of historical importance in Guntur District are Amaravathi, Ponnur, Bhattiprolu, Vinukonda, Kotappakonda, Undavalli caves, Gurazala, Macherla, Kondavid fort and the archeological museum in Guntur.
Guntur is a centre of learning and the administrative capital of Guntur district, which is home of historically significant Amaravati, Bhattiprolu and Sitanagaram monuments. The city is also a centre for business, industry, and agriculture. The region is identified as a major transportation and textile hub in India. Additionally, the Guntur area economy has an agricultural component that is internationally known for its exports of chillies, cotton, and tobacco.
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Tourist Places :
Amaravathi Archaeological Museum :
The Archaeological museum at Amaravati is a home to many relics that dates back to thousands of years, found during excavations. This museum unfolds the wealth of Amaravati that belonged to 3rd century BC, through the galaxy of sculptures that once were a part of Mahachaitya (the Giant Stupa).
There are different galleries that take you close to the very old history of Amaravati and the life of the Buddhists in those days.
In the first gallery we can find the ancient art traditions of Amaravati. The Purnakumbha designs and the Lotus designs here express the intricate art of those days. The two drum of slabs depicting the Stupas, Svastika mark on the cushioned seat of the throne under the Bodhi tree which is considered as symbolical representation of Lord Buddha, the Agni Skanda (Flaming pillar), the dome and the standing Buddha belonging to 8th century are the master collections of this museum.
The second gallery of the museum shows the life size standing image of Buddha with Maha Purusha Lakshana (Marks of a great man). A beautiful round panel over a cross bar which is engraved with the episode of Rahula s presentation to Buddha by his father Suddhodhana is a marvellous piece in narration and carving in the museum. There are also some gold coins and beads belonging to that period.
The third gallery exhibit some of the beautiful sculptures belonging to 2nd century BC. Some of them include Yakshi of Bharhut tradition, a stele (an ancient stone, slab or pillar) with labelled panels, fragmented pillar edict of Asoka, images of Buddha from Alluru, Dharma Chakra from Lingarajapalli, Bodhisatvas and a dome slab depicting the jewels of Buddhist order viz. The Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha in a panel represented by a Bodhi Tree and the Stupas worshipped by devotees are all noteworthy. The couple in round in the central showcase is a masterpiece of Amaravati Art, with full of vigour and vitality of the Satavahana period. The life size Nandishwara (bull) of Satavahana period marks as an attractive piece of the museum.
The museum has panels that portray the model of Stupa, a part of reconstructed railing, Siddhartha s departure from his palace, episode of Nalagiri, which was the royal elephant of Ajaatasatru, worship of Buddha s feet by lady devotees, and many more that gives you a glimpse of historic days. For many years, the Amaravati sculptures in the British Museum were not on display but were stored in the museum s basement. A few years ago, the museum constructed a new gallery for these sculptures. In an attempt to convey the significance of these sculptures and how they originally looked, a section of the Stupa has been recreated by arranging the sculptures on the gallery wall up to height of 15 feet. A portion of the railing or fence has also been reconstructed in front of the gallery. As the sculptures are extremely sensitive to air pollution and changes in temperature, the gallery has been de-humidified and air-conditioned and is enclosed by a glass wall. The Madras Museum has now announced its plans to renovate its Amaravati Gallery.
The Archaeological museum is closed on Fridays and on other days it is open from 10:00 am to 5:00pm. The entrance fee is Rs.2 per head for elders and children above 15 years of age.
The museum is opposite to the bus station. If you are coming from Vijayawada or Guntur, You will get a main road when you entered into amaravathi. There turn to your left hand side go straight you will see the museum opposite to bus station.
Suryalanka Beach :
Suryalanka Beach is located 9 km from Bapatla in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh. It is located 50 km south of Guntur City. Also known as the Bapatla Beach, it draws a large number of visitors on weekends and holidays.
Suryalanka Beach is situated at a distance of 9 kilometers from the town of Bapatla, in Guntur district. The natural beauty of the beach and its closeness to the town attracts tourists who often return to the calmness of the sea for the weekend. The shore of the beach is wide and spacious. The Suryalanka Beach overlooks the crystal blue waters of the Bay of Bengal.
Suryalanka beach is 7 km from Bapatla railway station (Station Code: BPP) in Guntur district. Buses are available to Suryalanka from Bapatla. Bapatla Beach (Surya Lanka) is well connected by road and there are frequent buses from Guntur also.
Thanks to Andhra Pradesh Tourism and Development Corporation, they have a Haritha Beach Resort set-up over there which is the only one available. If anyone is unlucky to get an accommodation which means they can still get a hotel or a lodge booked in Bapatla town and have to commute all the way to the beach for fun. APTDC has built-up 10 A.C. rooms with a restaurant and camp fire facility.
Durgi stone craft :
Durgi is a village and mandal in the Palnadu region of Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh state of southern India.
Durgi stone craft originated here in the 15th century. At that time sculptors preferred soft limestone to the more expensive granite to carve idols.
Today commercial demand for the stone carvings has resulted in the sculptors creating more simple, utilitarian designs than in times past. Craftsmen sell items such as paperweights and lampshades to individuals and dealers.
The School of sculpture and stone carving is located here. The ancient skill which produced masterpieces of atr and sculpture seen at Nagarjunakonda museum continues to be practiced and taught here.the artisans were moved down to this place when the Nagarjuna Sagar Irrigation Project Reservoir inundated their traditional dwellings. These artisans generation after generation continue to follow the traditional methods and styles thereby playing acrucial role in keeping this art from alive for posterity.
The famous Durgi stone craft originated in the Durgi. It is situated 10 Kms from Macherla in Andhra Pradesh. The School of sculpture and stone carving is located here. The ancient skill which produced masterpieces of atr and sculpture seen at Nagarjunakonda museum continues to be practiced and taught here.the artisans were moved down to this place when the Nagarjuna Sagar Irrigation Project Reservoir inundated their traditional dwellings. These artisans generation after generation continue to follow the traditional methods and styles thereby playing acrucial role in keeping this art from alive for posterity.
Ethipothala waterfalls :
Ethipothala waterfalls is a mountain stream cascading down the hills from a height of 22 meters the Ethipothala waterfalls are a radiant sight of the power and beauty of nature. This Waterfalls is among the rising tourist attractions in Andhra Pradesh. it was not very famous among outside people till recently. But now it is frequently visited by foreigners. is close to many Buddhist sites which attracts more people to this region.
Ethipothala also boasts of a crocodile breeding centre where you can get a fascinating glimpse of these reptiles from close quarters and observe their behavior in their natural habitat. The picture postcard beauty of the place with verdant valleys together with numerous cave temples that dot the hilly countryside have made this a favourite picnic spot. The dazzling, azure lagoon formed at the foot of the falls houses a first-rate crocodile breeding center which is open to the public. The rising place of the river Chandra Vanka is at Muthukuru, on the eastern part of the Nallamala hills.
The ‘Chandravanka’ stream here plunges from a height of 21.3 meters(70 feet). The stream of water joins a lagoon nearby and flows on through a green valley This waterfall is a combination of three streams namely 1.Chandravanka vagu 2. Nakkala vagu 3.Tummala vagu. After flowing for 3 km, this stream joins with the river Krishna. Ranganadha and Dattatreya temples are found near the waterfalls.
Ethipothala Waterfall is also a great place for mild trekking and camping along with refreshing nature sightseeing. People believe that the caves near the waterfalls go to Srisailam. 11 kms downstream, from the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam. Ethipothala bounded on the North by Medak and Warangal districts, on the South by Guntur and partly by Mahbubnagar districts; on the East by Khammam and Krishna districts, on the West by Rangareddy and Mahabubnagar districts.Some of the local attractions to visit along the regions of Ethipothala waterfall are Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, Nagarjuna Konda, Anupu, Srisailam, Ranganadha, Sagara Mata and Dattatreya Temples.
Kondaveedu Fort :
Kondaveedu Fort is to be found at a distance of 25 km from Guntur. Kondaveedu fort was built by Anapotha Reddy in the 1250 A.D and later developed by Ana Venkata Reddy. Both of them were prominent rulers of the Reddy dynasty known to be benevolent patrons of the art and culture. Later, the fort considered as impregnable with 24 bastions and spread across 30 hillocks was ruled by Gajapathis.
Located on a hilltop, this historical fort offers around 21 stupas. There are also many temples, residential structures, pillared halls and the entrance gate ways worth seeing here. The panoramic view from the summit is awe inspiring and is ideal for trekking. Famous historians like Amol Mujumdar and Roy Chaudhuri praised the fort in their writings. Recent archaeological excavations unearthed a 14th century inscription penned by Kavi Sarvabhauma Srinadha and in idol of Raja Rajeswari. Of late, the fort turned into a treasure trove for treasure hunters.
The seizure of a massive golden “panchaloha” idol, weighing 5 kg last year, gave credence to the theories that similar treasures could lay deep in the earth. The Presiding Diety of this place is Trikoteswara Swamy situated on the hillock and is one of the noted piligrim centres attracting thousands of visitors on Sivarathri day. The Gopinatha Temple and Kathulabave at the foothill are other major attractions of Kondaveedu.
Pillared halls, and the gate ways on east and west sides of the fort are the main attractions. Kondaveedu with its natural beauty is an ideal place for trekking. Recent archaeological excavations unearthed a 14th century inscription penned by Kavi Sarvabhauma Srinadha and in idol of Raja Rajeswari. A place of natural scenic beauty with natural wonders it is an ideal place for trekking.
Kondaveedu fort is situated in Kondaveedu village, about 25 kilometres (16 mi) from Guntur city. Guntur is easily accessible by road and rail from all parts of India. The nearest airport is at Vijayawada, which is 30 kilometres (19 mi) away.