Chittoor, situated in the valley of the Ponni River, is a major town in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Its convenient location on the junction of NH 4 and NH 18 draws quite a number of tourists.
It is believed that some of the earliest settlers of Chittoor district were the Kurumbas. In the 8th and 9th century, Chittoor came under the Chola dynasty. In the 11th century, it was ruled by the Ballal dynasty, and later by the Vijayanagar kingdom. The East India Company entered in 1640 and made settlements, and Chittoor was a British military post until 1884.
Chittoor is an ideal place for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. TheYelampalli forest, which is 20 km from Chittoor near Aragonda, is famous for hunting white pigs and other wild animals. There is also the Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary nearby. Rock climbers can visit Puligundu, a huge, tall rock. Turtle Neck Hill is another attraction â€“ the rocks at the top of this hill are in the shape of a turtleâ€™s neck.
HOW TO REACH
Chittoor has a railway station that is located in the Chennai to Hyderabad line. The railway station is well connected to Tirupati (Tirupati Express), Kanyakumari (Kanyakumari Exp) and other cities. There are daily trains that pass through Chittoor from many places in the South. Auto rickshaws are available at the railway station and they are the best option to reach the city. They charge around Rs 100 to any part of the town.
Chennai Airport is well connected to the rest of the country through regular flight services and it is one of the main airports in the country. Private taxis and prepaid taxis are available from the Chennai Airport to the town and they are the quickest option. The drive from Chennai take around 2 hours and traveleRs can easily reach Chittoor through the highway. Taxis charge around Rs 2000 for the trip.
Government buses are available from most parts of Andhra Pradesh to Chittoor. They are cheap and are available frequently. Tickets are inexpensive and they charge between Rs 50 and 100.
WHAT TO SEE
Nagari is a semi-agrarian and semi-industrialised city, situated on the bank of river Kusasthali. This place is popular for Nagari hills and has many well established textile industries and numerous temples. Tourists visit this place for picnic, expedition and mountaineering activities that has gradually become popular traveller’s destination.
One of the highest cliffs present here is popularly known as Nagari Nose, which has 855 metres elevation. It has been named so because it is quite similar to a human nose.
Ramagiri is a village in Pitchatur Mandal, few kilometres from Chittoor district. This place is also known as Bhairava Kshethra, meaning Lord Bhairava home. It is popular among tourists due to the existence of ancient temples.
One of these temples is located at the foot of the hill and is devoted to Lord Shiva. Another temple is dedicated to Lord Muruga, which is present on top of the hill.
Kalavagunta is situated in the north-east direction of Chittoor at a distance of 8 km. It is a small town located on the merging point of the rivers Aragonda and Ponnai.
The temples present in this town have beautiful architecture and constructed by the rulers of Chola dynasty. This place is famous for two temples, Mukkantisvara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lakshminarayana, devoted to Lord Vishnu and goddesses Lakshmi.
Guntipalle is a village located at 18 km from Chittoor. It is situated on Chitoor-Penumuru road, which is at the distance of 4 km from Penumuru town.This village is visited by tourists to spot the famous tourist attraction, the rock pillar. Known as Puligunda, literally meaning Tiger Hill, which is located at a height of 213.36 m.Travellers can easily commute to this place by local transport or buses available at frequent intervals.
Gurramkonda is a hill fort town between Bangalore highway and Cuddapah in Chittoor district. The average elevation of this historical place is 2,125 ft. The major highlight of this town is the Gurramkonda Fort. It is a beautiful architectural structure existing in the town and is about 500 years old. This town once had forty mosques, which are all destroyed and extinct now.
It is said that the rulers travelled on the horses to reach atop hill to their palaces. Thus, the name given to the place was Gurramkonda, in which Gurram means horse and konda means hill.
Sri Venkateswara Temple:-
Sri Venkateswara Temple or Tirupati Balaji Temple is one of the ancient temples in Chittoor district. The temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, who is popularly known by the names, Balaji, Govinda, Srinivasa, Venkitarama and Venkateswara. The presiding deity of the temple is one of the forms of Lord Vishnu.
Located in the hilly region, tourists can see seven sacred hills in the vicinity of temple. It is believed that the temple was built in 12th century. Tourists visit the temple to pay homage to the deity and also for its beautiful architecture that depicts a blend of Chola, Pandya and Pallava architectures.
Mogili is a coastal village in Bangarupalem Mandal, which is at a distance of 25 km from Chittoor. This place is famous for the Mogileeswara temple, which is 10 km from Palamaner towards Chittoor on NH4 route.
This temple is popularly known as Dakshina Kailasam and has sculpture work. The presiding deity in this temple is of Lord Shiva that was founded by Mogilliappa and placed under Mogili tree.
Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary:-
Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary is situated at Palamaner, around 60 km from Chittoor. The sanctuary is surrounded by valleys and hills and is spread in an area of 358 sq. km. This place is a home for large number of elephants, which has migrated from nearby forest areas.
The sanctuary has rich collection of flora and fauna of tropical thorn comprising bamboo, ficus bengalensis and albizia amara. Along with elephants, various other animals like hares, jackals and more can also be seen in this sanctuary.