The city of Chittoor lies at the banks of the Ponnai River and is thus an important agricultural town in Andhra Pradesh. The town’s major source of economy is its crops and agricultural products like grain, sugarcane, mango and Peanuts. The town has a unique climate which is high in the Eastern areas and low in the western areas because of the change in the altitude. The place is considered to be a backward district as far as the economy is concerned; nevertheless it is a great place to visit and an undiscovered gem for a tourist. The town with its various hills, rivers, temples, forts and a rich collection of flora and fauna is a must visit. A personal recommendation would be to spend more time at the western areas near the Horsley Hills and simply relax. While most attractions in Chittoor can be covered in a day, it is more of a place to relax and rejuvenate. Some major tourist places in Chittoor are given below:
• Sri Venkateswara Temple
• Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary
• Gurramkonda Fort
• Horsley Hills
• Nagari Hills
Sri Venkateswara Temple
One of the most famous and ancient temples is Sri Venkateswara Temple. Dedicated to Lord Balaji, famously known as Venkateswara, the temple belongs to the 12th century. It is located at an height of 853 meter from sea level. The temple is a favorite spot for pilgrims. The architecture of the temple is a combination of the style of Chola, Pandya and the Pallava. The gold plated dome and the Papanasam waterfalls attract tourists.
Kalavagunta is situated at the convergence of Aragonda and Ponnai rivers. It is located 8 km away from Chittoor and it houses temples of historic importance. The two famous temples found here belong to the 9th century and they are built in Chola architectural style. The carvings are intricate and the architecture brilliant.
Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary
Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary is located 60 km from Chittoor. The sanctuary is located in a picturesque setting with valleys and hills surrounding it. Spread across 358 sq.km of land, the sanctuary has a wide range of plants and animals. The wild animals found here include elephants, Himalayan black bear, hippopotamus, jackals, sloth bear, hyena, panther and many more. Kaigal and Kaundinya are the two streams that flow through this sanctuary and make it more enchanting.
Gurramkonda Fort is located on top of a hill that is 500 foot high. Initially, the fort was constructed using mud and rock during the Vijayanagar empire and later went into the hands of Golconda sultans. It was during this period the fort was strengthened with rock walls. The famous Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan had occupied the fort before they succumbed to British.
Horsley Hills is a hill station in Chittoor. It is called ‘Andhra Ooty’. This would be a great place if you want to relax and not keen to be looking for some place to visit. The views are picturesque and the weather is awesome. An ideal place with a serene atmosphere if you are keen to rejuvenate your spirits. Trekking would be challenging and you can indulge in other outdoor activities like swimming and archery. Children will love the park and the small zoo here.
Situated on the banks of River Kusasthali, Nagari is a favorite tourist spot. Nagari Hillshas an elevation of about 855 meters. Its highest cliff strikes resemblance with human nose and hence it is famously called the ‘Nagari Nose’. Mountaineers love the place as it offers wide scope for challenging expeditions. Nagari has many famous temples and hence it is frequently visited by pilgrims.
Ramagiri is also called as Bhairava Kshethra. The small village houses some of the famous ancient temples. A temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is situated at the base of the hill and another famous temple dedicated to Lord Muruga is at the hilltop. The tank close to the temple is said to contain medicinal properties. The water flows from mountaintop and it is said to carry the medicinal properties of herbs.
The coastal village Mogili is situated 25 km away from Chittoor. The place houses a famous temple called Mogileeswara temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and its sculptural work is amazing. It is said that the pond in the temple does not dry even in peak summer. The first day of January sees a great number of pilgrims to this spot.