Places to visit in Kurnool Tourist Places
This region is said to be the earliest settlement of the Cholas. Later it came under the Kakatiyas. The word Kurnool is said to be a corruption of Kandenavolu meaning the lubricating centre for the bullock carts. The local story goes to say that all the carts bound to Holy Srisailam used to stay here for getting the wheels lubricated. This region has many interesting places for the tourist.
Places to Visit in Kurnool District
Ahobilam is about 140km from Kurnool District and 46km from Nandyal. Situated on nallamalai hills in the thick forest, this ancient place of pilgrimage is noted for the Narasimha temple. There are three shrines, the lower one at the foot of the nearby hills, another on a small hillock and the third at the summit of the hill. The lower temple is full of excellent sculpture depicting nine forms of Narasimha, popularly known as Nava Narasimhas as illustrated in the stories from the epic Bhagavatha.
Alampur is about 25km from Kurnool city. Situated at the confluence of Tungabhadra river with Krishna, this Shaiva Kshetra is the gateway to Dravidian architecture. In fact, it is the confluence of three systems of architecture Chalukyan, Hoysala and Eastern and Easter Ganga. The place has a cluster of nava Brahma temples, dedicated to Shiva. some of them resemble the Orissian style. The goddess Parvati is represented here as Jogulamba, one of the Chief Shakti Devis among the eighteen found elsewhere in India. The wonder of the place is the re-erected temple of Sangameshwara from its original place in the valley which was submerged by the dam, to a new place a little away from Alampur. Each stone from the original temple has been brought and carefully assembled here. Papanasham, a nearby village has temples of Chalukyan architecture.
Kondapur is about 219km from Kurnool District and 62km from Hyderabad. Known as the Taxila of the South as the Town of Mounds, the recent excavations at this place have revealed the existence of two Buddhist Chaitya Halls, a Stupa aand underground chambers, which throw a great deal of light on the ancient history of Andhra Pradesh, particularly of the Satavahanaperiod. Roman coins and iron weapons of the olden days have also been found here. It is an interesting place for study by historians.
Mahanandi is about 96km from Kurnool District and 16km from Nandyal. A famous Shaivite centre situated by the side of picturesque range of hills, which is the source of a perennial hot water spring. The water flows down from the hill to a place near the Shiva temple and comes out through the mouth of a stone Nandi and falls into a small pond. The warm water is so clear that even a small needle at the bottom of the pond can be seen from the top. Devotees use this pond for bathing purposes as it is considered sacred besides having curative properties. The temple of Siva at this place has a lofty tower and the interior sculptures reveal the past influence of Buddhist origin. Most of the pilgrims visiting Srisilam pass through this place as there are ample number of choultries and rest houses to provide accommodation to the visitors. The Andhra Pradesh Government has developed a Banana research station at this place.
Mantralayam is about 92km from Kurnool District and 10km from Adoni. A very famous centre having the Holy Brindavanam of Madhva Saint Raghavendra Swamy along with a few temples, on the banks of river Tungabhadra. It is said that even the Muslim rulers of Hyderabad who have made rich endowments patronized this ancient place. There are many choultries and guest rooms to provide accommodation to the visiting pilgrims, who are also fed by the temple. The place attracts thousands of devotees, as excellent transport service is available from all parts of the neighboring states also. Manthralayam Road railway station on the main line from Chennai or Bangalore to Mumbai is the most convenient halt to visit the place.
Peddathumbalam is about 100km from Kurnool District and 19km from Adoni. an important Jain centre built during the time of Western Chalukyas. The place is known as the Temple City in the bygone days. Some of the ancient temples have idols of jaina Tirthankaras finely carved in stone. There is also a Chalukyan style Hindu temple dedicated to Rama, probably built in the 12th century. The temple is unique in its style and perhaps the only one of its kind in this region.
Pushpagiri is about 25km from Cudappah. Situated on the banks of Pennar river, this place derives the name as Hill of Flowers due to the cluster of eight temples on the nearby hill. A Chola king to prevent evil omens affecting his kingdom created this temple complex. Prominent among them is the Chenna Keshava temple with magnificent carvings and sculpture. There is a Mutt of the Shankaracharya order at Pushpagiri with a pontiff.
Srisailam is about 180km from Kurnool District and 230km from Hyderabad or 95km from Nandyal. situated on the Nallamalai Range of hills at an altitude of 457m, this place is the venue of another famous Shiva shrine dedicated to Mallikarjuna and his consort goddess Bhramaramba. The shiva Linga is one of the Dwadasha Jyotirlingas of great antiquity. A fine all weather road leads to the top of the hill up to the temple. A modern township has been developed around the temple with a number of choultries, rest houses and lodgings. A large fair is held for three days following the Mahashivarathri. A unique feature of this place is that the pilgrims can touch the main Linga in the shrine and worship without any distinction of caste or creed. The peak is at an altitude of 950m, which is called as Srisaila Shikharam which gives a beautiful view of the temple and the valley around. River Krishna flows down the valley in a George called Pathala Ganga. The river is harnessed for generating electricity. A prosperous Veera Shaiva Mutt controls the management of the Shiva temple, while the Mutt of the order of Shankaracharya looks after the worship of the Bhramaramba Devi temple.
Tripuranthakam is about 175km from Kurnool District. The hillock at this place is named as Kumaradri, easily approachable from Markapur. An ancient temple dedicated to Tripuranthkeshwara is situated at the top. Said to be the guardian deity of the eastern gateway to Srisailam, it is visited by a large number of pilgrims.
All the places are connected by excellent road and are served by regular buses operated either by state or by private agencies. Good lodging facilities are available in all the places.