Religious Tourism

Vontimitta

It is famous for the Kodanda Ramaswamy Temple, which was built by the Chola and Vijayanagara kings.  The images of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita are carved on a single piece of  rock.

Splendid architecturally, it boasts of a towering gateway, a large beautiful sculptured Mandapam with exquisitely carved pillars, an inner chamber and the sanctum. Apart from architecturally gate-way, the large and beautifully sculpted mandapam with 32 pillars called the Madhya Ranga Mandapamleading to inner chamber and sanctum is of a great architectural interest.

It is also said that Bommera Pothana author of Sree Madandra Bhagavatam hails from this place.

Few temples in the country can rival it for the sheer magnificence and beauty of its intricate carvings and fineness of finishing.  In fact, the well-known French-traveler, Tavernier, described the Temple as one of the grandest pagodas in the whole of India.

According to the legend, Rama, Lakshmana and Sita spent some time here in the forest during the period of their exile.  Once to quench the thirst of Sita, Rama shot an arrow deep into the earth, upon which sweet water gushed out.  Later, with this perennial water spring, two small tanks named Ramathirtham and Lakshmanathirtham were formed.

How to reach: Located 25 Kms from Cuddapah city on the state highway leading to Tirupathi.

Gandi – Anjaneya

Gandi Kshetram

Gandi Kshetram

The temple of Anjaneya Swamy here is built on the foot of a hill on the western side of the river Papaghni in the midst of picturesque surroundings.  It has gain a great name and fame a Vayu Kshethra.

Gandi Anjaneya

Papaghni river goes in this place from south to north in between two hills.  A legend says, that Lord Rama visited this place in his return journey from Lanka.  To welcome Rama Vayu the father of Anjaneya hung a wreath of golden flowers across the ravine.  Before leaving this place Rama carved the figure of Anjaneya on a rock.

The people here believe that it is visible to the sacred souls at the approach of their death time.  Sir Thomas Manro, the farmer British Governor, was fortunate enough to see it when he passed near that ravine. He stone praakaaram around the sanctum sanctorum is said to have been built by one Tirupathi Seshanna in 1911.  The devotees from far places visit this temple in the month of Sravana.

How to reach:  It is 55 Kms from Cuddapah city and 8 Km from Vempalli on the Vempalli-Rayachoty route.

Brahmamgari Matham

B Mattam

Brahmamgari Matham was built in Kandimallayapalli after his death.Kandimallayapalli is the place where Sri Potuluri Veerabrahmam, who was famous for his predictions and foresight about the future of the world, stayed.

Veerabrahmam is the only futurologist that the East has produced.  He entered Jeeva Samadhi in the year 1693.

The walls are covered with the preaching and predictions of Veerabrahmam.

B Mattam

Places of tourist interest in and around Mattam:

  • Siddaiah Jeeva Samadhi
  • Eswaramma Temple
  • Poleramma Temple
  • Veerabrahmam Reservoir (Telugu Ganga Project)

How to reach  :  Located 60 Kms from Cuddapah on Cuddapah  Porumamilla route.

Attirala

Attirala is a very sacred place, located on the east bank of the river Cheyyeru.It was called Hatyarala and Yethirevula ib olden days. The sanctity of the river Cheyyeru was elaborately described in the great epic of Mahabharata in the story of Sankha and Likhita.It is a centre of Vedic culture and famous for its scenic beauty.

River Cheyyeru atoned Parasurama from the sin of matricide and gave hands to Likhita, the brother of Sankha a great sage. People believe that Parasurama temple was once a Buddhist vidya kendra, occupied by Saivas first and later by Vaishnavas. Vaishnavas made this place as Parasurama Kshetra.

To the south of this temple there is a 72 pillared hall and on the eastern side thre are two famous temples on the hill slope dedicated to Gadhadara and Thretheswara. Gadhadara stands on one leg here. The presence of Gadhadara and holy river Cheyyeru, Attirala is considered as sacred as Gaya Kshetram.

Parasurama Kshetra, is worth seeing for its sculptural beauty and grand appearance.

There is a Jyothistambha, higher up the temple of Thretheswara, on the top of a hill. Jyothi,  lighted on festivals, is visible to distance of 30 Kms around.

How to Reach: 8 Kms from Rajampet and 55 Kms from Cuddapah.

Nandalur

Sowmyanatha Swamy Temple

Sowmyanatha Swamy Temple

Nandalur is on the west bank of river Cheyyeru. Once it was a famous Buddhist centre in Rayalaseema. In 1913 Buddhist caves and viharas were discovered.

Caves

Sowmyanath Temple, here is a very big temple, situated nearly on ten acres of site. It is a replica of Thiruvannamalai and patronized by Cholas, Pandyas, Kakatiyas, Vijayanagara, Pottapi and Matli Kings.Here most of the inscriptions, are in Tamil. Lord Sowmyanatha is installed on an elevated place and attracts pilgrims with  his glittering beauty.

The temple and Buddhist caves are worth seeing at this town and is well connected by road and rail.

How to Reach: It is on the Cuddapah-Chennai highway and is at a distance of 38 KMs from Cuddapah.

Pushpagiri

Pushpagiri is on the banks of Pennar (Pinakini) 16 Kms from Cuddapah City. It is well known for its numerous temples. Vaishnavas call it as Madhya Ahobhilam and Saivas as Madhya Kailasam.

The Amrita Sarovar would be a thrilling experience, according to local legend, about its sanctity – when Garuda was carrying nectar from Indra Loka, one drop of it fell at this place and turned the pool into a sacred one. One day an old farmer vexed with his wretched life jumped into the pool to commit suicide. The fall transformed him into a young man. He was so astonished by this and made his wife and oxen to take dip in the pool. They were also turned into young.

The news of the sacred pool spread all over the place and all people started thronging at this place to become young. The news reached Satya Loka, Brahma invoked the help of Lord Vishnu & Lord Siva. They instructed Anjaneya to close the pool. Anjaneya dropped a hill in the pool, but instead of sinking the hill started floating like a flower. Lord Vishnu & Lord Siva decided to clamp their feet at the ends. The imprint of the foot of Siva became famous as Rudrapada and that of Vishnu’s as Vishnupada.

Pushpagiri is now called as a second Hampi, is one of the important Advaitha Mutts established by Sankaracharya and is the only place in Andhra Pradesh where the holy Peetham of Sankaracharya is located.

The largest and best known among temples, is the Chennakesava Temple, which according to the earliest inscriptions found  in the temple complex, dates back to 1298 A.D. The dancing Ganapati and Krishna preaching the Bhagavad Geetha to Arjuna are remarkable pieces of Art.

The annual temple festival is conducted for 10 days in March-April.

Other temples of interest here include Trikuteswara, Durga, Shiva, Rudrapada and Devi, which are remarkable for their architectural precision and excellent images.

 

Ameen Peer Dargha

Ameen Peer Dargah (Asthana-e-Magdoom Ilahi Dargah complex) (Badi Dargah, Pedda Dargah) in Kadapa (Cuddapah) City is an example of the communal harmony preached by great saints and sages in ancient days. Come Thursday and Friday, scores of pilgrims cutting across religious faiths, throng the the 300-year-old shrine seeking blessings of saints Peerullah Hussaini and Arifullah Hussaini II who lie buried here.

Followers of the ameenpeer  dargah believe that any wish that one makes at the shrine is always fulfilled. A large number of Hindus, Muslims and people of different faiths are disciples of the shrine. The family’s descendants identify themselves with a saffron dresss and the disciples wear a saffron cap.

Ameen Peer Darga..

Khwaja Peerullah Hussaini (popularly known as Peerullah Malik, a devout Muslim born in Bidar(Karnataka), founded the Aasthana, in 16th century. Peerullah Malik was a linage to Prophet Mohammed. He visited mausoleums of all Sufi saints of India, as also that of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti at Ajmer, where he received instructions to move to the kadapa region. On the way, he stopped on the banks of Pennar River (near Chennur). Nawab Nek Naam Khan, the then Nawab of Sidhout Taluk also presented himself to the Sufi and paid his respects. Following the instructions of the saint, the Nawab named the town as Nek Naam Abaad, which later became Kadapa, over a period of time. The saint devoted his life to spread the message of peace, love and communal harmony.

Legend has it that once some people demanded that they would trust him only if he could show them a miracle. The Sufi accepted their challenge. The earth opened for him and he descended into it alive, thereby attaining Jeeva Samadhi (1716 AD)here on the 10th day of Muharram month (first month of Muslim calendar). Three days later, people saw him performing prayers in the same place. After his death, Nawab Abdul Hameed Khan Mayana got his mausoleum built. Just to the east of the mosque, Peerullah’s tomb is found in a closed room with two entrances, one each in the western and southern walls. Flocks of pigeon descend on the tomb complex and are fed by the pilgrims. Peerullah’s Urs is celebrated on the 10th day of Muharram every year.

Khwaja Peerullah Hussaini (popularly known as Peerullah Malik), a devout Muslim born in Bidar(Karnataka), founded the Aasthana, in 16th century. Peerullah Malik was a linage to Prophet Mohammed. He visited mausoleums of all Sufi saints of India, as also that of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti at Ajmer, where he received instructions to move to the kadapa region. On the way, he stopped on the banks of Pennar River (near Chennur). Nawab Nek Naam Khan, the then Nawab of Sidhout Taluk also presented himself to the Sufi and paid his respects. Following the instructions of the saint, the Nawab named the town as Nek Naam Abaad, which later became Cuddapah, over a period of time. The saint devoted his life to spread the message of peace, love and communal harmony.

Legend has it that once some people demanded that they would trust him only if he could show them a miracle. The Sufi accepted their challenge. The earth opened for him and he descended into it alive, thereby attaining Jeeva Samadhi (1716 AD)here on the 10th day of Muharram month (first month of Muslim calendar). Three days later, people saw him performing prayers in the same place. After his death, Nawab Abdul Hameed Khan Mayana got his mausoleum built. Just to the east of the mosque, Peerullah’s tomb is found in a closed room with two entrances, one each in the western and southern walls. Flocks of pigeon descend on the tomb complex and are fed by the pilgrims. Peerullah’s Urs is celebrated on the 10th day of Muharram every year.

There is a wide hall aligned along the east west axis containing a number of tombs. The highest tomb among them belongs to him, whose Urs is celebrated in Jamadi’ul Awwal (5th lunar month) of Muslim calendar. It is the biggest Urs of South India. The entire mausoleum complex is popularly known as Aasthana-e-Maqdoom’ullahi.

This Urs brings millions of pilgrims to Kadapa from every nook and corner of the country, from as far as Delhi, Agra, Ajmer, Chennai, Bangalore, Calcutta, Jammu, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Bhopal, and so on. The main festivities start with the sandal paste ceremony. It is taken out in the night and Fateha is offered at the tomb of the saint. The sandal paste is treated as Tabarruk (prasada) and is distributed to the devotees. The main Urs ceremony is held on the second day. Fakirs and devotees present Chadar at the tomb of the saint. Qawwali programme is held on both nights. A national-level Mushaira (poetry programme) is held on the third night which continues upto early morning. Masjid-e-Azam is an impressive mosque with Persian inscriptions. It dates back to A.D. 1691 and was built during the reign of Aurangazeb.

Disciples of Hazrath Amin Peer saab and Shah Meer saab school of thoughts.. exist all over Rayalseema and Coastal districts and carry out welfare activities on a large scale. When ever there was an outbreak of cholera in Kadapa town , residents use to consider Ali Murad saab as their savior and special prayers were conducted at his shrine; even todate (on a lesser extent though) this practice continues. Hazrath Rafeeq Shah Vali Saab is said to be a saviour of people suffering from mental illness and evil spirits.

The shrine is one of the most peaceful and serene spots in Kadapa, free from distracting noises. One should pay a visit to this shrine to savour the magic of silence, if not for anything else!