While many of us plan our short trips to Kerala and Karnataka during long weekends, Andhra Pradesh might not really be our first choice. But the state really has some hidden gems. Rich in geographical diversity and flora and fauna, Andhra Pradesh has places which are nature lover’s delight. In case you are wondering about these options in the state, we list three options:

Kurnool

Kurnool is known as being the erstwhile capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh. The town is one of the oldest cities and based on the rock paintings of Ketavaram. It has been a habitat for humans since the Paleolithic era. The ancient caves and fort ruins in Kurnool date back in history and are a marvel to behold. The town is surrounded by the parallel running mountain ranges from north to south. The various temples and pilgrimage sites in this ancient town are not only significant when it comes to their cultural history but are also important architectural heritage of the city. The Rollapadu Bird Sanctuary is one of the prime reasons to visit this town as it is a great place for both nature lovers and the shutterbugs. Among other important places in Kurnool are Kurnool fort, Nallamala forest and Belum Caves.

Chittoor

An agriculture city predominantly, Chittoor lies at the banks of the Ponnai. The town’s major source of economy is its crops and agricultural products like grain, sugarcane, mango and peanuts. Chittoor 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. But it is undiscovered gem for a tourist. The city with its hills, rivers, temples, forts and a rich collection of flora and fauna is a must visit. You can spend more time in the western areas near the Horsley Hills and relax. While most attractions in Chittoor can be covered in a day, it is more of a place to relax and rejuvenate.

Vijaywada

Vijayawada is the third largest city of Andhra Pradesh. The city is an agriculturally rich state and has been recognised as the global city of the future by McKinsey. Formerly known as Bezawada, it has been under the rule of various ancient kingdoms of the south. It was one of the places where Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsang stayed. River Krishna runs through the city and it is located at the foothills of the Eastern Ghats. The city’s location is unique as to its west lies the deep jungles of the Kondapalli Reserve Forests, which is known to house leopards, jackals, wolves, wild boar and wild dogs. The city itself is a cultural and religious centre with many temples, religious monuments, rivers, ancient caves and more. If you go there, do buy the famous Kondapalli Toys as souvenirs.