Andhra Pradesh is a state along the southeast coast of India. It consists of two regions, the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. While its capitals are Amravati and Hyderabad, its largest city is Visakhapatnam, a commercial center with a major port. The state has a tourism department which actively promotes Andhra Pradesh as a tourist destination for its beaches and water sports, caves, national parks, and religious landmarks.
Hostels in Andhra Pradesh are often called "residency" or "dormitory" and can be found in several cities, including Visakhapatnam, Anantapur, and Tirupati. With an average of about a 3 1/2-star rating, the hostels run about $10 to $40 for a room for two per night. You can expect decently clean rooms, good locations for access to restaurants and sightseeing, helpful staff, air conditioning, and maybe even complimentary breakfast or tea.
First you will fly into the state's only international airport in Visakhapatnam. This city, being the commercial hub of the entire state, is a great place to begin your itinerary. There are plenty accommodations to be found for the weary traveler. From here you can also reach all other regions via the five domestic airports, by train, bus, or taxi.
For the first stop on your itinerary, travel about 50 miles by train with restaurant service and scenic view to Borra Caves. The beautifully lit, natural caves filled with formations of stalactites and stalagmites will keep you quite entertained. With a 1,000 steps to climb and lots of walking to do, this is an activity for the energetic traveler. Cameras are allowed for a surcharge.
Another must-see destination in Visakhapatnam is Kailasa Giri, It is a park atop a hill. You begin by ascending the hill via the Ropeway. Once you have reached the top, you will be gifted the spectacular view of the city and beaches below. Spend some time walking through the gardens, admiring the Hara-Parvati statue, and breathing in the fresh air. If your feet are weary, a toy train will take you on a scenic drive through the park. Be prepared to enjoy up to a full day in this natural wonderland.
No visit to India is complete without entering at least one temple. So for your final destination, about 8.5 miles from the main airport, go via bus or staircase up to Simhachalam Temple. It is built in the Kalinga style. It is the sole temple dedicated to the Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy, the third and fourth incarnations (avatars) of Lord Vishnu, who are represented by the statue of the Man-Lion (lion head on human body). Many sub-temples, a stone throne, and a wooden chariot are among the many points of interest. Be forewarned that cameras are not allowed within the shrine. They do keep cameras safe for visitors. Entrance is free, but it might be very crowded, so for about $1.50 you can get a speedy entrance. Don't miss the delicious free food they offer. The site also includes hostel-style buildings offering rooms, some for free, others for nominal fees.
Hi, I'm Jakob Lombardi,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Andhra Pradesh hostels. Welcome.