Andhra Pradesh has a mixture of all religions with Hinduism followed by the majority in rural areas. Consequently, the state has many notable Hindu-pilgrimage places. Andhra Pradesh is home to Hindu saints of all castes. An important figure is Saint Yogi Sri Potuluri Virabrahmendra Swami. He was born in the Vishwabrahmin (goldsmith) caste and had Brahmin and Dalit disciples. Fisherman Raghu was a Shudra saint. Saint Kakkayya was a chura (sweeper) Harijan saint.
Islam in Hyderabad, with historical patronizing by the rulers, has a strong Sufi influence, with various moments active in the last two decades. Hyderabad has also produced many renowned religious scholars of representing different Islamic sects and trends, including Abul Ala Maududi, Turab-ul-Haq Qadri, and Allamah Rasheed Turabi.
Several important Hindu modern-day saints are from Andhra Pradesh. These include Nimbarka, who founded Dvaitadvaita; Mother Meera, who runs an ashram in Madanapalle;Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Sri Sivabala Yogi Maharaj who advocates religious unity in worship; Swami Sundara Chaitanyanandaji of the Aurobindo Mission; and Brahmarshi Subhash Patri, founder of the pyramid spiritual societies movement.
Pilgrimages and religious sites
|Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, an important pilgrimage site in Tirupati|
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in the town of Tirumala in Chittoor district is a very important pilgrimage site for Hindus throughout India. It is the richest piligrimage city of any religious faith in the world. Its main temple is dedicated to the god Venkateswara.
Simhachalam is another popular pilgrimage site of national importance located on a hill 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of the Visakhapatnam city centre. Simhachalam is said to be the abode of the savior-god Narasimha, who rescued Prahlada from his abusive father Hiranyakashipu. One of the most exquisitely sculpted shrines of Andhra Pradesh, it has a beautifully carved 16-pillared Natya mantapa and a 96-pillared Kalyana mantapa. The temple was built in 11th century by Kullotunga, a Chola Dynastyking. Engaged couples go to this temple as a ritual just before marriage. It is one of the most crowded temples of Andhra Pradesh.
Srisailam temple in Kurnool district is a very famous Shiva temple, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines. Lord Ramahimself installed the Sahasralinga, while the Pandavas lodged the Panchapandava lingas in the temple courtyard. The Skanda Purana, an ancient religious text, has a chapter called "Srisaila Kandam" dedicated to this temple, which points to its ancient origin. It is said that Adi Shankara (c. 788–821 CE) visited this temple at the time that he composed his Sivananda Lahiri. Srisailam is located in Kurnool district.
Bhadrachalam Temple is a temple to Lord Rama in the town of Bhadrachalam in Khammam district. It is situated on the banks of the river Godavari. This is the place where Kancherla Gopanna (1620–1680) wrote his devotional songs dedicated to lord Rama. It was believed that lord Rama spent some years on the banks of river Godavari here in Treta Yuga. Kancherla Gopanna raised the funds and constructed the temple during the reign of Tanisha in the 17th century. Sri Rama Navami, a celebration of the Marriage of Lord Rama and sita, is celebrated here every year. Government of Andhra Pradesh sends pearls for the event.
Kanaka Durga Temple is a temple to the goddess Durga situated on the Indrakeeladri Hill in the city of Vijayawada on the banks of Krishna River. Special pujas are performed during Dasara, also called Navratri. The most significant are Saraswati puja andTheppotsavam. The festival of Dasara for the Goddess Durga is celebrated there every year. A large number of pilgrims attend the colourful celebrations and take a holy dip in the Krishna River.
Other temples and pilgrimage sites in Andhra Pradesh include:
- Gnana Saraswati Temple, Basar is a temple to the goddess Saraswati, goddess of education. Basar is located in Adilabad district 50 kilometers from Nirmal.
- The Yaganti Caves and Mahanandi are pilgrimage centres in Kurnool District.
- The Birla Mandir, Hyderabad is a temple to Lord Venkateswara.
- Ramappa Temple, constructed in 1213, is located 77 km from Warangal.
- Muslim centres include Mecca Masjid, Charminar, Falaknuma Palace, Golconda Fort, and Osmania University, all in Hyderabad.
- There is a statue of Buddha that was erected in 1992 on the Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad.
- Srikalahasti Temple is an ancient Shiva temple located on the banks of river Swarnamukhi in Chittoor district.
- There is a Satyanarayana Swamy temple in Annavaram in East Godavari district.
- Vemulavada in Karimnagar district is another popular place of pilgrimage. It is best known for the Sri Raja Rajeshwara temple.
- Viswakkarma temple (Construction) in Machilipatnam
- Most famous Venkateswara Temple in chinna Tirupathi(Dwaraka Tirumala) near to tadepalligudem and elluru.
Other cultural elements
|State language||Telugu (తెలుగు)|
|State symbol||Poorna kumbham (పూర్ణకుంభం)|
|State song||Maa Telugu Thalliki (మా తెలుగు తల్లికి మల్లె పూదండ)|
by Sri Sankarambadi Sundaraachari
|State animal||Black Buck (కృష్ణ జింక)|
|State bird||Indian Roller (పాల పిట్ట)|
|State tree||Neem (వేప)|
|State sport||Kabaddi (చెడుగుడు)|
|State dance||Kuchipudi (కూచిపూడి)|
|State flower||Water lily (కలువ పువ్వు)|
Bapu's paintings, Nanduri Venkata Subba Rao's Yenki Paatalu (Songs about a washerwoman called Yenki), mischievous Budugu (a character byMullapudi), Annamayya's songs, Aavakaaya (a variant of mango pickle in which the kernel of mango is retained), Gongura (a chutney from Roselle plant), Atla Taddi (a seasonal festival predominantly for teenage girls), the banks of river Godavari, and the Dudu basavanna (the ceremonial ox decorated for door-to-door exhibition during the harvest festival Sankranthi) have long defined Telugu culture. The village of Durgi is known for stone craft, producing carvings of idols in soft stone that must be exhibited in the shade because they are prone to weathering. Kalamkari is an ancient textile art form dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization. Andhra Pradesh is famous for doll making. Dolls are made from wood, mud, dry grass, and lightweight metal alloys. Tirupathi is famous for redwood carvings. Kondapalli is famous for mud toys with rich colors. The village of Etikoppaka, located inVisakhapatnam district, produces lacquered toys. Nirmal paintings are expressive and are usually painted over a black background. Story telling in Andhra Pradesh is an art form in itself. Folk dances unique to Andhra Pradesh include Yaksha ganam, Burra katha (usually done by three people, telling stories using three different musical instruments), Jangama kathalu, Hari kathalu, Chekka bajana, Urumula natyam (usually done at festivals, where a group of people dance in circles with loud music), and Ghata natyam (performances done with earthen pots over one's head).