Destinations  

Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh is a bustling 400-year-old metropolis with an urban population of 4.2 million people approximately. Hyderabad is located on the Deccan Plateau and the Musi River, 650m above sea level. The physiography of Hyderabad is dominated by hills, tanks, forests, and rock formations.

The History of Hyderabad
The history of Hyderabad begins with the establishment of the Qutub Shahi dynasty. Quli Qutub Shah seized the reins of power from the Bahamani kingdom in 1512 and established the fortress city of Golconda. Inadequacy of water, and frequent epidemics of plaque and cholera persuaded Mohammad, the fifth Quli Qutub Shahi ruler to venture outward to establish the new city with the Charminar as its center and with four great roads fanning out in the four cardinal directions. Hyderabad's fame, strategic location and Golconda's legendary wealth attracted Aurangazeb who captured Golconda after a long siege in 1687. After this defeat the importance of Hyderabad declined and the city fell into partial ruin.

As the Mughal Empire decayed and began to disintegrate, the viceroy, Asaf Jah I proclaimed himself the Nizam and established independent rule of the Deccan. Hyderabad once again became a major capital city, ruled by successive Nizams of the Asaf Jah dynasty until the state was merged into the Indian Union in 1948.

Tirupati - A Divine Destination
Tirupati City is located in the southeastern part of Andhra Pradesh State. It lies about 152-km northwest of Chennai in the Palkonda Hills. Tirupati is known as the abode of the Hindu god Venkateshvara (also spelt as 'Venkatesvara'), "Lord of Seven Hills". About 10-km northwest of Tirupati, at an elevation of 750m, is the sacred hill of Tirumala, which was considered so holy that before 1870 non-Hindus were not permitted to ascend it. 

Back To History - The Ruling Dynasties
Tirupati was developed mainly by the contributions made by kings during their rule. Almost all the kings from great dynasties of the southern peninsula have paid homage to Lord Sri Venkateswara in this ancient shrine of Tirupati. The Pallavas of Kancheepuram (9th century AD), the Cholas of Thanjavur (a century later), the Pandyas of Madurai, and the kings and chieftains of Vijayanagar (14th - 15th century AD) were devotees of the Lord and they competed with one another in endowing the temple with rich offerings and contributions. 

The decline of the Vijayanagar dynasty did not affect the contributions to this place as many nobles and chieftains from all parts of the country continued to pay their homage and offer gifts to the temple. Raghoji Bhonsle, the Maratha general, visited the temple and set up a permanent endowment for the conduct of worship in the temple. He presented valuable jewels to the Lord, including a large emerald, which is still preserved in a box named after the General. Among the later rulers who have endowed large amounts are the rulers of Mysore and Gadwal. 

During the rule of the Vijayanagar dynasty contributions made to the temple increased enormously. Krishnadevaraya had statues of himself and his consorts installed at the portals of the Tirupati temple, and these statues can be seen to this day. There is also a statue of Venkatapati Raya in the main temple at Tirupati. 
After the fall of Hindu kingdoms, came the Muslim rulers of Karnataka and after their downfall the British took over, and many of the temples came under their supervisory and protective control. 

In 1843 AD, the East India Company divested itself of the direct management of non-Christian places of worship and native religious institutions.

Vijayawada- The City of Victory

Vijayawada, also called as "Bezawada", is 257-km from Hyderabad and is located on the banks of the Krishna River, and is bounded by the Indrakiladri hills on the West and the Budameru River on the North. Situated along the Chennai- Howrah and Chennai-Delhi rail route, this is the largest railway junction of the South Central Railway. The city forms a part of the Krishna district, spread over an area of 58-sq- kms (urban area).

Vijayawada or the "City of Victory" if literally translated gets its name from the legend, which says it was here on the Indrakiladri Hill, that Arjuna, the Pandava Prince, won the blessings of Lord Shiva for his penance. During the British rule the city experienced significant growth. 

In particular, the completions of the Krishna Barrage and the Railway Bridge on Krishna have helped the region expand its agricultural and commercial base. The famous Chinese traveller Hieun T`sang has visited this city. Today, with excellent communications, perhaps the best in the South where railways are concerned, Vijayawada become one of the big business centres of the State. Commercially, culturally and industrially the city is a very flourishing one.