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Konaseema & around: Exploring the beauty of coastal AP

Overview: Konaseema is one of the most beautiful regions of Andhra Pradesh, with lush green paddy fields and wide and always filled up Godavari river. I happened to visit Amalapuram in Oct 2019 for a friend's wedding, so thought of exploring this beautiful region by a self driven car. We hired a self-driven rental car from Viyawada and after breakfast and a quick visit to Undavalli caves, we headed towards Amalapuram. After crossing Tanuku, the landscape changed drastically, with lush green paddy fields all around and the river flowing on the other side. The looks on the faces of the locals was also very pleasant.
The Government is also doing its bit to promote tourism in this region, the most popular one being the Papikondalu tour, and river cruises at Dindi.

Konaseema
We first visited the Adduru Stupa, near Amalapuram, which dates back to the 2nd century BCE. It is claimed that the foundation stone for this Stupa was laid by Ashoka's daughter, Sanghamitra. Due to some tragedies along the Papikondalu valley, the cruise was suspended, and we couldn't visit it. We roamed around the Amalapuram area and witnesses the rustic and simple rural lifestyle there.
After attending our friend's wedding we stayed back in Amalapuram, and after the delicious and hot Andhra dinner.
The Coringa Wildlife sanctuary is the second largest mangrove forest in India, which is also at the edge of Konaseema. Unfortunately we couldn't take the boat ride because of heavy rains a week ago. Its the habitat of the Long Billed vulture.
The region is also home to the Kolleru Bird sanctuary between Krishna and Godavari river deltas, we spotted around 100 different species of bird at Kolleru.
Kadiam Nurseries: The village of Kadiam near Rajahmundry offers a scenic view of nurseries spread across 3000 acres and is now making its presence felt globally. There are 100s of nurseries presenting a very colourful picture to the visitors and different common and rare varieties of plants are available for purchase here.
Overall, a cluster of beautiful villages, paddy fields, coconut plantations and the river Godavari makes up the Konaseema region.

Amalapuram

Adduru Stupa
Kadiam Nursery


Godavari banks

Konaseema

Coringa National Park
Kolleru Bird Sanctuary

In this trip, we had time to visit the some other places as well:

1. Chalukya Kumararama Bhimeswara Temple, Kakinada: This is an ancient 9th century temple known for 14 feet Spatika Shiva Lingam, which is one of the tallest in India.

Chalukya Kumararama Bhimeswara Temple

Sri Bhavannarayana Swamy Temple, Sarpavaram

2. Yanam: One of the lesser known districts of the UT of Pondicherry, Yanam is hidden in the middle of the big state of AP. The former Dutch and French colony has a Catholic Church and a Bharat Mata temple as prime attractions.

Yanam
3. Vijayawada: Having ancient roots, Vijayawada is believed to be the place where Arjuna got Pashupatastra from Shiva, after which the name of the place came to be known as Vijayavatika. Associated with this place is the Kanakagiri hill and the rock cut cave temple. We also visited the great Undavalli Caves, Kondapalli Toy village where the local artisans create different types of toys for home decor and for Navratri festival.
There are other minor rock cut caves in Vijayawada like Akkana Madana caves and Mogalrajpuram caves which we visited.

Undavalli Caves

Kanakagiri temple, Vijayawada

Akkanna Madana caves, Vijayawada

Kondapalli Toys
Mogalrajpuram caves

4. Rajahmundry: On the way we crossed the town of Rajamahendravaram, which progressed under the cooperation of Sir Arthur Cotton, the irrigation engineer responsible for construction of canals across South India.

Sir Arthur Cotton's legacy, Rajamundry

Godavari Basin

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