Andhra Pradesh is known for its pilgrimage centers especially for the famous Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirupati, the world’s richest temple. Ahobilam is a reputed Hindu pilgrim centre, especially for Vishnavites. Amaravati situated in Sattenapalli Taluk of Guntur District is famous as the seat of a temple to Lord Shiva worshipped here as Lord Amareswara and also for the Buddhist sculptures, which are world famous. Arasavalli has a temple dedicated to Lord Surya; temples dedicated to the worship of Lord Surya are rare in our country.
Bhadrachalam situated on the banks of Godavari River is considered to be one of the greatest holy shrines in South India as Lord Rama lived here for some time. Simhachalam, referred to, as the “Hill of the Lion” is famous for its 11th century hilltop temple of Lord Narasimha. Srisailam is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in the country. Puttaparthi is the abode of Sri Satya Sai Baba and devotees from all over the world flock to this small town every year to have a glimpse of the Baba, and be touched by him.
Andhra Pradesh is an illustration of the diverse styles of temple building in the Indian subcontinent. The Chalukyan, Dravidian, Nagara and the Orissa idiom are seen in the construction of temples in this southern state. Tirupati is the best known of the temples of Andhra Pradesh, attracting millions of pilgrims throughout the year.
The State of Andhra Pradesh abounds in archeological remains and religious monuments. The Satavahanas of the 1st century CE left behind them many works of art, the remains of which are seen at Amaravati near Guntur. The Ikshvakus succeeded the Satavahanas and the monuments left behind by them were discovered at excavations at Nagarjunakonda. Some of the best known Buddhist monuments of Andhra Pradesh such as the Mahastupa and some Hindu temples were found in these excavations.
The oldest temples in the State, Tirupati Venkateswara Temple and the Kalahasteeswara Temple date back to the pre Christian times. The Chalukyas of Badami ( Karnataka ) of about the 6th century built the Alampur Bhrama temples. These are excellent examples of Chalukyan art and sculpture. The Vengi Chalukyas ruled coastal Andhra Pradesh from the 7th to the 11th centuries. The Badami Chalukyas of Deccan were succeeded by the Rashtrakutas and the later Chalukyas. The Kakatiyas who succeeded the later Chalukyas and ruled from Warangal ( 11th – 14th century CE ) constructed several beautiful temples that show a profuse display of sculptural work..