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Hyderabad, one of Islamic India’s greatest cities, is reason enough on its own to visit this region. Its skyline is a sight to behold, defined by the great domes and minarets of ancient mosques, mausoleums and palaces of once-mighty dynasties. Delve inside the city’s fabled old quarter for fascinating street markets, Sufi shrines, teahouses and biryani restaurants. Meanwhile, Hyderabad’s newer districts are awash with the upmarket restaurants of IT-fuelled economic advancement.

The other attractions of these two states (which were one entity until 2014) are less brazen, but there are hidden gems like the wonderful temple sculptures of Ramappa and ancient Buddhist sites at Sankaram and Guntupalli. Coastal Visakhapatnam has a cheery vibe, while joining the pilgrim crowds on the hike up to Tirumala’s temple is an unforgettable experience.

Recently upgraded airports (at Tirupati, Vijaywada and Visakhapatnam) and increased regional flights have really opened up these captivating states for travellers.

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