Chittoor, situated in the valley of the Ponni River, is a major town in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Its convenient location on the junction of NH 4 and NH 18 draws quite a number of tourists.
It is believed that some of the earliest settlers of Chittoor district were the Kurumbas. In the 8th and 9th century, Chittoor came under the Chola dynasty. In the 11th century, it was ruled by the Ballal dynasty, and later by the Vijayanagar kingdom. The East India Company entered in 1640 and made settlements, and Chittoor was a British military post until 1884.
Chittoor is an ideal place for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. TheYelampalli forest, which is 20 km from Chittoor near Aragonda, is famous for hunting white pigs and other wild animals. There is also the Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary nearby. Rock climbers can visit Puligundu, a huge, tall rock. Turtle Neck Hill is another attraction the rocks at the top of this hill are in the shape of a turtles neck.
Other places of interest include Chase pillar and Bodi Konda. These places are nearly 2 km from the B.V. Reddy School. Konga Reddy Palli is an apt place to trek and was built by the British in the 18th century. This trekking area has a lake on a hill and a camping area. Bodi Konda is located near Ramnagar colony and draws a lot of climbers. The Horsely Hills, named after W.D. Horsely is a summer resort and is popularly known as the Ooty of Andhra.
Other than activities, Chittoor is also known for its temples. There is a very famous temple of Lord Balaji or Venkateswara at Tirupati, in the outskirts of the city, and the Kalavagunta village.This temple is the seat of the ancient temples of Lakshminarayana and Mukkantisvara that are more than 1000 years old.
Penumur is also another historical village.The Chandragiri Fort, which was once, the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, is another attraction. The palace of Tipu Sultan known as Rangini Mahal is also a tourist highlight.
The best time to visit Chittoor is between September and February. Chittoor can be reached by road from NH 4 and NH 18 on the Bangalore-Chennai Highway. State run buses are available from different parts of Andhra Pradesh to Chittoor. The nearest airport is at Chennai.