Ongole – The Ancient Coastal Beauty
Ongole is a city in Prakasam district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is the headquarters of Prakasam district and also the Mandal headquarters of Ongole Mandal. Perhaps even more famous than its beautiful beaches are the local cattle and oxen in Ongole, Andhra Pradesh. One of the major Zebu breeds of cattle, the Ongole cows and bulls from this region are exported regularly and have gone as far as North America, South America, and Europe. But there’s more than just cows for you to see here. A beautiful, albeit small coastal town, Ongole has a long and interesting religious and spiritual history, dating back to 230 BCE. There are temples and inscriptions all over town proving its existence in ancient times. The Mauryas and the Satavahanas were the most prominent rulers of the region, and many of the temples and monuments that they built, still stand tall as a testament to their greatness. Ongole is in many ways a piece of history sitting right by the sea.
The beaches in Ongole offer both blessings and adventure or leisure, so it doesn’t matter whether you are a pilgrim or tourist, you’re sure to have plenty to do here. Kothapatanam and Voderevu, in particular, have beautiful expanses of sandy beaches overlooking the Bay of Bengal. Devotees from all over the country come to the Kothapatanam beach to take a holy dip in the waters to absolve their sins, during the religious festival of Karthik Purnima. For the rest of the year, both beaches provide the perfect spots for relaxation, as well as adventure sports and other activities. The temples in Ongole, are architectural marvels in themselves and are also important sites of pilgrimage. The Sai Baba Mandir, the Kashi Viswesvara Swami Temple and the Chennakesava Swami Temple are a few sites that you should visit. The Tangutur village, dedicated to the Goddess Vallurama, is quaint and regional, giving you a peek into the daily life of people from Ongole.
Auto-rickshaws are easily available in Ongole, but most of them follow the shared system and are often overcrowded. Buses also ply through the city. Private cars and cabs are your best bet for comfort and convenience.