The further south you travel from the fertile lands watered by the great Krishna and Godavari rivers, the less hospitable the terrain becomes, especially in the rocky southwest of the state. For Hindus, the main attraction in southern Andhra Pradesh is the Venkateshvara temple, outside Tirupati, India’s most popular Vishnu shrine, where several thousand pilgrims come each day to receive darshan. Puttaparthy, the community founded by the deceased spiritual leader Sai Baba, and the Oneness University are the only other places in the region to attract significant numbers of visitors. All three places are closer to Chennai in Tamil Nadu and Bengaluru in Karnataka than to other points in Andhra Pradesh.

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