Nallamala Hills

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    • The hills of Nallamala are now open for tourists to explore.

    About the Nallamala Hills

    • Location: These are a section of the Eastern Ghats which forms the eastern boundary of the Rayalaseema region of the state of Andhra Pradesh and Nagarkurnool district of the state of Telangana.
    • Major rivers: They run in a nearly north-south alignment, parallel to the Coromandel Coast for close to 430 km between the rivers, Krishna and Pennar.
    • Northern and southern Boundaries: Its northern boundaries are marked by the flat Palnadu basin while in the south it merges with the Tirupati hills.
    • An extremely old system: The hills have extensively weathered and eroded over the years.
    • Peaks: The average elevation today is about 520 m which reaches 1100 m at Bhairani Konda and 1048 m at Gundla Brahmeswara.
    • Rock system: The rocks of the Nallamala ranges belong to the Kadapa system.
    • Climate: The Nallamalas have a rather warm to hot climate throughout the year. Rainfall averages about 90 cm and is concentrated in the months of the South West Monsoon.
    • Geography and land use: Agriculture is almost nonexistent apart from isolated patches near villages where subsistence farming is practised.
    • Tribe: The indigenous population consists of the Chenchus, a forest-dwelling tribe who have remained cut off from the modern world even today.
      • Farming is the primary occupation of the people in the plateaus while the Chenchus are still hunter-gatherers.
    • Transport: A state highway and the Nallapadu-Nandyal line of the Guntur railway division pass through the hills.
    • Important locations: Srisailam on the River Krishna is the site of a large hydroelectric power project as also an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
      • Mahanandi temple and Ahobilam Nava Narasimha Temples are situated here.
      • A stream descends down the Gundla Brahmeswara peak and ends in a waterfall and sacred pool called Nemaligundam (Peacock Pool).
      • The Mallela Theertham waterfall on the river Krishna is also located in this forest.
    • Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve: which is spread over Nalgonda and Nagarkurnool is the largest Tiger reserve in the country.
      • The Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Sanctuary was declared officially in the year 1978 and has been recognized by the Project Tiger in the year 1983.
      • This Reserve has been renamed the Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary in the year 1992.
      • The mighty River Krishna which rises in Sahyadri Hills and makes its way through Maharashtra and Karnataka flows across the Nallamala tiger reserve.

    Source: TH