The State has an area of 1,12,077 sq. Km. and has a population of 3,50,03,674 (2011 Census). The Telangana region was part of the Hyderabad state from 17th September 1948 to 1st November 1956, until it was merged with Andhra State to form Andhra Pradesh. South of North and North of South,’ Telangana State has long been a meeting place for diverse languages and cultures. It is easily the best example for India’s composite culture, pluralism and inclusiveness. Located on the uplands of Deccan plateau, Telangana is the link between the North and South of India. The name “Telangana” refers to the word Trilinga Desa, earned due to the presence of three ancient Shiva Temples at Kaleshwaram, Srisailam, and Draksharamam. A more historical reasoning is that during the reign of Nizams, the region was known as Telugu Angana to differentiate it from the areas where Marathi was spoken. Popularly known as the Papi hills, the region is technically a gorge in the Godavari River. The tall mountains with flat tops are carved by the Godavari river in what was earlier the East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh. This area is famous for river cruises in Godavari. Telangana is home to diverse culture and religions. Till 6th century, the region was predominantly ruled by the Buddhist and is the home of Mahayana Buddhism. From the 14th century onwards Islam began to spread. Urdu is the second widely spoken language in the state. Telangana is located in the southern part of India and is renowned for its natural attractions, temples, palaces, forts and other heritage sites. The rich cultural heritage of the state makes it one of the most visited tourist destinations in South India.