Andhra Pradesh, is a state in southern India. It lies between 12°41' and 22°N latitude and 77° and 84°40'E longitude, and is bordered by Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Orissa in the north, the Bay of Bengal in the East, Tamil Nadu to the south and Karnataka to the west. Andhra Pradesh is the fifth largest state in India by area and population. It is the largest and most populous state in South India. The state is crossed by two major rivers, the Godavari and the Krishna.
An Andhra Kingdom was mentioned in the Sanskrit epics such as Aitareya Brahmana and Mahabharata. Continuous political and cultural accounts of the area begin with the fall of the Mauryan Empire when Satavahanas became independent. After the decline of the Satavahanas in 220 CE, Ikshvakus, Pallavas, Vishnukundinas, Anandagotrikas and Cholas ruled the Telugu land. During this period the Telugu language, emerged as a literary medium undermining the predominance of Prakrit and Sanskrit.
The battle of Palnadu resulted in the weakening of Chalukyan power and emergence of the Kakatiya dynasty in the 12th and the 13th centuries CE. The Kakatiyas were at first the feudatories of the Western Chalukyas of Kalyani, ruling over a small territory near Warangal. In 1323 CE, the Muslim Delhi Sultan Ghiaz-ud-din Tughlaq sent a large army under Ulugh Khan to conquer the Telugu country and lay siege to Warangal and capture it. Musunuri Nayaks recaptured Warangal from the Delhi Sultanate and ruled for fifty years. The Vijayanagara empire, one of the greatest empires in the history of Andhra Pradesh and India, was founded by Harihara (Hakka) and Bukka, who served as Treasury officers in the administration of the Kakatiya empire. In 1347 CE, an independent Muslim state, the Bahmani kingdom, was established in south India by Alla-ud-din Hasan Gangu as a revolt against the Delhi Sultanate. The Qutb Shahi dynasty held sway over the Andhra country for about two hundred years from the early part of the 16th century to the end of the 17th century.
In Colonial India, Northern Circars became part of the British Madras Presidency. Eventually this region emerged as the Coastal Andhra region. Later the Nizam had ceded five territories to the British which eventually emerged as Rayalaseema region. The Nizams retained control of the interior provinces as the Princely state of Hyderabad, acknowledging British rule in return for local autonomy.
India became independent from the United Kingdom in 1947. The Muslim Nizam of Hyderabad wanted to retain his independence from India, but his state of Hyderabad was forced to become part of the Republic of India in 1948 as Hyderabad State.
In an effort to protect the interests of the Telugu people of Madras State, Amarajeevi Potti Sriramulu attempted to force the Madras Presidency government to listen to public demands for the separation of Telugu speaking districts from the Madras Presidency to form an Andhra state, and Andhra attained statehood on 19 October 1952.
On 1 November 1956 Andhra State merged with the Telangana region of Hyderabad State to form the state of Andhra Pradesh, which would be mainly Telugu-speaking. Hyderabad, the former capital of the Hyderabad State, was made the capital of the new state Andhra Pradesh.
Telangana lies west of the Ghats on the Deccan plateau. The Godavari River and Krishna River rise in the Western Ghats of Karnataka and Maharashtra and flow east across Telangana to empty into the Bay of Bengal in a combined river delta.
Kosta occupies the coastal plain between Eastern Ghats ranges, which run the length of the state, and the Bay of Bengal.
Rayalaseema lies in the southeast of the state on the Deccan plateau, in the basin of the Penner River. It is separated from Telangana by the low Erramala hills, and from Coastal Andhra by the Eastern Ghats.
The Krishna and Godavari rivers together irrigate thousands of square kilometres of land, and create the largest perennial cultivable area in the country. Andhra Pradesh leads in the production of rice (paddy) and is called India's Rice Bowl.
Andhra Pradesh has 23 districts
- Adilabad District
- Anantapur District
- Chittoor District
- Kadapa District (Cuddapah)
- East Godavari District
- Guntur district
- Hyderabad District
- Karimnagar District
- Khammam District
- Krishna District
- Kurnool District
- Mahbubnagar District
- Medak District
- Nalgonda District
- Nellore District
- Nizamabad District
- Prakasam District
- Ranga Reddy District
- Srikakulam District
- Visakhapatnam District
- Vizianagaram District
- Warangal District
- West Godavari District
The most important cities (in alphabetical order) are:
- Guntur is the heart of the tobacco and cotton industries in the state. It is also close to several historical sites including Sitanagaram, Nagarjunakonda, Amaravati and Bhattiprolu.
- Hyderabad is the capital, and with the adjoining twin city of Secunderabad, is the largest city in the state.
- Kurnool is the former capital of Andhra and the major commercial city in the North Ralayaseema region. It provides access to some of the tourist spots in the district, like the Belum caves and the Mahanandi Temple.
- Tirupati is a temple city and the most visited pilgrimage site in India.
- Vijayawada is an important trading centre and a prominent railway junction.
- Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh's main seaport, is home to the Indian Navy's Eastern Naval Command.
- Warangal is one of the oldest cities in the state with a history of 800 years. It was the capital of the Kakatiya dynasty.
Telugu is the regional and official language of the State, spoken by 81.23 percent of the population. Telugu is the second largest language in India. The major linguistic minority groups in the State include the speakers of Urdu (10.86%), Hindi (2.60%) and Bengali (1.95%).
The minority language speakers who constitute less than 1 percent are the speakers of Kannada (0.94%), Marathi (0.84%), Oriya (0.42%), Malayalam (0.10%), Gondi (0.21%), and Tamil (0.30%).
The speakers of minority languages who constitute less than 0.09 percent are the speakers of Koya (0.08%), Gujarati (0.09%), Punjabi (0.04%), Sindhi (0.02%) Savara (0.09%), Kolami (0.03%), Jatapu (0.04%), Konda (0.03%), Khond/Kondh (0.01%), Gadaba (0.02%), and Gorkhali/Nepali (0.01%).
Hindi and English are also used as the official languages along with Telugu.
Andhra Pradesh had a row of Congress governments till 1982. Kasu Brahmananda Reddy held the record for the longest serving chief minister which was broken by Nara Chandrababu Naidu. P.V. Narasimha Rao also served as the chief minister for the state, who later went on to become the Prime Minister of India. Among the notable chief ministers of the state are Tanguturi Prakasam (CM for Andhra state only), Neelam Sanjiva Reddy , Kasu Brahmananda Reddy , Marri Chenna Reddy , Kotla Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy , N.T.Rama Rao, Nara Chandrababu Naidu and Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.
The Beginning of Multi-Party Politics
1982 saw the rise of N.T. Rama Rao (or NTR) as the chief minister of the state for the first time introducing a formidable second political party, Telugu Desam Party, to Andhra politics and thus breaking the virtually-single party monopoly on Andhra politics. Nadendla Bhaskar Rao attempted a hijack when NTR was away to the United States for a medical treatment. After coming back, NTR successfully convinced the governor to dissolve the Assembly and call for a fresh election. NTR won by a large majority. His government's policies included investment in education and rural development and in holding corrupt government offices accountable.
1989 assembly elections ended the 7-year rule of NTR with the congress being returned to power and Dr. Marri Chenna Reddy at the helm. He was replaced by N. Janardhan Reddy who was in turn replaced by Kotla Vijaya Bhasker Reddy.
In 1994 Assembly saw NTR becoming the chief minister again, but he was soon thrown out of power by his finance minister and son-in-law N Chandrababu Naidu. NTR died from a heart attack before the next elections and thus Naidu was able to win a second term before he was defeated by the Congress-led coalition in the May 2004 elections.
Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy of the Indian National Congress (INC) is the current chief minister of the state of Andhra Pradesh. Rajasekhara Reddy fought the 2004 Assembly elections in an alliance with a new party called Telangana Rashtra Samithi (or TRS), which hopes to form a separate state called Telangana.
Agriculture has been the chief source of income for the state's economy. Two important rivers of India, the Godavari and Krishna, flow through the state, providing irrigation. Rice, sugarcane, cotton, mirchi, and tobacco are the local crops. There are many multi-state irrigation projects in development, including Godavari River Basin Irrigation Projects.
The state has also started to focus on the fields of information technology and biotechnology. In 2004-2005 Andhra Pradesh is at the fifth position in the list of top IT exporting states of India. The IT exports from the State were Rs.1,800 million in 2004. The service sector of the state already accounts for 43% of the GSDP and employs 20% of the work force.
Andhra Pradesh is a mineral rich state, ranking second in India in terms of mineral wealth. For example, the state has about one third of India's limestone reserves, at about 30 billion tonnes.
The state ranks first nationwide in hydro electricity generation with national market share of over 11%.
Andhra Pradesh has entered into a formal agreement with Reliance Industries for Jatropha planting. The company has selected 200 acres of land at Kakinada to grow jatropha for high quality bio-diesel fuel.
Andhra Pradesh's gross state domestic product for 2005 is estimated at $62 billion in current prices. This is a chart of trend of gross state domestic product of Andhra Pradesh at market prices estimated by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation with figures in millions of Indian Rupees.
Year Gross State Domestic Product 1980 81,910 1985 152,660 1990 333,360 1995 798,540 2000 1,401,190
Andhra Pradesh is served by more than 20 leading institutes of excellence in higher education. All major arts, humanities, science, engineering, law, medicine, business and veterinary science are offered, leading to first degrees as well as postgraduate awards. Advanced research is conducted in all major areas.
Andhra Pradesh has 1330 Arts, Science and Commerce colleges, 238 Engineering colleges and 53 Medical colleges. The student to teacher ratio is 19:1 in the higher education. According to census taken in 2001, Andhra Pradesh has an overall literacy rate of 60.5%. While male literacy rate is at 70.3%, the female literacy rate however is only at 50.4%, a cause for concern.
The state has recently made strides in setting up several institutes of high quality. International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) and Indian School of Business (ISB) are gaining international attention for their standards. National Institute of Fashion Technology, Hyderabad (NIFT)is well reputed among those interested in a career in fashion.
Major universities/institutes in Andhra Pradesh:
- Acharya Nagarjuna University
- Acharya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University
- N.T.R. University of Health Sciences
- Andhra University
- Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages (Deemed University)
- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Open University
- Dravidian University
- Guntur Institute of Medical Sciences
- International Institute of Information Technology (Deemed University)
- Institute of Chartered and financial analysist of India (Private University)
- Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University
- Indian School of Business
- Kakatiya University
- Maulana Azad National Urdu University
- Muffakham Jah College of Engineering and Technology
- Nannya University
- National Academy of Legal Studies and Research University
- National Institute of Technology, Warangal (Deemed University)
- Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences
- NRI Academy of Medical Sciences
- Osmania University
- Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University
- Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha
- Sri Krishnadevaraya University
- Sri Padmavathi Mahila Visvavidyalayam
- Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning(Deemed University)
- Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences
- Sri Venkateswara University
- Sri Venkateswara Veterniry University
- Telangana University
- University of Hyderabad
- Vedic University
- Yogi Vemana University
The state has a rich musical heritage. All three legends of the Carnatic Music Trinity - Thyagaraja, Shyama Sastri and Muthuswami Dikshitar were of Telugu descent. Other great composers include Annamacharya, Kshetrayya, and Bhadrachala Ramadasu. Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna is a contemporary legend.
Nannayya, Tikkana, and Yerrapragada form the trinity who translated the great epic Mahabharatha into Telugu. Bammera Potana is another great writer famous for his great classic Srimad Andhra Maha Bhagavatamu, a Telugu translation of Sri Baghavatham by Veda Vyasa in Sanskrit. Modern writers include Jnanpith Award winners Sri Viswanatha Satyanarayana and Dr. C. Narayana Reddy.
Jayapa Senani (Jayapa Nayudu) is the first person who wrote about the dances prevalent in Andhra Pradesh . Both Desi and Margi forms of dances have been included in his Sanskrit treatise 'Nritya Ratnavali'. It contains eight chapters. Folk dance forms like Perani, Prenkhana, Suddha Nartana, Carcari, Rasaka, Danda Rasaka, Shiva Priya, Kanduka Nartana, Bhandika Nrityam, Carana Nrityam, Chindu, Gondali and Kolatam are described. In the first chapter the author deals with discussion of the differences between Marga and desi, tandava and lasya, Natya and nritta. In the 2nd and 3rd chapters he deals with angikabhinaya, caris, Sthanakas and mandalas. In the 4th Chapter Karnas, angaharas and recakas are described. In following chapters he described the local dance forms i.e. desi nritya. In the last chapter he deals with art and practice of dance.
Classical dance in Andhra can be performed by both men and women, however women tend to learn it more often. Kuchipudi is the state's best-known classical dance forms of Andhra Pradesh. The various dance forms that existed through the states's history are Chenchu Bhagotham, Kuchipudi, Bhamakalapam, Burrakatha, Veeranatyam, Butta bommalu, Dappu, Tappeta Gullu, Lambadi, Bonalu, Dhimsa, and Kolattam.
Andhra Pradesh is the state with the most cinema halls in India, at around 2,500. The state also produces about 200 movies a year. Now it also houses an IMax theatre with a big 3D screen and also 3-5 multiplexes. It is also the largest movie industry in India, producing more movies than any other industry.
- State language - Telugu
- State symbol - Poorna Kumbham
- State song - Maa telugu thalliki by Sankarambadi Sundarachari
- State animal - Blackbuck, (Krishna Jinka)
- State bird - Kingfisher, (Paala Pitta)
- State tree - Vepa (Neem)
- State sport - Kabaddi, in Telugu Chedu gudu
- State dance - Kuchipudi, Andhra Natyam
- State flower - Water lily
Temples in the state
- Tirupati: Tirupati is the abode for the world famous Hindu temple of Lord Venkateswara. It is the richest Hindu religious institution and second richest in the world after the Vatican. It records an annual income of about 100 Billion Rupees (2.5 Billion US Dollars), mostly from offerings by the devotees. The traditional "head tonsuring" has entered the records as the record amount of human hair collected from a single place. This hair is auctioned, bringing several million rupees every year from several countries where manufactures use this hair for a variety of purposes.
- Yadagiri Gutta:
- Vemulavada: Notable for the Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy Temple complex, a site of pilgrimage for both Hindu (particularly devotees of Vishnu and Shiva) and Muslim worshippers. Built by Chaluka Kings between AD 750 and 975, the complex is named for its presiding deity Sri Raja Rajeswara Swamy, an incarnation of Shiva. It houses several temples dedicated to other deities including Sri Rama, Lakshmana, Lakshmi, Ganapathy, Lord Padmanabha Swamy and Lord Bhimeshwara. The complex also contains a 400 year old mosque.
- Vijayawada: Vijayawada houses the second biggest and equally famous temple of Goddess Durga also known as Kanaka Durga.
- Srisailam: Abode for Lord Siva worshipped with the name of Mallikarjuna and Goddess Parvathi, worshipped with the name of Bhramaramba. Srisailam has a unique distinction amongst the Hindu temples of the world; it is the only place to be one of 18 Shaktipithas and one of 12 Jyothirlingas. Huge hydro-electric multi-purpose dam has also been constructed at this place on river Krishna.
- Bhadrachalam: Abode for Lord Rama. The legend goes back a few hundred years. There was a devotee by name Bhakta Ramadas, who was a tax collector in Taneesha (a Muslim ruler of Golkonda)'s government. Apparently he spent all the tax collection money on building a temple for lord Rama, eventually was put in prison by the Taneesha. Bhakta Ramdas has offered his prayers to lord Rama in the form of Kirtanas, and one fine day, lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana come in disguise to re-pay the money to Taneesha. Taneesha finally realized his mistake and from that day, not only freed Bhakta Ramadas, but also agreed to supply the required alms for the temple at Bhadrachalam. Till date, in independent India, the state administration maintains the ritual.
- Srikalahasti: SriKalahasti is one of the Panchabhoota Sthalams signifying the 5 elements, 1) wind (Kalahasti), 2) water (Thiruvanaikaval), 3) fire (Tiruvannamalai), 4) earth (Kanchipuram) and 5) space (Chidambaram) that Siva embodies.
- Ahobilam: Ahobilam or Ahobala is a complex of 9 temples of Lord Narasimha.
- Mangalagiri: A temple town between Vijayawada and Guntur. Adobe of Lord Narasimha. The unique distinction at this shrine is that, the deity is offered payers in the form of 'Panakam' or Jaggery Water.
- Annavaram: The holy shrine is the sanctum sanctorum of Lord "Satyadeva" or "Satyanarayana".
- Simhachalam: This holy shrine is the adobe of Lord Narasimha, worshipped in the name of "Narasimha".
Srikakulam: There are two places with the same name in the state. A district and town by the same name on the north east corner of the state as well as a small village on the bank of river Krishna in Krishna district. The village Srikakulam houses the "Andhra Mahavishnu" temple. Legend says that this temple was constructed by the great Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara Kingdom.
Ramappa Temple: a beautiful Shiva temple in the temple town of Palampet, near Warangal.
Veerabhadra temple in the temple town of Lepakshi is a wonderful example of the Vijayanagar architectural style and art.
Andhra Pradesh has many museums, including the Archaeological Museum at Amaravati near Guntur City that features relics of nearby ancient sites, the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad, which features a varied collection of sculptures, paintings, and religious artifacts, and the Visakha Museum in Vizag (Visakhapatnam), which displays the history of the pre-Independence Madras Presidency in a rehabilitated Dutch bungalow.
Andhra Pradesh has several newspapers. Prominent among them are:
- Telugu Newspapers - Eenadu, Andhra Jyothi, Vaartha, Praja Shakti, Andhra Bhoomi, Visalandra, Andhra Prabha and KalamPotu
- URDU Newspapers - Siasat Daily, Munsif Daily, Rehnuma-e-Deccan, Itimad Urdu Daily and The Daily Milap.
- English Newspapers - Deccan Chronicle, The Hindu, The Times of India, Indian Express, The Economic Times, The Business Line
Other elements of Culture
Bapu's paintings, Nanduri Subbarao's Yenki Paatalu (Songs on/by a washerwoman called Yenki), mischievous Budugu (a character by Mullapudi), Annamayya's songs, Aavakaaya (a variant of mango pickle in which the kernel of mango is retained), Gongura (a chutney from Roselle plant), Atla taddi (a seasonal festival predominantly for teenage girls), banks of river Godavari, Dudu basavanna (The ceremonial ox decorated for door-to-door exhibition during the harvest festival Sankranti) have long defined Telugu culture. The village of Durgi is known for originating stone craft, carvings of idols in soft stone that must be exhibited in the shade because they are prone to weathering.
- Sankranthi in January.
- Maha Shivaratri in February/March.
- Ugadi or the Telugu New Year in Marc*h/April.
- Vinayaka Chavithi in August.
- Ramzan in October, 2006.(Muslim)
- Dasara in October.
- Deepavali in November.
- Bakrid in December, 2006.(Muslim)
- Bonalu in Sravanam. (Celebrated in Telangana region).
- Bathukamma celebrated during September/October in Telangana region.
- Christmas celebrated in December all over the state.(Christian)
- Rama Navami celebrated in March/April 9 days after Ugadi.
The cuisine of Andhra is reputedly the spiciest of all Indian cuisine. Even in the state itself there are many variations to the cuisine depending on caste, restrictions, food availability etc. Pickles and chutneys, called pachchadi in Telugu are particularly popular in Andhra Pradesh and many varieties of pickles and chutneys are unique to the state. Chutneys are made from practically every vegetable including tomatoes, brinjals, and roselle (gongura). A mango pickle, aavakaaya, is probably the best known of the Andhra pickles.
Rice is the staple food and is used in a wide variety of ways. Typically, rice is either boiled and eaten with curry, or made into a batter for use in a crepe-like dish called attu (pesarattu) or dosas.
Meat, vegetables, and greens are prepared with different masalas into a variety of strongly flavoured dishes.
Hyderabadi cuisine is influenced by the Muslim population, which arrived in Telangana centuries ago. Much of the cuisine revolves around meat. It is rich and aromatic, with a liberal use of exotic spices and ghee. Lamb, chicken and fish are the most widely used meats in the non-vegetarian dishes. The biryanis are perhaps the most distinctive and popular of Hyderabadi dishes.
Andhra Pradesh is the home of many religious pilgrim centres. Tirupati, the abode of Lord Venkateswara, has the richest and most visited Hindu temple in India. Srisailam, the abode of Sri Mallikarjuna, is one of twelve Jyothirlingalu in India and Yadagirigutta, the abode of an avatara of Vishnu, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha. The Ramappa temple at Warangal is famous for some fine temple carvings. The state has numerous Buddhist centres at Amaravati, Bhattiprolu, Nagarjuna Konda, and Phanigiri.
The golden beaches at Visakhapatnam, the one-million-year old limestone caves at Borra, picturesque Araku Valley, hill resorts of Horsley Hills, Godavari racing through a narrow gorge at Papi Kondalu, waterfalls and rich bio-diversity at Talakona, the beaches of Vizag are some of the natural attractions of the state.
Andhra Pradesh . Arunachal Pradesh . Assam . Bihar . Chhattisgarh . Goa . Gujarat . Haryana . Himachal Pradesh . Jammu and Kashmir . Jharkhand . Karnataka . Kerala . Madhya Pradesh . Maharashtra . Manipur . Meghalaya . Mizoram . Nagaland . Orissa . Punjab . Rajasthan . Sikkim . Tamil Nadu . Tripura . Uttar Pradesh . Uttarakhand . West Bengal