Andhra Pradesh is an Indian state which ranks fourth in area and fifth in population among other states of India. The capital of Andhra Pradesh is Hyderabad. The state was originally called Andhra State and on 1st November 1956, according to the State Reorganization Act, the state of Andhra Pradesh was formed and the Telugu speaking areas of Hyderabad state was added to it.
History of Andhra Pradesh
The history of Andhra Pradesh starts from 800 B.C. and was mentioned in the works of the Greek traveler Megasthenes who visited the court of Chandragupta Maurya in 3rd century B. C. Vishnukundina Kings ruled this place in 5th and 6th centuries and then followed the rule of Chalukyas and Vijayanagara kingdom. Vengi was the capital at that time. Then it was brought under the rule of Bahmani Sultanate in 14th century and then under Qutb Shahi dynasty.
During the rule of Asaf Jah I in 1724, Golkonda Kingdom was renamed Hyderabad State. During colonial period the Northern Circars became a part of Madras Presidency. After the independence of India, Hyderabad was forcibly added to India in 1948 and on 1st November 1953, the state of Andhra was formed with Kurnool as its capital. Later in 1956 Hyderabad became the capital of the newly formed state of Andhra Pradesh.
Geography and Climate of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh has Bay of Bengal in the east, Karnataka in the west, Tamil Nadu in the south and Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Orissa in the north. The coastline of Andhra Pradesh is the second longest in India with 972 kilometers. Godavari, Pennar and Krishna are the major rivers that flow through the state. The state covers an area of 275,045 square kilometers.
The temperature of Andhra Pradesh ranges from 20 degree Celsius to 41 degree Celsius. Andhra Pradesh is divided into three major regions based on its climate. They are Rayalaseema, Telangana and Coastal Andhra. The average annual rainfall of Coastal Andhra Pradesh is 1094 mm, of Telengana region is 961 mm and of Rayalaseema region is 680 mm.
Districts of Andhra Pradesh
There are 23 districts in Andhra Pradesh as of June 2012. Given below is the Andhra Pradesh state map with all 23 districts marked.
People and Culture of Andhra Pradesh
The population of Andhra Pradesh is 84,655,533 as of 2011. The average literacy rate is 67.77%. Telugu is the official language and is spoken by majority of people of Andhra Pradesh. Other languages such as Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada and Oriya are also spoken in negligible numbers. Andhra Pradesh is the home of many Hindu saints such as Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Swami Sundara Chaitanyanandaji of Aurobindo Mission and Brahmarshi Subhash Patri.
The festivals of Andhra Pradesh are Ugadi, Sankranthi, Dasara, Vinayak Chathurthi, Deepawali, Christmas, Sri Rama Navami, Holi, Eid Ul Fitr, Eid Ul Alha, Muharram, etc. Andhra Pradesh cuisine is spiciest and hot and pickles and chutneys have an important place. Rice is the staple food of people and other dishes are attu, curry, gongura pachadi, chapala pulusu, etc. Kuchipudi is the classical dance of Andhra Pradesh. The state symbol is Poorna Kumbam, the state sport is Kabaddi.
Education and Sports of Andhra Pradesh
One of the oldest universities in Andhra Pradesh is Osmania University. There are more than 1300 colleges in the state and more than a dozen universities. Some of them are Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Andhra University, Nagarjuna University, Kakatiya University, Sri Venkateswara University, Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, Rayalaseema University, etc.
The commonly seen sports in Andhra Pradesh are cricket, field hockey, weightlifting, chess, tennis, badminton, cycling, table tennis, kabaddi, etc. Many eminent cricketers and sports persons have emerged from this state namely Mohammed Azharuddin, V.V.S. Laxman, Arshad Ayub, Venkatapathy Raju, Sania Mirza, Karnam Malleswari, Koneru Humpy, etc.
Economy of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh ranks third among other Indian states in its GDP. It is notable for rice cultivation and hence is called the Rice Bowl of India. Agriculture is the main contributor of the economy of the state and the rivers Godavari, Krishna, Pennar and Thungabadra makes the region fertile. Other crops are sugarcane, chilli, mango, cotton and tobacco. 43% of the total GSDP comes from service sector. The Godavari River Basin Irrigation Projects and Nagarjuna Sagar Dam are also the main sources of irrigation.
One third of the limestone reserves of India come from Andhra Pradesh. The state ranks fourth in India in its power generation. As of 2006-07, the state accounted for the 14% of total IT exports of the country.
Andhra Pradesh Transportation
Andhra Pradesh is connected by air with many parts of India and abroad through Hyderabad International Airport. Other airports of the state are located in Vishakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry and Tirupati.
The maritime activity is conducted through its two major ports and three minor ports located at Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Krishnapatnam, Machilipatnam and Nizampatnam. The South Central Railway has its headquarters at Secunderabad and the districts of Srikakulam and Vizianagaram are served by the East Coast Railway. Vijayawada Railway station is one of the busiest and largest in India.
Andhra Pradesh has a road length of 146,954 kilometers. All the places of the state are connected by buses run by the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation and it has the largest fleet of vehicles which is approximately 21,000. The largest bus stands are located at Hyderabad and Vijayawada.
Andhra Pradesh Tourism
There are many religious pilgrim centers in Andhra Pradesh. The five ancient Lord Shiva temples are located at Amararama, Draksharama, Somarama, Ksheerarama and Kumararama and these are known as Pancharama Kshetras. Other tourist attractions in Andhra Pradesh are
1. Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirupati
3. Golden Beaches at Vishakhapatnam
4. Araku Valley
5. Borra Caves of Anatagiri Hills
6. Papi Hills
7. Belum Caves in Kurnool District
8. Horsley Hills
10. Kuntala Waterfall
12. Golconda Fort
13. Chandragiri Fort
14. Chowmahalla Palace
15. Birla Mandir at Hyderabad