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Andhra Pradesh ( , translation: Province of Andhras), abbreviated A.P., is a state situated on the south-eastern coast of Indiamarker. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city is Hyderabadmarker. The State has the second longest coastline (972 km) among all the States in India.

Andhra Pradesh lies between 12°41' and 22°N latitude and 77° and 84°40'E longitude, and is bordered by Maharashtramarker, Chhattisgarhmarker and Orissamarker in the north, the Bay of Bengalmarker in the East, Tamil Nadumarker to the south and Karnatakamarker to the west. Andhra Pradesh is historically called the "Rice Bowl of India". More than 77% of its crop is rice; Andhra Pradesh produced 17,796,000 tonnes of rice in 2006. Two major rivers, the Godavari and the Krishna run across the state. The small enclave (12 sq mi (30 km²)) of the Yanammarker district of Puducherrymarker (Pondicherry) state lies in the Godavari Delta in north-east of the state.

Historically the region comprising the state was known as Andhraapatha, Andhradesa, Andhraavani, and Andhra vishaya. Andhra Pradesh was formed by merging Telugu speaking areas of Hyderabad State and Andhra State on November 1, 1956.

Andhra Pradesh State Symbols
State language Telugu (తెలుగు)
State symbol Poorna Kumbham (పూర్ణకుంభం)
State song Maa Telugu Thalliki (మా తెలుగు తల్లికి మల్లె పూదండ) by Sankarambadi Sundarachari
State animal Black Buck, (కృష్ణ జింక)
State bird Indian Roller, (పాల పిట్ట)
State tree Neem (వేప)
State sport Kabaddi (చెడుగుడు)
State dance Kuchipudi (కూచిపూడి)
State flower Water lily (కలువ పువ్వు)


History

An Andhra Kingdom was mentioned in the Sanskrit epics such as Aitareya Brahmana (B.C.800) and Mahabharata. The Natyasastra of Bharatha (1st Century B.C) also mentioned the "Andhra" race. The roots of the Telugu language have been traced to inscriptions found at Bhattiprolumarker.

Megasthenes, who visited the Court of Chandragupta Maurya (B.C.322–297), mentioned that Andhra country had 3 fortified towns and an army of 100,000 infantry, 200 cavalry and 1,000 elephants. Buddhist books reveal that Andhras established their kingdoms on the Godavari belt at that time. Asoka referred in his 13th rock edict that Andhras were his subordinates.

Inscriptional evidence shows that there was an early kingdom in coastal Andhra ruled by Kuberaka, with Pratipalapura (Bhattiprolumarker) as his capital. Around the same time Dhanyakatakam/Dharanikotamarker (present day ) appears to have been an important place, which was visited by Gautama Buddha. According to the ancient Tibetan scholar Taranatha: "On the full moon of the month Chaitra in the year following his enlightenment, at the great stupa of Dhanyakataka, the Buddha emanated the mandala of 'The Glorious Lunar Mansions' (Kalachakra)".
The Maurya extended their rule over Andhra in 4th century BCE. With the fall of the Maurya Empire, Andhra Satavahana became independent in 3rd century BCE. After the decline of the Satavahanas in 220 CE, Ikshvaku dynasty, Pallavas, Ananda Gotrikas, Vishnukundinas, Eastern Chalukyas and Chola ruled the Telugu land. Inscriptional evidence of Telugu language was found during the rule of Renati Cholas (Kadapa region) in 5th century CE. During this period Telugu emerged as a popular medium undermining the predominance of Prakrit and Sanskrit. Telugu was made the official language by the Vishnukundina kings who ruled from their capital Vinukondamarker. Eastern Chalukyas ruled for a long period after the decline of Vishnukundinas from their capital in Vengi. As early as 1st century CE, Chalukya were mentioned as being vassals and chieftains under the Satavahanas and later under Ikshvakus. The Chalukya ruler Rajaraja Narendra ruled Rajahmundrymarker around 1022 CE.

The battle of Palnadu resulted in the weakening of Eastern Chalukya power and emergence of the Kakatiya dynasty in the 12th and the 13th centuries CE. The Kakatiyas were at first feudatories of the Rashtrakutas ruling over a small territory near Warangalmarker. All the Telugu lands were united by the Kakatiyas. In 1323 CE, Delhi Sultan Ghiaz-ud-din Tughlaq sent a large army under Ulugh Khan to conquer the Telugu country and capture Warangal. King Prataparudra was taken prisoner. Musunuri Nayaks recaptured Warangal from the Delhi Sultanate in 1326 CE and ruled for fifty years. Inspired by their success, the Vijayanagara Empire, one of the greatest empires in the history of Andhra Pradesh and Indiamarker, was founded by Harihara and Bukka, who served as treasury officers of the Kakatiyas of Warangal. In 1347 CE, an independent Muslim state, the Bahmani Sultanate, 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. Meanwhile, the Frenchmarker had occupied Yanam (Yanaon), in the Godavari delta, and (save for periods of British control) would hold it until 1954.

India became independent from the United Kingdom in 1947. The Muslim Nizam wanted to retain his independence from India, but the people of the region launched the movement to join the Indian Union. The state of Hyderabad was forced to become part of the Republic of India in 1948 after Operation Polo which lasted 5 days and had popular support from the people of the Hyderabad State.

In an effort to gain an independent state, and protect the interests of the Telugu people of Madras State, Amarajeevi Potti Sreeramulu fasted until death. Public outcry and civil unrest after his death forced the government to announce the formation of a new state for Telugu speaking people. Andhra attained statehood on 1 October 1953, with Kurnoolmarker as its capital.

On 1 November 1956, Andhra State merged with the Telangana region of Hyderabad State to form the state of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabadmarker, the former capital of the Hyderabad State, was made the capital of the new state Andhra Pradesh. Yanam was relinquished by the French in 1954, but one condition of the treaty was the retention of the district's separate and distinct identity, which also applied to the other South Indian enclaves constituting today's puducherrymarker state.

Geography and Climate

Geographically, Andhra Pradesh is composed of most of the eastern half of the Deccan plateau and the plains to the east of the Eastern Ghats. The northern part of the plateau is generally considered as the telangana region and the southern part is known as rayalaseema. These two regions are separated, roughly, by the river Krishna. The plains to the east of Eastern ghats form the coastal plain region. The Eastern ghats are discontinuous and have local names for individual sections. The kadapa basin formed by two arching branches of the eastern ghats is a mineral rich area. The coastal plains are, for a major part, delta regions formed by the rivers Godavari, Krishna, and Penner. The Eastern ghats are a major dividing line in the state's geography. The ghats become more pronounced towards the south and extreme north of the coast. The Eastern ghat region also is home to dense tropical forests, while the vegetation becomes sparse as the ghats give way to the deccan plateau, where shrub vegetation is more common. Most of the coastal plains are put to intense agricultural use. West and South west parts of andhra pradesh have semi-arid conditions.

The climate of Andhra Pradesh varies considerably, depending on the geographical region. The major role in determining the climate of the state is played by monsoons. Summers last from March to June. In the coastal plain the summer temperatures are generally higher than the rest of the state, with temperature ranging between 20°C and 41°C.

July to September is the season for tropical rains in Andhra Pradesh. The state receives heavy rainfall during these months. About one third of the total rainfall in Andhra Pradesh is brought by the North-East Monsoons. October and November see low-pressure systems and tropical cyclones form in the Bay of Bengal which, along with the north-east monsoon, bring rains to the southern and coastal regions of the state. Winters in Andhra Pradesh are pleasant. November, December, January and February are the winter months in AP. Since the state has a long coastal belt the winters are not very cold in those regions. The range of winter temperature is generally 13°C to 30°C.

Divisions

Andhra Pradesh districts map
Andhra Pradesh can be divided into three regions, namely Coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema and Telangana.

Andhra Pradesh has 23 districts: Adilabad, Anantapurmarker, Chittoor, Kadapamarker, East Godavarimarker, Gunturmarker, Hyderabadmarker, Karimnagarmarker, Khammammarker, Krishnamarker, Kurnoolmarker, Mahbubnagarmarker, Medak, Nalgonda, Sri Potti Sreeramulu Nelloremarker, Nizamabadmarker, Prakasammarker, Rangareddymarker, Srikakulammarker, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagarammarker, Warangalmarker and West Godavarimarker.

Each district is divided into multiple mandal and each mandal is a group of a few villages.

Hyderabad is the capital and, along with the adjoining twin city Secunderabadmarker, is the largest city in the state. Visakhapatnammarker, Andhra Pradesh's main seaport, is the second largest city of the state and is home to the Indian Navy's Eastern Naval Command. Vijayawadamarker due to its location and proximity to major rail and road routes is a major trading center and the third largest city. Nelloremarker is Andhra Pradesh's largest port. Other important cities and towns are: Kakinadamarker, Warangalmarker, Gunturmarker, Tirupatimarker, Rajahmundrymarker, Ongolemarker, Kurnoolmarker, Anantapurmarker, Karimnagarmarker, Nizamabadmarker and Elurumarker.

Demographics

Telugu Other languages Total
Hindu 82% 2% 84%
Muslim 1% 8% 9%
Christian 4% 1% 5%
Other religions 0.5% 0.5% 1%
Total 88.5% 11.5% 100%


 mainly Urdu


Telugu is the official language of the state, spoken by 88.5% of the population. Telugu is the third most spoken language in India. The major linguistic minority groups in the state include the speakers of Urdu (8.63%) and Hindi (0.63%) and Tamil (1.01%). The Indian government designated Telugu as a classical and ancient language on November 1, 2008.

Other languages spoken in Andhra Pradesh by less than 1% each are Kannada (0.94%), Marathi (0.84%), Oriya (0.42%), Gondi (0.21%) and Malayalam (0.1%). Languages spoken by less than 0.1% are the states residents include Gujarati (0.09%), Savara (0.09%), Koya (0.08%), Jatapu (0.04%), Punjabi (0.04%), Kolami (0.03%), Konda (0.03%), Gadaba (0.02%), Sindhi (0.02%), Gorkhali/Nepali (0.01%) and Khond/Kondh (0.01%).

The main ethnic group of Andhra Pradesh is the Telugu people who primarily are Dravidians.

Economy

Agriculture has been the chief source of income for the state's economy. Four important rivers of India, the Godavari, Krishna, Pennamarker and Thungabhadramarker flow through the state, providing irrigation. Rice, sugarcane, cotton, mirchi (chilli pepper), mango and tobacco are the local crops. Recently, crops used for vegetable oil production such as sunflower and peanuts have gained favour. There are many multi-state irrigation projects in development, including Godavari River Basin Irrigation Projects and Nagarjuna Sagar Dammarker, the world's highest masonry dam.

The state has also started to focus on the fields of information technology and biotechnology. In 2004–2005, Andhra Pradesh was at the fifth position in the list of top IT exporting states of India. The IT exports from the State were Rs.82,700 million in 2004–2005 ($ 1,800 million). The IT sector is expanding at a rate of 52.3% every year. The IT exports reached Rs.190,000 million ($4.5 billion) in 2006–2007, contributed to 14 per cent of total IT exports of the nation and ranked fourth in India. The service sector of the state already accounts for 43% of the gross state domestic product (GSDP) and employs 20% of the work force. The state capital, Hyderabad is considered to be bulk drug capital of the country. 50% of the top 10 companies in Pharmaceutical field are from the state. The state also commands a very prominent place in the infrastructure space, with many companies from the state being up there at the fore-front.

Andhra Pradesh is a mineral rich state, ranking second in India in terms of mineral wealth. The state has about one third of India's limestone reserves, estimated at about 30 billion tonnes.The Krishna Godavari Basin has huge reserves of natural gas and petroleum reserves. The state is also blessed with huge amount of coal reserves.

The state ranks first nationwide in hydro electricity generation with national market share of over 11%.

Andhra Pradesh's GSDP for 2005 was estimated at $62 billion in current prices. This is a chart of trend of GSDP of Andhra Pradesh at market prices estimated by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation with figures in millions of Indian Rupees. Accordingly, the state ranks fourth in terms of overall GSDP, and fourth in per capita GSDP among the major states of India. According to another metric, the state ranks third in terms of Gross State Product among all the states of the Indian Union.
Year State GDP (Rs. MM)
1980 81,910
1985 152,660
1990 333,360
1995 798,540
2000 1,401,190
2007 2,294,610


Government and politics

Andhra Pradesh has a Legislative Assembly of 294 seats, and Second House Vidhana Parisat or Council (M.L.C.) of 90 members. 31 memers are elected from Local bodies, 31 members are elected from assembly 8 members elected from teachers, 8 members elected from graduates and 12 members are nominated by the Governor. Members in Parliament of India; 18 in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House, and 42 in the Lok Sabha, the Lower House.

Andhra Pradesh had a series of governments headed by Indian National Congress (INC) Party until 1982. Kasu Brahmananda Reddy held the record for the longest serving chief minister. P. V. Narasimha Rao also served as the chief minister of the state, who later went on to become the Prime Minister of India in 1991. Among the notable chief ministers of the state are Tanguturi Prakasam, Chief Minister (CM) of Andhra State (the first CM of the present Andhra Pradesh was Neelam Sanjiva Reddy) others include Damodaram Sanjivayya, Kasu Brahmananda Reddy, Pamulaparthi Narasimha Rao, Jalagam Vengala Rao, Marri Chenna Reddy, Tanguturi Anjayya, Bhavanam Venkatarami Reddy, Kotla Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy, N. T. Rama Rao, Nadendla Bhaskara Rao, Nedurumalli Janardhana Reddy, N. Chandrababu Naidu, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and Konijeti Rosaiah



In 1983 the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) won the State elections and N.T. Rama Rao (NTR) became the chief minister of the state for the first time introducing a formidable second political party to Andhra Pradesh's politics and thus breaking the single party monopoly on Andhra Pradesh's politics. After a few months, Nadendla Bhaskar Rao usurped power when NTR was away in the United States for medical treatment. After coming back, NTR campaigned for a comeback by demonstrating the support of the majority of the elected MLAs. Indira Gandhi and the then coterie comprising Rajiv Gandhi, Arun Nehru had to yield. The then governor Ram Lal was ousted by Indira Gandhi and in his place she appointed Shankar Dayal Sharma as Governor. NTR was reinstated as Chief Minister. Within a month NTR recommended the dissolution of the assembly and called for fresh elections. In the mean time Indira Gandhi was assassinated on Oct 31 1984 by her Sikh bodyguard and Rajiv Gandhi was made the Prime Minister by the President Giani Jail Singh. In the ensuing elections for Loksabha and AP Assembly, Telugu Desam won in Andhrapradesh and NTR came back to power.

In 1989 elections ended rule of NTR with INC party returning to power with Dr. Marri Chenna Reddy at the helm of affairs. He was replaced by N. Janardhan Reddy who was in turn replaced by Kotla Vijaya Bhasker Reddy.

In 1994, Andhra Pradesh gave a mandate to TDP again and saw NTR becoming the chief minister again. Chandrababu Naidu who was the Son-in-law of NTR usurped power with majority of MLAs standing behind him. NTR's second wife Lakshmi Parvati was the primary reason for the revolt in the party. NTR tried in vain to woo the MLAs back to his fold. NTR refused to attend the Assembly. NTR died in 1996 apparently due to heart attack. At the time of his death NTR was with his second wife Lakshmi Parvati. TDP won both the assembly and loksabha election in 1999 under the leadership of Nara Chandrababu Naidu. There was an assassination attempt on Chandrababu Naidu in 2003 in Tirupathi and he survived the attack. However, in the ensuing elections TDP lost power to a resurgent congress party and its allies.Congress on its own won 185 seats in 294 assembly,along with allies Congress won 226 seats and Y.S Rajashekar Reddy became the Chief Minister.

YS Rajasekhara Reddy became the CM again by fending off Praja Rajyam Party and mega alliance of TDP, TRS, CPI and CPM. YSR Reddy not only became the first Congress CM in AP history to complete 5 full years as CM in one term but also became the first person to lead a party with back to back election win after full 5 year rule in A.P. He served until his death on 2 September 2009 in a Helicopter crash.

Konijeti Rosaiah, a veteran congress man, became the Chief Minister of AP on Sept 3rd, 2009. NTR won 214 seats in 1994which is a record in andhra pradesh government.

Culture

Cultural institutions

Andhra Pradesh has many museums, including the Archaeological Museum at Amaravatimarker near Guntur City that features relics of nearby ancient sites, the Salar Jung Museummarker in Hyderabad, which features a varied collection of sculptures, paintings, and religious artifacts and the Visakha Museum in Visakhapatnammarker, which displays the history of the pre-Independence Madras Presidency in a rehabilitated Dutch bungalow. Victoria Jubilee Museum in Vijayawadamarker has a good collection of ancient sculptures, paintings, idols, weapons, cutlery and inscriptions.

Cuisine

The cuisine of Andhra Pradesh is reputedly one of the spiciest of all Indian cuisine. There are many variations to the Andhra cuisine (all involving rice) depending on geographical regions, caste, traditions etc. Pickle 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 (eggplant), and roselle (Gongura). Gongura 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 – made of a mixture of this batter and mung beans) or dosas.

Meat, vegetables and greens are prepared with different spices (masala) into a variety of strongly flavored dishes.

Hyderabadi cuisine is influenced by the Muslims who arrived in Telangana in the 14th century. Much of the cuisine revolves around meat. It is rich and aromatic, with a liberal use of exotic spices and ghee (clarified butter). Lamb, chicken and fish are the most widely used meats in the non-vegetarian dishes. The biryani is perhaps the most distinctive and popular of Hyderabadi cuisine.

Dance

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 Angi-kabhinaya, 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 form. The various dance forms that existed through the state's history are Chenchu Bhagotham, Kuchipudi, Bhamakalapam, Burrakatha, Veeranatyam, Butta bommalu, Dappu, Tappeta Gullu, Lambadi, Bonalu, Dhimsa, Kolattam and chindu .

Festivals



Literature

Nannayya, Tikkana, and Yerrapragada form the trinity who translated the great Sanskrit epic Mahabharata into Telugu. Bommera Pothana is another poet who composed the classic SriMad Andhra Maha Bhagavatamu, a Telugu translation of Sri Bhagavatham authored by Veda Vyasa in Sanskrit. Nannayya is called Adikavi and was patronized by the king Rajarajanarendra who ruled from Rajamahendravaram (Rajahmundrymarker). The Vijayanagaramarker emperor Krishnadevaraya wrote Amuktamalyada. Telugu poet Vemana, a native of Kadapamarker, is also notable for his philosophical poems. Telugu literature after Kandukuri Veeresalingam is termed modern literature. Known as Gadya Tikkana, Satyavathi Charitam was the author Telugu-language social novel, Satyavathi Charitam. Other modern writers include Jnanpith Award winners Sri Viswanatha Satya Narayana and Dr. C. Narayana Reddy. The Andhra Pradesh native and revolutionary poet Sri Sri brought new forms of expressionism into Telugu literature.

Shri Puttaparthi Narayanacharyulu is also one of the scholar poets of Telugu literature. He was a contemporary of Shri Vishwanatha Satyanarayana. Shri Puttaparthy Narayanacharyulu wrote the famous books Sivatandavam and Panduranga Mahatyam as dwipadakavyam .

Other notable writers from Andhra Pradesh include Srirangam Sreenivasarao, Gurram Jashuva, Chinnaya Suri, Viswanatha Satyanarayana and Vaddera Chandidas.

Movies

Andhra Pradesh is the state with the most cinema halls in India, at around 2700. The state also produces about 200 movies a year. It has around 40% (330 out of 930) of the Dolby digital theatres in India. Now it also houses an IMAX theatre with a big 3D screen and also 3–5 multiplexes. Tollywood produces the largest number of movies in India per year.The legends of the tollywood are NTR, ANR, & shobanbabu.

Music

The state has a rich musical heritage. Many legends of the Carnatic music including Trinity of Carnatic musicTyagaraja, Annamacharya, Kshetrayya, and Bhadrachala Ramadasu were of Telugu descent.Great Mandolin player, U. Srinivas is also from Andhra Pradesh.Folk songs are also popular in the rural areas of the state. A great Carnatic singer, who invented some more Ragas in Carnatic Music, the great Sri M. Balamuralikrishna is of Telugu descent.

Religion

Andhra Pradesh is home to Hindu saints of all castes. An important backward-caste figure is, Sant Yogi Sri Potuluri Virabrahmendra Swami was born in Vishwabrahmin (Gold Smith) caste who had Brahmin, Harijan and Muslim disciples. Fisherman Raghu was also a Sudra. Sant Kakkayya was a chura (cobbler) Harijan saint.

Several important Hindu modern-day saints are from Andhra Pradesh. These include Nimbarka who founded Dvaitadvaita, Mother Meera who advocated Indian independence, Sri Sathya Sai Baba who advocates religious unity in worship, Swami Sundara Chaitanyanandaji and Aurobindo Mission.

Pilgrimages and Religious Sites



Tirupati or Tirumala is a very important pilgrimage for Hindus throughout India. It is the richest piligrimage city (of any religious faith) in the world. Its main temple is dedicated to the god Venkateswara. Tirpuathi is located in Chittoormarker district. Satyanarayana swamy temple famous in Annavaram in East Godavari district. Simhachalammarker is another very popular pilgrimage of national importance. Simhachalam is said in mythology to be the abode of the savior-god Narasimha, who rescued Prahlada from abusive father Hiranyakashipu. Kanaka Durga Temple is one of the famous in Andhra Pradesh which is situated in Vijayawadamarker city. Srikalahastimarker is one of the important ancient siva temples and is located on the banks of river Swarnamukhi in Chittoormarker district.others being sri sailam templein kurnool district a very famous shiva temple.



Simhachalam is a hill shrine 16 km away from Visakhapatnam on the other side of the Hill on the north of the city. One of the most exquisitely sculpted shrines of Andhra Pradesh, it is located among thickly wooded hills. The beautifully-carved 16-pillared Natya mantapa and the 96-pillared Kalyana mantapa bear testimony to the architectural brilliance of the temple. The image of the presiding deity, Sri Lakshminarasimha Swamy, is covered by a thick layer of sandalwood paste. This is one of the oldest temple in India dedicated to Lord Narasimha, one of the incarnations of Vishnu, built in 11th century by Kullotunga, a Chola king. One Vijaya stamba is erected by Sri Krishna Deva Raya emerged victorious over the Gajapati kings of Orissa. One will find ancient Telugu inscriptions in this temple. This temple is one of the most famous temples in India. Its architecture is Dravida (South Indian). There is a popular belief that this lord is protecting Vizag from natural disasters like floods, cyclones, earthquakes and tsunamis. Not even a single death occurred due to natural calamities to this date. Couples just before marriage go to this temple as a ritual. This temple is one of the most crowded temples of Andhra Pradesh.



Srisailammarker is another major temple in Andhra Pradesh of national importance. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the locations of the various Jyotirlingams. The Skanda Purana has a chapter called "Srisaila Kandam" dedicated to it, which points to the ancient origin. This is confirmed also by the fact that Tamil saints of the past millennia have sung praises of this temple. It is said that Adi Shankara visited this temple and at that time he composed his "Sivananda Lahiri". Shiva's sacred bull Vrishabha is said to have performed penance at the Mahakali temple till Shiva and Parvati appeared before him as Mallikarjuna and Brahmaramba. The temple is one of the 12 hallowed jyotirlingas; Lord Rama himself installed the Sahasralinga, while the Pandavas lodged the Panchapandava lingas in the temple courtyard. Srisailam is located in Kurnoolmarker district.

Bhadrachalammarker is known for the Sri Rama temple and the Godavari River. This is the place where the famous Bhakta Ramadasu (originally – Kancherla Gopanna) wrote his devotional songs dedicated to lord Rama. It was believed that lord Rama spent some years on the banks of river Godavari here in Tretayug. Legend says that Bhadra (a mountain), after a severe penance asked Rama to have a permanent residence on him. Lord Rama along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana are said to have settled on Bhadragiri. Bhadrachalam is located in Khammam districtmarker. Gopanna constructed the temple for Rama by raising funds from the people during the reign of Tanisha in 17 th century. He started celebrating the marriage of lord Rama and Sita. From then Sri Rama Navami is celebrated every year. Government of Andhra Pradesh sends pearls for the event at Bhadrachalam every year.

Basar - Saraswathi templemarker is another famous place for Saraswathi — goddess of education. Basara is located in Adilabadmarker district. Yaaganti Caves is also an important pilgrim center in Andhra Pradesh. Apart from that Mahanandi, Kurnool Dt is another piligrim center which is full of greenary. The famous Hindu Birla Mandir and Ramappa Templemarker, Muslim Mecca Masjidmarker and Charminarmarker as well as the statue of Buddha on the Hussain Sagar Lakemarker are wonderful religious monuments in Andhra Pradesh.

Kanakadurga temple is a famous temple in Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located on the Indrakeeladri hill in the city of Vijayawada on the banks of Krishna River. According to a legend, the now verdant Vijayawada was once a rocky region strewn with hillocks that were obstructing the flow of River Krishna. The land was thus rendered unfit for habitation or cultivation. Invocation to Lord Siva led to His directing the hills to give way to river Krishna. And lo! the river started flowing unimpeded with all its might, through the tunnels or "Bejjam" bored into the hills by Lord Siva. That is how the place got its name Bezawada.

One of the many mythologies associated with this place is that Arjuna prayed to Lord Siva on top of Indrakeela hill to win His blessings and the city derived its name "Vijayawada" after this victory. Yet another popular legend is about the triumph of goddess Kanakadurga over the demon king Mahishasura. It is said that once upon a time, the growing menace of demons became unendurable for the natives living in this region. Sage Indrakila performed severe penance and when the goddess appeared, the sage begged Her to reside on his head and keep vigil on the wicked demons. As per his wishes, after killing the demons, goddess Durga made Indrakila Her permanent abode. Later, She slayed the demon king Mahishasura, freeing the people of Vijayawada from the evil clutches of the demon. Special pujas are performed during Dasara also called Navratri. The most significant are Saraswati puja and Theppotsavam. The festival of Dasara for Goddess Durga is celebrated here every year. A large number of pilgrims attend the colourful celebrations and take a holy dip in the Krishna River.

Other cultural elements

Bapu's paintings, Nanduri Venkata Subba Rao'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 Sankranthi) have long defined Telugu culture. The village of Durgi is known for stone craft, carvings of idols in soft stone that must be exhibited in the shade because they are prone to weathering. 'Kalankari' is an ancient art form dating back to the Harappan civilization. Andhra is also famous for doll making. Dolls are made from wood, mud, dry grass, and light weight metal alloys. Tirupathi is famous for redwood carvings. Kondapalli is famous for mud toys with rich colors.eetikoppaka located in vizag is famous for toys. Nirmal paintings are expressive and are usually painted over a black background. Story telling in Andhra is an art form by itself. 'Yaksha ganam', 'Burra katha' (usually done by three people, telling stories using three different musical instruments), 'Jangama kathalu', 'Hari kathalu', 'Chekka bajana', 'Urumula natyam' (usually done in festivals, where a group of people dance in circles for loud music), 'Ghata natyam' (performances done with earthen pots over one's head) are all folk dances unique to Andhrapradesh palumamba festival in Visaka famous.

Education

Andhra Pradesh is served by more than 20 institutes of 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; 1000 MBA and MCA colleges; 500 engineering colleges; and 53 medical colleges. The student to teacher ratio is 19:1 in higher education. According to the 2001 census, Andhra Pradesh has an overall literacy rate of 60.5%. While the male literacy rate is at 70.3%, the female literacy rate is only at 50.4%, a cause for concern.

The state has recently made strides in setting up several institutes. Andhra Pradesh is home to the prestigious National Institute of Technology NIT Warangal[157]), Birla Institute of Technology and Science, (BITS Pilanimarker Hyderabad Campus) and IIT Hyderabad.International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad , University of Hyderabad(Hyderabad Central University) and the Indian School of Business (ISB) are gaining national attention for their standards. The National Institute of Fashion Technology and The Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition (NIFT) are also located in Hyderabad. The prestigious Osmania University is situated in Hyderabad.

The Government of Andhra Pradesh has the distinction of establishing the first University of Health Sciences fulfilling the recommendations of several committees.Thus the “Andhra Pradesh University of Health Sciences” was established by the Act.No. 6 of the Andhra Pradesh legislature and was inaugurated on 9-4-1986 by the late Sri N.T. Rama Rao, the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.The University of Health Sciences started functioning at Vijayawada from 01-11-1986. After the death of its founder Sri N.T. Rama Rao the University was named after him as NTR University of Health Sciences, Andhra Pradesh with effect from 2.2.98 vide Act No.4 of 1998.

Newspapers

Andhra Pradesh has several Telugu-language newspapers. Sakshi,Eenadu, Andhra Jyothy, Prajasakti, Vaartha, Andhra Bhoomi, Visalandra, Suryaa and Andhra Prabha are the main Telugu-language newspapers in the state.

Andhra Pradesh's Urdu-language newspapers include Siasat Daily, The Munsif Daily, Rehnuma-e-Deccan, Itimad Urdu Daily, Awam and The Milap Daily.

There are several English-language newspapers in Andhra Pradesh, including the The Times of India, The Hindu, The Deccan Chronicle, The New Indian Express, The Economic Times, The Business Line.

Andhra Pradesh is also home to several Hindi-language newspapers. Among these are Swatantra Vaartha, Vishakhapatanam Nizamabad, and Hindi Milap, one of the oldest Hindi newspapers published from Hyderabadmarker.

Tourism

Rishikonda beach
Andhra Pradesh is promoted by tourism department as "Koh-i-Noor of India."

Andhra Pradesh is the home of many religious pilgrim centres. Tirupatimarker, the abode of Hindu god Venkateswara, is most visited religious center (of any faith) in the world. Srisailammarker, nestled in the Nallamala Hills is the abode of Mallikarjuna and is one of twelve Jyothirlingalu in India. Amaravati's Shiva temple is one of the Pancharamams, as is Yadagirigutta, the abode of an avatara of Vishnu, Lakshmi Narasimha. The Ramappa temple and Thousand Pillars temple in Warangal are famous for their temple carvings. The state has numerous Buddhist centres at Amaravati, Nagarjuna Konda, Bhattiprolu, Ghantasala, Nelakondapalli, Dhulikatta, Bavikonda, Thotlakonda, Shalihundam, Pavuralakonda, Sankaram, Phanigiri and Kolanpaka.

The Badami Chalukyas (Badamimarker is in Karnatakamarker) in 6th century built the 'Alampur Bhrama temples, an excellent examples of Chalukya art and sculpture. The Vijayanagara Empire built number of monuments, the Srisailammarker temple and Lepakshimarker temples.

The golden beaches at Visakhapatnammarker, the one-million-year old limestone caves at Borra, picturesque Araku Valleymarker, hill resorts of Horsley Hills, river Godavari racing through a narrow gorge at Papi Kondalu, waterfalls at Ettipotala, Kuntala and rich bio-diversity at Talakona, are some of the natural attractions of the state. Kailashagiri is near the sea in Visakhapatnam. A park is on the hill top of Kailashagiri. Visakhapatnam is home to many tourist attactions like INS Karasura Submarine museum (The only one of its kind in India), the longest Beach Road in India, Yarada Beach, Araku Valley, VUDA Park, and Indira Gandhi Zoological Gardens.

The Borra Cavesmarker are located in the Anatagiri Hills of Eastern Ghats, near Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh State in India. They are at a height of about 800 to 1300 metres above Mean Sea Level and are famous for million-year-old stalactite and stalagmite formations. They were discovered by William King George, the British geologist in the year 1807. The caves get their name from a formation inside the caves that looks like the human brain, which in the local language, Telugu, is known as burra. Similarly, the Belum caves were formed due to erosion in limestone deposits in the area by Chitravati River, millions of years ago. These limestone caves was formed due to action of carbonic acid — or weakly acidic groundwater formed due to reaction between limestone and water.

The Belum Caves are the second largest cave system in the Indian sub-continent. The Belum Caves derive their name from Bilum, the Sanskrit word for caves. In Telugu, the caves are known as Belum Guhalu. The Belum Caves have a length of 3229 meters, making them the second largest natural caves on the Indian subcontinent. The Belum Caves have long passages, spacious chambers, freshwater galleries and siphons. The caves' deepest point is from the entrance and is known as Patalganaga.

Horsley Hills Horsley Hills, elevation 1,265 m, is a famous summer hill resort in Andhra Pradesh, about 160 km from Bangalore and 144 km from Tirupati. The town of Madanapalle lies nearby. Major tourist attractions include the Mallamma temple and the Rishi valley school. Horsely Hills is the departure point for the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary at a distance of 87 km.

Charminarmarker, Golconda Fort, Chandragiri Fortmarker, Chowmahalla Palacemarker and Falaknuma Palacemarker are some of the monuments in the state.

Kanaka Durga Temple in Vijayawadamarker in Krishna districtmarker,Venkateswara Temple in Dwarakatirumala, West Godavari District (it is also called Chinna Tirupathi), Surya temple in Arasavelli in Srikakulam District are also places to see in Andhra Pradesh. Annavaram Satayannarayana Swami temple is in East Godavari

Transport

Major road links of Andhra Pradesh
A total of 1,46,944 km of road are maintained by the State, of which State Highways comprise 42,511 km, National Highways 2,949 km and District Roads 1,01,484 km. The Growth rate of Vehicles in Andhra Pradesh is highest in the country with 16%.

Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) is the major public transport corporation owned by the government of Andhra Pradesh connecting all the cities and villages. APSRTC is also in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest fleet of vehicles (approximately 21000), and the longest area covered/commuted daily. Apart from these, thousands of private operators run buses connecting major cities and towns of the state. Private vehicles like cars, motorised scooters and bicycles occupy a major share of the local transport in the cities and adjoining villages.

Railways are also a major means of transport connecting all major cities and towns. The history of railways in Andhra Pradesh dates back to the time of Nizam of Hyderabad. Most of Andhra Pradesh falls under South Central Railway which came into existence in 1966 with its headquarters at Secunderabadmarker.

Electric Loco Sheds: Lallaguda, Kazipet, Vijayawada,Visakhapatnam

Diesel Loco Sheds: Gooty, Guntakal, Kazipet, Moulali

There are five airports in the state: Hyderabadmarker (Rajiv Gandhi International; the largest in the state), Visakhapatnammarker, Vijayawadamarker, Rajahmundrymarker and Tirupati. The government also have plans to start airports in six other cities: Nelloremarker, Warangalmarker, Kadapamarker, Tadepalligudemmarker, Ramagundammarker and Ongolemarker.

Andhra Pradesh has two major ports of India at Visakhapatnammarker and Kakinadamarker and three minor ports, Machilipatnammarker, Nizampatnammarker (Gunturmarker) and Krishnapatnammarker. One more private port is being developed at Gangavarammarker, near Visakhapatnam. This deep sea port can accommodate ocean liners up to 200,000–250,000 DWT, allowing big ocean liners to enter into Indian shores.

See also



Notes



External links




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