Introduction to Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh is recognized variously for its legendary dynasties, temples, beautiful language – Telugu, lacquer toys and beautiful weaves, rich literature and the vibrant Kuchipudi. Andhra Pradesh has often been called the “food bowl of the south.”
Andhra Pradesh is situated on the south eastern coast of India and is the eighth largest state in India.
Hyderabad is the capital of both Andhra Pradesh as well as Telangana but it remains the de jure capital for Andhra Pradesh.
The state is planning to make Amravati its new capital.
It is a beautiful state which is rich in culture and heritage.
There are beautiful palaces, museums, beaches in the state.
Capital: De jure capital Hyderabad till 2024. Afterwards it will be Amravat
Languages: Telugu, Urdu and Hindi
Geography of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh has varied topography; Telangana, Orissa and Chhattisgarh are in north of it, Bay of Bengal is in east, Tamil Nadu in south and Karnataka in west.
It has the second largest coastline in India.
It also has two important rivers flowing through it, Godavari and Krishna.
Brief History of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh’s history dates back to the Vedic period. The earliest mention of the Andhras was mentioned in the AitareyaBrahmana and it was called Dakshina Pandit during those days.
There is evidence that the coastal kingdom of Andhra Pradesh was quite flourishing during the Satavahanas Period and around the Mauryan age, there is evidence that Andhra was a political power.
After the fall of the Satavahana Empire, Andhra was left in a political turmoil. After the disintegration of the empire, the Ikshvakus of Nagarjunakonda came into power. There is proof that under this empire Buddhism had flourished.
Andhra was also under the control of the Kakatiya Dynasty, the Reddy Dynasty, Vijaynagar Empire and the Mughal rule. At the start of the colonial era, there was a major war between the English and French at Chandurthi in 1758, during which the latter was defeated by the British army and Maharaja AnandaGajapathiRaju of Vizianagram. In 1792, the British took over this area after defeating the Maharaja.
Post independence, the Nizam of Hyderabad wanted independence from India, but he was forced to be a part of India in 1948. In 1953, the States Reorganization Commission was appointed to create Andhra Pradesh on linguistic lines.
Andhra state was merged with the Telugu speaking area of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh was created in 1965.
Yanam was merged with Puducherry in 1963 and is one of districts of present day Andhra Pradesh. Soon afterwards the Telengana Movement started and state was bifurcated.
Districts of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh currently has thirteen districts after the recent bifurcation.
The districts are Anantapur, Chitoor, East Godavari, Guntur, Nellore, Kadapa, Kurnool, Krishna, Srikakulam, Prakasam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, and West Godavari.
Economy of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh has very sector specific policies and this has led the state to attract good investment in their various industries.
The state has provided opportunities to various pharmaceutical companies because of the availability of ports.
It has contributed heavily in marine exports and it accounts for 22% share of the total marine exports.
Since there are numerous natural resources in the state and because of the well suited policy incentives, there has been major growth in sectors such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, mines, minerals, leather and textile.
There are various coal based power plants and this is because of the ports present.
The Government has also taken initiative to invest money for development of tourism.
Andhra Pradesh Travel Information
Andhra Pradesh is known as the Koh-i-Noor of India and there are numerous places to visit in this beautiful state. It is well known for its rich natural resources, rivers, historical monuments etc.
The city of Visakhapatnam has a lot to offer, and it is not only a beach destination, but it has beautiful lakes, caves, valleys and hill ranges as well. It has many beaches such as R.K. Beach, Lawsons Bay Beach etc. The Borra Caves are also situated near this city and it is famous for its million year old stalactite and stalagmite formation.
The Araku Valley is a famous hill station which is rich in biodiversity and has coffee plantations and waterfalls. It is a lovely tourist place that draws huge number of visitors every year. Horsley Hills is also a famous hill station.
Places to visit include Lake Gangotri, Environmental Park, Horsely Museum and Gali Banda. It also offers zorbing which is an upcoming sport.
Andhra Pradesh is also home to one of largest freshwater lakes in India which is the Kolleru Lake and it is situated between the Krishna and the Godavari Delta. It is a wildlife sanctuary and is of international importance. There are various religious and pilgrimage sites as well, such as Turupati. This temple is visited by millions of devotees every year.
Nellore also has immense significance because of its spiritual legacy and there are places such as Krishna Mandir, Ramalingeswara Temple, Narasimhaswamy Temple which are visited by many tourists.
Vijaywada also has beautiful heritage sites and caves and hills. Chittor is an agricultural town and it is famous for its hills, rivers, forts etc. It is also home to the Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagari Hills, Horsley Hills etc.
Kurnool has several caves and forts and the city is surrounded by parallel running mountain ranges. Anantapur has always been famous for diamond mining and it is located near the state of Karnataka. It houses one of the largest trees in the world which is the “ThimmammaMarrimanu”. The branches are spread over 2.5 acres.
Rivers of Andhra Pradesh
The state has two major rivers flowing through it and they are Godavari and Krishna.
Godavari flows through Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Orissa as well. It springs from the Western Ghats in Maharashtra, but the river receives most of its water not from the Western Ghats, but in the lower reaches. It flows into the Bay of Bengal.
Krishna is the second largest river and it flows from Maharashtra for 780kms before it reaches Andhra Pradesh. There are other small rivers such as Pennar, Nagavali, Vamsadhara, Tungabhadra, Manjeera, Swarnamukji, Pranahita etc.
Education in Andhra Pradesh
The state has a good education system and the Government has also implemented the Fee Reimbursement Scheme for the economically backwards section of the society.
The Government has also launched a few projects which would improve the education system. Oracle has joined forces with the Government to introduce its business and technology curriculum to the students. This would make the students more employable and would benefit them greatly.
There have been initiatives which would benefit the girl child such as Bangarutalli which aims to ensure that for every girl child born, the Government would take care of the child till she completes her graduation.
Food of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra food is known for its hot and spicy taste, but the cooking is very different in different regions because of its diverse topography.
In Coastal Andhra the staple food is rice and seafood.
The Andhra breakfast is also famous and it consists of idli, vada, dosa, tea or coffee.
The Hyderabadi Biryani is also popular and a lot of Andhra cuisine follows the Mughlai cuisine because of the influence of the Nizam.
Andhra pickle is also very popular.
Their most famous sweet preparation is pootharekulu which is a thin pancake stuffed with sweet flavoured cardamom power.
Arts & Culture of Andhra Pradesh
The contributions of Annamacharya have made Telugu the preferred language of Carnatic music.
They have influence over global and classical music as well.
Kuchipudi is derived from Bharatnaytam. Since they have been ruled by great dynasties, they have a mix of Nizami tradition and royal Hindu heritage.
The state is the pioneer in wood and stone carving.
Kalamkari, Bidri, Nirmal paintings have created their name all over the world. Bathik print is used while printing sarees and dress materials.
Dance & Music of Andhra Pradesh
Kuchipudi is of the most famous dance forms in Andhra Pradesh. The origin can be traced back to the NatyaShastras. The dance is performed to the classical Carnatic music and it is very similar to BharataNatyam. This dance form requires a number of people.
The state has nearly thirty three kinds of tribes and each of them have their own dance forms.
There are other dance forms such as VilasiniNatyam, Andhra Natyam, Burrakatha, Veeranatyam, Dappu, ButtaBommalu, TholuBommalu etc.
The state is also famous for its rich musical heritage. It is said that Carnatic music has been instigated from the Gods itself.
Folk songs are also very popular in Andhra Pradesh and they are sung during festivals, marriages, birth of a child etc.
Festivals of Andhra Pradesh
Hindu festivals such as Dussehra, Deepavali, Sri Ram Navami, Krishna Janmashtami, VinayakaChavithi or Ganesh Chaturthi and Maha Shivratri are celebrated in the state. Similarly, Muslim festivals such as Bakr-Id and Id-ul-Fitr and Christian festivals like Christmas and Easter are also celebrated with gaiety. However, the celebrations of Ugadi (Telugu New Year’s day in March-April) and Sankranti (in January) are also celebrated in the state.
Bathakamma is special to the Telengana region. In the month-long festival, Goddess Bathakamma’s idol is worshipped and is made to float on the rivers and lakes.
The annual tourism events include the VisakaUtsav (from the third Friday to Sunday of January), Deccan Festival (on the 25th of February, of which the Pearls and Bangles Fair is a part), Rayalseema Food and Dance Festival (in October, at Tirupati) and Lumbini Festival (from the second Friday to Sunday of December, at Nagarjunasagar and Hyderabad).
Costumes of Andhra Pradesh
The attire of people from Andhra Pradesh shows impact of North and South Indian culture. Sari, salwarkameej, and churidaar are the clothes that women of this state generally wear.
Men generally wear a kurta with lungi (a piece of cloth worn around the waist).
Western influence has increased the popularity of trousers, shirts, and jeans in recent years.