Andhra Pradesh State Profile

Andhra Pradesh, a South Indian state, lies between 12°41' and 22°N latitude and 77° and 84°40'E longitude . It is bounded 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 and it forms the major link between the north and the south of India. It is the biggest and most populous state in the south of India. It is considered the rice bowl of India. The state is crisscrossed by two major rivers, the Godavari and Krishna. 

Official language Telugu
Capital Hyderabad
Governor Surjit Singh Barnala
Chief Minister Konejeti Rosaiah
Total Area 275,000 km²
Population
 - Total (2002)
 - Density

66,508,000
241/km²
Calling Code 91 40


History

Sanskrit writings from the 7th century BC describe the Andhra people as Aryans from the north who migrated south of the Vindhya Range and mixed with Dravidians. They are mentioned again at the time of the death of the great Mauryan King Ashoka, in 232 BC. This date has been held to be the beginning of the Andhra historical record. Various dynasties have ruled the area, including the Andhra (or Satavahana), Shakas, Ikshvakas, Eastern Chalukyas, Kakatiya, Vijayanagar, the Qutb Shahis, and the Nizams (princes) of Hyderabad.

During the 17th century, the British acquired the Coastal Andhra region along the Bay of Bengal, then known as the Northern Circars, from the Nizams, which became part of the British Madras Presidency. The Nizams retained control of the interior provinces as the princely state of Hyderabad, acknowledging British rule in return for local autonomy.

The Andhra (or Telugu) were at the forefront of Indian nationalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

India became independent from the United Kingdom in 1947. The Muslim Nizam of Hyderabad wanted to retain his independence from India, but his state was forcibly integrated into India in 1948 as Hyderabad state.

Demands for a separate state for Telugu speakers led to the formation of Andhra Pradesh in October 1, from the 11 northern districts of Madras state. Kurnool was the first capital of the Andhra state. Andhra Pradesh became the first linguistically-based state in India, which paved the way for the establishment of other linguistic states. On Nov. 1, 1956, in accordance with the recommendations of the State Reorganization Commission Hyderabad state was partitioned along linguistic lines, and nine districts, including the city of Hyderabad, were added to Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad became the new capital of the state.

Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu was the first chief minister. Andhra had a row of Congress governments till 1982. Kasu Bramhananda Reddy was the longest serving chief minister till 1982. P.V. Narasimha Rao also served as the chief minister for the state, who later went on to become the Prime Minister of India.

1982 saw the birth of the Telugu Desam Party and the rise of NTR as the chief minister of the state for the first time introducing a second political party to Andhra politics and breaking the 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, NT Rama Rao successfully convinced the governor for dissolution of Assembly and called for a fresh election. NTR won by a thumping majority. NTR's rule represented a rejuvination of Andhra. His government's policy of investing in education, rural development and holding corrupt government offices accountable laid the foundation for a modern Andhra and moved the state from its lowest national rankings in developmental indices.

The end of NTR's regime was followed by the rise of Congress party, instability and corruption with 3 chief ministers ruling over for 5 years. Marri Chenna Reddy, Janardhana Reddy and Kotla VijayaBhaskara Reddy were the chief ministers during the 5 year tenure.

The next Assembly saw NTR becoming the chief minister again, but only to be over taken by his finance minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Naidu was the longest serving chief minster of Andhra Pradesh (for more than 8 years from 1995-2004), before being defeated by the Congress-led coalition in the May 2004 polls.

Chandrababu Naidu, as the state's chief minister, enjoyed a substantial level of popularity in India and abroad. British Prime Minister Tony Blair and American President Bill Clinton both visited him in the capital Hyderabad as well as Bill Gates of Microsoft. He was named south Asian of the year by Time magazine; the governor of Illinois created a Naidu day in his honour; and the state under his leadership received large amounts of funds from the British government and the World Bank. Many explain this popularity by Naidu’s willingness to take bold decisions on important policy issues. Under his leadership, the state was able to receive considerable FDI as well as becoming an attractive destination for IT and ITES companies. Microsoft, Oracle Corporation, Google, Computer Sciences, Keane, HSBC, Deloitte and GE are some of the companies which have invested in Andhra Pradesh.

Geography

Andhra Pradesh can be broadly divided into three regions, namely Coastal Andhra, Telangana and Rayalaseema. It has 23 local administrative districts. Hyderabad is the state capital and largest city. The other main cities are Visakhapatnam (India's fourth largest port), Vijayawada an important trading center and major rail head, Tirupati a major pilgrimage center, Nellore and Guntur the heart of the tobacco industry.

Two major rivers flow through the state. They are Godavari and Krishna. Lakhs of hectares of land come under the irrigation of these rivers. Together they create the largest perennial cultivable area in the country as well as making the state the rice bowl of India.

The eastern ghats run through the length of the eastern part of the state. The state has varied topography ranging from the hills and valleys in the east Araku valley, the sun kissed beaches of Visakhapatnam to the hills of the south culminating in the beautiful Tirumala near Tirupati. 

Politics

Andhra Pradesh has a Legislative Assembly of 294 seats. The state has 60 members in the Indian national parliament: 18 in the Rajya Sabha (upper house) and 42 in the Lok Sabha (lower house). 

Economy

Agriculture has been the chief source of income for the state's economy. Two important rivers of India Godavari and Krishna flow through the state. Rice, tobacco, cotton, mirchi, and sugar cane are the important crops grown here. The state has also started making some interesting strides in the fields of information technology and biotechnology.

HYDERABAD, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, is the fifth largest cosmopolitan city in India, rich in culture, enduring history and industrial growth. It is unique in being one of the few cities where tradition and technology co-exist. With a dynamic leadership, the state is steering the nation to new dimensions in the fields of Information Technology, Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Business Management, Construction, etc. - to emerge as a land of immense business opportunities. 

Culture

Telugu is the state's official language. A Muslim, Urdu-speaking minority lives mostly in Hyderabad. Among the many tribal languages, Banjara, Koyi, and Gondi have the greatest number of speakers.

The state has a rich cultural heritage. The great composers of carnatic music Annamacharya, Tyagaraja and many others chose Telugu as their language of composition, thus enriching the language.

Nannayya, Tikkana, and Yerrapragada form the trinity who translated the great epic Mahabharatha into Telugu. Modern writers include Jnanpeeth award winners Sri Viswanatha Satyanarayana and Dr. C. Narayana Reddy.

Kuchipudi is the state's classical dance form.

Andhras have been film maniacs for the past 40 years. The state produces about 200 films per year. Thus Telugu film is a big industry in terms of money, but has hardly gained any notice in the rest of India. However, the state has seen some notable artists in the form of NT Rama Rao (former chief minister), Akkineni Nageswara Rao (a.k.a. "ANR", Dadasaheb phalke winner), S.V.Ranga Rao, Ghantasala, Dr. K. Viswanath, S P Balasubrahmanyam, Savithri, Jamuna, Sarada, Sowcar Janaki, and Jayaprada.

Andhra Pradesh has several museums, including the Salar Jung Museum, which features a varied collection of sculptures, paintings, and religious artifacts, and the Archaeological Museum, which features Buddhist and Hindu sculptures and other antiques; both museums are located in Hyderabad.

Districts in Andhra Pradesh
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