Andhra Pradesh State

Introduction :

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

Andhra Pradesh lies between 1241' and 22N latitude and 77 and 8440'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 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 km)) of the Yanam district of Puducherry (Pondicherry) state lies in the Godavari Delta in north-east of the state.

Andhra Pradesh was formed by merging Telugu speaking areas of Hyderabad State and the Telugu speaking part of the Madras Presidency on 1 November 1956.

History :

An Andhra tribe was mentioned in the Sanskrit epics such as Aitareya Brahmana (800 BCE) and Mahabharata. The Natyasastra of Bharatha (1st century BCE) also mentioned the Andhra peoples. The roots of the Telugu language have been traced to inscriptions found near the Guntur district.

Megasthenes, a Greek traveller and geographer, who visited the Court of Chandragupta Maurya (322297 BCE), mentioned that the region had 3 fortified towns and an army of 100,000 infantry, 200 cavalry and 1,000 elephants. Buddhist books reveal that Andhras established their huts/tents on the Godavari belt at that time. Ashoka referred in his 13th rock edict about Andhras.

Inscriptional evidence shows that there was an early kingdom in coastal Andhra ruled by Kuberaka, with Pratipalapura (Bhattiprolu) as his capital. Around the same time Dhanyakatakam/Dharanikota (present day Amaravati) 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 Mauryans extended their rule over Andhra in 4th century BCE. With the fall of the Maurya Empire, the Satavahanas became independent in 3rd century BCE. After the decline of the Satavahanas in 220 CE, Ikshvaku dynasty, Pallavas, Ananda Gotrikas, Rashtrakutas, Vishnukundinas, Eastern Chalukyas and Cholas ruled the Telugu land. Inscriptional evidence of Telugu language was found during the rule of Renati Cholas (Vorugal 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 warangal. Eastern Chalukyas ruled for a long period after the decline of Vishnukundinas from their capital in Vengi. As early as 1st century CE, Chalukyas were mentioned as being vassals and chieftains under the Satavahanas and later under Ikshvakus. The Chalukya ruler Rajaraja Narendra ruled Rajahmundry around 1022 CE.

The battle of Palnadu resulted in the weakening of Eastern Chalukyan 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 Warangal. 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 India, 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 French 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 Andhra people of Madras State, Potti Sreeramulu fasted until death. After his death, Andhra attained statehood on 1 November 1953, with Kurnool as its capital. On 1 November 1956, The Telugu speaking areas of the Hyderabad state was merged with the Telugu speaking areas of the Madras state to form the state of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad, the former capital of the Hyderabad State, was made the capital of the new state. There were several movements to separate Telangana and Andhra starting in the 1960s. On 9 December 2009, it was announced that a separation proposal for Telangana would be introduced to the state assembly. Controversy arose as to the future status of Hyderabad, one of the ten districts. This move was opposed by protesters from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions. On 23 December 2009, the government, in a move that agitated Telangana separatist supporters decided to put on hold the decision of bifurcating the state, until a consensus is achieved among the different political parties. On 5 January 2010, the Central Government conducted a meeting by inviting all the recognised political parties of AP and recorded their stand on the issue now. Recently, Government of India appointed a committee, headed by B.N.Srikrishna, on Telangana to guide the central government to settle the issue amicably.

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. It is the 4th Largest state in India. 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 20C and 41C.

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 12C to 30C.

Most of Goa's soil cover is made up of laterites which are rich in ferric aluminium oxides and reddish in color. Further inland and along the river banks, the soil is mostly alluvial and loamy. The soil is rich in minerals and humus, thus conducive to plantation. Some of the oldest rocks in the Indian subcontinent are found in Goa between Molem and Anmod on Goa's border with Karnataka. The rocks are classified as Trondjemeitic Gneiss estimated to be 3,600 million years old, dated by the Rubidium isotope dating method. A specimen of the rock is exhibited in the Goa University.

Hyderabad is the capital and, along with the adjoining twin city Secunderabad, is the largest city in the state. Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh's main seaport, is the second largest city of the state and is home to the Indian Navy's Eastern Naval Command. Vijayawada due to its location and proximity to major rail and road routes is a major trading center and the third largest city. Other important cities and towns are: Kakinada, Warangal, Guntur, Rajahmundry, Tirupati, Srikakulam, Machilipatnam, Tenali, Ongole, Kurnool, Anantapur, Karimnagar, Nizamabad,Nirmal, Nellore, Bhimavaram, Narsapuram and Eluru.

Tourism :

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

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

The golden beaches at Visakhapatnam, the one-million-year old limestone caves at Borra, picturesque Araku Valley, 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 Caves 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.