History and Geography
The earliest mention of the Andhras is said to be in Aitereya Brahmana (2000 BC). It indicates that the Andhras, originally an Aryan race living in north India migrated to south of the Vindhyas and later mixed with non-Aryans. Regular history of Andhra Desa, according to historians, begins with 236 BC, the year of Ashoka‘s death. During the following centuries, Satavahanas, Sakas, Ikshvakus, Eastern Chalukyas, Kakatiyas ruled the Telugu country. Other dynasties that ruled over the area in succession were the kingdoms of Vijayanagar and Qutub Shahi followed by Mir Qumruddin and his successors, known as the Nizams. Gradually, from the 17th century onwards, the British annexed territories of the Nizam and constituted the single province of Madras. After Independence, Telugu-speaking areas were separated from the composite Madras Presidency and a new Andhra State came into being on 1 October 1953. With the passing of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, there was a merger of Hyderabad State and Andhra State, and consequently Andhra Pradesh came into being on 1 November 1956.
Andhra Pradesh is bound on the north by Orissa and Chhattisgarh, on the west by Maharashtra and Karnataka, on the south by Tamil Nadu and on the east by the Bay of Bengal with a coastline of 974 km.
Agriculture is the main occupation of about 62 per cent of the people in Andhra Pradesh. Rice is a major food crop and staple food of the State contributing about 77 per cent of the foodgrain production. Other important crops are jowar, bajra, maize, ragi, small millets, pulses, castor, tobacco, cotton and sugarcane. Forests cover 23 per cent of the State’s area. Important forest products are teak, eucalyptus, cashew, casurina, bamboo, softwood, etc.
Important irrigation schemes implemented in the State are Godavari Delta System, Krishna Delta System, Nagarjunasagar project, Pennar Delta System, Tungabhadra Project H.L.C. (Stage-I), Tungabhadra Low-level Canal, Kurnool-Cuddapah Canal, Kadam Project, Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme, Nizam Sagar and Potharlanka. Other important projects under implementation are Vamsadhara Project Stage-I and II, Chagalnadu L.I. Scheme, Yeleru Reservoir Project, Tarakarama Krishnaveni L.I. Scheme, Veligonda Project, Somasila Project, Telugu Ganga Project, T.B.P.H.L.C. Stage-II, Pulivendla Branch Canal, K.C. Canal Modernisation Scheme, S.R.B.C., S.L.B.C. (AMR Project), S.R.S.P. Stage-I & II, Flood Flow Canal from S.R.S.P., Jurala Project, R.D.S. Link Canal, Bhima L.I. Scheme, T.B.P.H.L.C. Stage-I Modernisation, Guru Raghavendra Swamy L.I. Scheme and Singur Project.
Andhra Pradesh is the first state to involve the farmers in the management of irrigation sources, boasting of 9,922 water user associations and 163 distributory committees formed.
Important power projects in the State are: the Nagarjunasagar and Neelam Sanjiva Reddy Sagar (Srisailam Hydel Project), Upper Sileru, Lower Sileru, Tungabhadra Hydel Projects and Nellore, Ramagundam, Kothagudem, Vijayawada and Muddanur thermal power projects. The Srisailam Hydro Electric Project with an installed capacity of 770 MW and the Nagarjunasagar Complex with 960 MW are the principal sources of hydel generation. Vijayawada Thermal Power Station with an installed capacity of 1,260 MW and Kothagudem Thermal Power Station with an installed capacity of 1,180 mw are the main sources of thermal power generation. The 1,000 mw coal-based Simhadri Thermal Power Station aims at supplying the entire energy generated to the State.
Industry and Minerals
There are several major industries in operation around Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. They manufacture machine tools, synthetic drugs, pharmaceuticals, heavy electrical machinery, fertilizers, electronic equipments, aeronautical parts, cement and cement products, chemicals, asbestos, glass and watches. Andhra Pradesh has the largest deposits of quality chrysolite asbestos in the country. Other important minerals found in the state are copper ore, manganese, mica, coal and limestone. The Singareni Coal Mines supply coal to the entire south India.
The State government is also promoting Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) at Hyderabad. IIIT offers 4-year UG and 2/3 year PG programmes. IBM, Oracle, Signal Tree, Satyam and Motorola have established their corporate schools.
Roads: National Highways passing through Andhra Pradesh constitute 4,104 km. There are around 60,000 km of state highways and close to 1,04,000 km of Panchayati Raj roads in the State.
Railways: Of the railways route covering 5,107 km in Andhra Pradesh, 4,436 km is broad-gauge, 634 km is metre-gauge and 37 km is narrow gauge.
Aviation: Important airports in the State are located at Hyderabad, Tirupathi and Visakhapatnam. International flights are operated from Hyderabad.
Ports: Visakhapatnam is a major port in the State. Minor ports are located at Kakinada, Machilipatnam, Bheemunipatnam, Krishnapatnam, Vadarevu and Kalingapatnam.
Charminar, Salarjung Museum, Golconda Fort in Hyderabad, Thousand Pillar Temple and Fort in Warangal, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple at Yadagirigutta, Buddha Stupa at Nagarjunakonda and Nagarjuna Sagar, Sri Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala-Tirupathi, Sri Mallikarjunaswamy Temple at Srisailam, Kanaka Durga Temple at Vijayawada, Sri Satyanarayana Swamy Temple at Annavaram, Sri Varaha Narasimha Swamy Temple at Simhachalam, Sri Sita Rama Temple at Bhadrachalam, Araku Valley, Horsley Hills, Nelapattu, etc., are the major tourist attractions in Andhra Pradesh. Thirty-three life-size statues of eminent Telugu personalities of the State were erected on Tankbund of Hussainsagar lake in Hyderabad. A giant statue of Lord Buddha of a height of about 60 feet has been erected on the Gibraltar rock in the Hussainsagar lake, which separates Hyderabad and Secunderabad cities.
Area : 2,75,069 sq km
Population : 76,210,007
Capital : Hyderabad
Principal Languages : Telugu and Urdu