Anantapur the largest district in the state, spreads over 19,130-sq-kms. It is bounded on north by
Kurnool, on the east by Cuddapah and Chittoor and on the south and west by the Karnataka State. The whole district is known for its silk trade in the modern industry. Lepakshi temple is the famous tourist attraction of this district. Another site worth visiting is Thimmamma Marrimanu, an amazing 550 year old banyan tree that has found mentioned in the Guiness Book of World Records for its enormous size.
Anantapur is familiarly known as "Hande Anantapuram" . ' Hande ' means chief of the Vijayanagar period. Anantapur and a few other places were gifted by the Vijayanagar rulers to Hanumappa Naidu of the Hande family.
Anantapur city is 354 KMS away from Capital Hyderabad, 200 KMS from neighbor state capital Bangalore. Anantapur connects Hyderabad and Bangalore through National Highway-7. Bangalore International Airport is nearest international airport to Anantapur.
The economy of Anantpur is principally based on agriculture. The farmers grow groundnut, rice, cotton, maize, chillies, sesame, and sugarcane. The district is one of the most backward province of Andhra Pradesh as it receives very little rainfall which adversely affects the agriculture sector based on monsoons. Few industries of the region are silk trade, limestone quarrying, iron and diamond mining. The Government of Andhra Pradesh had taken up various steps to revive the poor rural economy.
Anantapur offers some vivid glimpses of the prehistoric past. It is generally held that the place got its name from 'Anaatasagaram' , a big tank, which means "Endless Ocean". The villages of Anaantasagaram and Bukkarayasamudram were constructed by Chilkkavodeya, the minister of Bukka-I, a Vijayanagar ruler. Some authorities assert that Anaantasagaram was named after Bukka's queen, while some contend that it must have been known after Anantarasa Chikkavodeya himself, as Bukka had no queen by that name.
The place subsequently came under the Qutub Shahis, Mughals, and the Nawabs of Cuddapah, although the Hande chiefs continued to rule as their subordinates. It was occupied by the Palergar of Bellary during the time of Ramappa but was eventually won back by his son, Siddappa. Morari Rao Ghorpade attacked Anantapur in 1757. Though the army resisted for some time, Siddappa ultimately bought off the enemy for Rs.50,000.
It then came into the possession of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Tipu hanged all the male members of the Siddappa family except Siddappa who escaped from his confinement at Srirangapatnam. After Tipu's death, it was once again taken back by Siddappa. Siddappa submitted himself to Nizam because of the treaty of 1799, who took the total control of the area. He was later pensioned off when British occupied the territory.
Dharmavaram: Dharmavaram is the Third biggest town having more than 1,50,000 population. the heart of the district is famous for the production of Silk sarees. Different varieties of silk sarees are made in the town.The silk business turn-over is nearly RS 1000 crores. So, this is the main business centre in Rayalaseema Region. Also the dharmavaram tank is very famous for its water storing capacity and 2nd biggest tank in the district. This tank was built by the great Sri Krishna Devaraya. And also this town is well known as Silk City.
Lepakshi:The temple town of Lepakshi is one of the well known historical places that are there in Anantapur District. The famous Veerabhadra, a wonderful example of the Vijayanagararchitectural style and art, is located here. The largest single stone carving of Nandi (Bull) statue is sculptured here. It was built during the period of rayala kingdom. This period is called Golden Age in the history of South India. The Idol of Goddess Durga is sculptured in the pillar. She is renowned for her power in fulfilling the wishes of the devotees of her.
Puttaparthi :Puttaparthi, now popularly known as Prasanthi Nilayam, the abode of Supreme Peace, is the home town of Bhagawan Sri Satya Sai Baba and it is about 40 km away from Dharmavaram, 80 km from Anantapur and 200 km from Bangalore. World renowned and worshipped by His devotees all over the globe as God Incarnate, Sri Sathya Sai Baba has shown humanity a new way of life and through his simple teachings transformed millions of His devotees' lives. It indeed needs a divine intervention for anyone to achieve the accomplishments of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Prasanthi Nilayam, the abode of supreme peace, is a place every human being should visit in his lifetime to experience for oneself what selfless and pure love can achieve. The main tourist attraction of the city is Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram, which is regularly visited by Indian as well as international tourists
Kadiri:Kadiri is well known for few tourist places like
1. Lord Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Temple (400 years old) temple is constructed by famous king Sri Krishnadevaraya.
2. World's largest Banyan tree (Timmamma Marrimaanu) which is spread over 9 acres (36,000 m2).(27 KM FROM KADIRI)
3. Praja kavi Yogi Vemana Samadhi located at Katarupalli (10 km from Kadiri).
4. Every Saturaday in kadiri there must be a special devotees arrive and they will do puja.