Andhra Pradesh

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Andhra Pradesh (English: /ˌɑːndrə prəˈdɛʃ/;[12] Telugu: [ãːndʱrʌ prʌdeːɕ] About this soundlisten ) is a state in the south-eastern coastal region of India.[13] It is the seventh-largest state by area covering an area of 162,975 km2 (62,925 sq mi)[6] and tenth-most populous state with 49,386,799 inhabitants.[14][15] It is bordered by Telangana to the north-west, Chhattisgarh to the north, Odisha to the north-east, Tamil Nadu to the south, Karnataka to the west and the Bay of Bengal to the east.[16] It has the second longest coastline in India after Gujarat, of about 974 km (605 mi).[17] Andhra Pradesh is the first state to be formed on a linguistic basis in India on 1 October 1953.[18] The state was once a major Buddhist pilgrimage site in the country and a Buddhist learning center which can be seen in many sites in the state in the form of ruinschaityas and stupas[19][20] It is also known as the land of the world-famous diamond Koh-i-Noor and many other globally known diamonds due to their source in its Kollur Mine.[21] It is also known as the “rice bowl of India” for being a major producer of rice in India.[22] Its official language is Telugu; one of the classical languages of India, the fourth most spoken language in India and the 11th-most spoken language in the world.[23][24]

Early inhabitants were known as the Andhras, tracing their history to the Vedic period when they were mentioned in the 8th century BCE Rigvedic text Aitareya Brahmana. According to the Aitareya Brahmana, the Andhras left North India from the banks of river Yamuna and migrated to South India.[25][26] The Assaka Mahajanapada (700–300 BCE) was an ancient kingdom located between the Godavari and Krishna rivers in southeastern India accounts that people in the region are descended from the Viswamitra are found in the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas.[27][clarification needed] The region also derives its name from Satavahanas who are also known as Andhras, the earliest kings of Andhra Pradesh and India.[28] Early peoples supported local art culture by building temples and sculptures of the Buddhist monuments in the state.[25] It was ruled by Mauryan EmpireSatavahana dynastySalankayanasAndhra IkshvakusPallavasVishnukundinasEastern ChalukyasRashtrakutasCholasKakatiyasVijayanagara EmpireGajapati EmpireMughal EmpireDeccan sultanatesQutb Shahi dynastyAsaf Jahis. In the 3rd century BCE, Andhra was a vassal kingdom of Ashoka but after his death Andhra became powerful and extended its empire to the whole of Maratha country and beyond.[29]

Andhra Pradesh comprises two major regions, namely Rayalaseema in the south-west and Coastal Andhra bordering the Bay of Bengal in the east and north-east.[30] The state has thirteen districts, nine located in Coastal Andhra and four in Rayalaseema. The state also has a union territoryYanam – a district of Puducherry which lies to the south of Kakinada in the Godavari delta on the eastern side of the state. It is the only state with three capitals (proposed). The largest city and commercial hub of the state, Visakhapatnam being the executive capital while Amaravati and Kurnool are legislative and judicial capitals, respectively.[c][31] The economy of Andhra Pradesh is the 8th largest in India, with a gross state domestic product (GSDP) of 9.71 trillion (US$140 billion) and has the country’s 17th-highest GSDP per capita of ₹168,000 (US$2,400).[8] Andhra Pradesh ranks 27th among Indian states in Human Development Index (HDI).[9] It has a jurisdiction over almost 15,000 square kilometres (5,800 sq mi) of territorial waters.[6][32]

Andhra Pradesh hosted 121.8 million visitors in 2015, a 30% growth in tourist arrivals over the previous year, making it the third most-visited state in India.[33] The Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in Tirupati is one of the world’s most visited religious sites, with 18.25 million visitors per year.[34] The region is also home to a variety of other pilgrimage centres, such as the Pancharama KshetrasMallikarjuna Jyotirlinga and Kodanda Rama Temple. The state’s natural attractions include the beaches of Visakhapatnam, hill stations such as the Araku Valley and Horsley Hills, and the deltas of Konaseema in the Godavari river, and Diviseema in the Krishna river.



Languages of Andhra Pradesh, excluding Telangana( Mandals transferred to Andhra Pradesh were counted in Andhra Pradesh) (2011)[93]

  Telugu (89.65%)
  Urdu (6.57%)
  Tamil (1.04%)
  Others (2.74%)

Telugu is the official language of Andhra Pradesh, which is also the mother tongue of nearly 90% of the population.[93][94][95] The Minister of Tourism and Culture has declared Telugu a Classical Language.[96]

Urdu is the largest minority language.[93] TamilKannada and Odia are also spoken mainly in the border-areas. LambadiKoyaSavaraKondaGadaba and a number of other languages are spoken by the Scheduled Tribes of the state.[97]


Religion in Andhra Pradesh (excluding Telangana)[98]

  Hinduism (90.87%)
  Islam (7.32%)
  Christianity (1.38%)
  Others (0.43%)

The majority of the people in Andhra Pradesh are Hindus while Muslims constitute a sizeable minority. According to the 2011 census, the major religious groups in the state are Hindus (90.87%), Muslims (7.32%) and Christians (1.38%). Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains and the people who declined to state their religion make up the remaining portion of population.[98]



Visakhapatnam is an important commercial hub of the state

seaport distance view

Visakhapatnam skyline, overlooking seaport

Andhra Pradesh was ranked eighth among other Indian states in terms of GSDP for the financial year 2014–2015. The GSDP at current prices was ₹5,200.3 billion (US$73 billion) and at constant prices was ₹2,645.21 billion (US$37 billion).[119] The domestic product of agriculture sector accounts for ₹545.99 billion (US$7.7 billion) and industrial sector for ₹507.45 billion (US$7.1 billion). The service sector of the state accounts more percentage of the GSDP with a total of ₹1,305.87 billion (US$18 billion).[120] In the 2010 list by Forbes magazine, several people from Andhra Pradesh were among the top 100 richest Indians.[121]


Andhra Pradesh’s economy is mainly based on agriculture and livestock. Four important rivers of India, the GodavariKrishnaPenna, and Tungabhadra flow through the state and provide irrigation. 60 percent of the population is engaged in agriculture and related activities. Rice is the major food crop and staple food of the state. It is an exporter of many agricultural products and is also known as “Rice Bowl of India”.[122][123] The state has three Agricultural Economic Zones in Chittoor district for mango pulp and vegetables, Krishna district for mangoes, Guntur district for chilies.[124]

Besides rice, farmers also grow jowarbajramaize, minor millet, coarse grain, many varieties of pulsesoil seedssugarcanecottonchili peppermango nuts and tobacco. Crops used for vegetable oil production such as sunflower and peanuts are popular. There are many multi-state irrigation projects under development, including Godavari River Basin Irrigation Projects and Nagarjuna Sagar Dam.[125]

Livestock and poultry is also another profitable business, which involves rearing cattle in enclosed areas for commercial purposes. The state is also a largest producer of eggs in the country and hence, it is nicknamed as “Egg Bowl of Asia”.[126][127]

Fisheries contribute 10% of total fish and over 70% of the shrimp production[128] of India. The geographical location of the state allows marine fishing as well as inland fish production. The most exported marine exports include Vannamei shrimp[129] and are expected to cross billion in 2013–2014.[130]


Andhra Pradesh is investing in building infrastructure in the state such as highways and making every service of the government digital. National Highway 16 passes through Andhra Pradesh. The highways in the state are also being widened. APSFL is an initiative of the government of Andhra Pradesh to set up an optical fiber network throughout the thirteen districts of Andhra Pradesh. This network provides internet connectivity, telephony and IPTV with fiber to private and corporate users of Andhra Pradesh.[131] The state also has seaports such as Visakhapatnam PortKakinada PortKrishnapatnam Port for import and export and a shipyard for building ships at Visakhapatnam. Major airports in the state are Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada, with VisakhapatnamTirupati and Vijayawada being international airports.

Industrial sector[edit]

Front of large round building, with street and trees in front

Tech Mahindra Development Centre, Visakhapatnam

The industrial sector of the state includes some of the key sectors like pharmaceuticalautomobiletextiles etc. Sricity located in Chittoor district is an integrated business city which is home to firms including PepsiCoIsuzu MotorsCadbury IndiaKellogg’sColgate-PalmoliveKobelco etc.[132] The PepsiCo firm has its largest plant in India at Sri City.[133] The state is also emerging as destination for the automobile industry which already hosts companies including Ashok Leyland in Krishna district, Hero Motors in Chittoor district, Kia Motors in Anantapur district.

The state is also emerging in information technology and biotechnology. The IT/ITES revenues of Visakhapatnam is at ₹14.45 billion (US$200 million) in 2012–2013. The development of IT in Tier-II and Tier-III cities like Vijayawada, Kakinada and Tirupati is also improving. In the fiscal year 2012–2013, Vijayawada’s IT/ITeS revenues were ₹1,153 million (US$16 million). Tirupati with ₹693 million (US$9.7 million) and Kakinada with ₹615 million (US$8.6 million) stand next.[134] For the benefit of state, that is, after separating Telangana from Andhra, people of Andhra protested for special status during January in 2017.[citation needed]


Andhra Pradesh is one of the storehouses of mineral resources in India. Andhra Pradesh with varied geological formations, contain rich and variety of industrial minerals and building stones.[135]

Andhra Pradesh is listed at the top in the deposit and production of mica in India. Minerals found in the state include limestone, reserves of oil and natural gasmanganeseasbestosiron oreball clayfire clay, gold diamonds, graphitedolomitequartztungsten, steatitic, feldspar, silica sand. It has about one-third of India’s limestone reserves and is known for large exclusive deposits of barytes and galaxy granite in the international market.[135]


Mining is identified as one of the growth engines for the overall development of industry and infrastructure. The Tummalapalle Uranium mine in Andhra has confirmed 49,000 tonnes (48,000 long tons; 54,000 short tons) of ore and there are indications that it could hold reserves totaling three times its current size. 700 million tonnes (690,000,000 long tons; 770,000,000 short tons) of metal grade Bauxite deposits in proximity to Visakhapatnam Port.

Reliance Industries struck nine trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in the KG basin, 150 km (93 mi) off the Andhra Pradesh coast near Kakinada. Discovery of a large quantity of natural gas in KG Basin is expected to provide rapid economic growth.[136] During 2016, nearly 3.8 trillion m3 (134 trillion cu ft) of methane hydrate deposits were explored in KG basin whose extraction was adequate to impart energy security for many decades to India.[137]

Power plants[edit]

Rayalaseema Thermal Power Station

The state is a pioneer nationwide in solar power generationAPGENCO is the power generating company owned by the state.[138] The state has become power surplus with excess power generation being exported to other states.[139] The state is abundantly endowed with solar power and high head PHES sites to convert the solar power available during the day time in to round the clock power supply.[140] PHES projects also has synergy with the lift irrigation projects in storing water available during the monsoon season and supplying to the uplands throughout the year. Ultimate water and energy requirements of the state can be fully met by the combination of cheap solar power, PHES and irrigation projects economically harnessing renewable energy without much damage to the environment.[141]

Thermal (natural gas and coal based) and renewable power plants totaling to 21,000 MW were installed in the state by the year 2015. Local power plants of 9,600 MW capacity only are supplying electricity in the state, which includes Simhadri Super Thermal Power Station (2000 MW) of NTPCVizag Thermal Power Station (1040 MW), Rayalaseema Thermal Power Station (1650 MW), Sri Damodar.



Andhra Pradesh has rich culture and heritage.[143]

Kuchipudi, the cultural dance recognized as the official dance form of the state of Andhra Pradesh, originated in the village of Kuchipudi in Krishna district. It entered the Guinness World Records for performing Mahabrinda Natyam with a total of 6,117 dancers in Vijayawada.[144]

Andhra Pradesh has thirteen geographical indications in categories of agricultural handicraftsfoodstuff and textiles as per Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.[145] It increased to fifteen with the addition of Banaganapalle Mangoes[146] and Bandar laddu.[147] The other GI tagged goods are, Bobbili VeenaBudithi Bell and Brass CraftDharmavaram Handloom Pattu Sarees and PaavadasGuntur SannamKondapalli ToysMachilipatnam KalamkariMangalagiri Sarees and FabricsSrikalahasti KalamkariTirupati LadduUppada Jamdani Sari and Venkatagiri Sari.[145]

Arts, crafts and artifacts[edit]

Kondapalli Toys at a house in Vijayawada

Machilipatnam and Srikalahasti Kalamkari are the two unique textile art forms practised in India.[148] There are also other notable handicrafts present in the state, like the soft limestone idol carvings of Durgi.[149] Etikoppaka in Visakhapatnam district is notable for its lac industry, producing lacquered wooden.[150][151]

The state has many museums, which features a varied collection of ancient sculptures, paintings, idols, weapons, cutlery, and inscriptions, and religious artifacts such as the Amaravati Archaeological Museum,[152] Visakha Museum and Telugu Cultural Museum in Visakhapatnam displays the history of the pre-independence and the Victoria Jubilee Museum in Vijayawada with a large collection of artifacts.


NannayyaTikkana and Yerrapragada form the trinity who translated the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata into Telugu language. Nannayya wrote the first treatise on Telugu grammar called Andhra Shabda Chintamani in Sanskrit, as there was no grammatical work in Telugu prior to that.[153] Pothana is the poet who composed the classic Srimad Maha Bhagavatamu, a Telugu translation of Sri BhagavatamVemana is notable for his philosophical poems. The Vijayanagara emperor Krishnadevaraya wrote Amuktamalyada. Telugu literature after Kandukuri Veeresalingam is termed as Adhunika Telugu Sahityam (Modern Telugu literature). He is known as Gadya Tikkana and was the author of Telugu social novelSatyavati CharitamJnanpith Award holders from the state include Viswanatha Satyanarayana. The Andhra Pradesh native and revolutionary poet Sri Sri brought new forms of expressionism into Telugu literature.[154]


The print media in the state consists mainly of Telugu and English newspapers. EenaduSakshiAndhra Jyothi, and Tel.J.D.Patrika Vaartha all these are Telugu newspapers. English newspapers include Deccan Chronicle and The Hans India.[155][156]

Art and cinema[edit]

Kuchipudi dance

Many composers of Carnatic music like AnnamacharyaKshetrayya, and Bhadrachala Ramadas were of Telugu descent. Modern Carnatic music composers and singers like Ghantasala, Sujatha Puligella and M. Balamuralikrishna are also of Telugu descent. The Telugu film industry hosts many music composers and playback singers such as S. P. BalasubrahmanyamP. SusheelaS. Janaki and P. B. Sreenivas. Folk songs are very important and popular in the many rural areas of the state. Forms such as the Burra katha and Poli are still performed today.[157] Harikathaa Kalakshepam (or Harikatha) involves the narration of a story, intermingled with various songs relating to the story. Harikatha was originated in Andhra.[158] Burra katha is an oral storytelling technique with the topic be either a Hindu mythological story or a contemporary social issue.[159] Rangasthalam is an Indian theatre in the Telugu language, based predominantly in Andhra Pradesh.[160] Gurajada Apparao wrote the play Kanyasulkam in 1892, often considered the greatest play in the Telugu language.[161] C. Pullaiah is cited as the father of Telugu theatre movement.[162][163]

The Telugu film industry is largely based in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. The Telugu film culture (also known as “Tollywood“) is the second-largest film industry in India next to the Bollywood film industry.[164] Film producer D. Ramanaidu holds a Guinness Record for the most films produced by a person.[165] In the years 2005, 2006 and 2008, the Telugu film industry produced the largest number of films in India, exceeding the number of films produced in Bollywood.[166][167] The industry holds the Guinness World Record for the largest film production facility in the world.[168]


Vegetarian Andhra meal, served on important occasions

Telugu people’s traditional sweet Pootharekulu originated from Atreyapuram village of East Godavari district.


Undavalli Caves, is a monolithic example of Indian rock-cut architecture and one of the finest testimonials to ancient viswakarma sthapathis.

The state has several beaches in its coastal districts such as RushikondaMypaduSuryalanka etc.;[169] caves such as, Borra Caves,[170] Indian rock-cut architecture depicting Undavalli Caves[171] and the country’s second longest caves- the Belum Caves.[172] The valleys and hills include, Araku ValleyHorsley HillsPapi Hills etc.[173] Arma Konda peak located in Visakhapatnam district is the highest peak in Eastern Ghats.

The state is home to various religious pilgrim destinations such as, Tirumala TempleSimhachalam TempleAnnavaram templeSrisailam templeKanaka Durga TempleAmaravatiSrikalahastiShahi Jamia Masjid in AdoniGunadala Church in Vijayawada, Buddhist centres at Amaravati, and Nagarjuna Konda.[174]


The state is well connected to other states through road and rail networks. It is also connected to other countries by means of airways and seaports as well. With a long seacoast along the Bay of Bengal, it also has many ports for sea trade. The state has one of the largest railway junctions at Vijayawada and one of the largest seaports at Visakhapatnam.


VijayawadaGuntur Expressway section of NH-16

The state has a total road network of 53,403 km (33,183 mi), of which 6,401 km (3,977 mi) of National highways, 14,722 km (9,148 mi) of state highways and 32,280 km (20,060 mi) of district roads.[175] NH 16, with a highway network of around 1,000 km (620 mi) in the state, is a part of Golden Quadrilateral Project undertaken by National Highways Development Project. It also forms part of AH 45 which comes under the Asian Highway Network.

The state government owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) is the major public bus transport, which runs thousands of buses connecting different parts of the state. Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS) in Vijayawada is one of the largest bus terminals in Asia.[176] From 30 January 2019, all the vehicles in the state are registered as AP–39, followed by an alphabet and four digits.[177]


Andhra Pradesh[178] has a total broad-gauge railway route of 3,703.25 km (2,301.09 mi) and has no metre-gauge railway.[179] The rail density of the state is 16.59 per 1,000 km (620 mi), compared to an all India average of 20.[180] The Howrah–Chennai main line which runs through the state is proposed to be upgraded into a high-speed rail corridor through the Diamond Quadrilateral project of the Indian Railways.[181][182]

The railway network spans two zones, further subdivided into divisions – VijayawadaGuntur and Guntakal railway divisions of South Central Railway zone, and Waltair railway division of East Coast Railway zone.[183][184] There is a demand for creating a unified zone for the state based out of Visakhapatnam.[citation needed]

There are three A1 and twenty three A-category railway stations in the state.[185] Visakhapatnam has been declared the cleanest railway station in the country.[186] The railway station of Shimiliguda was the first highest broad gauge railway station in the country.[187]

As on date the Railways lines in Andhra Pradesh are under the following Railway zones/Divisions


Map of airports and airstrips of Andhra Pradesh

Visakhapatnam Airport, is the only airport in the state with operating international flights while Vijayawada Airport at Gannavaram has launched an international flight to Singapore, recently.[188] The state has four other domestic airportsRajahmundry AirportKadapa Airport, a privately owned, public use airport at Puttaparthi, and Tirupati Airport located in the city of Tirupati. There are also 16 small air strips located in the state.[189]

Map of seaports in Andhra Pradesh
(click on the image for maximum view)

Sea ports[edit]

Andhra Pradesh has one of the country’s largest port at Visakhapatnam in terms of cargo handling.[190] The other famous ports are Krishnapatnam Port (Nellore), Gangavaram Port and Kakinada PortGangavaram Port is a deep seaport which can accommodate ocean liners up to 200,000–250,000 DWT.[191] There are 14 notified non-major ports at Bheemunipatnam, S.Yanam, Machilipatnam, Nizampatnam, and Vadarevu.[192][193]