Andhra Pradesh 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 12°41′ and 22°N latitude and 77° and 84°40′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.
Historically the region comprising the state was known as Andhraapatha, Andhradesa, Andhraavani, and Andhra vishaya. Andhra Pradesh was formed from Andhra State on November 1, 1956.
Telugu is the official language of the state, spoken by 88.5% of the population. Telugu is the third most spoken language in India. The major linguistic minority groups in the state include the speakers of Urdu (8.63%) and Hindi (0.63%) and Tamil (1.01%). The Indian government designated Telugu as a classical and ancient language on November 1, 2008.
The main ethnic group of Andhra Pradesh is the Telugu people who primarily are Dravidians.
Andhra Pradesh has many museums, including the Archaeological Museum at Amaravati near Guntur City that features relics of nearby ancient sites, the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad, which features a varied collection of sculptures, paintings, and religious artifacts and the Visakha Museum in Visakhapatnam, which displays the history of the pre-Independence Madras Presidency in a rehabilitated Dutch bungalow. Victoria Jubilee Museum in Vijayawada has a good collection of ancient sculptures, paintings, idols, weapons, cutlery and inscriptions
Like almost every other state in India, Andhra Pradesh has a rich variety of cuisines and change widely from region to region. The Guntur/Vijayawada region is known for extremely spicy dishes. Rice is the staple food and is eaten pretty much with every meal along with a variety of vegetable and meat curries. The capital city, Hyderabad is known for its world famous Hyderabadhi Biryani (spiced rice) and one would do very well to savor it.
Andhra Pradesh is home to Hindu saints of all castes. An important backward-caste figure is, Sant Yogi Sri Potuluri Veera Brahmendra Swami was born in Vishwabrahmin (Gold Smith) caste that had Brahmin, Harijan and Muslim disciples. Fisherman Raghu was also a Sudra. Sant Kakkayya was a chura (cobbler) Harijan saint.
Tirupati or Tirumala is a very important pilgrimage for Hindus throughout India. It is the richest piligrimage city (of any religious faith) in the world. Its main temple is dedicated to the god Venkateswara. Tirpuathi is located in Chittoor district.
Andhra Pradesh is promoted by tourism department as “Kohinoor of India.”
Weather is extremely hot for the most part of the year with high humidity along the coast and relatively dry in the interior areas. The monsoons in June and the return monsoons in October provide adequate rain fall for the rain dependent agriculture in the state. The best time to visit is November till February when it’s relatively cooler. The hottest months are April, May and June.
Telugu is the official language and is spoken by the majority of the populace. However, most educated people will also be able to speak English.
Like most South Indians, Telugu people are very protective of their language and culture, and will respond more readily to English than to Hindi, as South Indians generally regard Hindi as a linguistic assault on their heritage. The exception is Hyderabad, where Hindi and Deccani Urdu are more commonly spoken.
English is widely spoken in Hyderabad and other major cities. Apart from Telugu, the major languages spoken in Hyderabad are Hindi and Urdu, Tamil in the south and Kannada in the west. Minimum knowledge of Telugu will be extremely useful (but not essential).
Get In By Air
The main and only international airport in Andhra Pradesh is Hyderabad. Direct international connectivity to Hyderabad is available from many countries. International carriers operating from Hyderabad are Air India, Emirates, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Srilankan Airlines and Thai Airways. Domestic connectivity is excellent with Air India (and their subsidiary Indian Airline), GoAir, IndiGo, Jet Airways, JetLite, Kingfisher, Paramount and SpiceJet operating from here.
Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati also have moderately busy airports.
Get In By Road
A total of 1,46,944 km of road are maintained by the State, of which State Highways comprise 42,511 km, National Highways 2,949 km and District Roads 1,01,484 km. The Growth rate of Vehicles in Andhra Pradesh is highest in the country with 16%
Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) is the major public transport corporation owned by the government of Andhra Pradesh connecting all the cities and villages. APSRTC is also in the Guiness Book of World Records for having the largest fleet of vehicles (approximately 21,000), and the longest area covered/commuted daily. Apart from these, thousands of private operators run buses connecting major cities and towns of the state. Private vehicles like cars, motorised scooters and bicycles occupy a major share of the local transport in the cities and adjoining villages.
Get In By Rail
Railways are also a major means of transport connecting all major cities and towns. The history of railways in Andhra Pradesh dates back to the time of Nizam of Hyderabad. Most of Andhra Pradesh falls under South Central Railway which came into existence in 1966 with its headquarters at Secunderabad.
Get In By Water
Andhra Pradesh has two major ports of India at Visakhapatnam and Kakinada and three minor ports, Machilipatnam, Nizampatnam (Guntur) and Krishnapatnam. One more private port is being developed at Gangavaram, near Visakhapatnam. This deep sea port can accommodate ocean liners up to 200,000–250,000 DWT, allowing big ocean liners to enter into Indian shores.
Cities in Andhra Pradesh
- Hyderabad – The state capital and the largest city
- Visakhapatnam – Also known as Vizag
- Vijayawada -also known as Bezawada
- Kurnool – Former capital of the state
- Guntur – Tobacco City
- Tenali – Andhra Paris
Must See Destinations in Andhra Pradesh
- Belum Caves
- Horsley Hills
- Manyam Konda
- Nagarjuna Sagar
- Pakhal Lake – a man-made lake in the Pakhal sanctuary
- Pulicat Lake – second largest brackish water lake in India
- Puttaparthi – village and home of the guru Sathya Sai Baba.
- Sriharikota – a barrier island which houses India’s only satellite launch center
Facts on Andhra Pradesh
Established November 1, 1956
Largest city Hyderabad
Governor Narayan Dutt Tiwari
Chief Minister Konijeti Rosaiah
Legislature (seats) Bicameral (294)
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Area 275,608 km2 (106,413 sq mi)
ISO 3166-2 IN-AP