Rajahmundry is a city and municipal corporation of the Andhra Pradesh state in India. It is located 400 kilometres (249 mi) east of the state capital, Hyderabad, on the banks of the River Godavari. Known as the Cultural Capital, Rajahmundry is noted for its intense Veda culture and intellect. The city’s population is 313,347 (Census 2001) and that of the urban agglomeration is 968,341 (2009 estimates).
The city’s origins can be traced back to the rule of the Chalukya king Rajaraja Narendra around 1022 (so its name Rajamahendri or Rajamahendravaram). Remains of 11th century palaces and fort walls still exist. However, new archeological evidence suggests the town may have existed much before the Chalukyas. Rajamhendravaram gradually turned into Rajahmundry during the rule of the British, for whom the city was the headquarters of the Godavari district. When the district was split into east and west, subsequently, Kakinada –a well-known port city– became the headquarters of East Godavari.
Rajahmundry is the acclaimed birthplace of Yasaswi the Great and the sweet Telugu language — its grammar and script evolving from the pen of the city-born poet, Nannayya. Known also called ‘Adi Kavi’ (the first poet) of Telugu, Nannayya along with Tikkana and Yerrana, translated the Sanskrit version of Mahabharata into Telugu. Kandukuri Veeresalingam –a social reformer and the author of Rajashekhara Charithra, the first Telugu novel– was also from Rajahmundry.
The city was one of the biggest cities in South India up to the 19th century. It was the hotbed of several movements during India’s freedom struggle — acting as a base for many key leaders. When the Indian National Congress had its first meeting in Bombay (Mumbai), two leaders from Rajahmundry, Nyapathi Subba Rao and Kandukuri Veeresalingam participated. Subba Rao, founder of Hindu Samaj in Rajahmundry, was also one of the six founders of India’s noted English daily The Hindu.
Rajahmundry already had a railroad to another prominent city, Vijayawada in 1893 itself — by when it already had colleges. A fine library, Gowatami Grandhalayam came up in 1898.
Rajahmundry is located at 16.98°N 81.78°E. with an average elevation of 14 meters (45 feet). There is a lot of paddy and sugarcane cultivation in the area. River Godavari flows through the west of Rajahmundry.
The Rajahmundry traps, part of the Deccan Traps, are located on the Godavari river and are of particular interest to geologists.
As of 2001 India census, Rajahmundry had a population of 315052 with the male:female ratio almost equal. It had an average literacy rate of 70%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy of 74% and female literacy 66%.
The climate is mostly hot and humid, with mostly a tropical climate and thereby, with no distinct seasons. The mean maximum temperature is 36 °C. The hottest season is from April to June, with temperature ranging from 34 °C to 48 °C — with maximum of 51 °C recorded in May 2007. The coolest months are December and January, when it is pleasant at 27 °C – 30 °C. There is a lot of rain due to the monsoon and cyclonic storms in the Bay of Bengal.
The biggest attraction in Rajahmundry is the river Godavari. The three bridges over the river are the longest in Andhra Pradesh—with many beautiful ghats and parks on the banks. Sir Arthur Cotton, a famous British civil engineer, had great plans for Rajahmundry and decided to build a anicut (dam) in Dowlaiswaram due to its proximity to a hill that suited his purpose. The dam comprised four divisions: Dowlaiswaram Division, Ryali Branch Division, Madduru division and Vijjeswaram division. This was in all 900 yards (800 m) long and 9 feet (3 m) high and Asia’s largest rail-cum-road bridge on the river Godavari linking Kovvur. The First Godavari Rail Bridge was built in 1897, under the supervision of Er. Walton, a British engineer, across Godavari connecting East and West Godavari districts. Stretching for three kilometers, and constructed with stone masonry and steel girders, this bridge served the trains plying between Madras (Chennai) and Howrah (Kolkata). With increased traffic in freight and passengers, a rail-cum-road bridge was built across the river’s downstream was inaugurated by the then president of India Dr. Fakruddin Ali Ahmed in 1977. A third railway bridge ‘
REDIRECT The Godavari Arch Bridge
REDIRECT [[The Godavari Arch Bridge]]
‘ was built between 1991 and 1997. It was commissioned for passenger traffic in March 1997 and became fully operational for running trains by the Indian Railways from 2003, as the bridge built in 1897 was found not suitable for railway traffic anymore. The Dhowleswaram bridge across Godavari is seven kilometers south of Rajahmundry. On the banks is the Rallabandi SubbaRao Museum displaying coins, sculpture, pottery, inscriptions and palm-leaf manuscripts.
Rajahmundry is also one of the Hindu pilgrimage sites, with a number of temples like the Kotilingalu (10 million Sivalingas) temple on the bank of Godavari. It hosts holy congregations called Pushkarams held once every 12 years and considered auspicious to take sin-ridding holy dips—with the last in August 2003, when around 34 million are said to have taken the bath. This festival lasts for 12 days and people offer prayers and make offerings to their departed family members. A huge Krishna temple has been constructed by the ISKCON foundation on the banks of Godavari. Popularly called as Gowthami Ghat, it is a major attraction for young people as a recreational center.
A boat cruise on the river Godavari to Papikondalu, through the waterfalls at Perantala Palli, is a major attraction. Another spot is Pattiseema, known for its natural beauty and quite many movies filmed there. Pedapatnam Lanka is called Konaseema because it is lush with greenery. Many sites in Konaseema are rich sources of oil and natural gas.
A very famous sweet in coastal Andhra Pradesh, Pootarekulu is made in Atreyapuram, a village near Rajahmundry. The city is also known for rare breed of Pulasa Fish, available only once in a year during monsoon. Added to this, people enjoy rose milk, near the Kothagumam area. And there are traditional pen-making shops where people can place order for a variety of pens.
Sri Kandukuri Veeresalingam (1848–1919), a renowned social reformer, is widely considered as the man who first brought about a renaissance in the Telugu people and Telugu literature; he is also known to have helped women come out of their closets.
Julia Maitland, a campaigner for “native” education, founded a multilingual school and reading room in the town in 1837.
Jaya Prada, a popular actress of Telugu & Hindi film industry has entered politics and got elected as Member of Parliament from Rampur constituency of UP on Samajwadi Party ticket
Uma Pemmaraju, an anchor and host on the Fox News Channel cable network.
Raja Babu, comedian
Ali (actor), comedian
Relangi (actor), comedian
Bhanupriya, actress(born in Rajahmundry)
Sameera Reddy, Bollywood actress
Rasool Ellore, Bollywood and Hollywood cameraman
Tanguturi Suryakumari, actor, classical singer and dancer, first Miss Madras, and evangelist of yoga and Indian dance in US
Adikavi’ Nannayya of the 11th century
Poets of 20th century
Sri Chilakamarti Lakshmi Narasimha Pantulu
Vaddadi Subbaraya kavi
‘Kavisarvabhowma’ Sripada Krishnamurthi Sastry
Sri Madhunapantula Satyanarayana Sastry
Mallampalli Sarabheswara Sarma
Bulusu Venkata Rama Murthy
Kottapalli Satya Srimannarayana
Dr.Ravula Suryanarayana Murty
‘Hindi Astavadhani’ Dr. Chebolu Seshagiri Rao
The District Hospital of the East Godavari district is in Rajahmundry. Over the last three decades, the number of hospitals and practicing doctors has swelled. Due to its strategic location, Rajahmundry is accessible to both districts of Godavari, Khammam , parts of Visakhapatnam and Krishna — as well as to parts of Chattisgarh and Orissa states.
Rajahmundry is known for its cloth trade, with many cooperative handloom houses providing fine quality of sarees with different designs and borders, as well as menswear. Rajahmundry is also coming up with many branded ready-made stores, with H&A stated to be the largest in India.
Gold business is also quite vibrant here. It stands just 2nd In India After Mumbai in Cloth Business. It is a Business Center for Both the Godavari District..
Rajahmundry also hosts few corporates and multinationals as part of its industrial development, such as:
ITC Limited, ILTD Division,
GlaxoSmithKline (Horlicks Factory)
Andhra Pradesh Paper Mills and few more paper mills like The Coastal Paper Mills (P) limited, Kadiyam Paper Mills etc. in and around Rajahmundry.
GVK Power Plant- Jegurupadu nearby Rajahmundry by GVK Industries Ltd.
Multiple gas based Power Plants by GMR Group, as GMR Rajahmundry Limited.
The Central Tobacco Research Institute(CTRI) has its Research and Development center in Rajahmundry. Its operations run in association with Indian Leaf Tobacco Division(ILTD).
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) — Rajahmundry is the headquarters of ONGC’s Krishna Godavari basin, now regarded as central to its operations.
Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL)
Hotel Shelton Rajamahendri,
Throughout history, Rajahmundry has been known for elite educational institutions and its schools for teaching the Vedas — with many noted Vedic scholars tracing their roots to these schools.
The Government Arts College, now called Government College (Autonomous)in Rajahmundry was founded more than 150 years ago and is NAAC-accredited (A). Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, former president of India and a noted Hindu scholar, worked in this college. Institutes founded by Kandukuri Veeresalingam have now grown into large colleges and organizations.
Rajahmundry is well connected to all parts of the state. NH-5 passes by this place. With one national highway and two state highways, it has excellent road connectivity to all important places like Annavaram, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Jaipur and Lucknow. It is a main city for both the Godavari districts.
The city is also well connected by the railway network. Rajahmundry has one of the biggest railway stations in Andhra Pradesh and is one of the top revenue generator for South Central Railways. All trains along the Howrah-Chennai route stop here. It is also connected by a number of trains from Hyderabad, the state capital.
Rajahmundry is accessible by air through flights from Vijayawada,Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. These 4 cities are connected by flights operated by Kingfisher Red,Jet Airways and Spicejet. The airport is situated near Madhurapudi which is 10km away from the heart of the city. The government has recently[when?] sanctioned an amount of rupees 200 crores for the installation of night landing facilities and construction of a new terminal building at the Rajahmundry airport.And in soon we can see it as national airport.
The recent tourism developments by the government has made excellent platform for Rajahmundry to boast itself as water-way transport hub. Though currently the water way transport caters for select few purposes like pilgrimage, tourism etc., the government has huge plans for the future.
The Municipal corporation of rajahmundry is planning to upgrade it form corporation to urban development authority the vision city. Recently this city has secured Greater status.