Anantapur district General information
Anantapur, lying in the westernmost part of Andhra Pradesh, is the largest district with an area of 19,130 sq km. It is bounded by Kurnool District in the north, Cuddapah District in the east, Chittoor District in the south and the state of Karnataka in the west. Anantapur is believed to have got its name from 'Anaantasagaram', a large body of water, which means 'Endless Ocean'. The villages of Anaantasagaram and Bukkarayasamudram were constructed by Chilkkavodeya who was the minister of Bukka-I, a Vijayanagar ruler. Anantapur is popularly known as Hande Anantapuram, 'Hande' meaning 'chief of the Vijayanagar period'. The Vijayanagar rulers had gifted Anantapur and a few other places to Hanumappa Naidu of the Hande family. Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan later ruled over Anantapur.
Dharmavaram, situated 47 km from the district headquarters Anantapur, is famous for its cotton and silk weaving industry. Thimmamma Marrimanu, an amazing 550 year old banyan tree mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records, is 100 km from Anantapur.
Anantapur District is also famous for its historic forts such as Gooty Fort, Rayadurg Fort, Hemavathi Fort and Penukonda Fort. Puttaparthi, the home of Sri Sathya Sai Baba also lies here.
The nearest airport is at Bangalore. The railhead at Anantapur is on the Hyderabad-Bangalore broad gauge line. The best period to make a visit is from September to February.
Religious festivals and fairs that are held throughout the year attract millions of devotees. In accordance with the Agamas, traditional rituals are also observed.
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.
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. 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.
Anantapur District was formed in the year 1882 having been separated from Bellary District.
Later on, it was expanded with the addition of Revenue Mandals of Kadiri, Mudigubba, Nallamada, N.P.Kunta, Talupula, Nallacheruvu, O.D.Cheruvu, Tanakal, Amadagur and Gandlapenta (previous Kadiri Taluk) from Cuddapah District in the year 1910.
During the year 1956, the present Revenue Mandals of Rayadurg, D.Hirehal, Kanekal, Bommanahal and Gummagatta of Bellary District were added to Anantapur District.
The District has been divided into 3 Revenue Divisions consisting of 63 Revenue Mandals (Anantapur Division 20, Dharmavaram Division 17 and Penukonda Division 26).
Anantapur District lies between 13'-40' and 15'-15' Northern Latitude and 76'-50' and 78'-30' Eastern Longitude. It is bounded by Bellary, Kurnool District on the North, Cuddapah and Kolar Districts of Karnataka on South East and North respectively. The District is roughly oblong in shape, the longer side running North to South with a portion of Chitradurg District of Karnataka State intruding into it from west between Kundurpi and Amarapuram Mandals.
The District may be divided into 3 Natural Divisions. They are 1) Northern Mandal of Rayadurg, Kanekal, Beluguppa Gooty, Guntakal, Vajrakarur, Uravakonda, Vidapanakal, Yadiki, Tadipatri, Putlur and Yellanur containing larger areas of Black Cotton soils (2) Kalyandurg, Kambadur, Settur, Brahmasamudram, Ramagiri, Kanaganapalli, C.K.Palli, Dharmavaram, Bathalapalli, Tadimarri, Mudigubba, Anantapur, Kudair, Pamidi and Peddavadugur in the center which are mainly made up of arid Treeless, expense of poor Red Soils, (3) High Level Land of Penukonda, Roddam, Somandepalli, Hindupur, Lepakshi, Chilamathur, Madakasira, Rolla, Gudibanda and Agali which connects with Mysore plateau at higher elevation of the rest of the District. This part has average sandy red soils of normal productivity.
It is bounded by Bellary, Kurnool District on the North, Cuddapah and Kolar District of Karnataka on South East and North respectively. The District is roughly OBLONG in shape, the longer side running North to South with a portion of Chitradurg District of Karnataka State intruding into it from west between Kundurpi and Amarapuram Mandals.
The District of Anantapur has a fairly good elevation which provides the District with tolerable climate throughout the year. It has a gradual fall from the South North towards the valley of the Pennar in Peddavadugur, Peddapappur and Tadipatri Mandals. There is a gradual rise in Hindupur, Parigi, Lepakshi, Chilamathur, Agali, Rolla and Madakasira Mandals in the South to join the Karnataka Plateau where the average elevation is about 2000 feet is above the mean sea level. It is about 1100 feet at Anantapur and the lowest 900 feet is at Tadipatri.
The Geographical position of the Peninsula render it, the driest part of the State and hence, Agriculture conditions are more often precarious. Monsoons also evades this part due to its unfortunate location. Being far from the East coast, it does not enjoy the full benefits of North East Monsoons and being cut off by the high western Ghats, the South West Monsoon are also prevented from penetrating and punching the thirst of these parched soils. It is therefore seen, the district is deprived of both the monsoons and subjected to droughts due to bad seasons. The normal rainfall of the district is 553.0 MMs. by which it secures least rainfall when compared to Rayalaseema and other parts of Andhra Pradesh. The normal rainfall for the South West Monsoon period is 338.0 MMs. which forms about 61.2% of the total rainfall for the year. The failure of the rains in this South West monsoon period of June to September will lead the District to drought by failure of crops. The rainfall for North East monsoon period is 156.0 M.Ms. only, which forms 28.3% M.Ms. of the total rainfall for the year (October to December).
The other months are almost dry March, April and May are warm months when the normal daily maximum temperature ranges between 29.1 C to 40.3 C. November, December and January are cooler months when the temperature falls about 15.7 C, Hindupur, Parigi, Lepakshi, Chilamathur, Agali, Rolla and Madakasira Mandals being at High Elevation are more cooler than the rest of the Mandals in the District.
The Forests in the District are thin and scanty. The Muchukota Hills about 35 KMs. in length, run from North of Gooty Town upto extreme Southern Corner of Tadipatri and Yadiki Mandals. Another line of Hills starts from West of Gooty Mandal and run 80 KMs. called by name Nagasamudram Hills. The Mallappakonda Range begins at Dharmavaram and runs into Karnataka State.
The Penukonda Range which starts in the South of Dharmavaram through Penukonda and Hindupur proceeds to Karnataka State.
In Madakasira, the hills divides Rolla and Agali Mandals into Southern and Northern portions.
The important river in the District is Pennar. It has its origin in the Nandi Hills of Karnataka State where it is called "UTTARA PINAKINI" and enters this District in the extreme South of Hindupur Mandal and flows through Parigi, Roddam, Ramagiri, Kambadur, Kalyandurg, Beluguppa, Uravakonda,Vajrakarur,Pamidi, Peddavadugur, Peddapappur and Tadipatri Mandals and finally enters Cuddapah District.
The soils in Anantapur District are predominantly red except Kanekal, Bommanahal, Vidapanakal, Uravakonda, Vajrakarur, Guntakal, Gooty, Pamidi, Peddavadugur, Yadiki, Tadipatri, Yellanur, Peddapappur and Putlur mandals. In these Mandals red and black soils occur almost in equal proportion. Thus 76% red soils, 24% are black soils.
There are 929 inhabited villages, out of 964 total Revenue villages of the District. The number of villages in size group of 500 to 1999 forms 36.71% of the total inhabited villages . The size group of 2000 to 4999 forms 38.64% and the size group of 5000 to 9999 forms 12.81% only out of total villages, while 84 villages ( 9.04%) of total inhabited villages are having population less than 500. There are 26 villages with more than 10000 population excluding Towns.
Gugudu,Lepakshi,Kasapuram,Alurkona,Pennaahobilam,Gutibayalu,Puttapathy,Penukonda,Hemavathi,Rayadurg Fort,Gooty Fort,Tadipatri,Sri Kadiri Laxmi Narasimha Swamy Temple,Dharmavaram,Jambu Dweepa at Konakondla