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» Historical Background
 
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).
 
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» Topography
 
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.
 
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» Boundaries
 
 
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.
 
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» Rainfall & Climate
 
 
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.
 
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» Forests
 
 
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.

There  are numerous isolated Peaks and  Rocky  Clusters which are devoid of any vegetation. The height of some of  these Hill Ranges are given below:
 
Mallappakonda four Miles to
North of Bukkapatnam : 3002 feet
Penukonda : 3091 feet
Kundurpi Durgam : 2996 feet
Madakasira : 2936 feet
 
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» Rivers
 
Pennar River
 
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.
 
 
Jayamangala
 
River  which  has  its  origin   in Karnataka   State enters this District in Parigi Mandal and  joins Pennar River at Sangameswarampalli of Parigi Mandal.
 
Chitravathi River
 
Another significant river in the District is "CHITRAVATHI". Its origin is in Karnataka State . This river enters the District near Kodikonda village of Chilamathur Mandal and flows North over Rocky and Hilly uplands of Gorantla,Puttaparthi, Bukkapatnam, Kothacheruvu, C.K.Palli, Dharmavaram, Bathalapalli,  Tadimarri  and Yellanur Mandals and  falls  into Pennar River at Gandikota in Cuddapah District.

VEDAVATHI or HAGARI RIVER also an important one in the District has its origin in Karnataka State and flows through Gummagatta, Brahmasamudram, Beluguppa, Kanekal and D.Hirehal Mandals   and enters Bellary District of Karnataka State. Bhairavanithippa Project (B.T.Project) constructed on this river.

Apart  from  these  streams  like KUSHAVATHI   in Chilamathur Mandal, SWARNAMUKHI  in Agali  Mandal,   MADDILER U  in Nallamada, Kadiri and  Mudigubba Mandals, PANDAMERU in Kanaganipalli,  Raptadu, Anantapur B.K.Samudram and Singanamala Mandals, PAPAGNI  in Tanakal Mandal are  important  water  supply sources  to  various  large and medium irrigation  tanks  in  the district.
 
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» Soils
 
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.
 
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» Population
 
 
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.
 
PERIOD TOTAL RURAL URBAN % OF GROWTH RATE
1941 1166225 1019639 146590 --
1951 1361556 1139998 221558 16.75
1961 1767464 1459837 307627 29.81
1971 2115321 1739531 375790 19.68
1981 2548012 2017095 530917 20.46
1991 3183814 2435761 748053 24.95
2001 3640478 2720915 919563 14.34
2011 4083315 2936359 1146956 12.16
 
 
There  are 10 Towns in Anantapur District as  per  2011 Census.  The following Table gives the growth of  population  of towns from 1991 to 2001.
 
 
S.NO NAME OF THE MANDAL CIVIC & ADMINISTRATIVE STATUS IN 2001 CENSUS POPULATION
      1961 1971 1981
1 ANANTAPUR MUNICIPALITY 52280 80069 119531
2 GUNTAKAL MUNICIPALITY 48083 66320 84599
3 HINDUPUR MUNICIPALITY 32445 42959 55091
4 KADIRI MUNICIPALITY 24307 33810 52774
5 TADIPATRI MUNICIPALITY 23129 31618 53939
6 DHARMAVARAM MUNICIPALITY 20405 30876 50969
7 RAYADURG MUNICIPALITY 23779 26154 32745
8 GOOTY PANCHAYAT BOARD 19057 21706 29302
9 URAVAKONDA PANCHAYAT BOARD 17926 19753 21754
10 KALYANDURG PANCHAYAT BOARD 10256 13260 17049
 
 
S.NO NAME OF THE MANDAL CIVIC & ADMINISTRATIVE STATUS IN 2001 CENSUS                            POPULATION % OF GROWTH
      1991 2001 2011  
1 ANANTAPUR MUNICIPALITY 174924 252298 305550 21.11
2 GUNTAKAL MUNICIPALITY 107592 117103 126479 8.01
3 HINDUPUR MUNICIPALITY 104651 125074 151835 21.40
4 KADIRI MUNICIPALITY 63078 76252 89240 17.00
5 TADIPATRI MUNICIPALITY 71068 86843 108249 24.65
6 DHARMAVARAM MUNICIPALITY 78961 103357 121992 18.03
7 RAYADURG MUNICIPALITY 40845 54125 61717 14.03
8 GOOTY PANCHAYAT BOARD 37814 43389 48362 11.46
9 URAVAKONDA PANCHAYAT BOARD 27679 31856 35416 11.18
10 KALYANDURG PANCHAYAT BOARD 23106 29266 32335 10.50
 
 
The density of population of the District is 213 per Sq. K.M, against (308) of the State. The population of Rural and Urban to the total population of the District work out to 72% and 28% in 2011 Census as against 75% and 25% of 2001 Census. There are 977 Females per 1000 Males in 2011 Census.

The working force in the total population of District forms 48.83% as per 2001 census out of which 26% are in the Agriculture Sector.
 
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» Land Utilisation
 
The total geographical area of the district is 19.13 lakh Hects. The land utilisation pattern as available in the district during the year 2011-2012 is as fallows. Net area sown is 10.48 Lakh Hects., which forms 54.78% of the total area. The total cropped area is 11.14 Lakh Hects. Area sown more than once is 0.66 Lakh Hects.

The cultivated area of the District is 11.14 Lakh Hects. out of which 9.82 Lakh Hects. is under Kharif and 1.32 Lakh Hects., is under Rabi Season during the year 2011-12.
 
 
The District occupies the lowest position in respect of Irrigation facilities with only 15.43% of the gross cropped area during 2011-2012.

Out of the gross irrigated area of 1.72 Lakh Hects. during 2011-2012 canals accounted for 13.64%, tanks 0.54%, Tube wells 80.59%, wells 3.98% and other sources 1.25%. All the principal sources except canals are non-precarious.
 
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» Natural Resources
 
Forests

The  District is not rich in the  Forest Wealth.  The  name ' Forest'  in  Anantapur District  does  not indicate any dense tree population with thick foliage of variform of pastures.
 
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» Mineral Resources
 
Gold

At Ramagiri  village  in Ramagiri  mandal, Gold is found to occur in the Cholite Schist's  and physlite  along with western part of Dharwar Schist's Belt in  the district. The place extends over a length of 14 kms Exploratory mining in the area is pruned about 467 meters of ore shoots with an  average width of 100 CMS Tonne. Mining operations are  expected to be conducted by Bharat Gold Mines Limited.


Diamonds

Diamonds  are know to be available  near  Vajrakarur.  They mainly occur in pipe rocks.


Asbestos

(Chrysolite variety Cross fibre type) Barytes High Grade Line Stones, Iron ore and steatite are the minerals occurring in the district. There are however no large sized minerals occurring in the district. There are 2 large scale Cement Factories (Ms. L&T Ltd., and Ms. Penna Cement Ltd.,) in Tadipatri Mandal and producing lakhs tonnes of cement in private sector.
 
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» Place of Tourist Importance
 
 
Gugudu

The village in Narpala Mandal is at a distance  of  29 kms  from Anantapur and is situated among the  Mutchukota  Hills. It is known for its Moharum Festival and Sri Kullai Swamy is  the name  of the much venerated saint. Barren women  are  said  to become  fertile  by paying a visit to the shrine. Fire walking ceremony  is conducted on the night of the 11 th day of  Moharrum. There  is also Sri Anjaneya Swamy Temple near by the abode  of Sri Kullai Swamy Chavidi.
 
 
Lepakshi

The village is situated at a distance of 14 kms  from Hindupur Town in Lepakshi Mandal. This place is a famous  pilgrim center known for its Veerabhadra Temple and the huge stone" NANDI" which  stands nearby.  The place is also associated  with  the travellers of Lord Sri Ram. The Temple is veritable treasure of sculpture  and architecture. Large number of pilgrims visit  the place on "SHIVARATHRI" and other saivite festival days.
 
 
Kasapuram

The place is about 4 kms north of Guntakal  and  is known  for the temple of Nettikanti Veera Anjaneya  Swamy .  Hindu pilgrims  from  several parts of Anantapur, Kurnool  and   Bellary districts congregate here in large number specially on  Saturdays and worship the deity, besides performing marriages  and  tonsure ceremonies. Even  Muslims of the surrounding  areas  visit the place  and make their offerings to this deity. A huge  procession is  taken  out once in a year on the day next to the  Telugu  New Year Day.
 
 
Alurkona

This place is at a distance of 5 kms. from  Tadpatri and is known for the Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple built on the top of the hill by Yerramaraju, a Chiefttain of Bukkarayalu in  1330.There  is  a waterfall nearby with perennial spring. It  is  not only  a pilgrim center but also a picnic spot on account of the scenic  beauty of the place. Thousands of pilgrims  visit the place  all  round the year and perform marriages  and  religious ceremonies. The annual Brahmostavam Festival is being celebrated on  Chitra  Suddah  Pournima (Usually  in April)  attracts huge congregation.
 
 
Pennaahobilam

This  place situated at a distance of  35  kms. from Anantapur is an uninhabited village known for its Temple  of "Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy"  popularly  called  as  "Degurla Narasimha Swamy". This place is an important pilgrim center  in the  District and the Car Festival on the fifth day of  the  dark fortnight  in the month of Vaisakam (April-May) will  be  largely attended by devotees even from the neighboring Districts and the Karnataka   State . The temple is constructed on a hillock  of  30 feet height.  The main shrine consists of gigantic foot mark  of 5'x3',  believed to be the foot print of Lord Narasimha. Vows  are fulfilled  and marriages  and tonsure  ceremonies are  performed frequently  at  this shrine. The temple of Lakshmi ,  the lords consort  is situated by the side of the main shrine. There is  a spring channel in the temple known as "Bugga Koneru".
 
 
Gutibayalu

This place is about 21 kms. South-East of  Kadiri. There  is a Banyan Tree, perhaps the biggest of its kind  in  the South, its branches spreading over nearly 5 acres, locally  called "Thimmamma Marrimanu" after the name of Thimmamma, who is said to have  committed  " Sati" in 1434 A.D at this spot,  where this Banyan Tree sprouted.
 
 
Puttapathy

This  village is on  the  banks  of  Chitravathi situated  at a distance of about 29 kms. from Penukonda.  It  is the abode  of Puttaparthy Sri Sathya Sai  Baba, drawing  devoted disciples from all over the world. There is  Prasanthi Nilayam (an  Ashram) constructed by the Devotees. The Baba  is  credited with  acute powers. On Sivarathri, on the birth day of the Baba and particularly during Dasara, quite a large number of  devotees visit the palce. A beautiful  mantapa  by  name" Poornachandra"   is constructed  in  which a large number  of  Baba  devotees  would assemble and perform "Bhajana" on festival days.
 
 
Penukonda

Penukonda is one of the early capitals of the Vijayanagara empire, the fort was impregnable during its time. The two most noteworthy sights in the fort are the "Gagan Mahal" the Summer resort of the kings and "Babayya Darga" a splendid example for communal hormony. Here Kumbakarna garden was spread over 5 acres. It has a Gigantic statue of the sleeping Kumbakarna, measuring 142 feet in length and 32 feet in height into whose cavernos belly one can walk into it. Several asuras are seen trying to wake up the sleeping Gaint.
 
 
Hemavathi

Hemavathi is located at a distance of 140kms from Anantapur. It is famous for Doddeswara Swamy temple built during the Pallava Reign. The stone used in making the idols sounds like metal when stuck and is also remarkably polished. A Nandi made of black basalt granite, 8 feet in lenght and 4 feet in height sits at the entrance. There is a 6 feet tall Lingam installed inside the sanctum sanctorum. The temple area houses two other temples dedicated to Lord Shiva called the Siddeswara Swamy temple and Mallikarjuna Swamy temple. There is a Museum in side which has rare idols of historical importance of display.
 
 
Rayadurg Fort

It is located at a distance of 130kms from Anantapur. The fort was built by the Vijayanagara Kings and has inscriptions indicative of the period, on its walls. Located with in the fort is the RasaSidda Temple. Carved out of a single stone, the temple is embellished with the fine sculptures depicting Jain gurus and their disciples. In the proximity are other sites like Rama Temple, Narasimha Swamy Temple, Neelakanteswara Temple and Jambukeswara Temple.
 
 
Gooty Fort

Gooty fort is majistically located at a distance of 52kms from Anantapur at a height of 300mts on a hill. It is one of the oldest hill forts in A.P. Built during the Vijayanagara era, the fort is uniquely built in the shape of a shell with 15 main doors and is significant for its water resources available at such a height.
 
 
Tadipatri

Chintala Venkataramana Temple is located in Tadipatri town which is at a distance of 52 kms from Anantapur. From Tadipatri town at a distance of 1 km., over looking the Penna river, the Bugga Ramalingeswara Temple is remarkable for a Lingam on a pedestal constantly filled with water from a small spring.
 
 
Sri Kadiri Laxmi Narasimha Swamy Temple

Kadiri is the holy shrine where Lord Vishnu set foot and handed over the Utsavamoorthis to Brugu Maharshi for his daily worship. Special Poojas are performed during Dassera and Sakranthi. There are several sacred thirthas connected to the Temple.
 
 
Dharmavaram

Sri Laxmi Chennakeshwara Temple is renowned for its architectural brilliance and for the perennial waterspout and pillars, which produces seven different musical notes when struck. Dharmavaram is also known for its cotton and silk weaving industry with its silk sarees popular all over the world. This place is also known for its expertise in making leather puppets.
 
 
Jambu Dweepa at Konakondla

The Jain Mythical cosmographical diagram of Jambu Dweepa engraved on a stone on the top of the hill Alchemists at Konakondla village in Vajrakarur Mandal which was identified by Sri R.V. Chakravarthy, Head Master, Parishad High School, Konakondla in the year 1966. The pilgrims, especially south Indian Jain pilgrims are mostly attracted by this Jambu Dweepa which is 70 kms from Anantapur or 10 kms from Guntakal Railway Station. Adjacent to this, there are Kambam Narasimha Swamy Hills, Rasasidda hillock and Kari Basappa hillock. There is a Thirthanka Temple with idols of Thirthankaras (high priests) on Rasasidda hillock. This may belong to 13 th Century A.D.
 
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