Andhra Pradesh (Telugu: ఆంధ్ర ప్రదేశ్, Urdu: آندھرا پردیش) or AP, the "Rice Bowl of India", is a state in southern India. It 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 the fifth largest state in India by area and population. It is the largest and most populous state in South India. The state is crossed by two major rivers, the Godavari and the Krishna.
Main article: History of Andhra
An Andhra Kingdom was mentioned in the Sanskrit Epics such as Aitareya Brahmana and Mahabharata. Inscriptional evidence showed that there was a kingdom in coastal Andhra ruled by Kuberaka with Pratipalapura (Bhattiprolu) as his capital in 5th century BCE. This probably was the oldest known kingdom in south India. Around the same time Dhanyakatakam/Dhranikota seemed to be a very important place. According to Taranatha: "On the full moon of the month Caitra in the year following his enlightenment, at the great stupa of Dhanyakataka, the Buddha emanated the mandala of "The Glorious Lunar Mansions" (Kalachakra). The Mauryans extended their rule over Andhra in 4th century BCE. With the fall of the Mauryan Empire Andhra Satavahanas became independent in 3rd century BCE. After the decline of the Satavahanas in 220 CE, Ikshvakus, Pallavas, Vishnukundinas, Anandagotrikas and Cholas ruled the Telugu land. Inscriptional evidence of Telugu was found during the rule of Renati Cholas (Kadapa region) in 5th century CE. During this period the Telugu language, emerged as a popular medium undermining the predominance of Prakrit and Sanskrit. Telugu was made official language during Vishnukundina Kings who ruled from Vinukonda as the capital. Eastern Chalukyas ruled for a long period after the decline of Vishnukundinas. Their capital was Vengi. The present day Rayalaseema was the first home of Chalukyas. As early as 1st century CE, they were mentioned as being the vassals and chieftains under the Satavahana rule. Their place of residence at that time was the Kadapa area. They migrated to the northern Karnataka area after suffering loses at the hands of Pallava kings. They reentered the Telugu land via the present day Telangana and gave rise to Eastern Chalukya kingdom
The battle of Palnadu resulted in the weakening of Chalukyan power and emergence of the Kakatiya dynasty in the 12th and the 13th centuries CE. The Kakatiyas were at first the feudatories of the Western Chalukyas of Kalyani, ruling over a small territory near Warangal. In 1323 CE, Delhi Sultan Ghiaz-ud-din Tughlaq sent a large army under Ulugh Khan to conquer the Telugu country and capture Warangal. King Prataprudra was taken prisoner. Musunuri Nayaks recaptured Warangal from the Delhi Sultanate and ruled for fifty years. The Vijayanagar empire, one of the greatest empires in the history of Andhra Pradesh and India, was founded by Harihara (Hakka) and Bukka, who served as Treasury officers in the administration of the Kakatiya empire. In 1347 CE, an independent Muslim state, the Bahmani kingdom, was established in south India by Alla-ud-din Hasan Gangu as a revolt against the Delhi Sultanate. The Qutb Shahi dynasty held sway over the Andhra country for about two hundred years from the early part of the 16th century to the end of the 17th century.
In Colonial India, Northern Circars became part of the British Madras Presidency. Eventually this region emerged as the Coastal Andhra region. Later the Nizam had ceded five territories to the British which eventually emerged as Rayalaseema region. The Nizams retained control of the interior provinces as the Princely state of Hyderabad, acknowledging British rule in return for local autonomy.
India became independent from the United Kingdom in 1947. The Muslim Nizam of Hyderabad wanted to retain his independence from India, but his state of Hyderabad was forced to become part of the Republic of India in 1948 as Hyderabad State.
In an effort to gain an independent state, and protect the interests of the Telugu people of Madras State, Amarajeevi Potti Sriramulu fasted until death. Public outcry and civil unrest after his death forced the government to announce the formation of a new state for Telegu speakers. Andhra attained statehood in October 1953.
On 1 November 1 1956 Andhra State merged with the Telangana region of Hyderabad State to form the state of Andhra Pradesh, which would be mainly Telugu-speaking. Hyderabad, the former capital of the Hyderabad State, was made the capital of the new state Andhra Pradesh.
Andhra Pradesh has the second-longest coastline in India of 970 kilometres and can be broadly divided into three unofficial geographic regions, namely Kosta (Coastal Andhra/Andhra), Telangana and Rayalaseema.
Kosta occupies the coastal plain between Eastern Ghats ranges, which run the length of the state, and the Bay of Bengal.It includes the districts of Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur, Krishna, West Godavari, East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam. Telangana lies west of the Ghats on the Deccan plateau. The Godavari River and Krishna River rise in the Western Ghats of Karnataka and Maharashtra and flow east across Telangana to empty into the Bay of Bengal in a combined river delta. It includes the northwestern interior districts of Warangal, Adilabad, Khammam, Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda, Rangareddi, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Medak, and the state capital, Hyderabad.
RayalaseemaRayalaseema lies in the southeast of the state on the Deccan plateau, in the basin of the Penner River. It is separated from Telangana by the low Erramala hills, and from Coastal Andhra by the Eastern Ghats.It includes the districts of Kurnool, Kadapa (formerly known as 'Cuddapah'), Anantapur and Chittoor.
Rivers and Hills:
 Civic administration
Main article: Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation
The city is administered by Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) whose titular head is the Mayor who has few executive powers. In the past, the mayor was chosen by the legislative body of the corporation, but just before the last elections, the state government modified the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad Act to stipulate that the mayoral election be held directly and simultaneously with the corporation elections. The real executive power of the corporation is vested in the Municipal Commissioner, an IAS officer appointed by the Andhra Pradesh state government. The Mayor and the Corporation legislative body can and have been in the past dismissed by the state government. For several years elections had not been held for the corporation. Recently the corporation completed its full term and elections are due to the GHMC and for the post of Mayor.
A large part of the twin city Secunderabad and some parts of Hyderabad itself come under the jurisdiction of the Secunderabad Cantonment Board(SCB) owing to a large presence of military units. The infrastructure and civic administration in these areas is controlled by SCB which comes under the ministry of defence of the union government of India. The President of the board is the incumbent Secunderabad area Indian army commander, who is of the rank of Brigadier, an one-star General officer. The executive powers are vested in the civilian Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the cantonment board who is appointed by the defence ministry.
The Hyderabad Police comes under the state Home Ministry and is headed by a Police Commissioner, an IPS officer. Basheerbagh, houses important government offices such as the Police Commissioner's office, Police Control room, Income tax Commissioner's office, Central Excise and customs office, Central Reservation office etc. The city is divided into five police zones, each headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police. The Traffic Police is a semi-autonomous body under the Hyderabad Police.
The GHMC is in charge of the civic needs and the infrastructure of the metropolis. Hyderabad is divided into 110 municipal wards, each overseen by a corporator. The corporators of the administration are elected through a popular vote, and almost all the state political parties field candidates.The metropolitan area of Hyderabad covers two districts, Hyderabad and Rangareddy. The administration of each district is headed by a District Collector who is in charge of property records and revenue collection for the Central government. The district collector also oversees the national elections held in the city.
Hyderabad is the seat of the State High Court known as the AP HIgh Court, and also has two lower courts - the Small Causes Court for civil matters and the Sessions Court for criminal cases.Hyderabad elects two members to the Lok Sabha, the lower-house of the Indian parliament, who represent the constituencies of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. In addition, parts of the city overlap two other Lok Sabha electoral districts. Hyderabad elects thirteen representatives to the State's Legislative Assembly.
Main Article: Economy of Andhra Pradesh
Agriculture has been the chief source of income for the state's economy. Two important rivers of India, the Godavari and Krishna, flow through the state, providing irrigation. Rice, Sugarcane, Cotton, Mirchi, and Tobacco are the local crops. There are many multi-state irrigation projects in development, including Godavari River Basin Irrigation Projects.
 Information Technology
The state has also started to focus on the fields of information technology and biotechnology. In 2004-2005 Andhra Pradesh is at the fifth position in the list of top IT exporting states of India. The IT exports from the State were Rs.1,800 million in 2004.But by a percentage increase of 52.3 % every year , the IT exports reached Rs.19,000 million in 2006-07 and ranked 4th in india The service sector of the state already accounts for 43% of the GSDP and employs 20% of the work force.
 Mineral wealth
Andhra Pradesh is a mineral rich state, ranking second in India in terms of mineral wealth. For example, the state has about one third of India's limestone reserves, at about 30 billion tonnes.
The state ranks first nationwide in hydro electricity generation with national market share of over 11%.
Andhra Pradesh's gross state domestic product for 2005 is estimated at $62 billion in current prices. This is a chart of trend of gross state domestic product of Andhra Pradesh at market prices estimated by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation with figures in millions of Indian Rupees.
 Andhra's Annapurna
Nagarjuna Sagar Dam is a masonry dam built across Krishna River in Nagarjuna Sagar, Andhra Pradesh, India. It is the world's tallest masonry dam, at a height of 124 metres, and creates a reservoir holding up to 11, 472 million cubic metres
It is one of the earliest irrigation and hydro-electric projects in India. The dam provides irrigation water to the Nalgonda District, Prakasam District, Khammam District, and Guntur District. The right canal (a.k.a Jawahar canal) is 203 km long and irrigates 1.113 million acres (4,500 km²) of land. The left canal (a.k.a Lalbahadur Shastri canal) is 295 km long and irrigates 1.03 million acres (4,200 km²) of land. The project transformed the economy of above districts.The hydro electric plant has a power generation capacity of 815.6 MW with 8 units(1x110 MW+7x100.8 MW).
 Government and politics
Andhra Pradesh has a Legislative Assembly of 294 seats. The state has 60 members in the Parliament of India : 18 in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) and 42 in the Lok Sabha (Lower House).
Andhra Pradesh had a row of Congress governments till 1982. Kasu Brahmananda Reddy held the record for the longest serving chief minister which was broken by Nara Chandrababu Naidu. P.V. Narasimha Rao also served as the chief minister for the state, who later went on to become the Prime Minister of India. Among the notable chief ministers of the state are Tanguturi Prakasam (CM for Andhra state only) Sanjiva Reddy , Kasu Brahmananda Reddy , Marri Chenna Reddy , Kotla Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy , N.T. Rama Rao, Nara Chandrababu Naidu and Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.
The Beginning of Multi-Party Politics 1982 saw the rise of N.T. Rama Rao (or NTR) as the chief minister of the state for the first time introducing a formidable second political party, Telugu Desam Party, to Andhra politics and thus breaking the virtually-single party monopoly on Andhra politics. Nadendla Bhaskar Rao attempted a hijack when NTR was away to the United States for a medical treatment. After coming back, NTR successfully convinced the governor to dissolve the Assembly and call for a fresh election. NTR won by a large majority. His government's policies included investment in education and rural development and in holding corrupt government offices accountable.
1989 assembly elections ended the 7-year rule of NTR with the congress being returned to power and Dr. Marri Chenna Reddy at the helm. He was replaced by N. Janardhan Reddy who was in turn replaced by Kotla Vijaya Bhasker Reddy.
In 1994 Assembly saw NTR becoming the chief minister again, but he was soon thrown out of power by his finance minister and son-in-law N Chandrababu Naidu. NTR died from a heart attack before the next elections and thus Naidu was able to win a second term before he was defeated by the Congress-led coalition in the May 2004 polls.
Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy of the Indian National Congress (INC) is the current chief minister of the states. Rajasekhara Reddy fought the 2004 Assembly elections in an alliance with a new party called Telangana Rashtra Samithi (or TRS), which hopes to form a separate state called Telangana.
Andhra pradesh can be divided into four governance regions, namely Coastal Andhra, Uttarandhra or North Cosatal Andhra, Rayalaseema and TelanganaAndhra Pradesh has 23 districts
 Important cities
A list of the most important cities in the state:
Telugu is the regional and official language of the State, spoken by 84 percent of the population. Telugu is the second largest language in India. The major linguistic minority groups in the State include the speakers of Urdu (8%), and Hindi (2%). (Source)
The minority language speakers who constitute less than 1 percent are the speakers of Kannada (0.94%), Marathi (0.84%), Oriya (0.42%), Malayalam (0.10%), Gondi (0.21%), and Tamil (0.30%).
The speakers of minority languages who constitute less than 0.09 percent are the speakers of Koya (0.08%), Gujarati (0.09%), Punjabi (0.04%), Sindhi (0.02%) Savara (0.09%), Kolami (0.03%), Jatapu (0.04%), Konda (0.03%), Khond/Kondh (0.01%), Gadaba (0.02%), and Gorkhali/Nepali (0.01%).
Music Main article: Music of Andhra Pradesh
The state has a rich musical heritage. All three legends of the Carnatic Music Trinity - Thyagaraja, Shyama Sastri and Muthuswami Dixitar were of Telugu descent. Other great composers include Annamacharya, Kshetrayya, and Bhadrachala Ramadasu. Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna is a contemporary legend.
Main article: Telugu literature
Nannayya, Tikkana, and Yerrapragada form the trinity who translated the great epic Mahabharatha into Telugu. Bammera Potana is another great writer famous for his great classic Sri Madandhra Maha Bhagavatamu, a Telugu translation of Sri Baghavatham by Veda Vyasa in Sanskrit. Modern writers include Jnanpith Award winners Sri Viswanatha Satyanarayana and Dr. C.Narayana Reddy.
Jayapa Senani (Jayapa Nayudu) is the first person who wrote about the dances prevalent in Andhra Pradesh . Both Desi and Margi forms of dances have been included in his Sanskrit treatise 'Nritya Ratnavali'. It contains eight chapters. Folk dance forms like Perani, Prenkhana, Suddha Nartana, Carcari, Rasaka, Danda Rasaka, Shiva Priya, Kanduka Nartana, Bhandika Nrityam, Carana Nrityam, Chindu, Gondali and Kolatam are described. In the first chapter the author deals with discussion of the differences between Marga and desi, tandava and lasya, Natya and nritta. In the 2nd and 3rd chapters he deals with angikabhinaya, caris, Sthanakas and mandalas. In the 4th Chapter Karnas, angaharas and recakas are described. In following chapters he described the local dance forms i.e. desi nritya. In the last chapter he deals with art and practice of dance.
Classical dance in Andhra can be performed by both men and women, however women tend to learn it more often. Kuchipudi is the state's best-known classical dance forms of Andhra Pradesh. The various dance forms that existed through the states's history are Chenchu Bhagotham, Kuchipudi, Bhamakalapam, Burrakatha, Veeranatyam, Butta bommalu, Dappu, Tappeta Gullu, Lambadi, Bonalu, Dhimsa, and Kolattam.
Main article: Telugu Cinema
Andhra Pradesh is the state with the most cinema halls in India, at around 3000. The state also produces about 200 movies a year. It has around 40%( 330 cinema halls out of 930 dts cinema halls in india of all Dolby digital theatres in India. Now it also houses an IMax theatre with a big 3D screen and also 3-5 multiplexes. It is also the largest movie industry in India, producing more movies than any other industry.
 Temples in the state
 Other elements of Culture
Bapu's paintings, Nanduri Subbarao's Yenki Paatalu (Songs on/by a washerwoman called Yenki), mischievous Budugu (a character by Mullapudi), Annamayya's songs, Aavakaaya (a variant of mango pickle in which the kernel of mango is retained), Gongura (a chutney from Roselle plant), Atla taddi (a seasonal festival predominantly for teenage girls), banks of river Godavari, Dudu basavanna (The ceremonial ox decorated for door-to-door exhibition during the harvest festival Sankranti) have long defined Telugu culture. The village of Durgi is known for originating stone craft, carvings of idols in soft stone that must be exhibited in the shade because they are prone to weathering.
Main article: Andhra cuisine
The cuisine of Andhra is reputedly the spiciest of all Indian cuisine. Even in the state itself there are many variations to the cuisine depending on caste, restrictions, food availability etc. Pickles and chutneys, called pachchadi in Telugu are particularly popular in Andhra Pradesh and many varieties of pickles and chutneys are unique to the state. Chutneys are made from practically every vegetable including tomatoes, brinjals, and roselle (gongura, ). A mango pickle, aavakaaya, is probably the best known of the Andhra pickles.
Rice is the staple food and is used in a wide variety of ways. Typically, rice is either boiled and eaten with curry, or made into a batter for use in a crepe-like dish called attu (pesarattu) or dosas.
Meat, vegetables, and greens are prepared with different masalas into a variety of strongly flavoured dishes.
Hyderabadi cuisine is influenced by the Muslim population, which arrived in Telangana centuries ago. Much of the cuisine revolves around meat. It is rich and aromatic, with a liberal use of exotic spices and ghee. Lamb, chicken and fish are the most widely used meats in the non-vegetarian dishes. The biryanis are perhaps the most distinctive and popular of Hyderabadi dishes.
Andhra Pradesh is served by more than 20 leading institutes of excellence in higher education. All major arts, humanities, science, engineering, law, medicine, business and veterinary science are offered, leading to first degrees as well as postgraduate awards. Advanced research is conducted in all major areas.
Andhra Pradesh has 1330 Arts, Science and Commerce colleges, 238 Engineering colleges and 53 Medical colleges. The student to teacher ratio is 19:1 in the higher education. According to census taken in 2001, Andhra Pradesh has an overall literacy rate of 60.5%. While male literacy rate is at 70.3%, the female literacy rate however is only at 50.4%, a cause for concern.
The state has recently made strides in setting up several institutes of high quality. International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) and Indian School of Business (ISB) are gaining international attention for their standards. National Institute of Fashion Technology, Hyderabad (NIFT)is well reputed among those interested in a career in fashion.
Major universities/institutes in Andhra Pradesh:
 Newspapers & Magazines
Andhra Pradesh has several newspapers. Prominent among them are:
Andhra Pradesh is the home of many religious pilgrim centres. Tirupati, the abode of Lord Venkateswara, is the richest and most visited religious center (of any faith) in the world. Srisailam, the abode of Sri Mallikarjuna, is one of twelve Jyothirlingalu in India, Amaravati's Siva temple is one of the Pancharamams, and Yadagirigutta, the abode of an avatara of Vishnu, Sri Lakshmi Narasimha. The Ramappa temple and Thousand Pillars temple in Warangal are famous for some fine temple carvings. The state has numerous Buddhist centres at Amaravati, Nagarjuna Konda, Bhattiprolu, Ghantasala, Nelakondapalli, Dhulikatta, Bavikonda, Thotlakonda, Shalihundam, Pavuralakonda, Sankaram, Phanigiri and Kolanpaka.
 Rishikonda beach
The golden beaches at Visakhapatnam,the one-million-year old limestone caves at Borra, picturesque Araku Valley, hill resorts of Horsley Hills, river Godavari racing through a narrow gorge at Papi Kondalu, waterfalls at Ettipotala, Kuntala and rich bio-diversity at Talakona, are some of the natural attractions of the state.
The Borra Caves are located in the Anatagiri Hills of Eastern Ghats, near Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh State in India. They are at a height of about 800 to 1300 metres above Mean Sea Level and are famous for millions of years old stalactite and stalagmite formations. They were discovered by William King George, the British geologist in the year 1807.The caves get their name from a formation inside the caves that looks like the human brain, which in the local language, Telugu, is known as borra.Similarly Belum caves was formed due to erosion in limestone deposite in the area by Chitravati River, millions of years ago. This limestone caves was formed due to action of carbonic acid — or weakly acidic groundwater formed due to reaction between limestone and water.
Belum Caves are the second largest cave in Indian sub-continent and the longest caves in plains of Indian Subcontinent. Belum Caves derives its name from "Bilum" Sanskrit word for caves. In Telugu language, it is called Belum Guhalu. Belum Caves has a length of 3229 meters, making it the second largest natural caves in Indian Subcontinent. Belum Caves have long passages, spacious chambers, fresh water galleries and siphons. The caves reach its deepest point (120 feet from entrance level) at the point known as Patalganaga.
Horsley Hills, elevation 1,265 m, is a famous summer hill resort in Andhra Pradesh, about 160 km from Bangalore, India and 144 km from Tirupati. The town of Madanapalle lies nearby. Major tourist attractions include the Mallamma temple and the Rishi valley school. Horsely Hills is the departure point for the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary at a distance of 87 km.
The narrow road to Horsely Hills is very scenic. It is surrounded throughout its entire length with dense growths of eucalyptus, jacaranda, allamanda, and gulmohar trees. This place is also believed to be haunted by some ghosts.
There are five airports in the state namely, Hyderabad (Rajiv Gandhi International Airport), Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry and Tirupati. Government also have plans to start airports in six other cities including Sri Potti Sreeramulu Nellore, Warangal, Kadapa, Tadepalligudem, Ramagundam and Ongole.
Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) is the major public transport corporation owned by government of Andhra Pradesh connecting all the cities and villages. APSRTC also has the distinction of being in the Guinness book of World records for having the largest fleet of vehicles, 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 auto rickshaws occupy a major share of the local transport in the cities and adjoining villages.
 See Also