Guntur pronunciation (గుంటూరు in Telugu) is a city and a municipal corporation in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is located around 1000 miles to the south of Indian capital New Delhi. The city has an estimated population of around 800,000 (514,707 per 2001 census), one of the larger (tier-2)^ cities in the country. It is a centre of learning and the administrative capital of Guntur District, the home of the famous Amaravati, Bhattiprolu and Sitanagaram monuments, rich in history, culture and heritage. It is also a major centre for business, commerce and agriculture. The region is identified as a major transportation and textile hub in India.
The earliest reference to Guntur, a variant of Guntur, comes from the Idern plates of Ammaraja I (922-929), the Vengi Chalukyan king. The Kingdom of Pratipalapura of 500 BCE (current Bhattiprolu), appears to be the earliest known kingdom in south India. Guntur also appears in two other inscriptions dated 1147 CE and 1158 CE. The original Sanskrit name (ancient Vedic culture/tradition) for Guntur was Garthapuri.
The 'Agasthyeswara Sivalayam' in the old city is an ancient temple for Lord Siva. It has inscriptions on two stones in 'Naga Lipi' (ancient script) dating back to about 1100 CE. The backyard of the temple hosts a very old tree. It is said that Agastya built the temple in the last Treta-Yuga around the Swayambhu Linga and hence the name. The 'Nagals' were said to have ruled the region at that time. The place of Sitanagaram and the Guthikonda Caves can be traced (through Vedic Puranas) back to the last Treta-Yuga and Dwapara-Yuga (Traditional Time scale: 1.7 to 0.5 million years ago, Ref). Also, the region has been historically known for Buddhism
More recently, the region was under the Nizam's rule prior to the colonial period. During colonial rule, Guntur was under the control of the French and then the British, till India's independence.
The original Guntur used to be located where the current 'Old Guntur' exists. Over the last 50-100 years, the city has expanded largely to the north, which is called New Guntur. The current size of the city has an inner radius of about 6 miles. The City-region comprises the surrounding suburban and rural areas spanning in all the directions. New townships are mushrooming in these areas.
Guntur Plains: Guntur is located at 16.3° N 80.45° E. It has an average elevation of 33 metres (108 feet)and situated on the plains. There are a few hills in the surrounding suburban areas. The city is located around 40 miles (64 kms) to the north of the Bay of Bengal on the east coast of India. The Krishna Delta lies partly in Guntur district. There are other smaller rivers and channels in the region such as Guntur Channel, Chandravanka, Naagileru, Guntur Branch Canal etc. As quoted in NASA's website "it is typical of the wider deltas along the southeast coast of India (known as the Coromandel Coast). The braided stream channels, broad floodplain, and extensive sandbars suggest that this part of the Krishna River flows through relatively flat terrain and carries a substantial amount of sediment, especially during the monsoon season." Image Website of NASA of the Guntur City and District/Region of India. With the ocean on the top portion of the image, the actual location of the city is on the bottom right side portion of the image. Rain storms and hurricanes are common in the region during the rainy season, which starts with the monsoons in early June. The hurricanes could occur any time of the year, but commonly between May and November. Also check Guntur City Region on Wiki-Maps.
As of 2001 India censusGRIndia, Guntur had a population of 514,707. The sex ratio is around 1000. Guntur has an average literacy rate of 68%, higher than the national average of 59.5%. Male literacy is 74% and female literacy 62%. About 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.
 Culture and diversity
With the founding of Ancient Vedic Civilization/Sanatana Dharma (known as Hinduism) and its principles (Sarvē Janā Sukhinō Bhavantu), the Guntur Region had a place for all religions, castes, sects and creeds. One of the purportedly, lost tribes of Israel called Bene Ephraim, have a presence in Guntur, with even a Jewish synagogue. Religious faiths such as Islam and Christianity have lead a harmonious existence.
Telugu is the main language of communication in the city. One of the earliest/purest forms of Telugu language can be noticed in this region. Other languages such as English and Hindi are used in the city to a minor extent. The culture is vibrant with many festivals (that have been celebrated over thousands of years). Those festivals observed in Guntur with great pomp and splendour are: Deepavali, Krishna-Ashtami, Rama Navami, Sankranti, Sivaratri, Ugadi, Vijaya Dasami, Vinayaka-Chaviti. Also, noticeable are festivals introduced before a few centuries, including Christmas, Eid ul-Fitr, Muharram, Ramadan. The 30th International Kalachakra festival was held at Amaravati near Guntur.
The city's lifestyle has a mixture of both urban and rural with a touch of a cosmopolitan element. Like any typical Indian city, the majority of the population is from middle and lower middle class families. With a reasonable cost of living and most basic amenities available, the city is attracting people from elsewhere. The residents of the city and region are referred to as Gunturians. The residents wear Indian style and Western style clothing(includes jean pants and shirts). The common traditional clothing for women is a Saree, Salwar and for men formally, a Dhovathi or Pancha or casually, a Lungi.
 Cotton-Tobacco-Chilli city
Guntur City and its region is a major commercial center in India. Cotton, tobacco and chilli are some of the major commodities that are exported from here to various parts of the world. The corporate headquarters of Tobacco Board India, a Government of India enterprise, is located in Guntur. The chillies that are grown in this region are some of the hottest in the world, and are in constant competition with the chillies from Mexico, for the first place. The city hosts the largest Asian market for red chillies. A 'Spice Park' is proposed to be setup in the area. The cotton that grows in the region is used in making some of the finest sarees in India, (Guntur & Mangalagiri sarees)
The industrial development in the Guntur Region is of medium scale. On a positive note the region has minimal industrial and related pollution as compared to major cities in the country. Some of the industries in the area are: textile mills/handloom, silk, Sangam Dairy, cement factories, Andhra Fertilizers, jute mills, granite industries, diamond and other ore processing (Hindustan Zinc Limited), Auto-Nagar and Software/IT Companies. A textile hub is being developed on the south-west side of the city, with the government also encouraging the setting up of new industries. Possible future plans: BioTech Park, Knowledge Park.
 Farming, Vegetation
The Guntur region (the Krishna Delta part) is one of the most fertile areas in India. With the River Krishna flowing to the north of the district, it has many farmlands and paddy fields growing various varieties of rice & other food grains, and other crops. The Guntur Branch Canal (GBC) and other smaller rivers serve water to the farmlands in the region.
Forestation, Green Guntur
A social forestry project for Guntur is on the anvil to make the region greener; Guntur (since only about 35% of the forest in the district has survived as per available statistics, a common issue throughout India). The government is closely working with other corporates in meeting the goals. As a part of this Green Guntur project, one crore saplings have been planted in the city. The city's UDA is also developing many medium and small size parks throughout the city.
 Ports and Shore points
Located about 40 miles from the city's urban area, the region has enough coastline helping its economy either through tourism or trade. Though the exports from Guntur region mainly depend on Chennai harbour, there is a push to bring back one of its shore points as a harbour, with a chemical park also under consideration.
A port city to be built near Nizampatnam in Guntur District. This is part of a major renovation of the Nizampatnam Harbour, to be undertaken by the SKODA Export Company Ltd, a Prague, Czech Republic based company. The development of this harbour will enable the Guntur region to be a major port player, with direct access to exports and imports to, around the world. Czech Embassy,Projects Today,Yahoo News.
Suryalanka is a tourist shore point 40 miles south of Guntur City, with all desirable features of a sea shore. It has good facilities for the stay and entertainment of visitors.
The city is the regional headquarters of the State Road Transport System. It is connected to all the major cities of the country through various national and state highways. There are a couple of major highways such as Madras<<>Guntur<>>Kolkata HighWay, Guntur<<>Hyderabad<>>Mumbai Highway. Within the city the traffic primarily flows using the inner and outer ring-roads. Common modes of road transport within the city are buses and auto-rickshaws; antique pedal rickshaws can still be seen. The city is also part of the Golden Quadrilateral system, a major transportation project, under progress.
Guntur junction is one of the Divisional headquarters and a major transit point of the Indian Railways System. All the four metro cities and most state capitals can be accessed through this transit point. It is composed of a few stations: the Main Station (near Arundelpet and Railpet) and the others at Nallapadu, University-Center(Namburu), New Guntur(Reddipalem). Two other major transit points close to Guntur are: Tenali and Vijayawada with a future plan of running suburban trains in the suburban region. The Indian Railways is one of the most convenient and efficient system of commute for the people throughout India.
The closest major airport is located at Hyderabad(4.5 hours travel) with limited international connections. A major International Airport is located at Chennai (8 hours by rail from Guntur) operating various airlines across the world. The local airport at Gannavaram is a small airport with daily flights to Hyderabad and Chennai. There is a proposal to build a more practical airport to the South-West of Guntur City near Chilkaluripeta.
 Academics/education and research
Guntur is one of the first cities to provide higher education and graduate programs in India. The Acharya Nagarjuna University is one of the largest universities in the country, covers various institutions from 3 districts. There are a number of graduate schools, colleges, and high schools providing basic and higher education (agricultural, arts, bio-med, engineering, management, medical, nursing, pharmaceutical, sciences, technology) in the region. The Guntur Medical College is one of the many premier institutes in the city region. The Vedic University near Guntur specializes in the teaching of Vedic Sciences, related philosophies and the Vedanta.
Acharya Nagarjuna University ANU
 City affairs
The weather in Guntur City is very tropical in nature, but gets slightly dry during the winter season, Current Temperature@City. The average whether is warm or hot throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from 60F to 122F. The summer season (especially during May/June) see the highest temperatures. Winter season is the most enjoyable with a pleasant climate. Summer clothing should be good enough for throughout the year. Local Time at Guntur.
The city offers hotels, inns and motels for stay and accommodation. It has many Restaurants and Hotels offering various varieties of food items (of various regions of India). It is famous for the food items such as mirchi bajji, Gongura pickle, with traditional Andhra style meals and common breakfast items such as Idli , Pesara-Ravva-Attu/Dosa, Puri etc. The common masala, jilebi push-carts, sugar cane juice sellers can be noticed in every corner of the city. There are also fast food and pizza outlets. Locally available, famous fruits and vegetables include the oval shaped-(unique of honey taste)-sapota, mango, seethaphalam, dosakai etc..
Motion Pictures/Films is a common entertainment event in the city as well as in the rest of India. Guntur has many movie theaters that play Telugu, English and Hindi movies. Though not as popular, the traditional drama and theatrical events too, have their presence in the city. The Guntur Nataka Rangam, Guntur Cultural Association are premier organizations in the state that promote and conduct theatrical events. During early summer season there are festivals and fairs that take place in the city, with all kinds of rides, shows, novelties and food. There are numerous places of interest and parks in and around the city/district for entertainment, culture and history. Suryalanka is the closest beach/shore-point for the city.
The city's infrastructure utilitzes state-of-the-art technologies such as high-speed Internet and multimedia for applications such as news, education, etc. News sources of Telugu (Andhra Jyothi,Eenadu,Vaartha) and English(Yahoo News,The Hindu news paper,Google News) are most used. Some newspaper offices are located within the city. Cable TV news has become another common mode for news exchange.
The region of Guntur is one of the best in providing excellent medical and health care facilities on the east coast of India. It boasts of major medical facilities (super specialty hospitals) and related research institutions. The General Hospital provides free health care to people across the coastal districts. The Sankar Eye Hospital, Kugler Hospital (more than a century old), St. Joseph Hospital are few of the many premier hospitals in the region. A new medical facility VIMS is currently being setup at Viswanagar to serve the people in the rural areas, to the south-west of the city.
Both the bureaucrats and elected officials manage the city and its issues in general. The municipal commissioner and district collector are usually from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). The MP's, mayor, corporators constitute the local elected officials. Corruption has become commonplace in most parts of the world, and Guntur is no exception. But various initiatives such as E-Governance are being put in place to reduce red-tapism, thereby enabling transparency and reducing corruption. The Guntur Municipal Corporation is among the select cities (4) across the world where an ‘eco-budget’ is under implementation, Recently it started conducting job fairs.
Guntur Range (Guntur Police Department) is the regional headquarters of the state police with its own Deputy Inspector General covering three nearby districts. The High Court was in Guntur briefly after separation from the Madras State, which was later moved to the current state capital after the formation of AP. There is a pending plan to create a High Court bench at Guntur, covering for the coastal districts. Guntur also hosts one of the Indian Army recruitment and training centres. Suryalanka of Guntur Region has an airbase of the Indian Air Force.
 Tourism & places of interest
 Sports and stadiums
The city has hosted several national and international level sporting events for various sports. It is one of the places in India to host the International Grandmaster Chess tournaments. cricket being the common and well followed sporting event, there are other sports such as kabbadi, volleyball, basketball, tennis, badminton, table tennis hosted regularly.
 Guntur trivia
 See Also
 External Links