Clockwise from Top Left: Guntur Municipal Corporation, Major residential buildings, Guntur Medical College, ISKON Temple, Chuttugunta center, A park with pond in Gujjanagundla, Viswa Mandir, Railway Station, One-town center.
|Etymology: Garthapuri (Tank Village)|
|Founded||18th century AD|
|• Body||Guntur Municipal Corporation|
|• Municipal Commissioner||S. Nagalakhsmi|
|• Member of Parliament||Galla Jayadev|
|• Total||168.41 km2 (65.02 sq mi)|
|Elevation||30 m (100 ft)|
|• Density||4,400/km2 (11,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||AP 07; AP 08|
|Sex ratio||1016 ♂/♀|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Guntur|
|Urban planning agency||APCRDA|
Guntur ( pronunciation (help·info)); is a city in the Guntur district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is a municipal corporation and the administrative headquarters for Guntur district. It is also the mandal headquarters of Guntur mandal in Guntur revenue division. The city is the third most populous in the state with population of 743,654. The city is situated on the plains and located 40 miles (64 km) to north of the Bay of Bengal. River Krishna is the main source of water for the city through channels and tributaries.
The city is part of Andhra Pradesh Capital Region and Vishakhapatnam-Guntur Industrial Region, a major industrial corridor in India. It is also a Tier-II city as per Government of India and the headquarters to many state departments and agencies and is renowned for education, business, e-commerce industry, and agriculture. It exports chilli pepper, cotton, tobacco and also it is also the largest producer of chilies in the country.
The earliest reference to the present name of the city can be dated back to the period of Ammaraja–I (922-929 CE), the Vengi Eastern Chalukyan King. It also has its appearance in another two inscriptions dated 1147 AD and 1158 AD. In Sanskrit, the name of Guntur was referred as Garthapuri, which translates to Tank village during the French occupation.
The earliest recorded reference of Guntur comes from the Idern plates of Ammaraja I (922–929 CE), the Vengi Chalukyan king. French astronomer, Pierre Janssen observed the Solar eclipse of 18 August 1868 and discovered helium, from Guntur in Madras State, British India. The inscriptions stones in the Agastyeshwara temple in 'Naga Lipi' (an ancient script) dates back to about 1100 CE. It is considered one of the most famous temples in the city. It is said that Agastya built the temple in the last Treta Yuga around the swayambhu linga and hence it has this name. The 'Nagas' were said to have ruled the region at that time. The region has been historically known for Buddhism and the first Kalachakra ceremony performed by Gautama Buddha himself. The place of Sitanagaram and the Guttikonda caves are referred in the ancient texts (Vedic puranas) going back to the Treta Yuga and Dwapara Yuga (Traditional time scale: 1.7 to 0.5 million years ago, Ref).
With the arrival of the Europeans in the late sixteenth century the city attained national and international significance. The French shifted their headquarters from Kondavid Fort to here in 1752, probably because of the ample availability of water due to the two large tanks. This settlement formed the nucleus of the modern city. The Nizams and Hyder Ali also ruled the city until it came under British rule in 1788. It was made the headquarters of a district named after it that was abolished in 1859, only to be reconstituted in 1904. The city rapidly became a major market for agricultural produce from the surrounding countryside due to the opening of the railway link in 1890. The expansion continued post independence as well and was concentrated in what is now called "New Guntur", with many urban areas such as Brodipet, Arundalpet and suburban areas like Pattabhipuram, Chandramouli Nagar, Sita Rama nagar, Brindavan Gardens, etc.
Guntur Plains: Guntur is at  It has an average elevation of 33 m (108 ft) and is situated on the plains. There are a few hills in the surrounding suburban areas. The city is around 40 miles (64 km) to the west of the Bay of Bengal on the east coast of India. The Krishna delta lies partly in the 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."
As per Köppen-Geiger climate classification system the climate in Guntur is tropical (Aw). The average temperature is warm to hot year-round. The summer season (especially during May/June) has the highest temperatures, but these are usually followed by monsoon rains. The winter season (from November to February) is the most enjoyable with a pleasant climate. Winter months are usually dry, with little to no rainfall. The wettest month is July. The average annual temperature is 28.5 C and annual rain fall is about 905 mm. Rain storms and cyclones are common in the region during the rainy season, which starts with the monsoons in early June. Cyclones may occur any time of the year, but occur more commonly between May and November.
|Climate data for Guntur City|
|Average high °C (°F)||29.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||24.4
|Average low °C (°F)||19
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||1
|Source: Climate-Data.org (altitude: 26 m)|
The city is situated on the plains and located 40 miles (64 km) to north of the Bay of Bengal. It is surrounded by small hills and Perecherla Reserve Forest on the west. River Krishna is the main source of water for the city through channels and tributaries.
In the 1961 census, Guntur had a population of 187,122 and increased to 516,461 in 2001, which shows a considerable growth during the last 5 decades. As of 2011[update] census, the city had a population of 651,382. It then increased to 7,43,354 after expansion, constituting 371,727 males and 3,71,612 females —a sex ratio of approximately 1000 females per 1000 males, higher than the national average of 940 per 1000. The urban agglomeration population of the city is projected to be approximately, 1,028,667.
Hinduism is the major religion in Guntur. Telugu is the main language of communication in the city. One of the earlier forms of Telugu language can be noticed in this region. Most of the Muslims in the city speak Urdu as their mother tongue. One of the purportedly lost tribes of Israel called Bene Ephraim, has its presence in Guntur, with a Jewish synagogue as well.
In 1866, Guntur was made a municipality with a population of about 25,000. It was upgraded to III (1891), I Grade (1917), special grade (1952) and selection grade in 1960. Later, in 1994 it was made a "Municipal Corporation". In 1995, the first election of the Municipal Corporation was conducted. In the year 2012, the city limits were expanded by merging ten surrounding villages into the Guntur Municipal Corporation. The present commissioner is S. Nagalakhsmi. The corporation budget is ₹973.24 crore (US$150 million). Recently the corporation topped the charts in property tax collections in the state.
The High Court was in Guntur after the separation from the erstwhile Madras State, which was later moved to Hyderabad after the formation of Andhra Pradesh. Guntur Urban and Rural police offices oversees the law and order for the city and the rural areas surrounding it. The city is also the headquarters for Agricultural Marketing Department, NCC Group and also hosts one of the Indian Army recruitment and training centers.
The city is one among the 31 cities in the state to be a part of water supply and sewerage services mission known as Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). In 2015, as per the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan of the Ministry of Urban Development, Guntur Municipal Corporation was ranked 70th in the country. The Guntur Municipal Corporation received the open defecation free city certificate as part of Swacch Bharat Mission.
The city has several super speciality hospitals and related research centers. The Government General Hospital provides free health care to people across the district. The Sankar Eye Hospital,
Guntur is a major commercial centre for exports of Cotton, tobacco and chilli to different parts of the world. The city hosts the largest Asian market for red chillies. The Tobacco Board, India, a part of the Government of India, is headquartered in Guntur. The chilies that are grown in this region are the spiciest. One of the first of its kind, a global 'Spice Park' is currently being set up in the area. Cotton produced is used in making some of the finest sarees in India.
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 other major cities in the country. It has a large skilled and educated workforce. Some of the industries in the area are: textile mills, silk, dairy, cement, chemical and Biotechnology, fertilizers, jute, granite, diamond and other ore processing (Hindustan Zinc Limited). There are many small to medium scale industries such as Bharathi Soap Works, Tulasi Seeds, Crane Group, Nuziveedu Seeds Limited(NSL), Textiles with spinning mills at Edlapadu, Ginning mills at Gurazla and Garmenting at Budampadu. Eastern Condiments has Chillies processing centre at Narakoduru. Textile Hub is being developed on the southwestern side of the city, and the government is also encouraging the setting up of new industries. Another ongoing project is an 8.50 billion IT park in Guntur outskirts.
The city residents are referred as Gunturians. Traditional drama and theatrical events also have their presence in the city. The city has various religious presence and hence, many festivals such as, Eid al-Adha by Muslims; Hindu festivals of Diwali, Holi; and Christmas by Christians; etc., and many more.
The South Indian breakfast varieties such as, Idli, Dosa etc., are preferred mostly. The Red chilli biryani is one of the most distinguished food item of the city. Guntur Sannam, a chilli variety was registered as one of the geographical indication from Andhra Pradesh under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
The major commercial and residential areas in the city include the Arundelpet, Lakshmipuram and Brodipet. Navabharath Nagar, Pattabhipuram, Shyamla Nagar and Vidya Nagar etc., are some of the other areas in the city. Autonagar, Gorantla, Peda Palakaluru, Nallapadu, Chennai Highway etc. are some of the other areas of the city.
The city has many parks, museums, temples, nature conservation sites, forts, resorts and caves. The Jinnah Tower is one of the iconic structure on Mahatma Gandhi Road, one of the important centre of the city. There are seventeen parks in the city with some of them maintained by the municipal corporation.
APSRTC operates buses to various destinations from NTR bus station of the city. It has also introduced city bus services from the city to the nearby destinations of Pedakakani, Namburu, Yanamadala and Chebrolu. Other local transport of the city are private mini buses and auto-rickshaws.
The city is well connected to the major destinations through various national and state highways. National Highway 16 bypasses the city, which is also a part of Asian Highway 45 and Golden Quadrilateral. The highway is connected with the Mahatma Gandhi Inner Ring Road, encircling the city. The State Highway 2 connects the city with Macherla and State Highway 48 with Bapatla and Chirala. The Guntur-Parchoor road is a part of the core road network of the district, that connects it with the Parchur. The city has a total road length of 853.00 km (530.03 mi).
Guntur Junction and New Guntur are classified as an A and E category stations respectively in the Guntur railway division of South Central Railway zone. These two railway stations of the city are used for rail transport. Nallapadu and Perecherla are the other two satellite stations. Rail Vikas Bhavan in the city is the headquarters of Guntur railway division.
The primary and secondary school education is imparted by government, aided and private schools, under the School Education Department of the state. As per the school information report for the academic year 2015–16, the city limits (including the merged villages) have more than one lakh students enrolled in over 400 schools.
The Central Board of Secondary Education, Secondary School Certificate or the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education are the different types of syllabus followed by different schools. The medium of instruction followed by schools are English, Telugu and Urdu. The public library system is supported by the government with the central library located at Arundalpet.
Government colleges and institutions include, Guntur Medical College, Government Junior College for Girls. There exists one residential college under APRJC, ten private aided, two co-operative and many private aided colleges. JKC College, RVR & JC College of Engineering, Tellakula Jalayya Polisetty Somasundaram College (TJPS College), Government College for Women and St. Joseph's College of Education for Women are the autonomous colleges approved under Universities Grant Commission scheme. The Acharya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University at Lam village near the city is administered from Gorantla area of the city.
There are also research centres related to different fields such as, Regional AGMARK laboratory, regional station of Central Tobacco Research Institute of Indian Council of Agricultural Research.
Sporting infrastructure of the city include several venues for many sports such as, Brahmananda Reddy stadium for Tennis, Badminton, Volleyball, Athletics, Gymnastics, Swimming; NTR Municipal Indoor stadium for Table Tennis and Volleyball; and also other sports such as Boxing.
The city has hosted sporting events such as, All India Senior Tennis Association, All India Sub Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament, All India Invitation Volleyball Tournament, Ganta Sanjeeva Reddy Memorial Trophy, Inter-district Master Aquatic Championship etc. The city was also a host for Khelo India programme for junior level national sports.
International sports personalities from the city include: cricketer Ambati Rayudu; badminton player Srikanth Kidambi, who won the Super Series title in China and also finished as a quarter finalist at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Guntur.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Guntur City.|