Clockwise from Top Left: Jinna Tower Center, Guntur Railway Station, Rain Tree Park, Guntur Medical College, Greater Guntur Municipal Corporation, Lodge Center
|Etymology: Garthapuri (Tank Village)|
|Founded||18th century AD|
|• Body||Guntur Municipal Corporation|
|• Municipal Commissioner||S.Nagalakhsmi|
|• Member of Parliament||Galla Jayadev|
|• City||168.41 km2 (65.02 sq mi)|
|Elevation||30 m (100 ft)|
|• Rank||64th (India)
3rd (Andhra Pradesh)
|• 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|
|Website||Guntur Municipal Corporation|
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 of Guntur district. It is also the mandal headquarters of Guntur mandal of Guntur revenue division. It is the second largest city by area and third most populous in the state, with a population of 743,354. The city is situated on the plains and located 40 miles 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.
The city is part of Andhra Pradesh Capital Region and Vishakhapatnam-Guntur Industrial Region, a major industrial corridor in India. The city is also the head quarters to many state departments and agencies. It is renowned for education, business, e-commerce industry, and agriculture. The city exports chilli pepper, cotton and tobacco and also it is the largest producer of chilies in India. Guntur higher education consists of many colleges and universities.
The earliest reference to Guntur was during the period of Ammaraja–I (922-929 CE), the Vengi Eastern Chalukyan King. It also has its appearance in another two inscriptions dated 1147 A.D and 1158 A.D. 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 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 the British 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 located 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 located 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." 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.
The City of Guntur consists of the following regions: Guntur East, Guntur West and Guntur North. Neighborhoods in Guntur are Gorantla, Nallapadu, Lam, New Guntur, Pedakakani, Palakalur, Perecherla, Takkelapadu, Ankireddy Palem, Vatticherukur, Chowdavaram, Reddy Palem.
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 summer monsoon rains. The winter season (from October to February) is the most enjoyable with a pleasant climate. Winter months may feature more rainfall than summer but there are dry spells during the winter season. The wettest month is July. The average annual temperature is 28.5 C and annual rain fall is about 905 mm. Rain storms and hurricanes are common in the region during the rainy season, which starts with the monsoons in early June. Hurricanes 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)|
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.
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. Traditional drama and theatrical events also have their presence in the city.
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 Mayor is S.Nagalakhsmi.
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 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 region of Guntur is one of the medical hubs in India. It offers wide access to top medical care at reasonable prices and has a variety of charity hospitals that serve as a safety net for the destitute. It boasts major medical facilities (super speciality hospitals) and related research institutions. The General Hospital provides free health care to people across the coastal districts. The Sankar Eye Hospital, Kugler Hospital, and St. Joseph Hospital are just a few of the many premier hospitals in the region. A new medical facility VIMS  is established at Viswanagar to serve the people in the rural areas that are to the south and west of the city.
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.
Guntur Container Terminal near Marripalem is an Inland Container Depot, facilitating port operations in Guntur Region.
The city residents are referred as Gunturians. The lifestyle of the city has a mixture of both urban and rural with some cosmopolitan element. Guntur's residents wear both Indian style and Western style clothing. The common traditional clothing for women is a Saree, Salwar and for men formally, a Dhoti.
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, Ekadasi, Karthika Purnima. Also, noticeable are festivals of Muslims and Christians including Christmas, Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Juha. The 30th International Kalachakra festival was held at Amaravati near Guntur.
Local cuisine includes typical south Indian style varieties such as, Idli, dosa, vada etc. Andhra style meals includes, other varieties like, Gongura pickle, Mango pickle, mirchi bajji. The common masala stands, jilebi push-carts, and sugar cane juice sellers can be noticed in every corner of the city. Locally famous fruits and vegetables include Sapodilla, Mango, Custard apple, and Cucumber.
The major commercial and residential areas in the city include the Arundelpet and Brodipet. Navabharath Nagar, Pattabhipuram, Shyamla Nagar and Vidya Nagar etc., are some of the other areas in the city. The suburbs of the city include, Autonagar, Gorantla, Peda Palakaluru, Nallapadu etc.
The city has many parks, museums, temples, nature conservation sites, forts, resorts and caves. They include Universal Integration Pillar(Chowdavaram), ISKCON Temple, Jinnah Tower, N.T.R Manasa Sarovar Park, Perecherla Reserve Forest, Uppalapadu Nature Conservation. Kondaveedu Fort, Pedakakani temple, Hrinkar Jain temple are some of the other notable landmarks in the outskirt villages of the city.
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. It has a total road length of 853.00 km (530.03 mi).
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.
Guntur Junction and New Guntur are the railway stations of the city for rail transport. Guntur and New Guntur are classified as an A and E category stations respectively in the Guntur railway division of South Central Railway zone. There are other satellite stations in the city such as Pedakakani Halt, Perecherla, Nallapadu. Rail Vikas Bhavan in the city is the headquarters of Guntur railway division.
Guntur has many schools, colleges and universities. There are a number of graduate schools, colleges, and high schools providing basic and higher education in the fields of agricultural, arts, bio-med, engineering, management, medical, nursing, pharmaceutical, sciences, technology etc. Universities in and around the city are Acharya Nagarjuna University, K L University, Vignan University, Vedic University at Sitanagaram which specialises in the teaching of Vedic Sciences, other related philosophies, and the Vedanta.
Medical colleges and universities are Guntur Medical College, NRI Academy of Medical Sciences, KMC. Engineering colleges include, Guntur Engineering College, Loyola Institute of Technology and Management, Vasireddy Venkatadri Institute of Technology, RVR & JC College of Engineering. Some other notable colleges are, Andhra-Christian College, Hindu College, Andhra Muslim College, JKC College.
There are also research centres related to different fields such as, Regional AGMARK laboratory, Agricultural Research Station at Lam, Regional Station of Central Tobacco Research Institute of Indian Council of Agricultural Research.
The city has hosted several national and international level sporting events for various sports. Some of major sports include, Cricket, Kabbadi, Volleyball, Basketball, Tennis, Badminton and Table Tennis. It is one of the places in India to host the International Grandmaster Chess tournaments. Certain sports stadiums in and around the city include, Brahmananda Reddy Stadium, Prakasam Stadium, NTR Stadium, Krishna Cricket Academy, ACA Women Cricket Academy.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Guntur.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Guntur City.|