Clockwise from Top Left: Jinna Tower Center, Guntur Railway Station, Rain Tree Park, Guntur Medical College, Greater Guntur Municipal Corporation, Lodge Center
|Named for||Tank Village|
|• Body||Guntur Municipal Corporation|
|• Municipal Commissioner||Smt.P.Nagaveni|
|• Member of Parliament||Galla Jayadev|
|• City||230 km2 (90 sq mi)|
|Elevation||30 m (100 ft)|
|• Density||2,800/km2 (7,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||AP 07|
|Sex ratio||1016 ♂/♀|
|Lok Sabha constituency||Guntur|
|Planning agency||Guntur Municipal Corporation, VGTMUDA|
Guntur ( pronunciation (help·info)); located 40 miles (64 km) to the west of the Bay of Bengal, is a city and a municipal corporation in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is also the administrative capital of Guntur district and the third most populous city in Andhra Pradesh after Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada with a population of 651,382, where as urban agglomeration population is 673,952. In the year 2012, the city limits were expanded by merging ten surrounding villages into the corporation.
Guntur is a centre of learning and is the administrative capital of Guntur district, which is home to the historically significant Amaravati, Undavalli caves, Kondavid Fort and Sitanagaram monuments. The city is also a centre for business and commerce, industry, and agriculture. The region is identified as a major industrial region in India along the corridor up to Visakhapatnam. The city is famous for its exports, including chilies, cotton, and tobacco. The city is slated to be part of 'Twin Cities' combining the nearby Vijayawada.
The earliest recorded reference of Guntur comes from the Idern plates of Ammaraja I (922–929 CE), the Vengi Chalukyan king. The city was founded in the mid-eighth century by the French who ruled the city until it was ceded permanently to the British in 1788. French astronomer, Pierre Janssen observed the Solar eclipse of 18 August 1868 and discovered helium, from Guntur in Madras State, British India. A part of the city, which was once the small village of 'Ramachandrapuram Agraharam', is said to be much older than Guntur as mentioned in an inscription from 1296 on a pillar in Mandapam of the Lakshminarayana Swamy Temple. The Sanskrit (ancient Vedic culture/tradition) name for Guntur was Garthapuri, a place surrounded by water ponds (garta/gunta) as per the writings in the old Agastyeshwara-Sivalayam (temple of the old city). There are inscriptions in the temple on stones in 'Naga Lipi' (an ancient script) dating 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).
With the arrival of the Europeans the city has 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, Arandalpet 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 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 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.
As per Köppen-Geiger climate classification system the climate in Guntur is tropical. The average temperature is warm to hot around the year. Summer clothing suffices through most of the year. The summer season (especially during May/June) has the highest temperatures, but these are usually followed by monsoon rains in that season. The winter season (from October to February) is the most enjoyable with a pleasant climate. Winter months may get 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. The hurricanes could occur any time of the year, but 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
|Precipitation mm (inches)||1
|Source: Climate-Data.org, altitude: 1m|
In the 1961 census, Guntur had a population of 187,122. It has grown about six times in size during the last 6 decades. As of 2011[update] Census of India, the city had a population of 651,382. The total population constitute, 323,151 males and 328,231 females —a sex ratio of 1016 females per 1000 males, higher than the national average of 940 per 1000. 59,486 children are in the age group of 0–6 years, of which 30,307 are boys and 29,179 are girls—a ratio of 963 per 1000. The average literacy rate stands at 81.11% (male 86.28%; female 76.04%) with 480,068 literates, significantly higher than the national average of 73.00%.
The Urban agglomeration had a population of 673,952, of which males constitute 333,894, females constitute 340,058 —a sex ratio of 986 females per 1019 males and 61,560 are in the age group of 0–6 years. There are a total of 494,287 literates with an average literacy rate of 80.71%.
Bureaucrats and elected officials manage the city affairs and issues. The municipal commissioner and district collector are usually from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). The MP, MLAs, mayor, corporators constitute the local elected officials. Initiatives such as E-Governance are being put in place to reduce red-tapism, thereby enabling transparency in administration. The Guntur Municipal Corporation is among the select cities (4) across the world where an 'eco-budget' is being implemented. In 1866, the Guntur was constituted into Municipality with a Population of about 25,000. It is one of the oldest municipalities that have been constituted in 1866. From 1891, it was upgraded from III Grade to I Grade till 1917, then to special grade in 1952 and to selection grade in 1960. Later, in 1994 it was declared "Municipal Corporation". In 1995, First Election of Municipal Corporation was held.
Guntur is the regional headquarters of the Andhra Pradesh Police Department with its own Inspector General covering three nearby districts (including Guntur district). The High Court was in Guntur briefly after the separation from the erstwhile Madras State, which was later moved to the current state capital after the formation of AP. There is a demand for setting up of High Court bench at Guntur, for the coastal districts. Guntur also hosts one of the Indian Army recruitment and training centres.
Green Guntur, is a social forestry project for Guntur which aims to make the Guntur region greener; (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 corporations like ITC, which has been actively associated with Guntur for many years, due to the presence of Indian Leaf Tobacco Development (ILTD) Division. The government and ITC have coordinated to plan projects which have helped the government in meeting the goals of Green Guntur. As a part of this Green Guntur project, one crore saplings have been planted in the city. The city's Urban Development Authority is also developing many medium and large scale parks throughout the city.
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.
Culture and traditions of ageless Sanatana Dharma/Ancient Vedic Civilization (known as Hinduism) and its principles (Sarvē Janā Sukhinō Bhavantu), the city has a place for its diverse culture with many religions, castes, sects and creeds. One of the purportedly lost tribes of Israel called Bene Ephraim, has a presence in Guntur, with even a Jewish synagogue. Religious faiths such as Islam and Christianity lead a harmonious, peaceful existence.
Telugu is the main language of communication in the city. One of the earlier forms of Telugu language can be noticed in this region. The famous Mahakavi Tikkana (1205–1288) was born in this region. Most of the Muslims in the city speak Urdu as their mother tongue, though they are fluent in Telugu. 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 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 some cosmopolitan element. The majority of the population is from middle class and lower-middle-class families. With a reasonable cost of living and most basic amenities readily available, the city attracts people from other regions. Guntur is known for its fusion of traditional Indian and Western cultures. 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 Dhovathi.
Local cuisine includes typical south Indian style varieties namely Idli, dosa, vada etc. Other famous items in the city are pickles namely Roselle leaves (gongura) pickle, mirchi bajji, Mango (aavakaaya) pickle, with traditional Andhra style meals. There are many top quality restaurants that offer varieties of food items (from several regions of India). 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(sapota/chikoo), Mango, Custard apple, and Cucumber.
The outskirts of the city is mainly based on agriculture with the River Krishna flowing a few miles away, the farmlands and paddy fields grow wide variety of paddy, food grains, and other crops. The Guntur Branch Canal (GBC) and other smaller rivers serve water to the farmlands in the region.
Guntur is a major commercial center 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 'Patnam Bazar' area of the city is famous for its wholesale market of many consumer goods.
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 under the name 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. Possible future plans include a large scale Biotechnology Park, as well as a knowledge park.
Coastline, located about 40 miles (64 km) from the city, it has abundant opportunity for trade, transport, and tourism. 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. Guntur Container Terminal near Marripalem is an ICD (Inland Container Depot), facilitating port operations in Guntur Region.
Solar power generation is emerging as a power house for the city with the government and private establishments showing interest in tapping the solar power. The Guntur Municipal Corporation has a combined solar power generation of 110 Mega Watt, including street lighting in parks, walking tracks, high level water reservoirs, traffic junctions. A new initiative, Net Metering of Solar Rooftop Photo voltaic Power (SPV) Systems- is being introduced shortly under which excess power generated on rooftops on households, industries and commercial buildings could be fed into the grid. In return, Discom would pay to customers.
Entertainment and events includes motion pictures, which are a common form of entertainment in the city with many 3 Dimensional screens, multiplexes for Telugu, English, and Hindi movies. Traditional drama and theatrical events also have their presence in the city. The Guntur Nataka Rangam, and Guntur Cultural Association are premier organisations in the state that promote and conduct theatrical events. During the early summer season there are festivals and fairs that take place in the city, many types of rides, shows, novelties and food. There are numerous places of interest and parks in and around the city for entertainment.
The city is well connected to all the major cities of the country through various national and state highways. NH 5 that runs from Kolkata to Chennai, passes through city, is a part of Golden Quadrilateral Project under taken by NHAI. This national highway is also a part of AH 45 which comes under the Asian Highway Network.
The Hyderabad – Nalgonda – Guntur SH 2 is a state highway connecting the state capital with the city. It passes through Nagarjuna Sagar, a famous tourist destination. The city is served by the state owned APSRTC buses. NTR Bus Terminus in the city is largest in the district, serving many passengers to the nearby towns and districts.
Guntur junction is one of the Divisional headquarters (Guntur division) and a major transit point of the Indian Railways System. All four metro cities and most state capitals can be accessed through this transit point. Proposed Greater Guntur has the following 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.
There is no airport in the city. The nearest International airport is at Hyderabad. The nearest domestic airport is Vijayawada. There has been proposal to build a more practical airport for the residents on the south-west side of the city.
The tourism in and around the city includes parks, museums, nature conservation sites, forts, resorts and caves etc. Certain landmark places for tourist includes Uppalapadu Nature Conservation, situated in the southern part of the Guntur city which provides shelter to a number of endangered species of birds of Painted Storks and Spot-Billed Pelicans. Viswa Nagar is located to the South - West of the city close to Chowdavaram. This is the place of Viswayogi Viswamji and the Universal Integration Pillar. Kondaveedu Fort, at a distance of 25 km from the city is considered as impregnable with 24 bastions and spread across 30 hillocks was ruled by Gajapathis.
Sringeri Mutt in Sampath Nagar of the city is a Spiritual Center, encompasses within its complex many temples. Kondaveedu Fort is an ancient fort and temple structure located eight miles west of the city. Also, there are many parks, Jinnah Tower in the city, Theme parks at Haailand, Manasa Sarovar and Kakani temple are areas located near to the city.
Guntur is famous for its quality education providing graduation and graduate programs. The Acharya Nagarjuna University is one of the largest universities in the country, and covers various institutions from three districts. 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. The Vedic University near Guntur specialises in the teaching of Vedic Sciences, other related philosophies, and the Vedanta.
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 is the most common and well followed sporting event, there are other sports such as kabbadi, volleyball, basketball, tennis, badminton, and table tennis hosted regularly. Certain sports stadiums in and around the city include, Brahmananda Reddy Stadium, Prakasam Stadium, Krishna Cricket Academy, ACA Women Cricket Academy
News sources, in Telugu, such as Sakshi, Eenadu, Vaartha and those in English, such as The Hindu (newspaper), Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle are widely used. Many newspaper headquarters are located within the city.
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