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Andhra Pradesh is the third largest state in India and it forms the major link between the north and the south of India. It is the biggest and most populous state in the south of India. Andhra Pradesh lies between 12o41′ and 22o longitude and 77o and 84o40′ latitude. It is bounded by Madhya Pradesh and Orissa in the north, the Bay of Bengal in the east, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in the south and Maharashtra in the west. The state is dotted with hill ranges from the north to the south, running erratically down the middle of the country dividing it into western and eastern or coastal Andhra.
Andra Pradesh’s earliest appearance in history is found in Aitareya Brahmana (800 BC) as Dakshina Padh.
Andhras, Pulindas, Sabaras, and many other sects lived in Dakshina Padh. In the Mauryan age, the Andhras were a political power in the Deccan. Megasthenes, who visited the court of Chandragupta Maurya (322-297 BC), mentioned that the Andhra country had 30 fortified towns and an army of 1,00,000 infantry, 2,000 cavalry and 1,000 elephants.
The Buddhist religious books reveal that Andhras established their kingdoms on the Godavari belt at that time. Even Ashoka referred in his 13th rock edict that the Andhras were his subordinates. The flourishing Satvahana Empire, which followed the Mauryas, covered the entire Deccan plateau by the 1st century AD. From the seventh to the 10th centuries, the Chalukyas ruled the state. This was followed by the rule of the Cholas, Kakatiyas, and the powerful Vijayanagar Empire. By the 16th century, the Qutab Shahi dynasty established its firm foothold in and around Hyderabad.
The Nizams, as the rulers of Hyderabad were called, maintained their rule, even during the advent of the French and British.
Andhra Pradesh was constituted as a separate state on October 1, 1953, comprising the 11 districts of the erstwhile Madras state, and made Kurnool the capital. By November 1, 1956, the Nizam’s state of Hyderabad was amalgamated to the state of Andhra Pradesh.
The mango is a juicy stone fruit (drupe) belonging to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous tropical fruiting trees, cultivated mostly for edible fruit. The majority of these species are found in nature as wild mangoes. They all belong to the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae.
The Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis), is a member of the roller family of birds. They are found widely across tropical Asia stretching from Iraq eastward across the Indian Subcontinent to Indochina and are best known for the aerobatic displays of the male during the breeding season.
Kuchipudi is an Indian classical dance originating in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh,India,but popular all over South India.According to legend, Tirtha Narayanayati, a sanyasin of Advaitic persuasion and his disciple, an orphan named Siddhendra Yogi founded the Kuchipudi dance-drama tradition.It was popularized by Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam and many other dancers.
Kabaddi is a contact sport that originated in ancient India. Kabaddi is an umbrella term which encompasses various forms of the game including International rules Kabaddi; Sanjeevani, Gaminee, Amar and Punjabi.
The blackbuck is a diurnal antelope (active mainly during the day). Three kinds of groups, typically small, are the female, male and bachelor herds. Males often adopt lekking as a strategy on the part of males to garner females for mating. While other males are not allowed into these territories, females often visit these places to forage.
Azadirachta indica, also known as Neem,Nimtree,and Indian Lilac is a tree in the mahogany family Meliaceae. It is one of two species in the genus Azadirachta, and is native to India and the Indian subcontinent including Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It is typically grown in tropical and semi-tropical regions.
The state is well connected to other states through road and rail networks. It is also connected to other countries by means of airways and seaports as well. With a long seacoast along the Bay of Bengal, it also has many ports for sea trade. The state has one of the largest railway junctions at Vijayawada and one of the largest seaports at Visakhapatnam.Roads in Andhra Pradesh consist of National Highways and state highways with district roads as well. NH 5, with a highway network of around 1,000 km (620 mi) in the state, is a part of Golden Quadrilateral Project undertaken by National Highways Development Project. It also forms part of AH 45 which comes under the Asian Highway Network.The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) is the major public bus transport owned by the state government which runs thousands of buses connecting different parts of the state. Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS) in Vijayawada is one of the largest bus terminals in Asia.
Andhra Pradesh has a railway network of 5,046 km (3,135 mi) and have played a significant role in boosting the economy of the state alongside developing the industrial and the tourism sectors. One of the highest broad gauge tracks in the world is in Eastern Ghats route that runs from Visakhapatnam to Anantagiri.Most of Andhra Pradesh falls under with Guntur, Vijayawada , Guntakal (South Central Railway zone and Waltair (East Coast Railway zone) divisions. This serves the north coastal districts.
Waltair Railway Division under ECoR zone, is fourth largest revenue earning division in India.Vijayawada railway station is the highest grosser in the SCR zone and one of busiest railway junctions in India.
Visakhapatnam Airport, is the only airport in the state with international connectivity. The state has five domestic airports, Vijayawada Airport at Gannavaram, Rajahmundry Airport at Madhurapudi, Tirupati Airport at Renigunta, Cuddapah Airport and a privately owned, public use airport at Puttaparthi. There are also 16 small air strips located in the state.
Andhra Pradesh has one of the country’s largest port at Visakhapatnam in terms of (cargo handling).The other famous ports are Krishnapatnam Port (Nellore), Gangavaram Port and Kakinada Port. Gangavaram Port is a deep seaport which can accommodate ocean liners up to 200,000–250,000 DWT.There are 14 notified non-major ports at Bheemunipatnam, S.Yanam, Machilipatnam, Nizampatnam, Vadarevu etc.
The cuisine of Andhra Pradesh is reputedly the spiciest of all Indian cuisine. There are many variations to the Andhra cuisine depending on caste, geographical regions, traditions etc. Pickles and chutneys, called pachadi 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). The 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 flavored dishes.The Indian Cuisine has its unique style and tradition.
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 Angi-kabhinaya, Caris, Sthanakas and Mandalas. In the 4th Chapter Karnas, angaharas and recakas are described.
Harikatha (lit. “stories of the Lord”), otherwise called Katha Kalakshepa is a form of Hindu religious discourse, also known as Katha (storytelling) format, in which the story teller explores a religious theme, usually the life of a saint or a story from an Indian epic. Harikatha was originated in Andhra.Harikatha Kalakshepam is most prevalent in Andhra Pradesh even now along with Burra katha. Haridasus going round villages singing devotional songs is an age-old tradition during Dhanurmaasam preceding Sankranti festival. Ajjada Adibhatla Narayana Dasu with his Kavyas and Prabandhas has made Harikatha a special art form.
Telugu literature is highly influenced by Sanskrit literature and Hindu scriptures. Nannayya, Tikkana, and Yerrapragada form the trinity who translated the great epic Mahabharatha into Telugu. Bammera Potana is another great poet from vontimitta (kadapa dist) famous for his great classic Sri Madandhra Maha Bhagavatamu, a Telugu translation of ‘Sri Bhagavatam’ authored by Veda Vyasa in Sanskrit. Nannayya derived the present Telugu script(lipi) from the old Telugu-Kannada script. Emperor Krishna Deva Raya wrote and also made the famous statement : “Desha Bhashalandu Telugu lessa” meaning “Telugu is the sweetest amongst all Indian languages”. Philosophical poems by Yogi-Vemana are quite famous. Modern writers include Jnanpith Award winners Sri Viswanatha Satya Narayana and Dr. C. Narayana Reddy. Revolutionary poets like SriSri and Gaddar are popular.
Andhra Pradesh is home to Hindu saints of all castes. An important figure is, Sant Yogi Potuluri Veerabrahmam was a Viswa Brahmin that even had a Brahmin, Sudhra, Harijan and Muslim disciples.Fisherman Raghu was also a Sudra.Sant Kakkayya was a chura (cobbler) Harijan saint.Several important Hindu modern-day saint are from Andhra Pradesh. These include Nimbarka who founded Dvaitadvaita, Mother Meera who advocated Indian independence and Aurobindo Mission, Sri Sathya Sai Baba and Swami Sundara Chaitanyanandaji.His Holiness Swami Sundara Chaitanyanandaji was born on 25 December 1947 in Kattubadipalem village, Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh.