Rajahmundry, officially known as Rajamahendravaram, is a city located in East Godavari district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The city is located on the banks of Godavari River. It is a Municipal corporation and also the headquarters of both Rajahmundry Rural and Rajahmundry Urban mandals. It is administered under Rajahmundry revenue division. As per 2018 Census, it is the fourth most populous city in the state, with a population of 782,375. The city is known for its Historical, Cultural, Agricultural and Economic backgrounds and hence, it is known as the Cultural Capital of Andhra Pradesh. The Road cum Rail bridge across Godavari River which is one of the longest of it's kind, connects the city with the town of Kovvur.
The city earlier was called Rajamahendravaram, derived from the Sanskrit name Rajamahendrapuram (The city of King Mahendra). Carrying the same meaning, it is also referred to as Rajamahendri, which during the British colonial era became Rajahmundry.
On 10th October 2015, the State Government of Andhra Pradesh officially renamed the city with its original name.
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Portrait of Nannayya
Painting representing historical significance of Rajahmundry city at a wall in Rajahmundry railway station
Rajahmundry was established by Ammaraja Vishnuvardhana the First (919–934 AD). The city as a prominent settlement can be traced back to the rule of the Eastern Chalukya king Rajaraja Narendra, who reigned around 1022AD. Remains of 11th Century palaces and forts still exist.
Rajamahendravaram was under Dutch rule for some time. In 1602, the Dutch constructed a fort here. In 1857, the British conquered the Dutch. They converted it into a jail in 1864 and elevated it into a central jail in 1870. The jail is spread over 196 acres (79 ha) out of which the buildings occupy 37.24 acres (15.07 ha).
In the Madras Presidency, the District of Rajahmundry was created in 1823. It was reorganised in 1859 and was bifurcated into Godavari and Krishna districts. During British rule, Rajahmundry was the headquarters of Godavari district, which was further bifurcated into East Godavari and West Godavari districts in 1925. When the Godavari district was split, Kakinada became the headquarters of East Godavari.
Rajahmundry was the hotbed of several movements during India's freedom struggle and acted as a base for many key leaders. When the Indian National Congress had its first meeting in Bombay (Mumbai), two leaders from Rajahmundry, Nyapathi Subba Rao and Kandukuri Veeresalingam, participated in it. Subba Rao, founder of Hindu Samaj in Rajahmundry, was also one of the six founders of India's noted English daily, The Hindu.
The Renaissance of Andhra Pradesh started in Rajahmundry. Kandukuri Veeresalingam is known as the Father of reforms in Andhra Pradesh. He started a monthly magazine Vivekavardhini, and a school for girls at Dowleswaram in 1874. The first widow remarriage took place on 11 December 1881. A society with 16 members was started on 22 June 1884, which used to look after widow remarriages in Rajahmundry. The town hall was established in 1890 by Veeresalingam. Bipin Chandra Pal visited Rajahmundry in April 1905 during the Vandemataram Movement. During his visits, he used to address the public in "Pal Chowk" (the present-day Kotipalli Bus Stand). Annie Besant visited Rajahmundry twice. First, she came during the foundations of a branch of the Divya Gyan Samaj at Alcot Gardens were being laid. She came again during the opening ceremony. Ramakrishna Mission was established in the city during 1950–51 near Kambal tank. The place is now the Ayakar Bhavan.
Rajahmundry is acclaimed as the birthplace of the Telugu language – its grammar and script evolved from the pen of the city-born poet Nannayya. Also known as '\u0100di Kavi' (the first poet) of Telugu, Nannayya, along with Tikkana and Yerrana, translated the Sanskrit version of Mahabharata into Telugu. Kandukuri Veeresalingam – a social reformer and the author of Rajashekhara Charithra, the first Telugu novel – was also from Rajahmundry.
See also=> List of cities in Andhra Pradesh
Rajamahendravaram is located at 16.98°N 81.78°E. with an average elevation of 14 metres (46 ft). There is paddy and sugarcane cultivation in the area. River Godavari flows through the west of Rajahmundry.
The weather is hot and humid, with a tropical climate and, thereby, no distinct seasons. The mean maximum temperature is 32 °C. The hottest season is from April to June, with temperature ranging from 34 °C to 48 °C with maximum of 51 °C recorded in May 2002 and May 2007. The coolest months are December and January, when it is pleasant at 27 °C to 30 °C. There is heavy monsoon rain at the end of summer, with depressions in the Bay of Bengal.
Rajahmundry Municipal Corporation is spread over an area of 224.43 km2 (86.65 sq mi) with 50 wards. The Mayor of the corporation is Pantam Rajini Sesha Sai and the commissioner is Sumit kumar Gandhi The Government is planning to construct an Under Ground Drianage system in the city.Cite error=> A
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(see the help page). It is one of the largest bullion markets in India which consists hundreds of gold, silver and platinum shops throughout the city.
Art and crafts
Damerla Rama Rao Art Gallery, dedicated to the works of the artist Damerla Rama Rao of the city has various paintings by him such as Krishna Leela, Godavari of Eastern Ghats and Milkmaids of Kathiawar.
Nannayya is the earliest known Telugu poet, and the author of the first third of the Andhra Mahabharatam, a Telugu retelling of the Mahabharata. Sri Kandukuri Veeresalingam (1848–1919), a renowned social reformer, is widely considered as the man who first brought about a renaissance in Telugu literature and Telugu people; he is also known to have fought for women's issues. General Sir Arthur Thomas Cotton, (15 May 1803 – 24 July 1899) was a British general and irrigation engineer. Sri Adurthi Subba Rao, Prominent Old-time Director & Producer of Telugu Films. Julia Maitland, a campaigner for "native" education, founded a multilingual school and reading room in the town in 1837.
Music and films
The city has produced many well-known artists in the Telugu film industry such as S.V.Ranga Rao, Ali, Raja Babu, Jaya Prada, Sameera Reddy,Bhanupriya,Sriman, Meghna Reddy, Thotakura Venkata Raju, Uma Pemmaraju, Ramesh, and J. D. Chakravarthy.
Dowleswaram Barrage near Rajamahendravaram on River Godavari
Cotton museum Dowleswaram
The river Godavari and its bridges and the Sir Arthur Cotton Museum are some of the attractions in the city. Rajamahendravaram is a major Hindu pilgrimage site with a number of temples and hosts holy congregations called Pushkaram held once every 12 years —with the last in July 2015, when around 100 millions took bath. The Sir Arthur Cotton Museum in Dowleswaram (beside the barrage) is the only museum for civil engineering in the state.
Main article=> Transport in Rajahmundry
Godavari Rail Bridges view from PushkharGhat
Rajahmundry Railway station Entrance
The bridges across Godavari River are an important transport infrastructure for connectivity such as, the Godavari Bridge, which is the third longest railroad bridge in Asia; and the Godavari Arch Bridge, commissioned on 14 March 1997 for Howrah–Chennai main line. While, the Old Godavari Bridge (The Havelock Bridge) was the earliest of all, built in 1897 and was decommissioned in 1997. New 4th Godavari Bridge is expected to ease some traffic through city.
Rajamahendravaram railway station is classified as an A category station in Vijayawada railway division. It is located on the Howrah-Chennai main line of South Central Railway zone. As the city lies in the most prominent train route, several trains passes through Rajahmundry railway station making it more accessible. Trains that passes through Rajamahendravaram station are VskpGaribRath (between Visakhapatnam and Secundrabad), Puri Ypr G Rath( between Puri and Yeshwantpur), Konark Express (between Mumbai and Bhubaneswar), Visakha Express (between Bhubaneswar and Secundrabad), Seshadri Express (between Kakinada and Bangalore), Gowthami Express(between Kakinada and Secundrabad) along with many other trains.
National Waterway 4 was declared on 24 November 2008, which connects the Indian states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and the union territory of Puducherry. It passes through Kakinada, Eluru, Commanur, Buckingham Canal and also part of Krishna and Godavari rivers rivers. It is being developed by Inland Waterways Authority of India, and is scheduled for completion in 2013. But because of the local political leaders failure it is still on paper.
Rajahmundry Airport, situated near Madhurapudi 18 km away from the heart of the city. Jet Airways, Spicejet, IndiGo and TruJet are major airliners. The airport has direct services to Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore. A new terminal building was inaugurated on 16 May 2012. Runway is being expanded from the 1,749 m to 3,000 m to facilitate the landing and takeoff of bigger aircraft. People here are requesting for direct flights to Mumbai, New Delhi for connecting to international flights directly and Ahmedabad for business purpose as both the cities are in same field.But the state government and centre government aren't working on peoples choice. The state government is very keen in developing the airport as a national airport and as an alternative for Visakhapatnam airport during bad climatic conditions.
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 2016–17, the city has 55,501 students enrolled in 244 schools. The medium of instruction followed by schools are Telugu, English. The Railway High School in the city has a history of more than hundred years, established in the year 1909.
The city has one of the thirteen regional offices of the Board of Intermediate Education, which administers Intermediate education (10+2) education. The Government Junior College is the only government run junior college, established in 1974 and there are four private-aided, twenty private-unaided colleges in the city.
The Government Arts College was founded more than 150 years ago by the reformer, Kandukuri Veeresalingam Panthulu. The BEd Training Institute is one of the oldest in India. Adikavi Nannaya University was established in March 2006, named after an 11th-century poet, Nannayya. Other major universities in the city include Sri Potti Sri Ramulu Telugu University, Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Open University Study Center. the city contains nannya university as new era
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