Andhra Pradesh Profile: Capital City Hydrebad
Area: 275045 sq.kms
Population : 66,508008
Andhra Pradesh is bounded by Orissa and Madhya Pradesh on the North, Bay of Bengal in the East, Tamil Nadu on the South and Karnataka and Maharastra on the West, Andhra Pradesh is the fifth largest State in the Indian Union.
Various dynasties have ruled the area, including the Andhra (or Satavahana), Shakas, Ikshvakas, Eastern Chalukyas, Vijayanagar, the Qutb Shahis, and the nizams (princes) of Hyderabad. During the 17th century, the British acquired from the nizams first the coastal area (the province of Madras), and then the inland region of what is now Andhra Pradesh. The people’s demands for a separate state for Telugu speakers led to the formation of Andhra Pradesh in 1953 from parts of Madras and Hyderabad states.
AP consists of three distinct regions:
Coastal region, the interior region, known as Rayalaseema and Telengana region, consisting of the capital Hyderabad and nine adjoining districts. The Eastern Ghats mountains run the length of the state. The coastal plain is east of the mountains, and the upland Telangana Plateau is west of the mountains.
Places of Interest
Hyderabad is most famous for its charming minarets - Charminar. The city is often identified with the majestic Charminar, which stands at the center of the old city. Charminar was built in 1591 by Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah and is a beautiful structure with four intricately carved minarets. Enormous in its size, this imposing monument exudes a charm that is more than 400 years old.
The majestic and imposing monument, which lies on the western outskirts of Hyderabad city, Golconda Fort unravels 400 years of rich cultural heritage. Built by Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah in 1525.
The city stands out for its beautiful lakes, temples and wildlife. It is one of the largest cities of Andhra Pradesh. Warangal fort is 12 km. from Hanumakonda. It dates back to the 13th century. The fort was built by the Kakatiya king, Ganapati Deva and his daughter Rudramma.
Legend has it that Arjuna, according to the epic Mahabharata, prayed on top of Indrakila hill and won the blessings of Lord Shiva and thus the name of Vijayawada is derived from ‘Vijaya’ - victory. As the heart of Andhra Pradesh, Vijayawada is 275 km. from Hyderabad, between the river Krishna and its tributary, Budameru.
Flora and Fauna
Andhra Pradesh has wide and varied vegetation types enriched by variety of flora and fauna. It has a network of (20) sanctuaries and (4) national parks covering an area of 11,982 sq. km or 4.4% of the geographical area of the state. The covered forest area in the state is about 23 percent, and important forest products include teak, eucalyptus, cashew, bamboo and soft wood.
Rives and Lakes
Andhra Pradesh is crossed by several rivers, most importantly the Godavari and Krishna
About 70 percent of the population works in agriculture, and the state is one of India's main rice-producing areas. Other important crops are sugarcane, oilseeds, beans, and pulses (edible seeds from crops such as peas, lentils, and beans).
Weather and Climate
The climate is pleasant from November to February. The summer months of April and May are uncomfortable due to oppressive heat. The period from July to September is warm, humid and uncomfortable. The mean minimum temperature varies widely from 17o C to 20o C in December, which is the coolest month, to 27o C or 28o C in May and June
The state's name refers to the Andhra people, who have lived in the region for more than 2,500 years and who today comprise more than 85 percent of the population.
They are Hindus. A Muslim, Urdu-speaking minority lives in the upland plateau area, mostly in Hyderabad;
Hindu festivals such as Dasara, Deepavali, Sri Ramanavami, Krishna Janmastami, Vinayaka Chathruthi (Ganesh Chaturthi) and Maha Sivarathri are celebrated in the State. But the celebrations of Ugadi (Telugu New Year's day), Sankranti, Dasara, and Vinayaka Chavithi in the state are unique.
A widely known festival in Telengana area that falls on Asviyuja Shuddha Dasami (Sep/Oct) is the Batakamma Panduga. It is celebrated for nine days by married women in memory of a Vaisya married woman, who was killed by her own brother on the instigation of his wife. The murdered woman is believed to have manifested herself in her grave as a flowering tree. The Mahankali Jathara in the twin cities is celebrated at the onset of summer to propitiate the local village deities so that pestilence does not strike.
Sri Krishna Jayanti marks the celebration of the birth of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Lord Sri Krishna was born on the 'Rohini' nakshatram (star) on Ashtami day. The festival Sri Krishna Jayanti is also known as Gokulashtami and Janmashtam. The actual day of celebration can be on two different days as the star 'Rohini' and Ashtami may not be on the same day. This occurs between August and September on the Christian calendar.
Sri Krishna is Lord Vishnu's eighth avatar (incarnation) on earth. He is considered to be the Lord's most glorious incarnations. Even saying and remembering His name brings joy because Sri Krishna himself was a manifestation of joy at all levels and in all walks of life. No other God in the Hindu pantheon, or for that matter in any other religion, is associated with so many romantic tales and so fully radiating with all the divine attributes as Sri Krishna. Since Sri Krishna lived in luxury throughout his life, Sri Krishna Jayanti is celebrated with pomp and splendor. Plenty of sweets are made. Among these are laddus, chakli, cheedai, payasam (kheer), and so on. In addition, plenty of milk products especially butter, which was Sri Krishna's favorite childhood food, are given in offerings. A wide variety of fruits are also offered. The most common sweets made laddus and payasam.
Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu deity, is the God of wisdom, the remover of obstacles and the most auspicious God, a bringer of good luck for embarking on new endeavours. He is worshipped before any venture is started. Meetings, gatherings, weddings, functions and celebrations begin with a prayer of Lord Ganesh and no new venture-be it a new company, a new house, a new shop is inaugurated without reciting a 'mantra' of Lord Ganesh. Ladoos are distributed on the day-by tradition ladoos were placed in different corners of the house and eaten before the meal. Milk is offered to idols of lord Ganesh at home and at temples, and Ganesh puja is performed at all temples and hi-house prayer rooms. Fasting, feasting and distribution of sweets offered to Lord Ganesh are important aspects of Ganesh chaturthi rituals in India. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesh, son of Lord Shankar and Goddess Parvati. This festival is celebrated for 10 days throughout India.
The present day celebration of Durga worship (puja) and Dassera are related to Rama's life. The traditional Durga worship was performed in the spring season now known as Basanti puja. Rama worshipped the divine mother Durga and prayed to her to give him the strength to slay Ravana. Ravana was slain on the day of Dassera, the tenth day of Navaratri. Dassera is the day when Ravana, the ten-headed demon king, was slain by Rama. In many places it culminates with the burning of huge images of the demon King Ravana of Lanka (Ceylon) and his accomplice, symbolic of the triumph of good over evil.
Telugu is the principal and official language of the State. It was also referred to as `Tenugu' in the past. `Andhra' is the name given to it since the medieval times. Urdu came to the Deccan, late in the 15th century. It flourished during the reign of the Qutubshahi Dynasty.
Kuchipudi is Andhra's outstanding contribution towards the enrichment of the culture of India. It started out originally as a dance-drama form dating back to the 15th century. Kuchipudi emerged as Bhagavata Mela Nataka in Natya technique. Kucipudi was never a solo affair and required a number of actors. It was presented in the open air on a stage that was improvised by men and boys who were received vigorous training in abhinaya, music dancing and singing. Different themes taken from Indian mythology form the content of these dance dramas.
Pulihara, or tamarind rice, is the main food here in Andhra Pradesh, and green chilies add spice to the cuisine. The Andhra pickle—sharp and extremely hot—is a favorite all over the country. Papads, roasted or fried, are another popular condiment. Because of the rule of the Nawabs there is also a strong Muslim influence on the cuisine in the form of rich, spicy local dishes, especially in the area around the capital—for example, the dish that has become world famous is the Hyderabadi Biryani, a blend of rice and meat cooked over hot coals, the Nahari, the Kulcha and the Kababs have a lot in commom with the northern Mughlai cuisine.
Andhra Pradesh produces a rare and beautiful array of silk and cotton textiles.
The 'ikat' textiles Andhra Pradesh, especially of Pochampalli and Chirala are equally attractive. The lovely Pochampalli sari is a specialty of the region. Ikat is the extraordinary silk fabric woven throughout Central Asia. Each strand is individually dyed, then woven into stunning, vibrant patterns that are recognized from village to village.
A textile is first woven, and then dipped in a mixture of milk and natural dyes, after which it is designed with a kalam, or pen. In Hindi, “Kalam” means pen and “Kari” means work. Fuse the two concepts, and you get Kalamkari, a traditional art form where artists paint using specially crafted pens made of Bamboo. Using coloured dyes made of natural pigments and extracts, this intricate art form can be widely seen on saris, drapes, hand towels and wall hangings.