Rajahmundry is a historical, traditional and cultural city surrounded by nature and located on bank of the river Godavari. Rajahmundry City is one of the old cities of Andhara Pradesh state, in India. Located between two main cities Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada of Andhra Pradesh state.

The Godavari Pushkaram, a festival celebrated once in twelve years, attracts a large number of pilgrims from all over the country who come here to take a holy dip in the Godavari river, which is believed to wash away their sins. Asia’s largest rail-cum-road bridge on the river Godavari linking Kovvur and Rajahmundry is considered to be an engineering feat. The massive rail-road bridge across the Godavari at the historic town of Rajahmundry linking the East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh is an impressive sight and a symbol of the progress and prosperity of the region.

Rajahmundry, originally known as Rajamahendri, is better known as the ‘Cultural Capital and born City’ of Andhra Pradesh. This is probably due to the fact that the Telugu language originated here. Poet Nannayya gave Telugu a script here which made it a language. It is the birth place of Poet Nannayya, who is also called the first poet of Telugu.

Tourism

The biggest attraction in Rajahmundry is the river Godavari. The three bridges over the river are the longest in South India. There are many ghats for mental recreation. Numerous ghats and parks are along the banks of river.

Rajahmundry is a major Hindu pilgrimage sites, with a number of temples like the Kotilingalu (10 million Sivalingas) temple on the bank of Godavari. It hosts holy congregations called Pushkaram held once every 12 years and considered auspicious to take sin-ridding holy dips—with the last in August 2003, when around 34 million are said to have taken the bath. Krishna temple constructed by the ISKCON foundation on the banks of Godavari. Popularly called as Gowthami Ghat, it is a major attraction for young people as a recreational center.

Sir Arthur Cotton Museum in Dowleswaram (beside barrage) is the only museum for Civil engineering in the state. The Museum houses several rare photographs of Sir Arthur Cotton and of the construction of the dam. The tools used to construct the dam are still preserved here. The Dowleswaram Barrage is an irrigation structure which is built on the lower stretch of the Godavari River before it empties into the Bay of Bengal.

A boat cruise on the attraction along with the City view Godavari River trip. Luxury cruise from Rajahmundry to enjoyed scenic beauty of Gandipochamma Temple, Polavaram Project, Devipatnam, Kolluru (Bamboo Huts) Pappikondalu (Hills are three in number situated like a wall in the midst of holy river Godavari),Parentalapalli.

Pattiseema is a spot that is 40 kilometres away from the city of Rajahmundry. It is a popular spot among Indian film makers. The main attraction of Pattiseema is the temple on a hill in the centre of the Godavari River. Dindi resort consists of three cottages built over a ‘pond’ and Haritha Coconut Country Resort.

Maredumilli is a thick dense forest with waterfalls and resorts around 70 km from Rajahmundry.

Other destinations include Chitrangi Palace, River Bay Resort, Freedom Fighters Park, Sri Kandukuri Veeresalingam House, Tombs of Sri Kandukuri Veeresalingam & Smt. Kandukuri Rajyalakshmi, Damerla Rama Rao Art Gallery, Gowthami Library, Aryabhatta Science & Technology Society, Rallabandi Subbarao Archaeological Museum and many Kambala park.

Climate

The climate is mostly hot and humid with mostly 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 a possibility of heavy rains in the monsoon due to depressions in the Bay of Bengal.

Demographics

As of 2011 Census of India, the city had a population of 3,43,903. The total population constitute 1,69,786 males and 1,74,117 females — a sex ratio of 1026 females per 1000 males, higher than the national average of 940 per 1000. 29,883 children are in the age group of 0–6 years, of which 15,152 are boys and 14,731 are girls—a ratio of 972 per 1000. The average literacy rate stands at 84.28% (male 88.14%; female 80.54%) with 264,653 literates, significantly higher than the national average of 73.00%.

The urban agglomeration had a population of 4,78,199, of which males constitute 2,36,489, females constitute 2,41,710 —a sex ratio of 1022 females per 1000 males and 42,968 children are in the age group of 0–6 years. There are a total of 3,59,051 literates with an average literacy rate of 82.50%.

Economy

Rajahmundry is a commercial hub for east and west Godavari districts. It is a well-known destination for cloth and bullion business. Cloth market in the city is one of the largest markets in India with many co-operative handloom houses. Rajahmundry is home for many cloth merchants.

Rajahmundry is one of the largest bullion markets in India which consists hundreds of gold, silver and platinum shops throughout the city. Important business locations are the Mahatma Gandhi Wholesale Cloth Market (MGC) complex, Thadithota, Mainroad (Fortgate) Market and Devi Chowk.

History and Evolution

Rajahmundry is one of the major cities in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is located on the banks of Godavari River in East Godavari district of the state. The city is the divisional headquarters of both Rajahmundry (rural) and Rajahmundry (urban) mandals. It is also one of the two municipal corporations in the district alongside Kakinada. As of 2011 census, it is the sixth most populous city in Andhra Pradesh with a population of 3,43,903 and the fifth most urban agglomeration settlement, with a population of 4,78,199.

In its earlier days it was called Rajamahendravaram. It is one of the historical cities famous for political, agricultural, literary, economical, social and cultural backgrounds. Hence, the city is also known as the Cultural Capital of Andhra Pradesh. Asia’s second largest road cum rail bridge is on the Godavari River connecting Kovvur and Rajahmundry on the Howrah-Chennai main line.

The city origins can be traced back to the rule of the Chalukya king Raja Raja Narendra who reigned around 1022 AD after whom it was named Rajamahendri or Rajamahendravaram. Remains of 11th-century palaces and fort walls still exist in the city. However, new archaeological evidence suggests that the town might have existed much before the Chalukyas.

Rajahmundry was established by Ammaraja Vishnuvardhana, the first (919–934 AD). Some schools of thought believe in this theory as Vishnuvardhana had the title “Rajamahendra”. His predecessor Ammaraja Vijayaditya, the second (945–970 AD) had Rajaraja Narendra (1022–1061 AD) with the same title “Rajamahendra”.

In the Madras Presidency, the district of Rajahmundry was created in 1823. The Rajahmundry district was reorganised in 1859 into the Godavari and Krishna districts. During British rule, Rajahmundry was the headquarters of Godavari district. Godavari district was further bifurcated into East and West Godavari districts in 1925. Rajamhendravaram was renamed Rajahmundry during the rule of the British, for whom the city was the headquarters of the Godavari district. When the district was split into East and West, Kakinada became the headquarters of East Godavari.

Rajahmundry is acclaimed as the birthplace of the Telugu language—its grammar and script evolving from the pen of the city-born poet, Nannayya who is also called ‘Adi 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.

Rajahmundry was one of the biggest cities in South India in the 19th century. It 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, Nyayapathi 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 rebirth of cultural heritage in Andhra Pradesh started in Rajahmundry. Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu is known as the father of reforms in Andhra Pradesh. He started a monthly magazine Vivekavardhini, a school for girls at Dowlaiswaram in 1874. The first widow marriage took place on 11 December 1881. A society with 16 members was started on 22 June 1884, which used to look after the widow marriages in Rajahmundry. The town hall in Rajahmundry was established in 1890 by Kandukuri Veeresalingam.

Anni Besant visited Rajahmundry twice: first when the foundation of branch of Divya Gjyan Samaj building at Alcot Gardens was being laid. She came again during the opening ceremony of the building.

Ramakrishna Mission was established in 1950–1951 near Kambaltank in Rajahmundry (the place in which present Ayakar Bhavan (Income tax office) is located, was once a part of Sri Ramakrishna Mission only).

Independence Movement

Vandaemataram movement was started in the year 1905 against the partition of Bengal. Bipin Chandra Paul visited Rajahmundry in April 1905 to initiate the movement. During his visits to Rajahmundry, he used to address the public at “PaulChowk” (the present Kotipalli Bustand).

Infrastructure

Godavari Arch Bridge

The bridge, built by the Hindustan Construction Company for the Indian Railways, was designed by Bureau BBR, Switzerland, and checked by Leonard Andrea and Partners, Germany. Construction on the bridge began in 1991 and lasted till 1997. It was commissioned for passenger traffic in March 1997 and became fully operational for running trains by the Indian Railways from 2003.

Old Godavari Bridge

The construction of the bridge commenced on 11 November 1897 and opened for traffic on 30 August 1900. The Bridge was named after Sir Arthur Elibank Havelock, the then Governor of Madras. Frederick Thomas Granville Walton served as the Engineer-in-chief assisted by executive engineers R.A. Delanougerede, F.D. Couchman, J.E.Eaglesome. It has 56 spans each of 45.7 metres (150 ft) and is 2,754 metres (9,035 ft) long. Having served its full life span of 100 years, it was decommissioned in 1997, and Godavari Arch Bridge was built as a replacement for the bridge.

Road Cum Railway Bridge

This Rail Cum Road Bridge is the longest of its kind in Asia and second longest in the world. Its total length 4.732 km (4732 mts). Finished in 1972 and inaugurated by the then President of India, Fakruddin Ali Ahmed, its total construction cost accrued to INR 630 million. Locally it is called Kovvur bridge by people of Rajahmundry, as it connects Rajahmundry city with Kovvur town. Its also important connectivity of Agriculturally Rich East and west Godavari Districts.

Transport

Roadways

Rajahmundry is well connected to all parts of the state. NH-5 passes through Rajahmundry, and has excellent road connectivity to all important places like Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bhubaneswar etc. It is the main transportation hub for both the Godavari districts.

Railways

The city is well connected by the railway network. Rajahmundry railway station is one of the important stations in Andhra Pradesh, along the Howrah-Chennai main line.

Waterways

The recent tourism developments by the government has made excellent platform for Rajahmundry to boast itself as national water-way transport hub. Though the water way transport caters for select few purposes like pilgrimage, tourism etc., the government has huge plans for the future.

National waterways NW-4 has been declared as an Indian National Waterway and is under development. It connects the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and the Union Territory of Pondicherry. It is being developed by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), [2] and was scheduled for completion in 2013 but rescheduled to be completed positively by 2017 due to inordinate delays in Govt. Decision making!

Airways

Rajahmundry Airport, situated near Madhurapudi 18 km away from the heart of the city. Jet Airways and Spicejet are major airliners. 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.

Notable People

Sri Nannayya, (c. 11th century AD) is the earliest known Telugu author, and the author of the first two and a half parvas of Andhra Maha Bharatham which is also known as Panchama Vedam.

Sri Rajaraja Narendra, (1019–1061) was the Eastern Chalukyaking of the Vengi kingdom in South India. Rajaraja was related to the Cholas of Tanjavur by marital and political links. Rajaraja Narendra established the city Rajahmahendravaram (Rajamundry).

General Sir Arthur Thomas Cotton, (15 May 1803 – 24 July 1899) was a British general and irrigation engineer.

Sri Kandukuri Veeresalingam (1848–1919), a renowned social reformer, is widely considered as the man who first brought about a renaissance in the Telugu people and Telugu literature, he is also known to have helped women come out of their closets.

Durgābāi, Lady Deshmukh (15 July 1909 – 09 May 1981) Born in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, India was an Indian freedom fighter, lawyer, social worker and politician. She was a member of the Constituent Assembly of India and the Planning Commission of India.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. very very special thanks to chandrababu naidu garu for doing safe and happilly celebrating godavari maha pushkaram with family and relatives

  2. The H:ble CM has made wonderful arrangements for the devine Maha pushakarams which are said to be happens once in 144 years. And it will remain in history

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