Definitions

Guntur

Guntur

[goon-toor]
Guntur, city (1991 pop. 471,051), Andhra Pradesh state, SE India. Located in the Krishna River delta, the city is a railroad junction and agricultural market for jute, tobacco, and rice. Founded by the French in the 18th cent., Guntur was ceded to Great Britain in 1823.
Guntur (Telugu: గుంటూరు, Urdu: گنٹور, Hindi: गुंटूर) is a city and a municipal corporation in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, located to the north of Bay of Bengal. It is approximately to the south of the capital, New Delhi. The city has an estimated population of 818,330 (514,707 as per 2001 census) with an Urban Agglomeration of approximately 1,028,667. Guntur is one of the larger (tier-2) cities in the country.

Guntur is a centre of learning and the administrative capital of Guntur district, which is home of historically significant Amaravati, Bhattiprolu and Sitanagaram monuments. The city is also a centre for business, industry, and agriculture. The region is identified as a major transportation and textile hub in India. Additionally, the Guntur area economy has an agricultural component that is internationally known for its exports of chillies, cotton, and tobacco.

History

The Kingdom of Pratipalapura of 500 BCE (Bhattiprolu in Guntur district), appears to be the earliest known kingdom in south India. The earliest recorded reference of Guntur comes from the Idern plates of Ammaraja I (922-929 CE), the Vengi Chalukyan king. Guntur also appears in two other inscriptions dated 1147 CE and 1158 CE. The original Sanskrit (ancient Vedic culture/tradition) name for Guntur was Garthapuri (a place surrounded by water ponds('garta'/'gunta')). The 'Agasthyeswara Sivalayam' in the old city is an ancient temple for Lord Siva . It has inscriptions on two stones in 'Naga Lipi' (an ancient script) dating back to about 1100 CE. The backyard of the temple hosts a very historic tree . It is said that Agastya built the temple in the last Treta-Yuga around the Swayambhu Linga and hence it has this name. The 'Nagals' were said to have ruled the region at that time. More recently, the region was under the Nizam's rule (known as jagir of Nawab Salabat Jung till 1788) prior to the colonial period. During colonial rule, Guntur was under the control of the French and then the British, until India's independence. The region has been historically known for Buddhism and the first Kalachakra ceremony performed by Buddha himself . The place of Sitanagaram and the Guthikonda Caves can be traced (through Vedic Puranas) back to the last Treta-Yuga and Dwapara-Yuga (Traditional Time scale: 1.7 to 0.5 million years ago, Ref). and in a Paleolithic aspect. Also check Timeline of Guntur.

Modern Guntur

The original Guntur used to be located where the current 'Old Guntur' exists. Over the last 50-100 years, the city has expanded largely to the north, which is called New Guntur . The current size of the city has an inner radius of about . The City-region comprises the surrounding suburban and rural areas spanning in all the directions. New townships are mushrooming in these areas.

Geography

  • Guntur Plains: Guntur is located at . It has an average elevation of 33 metres (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 north 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.
  • 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.
  • Also check Guntur City Region on Wiki-Maps.

Demographics

As of 2001 India census, Guntur had a population of 514,707. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Guntur has an average literacy rate of 68%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 74%, and female literacy is 62%. In Guntur, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.

The region extends over an area of 11.68 sq. miles, while its population was about 25,000 by 1866 census and 30,183 by 1902 census. By 1961 census Guntur had a population of 187,122. It has grown about six times in its size during these 60 years. Currently the city is estimated to have population of around 800,000 with Urban Agglomeration of approximately 1,028,667.

Culture and diversity

With the culture and traditions of ageless Sanatana Dharma/Ancient Vedic Civilization (known as Hinduism) and its principles (Sarvē Janā Sukhinō Bhavantu), the Guntur Region had a place for all 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 existence.

Language and Festivals

Telugu is the main language of communication in the city. One of the earliest/purest forms of Telugu language can be noticed in this region. Other languages such as English and Hindi are used in the city to a minor extent. 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. Also, noticeable are festivals introduced before a few centuries, including Christmas, Eid ul-Fitr, Muharram, Ramadan. The 30th International Kalachakra festival was held at Amaravati near Guntur.

City lifestyle

The city's lifestyle has a mixture of both urban and rural with some cosmopolitan element. Like any typical Indian city, the majority of the population is from middle and lower middle class families. With a reasonable cost of living and most basic amenities available, the city attracts people from outside. 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 or Pancha or casually, a Lungi.

Economy

Cotton-Tobacco-Chilli city

Guntur City and its region is a major commercial centre in India. Cotton, tobacco and chilli are some of the major commodities that are exported from here 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 chillies that are grown in this region are some of the hottest in the world, and are in constant competition with chillies from Mexico for first place. A 'Spice Park' is currently being setup in the area . The cotton that grows in the region is used in making some of the finest sarees in India .

Industrialisation

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 major cities in the country. Some of the industries in the area are: textile mills/handloom, silk, Sangam Dairy, cement factories, Andhra Fertilizers, jute mills, granite industries, diamond and other ore processing (Hindustan Zinc Limited), Auto-Nagar and software/IT Companies. A Textile Hub is being developed on the southwestern side of the city , and the government is also encouraging the setting up of new industries. Possible future plans include the Biotechnology Park, Knowledge Park etc.

Farming and Vegetation

The Guntur region (that is, the Krishna Delta part) is one of the most fertile areas in India. With the River Krishna flowing to the north of the district, the area has many farmlands and paddy fields growing wide varieties of rice, other food grains, and other various crops. The Guntur Branch Canal (GBC) and other smaller rivers serve water to the farmlands in the region.

A social forestry project for Guntur is on the anvil to make the region greener; Guntur (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 other corporates in meeting the goals. As a part of this Green Guntur project, one crore saplings have been planted in the city. The city's UDA is also developing many medium and small size parks throughout the city.

Ports and Shore points

Located about from the city's urban area, the region has enough coastline helping its economy either through tourism or trade. 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 .

A port city to be built near Nizampatnam in Guntur District. This is part of a major renovation of the Nizampatnam Harbour. The development of this harbour will enable the Guntur region to be a major port player, with direct access to exports and imports to, around the world Projects Today, Yahoo News

Suryalanka is a tourist shore point south of Guntur City, with all desirable features of a sea shore. It has good facilities for the stay and entertainment of visitors.

Transportation

Highways/roadways

The city is the regional headquarters of the State Road Transport System. It is connected to all the major cities of the country through various national and state highways. There are a couple of major highways such as MadrasGunturKolkata highway and the GunturNagarjuna SagarHyderabad highway (which can take to other major routes like Mumbai and Delhi). Within the city the traffic primarily flows using the inner, outer ring-roads, few bridges, main roads. Few intersections have traffic signals and video cameras to control and monitor the traffic . Common modes of road transport within the city are buses and auto-rickshaws; antique pedal rickshaws can still be seen. The city is also part of the Golden Quadrilateral system, a major transportation project, under progress.

Trains

Guntur junction is one of the Divisional headquarters(Guntur division) and a major transit point of the Indian Railways System All four "super metro" cities and most state capitals can be accessed through this transit point. 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. The Indian Railways is one of the most convenient and efficient systems of commute for the people throughout India.

Air travel

The closest major airport is located at Hyderabad (4.5 hours travel) with limited international connections. A major international airport is located near Chennai (which is 8 hours by rail from Guntur) operating various airlines throughout the world. A local airport at Gannavaram offers daily flights to Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore City. There is a proposal to build a more practical airport to the south-west of Guntur City .

Academics/education and research

Guntur is one of the first cities to provide higher education and graduate programs in India. The Acharya Nagarjuna University is one of the largest universities in the country, and covers various institutions from 3 districts. There are a number of graduate schools, colleges, and high schools providing basic and higher education (agricultural, arts, bio-med, engineering, management, medical, nursing, pharmaceutical, sciences, technology) in the region. The Guntur Institute of Medical Sciences is one of many premier institutes in the city region. The Vedic University near Guntur specializes in the teaching of Vedic Sciences, other related philosophies, and the Vedanta.

City Affairs

The climate in Guntur City is very tropical in nature, but there are dry spells especially during the winter season, Current Temperature@City The average temperature is warm to hot throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from approximately 16C to 46C (60F to 116F). 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. Summer clothing suffices throughout the year. Local Time at Guntur

Local Cuisine

Guntur City is famous for the food items such as mirchi bajji (mirapakaya bajji), aavakaaya pickle, gongura pickle , with traditional Andhra style meals and common breakfast items such as Idli , pesara/ravva/attu dosa, and puri. There are many hotels that offer varieties of food items (from several regions of India). The common masala stands, jilebi push-carts, sugar cane juice sellers can be noticed in every corner of the city. There are also fast food and pizza outlets. The city has many lodgings, inns and hotels in every corner.

Market

There are numerous markets selling vegetables, fruits, flowers and other commodities throughout the city. Also, many super markets are opening due to an increasingly expanding middle class. The 'Patnam Bazar' area of the city is famous for the wholesale market of many consumer goods. The traditional method of selling vegetables, flowers and other consumer goods using push-carts is still very common and effective. There are special Rythu-Bazars in every corner of the city to sell fresh produce. Locally famous fruits and vegetables include the oval shaped - (unique honey taste) - sapota, mango, Seethaphalam, and Dosakai (cucumber).

Entertainment and events

Motion Pictures/Films are a common form of entertainment in the city as well as in the rest of India. Guntur has many movie theatres that play Telugu, English, and Hindi movies. Though not as popular, traditional drama and theatrical events too have their presence in the city . The Guntur Nataka Rangam, Guntur Cultural Association are premier organizations in the state that promote and conduct theatrical events. During 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/district for entertainment, culture, and history. Suryalanka is the closest beach/shore-point for the city.

Infrastructure and media

Guntur's infrastructure includes state-of-the-art technologies such as high-speed Internet and multimedia for applications such as news, education, etc. News sources, in Telugu, such as (Andhra Jyothi, Eenadu, Vaartha) and those in English, such as, The Hindu (newspaper) are widely used. Some newspaper offices are located within the city. Cable TV news has become another common mode for news information.

Health care

The region of Guntur is one of the best in providing excellent medical and health care facilities on the east coast of India. It boasts major medical facilities (super specialty hospitals) and related research institutions. The General Hospital provides free health care to people across the coastal districts. The Sankar Eye Hospital, Kugler Hospital (more than a century old) 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.

Local governance, The GMC

Both 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.

Law and order

Guntur Range (Andhra Pradesh Police Department) is the regional headquarters of the State Police 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 pending plan to create a High Court bench at Guntur, covering for the coastal districts. Guntur also hosts one of the Indian Army recruitment and training centres. Suryalanka of Guntur Region has an airbase of the Indian Air Force.

Tourism & places of interest

Title Type Location Distance Brief Description Image
Uppalapadu Nature Conservation Bird Sanctuary Guntur City Rural 4 Miles S Bird Refuge, endangered Spot-Billed Pelicans, Painted Storks,.
Viswa Nagar/ Viswamandiram Spiritual Guntur City (Rural Chowdavaram) 8 Miles S-W Sri Viswayogi Viswamji, the Univ. Integration Pillar.
Downtown, City Centers Urban, Parks Guntur City City Parks(M.Sarovar), Archeo.Museum, Brodi-Arundel, Jinnah-Naaz Center and more.
Prakasam Barrage Bridge Guntur District 18 Miles E Bridge built on River Krishna connecting GNT and VIJ/Krishna.
Undavalli caves Ancient caves Guntur Urban/District 15 Miles E Excavated in 4th to 5th centuries A.D., a huge reclining statue of Lord Vishnu.
Amaravathi Ancient, Archaeological, Spiritual Guntur Rural/District 15 Miles N-W Ancient Amareswara temple with swayambhu linga, Mahachaitya stupa of Buddha(200B.C) .
Bhattiprolu Ancient Guntur Rural/District 20 Miles S-W Pratipalapura, earliest known kingdom in the District .
Kotappakonda Trikutaparvatam Ancient, Spiritual Guntur District/Narasaraopeta 25 Miles S-W Three-peaked hill surrounded by other hills named after Trimurti: Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara.
Kondaveedu Historical Fort Guntur Rural/District 17 Miles Built 1400A.D. 21 structures in the fort. Gopinatha temple and Kathulabavi at the foot of the hillock.
Nagarjuna Sagar Dam & Ethipothala Falls Irrigation Dam, Water Falls Nalgonda District 100 Miles N-W Natural Falls and Nagarjuna Sagar massive irrigation project. Place of Acharya Nagarjuna
Seetanagaram Ancient, Spiritual Guntur District 16 Miles N-E On the banks of river Krishna. Rel. to ancient history of Ramayana of last Treta Yuga.
Chebrolu Ancient, Spiritual Guntur Rural/District 10 Miles S Famous for chaturmukha Brahma and Lord Nageswara Swamy. Has a beautiful red stone Nandi.
Ponnur Ancient, Spiritual Guntur Rural/District 25 Miles S Famous for temples with huge monolithic statues of Lord Hanuma etc.

Sports and stadia

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, table tennis hosted regularly. Following is a list of stadiums in the city .

  • Brahmananda Reddy Stadium
  • Tennis clubs
  • Gunta Ground
  • NTR Stadium, Brindavan Gardens
  • Police Parade Ground
  • Prakasam Stadium
  • Public Works Department Ground
  • Zilla Parishad
  • Krishna Cricket Academy

Countryside

  • Chilakaluripet is a countryside of Guntur City. The present prosperous place that is developing in education, arts and business was once called "Chilakala Thota, Rajagari Kota and Purushothamapatnam". The British called the area "Chick pet." Due to the orchards, a number of parrots used to come here and live on the trees. So that this place was once called "Chilakaluri" in the time of the Chilakaluripeta zamindars.
  • Namburu
  • Piduguralla
  • Ponnuru
  • Vadlamudi
  • Chebrolu is a major panchayat comprising three villages Chebrolu, Pathareddypalem and Kothareddypalem. It is a mandal headquarters. Buckingham canal, which passes nearby is used for inland transport and irrigation. It was a regional fort for the Pallavas, Chalukyas and the Kakatiya Empire. Its ancient name was Sambhole (from which 'Chebrolu' is derived). There are famous Chalukya inscriptions. Chebrolu is mentioned in the Yuddamalluni-Vijayawada inscriptions. It became famous during the rule of the Kakatiyas, as a great general Jayapa ruled the Chebrolu fort. Jayapa's sisters were also, married to Ganapatideva, the greatest Kakatiya. Jayapa also wrote a famous book on Indian dance, Nrutyaratnavali.

Trivia

  • Mica (Abhrakam in Telugu/Sanskrit) was first discovered around 2200 years ago in the Guntur region, believed to be by the Great Philosopher Acharya Nagarjuna.
  • Pierre Jules Cesar Janssen (1824-1907) discovered the existence of Helium in Guntur, in 1868, while watching a complete solar eclipse. The unusual length of the eclipse, about ten minutes, had attracted many scientists from all over the world.
  • The only Indian family on the Titanic was from Guntur .
  • Jinnah tower, a commemorative tower for Pakistan's founder Muhammed Ali Jinnah is unique to Guntur in the whole of South Asia.
  • The 30th Kalachakra International Festival took place at Amaravathi of Guntur in the presence of the Dalai Lama during January 2006.
  • Guntur is one of the major textile hubs and a major business district in India .
  • The name of a dormant volcano near Guntur City is Mangalagiri, which is believed to be kept under control through traditional means.

References

See also

External links

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