Rajahmundry (రాజమండ్రి) is a city and a municipal corporation in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh state in the Republic of India. Located on the holy banks of River Godavari, it is the fifth largest city in Andhra Pradesh. It is known as cultural capital of Andhra Pradesh as it has a rich cultural past with a flourishing present and a promising future. At first it was with the Madras Province. The population is 613,347 (agglomeration 708,341) (2006 census). It is located at the top of the Godavari River delta.
Its original name being Rajamahendri or Rajamahendravaram, it was the second capital of many known Kannada Kingdoms. The Chalukya ruler Rajaraja Narendra ruled this city around 1022. The city has traces of 11th century fine palaces and fort walls. However, new archeological evidence suggests that the city may have existed far before the Chalukyas. The original name underwent a gradual metamorphosis with the name changed to Rajahmundry during the British rule.
Nannayya, the poet laureate also called 'Adi Kavi' (The first Poet) of Telugu belonged to this place. He, along with Tikkana and Yerrana, was responsible for the translation of Jaya, Sanskrit version of Mahabharata, into Telugu. Kandukuri Veeresalingam, who was a social reformer and also the author of Rajashekhara Charithra, the first Telugu novel, was also from Rajahmundry. Shri Avasarala Rama Rao, a founding member of the Jana Sangh and leading lawyer in the 60s, was from Rajahmundry.
The city was known as one of biggest city in South India up to 19th century. The city gradually loses its importance after independence due to lack of concentration by local leaders. The city was the centre of revolutions in Andhra during British rule. Many of the major leaders before independence made this city as base for their activities.
Rajahmundry is located at . with an average elevation of 14 metres (45 feet).
The biggest attraction in Rajahmundry is River Godavari. The two bridges are the most attractive long bridges found in Andhra Pradesh. There are many beautiful ghats and parks on the river bank. Sir Arthur Cotton had great plans for Rajahmundry but he decided to build a dam in Dowleswaram due to its proximity to a hill that suited his purpose. The dam consisted of four divisions: Dowleswaram Division, Ryali Branch Division, Madduru division and Vijeswaram division. This was in all long and high. It was a great moment in the life of this great man to achieve this rare feat. Asia's largest rail-cum-road bridge on the river Godavari linking Kovvur and Rajahmundry is considered to be an engineering feat. The First Godavari Rail Bridge was built in the year 1897, under the supervision of Er. Walton, a British Engineer, across the mighty River Godavari connecting East Godavari with West Godavari. Stretching for three kilometres, constructed with stone masonry and steel girders, this bridge served the trains plying between Chennai and Howrah. With the increased traffic in goods and passengers, a rail-cum-road bridge was built a quarter century ago across the downstream of the river. The Dowleswaram bridge across the Godavari is seven kilometres south of Rajahmundry. Rallabandi SubbaRao museum has an amazing collection of artifacts including coins, sculpture, pottery, inscriptions and palm-leaf manuscripts.
It is also one of the Hindu pilgrimages. There are a number of temples here like the Kotilingalu (10 million Sivalingas) temple on the bank of the river Godavari. The city hosts holy congregations called the Pushkaram that takes place only once in every 12 years, which brings together millions of people from all over the country to take a holy dip in the river. It generally lasts for 12 days and people over prayers and make offerings to their departed family members. A huge Krishna temple has been constructed by the ISKCON foundation on the banks of Godavari. Popularly called as Gowthami Ghat, it is a major attraction for young population as a recreational center.
Papi Hills and it surroundings located near Rajahmundry is a visual treat to the spectators. There is a village called Perantala Palli on papi hills, which is visited by every person who goes there, because of its beautiful waterfall. Another spot is Pattiseema. Pattiseema is known for its natural beauty. Many film shootings on R.Godavari happen here. It is also a belief that films shot in this location will be a hit. And Pedapatnam Lanka is a beautiful place. It is called as Konaseema which lustres with greenery. Many places in konaseema are rich sources of oil and natural gas.
Damerla Ramarao Art Gallery (International Art Gallery) , Rallbandi Subbarao Archaeological Museum, Gowthami Library (research), Nedunuri Gangadharam Trust (Telugu Folklore collection) are notable places of Rajahmundry.
Andhra Pradesh's First Super speciality Hospital is also located in Rajahmundry. Founded by Dr AV Subbarao, DM, Cardiologist, SV Heart Care Centre is located in Syamala Nagar, in pristine surroundings. The hospital caters to the needs of heart patients from 3 districts of East and West Godavari districts, Khammam and parts of Orissa and Chattisgarh. The hospital was founded with the main objective of Preventive Cardiology.
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