Tenali (తెనాలి), also known as Andhra Paris, is a town and a mandal in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh, South India. It has a population of 149,839 (2001 census). It is located 16 miles east of Guntur City. Three canals of the Krishna River flow through Tenali making it a part of the rice bowl of Andhra Pradesh. One of the canals is navigable up to Nizampatnam port. Tenali is a major railway junction connecting Guntur, Vijayawada, Repalle and Chennai.
Tenali is known for its rich cultural and literary legacy. It has produced many famous poets, theater artists, scholars, actors and academicians. Because of its contribution to literature, theater, films and education, it is popularly called Andhra Paris. Tenali has contributed a major share of artists to Telugu stage drama. There are quite a few extraordinary artists who later moved on to film industry such as Savithri, Kanchanamala, Kongara Jaggayya, Gummadi Venkateswara Rao, Jamuna, Sarada, Prabha, Divvya Vani,Rajya lakshmi, Sivaparvathi,Mudigonda Linga murty, Dr Govindarajula Subba rao, Vangara venkata subbaiah, Nalani kanth, Tenali Sakunthala, Meesala Bhaskar, Ghattamaneni Krishna, comedian AVS and writer Chinni Krishna. Tummapudi near tenali is the home village of famous painter and philosopher late Sri Sanjeevadev. The present Member of the Legislative Assembly from Tenali Constituency is Nadendla Manohar, who was elected in 2004.
Tenali is located at . It has an average elevation of 11 metres (36 feet). Vijayawada, Guntur, and Tenali are almost equidistant from each other, thirty kilometers apart.
Tenali is located 30 km from the sea coast. It is generally hot and humid during summer with temperatures ranging between 32-45 C. Winters are milder with temperatures between 15 and 23 C. Heavy rains are experienced between July and November during monsoon time.
At the 2001 Indian census, Tenali had a population of 149,839. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Tenali has an average literacy rate of 67%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 72%, and female literacy is 61%. In Tenali, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.
The town thrives on trade and agriculture. The region around the town has fertile soil irrigated by the Krishna river water and its canals. Major crops include lemons, Sugar Cane, Rice, Orange, Sapota (Chickoo), Turmeric and Mango. The main market conducts business in agricultural produce and traditional wares. Tenali is famous for pure gold, jewellery, wood and steel utensils.
With its pivotal location between the commercial towns of Guntur and Vijayawada, many residents in and around Tenali mainly depend on them for livelihood. The town holds a huge middle class, making up more than 90% of the total population. Major source of income is Agriculture with two to three crops around the year.
Tenali is an assembly constituency in Andhra Pradesh
List of Elected Members:
- 1957,1962 Alapati Venkatramaiah
- 1967,1972 and 1978 - Doddapaneni Indira
- 1983 and 1985 - Annabathuni Satyanarayana
- 1989 - Nadendla Bhaskara Rao
- 1994 - Ravi Ravindranadh
- 1999 - Gogineni Uma
- 2004 - Nadendla Manohar
- Tumuluru, 18 kilometers from Tenali, is one of the few Internet villages in India where all village transactions are conducted online.
- Chintalapudi village: A project is undertaken by a voluntary organization called Ashanet that has contributed to the welfare of the village..
- Kancherla Palem is a historical village where famous freedom fighters and philanthropists were born. They have donated valuable properties to temples and erected several Satras across the city.
- Sangam Jagarlamudi (located between Tenali and Guntur): Lord Sangameswara Swamy(Siva) Temple is very popular. This village is also notable because the famous "Sangam Diary" operates from there.
- Bhattiprolu, located twenty-eight kilometers from Tenali, is well known for its Buddhist stupa built in the third century BC. The most ancient known kingdom, ruled by King Kuberaka, in South India had Pratipalapura (Bhattiprolu) as its capital. A variant of Ashokan Brahmi found on the urn containing Buddha's ashes gave rise to Telugu script and many other South India South-East Asian language scripts.
- Katevaram located at 2 km from Tenali: Five temples built during Vijayanagara time still exist.
- Garuvupalem is a small beautiful village 8 kilometers from Tenali.
- SANGAM JAGARLA MUDI IS A FAMOUS &BEAUTIFUL VILLAGE LOCATED 8 KM NORTH TO TENALI THERE A FAMOUS TEMPLE BUILT BY KINGS AND LATER SUPPORTED BY RACHUR ZAMINDER
- There are a good number of famous temples, such as Kanyaka Parameswari temple, Vaikunthapuram (also known as Chinna Tirupathi), Patha Shivalayam, Donga Ramudu Gudi (Near Market), Ramalingeswara Aalayam, Patha Anjaneyaswami gudi, Chitti Anjaneyaswami gudi, Morrispet Shivalayam, Saibaba temple and Appalaswami temple.
- Centre of Tenali is referred as Gadi Bavi, which derives its name from an old well that used to exist there. Gadi Bavi is now a famous marketplace. Legend has it that Donga Ramudi Gudi, next to Gadi Bavi, was built surreptitiously in a single night; hence the name.
- Festivals are celebrated on a grand scale throughout the year in Tenali. The most famous being Sri Rama Navami, where the Pandiri or Pandal stretches over the entire main roads in Tenali, attracting a gathering of about 200,000 people each year. Vinayaka Chavathi, Sri Rama Navami and Deepawali are the main festivals. From Ugadi until Rama Navami, all the main streets are decorated with displays of various gods and goddesses. The celebrations continue for ten days. During the Sankranthi festival, Lord Venkateswara's idol along with those of Lakshmi and Padmavati are taken on a decorated boat in one of the Krishna canals. The procession starts at Vaikunthapuram temple and goes up to VSR and NVR college. On the festive day of Sivarathri a huge jathara/festival will be celebrated in nearby Siva kshetras viz., Sangam Jagarlamudi, Tsundur and Gowada. Edla pandelu (Bull race) is conducted.
- A village named Munnangi (20 km from Tenali) has a Shiva temple with three Lingas in the Sanctum Sanctorum, a rarity.
- Tenali is best-known as the hometown of Tenali Ramakrishna (also known as Tenali Rama), the legendary poet and wit in King Krishna Deva Raya's court.
- Famous scientists from Tenali include late Y. Nayudamma, D. Basavaiah and A. V. Rama Rao. Prominent scientists of India are honoured by Dr. Nayudamma Award. The awardees include Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Dr.M. S. Swaminathan, Prof. Verghese Kurien and Dr. Kota Hari Narayana.
- A famous doctor, Late Dr. Chadalavada Krishnaiah eminently served the people of the town.
- Tenali is also the home town for eminent Bureaucrats such as Late Ch. Umesh Chandra (IPS).
- The village of Jampani (8 km from Tenali) is famous for skilled carpenters, whose wood carvings are sold throughout the state of Andhra Pradesh.
- Burripalem is a village near Tenali and the hometown of famous film artist Krishna and his son Mahesh Babu.
Tenali is well known for its educational institutions.
- Gupta college located near Tenali at a distance of 5 km.
- A.S.N. Degree & PG college.
- V.S.R & N.V.R college is one of the oldest colleges in Andhra Pradesh.
- Tenali Engineering College located near Kolakaluru between Guntur & Tenali
- JMJ (Jesus Mary and Joseph) College is a famous Christian institution for girls
- Sri Rama Rural Gurukula Pathasala, which was started in 1949 in Chilumuru 13 km from Tenali.
- Dr. Kodali Veeraiah Educational Academy.
- Nehru Niketan School is famous for producing talented young generation from the past 30 years.
- Tenali Ramakrishna, Court Poet of Vijayanagar Dynasty
- Kalluri Chandra Mouli, Ex-Minister, Moparru
- Alapati Venkataramaiah, Ex-Minister, Yadlapalli
- Venegalla Sathyam, Ex-Minister
- Tripurineni Ramaswami, Poet and Social Reformer
- Late Tadiparthi Veeraiah. Freedom Fighter and Founder of Shri Rama Temple, Islampet.
- Late Doddapaneni Indira
- Dr.Kodali veeraiah.Ex.MLA.
- Late Kakumanu Sri Ramulu, Founder of Kakumanu Press (1930), Omkara Ashram in 1932.
- Nannapaneni Venkatrao. Nannapaneni sugars & VSR & NVR College
- Alapati Dharmarao, Ex-Home minister. A.P.
- Gattamaneni Krishna. Film actor
- Dr. Venigalla Viswa Mohan Rao, M.S.
- Savithri, Famous South Indian Actress from Chinaravuru
- Alapati Rajendraprasad, Ex-minister.A.P.
- Dr. Gogineni Uma, Ex-MLA
- Dr. Sarada, Ex-MP
- Kongara Jaggayya, Movie Actor
- Dr Y. Nayudamma, Famous Scientist
- Dr.V. Krishna, Ex-VC Andhra University
- Lankapalli Bullaiah, Ex-VC Andhra University
- Avula Sambasiva Rao, EX-VC Andhra University
- Ravi Satyanarayana, Freedom fighter and Ex-Chairman of Tenali Municipality
- Aluri Subba Rao Chakrapani, Famous Telugu film producer and Founder-Editor of Chandamama magazine
- Gummadi Venkateswara Rao, Movie Actor
Annabathuni Trivikram Rao