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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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 Madras—Guntur—Kolkata highway and the Guntur—Nagarjuna Sagar—Hyderabad 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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.|