Andhra Pradesh is one of the 28 States of the Indian Republic. It is India’s fourth State by area and fifth largest by population.
It is situated on the country’s south-eastern coast and bordered by Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Odisha in the north, the Bay of Bengal in the east, Tamil Nadu to the south, and Karnataka to the west.
Andhra Pradesh has the longest coastline of 972 km among all the States of India. Two major rivers, the Godavari and Krishna, run across the State. Geographically, Andhra Pradesh is composed of most of the eastern half of the Deccan plateau and plains to the east of the Eastern Ghat ranges. Now it is divided into three regions. The northern part of the plateau is the Telangana region, and the southern part is known as Rayala Seema. These two regions are separated by the river Krishna. The third region is the coastal Andhra.
The climate of Andhra Pradesh varies considerably, depending on the geographical region. Monsoons play an important role in determining the climate of the State. Summer lasts from March to June. In the coastal plain, the summer temperatures are generally higher than the rest of the State, with temperature ranging between 30°C and 40°C. July to September is the seasons for tropical rains, and the State receives heavy rainfall from southwest monsoon during these months, October and November have low-pressure systems and tropical cyclones from the Bay of Bengal. November to February are the winter months in Andhra Pradesh. As for the historical background, when India became independent from the British rule, the Nizam wanted to retain the independence of the Princely Hyderabad State. But the people of the region launched a movement to join the India Republic. The State of Hyderabad was forcibly joined to the Republic of India.
As per 2011 census, the population of Andhra Pradesh is 84,655,533. The State is home to Hindu saints of all castes, and Hinduism is predominant among 89% of the people, with Islam 9.2% and Christianity 1.35%, However, Islam in Hyderabad, with historical patronizing by the previous rulers, has a strong influence. The literacy rate is 68%, while the male literacy rate 70.3% and female literacy rate 67.4%.
Telugu is the first official language of the State, spoken by 84%, followed by Urdu which is the second official language and is spoken by 9% of the population. Major linguistic minority groups are Hindi and Tamil.
Andhra Pradesh has a Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly) of 294 seats and a Vidhan Parishad (Legislative Council) of 90 members. In the Parliament of India, Andhra Pradesh has 18 seats in the Rajya Sabha and 42 seats in the Lok Sabha.
For economy, agriculture has been the chief source of income for the State’s economy. It is an exporter of many agricultural products. The State is also ranked fifth industrially developed State in India and ranks second in India in terms of mineral wealth. The state has about one-third of India’s limestone reserves, estimated at about 30 billion tonnes.
Andhra Pradesh is promoted by its tourism department as the ‘Kohinoor of India’. It is the home of many religious pilgrim centres including Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in Tirupati. The Bora caves are located in the Ananthagiri Hills of the Eastern ghats near Visakhapatnam. The Belum Caves in Kurnool district have a length of 3,229 metres making them the second-largest natural caves on the Indian subcontinent.
Recently the Telangana issue has come to the forefront. Once-approved by the Parliament of India, the State of Telangana will come in existence with 10 districts, and remaining part with 13 districts will still be called Andhra Pradesh. And Hyderabad (part of Telangana) will be the common capital for both the States for 10 years from its formation.