Andhra Pradesh is the third largest state in India. The state was created in 1956 by the integration of the old princely state of Hyderabad with the Telugu speaking regions of the former state of Madras. It occupies about 275,000 sq km of land, and the population is approximately 75 million. The official language is Telugu.
Andhra Pradesh lies on the heights of the
Deccan plateau, and extends to the low-lying coastal region to the east where the
Krishna rivers meet the Bay of Bengal. The terrain features rocks, forests, green fields, lakes and golden beaches, and a number of rivers. The historic city of Hyderabad is the capital. Charminar, Salar Jung Museum, and the mighty
Golconda Fort are among the famous heritage spots in Hyderabad.
Andhra Pradesh was a major Buddhist center and it was part of Emperor
Ashoka's kingdom. The Chalukyas ruled Andhra Pradesh from 7th to the 10th century when the
Cholas took over. In 1713, the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb took control of the state, followed by the Nizams who ruled until independence.
The great attractions of Andhra Pradesh are its beautiful crafts, exquisite remnants of ancient palaces and other structures, vibrant religious festivals, and irresistible delicacies. The chief occupation of 70 percent of the population is agriculture.