India | Andhra Pradesh

Anantapur District

Anantapur, lying in the westernmost part of Andhra Pradesh, is the largest district with an area of 19,130 sq km. It is bounded by Kurnool District in the north, Cuddapah District in the east, Chittoor District in the south and the state of Karnataka in the west. Anantapur is believed to have got its name from 'Anaantasagaram', a large body of water, which means 'Endless Ocean'. The villages of Anaantasagaram and Bukkarayasamudram were constructed by Chilkkavodeya who was the minister of Bukka-I, a Vijayanagar ruler. Anantapur is popularly known as Hande Anantapuram, 'Hande' meaning 'chief of the Vijayanagar period'. The Vijayanagar rulers had gifted Anantapur and a few other places to Hanumappa Naidu of the Hande family. Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan later ruled over Anantapur.

Dharmavaram, situated 47 km from the district headquarters Anantapur, is famous for its cotton and silk weaving industry. Thimmamma Marrimanu, an amazing 550 year old banyan tree mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records, is 100 km from Anantapur.

Anantapur District is also famous for its historic forts such as Gooty Fort, Rayadurg Fort, Hemavathi Fort and Penukonda Fort. Puttaparthi, the home of Sri Sathya Sai Baba also lies here.

The nearest airport is at Bangalore. The railhead at Anantapur is on the Hyderabad-Bangalore broad gauge line. The best period to make a visit is from September to February.

Religious festivals and fairs that are held throughout the year attract millions of devotees. In accordance with the Agamas, traditional rituals are also observed.

Updated on 7th June, 2005

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