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A train moving inside Rail Cum Road Bridge
A train moving inside Rail Cum Road Bridge
Nickname(s): Cultural Capital of Andhra Pradesh[1]
Rajahmundry is located in Andhra Pradesh
Location of Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh
Coordinates: 16°59′N 81°47′E / 16.98°N 81.78°E / 16.98; 81.78Coordinates: 16°59′N 81°47′E / 16.98°N 81.78°E / 16.98; 81.78
Country India
State Andhra Pradesh
Region Coastal Andhra
District East Godavari
Founded by Rajaraja Narendra (king 1022 AD)
 • Body Rajahmundry Municipal Corporation
 • City 228 km2 (88 sq mi)
Area rank 4
Elevation 14 m (46 ft)
Population (2011)[2]
 • City 343,903
 • Rank 128
 • Metro[3] 478,199
 • Official Telugu
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Telephone code +91-883-XXX XXXX
Vehicle registration AP-05

Rajahmundry is one of the major cities in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is located on the banks of Godavari River, in East Godavari district of the state. The city is the divisional headquarters of both Rajahmundry (rural) and Rajahmundry (urban) mandals. It is also one of the two municipal corporations in the district, alongside Kakinada.[4][5] As of 2011 census, it is the sixth most populous city in Andhra Pradesh, with a population of 343,903 and the fifth most urban agglomeration settlement, with a population of 478,199.[2][3]

In its earlier days it was called Rajamahendravaram.[1][6] It is one of the historical cities, famous for political, agricultural, literary, economical, social and cultural backgrounds. Hence, the city is also known as the Cultural Capital of Andhra Pradesh.[7] Asia's second largest road cum rail bridge is on the Godavari River connecting Kovvur and Rajahmundry on the Howrah-Chennai main line.[8]


Portrait of Nannayya
Painting representing historical significance of Rajahmundry city at a wall in Rajahmundry railway station

The city origins can be traced back to the rule of the Chalukya king Raja Raja Narendra who reigned around 1022 AD, after whom it is named Rajamahendri or Rajamahendravaram. Remains of 11th-century palaces and fort walls still exist. However, new archaeological evidence suggests that the town may have existed much before the Chalukyas.

Rajahmundry was established by Ammaraja Vishnuvardhana, the first (919–934 AD). Some people believe in this theory as Vishnuvardhana had the title "Rajamahendra". His predecessor Ammaraja Vijayaditya, the second (945–970 AD) had Rajaraja Narendra (1022–1061 AD) had the same title "Rajamahendra".

Ruler timeline:

  • Raja Raja Narendra (1020–1061 AD):
  • Kakatiya Rule (1323 AD)
  • Reddy and Gajapathi (1353–1448 AD)
  • Vijayanagar
  • Nizam
  • Anglo-French ( -1758 AD)[9]

In the Madras Presidency, the district of Rajahmundry was created in 1823. The Rajahmundry district was reorganised in 1859 into the Godavari and Krishna districts. During British rule, Rajahmundry was the headquarters of Godavari district. Godavari district was further bifurcated into East and West Godavari districts in 1925. Rajamhendravaram was renamed Rajahmundry during the rule of the British, for whom the city was the headquarters of the Godavari district. When the district was split into East and West, Kakinada became the headquarters of East Godavari.

Rajahmundry is acclaimed as the birthplace of the Telugu language—its grammar and script evolving from the pen of the city-born poet, Nannayya. Known also called 'Adi Kavi' (the first poet) of Telugu, Nannayya along with Tikkana and Yerrana, translated the Sanskrit version of Mahabharata into Telugu. Kandukuri Veeresalingam—a social reformer and the author of Rajashekhara Charithra, the first Telugu novel—was also from Rajahmundry.

Rajahmundry was one of the biggest cities in South India in the 19th century. It was the hotbed of several movements during India's freedom struggle and acted as a base for many key leaders. When the Indian National Congress had its first meeting in Bombay (Mumbai), two leaders from Rajahmundry, Nyapathi Subba Rao and Kandukuri Veeresalingam participated in it. Subba Rao, founder of Hindu Samaj in Rajahmundry, was also one of the six founders of India's noted English daily The Hindu.

The rebirth of cultural heritage in Andhra Pradesh started in Rajahmundry. Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu is known as the father of reformations in Andhra Pradesh. He started a monthly magazine Vivekavardhini, a school for girls at Dowlaiswaram in 1874. The first widow marriage took place on 11 December 1881. A society with 16 members was started on 22 Jun 1884, which used to look after the widow marriages in Rajahmundry. The town hall in Rajahmundry was established in 1890 by Veeresalingam.

Anni Besant visited Rajahmundry twice: first when the foundation of branch of Divya Gjyan Samaj building at Alcot Gardens was being laid. She came again during the opening ceremony of the building.

Ramakrishna Mission was established in 1950–1951 near Kambaltank (the place in which present Ayakar Bhavan (Income tax office) was once a part of Sri Ramakrishna Mission only).

Independence movement and Rajahmundry: (1885–1905 AD)

Vandaemataram movement was started in the year 1905 against the partition of Bengal. Bipin Chandra Paul visited Rajahmundry in April 1905 for the same. During his visits to Rajahmundry he used to address the public in "PaulChowk"(the present Kotipalli Bustand).

Fort Gate (Kotagummam)[edit]

The area covering the old-Godavari railway station, statue of Mrityunjaya (Lord Hanuman), statue of Potti Sriramulu and Hotel Ajanta is called Fortgate. Today, the Fortgate is not there, but a wall (only a part) covering the main street (through which elephants, horses etc. were taken for a bath) is found. This wall is slanted on both sides.

During the construction of the Havelock Bridge (named after the then Madras Governor) in 1900 one of the fort walls was demolished. The fort was constructed between the 8th and 11th centuries during the reign of Chalukyas. Today also we can find Kandakam Street (Kandakam – A big canal dug around the fort filled with water to stop the enemy forces from coming into the fort – generally 20 feet (6.1 m) deep and 50 feet (15 m) wide).

The present municipal water works department (formerly Municipal High School) was famous as Ratnangi and Chitrangi palaces. An undergroundway (Sorangamu – The way to escape when enemy forces attack the palace from all the sides.

The fort of the Dutch[edit]

In 1602, the Dutch constructed a fort in Rajahmundry. The British empire converted it into a jail in 1864, and then elevated it to a central jail in 1870. The jail is spread over 196 acres (79 ha) out of which the buildings occupy 37.24 acres (15.07 ha).

Rajahmundry was under the Dutch rule for some time. This fort was constructed nearly two centuries ago. In 1857 the British conquered the Dutch and they converted this big fort into central Jail.


Rajahmundry is located at 16°59′N 81°47′E / 16.98°N 81.78°E / 16.98; 81.78.[10] with an average elevation of 14 metres (46 ft). There is a paddy and sugarcane cultivation in the area. River Godavari flows through the west of Rajahmundry.

The Rajahmundry traps, part of the Deccan Traps, are located on the Godavari river and are of particular interest to geologists.[11]


The climate is mostly hot and humid, with mostly a tropical climate and thereby, with no distinct seasons. The mean maximum temperature is 32 °C. The hottest season is from April to June, with temperature ranging from 34 °C to 48 °C with maximum of 51 °C recorded in May 2002 and May 2007. The coolest months are December and January, when it is pleasant at 27 °C to 30 °C. There is a possibility of heavy rains in the monsoon due to depressions in the Bay of Bengal.

Climate data for Rajahmundry
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 28
Average low °C (°F) 18.5
Precipitation mm (inches) 3
Source: en.climate-data.org


As of 2011 Census of India, the city had a population of 343,903. The total population constitute 169,786 males and 174,117 females — a sex ratio of 1026 females per 1000 males, higher than the national average of 940 per 1000.[2][12] 29,883 children are in the age group of 0–6 years, of which 15,152 are boys and 14,731 are girls—a ratio of 972 per 1000. The average literacy rate stands at 84.28% (male 88.14%; female 80.54%) with 264,653 literates, significantly higher than the national average of 73.00%.[2][13]

The urban agglomeration had a population of 478,199, of which males constitute 236,489, females constitute 241,710 —a sex ratio of 1022 females per 1000 males and 42,968 children are in the age group of 0–6 years. There are a total of 359,051 literates with an average literacy rate of 82.50%.[3]



Arch Bridge

Godavari Arch Bridge[edit]

The bridge, built by the Hindustan Construction Company for the Indian Railways, was designed by Bureau BBR, Switzerland, and checked by Leonard Andrea and Partners, Germany.[14][15] Construction on the bridge began in 1991 and lasted till 1997. It was commissioned for passenger traffic in March 1997 and became fully operational for running trains by the Indian Railways from 2003.

Old Havelock Bridge and New Arch Bridge

Old Godavari Bridge[edit]

The construction of the bridge commenced on 11 November 1897 and opened for traffic on 30 August 1900. The Bridge was named after Sir Arthur Elibank Havelock, the then Governor of Madras. Frederick Thomas Granville Walton served as the Engineer-in-chief assisted by executive engineers R.A. Delanougerede, F.D. Couchman, J.E.Eaglesome.[16] It has 56 spans each of 45.7 metres (150 ft) and is 2,754 metres (9,035 ft) long. Having served its full life span of 100 years, it was decommissioned in 1997, and Godavari Arch Bridge was built as a replacement for the bridge.

Road Cum Railway Bridge[edit]

This Rail Cum Road Bridge is the longest of its kind in Asia and second longest in the world. Its total length 4.732 km (4732 mts).Finished in 1972 and inaugurated by the then President of India, Fakruddin Ali Ahmed, its total construction cost accrued to INR 630 million. Locally it is called Kovvur bridge by people of Rajahmundry, as it connects Rajahmundry city with Kovvur town. It is also important in connecting with agriculturally rich East and West Godavari Districts.

Road Cum Rail Bridge


Rajahmundry Jail Road


Rajahmundry is well connected to all parts of the state. NH-5 passes through Rajahmundry, and has excellent road connectivity to all important places like Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bhubaneswar etc. It is the main transportation hub for both the Godavari districts.


The city is well connected by the railway network. Rajahmundry railway station is one of the important stations in Andhra Pradesh, along the Howrah-Chennai main line.


The recent tourism developments by the government has made excellent platform for Rajahmundry to boast itself as national water-way transport hub. Though the water way transport caters for select few purposes like pilgrimage, tourism etc., the government has huge plans for the future.

National waterways NW-4 has been declared as an Indian National Waterway and is under development. It connects the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and the Union Territory of Pondicherry. It is being developed by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI),[2] and was scheduled for completion in 2013 but rescheduled to be completed positively by 2017 due to inordinate delays in Govt. Decision making!

Rajahmaundry Airport


Rajahmundry Airport, situated near Madhurapudi 18 km away from the heart of the city. Jet Airways and Spicejet are major airliners. A new terminal building was inaugurated on 16 May 2012. Runway is being expanded from the 1,749 m to 3,000 m to facilitate the landing and takeoff of bigger aircraft.[17]


Dowleswaram Barrage near Rajahmundry on River Godavari
Godavari Rail Bridges view from PushkharGhat
Iskcon Temple

The biggest attraction in Rajahmundry is the river Godavari. The three bridges over the river are the longest in South India. There are many ghats for mental recreation. Numerous ghats and parks are along the banks of river.

Rajahmundry is a major Hindu pilgrimage sites, with a number of temples like the Kotilingalu (10 million Sivalingas) temple on the bank of Godavari. It hosts holy congregations called Pushkaram held once every 12 years and considered auspicious to take sin-ridding holy dips—with the last in August 2003, when around 34 million are said to have taken the bath. Krishna temple constructed by the ISKCON foundation on the banks of Godavari.[18] Popularly called as Gowthami Ghat, it is a major attraction for young people as a recreational center.

Sir Arthur Cotton Museum in Dowleswaram (beside barrage) is the only museum for Civil engineering in the state. The Museum houses several rare photographs of Sir Arthur Cotton and of the construction of the dam. The tools used to construct the dam are still preserved here. The Dowleswaram Barrage is an irrigation structure which is built on the lower stretch of the Godavari River before it empties into the Bay of Bengal.

A boat cruise on the attraction along with the City view Godavari River trip. Luxury cruise from Rajahmundry to enjoyed scenic beauty of Gandipochamma Temple,Polavaram Project, Devipatnam,Kolluru(BambooHuts) Pappikondalu(Hills are three in number situated like a wall in the midst of holy river Godavari),Parentalapalli.

Pattiseema is a spot that is 40 kilometres away from the city of Rajahmundry. It is a popular spot among Indian film makers. The main attraction of Pattiseema is the temple on a hill in the centre of the Godavari River. Dindi resort consists of three cottages built over a 'pond' and Haritha Coconut Country Resort

Maredumilli is a thick dense forest with waterfalls and resorts around 70 km from Rajahmundry.

Other destinations include Chitrangi Palace, River Bay Resort, Freedom Fighters Park, Sri Kandukuri Veeresalingam House, Tombs of Sri Kandukuri Veeresalingam & Smt. Kandukuri Rajyalakshmi, Damerla Rama Rao Art Gallery, Gowthami Library, Aryabhatta Science & Technology Society, Rallabandi Subbarao Archaeological Museum and many Kambala park.


Rajahmundry is a commercial hub for east and west Godavari districts. It is a well-known destination for cloth and bullion business. Cloth market in the city is one of the largest markets in India with many co-operative handloom houses. Rajahmundry is home for many cloth merchants.

Rajahmundry is one of the largest bullion markets in India which consists hundreds of gold, silver and platinum shops throughout the city. Important business locations are the Mahatma Gandhi Wholesale Cloth Market (MGC) complex, Thadithota), Mainroad (Fortgate) Market and Devi Chowk.


Local cuisine

Rajahmundry is noted for its traditional Andhra cuisine which include:

  • Mango pickle (aavakaaya)
  • Street-corner carts selling mirchi bhajji and masala carts (a mixture of onions and toasted rice).
  • Pootarekulu is sweet made of thin sugar wafers.
  • The Godavari fish known as 'Pulasa’
  • Mango varieties like banginapalli, rasaalu and kothaplli kobbari
  • Banana variety chakkerakeli

The city has several Udupi vegetarian hotels. There are many restaurants that offer varieties of food items (from several regions of India).

Telugu cinema

First Film Studio of Andhra Pradesh-[1936, Rajahmundry] Telugu Talkie era started with Bakta Prahalada (1931). Andhra was not yet been identified as a competent area for cinema shooting so. The shooting was being done in the places like Kolhapur, Kolkata Studios. In 1936, a studio, by name Durga CineTown

It was started in Rajahmundry. It was started by Nidamarti Soorayya whose father Jaladurga Prasad's name was after it. The first talkie film was shot in Andra Pradesh. Those days, there were only three film studios in south India – two in Chennai and Durga Cinetone in Rajahmundry, He produced films, built three cinema halls in Rajahmundry

Today we find Andhra Bank office in the place once the studio existed. Chittajallu Pullaiah, the first-generation director, had a close association with this studio. Sampurna Ramayanam was the first cinema to be shot there. More than 20,000 ft. reel was shot here, as, sources say. Satyanarayana Vratam, Kasula Peru, Bhaktamarkandeya, Chal Mohana Ranga, Mohini Bhasmasura, were but from this very studio. Durga Cine Town was winded up running short of technical advancement.

Educational institutions[edit]

The Government Arts College, in Rajahmundry was founded more than 150 years ago and is a NAAC accredited (A) Institution. The institutes founded by the great reformer Kandukuri Veeresalingam Panthulu have now grown into large colleges and organisations. SKR Women's college is famous for its campus and teaching facilities. The BEd Training Institute is one of the oldest in India. St. Ann's (EM) School, APPM Model High School, Bala Vigjana Mandir (B.V.M.), Sri Satya Sai Gurukulam,etc. being among the better known schools.

Adikavi Nannaya University is established in March 2006 through the Government of Andhra Pradesh Act No. 28 of 2006 at Rajahmundry. Named after an 11th-century poet Nannayabhatta, who is revered as Adikavi (the first poet) of Telugu literature. Other major universities in the city include Sri Potti Sri Ramulu Telugu University
, Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Petroleum University, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Open University Study Center (govt. college).

Godavari Institute of Engineering & Technology (GIET) was established in 1998 to offer engineering education of world-class standards. BVC Educational Society which was registered on 8 July 1992 under the district registrar, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh. GSL Medical College Rajahmundry Established in 2002 under the aegis of GSL Educational Society, GSL Medical College is one of the top private medical institutions in India. There is also a Godavari Chapter of Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India for those aspiring to have cost and works accountancy as their profession, which provides regular coaching for the ICWA courses since 1993.

Law colleges include GSKM Law College, Veeravalli College of Law, Telugu University, G.M.R. Polytechnic College, Andhra Kesari Junior & Degree College, Government Jr College. Rajahmundry has many more educational institutions and colleges, as well as numbers of schools.

Notable people[edit]

  • Durgābāi, Lady Deshmukh (15 July 1909 – 9 May 1981)Born in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, India was an Indian freedom fighter, lawyer, social worker and politician. She was a member of the Constituent Assembly of India and the Planning Commission of India.
  • Sri Nannayya, (c. 11th century AD) is the earliest known Telugu author, and the author of the first third of the Andhra Mahabharatamu, a Telugu retelling of the Mahabharata.
  • Sri Rajaraja Narendra, (1019–1061) was the Eastern Chalukya king of the Vengi kingdom in South India. Rajaraja was related to the Cholas of Tanjavur by marital and political links. Rajaraja Narendra established the city Rajahmahendravaram (Rajamundry).
  • Sri Kandukuri Veeresalingam (1848–1919), a renowned social reformer, is widely considered as the man who first brought about a renaissance in the Telugu people and Telugu literature; he is also known to have helped women come out of their closets.
  • Champi Basak, owner of a famous chain of bonda stalls.
  • General Sir Arthur Thomas Cotton, (15 May 1803 – 24 July 1899) was a British general and irrigation engineer.
  • Voleti Venkatesvarulu, Most prominent South Indian classical musicians of the 20th century
  • Viswajith Venugopal, prominent South Indian wrestler and racism activist.
  • Sri Adurthi Subba Rao, Prominent Old-time Director & Producer of Telugu & Hindi Films.
  • Julia Maitland, a campaigner for "native" education, founded a multilingual school and reading room in the town in 1837.[19]
  • Jaya Prada, a popular actress of Telugu & Hindi film industry has entered politics and got elected as Member of Parliament from Rampur constituency of Uttar Pradesh as a Samajwadi Party.

Film industry


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Introductory". Rajahmundry Municipal Corporation. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Cities with population of 1 lakh and above" (PDF). censusindia. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. 
  3. ^ a b c "Urban Agglomerations/Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (PDF). censusindia. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. 
  4. ^ "About Rajahmundry". rajahmundry.co.in. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "Krishna District Mandals" (PDF). Census of India. pp. 365–366,409. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Lists of the Antiquarian Remains in the Presidency of Madras, Volume 1. E. Keys, at the Government Press, 1882. p. 21. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "About Rajahmundry". rajahmundry.co.in. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  8. ^ R.R.Bhandari. "Bridges: The Spectacular Feat of Indian Engineering" (PDF). Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "1000+ Years History (Since 919 AD)". History of Rajahmundry. Rajahmundry.net. Retrieved 22 October 2008. 
  10. ^ Maps, Weather, Videos, and Airports for Rajahmundry, India
  11. ^ Ajoy K Baksi. "Rajahmundry Traps: Deccan traps" (PDF). The Rajahmundry Traps, Andhra Pradesh: Evaluation of their petrogenesis relative to the Deccan Traps. Indian Academy of Science. Retrieved 23 October 2008. 
  12. ^ "Sex Ratio". The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "Chapter–3 (Literates and Literacy rate)" (PDF). Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "Godavari Bridge". Structurae. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  15. ^ Sinha, A. K. (2000). "Technical Paper on Design Aspects of the Third Railway Bridge Across Godavari at Rajahmundry". In Dayaratnam, P. Cable Stayed, Supported, and Suspension Bridges. Hyderabad, India: Universities Press. p. 219. ISBN 978-81-7371-271-5. 
  16. ^ Khan, Mukram. "The Havelock Bridge Meorial Stone | Flickr - Photo Sharing!". Flickr. Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  17. ^ "Rajahmundry airport terminal operational". The Hindu Business Line. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  18. ^ "Iskcon Jagad Guru Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada Chanting Books Lectures Quotes Lilamrita Photos". Iskconrajahmundry.com. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  19. ^ Letters from Madras, during the years 1836–1839, by a Lady (London, 1843).
  20. ^ "Tanguturi Suryakumari". IMDb. 
  21. ^ "Friday Review Hyderabad / Tribute : Twinkle toes and a magical voice". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 4 July 2008. Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  22. ^ Harpe, Bill (18 May 2005). "Surya Kumari". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  23. ^ Mahananda (1939) – IMDb
  24. ^ Kacha Devayani (1938) – IMDb

External links[edit]