Somarama Temple of Gunupudi, Bhimavaram
Second Bardoli of India
|District||West Godavari district|
|Founded by||Chalukya Bhima I|
|• Body||Bhimavaram Municipality|
|• City||25.64 km2 (9.90 sq mi)|
|Area rank||20 (Andhra Pradesh)|
|Elevation||7 m (23 ft)|
|• Density||5,500/km2 (14,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Vehicle registration||AP 37|
Bhimavaram is a city in West Godavari district of the Andhra Pradesh state of India. It is the administrative headquarters of Bhimavaram mandal in Narasapuram revenue division. It is a part of Eluru Urban Development Authority. As of 2011[update] census, it is the second most populous city in the district with a population of 142,184. It is one of the major pilgrimage centers in the state, which is home to Somaramam, one of the five great Pancharama Kshetras.
Along with much of present-day coastal Andhra Pradesh, Bhimavaram was controlled by the Chola dynasty. Under Kulothunga Chola I, Bhimavaram was ruled by his sons who served as viceroys. Stone inscriptions have been found in the town dating from his reign (c. 1096 C.E.).
The name Bhimavaram literally means "the gift of Bhima". According to a legend, in around 890–918 AD, an Eastern Chalukya king named Chalukya Bheema built a Siva temple and laid the foundation to this town. It was originally called "Bhimapuram", but the name gradually changed to "Bhimavaram"; "puram" refers to a dwelling place while "varam" means an endowment in Telugu.
As of 2011[update] census of India, the town had a population of 142,184. The total population constitutes 70,066 males and 72,214 females—a sex ratio of 1031 females per 1000 males. 12,157 children are in the age group of 0–6 years, of which 6,149 are boys and 6,008 are girls—a ratio of 977 girls per 1000 boys. The average literacy rate stands at 83.41% with 1,08,535 literates, significantly higher than the state average of 73.00%. Its urban agglomeration population was 146,961.
Bhimavaram is in the epicentre of the Godavari delta region. It is one of the principal trade centres of paddy in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Agriculture-based businesses like food processing, aqua culture, rice mills etc., are the chief sources of the town's revenue. It serves as a distribution centre as well as commercial centre to its hinterland. The town is the regional centre for higher education and is known for its specialized health services.
Its urban agglomeration covers Bhimavaram municipality, partly out growths of Rayalam (rural) and Chinamiram. It has an area of 26.14 km2 (10.09 sq mi).
Trace of Bhimavaram Municipality Evolution:
- April 1948: Bhimavaram Municipality was established as a third grade municipality.
- August 1963: Upgraded to a second grade municipality in August 1963.
- August 1967: Upgraded to a first grade municipality in August 1967.
- September 1980: Upgraded to a Special Grade Municipality in September 1980.
- September 2011: It was upgraded to 'Selection Grade municipality' in 2011.
- 1 January 2019: Eluru Urban Development Authority created. Bhimavaram became a part of EUDA along with places in West Godavari District.
The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation operates bus services from Bhimavaram bus station. Bhimavaram town railway station is classified as 'A–category' in the Vijayawada railway division of South Central Railway zone. The Gudivada–Bhimavaram section connects it with Visakhapatnam–Vijayawada section of Howrah-Chennai main line.
There are as many as 2,69,137 vehicle owners are licensed according to transport officials in the city. Out of this, about 13,064 are autos, 1236 school buses, 9908 lorries, 11,129 cars, 2,04,728 motorbikes, 2,833 three-wheelers, 15 car travels, and 5 bus travel vehicles.
The nearest airport to Bhimavaram is Rajahmundry Airport, which is 80 km away.
Bhimavaram is famous for the Gunupudi Someswara (Somarama) temple, which is one of the five holy Pancharamas. Built during the 3rd century A.D., the Shiva lingam is known for changing its color according to the lunar month: black during amavasya and white during pournami.
Other notable personalities include Krishnam Raju Gadiraju, K. V. K. Raju, Yellapragada Subbarao in science, mystic Swami Jnanananda, Industrialists B. V. Raju, Byrraju Ramalinga Raju and freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju.
Primary and secondary school education is imparted by government, aided, and private schools of the School Education Department of the state. The medium of instruction followed by schools are English and Telugu.
There are numerous higher educational institutions in and around Bhimavaram. Some of the renowned institutions are S.R.K.R Engineering College, D.N.R Educational Institutions, K.G.R.L Group of Educational Institutions, Sri Vishnu Educational Society, Bhimavaram Institute of Engineering & Technology, Grandhi Varalakshmi Venkatarao Institute of Technology (GVIT), Dr.C.S.N. degree and P.G college.
- List of cities in Andhra Pradesh
- List of municipalities in Andhra Pradesh
- Kolleru Lake
- Kolleru Bird Sanctuary
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