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A train moving inside Rail cum Road Bridge
A train moving inside Rail cum Road Bridge
Cultural Capital of Andhra Pradesh
Rajamahendravaram is located in Andhra Pradesh
Location of Rajamahendravaram 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
StateAndhra Pradesh
RegionCoastal Andhra
DistrictEast Godavari
Founded byRajaraja Narendra
 • BodyRajamahendravaram Municipal Corporation
 • City164.23 km2 (63.41 sq mi)
 • Metro164.23 km2 (63.41 sq mi)
Area rank3
14 m (46 ft)
 • City540,825
 • Rank108th (India)
5th (Andhra Pradesh)
 • Metro678,199
 • OfficialTelugu
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
533 1xx
Telephone code+91-883
Vehicle registrationAP 05

Rajamahendravaram, is a city in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh located on the banks of the Godavari River in East Godavari district.[5] It is a municipal corporation and also the headquarters of both Rajahmundry Rural and Rajahmundry Urban mandals,[6] administered under Rajahmundry revenue division.[7] As of 2018 census, it is the fifth most populous city in the state, with a population of 540,825.[8]

The city is known for its historic traditional, cultural, agricultural and economic backgrounds[9] and hence, it is known as the Cultural Capital of Andhra Pradesh. One of the longest road cum rail bridges across Godavari River, connects the city with the town of Kovvur.[10] The Kotilingeswar Ghat temple on the banks of Godavari river is one of fifty five Shakti Peethas.[11]


Rajahmundry in its earlier days was called Rajamahendravaram, derived from the Sanskrit name Rajamahendrapuram (The city of King Mahendra).[2] During the British colonial era it was referred to as Rajahmundry. On 10 October 2015, the state government of Andhra Pradesh officially renamed the city with its original name, Rajamahendravaram.[12]


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

The city can be traced back to the rule of the Eastern Chalukya[13] king Raja Raja Narendra, who reigned around 1022 AD, after whom it is named – Rajamahendri or Rajamahendravaram.[14] Remains of 11th-century palaces and forts still exist.[15]

Rajahmundry was established by Ammaraja Vishnuvardhana the First (919–934 AD). Some people[who?] believe in this theory as Vishnuvardhana had the title "Rajamahendra". His predecessor Ammaraja Vijayaditya the Second (945–970 AD) also 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)[16]

after that many zamindaris took over rajahmundry like Raja Gajapathi Raju ( Zamindar of Peddapur), Rao Venkata Rao, Kandregula Venkata Jagannadha Rao, Kalidindi Tirupathi Raju (Zamindar of Mogaltur), Meka Apparao Naidu (Zamindar of Nuzvid). When Meka Apparao Naidu revolted against British in 1784, the British took away estates that nuzvid zamindar posses in Rajamahendravaram from the Zamindari rule and then this estate was taken by Vogeti Zamindari under the rule of Vogeti Apparao Naidu but as an estate but in later times this estates in present day called morampudi, punyakshetram turned ryotwari and vogeti family is given given korukonda, jambupatnam, gummaldoddi, narasapuram estates in rajahmundry taluk, with a ryotwari patta as home farm land with proprietory rights. Later Vogeti Ramakrishnayya garu also bought kapavaram estate from vatsavaya family.

In the Madras Presidency, the district of Rajahmundry was created in 1823.[17] The Rajahmundry district was reorganised in 1859, and bifurcated into the Godavari and Krishna districts. During British rule, Rajahmundry was the headquarters of Godavari district, which was further bifurcated into East Godavari and West Godavari districts in 1925. Rajamahendravaram was renamed Rajahmundry during the British rule. When the Godavari district was split into East and West Godavari, Kakinada became the headquarters of East Godavari.[18]

Rajamahendravaram is acclaimed as the birthplace of the Telugu language – its grammar and script evolved from the pen of the city-born poet Nannayya. Also known as 'Ādi 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.

Rajamahendravaram 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 culture in Andhra Pradesh started in Rajamahendravaram. Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu is known as the father of reforms in Andhra Pradesh. He started a monthly magazine, Vivekavardhini, and a school for girls at Dowleswaram in 1874. The first widow remarriage took place on 11 December 1881. A society with 16 members was started on 22 June 1884, which used to look after widow remarriages in Rajamahendravaram. The town hall in Rajamahendravaram was established in 1890 by Veeresalingam. which increased its greatness by the works of Pothula Veerabhadra Rao garu, whose grandson Kandula Durgesh, Ex-MLC of Rajamahendravaram and also contested for lok sabha seat in 2014 under INC.[citation needed]

Annie Besant visited Rajamahendravaram twice. First, she came when the foundation of a branch of the Divya Gyan Samaj building at Alcot Gardens was being laid. She came again during the opening ceremony of the building.

Ramakrishna Mission was established in 1950–51 near Kambal tank. The place is now the Ayakar Bhavan (Income Tax Office).

Independence movement and Rajamahendravaram: (1885–1905 AD)

Vande Mataram Movement was started in 1905 against the partition of Bengal. Bipin Chandra Paul visited Rajamahendravaram in April 1905 for the same. During his visits to Rajamahendravaram, he used to address the public in "Paul Chowk" (the present-day Kotipalli Bus Stand).

Fort of the Dutch[edit]

Rajamahendravaram was under Dutch rule for some time. In 1602, the Dutch constructed a fort here. In 1857, the British conquered the Dutch. They 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).

Merakaveedhi Telagas[edit]

These merakaveedhi telagas had got prominent importance in history of rajahmundry. They are senathipathis and governor generals of vijayanagara dynasty who came to rajahmundry in 1750s and was gievn merakaveedhi (upland street) that starts right from the main door of Sri Venugopala swamy temple. The family deity of these families is venugopala swamy and are vaishnavas. Even now few of these families possess swords. People from these families also been in military jobs, holding honourable positions like sirdar bahadur and so. Many were also honoured with Order of British India. They engaged in burma wars etc. They are a close knit clan in which marriages are held only in between them. Few of them later rose to greater heights in politics. Few bought zamindaries. They later served as public prosectors, Honorary Magistrates, Munsifs etc. Few great people from these familiesa are. 1.) Vogeti Ramakrishnayya Garu, Honorary Magistrate, Municipal councillor, Proprietor of Korukonda estates, Money lender etc. 2.) Yerra Venkataswamy garu, Subedar, Writer of "Vastugunadeepika" book on ayurveda. 3.) Kanchumarthi Ramachandra Rao garu, Zamindar of Dharmavaram, Municipal councillor, Trustee of Rajahmundry town hall, etc 4.) Muthangi Buchiramayya garu, Zamindar of Nandigama. 5.) Kandula Appayya, Subedar. 6.) Namana Kondalrayudu garu, Tahsildar, Rao saheb title holder. 7.) Kandula Veera raghava swamy naidu, Bar-at-Law, MLA, MLC, Municipal chairman, freedom fighter.


Rajamahendravaram is located at 16°59′N 81°47′E / 16.98°N 81.78°E / 16.98; 81.78.[19] with an average elevation of 14 metres (46 ft). There is 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.[20]


The weather is hot and humid, with a tropical climate and, thereby, 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 heavy monsoon rain at the end of summer, with 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) 29
Average low °C (°F) 19
Average precipitation mm (inches) 3
Source: en.climate-data.org


Historical population
1871 19,738—    
1881 24,555+24.4%
1891 28,397+15.6%
1901 36,408+28.2%
1911 48,417+33.0%
1921 53,791+11.1%
1931 63,526+18.1%
1941 74,564+17.4%
1951 105,276+41.2%
1961 130,002+23.5%
1971 188,805+45.2%
1981 267,749+41.8%
1991 324,881+21.3%
2001 315,251−3.0%
2011 341,831+8.4%

As of 2018 Census of India, the city had a population of 540,825. The total population constitute 266,708 males and 274,117 females — a sex ratio of 1027 females per 1000 males, higher than the national average of 940 per 1000.[21][22] 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%.[3][23]

The urban agglomeration had a population of 678,199, of which males constitute 336,489, females constitute 341,710 —a sex ratio of 1015 females per 1000 males and 42,968 children are in the age group of 0–6 years. There are a total of 556,123 literates with an average literacy rate of 82.50%.[4]

Government and politics[edit]

Rajahmundry Municipal Corporation is spread over an area of 164.03 km2 (63.33 sq mi) with 50 wards.[1][24] The Mayor of the corporation is Pantam Rajini Sesha Sai and the commissioner is Sumit kumar Gandhi[25][26] The Government is planning to construct an Under Ground Drianage system in the city.[27]


Rajamahendravaram is a commercial hub for east and west Godavari districts.[28] It is one of the largest bullion markets in India which consists hundreds of gold, silver and platinum shops throughout the city.


Art and crafts

Damerla Rama Rao Art Gallery, dedicated to the works of the artist Damerla Rama Rao of the city has various paintings by him such as Krishna Leela, Godavari of Eastern Ghats and Milkmaids of Kathiawar.[29]


Nannayya is the earliest known Telugu poet, and the author of the first third of the Andhra Mahabharatam, a Telugu retelling of the Mahabharata. Sri Kandukuri Veeresalingam (1848–1919), a renowned social reformer, is widely considered as the man who first brought about a renaissance in Telugu literature and Telugu people; he is also known to have fought for women's issues.[30] General Sir Arthur Thomas Cotton, (15 May 1803 – 24 July 1899) was a British general and irrigation engineer.[31] Sri Adurthi Subba Rao, Prominent Old-time Director & Producer of Telugu Films. Julia Maitland, a campaigner for "native" education, founded a multilingual school and reading room in the town in 1837.[32]

Music and films

Durga Cinetone was the first south Indian film studio, to be built in Rajamahendravaram in the year 1936 by Nidamarthi Surayya.[33]

The city has produced many well-known artists in the Telugu film industry such as S.V.Ranga Rao, Ali, Raja Babu, Jaya Prada, Sameera Reddy, Sriman, Meghna Reddy, Thotakura Venkata Raju, Uma Pemmaraju, Ramesh, and J. D. Chakravarthy.


Dowleswaram Barrage near Rajamahendravaram on River Godavari
Cotton museum Dowleswaram

The river Godavari and its bridges and the Sir Arthur Cotton Museum[34] are some of the attractions in the city. Rajamahendravaram is a major Hindu pilgrimage site with a number of temples and hosts holy congregations called Pushkaram held once every 12 years —with the last in July 2015, when around 100 millions took bath. The Sir Arthur Cotton Museum in Dowleswaram (beside the barrage) is the only museum for civil engineering in the state.[35]


Godavari Rail Bridges view from PushkharGhat
Rajahmundry Railway station Entrance
Rajahmundry Airport

The bridges across Godavari River are an important transport infrastructure for connectivity such as, the Godavari Bridge,[36] which is the third longest railroad bridge in Asia;[37] and the Godavari Arch Bridge, commissioned on 14 March 1997 for Howrah–Chennai main line.[38] While, the Old Godavari Bridge (The Havelock Bridge) was the earliest of all, built in 1897 and was decommissioned in 1997.[37][39] New 4th Godavari Bridge is expected to ease some traffic through city.[40]


Rajamahendravaram is very well connected to the state and rest of India through NH16 and NH216A.A new Highway from Rajahmundry to Suryapet connects with Hyderabad.


Rajamahendravaram railway station is classified as an A category station in Vijayawada railway division.[41] It is located on the Howrah-Chennai main line of South Central Railway zone.[42] As the city lies in the most prominent train route, several trains passes through Rajahmundry railway station making it more accessible. Trains that passes through Rajamahendravaram station are VskpGaribRath (between Visakhapatnam and Secundrabad), Puri Ypr G Rath( between Puri and Yeshwantpur), Konark Express (between Mumbai and Bhubaneswar), Visakha Express (between Bhubaneswar and Secundrabad), Seshadri Express (between Kakinada and Bangalore), Gowthami Express (between Kakinada and Secundrabad) along with many other trains.


National Waterway 4 was declared on 24 November 2008, which connects the Indian states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and the union territory of Puducherry. It passes through Kakinada, Eluru, Commanur, Buckingham Canal and also part of Krishna and Godavari rivers rivers.[43] It is being developed by Inland Waterways Authority of India, and is scheduled for completion in 2013.[44] But because of the local political leaders failure it is still on paper.


Rajahmundry Airport, situated near Madhurapudi 18 km away from the heart of the city.[45] Jet Airways, Spicejet, IndiGo and TruJet are major airliners. The airport has direct services to Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore. 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.[46] People here are requesting for direct flights to Mumbai, New Delhi for connecting to international flights directly and Ahmedabad for business purpose as both the cities are in same field.But the state government and centre government aren't working on peoples choice. The state government is very keen in developing the airport as a national airport and as an alternative for Visakhapatnam airport during bad climatic conditions.[47]


The primary and secondary school education is imparted by government, aided and private schools, under the School Education Department of the state.[48][49] As per the school information report for the academic year 2016–17, the city has 55,501[50] students enrolled in 244 schools.[51] The medium of instruction followed by schools are Telugu, English.[52][53] The Railway High School in the city has a history of more than hundred years, established in the year 1909.[54]

The city has one of the thirteen regional offices of the Board of Intermediate Education, which administers Intermediate education (10+2) education.[55] The Government Junior College is the only government run junior college, established in 1974 and there are four private-aided, twenty private-unaided colleges in the city.[56]

The Government Arts College was founded more than 150 years ago by the reformer, Kandukuri Veeresalingam Panthulu.[57] The BEd Training Institute is one of the oldest in India. Adikavi Nannaya University was established in March 2006, named after an 11th-century poet, Nannayya.[58] Other major universities in the city include Sri Potti Sri Ramulu Telugu University,[59] Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University,[60] Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Open University Study Center.[61] the city contains nannya university as new era

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Municipalities, Municipal Corporations & UDAs" (PDF). Directorate of Town and Country Planning. Government of Andhra Pradesh. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Municipality Profile". Rajahmahendravaram Municipal Corporation. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Census of India: Search Details". Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Agglomerations and Cities". citypopulation.de.
  5. ^ "New facilities to make Godavari the go-to place". The Hans India. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  6. ^ "East Godavari District Mandals" (PDF). Census of India. pp. 365–366, 409. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  7. ^ "District Census Handbook – East Godavari" (PDF). Census of India. p. 3,16–17. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Andhra Pradesh (India): Districts, Cities, Towns and Outgrowth Wards – Population Statistics in Maps and Charts".
  9. ^ "FM waves to Touch Rajahmundry".
  10. ^ Bhandari, R.R. "Bridges: The Spectacular Feat of Indian Engineering" (PDF). Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers. National Informatics Centre. pp. 11–12. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Where the Ganga flows as Godavari". The Hindu. 8 August 2003. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  12. ^ "Rajahmundry in AP renamed as Rajahmahendravaram – The Times of India". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  13. ^ "19th century coins unearthed from an Andhra Pradesh temple".
  14. ^ "Rajahmundry to get back it's [sic] original name".
  15. ^ "All eyes on Rajahmundry central jail land".
  16. ^ "1000+ Years History (Since 919 AD)". History of Rajahmundry. Rajahmundry.net. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2008.
  17. ^ "Nyapathi Subbarao carved an identity for Telugus".
  18. ^ "Pensioner's paradise Kakinada coming of age".
  19. ^ "Maps, Weather, and Airports for Rajamahendravaram, India". fallingrain.com.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ "22 villages may be included in Rajahmundry soon". The New Indian Express. Rajahmundry. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  22. ^ "Sex Ratio". The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  23. ^ "Chapter–3 (Literates and Literacy rate)" (PDF). Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  24. ^ "New master plan in the offing". The Hans India. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  25. ^ "Mayor Profile". Rajahmundry Corporation. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  26. ^ "Commissioner Profile". Rajahmundry Corporation. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  27. ^ "Rajahmundry Municipal Corporation submits Rs 634 crore DPR on underground drainage".
  28. ^ "Regarding expansion and development of Rajamahendravaram Airport".
  29. ^ "Damerla Rama Rao Art Gallery: a picture of neglect". The Hindu. 11 August 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  30. ^ "'Kandukuri had pragmatic approach to social problems'".
  31. ^ "No Documentary on Cotton".
  32. ^ Letters from Madras, during the years 1836–1839, by a Lady (London, 1843).
  33. ^ Ram, P (2014). Life in India. AnVi. p. 153. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  34. ^ "Museum being spruced for visit of Cotton's great-grandson".
  35. ^ "Saluting Sir Artur Cotton".
  36. ^ "Rail-Cum-Road Bridge to be Illuminated".
  37. ^ a b R.R.Bhandari. "Bridges: The Spectacular Feat of Indian Engineering" (PDF). Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  38. ^ Dayaratnam, P. International Conference on Suspension, Cable Supported, and Cable Stayed Bridges: November 19-21, 1999, Hyderabad. Universities Press. p. 219. ISBN 9788173712715.
  39. ^ Khan, Mukram. "The Havelock Bridge Memorial Stone". Flickr. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  40. ^ "Engineering Tourism". East Godavari district official website. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  41. ^ "Statement showing Category-wise No.of stations" (PDF). Indian Railways. p. 2. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  42. ^ "Railway station to have two more platforms".
  43. ^ Ministry of Shipping (Government of India). "National waterways Declaration". Archived from the original on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  44. ^ Press Information Bureau, Government of India (2 August 2010). "Development Authority for Inland Waterways in India". Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  45. ^ "Rajahmundry airport tops in occupancy rates".
  46. ^ "Gearing up for Big Planes by 2018".
  47. ^ "Rajahmundry airport terminal operational". The Hindu Business Line. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  48. ^ "School Education Department" (PDF). School Education Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 March 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  49. ^ "The Department of School Education – Official AP State Government Portal". www.ap.gov.in. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  50. ^ "Student Information Report". Commissionerate of School Education. Child info 2015–16, District School Education – Andhra Pradesh. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  51. ^ "Student Information Report". Commissionerate of School Education. Child info 2016–17, District School Education – Andhra Pradesh. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  52. ^ Smith, Bonnie G. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195148909. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  53. ^ Bhattacharya, Sabyasachi. Education and the Disprivileged: Nineteenth and Twentieth Century India. Orient Blackswan. ISBN 9788125021926. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  54. ^ "Railway school completes 100 years". The Hindu. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  55. ^ "Regional Offices". Board of Intermediate Education AP. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  56. ^ "List of colleges in Guntur district" (PDF). Board of Intermediate Education. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  57. ^ "Government Arts College receives NAAC certificate".
  58. ^ "Nannaya University developing as top varsity: VC".
  59. ^ "Bifurcation blues in Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University".
  60. ^ "PM Modi clears two more national institutes for AP".
  61. ^ "Open university to set up study centres in Agency".

External links[edit]