Situated on the banks of river Godavari, Rajahmundry is a historical city in Andhra Pradesh known for its political, economical, social and cultural background. Rajahmundry is also called as Rajahmahendri by some people and it has rich history behind the name.
Rajahmundry is home for many art forms like dance, painting and music, and a place of phenomenal historic and religious significance. The city is a center for rice, salt, and lumber, which is floated down from the forested hills in the north. It is a manufacturing city and has a paper mill and a crucible factory.
As far as the IT is concerned, Rajahmundry is making rapid strides as it houses many big industries such as ONGC, GAIL, Cairn Energy Systems, Glaxo, Eno and many. It also has big corporate houses and educational institutions. However, the local resellers are crying of not any major orders coming for them from the industries and corporates, as it is centralized with their respective head offices. Rajahmundry is banking mainly on educational institutions, home segment, SOHO and other niche markets. There are 20 major resellers in Rajahmundry and 70-100 PCs are sold every month in the market.
Rajahmundry, part of the east Godavari district, has a hoary past and said to be constructed by the eastern Chalukya ruler Rajaraja Narendra in AD 1022. The town has some traces of fine palaces, fort walls, etc. of the 11th century AD. Nannaya, the poet laureate, who was called `Adi Kavi’ belonged to this place.
The Asia’s largest rail-cum-road bridge on the river Godavari linking Kovvur and Rajahmundry is considered to be an engineering feat. The first rail bridge across the river was built in 1909, during the British rule. There are a number of temples here and the Kotilingala temple on the bank of the Godavari is one of the most important temples. The Godavari Pushkaram, celebrated once in twelve years, attracts a large number of pilgrims from all over the country. At a distance of seven kilometers south of Rajahmundry, there is the Dowlaiswaram anicut across the
It is difficult to know the history of this city before Chalukya’s. Basing on the few proofs gathered by the historians, two theories exist about the origin of
According to the first theory, 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’. While the second theory states, Rajaraja Narendra established the city Rajahmahendrapuram. This theory was based on the statement `Rajamahendrapura sthatha RajarajaNarendra’ (Kavyalankara Chudamani written by
Both the theories didn’t have any archeological proofs. But the proofs in the recent excavations show that this city belongs to the reign even before eastern
The city didn’t have any special history during the Kakatiya rule. In 1323 AD UlgKhan (Muhmad-bin Tughlak) conquered Orugallu (now known as Warangal) and the Kakatiya dynasty came to an end. He conquered Rajahmahendravaram and appointed Gujjar as Governor. The present mosque at the heart of the city was the temple of Sri Venugopala Swamy (built during the period of VengiChalukyas) before Tughlak’s period. It was demolished and was converted into Mosque, and the carvings on the name of Ghiyajuddin Tughlak at the entrance of the Mosque stands as the proof for this statement.
Rajahmundry was in the rule of French, and later by English till India got its freedom. Rajahmundry lost its status as district/region head quarters (which it had from 918 AD) when the headquarters was shifted from Rajahmundry to Kakinada in 1859 AD.
Some memorable years in the Rajahmundry history are 1867 – Establishment of Sub-collector’s office; 1885 – Establishment of secondary grade college; 1893 – Rail-road construction between Rajahmundry and Vijayawada; 1894 – Establishment of goverment training college and 1898 – Establishment of Gowtami Grandhalayam (Library).
The rebirth of cultural heritage in Andhra Pradesh started in Rajahmundry. Before Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu, Muttu Narasimhanaidu (munisif) stated the importance of women education & equal rights to women with men in his book `HitaSuchini’. Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu is known as `The father of reformations in Andhra
Sri Kandukuri Viresalingam Pantulugaru was born in 1848 in Rajamahendravaram (Rajahmundry). He was a scholar and a versatile genius. His command over Telugu, English, and Sanskrit were extraordinary and there is no one parallel to him in this.
Sri Viresalingam used his intellectual treasure as the weapon and battled for women’s equal rights. He was instrumental for a number of widow remarriages. Sri Viresalingam was a social reformer and above all was a leader.Â
Sri Viresalingam strongly believed that the existence of castes in the Hindu society degraded the social infrastructure and he launched the anti-caste movement. He criticized misconceptions, religious misbeliefs, and orthodoxy in his writings. He was the founder of the Brahma Samaj in Andhra Pradesh (reformed form of Hinduism).Â
Annie Besant visited Rajahmundry twice, first time 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.Â
Some of the important places in and around the city are:
Annavaram is at a distance of 72 kms from Rajahmundry and it is a sacred pilgrim center on a hilltop known as Ratnagiri. The presiding deity at Annavaram is Veeravenkata Satyanarayana Swamy. It is believed when Vrata is performed in the name of Satyanarayana Swamy by devotees, their wishes will be fulfilled. It is estimated on an average about one lakh Vratas are performed here every year by couples generally. It is situated on the banks of river Pampa about three kilometers from
Ryali lies at a distance of 25 km from Rajahmundry. It is famous for the temple of Jaganmohini-Kesavaswami. The idol of the deity is beautifully carved on black stone and it is worth seeing for its sculptural beauty and grand appearance.
Draksharamam is a shaivite shrine. It is believed that sage Vyasa who performed penance here named this as Dakshina Kasi (Southern Benaras). Legend has it that the Saptamaharishis (Seven Sages) to achieve the ends of their penance divided the akhanda (unbranched) Godavari river into seven different streams at Draskharama. Bharadhwaja, Viswamitra and Jamadagni streams known as Antarvahinies, were believed to have gone under ground. There is Sapta Godavari Kundam (Seven river pond) near the temple where the devotees bathe. Sivarathri attracts huge crowds of pilgrims.
Simhachalam is known as the `Hill of the Lion’, famous for its 11th century hilltop temple of Lord Narasimha. The deity is always covered with sandalwood paste, giving it an appearance of a sandalwood Shiva Linga. During the Chandanayatra festival celebrated here with great pomp in March-April, the real shape of the deity can be seen.
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