East Godavari District which is the largest and the most populous district in the state of Andhra Pradesh, was successively ruled by Mauryas, Sathavahanas, Vishnu Kundins, Eastern Chalukyas, Cholas, Kaktiyas, Musunuri Chieftians, Kondaveeti Reddy Kings, Gajapathis, Kutubshahis and then by the British. It was under the Raj, on April 15, 1925, East Godavari District was formed as per G.O.No.502. East Godavari is the richest district of the state, in terms of GDP, is both the cultural and tourist hub of the state.
River Godavari starts as a trickle at Nasik in Maharashtra. If flows through the States of Marashtra and Andhra Pradesh Pradesh and becomes mighty and majestic at Rajahmundry. It is the largest river in South India. Godavari, with its several Tributaries, occupies 1/10th of the country. Its total length is 1450KMs. In Andhra Pradesh, it flows to an extent of 927 kms.
Legend has it that the seven sages Gowthama, Vasista, Atri, Viswamitra, Kowsika. Bharadwaja and Agasthya (known as Saptha Maharushulu), each tributary is named after the sage whobrought it. At present, Gowthami and Vasista alone are visible. At Rajahmundry is 4 kms wide and at Dowleswaram it is 7 kms wide.
River Godavari inspired Adikavi Nannayya (First poet in Telugu Language ) to undertake translation of Vyasa Mahabharata into Telugu from the Sanskrit original. It was not a mere translation. It was transcreation Nannayya very wisely borrowed the storyline and the ideas from the original and wrote in his own idiomatic way. But unfortunately he died after finishing 21/2 cantos (parvas), Yerrapragada completed the remaining parva closely following parvas in his won imitable style. This poetic trinity is held in high esteem by later poets. Scholar poet Srinadha also lived for many years at Rajahmundry.
The very sight of river Godavari makes one poetical and lyrical. Many imaginative directors like Bapu captured the beauty of Godavari on the celluloid.
A boat ride on the Godavari on a cool tranquil moonlit night is a thrilling and everlasting experience.
BEAUTIES OF GODAVARI
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever’ said Keats. We are all votaries of beauty. When we chance to see a beautiful woman of man, we long to see the comely face of figure again and again, there may bot be any and intention in it. We are that human beauty is evanescent. But not so the beauty of nature. No one knows the age of Godavari. If human beauty is ephemeral, the beauty of Godavari is eternal and unfading. One can sit on river bund on the green carpet provided by Nature, watch the swirling waters and enjoy the gentle cool breeze. Despite doing it daily, one is never tired of it. Many an innovative and imaginative film director successfully exploited the myriad beauties of Godavari and made a feast of it to the cine goers, yet none are a whit bored.
Pattiseema or Pattisam is an ancient and holy place . The Siva Temple is famous.
Mahanandeswaralayam – Ramayyapeta : Is at a distance of 3km from Pattisam.
Gandiposamma Temple : Matru Sree Gandi Posamma is the lpresiding Goddess here. Girijans believe that She will protect them.
Uma Chodeswaraswami Temple, Devipatnam dates back to 11th century, The surroundings of the temple provided and ideal setting for holding Garden dinners (Vana Bhojanam) during Karthik season.
Perantallpalli Vighneswara Alayam: You have to book a boat or launch to go this temple which is at a distance of 5o km from Rajahmundry.
Shakespeare words “Nature is above art” are the manifested when one sees the hills first hand. The real beauty of the River Godavari Seems to lie between the Papi Hills. As you travel towards Papi Hills, you are immediately transported into another World which no poets’s words not artist’s strokes dares to capture, You have to experience it. That is why Shakesperare said ‘Nature is above Art,.
Papi Hills are at a distance of 110 KMs from Rajahmundry. A.P.Tourism Department proveds boat services. If you go once you would like to go again and again.
Is an ancient town with a rich cultural and historical past. It is more than 1000 years old. It was, and continues to be, the cultural capital of Andhra Pradesh. It is also known as Rajahendri, Rajamahendrapuram and Rajamahendravara. Common people call it Rajamandram. Poet nannayya stated that there used to be a Rajamahendravaram. Common people call it Rajamandram. Poet Nannayya stated that there used to be a Rajamahendra Kavindra Samajam in his name.
Kandukuri Veerasalingam, a versatile genius and formidable social reformer, was born here. He was a pioneer writer of excellence. He wrote for the benefit of scholars and students alike. He had many firsts to his credit. Late C.R.Reddy, himself a brilliant scholar and poet, described veeresalingam as the “greatest Andhra of modern times’. He strove all his life for the amelioration of the miserable lot of widows and the downtrodden. He spent every second of his life, every rupee of his hard earnings and every ounce of his energy for the betterment of his fellowmen and women. His chair as well as the table s and books used by him are still preserved in the house were he lived and worked.
One should not miss to seeing Rallabandi Museum, Damerla Ramarao Art Gallery and Gowthami Library. Rallabandi Museum is situated near Godavari Bund. It has huge collection of 6984 books whent it was taken over by the Government of March 1, 1967.
Damerla Art Gallery, is home to many rare paintings by such great artists as Raja Ravi Varma, Damerla Rama Rao and many others. In the good old days, Kings and Zamindars patronized not only scholars and poets but also musicians, painters and dancers. Raja Ravi Varma of Kerala is an internationally renowned painter. His paintings are life like. Such is the power of the brush in the hands of an artist. Damerla Rama Rao is in the same line. He died young but many agree that there is no death for persons like him. Rama Rao lives in his paintings. They brought him undying fame.
Gowthami Library is the second biggest library in the State. Thousands of old and rare books are carefully preserved here. Madhura Kavi Nalam Krishna Rao established a Library in the name of Veeresalingam. Another Library was established in the name of Vasu Rayakavi. Both these Libraries were amalgamated in Gowthami Library in 1920.
Markandeya Swamy Temple is an ancient Siva temple. There are other famous temples in Rajahmundry.
The big Mosque(Pedda Masjid) on the Main Road an ancient mosque.
The road-cum-rail bridge, constructed more than 40 years ago connects both the Godavari Districts. It is said to be the longest in the World. One can see buses, cars and motorcycles going on the road bridge, a train moving slowly on the rail bridge, down below producing a rhythmical sound.
The century old Godavari Rail Bridge (now closed) withstood the ravages of time. It speaks volumes not only for the technical expertise of the engineers of the those days but also the honesty of the Contractors.
Rajahmundry has no beach as in Waltair but it has a big river abutting the town. The river bund is developed and beautified. Men, old and young, women and children often flock there and spend their evenings happily. River culture is slowly packing up and many hotels and resorts have come up to cater to the advanced tastes of their affluent clients.
Iscon Mandir at Gowthami ghat is well worth a visit.
Is part and parcel of the nearby town Rajahmundry. Yet it has not lost its distinct identity. It retains the charm of the village. The Cotton Museum here is worth seeing.
The village Kadiyam, located about 10 km from Rajahmundry, has the largest number of nurseries in the State. Since then, the nurseries have spread to over 6000 acres containing a large variety of fruits and flowers a collection which cannot be found anywhere else. In fact, Kadiyam nurseries are the favored destination of many film directors hoping to pictures their lead actors and actresses in beautiful gardens.
Furthermore, it surprises many that certain plants there can cost up to Rs.20,000/-. The price is minimal when compared to the love and affection with which these flowers and creepers are tended.
In the evenings ladies sell flowers made in several artistic shapes. If the sight of beautiful flowers of all hues is pleasing to the eyes, their gentle aroma is soothing to the mind. ‘A thing of beauty is a joy for ever’ said poet Keats. There are guest houses for comfortable over night stay.
Was formed near cotton barrage. It is an ideal spot for an outing in the evening away from the maddening and deafening rush of a crowded city. It deserves to be developed.
Nature is manifestation of God in all his myriad forms. That is why we in India worship Hills &Rivers, trees and stones and birds and animals as images of God. We see Divinity in everything.
Human nature is essentially selfish, opportunistic and callous. Man is a destroyer. He kills innocent animals & birds and fish for his food. He fells trees fo finding a roof over his head. He harms fellow human beings on account of jealousy and anger. ‘Greed, not need’ is his creed. A tree is useful even after death. An animal may be useful after death. But a human being has no earthly use after death. He becomes an intolerable nuisance and health hard after death.
All of us lead a hurried and worried life. That is inevitable and understandable in this hectic modern age. It is daily race against time.
Diametrically opposite is Mother Nature. It offers many beauties and benefits to an unkind mankind. If You want to see the beauty of Nature in its pristine glory you have to go to Maredumilli forests.
There is the story of a wife asking her husband to see the full moon at 9.PM. The sleepy husband said”Do not disturb me now. We can see it tomorrow mooring”. This may be a story intended to evoke laughter. But that is true of everyone. How many owners of terraced buildings do enjoy the spectacle of a rising sun or a rising moon on a full moon day. We know the piece of commodities abut not the values of life.
Maredumilli is at a height of 1200 meters and therefore the air is cool. Many towns people flock to Maredumilli to enjoy the cool bracing climate and the scenic beauty. During the holy month of Karthik(Lord Siva’s favorite month), the place is flooded with visitors. The Girijan Welfare Department spent Rs.20 lakhs for development of this area. As part of it they have constructed a huge resort near the Horticultural Training Centre (HNTC) farm) which can cater to the Cardamom and rubber are grown her. They also grow rare medicinal plants.
At some places where the forest is thick there will be darkness at noon. An eerie silence scare you. I you are lonely, all you velour seems to slip out of you. If you are lonely, all your velour seems to slip out of you . You feel small and helpless.
The arch with pictures of buffaloes greats you as you enter Maredumilli. The forest Department provides all comforts to visitors in the name of Eco- Tourism.
Nandanavanam is situated at a distance of 3 km from Maredumilli, has many tourist attractions.
Jalatarangini is situated at a distance of 7km from Maredumilli. One can see the beauties of the running brooks here.
Madankunj: You can see here heaven kissing fine trees.
Jungle Star Natural Camp is situated near Madankunj. Here you can experience the thrill of sleeping in the forest, If you spend time in Natural camp.
Rampa, like Maredumilli, is a place of greet scenic beauty. Pinjara Konda is a thick forest area. The waterfall here is a feast for the eyes. It is perennial stream. Here at Rampa the legendary hero Alluri Seetharama Raju carried on his brave fight against the British for liberating our motherland from foreign yoke. He died a martyr for a noble cause and lives in our memory for ever and forever.
Waterfalls here enthrall you. Here, Lord Siva is worshipped as Madugu (Pond) Malleswara Swami as the Siva Lingam is underneath a big stone where there is perennial water currant torching Lingam.
Uppada is a littoral about 16km east of Pithapuram. Every your this village is subject to unabated erosion. To oblige the angry sea and escape its fury, the village moves back inland.
Frank Moraes, the eminent writer and journalist once described the saree as the most beautiful feminine garb in the entire world. He was a much travvelled person and therefore we have to respect his considered opinion.
In and around Uppada there are many families of weares. Weaving is their sole occupation. Men and women work at the loom round the clock without respite. The roaring sound of the undulating waves matches the rhythmical sound produced by the looms.
It is tribute to the skills of these expert weavers that there is growing demand for their sarees even in this age of sophisticated machines.
There is difference in the making of ordinary sarees and what are called Zandhani sarees. Much skillful handi work is required in the making of the letter. It is only on special order that they are made as they have gold and silver layers and lining but are light wear. That is why they cost more.
Congress President Madam Sonia Gandhi as well as also some of the leading film actresses shows preference for Zandhani Sarees.
Hope Island as its name indicates, is the hope and prop of Kakinada. It is nature’s protective shield to the residents of Kakinada against the fury of cyclones. Hope Island is at a distance of 5 Km from Kakinada. It is 17 km long and 2 ½ km wide and is in the shape of crescent. It was formed 200 years ago by the sands washed into the sea on account of Godavari floods.
The inhabitants of Hops Island lead a hopeless life without electricity, educational or medical facilities. It is a pity that after nightfall they have to content themselves by seeing the shimmering city lights of Kakinada.
It is strange but true that inhabitants of Hope Island get fresh potable water even though it is surrounded by sea on all sides.
If the immense potential of the Hope Island is fully tapped, it will become a great tourist attraction thereby, augmenting the material prosperity of its inhabitants.
FAMILY HEALTH CLUB OF GOLLALAMAMIDADA
‘Health is Wealth’ is the age old saying. Without a healthy body and mind, all wealth is useless. Since some years past, people have become health conscious. The result is proliferation of health clubs in cities and big towns. But a Family Health Club in a remote and tiny village like Gollalamamidada is a matter of surprise. Still more surprising is the fact that it has ultra modern facilities not to be found even in their counterparts in towns. It must be said to the credit of the people of Gollalamamidada that its costs of Rupees Five Crores did not deter them.
This Health Club situated in four acres of land has walking track, open auditorium, indoor stadium, swimming pool, gymnasium, training centre for catering and sewing etc., for indigent ladies.
The claim of the organisers of the Health Club that it was established to propagate healthy living through physical exercises and meditation is fulfilled.
A place of natural beauty providing an avid of east for the eyes and for the mind.
‘Haritha Coconut Country Resorts’atDindi in Malkipuram Mandal on the banks of Vasistha Godavari is recent phenomenon. Affluent people are slowly taking to river culture. The Tourist Department as well as Dindi Resorts provide all comforts, conveniences and culinary requirements of tourists.
FINE RESTING PLACE
Water is indispensable for our daily sustenance. It is essential for our drinking and washing. Without water there is no cultivation. There are many places in our State and Country where water is a scarce commodity. But we are very lucky. We have abundance of water everywhere – the vast sea on one side and the tributaries of the Godavari on three sides; paddy fields and coconut trees provide an ocular feast for us. Country Resorts are ready to offer their services to enable you to enjoy the ineffable beauties of the River Godavari.
Konaseema is a natural island. It is a land of coconuts and plantains. Its insular situation is both its boon and bane. For a very long time people here were averse to mobility, because they could afford it. But that is a story of the past.
Agriculture, horticulture and pisciculture are the triple cultures one finds in abundance here. Konaseema is famous throughout India for its Vedic scholars and experts well versed in performing Yajnas and homams. In any language correct pronounciation is essential, much more so in Sanskrit. Scholars say that a mispronounciation of certain words may spell doom. Vedic scholars of Konaseema are admired throughout the country for their impeccable intonation. You hear to a rendering of vedichymns (Panasa) in a chorus by a group of Pundits. You may not know their meaning but you are enthralled. Such is the magical effect of their musical rendering.
Lord Vighneswara was the amanuensis of sage Veda Vysya when the latter dictated the Mahabharatha. It is common knowledge that in a Hindu household any auspicious function, be it cradle ceremony, betrothal, sacred thread ceremony, marriage or house warming ceremony, the function will be commenced only with singing the glory of Lord Ganesa. He is believed to be remover of all obstacles.
Lord Vinayaka’s temple at Ainavilli near Mukteswaram is a fomous temple. Now-a-days it is attracting pilgrims from far and wide. At Mukteswaram, there is the temple of Lord Sive. Mukti means salvation. It is popular belief here that if you worship Lord Siva in this temple, he will bless you with instant salvation. In Razole Taluk, there is the famous Balaji Temple. RyaliJaganMohini Swami Temple is well worth a visit. One should visit VadapalliVenkateswara Swami Temple. The Mosque in Nagaram in RazoleTaluq is famous. Canals flowing glitteringly in the sun, paddy fields on either side of the canal and chirping of lovely birds and heaven kissing coconut trees – this is a familiar sight in Konaseema.
The mighty Godavari at Razole affords a panoramic view and creates an optical illusion of the sky and river meeting far away. Watching the Godavari sitting under the big trees on the river bund near the temple at the ferry point is an indescribable experience.
Ramachandrapuram is East Godavari District is called Kota Ramachandrapuram because of the For (Kota). Empires and Kingdoms and Zamindaries have all become things of the past, but the forts remain as relics of past glory. Ramachandrapuram fort is one such. This fort was built in 1865. There is a beautiful garden in the compound.
As you enter the main fort, the stuffed tigers frighten you. These tiger skins are of the many tigers killed by the old Raja in his hunting expeditions. This fort is so beautiful that throughout the year you can witness shooting of films. The late Raja and Sri Raja Kakarlapudi Gopala Narasa Raju and his son Late S.R.K. Ramachandra Raju served as Municipal Chairmen and legislators. His sons S.R.K. Gopal Babu and S.R.K. Krishna Babu are at present residing in the for. Gopala Babu and his wife Smt. Vijaya Devi served the town as Municipal Chair persons.
SAGARA SANGAMA YATRA
Under the management of Konaseema Tourism and Entertainment Private Limited, A.C.Boatsare plied from Yanam. One can see the littoral villages as also the Abhayaranyam. It takes about 8 hours for the pleasure ride on the river. The big island formed at Brahma Samedyam is a special attraction. Words are no substitute for the actual experience.
In his busy age, we have become accustomed to using plastic etc., and throw it away after use. The Government very wisely banned the use of plastics to save our ecology.
But here in Matlapalem you are served meals on an almond leaf, big spoons are made of Palmyra leaves. Tea in all its glory, is served in cups made of plantain leave.
60 varieties of trees and 108 varieties of birds are in Mada Forest range. There are many facilities provided for the comfortable stay of visitors.
Forests, like rivers are boons conferred by Nature for the benefit of mankind. Thick forests along sea coast or river bund prevent erosion. They help us get rains. They serve as shelters for wild animals and birds. They contain many rare life saving medicinal plants. There are about 34 varieties of trees in Korangi Abhayaranyam.
Every year several migratory birds come here from far off countries for a brief sojourn.
About 32,300 people belonging to 7221 families in 26 villages in the neighbourhood live by fishing and earn about 2 ½ crores every year. The lighthouse built by the British can be seen here. A private firm of Hyderabad organises conducted boat tours called Godavari SagarSangamaYatra with all modern conveniences and comforts.
Pensioners’paradise, second Madras, planned city – these are the pet names of Kakinada which is the headquarters of the East Godavari District. It is the second biggest town in the District next only to Rajahmundry which is the seat of the Principal District and Sessions Judge’s Court. Though it is comparatively of recent origin compared to Rajahmundry, Kakinda has a rich historical past. It was here that the 38th in session of the Indian National Congress was held under the Presidentship of Moulana Mohammed Ali, the famour editor of Comrade. Kakinada is an important seat of learning. The Maharaja of Pithapuram established a College in the year 1884 by donating a large tract of land. The college was named after the Maha Raja. Favouring its takeover it was named Government P.R. College. This college was served by a long line of distringuished Principals and Professors. Rangaraya Medical College and Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University are also famous throughout the State. At present, there are a number of colleges and convents in and around Kakinada.
There is a beautiful beach 3 km from Kakinada. The Kumbhbhisheka Alayam, Port, Shipping Harbour and Vakalapudi Light House are worth seeing.
The Om building which is in the heart of the town is an important land mark. Its unique arehitectural symmetry and beauty are marvellous.
In Sambamurthy Nagar there is Gandhi Mandir which carefully preserves the mementos of Mahatma Gandhi. It is called Gandhi Bhavan. It has a good library with many interesting pictures depicting Gandhi’s life as student, barrister and Satyagrahi. There is a bronze figure of Gandhi in spinning posture.
The 38th Congress was held at Kakinada in December, 1923 in a vast extent of 120 acres. It is at present called Gandhinagar. McLaurin High School is a very famous and old Christian Educational Institution.
Kakinada is famous for its fine arts, thanks to the initiative and drive of late Kommireddy Suryanarayana Murthy Naidu, a prominent public man. Suryakala Mandiram was constructed nearly 100 years ago. Musical concerts are held every year under the aegis of Saraswathi Gana Sabha during Dasara. It is a matter of prestige for any musician of standing to give performance here. Many a fledgling usician who rose to dizzy heights gave a concert here. Sri Rama Samajam, Young Men’s Happy Club and Andhra Seva Sangham are some of the famous institutions of Kakinada.
Baptist Church: Centenary Baptist Church situated in Jagganaickpur is more than a century old. 1904 R.E. Smith of Canada laid the foundation stone for this church. To convey the message of Jesus, this church was established and on January 7, 1906 Rev.John Craze dedicated it to the Worshippers. It was designed by G.S.T. Harris Gothic, then Architect in the Government of Madras. Though it was built more then a century ago, it looks as though it was recently constructed. There are other churches at different places in the town.
District Collectorate: Till 1907 the Collector Office was housed in the present P.R. College building. On Devember 4, 1903, Ampthill, then Governor of Madras laid the foundation for the present Collectorate. It was completed by 1907. The present Collectorate is as strong as granite despite its 100 years. There are other Government buildings in the same compound.
Light House: The oldest light house in the State is situated in Vakalapudi, Kakinada Rural Mandal. It is at a distance of 10 km from Kakinada.
The Maharaja Pithapuram donated 6 acres of land for it. Its construction took 4 years. It was started in 1874. Its height is 23 metres. Its light reaches upto a distance of 23 nautical miles (36 km). By the side of this light house another house was constructed at a cost of Rs. 50 lakhs. There are light houses at Antarvedi and Kandikuppa also.