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SALIENT FEATURES

        West Godavari District is carved out of old Godavari District as it is the Western delta of the River Godavari, it was appropriately named as "West Godavari", with Headquarters at Eluru and came into existence in the year 1925.

        The Geographical, Topographic, Demographic and other socio economic aspects of the West Godavari District are detailed here under.

BOUNDARIES AND TOPOGRAPHY OF THE DISTRICT

     The District is bounded by the following places and features on all the four sides.

     East : River Godavari

     West: westgodavari District

     North: Khammam District

     South: westgodavari District and Bay of Bengal

The District is situated in tropical region between 16o - 15' -00" to 17o -30'-00" Northern latitude and 80o - 55' -00" to 81o – 55’ – 00” Eastern Longitude. It can be divided into three natural regions viz., Delta, Upland and Agency areas.

SOILS

     The Soils in the District are made up of Alluvial, Black Reger and Red Ferruginous besides a small belt of arenaceous sandy soils along coastal belt. The major types of soils in the District have been devided into 8 types and the percentages of each soil is furnished below.

CLIMATE AND RAINFALL

     In West Godavari District, the climate is moderate both in winter and summer seasons in delta area. In the non-delta area of the district, the heat in the summer is severe especially in the tracts of upland and agency areas. The normal maximum and minimum temperatures recorded in the District are 480C to 190C respectively. The maximum temperature is usually recorded in the months of April and May.

The District receives its rainfall mostly and predominantly from South West as well as North East monsoon, whose normal rainfall is 784.0 mm and 246.0 mm respectively. The receipt of actual rainfall during 2011-12 from South West monsoon is 751.0 m.m, while 46.1 mm from North East monsoon. The agriculture activity in the District is deplorable owing to gambling monsoons, unreliable rainfall and much dependence on tanks, wells and M.I.Sources for irrigation in upland and agency areas.

DEMOGRAPHIC PARTICULARS

     The District occupies an area of 7,742 square K.Ms. with a density of 508 per Sq.K.M. It accounts 2.81 % of the total area of the State. There are as many as 883 Revenue villages exist in the district, of which 845 villages are inhabited while the balance 38 are uninhabited.

     The Physical characteristics, natural resources and potentialities of the mandals in the District are not homogeneous. As per 2011 census, the total population of the District is 39,36,966. It accounts for 4.65 % of the total population of the State. The female population of the District is 19,72,048 and this forms50.09 % of the District and 4.68 % of the State Female Population.

     According to 2011 census, rural population of the District is 31,28,189 and it constitutes 79.46% of the District population and 5.50% to that of State rural population. Similarly, the urban population of the District spread over in 8 towns is 8,08,777 forming 20.54% of the District population and 3.6% of the State urban population.

     As regards community wise population, the SC population of the District is 7,28,963 which is 19.16% of the District population and 5.90% of the State total S.C. Population. Similarly, the S.T. Population of the District is 96,659 and it accounts for 2.54% of the District and 1.92% of the State S.T. Population. The S.C. and S.T. population are based upon 2001 census.

     The decennial growth of population in the District from 2001 census to 2011 census was 3.5 %. The density of population according 2011 census is 508 per Sq.km, whereas it was 308 per Sq.K.M. for the State. The Literacy rate of the District is 74.32% which is higher than the State literacy rate of 67.66%. The sex ratio of the District is 986 females per 1,000 males as against 978 of the State. The number of workers as arrived at in 2011 census is 15,34,166 forming 38.97% of total population of the District and 3.37% of the State population.

COMPARISON OF DISTRICT WITH STATE

     Comprehensive details on all aspects of demography such as population, sex, literacy, work force besides the status of Urban and Rural in terms of population are provided for West Godavari District as compared to State in the statement. Further, community wise population particulars are also specified. The area and production generated under principal crops together with the total cropped and irrigated areas are mentioned compared to State. The potentiality and facilities available under Animal Husbandry, Medical & Health, Electrification and other communication infrastructure are given. The comparative statement reveals the status of West Godavari District as compared to the State under important sectors.

POPULATION STATISTICS OF 2011 AS COMPARED TO 2001 CENSUS

     A Critical analysis of the results of certain major items in population census 2011 is made as compared to the 2001 census with a particular emphasis to identify large decennial variations are specified in table No.1.2.

ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS OF THE DISTRICT

     The District comprises four Revenue divisions viz., Eluru, Kovvur, Narasapuram and Jangareddigudem with 16 Mandals, 12 Mandals, 12 Mandals and 6 Mandals respectively which comes to 46 Mandals, separately for Revenue and Panchayat Raj with effect from 25-05-1985 in place of 12 erstwhile taluks and 16 Panchayat samithies with the objective of bringing the administration to the doorsteps of the people. They started functioning from 15-01-1987. Besides,7 Municipalities and 1 Corporation are in position at Tadepalligudem, Kovvur, Nidadavole, Tanuku, Narasapuram, Bhimavaram and Municipal Corporation, Eluru.

     There are a total of 888 Gram Panchayats including Venkataraipuram township of Tanuku mandal in the district, of which 207 are notified Gram Panchayats and remaining 681 are non notified Gram Panchayats.

MINERALS

     The Economic Minerals that occur in this District are Clay, Quartz, Spernica and Chromite. The total deposits of the Clay are found mostly in Gopalapuram, Chintalapudi and Nallajerla Ex-Panchayat Samithies. The white Clay useful for ceremic production is found available at Dwaraka Tirumala and adjacent Villages. There is no commercial exploitation of the other minerals mentioned above excepting Clay in the District.

INDUSTRIES

     Rice, Sugar, Jute, Ceramic, Oil, Textile, Chemicals, Flour, Food processing, Agarbathi, Brick, Knittings, Coir Industries etc., are the large, medium and Small Scale Industries in the District.

FORESTRY

     The total Forest area in the District accounts for 81166 Hects. forming 10.48% of the total geographical area. The species grown are Bamboos and other wood useful for timber, fuel and other minor forests produce like Adda leaves, Beedi leaves, Soapnuts, Tamarind, Honey and fruits. In Polavaram, Buttayagudem, Jeelugumilli mandals the coverage of area under forest that appear in Pedavegi, Chintalapudi, T.Narasapuram, Lingapalem, Kamavarapukota are of shrub types.

AGRICULTURE

     The net area culltivated forms about 89.80 % of the total geographical area of the district. Out of the net area sown, a large portion of the area is irrigated by the net work of irrigation canals. The irrigation system of the River Godavari, irrigates all the mandals in Delta region, whereas Pendyala, Gutala, Vegeswarapuram pumping scheme irrigates some parts of Kovvur, Nidadavole, Tallapudi, Polavaram, Gopalapuram Mandals. The irrigation system of River westgodavari irrigates entire portion of Eluru, Pedapadu mandals and parts of the area in Denduluru and Bhimadole mandals. In upland tracks, there are irrigation tanks fed by Hill streams besides other number of Tubewells, Dugwells and M.I.Schemes supplements the irrigation sources. On par with East Godavari and westgodavari Districts, West Godavari District is also having the distinction of being Rice Granary of Andhra Pradesh . Paddy forming 60% to 65% of the total area sown with an average yield of 3,597Kgs / Hect. in the district. The other predominent crops also raised in this District are Banana, Sugarcane, Chillies, Coconut, Maize, Tobacco. Oil palm crop area is also increasing day by day due to fulfilling the requirement of "Oil production factory" established in Pedavegi Mandal.

RIVERS

     Godavari is the important river flowing in this district. This river borders the entire eastern boundary of the district. At Vijjeswaram, the river breaks into two branches namely, the Gowthami Godavari (Eastern branch) and Vasista Godavari (Western branch) and flows towards the south of the District before falling into the Bay of Bengal near Antarvedi.

     The other minor rivers which feed the irrigation tanks in the upland areas are Tammileru, Yarrakalva, Byneru, Kovvada Kalva, Jalleru, Rallamadugu and Gunderu etc.

TOURISM POTENTIAL IN WEST GODAVARI DISTRICT

     There is enormous potential for Tourism in West Godavari District, because of its location of religious Monuments/Temples and endowed with rich historical or archaeological heritage. The places of religious temples/institutions and historical / archaeological significance in the District are presented briefly hereunder. All efforts are afoot by the District Authorities for bringing about overall tourism development in the District in view of its vast potentiality and ample scope in this regard.

1. BHIMAVARAM

     Bhimavaram is the Mandal Hqs. The place is noted for a big Naturopathic Hospital located in an extensive garden. Of the several temples at the place, Bhimeswara and Someswara are important. The Sivalingam in the temple of Bhimeswara is said to be Swayambhu Lingam (Self manifested). The Sivalingam in Gunupudi Someswara temple is also siad to be a Swayambhu. The place is one of the five Aramas (Pancharamas), the other four being Amaravathi (Gunturu), Bheemarama near Samarlakota and Draksharamam both in East Godavari and Kshira Ramalingeswara of Palacole in the District.

2. DWARAKA TIRUMALA

     This is a place of Hindu religious importance owing to the temple of Lord Venkateswara which also locally known as “CHINA TIRUPATHI” at a distance of 40 Kms from Eluru.

3. PALACOLE

     Palacole formerly known as Palakota and Palakolanu is situated at a distance of 10 Kms from Narasapur. The most important item of interest in this town is the Kshira Ramalingeswara Temple which is one of the Pancharamas.

4. PATTISAM

     Pattisam is situated at a distance of 25 Kms from Kovvuru Railway Station. It is one of the ancient and sacred places in South India. The religious importance is due to the shrines of Veerabhadra and Bhavanarayana situates on the Devakuta Parvatam overlooking the Papi Hills in the heart of River Gowthami a branch of River Godavari.

5. JUTTIGA AND NATTA RAMESWARAM (DAKSHINA KASI)

     Juttiga & Natta Rameswaram are twin Villages assumed religious importance on account of the temples of Swayambhulingam known as Sri Uma Vasuki Ravi Someswara Swamy at Juttiga Village and the lingam which is made of shells and cones named as Natta Ramalingeswara Swamy at Natta Rameswaram Village. Every “SIVARATHRI” Festival day “Edurukolotsavam” is being celebrated at the border place of two villages. Thousands of Piligrims attend to that celebrations. It is one of the important piligrim centre in the District.

6. PENUGONDA

     It is Mandal Headquarter. The importance of the place is believed to be the birth place of Kanyakaparameswari, the goddess of the Vaisyas. The temple of Kanyakaparameswari is the most important religious institution in the town.

7. PEDAVEGI

     Pedavegi originally known as Vengi. The Capital of the Salankayanas, Vishnukundins and the East Chalukyas and was a flourishing city at the time of Satavahanas. It is a petty village now with a few visible landmarks.

8. KHANDAVALLI

     This village is situated at a distance of 12 Kms from Tanuku. It is a very ancient village situated on the banks of Vasista Godavari. This village is also known as panchalingakshetram owing to the existance of five Sivalingams in the temple of Markandeswara-Mrukandeswara. This strange phenomena of five lingams in a temple is found only at Benarus and Rajahmundry. Hence this place is considered to be of religious importance.

9. TANUKU

     Tanuku is the Headquarters of the Mandal and it is said to be the birth place of Adikavi Nannaya Bhattaraka, who undertook the translation into telugu of Mahabharatha written in Sanskrit by Sage Vedavyasa.

10. KOLLERU LAKE

     Kolllru lake is one of the naturally formed fresh water lake in the country which is partly located in West Godavari District and partly in westgodavari District . Four decades back Kolleru lake is used to be very colourful with 193 varieties of Birds , which migrate every year from October and return March, April, most of the birds visit Kolleru lake flying from distant countries like Egypt , Siberia , Philippines , Arabia, Australia , China Etc. and return to their Native countries with their Offspring’s. Now most of the birds are not coming to kolleru lake due to polluted waters and also from shrinkage of water bed area . Out of the above birds Guda konga is the familiar bird other wise locally known as kolleti konga . It is one of the most beautiful tourist place and Birds sanctuary in the District.      The Supreme court has ordered for restoration of Kolleru lake area removing all the encroachments and making the lake as Birds habitat. Now the Kolleru lake is seen busy with colour full feathers and Chirping birds.

11. JAINISM AND BUDHISM CULTURES WERE ALSO PREVAILED IN SOME PLACES OF THIS DISTRICT

a) JAINISM

     The Temple of Pradhama Teerthankara, named as Adhinadhudu of Jainism at Pedamiram Village near Bhimavaram Town and on a big stone image of sitting posture statue of a Jaina Tirthankara at Penumanchili of Achanta Mandal are samples of existence of Jainism in West Godavari District. In every year Aniversal day of Adhinadhudu at Pedamiram Village is being celebrated on Karthika Poornima day in a grandeur manner.

b) BUDHISM

     The remains of ancient ‘Sangharam’ at Jeelakarragudem, H/o Guntupalli Village of Kamavarapukota Mandal, include a group of Rock-cut Chambers i.e. Caves, remains of a Brick-built Chaitya Hall and many “Sthupas” in different sizes, mostly rock-cut and a few structurals, reveals that Budhism was existed here some centuries ago. This place is picturesquely situated amidst hills of scenic beauty. The history of Guntupalli caves dated back to 200 B.C. Thousands of people are still visiting this historical place. It is believed that the entire development and extension of its growth was during the centuries of 2nd B.C. to 3rd A.D. In the entire Sangharam of this place, either in rock-cuts or in structures, Gowtama Budha picture impressions are not found. So it is evident that “Heenayanam” Budhist culture i.e. early ages of Budhist culture was prevailed in this place.
Hon'ble
Chief Minister
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Sri. Nara Chandra Babu Naidu
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