Saturday, October 17, 2009


Guntur pronunciation (help·info) (Telugu: గుంటూరు, Urdu: گنٹور, Hindi: गुंटूर) is a city and a municipal corporation in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, located 40 miles (64 km) to the north and west of the Bay of Bengal. It is approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 km) to the south of the capital, New Delhi. The city has an estimated population of 818,330 (514,707 as per 2001 census) with an Urban Agglomeration of approximately 1,028,667. Guntur is one of the larger (tier-2) cities in the country.
Guntur is a centre of learning and the administrative capital of Guntur district, which is home of historically significant Amaravati, Bhattiprolu and Sitanagaram monuments. The city is also a centre for business, industry, and agriculture. The region is identified as a major transportation and textile hub in India. Additionally, the Guntur area economy has an agricultural component that is internationally known for its exports of chillies, cotton, and tobacco.

The original Guntur used to be located where the current 'Old Guntur' exists. Over the last 50-100 years, the city has expanded largely to the north, which is called New Guntur [5]. The current size of the city has an inner radius of about 6 miles (9.7 km). The City-region comprises the surrounding suburban and rural areas spanning in all the directions. New townships are mushrooming in these areas.

Guntur Plains: Guntur is located at 16.20°N 80.27°E[8]. It has an average elevation of 33 metres (108 ft) and situated on the plains. There are a few hills in the surrounding suburban areas. The city is located around 40 miles (64 km) to the west of the Bay of Bengal on the east coast of India. The Krishna Delta lies partly in Guntur district. There are other smaller rivers and channels in the region such as Guntur Channel, Chandravanka, Naagileru, Guntur Branch Canal [9] etc.
As quoted in NASA's website [10] "it is typical of the wider deltas along the southeast coast of India (known as the Coromandel Coast). The braided stream channels, broad floodplain, and extensive sandbars suggest that this part of the Krishna River flows through relatively flat terrain and carries a substantial amount of sediment, especially during the monsoon season." Image Website of NASA of the Guntur City and District/Region of India. With the ocean on the top portion of the image, the actual location of the city is on the bottom right side portion of the image.
Rain storms and hurricanes are common in the region during the rainy season, which starts with the monsoons in early June. The hurricanes could occur any time of the year, but commonly between May and November.

As of 2001 India census[11], Guntur had a population of 514,707. Males constitute 50% of the population and females 50%. Guntur has an average literacy rate of 68%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 74%, and female literacy is 62%. In Guntur, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.
The region extends over an area of 11.68 sq. miles, while its population was about 25,000 by 1866 census and 30,183 by 1902 census. By 1961 census Guntur had a population of 187,122. It has grown about six times in its size during these 60 years. Currently the city is estimated to have population of around 800,000 with Urban Agglomeration of approximately 1,028,667.

With the culture and traditions of ageless Sanatana Dharma/Ancient Vedic Civilization (known as Hinduism) and its principles (Sarvē Janā Sukhinō Bhavantu), the Guntur Region had a place for all religions, castes, sects and creeds. One of the purportedly lost tribes of Israel called Bene Ephraim, has a presence in Guntur, with even a Jewish synagogue. Religious faiths such as Islam and Christianity lead a harmonious existence.

Telugu is the main language of communication in the city. One of the earliest/purest forms of Telugu language can be noticed in this region. Other languages such as English and Hindi are used in the city to a minor extent. The culture is vibrant with many festivals (that have been celebrated over thousands of years). Those festivals observed in Guntur with great pomp and splendour are: Deepavali, Krishna-Ashtami, Rama Navami, Sankranti, Sivaratri, Ugadi, Vijaya Dasami, Vinayaka-Chaviti. Also, noticeable are festivals introduced before a few centuries, including Christmas, Eid ul-Fitr, ,Muharram, Ramadan. The 30th International Kalachakra festival was held at Amaravati near Guntur. Many Bhajans are held through the year (eg. Ayyappa Bhajan).

The city's lifestyle has a mixture of both urban and rural with some cosmopolitan element. Like any typical Indian city, the majority of the population is from middle and lower middle class families. With a reasonable cost of living and most basic amenities available, the city attracts people from outside. Guntur's residents wear both Indian style and Western style clothing. The common traditional clothing for women is a Saree, Salwar and for men formally, a Dhovathi or Pancha or casually, a Lungi.

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