Featured Image: Borra Caves, Source: famousplacesinindia.in
Disclaimer: Please note that I might miss out many things that you were expecting in this article, but that is only because every state of India is almost like a separate country, and it is simply impossible to talk about everything special about them. So, unfortunately I have to be very selective and precise. Of course I don’t want my articles to end up looking like Wikipedia pages. For that you have (guess what?) Wikipedia !
After the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, we move on to State #1: Andhra Pradesh, which borders the southeastern coast of India.
The official language of AP is Telugu (తెలుగు) , which is the third most spoken language of India. In 2014, the northwestern part of the state got separated as Telangana, and at present both the states of AP and Telangana have a de jure capital, Hyderabad until 2024 at most, after which AP will have a new capital, Amravathi.
The Charminar: iconic mosque with 4 minarets and arches built in 1591 CE and located in Hyderabad, Source: deccanchronicle.com
About the Telugu language:
Telugu consonants, Source: omniglot.com
- There are more native Telugu speakers in the world (79 million) compared to native French speakers (76 million).
- The earliest Telugu poem is from 848 CE.
- Telugu is the only language in the Eastern world, where every word ends with a vowel sound, and is hence called “Italian of the East”.
A palindrome of 40 shlokas (shloka is a Sanskrit word referring to a verse, proverb, hymn or poem that uses a specific meter) in Telugu which when read from beginning to end is the Ramayana and end to start Mahabharata, the two major epics of ancient India.
- The best known classical dance form of Andhra Pradesh is Kuchipudi, which is a dance-drama performance art.
Kuchipudi performance, Source: kostalife.com
- The main form of music here is Carnatic music, which is the predominant genre of Indian classical music associated with the southern part of India.
- The Telugu film industry (also called Tollywood) produces the third largest number of movies in India.
“Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” is the second highest grossing Indian film ever made (270 million USD), and its prequel “Baahubali: The Beginning” is the fifth highest grossing film (100 milion USD).
Telugu food is known for its hot, tangy and spicy taste, and encompasses many non-vegetarian and vegetarian delicacies, as well as desserts. Probably, the most popular one would be the Hyderabadi Biriyani (Biriyani is a South Asian mixed rice dish made with spices, and chicken, mutton, or eggs).
Source: NDTV Food
The Telugu New Year is called Ugadi and happens in spring. There are special New Year dishes that are made on this occasion.
You can find more about mouth-watering Telugu cuisine at this link.
Men in Andhra Pradesh traditionally wear dhoti-kurta and women wear sarees, but there are many different kind of indigenous handloom sarees found in this region. Some of them are Pochampally, Narayanpet, Gadwal and Uppada. You can find a bigger list in this link.
Pochampally Silk Saree, Source: utsavpedia.com
Famous Telugu actor Allu Arjun’s wedding reception, 2011
There are of course innumerable famous personalities from this state, but I would like to name few of them who we are most aware of, both nationally and internationally:
- Pingali Venkayya – designed the Indian national flag
- Sania Mirza – Indian professional tennis player, formerly ranked No. 1 in the women’s doubles rankings
- P.V. Narasimha Rao – 9th Prime Minister of India, often called the “Father of Indian Economic Reforms”
- Pullela Gopichand – former badminton player and current coach for Indian badminton team, who won the All England Open Badminton Championship in 2001
- Koneru Humpy – The youngest woman ever to achieve the title of Chess Grandmaster at the age of 15 years, 1 month, 27 days
- Karnam Malleswari – The first Indian woman in the history of Olympics to win a (bronze) medal in Sydney Olympics 2000, in the field of weighlifting
Karnam Malleswari at the Sydney Olympics 2000, Source: scroll.in
Some interesting facts about Andhra Pradesh:
- Nagarjuna Sagar Dam built across the Krishna river is the world’s tallest masonry dam, with a height of 490 feet and gross storage capacity11.472 billion cubic metres.
- The Nizam of Hyderabad, Mehboob Ali Khan (1866-1911) used to have the largest wardrobe in the world with 124 almirahs, because he never wore the same clothes twice.
Purani Haveli, Hyderabad, Source: Tripadvisor.in
- The APSRTC (Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation) was certified by the Guinness World Records as the corporation having the largest fleet in the world and being the largest bus operator in the world, with 23000 buses.
- The Borra Caves in Araku Valley Region, are the deepest caves in India and are believed to be 150 million years old.
- Lambasingi in the Vishakhapatnam district is a village which is the only place in South India that experiences snowfall.
Lambasingi (“Kashmir of Andhra Pradesh”), Source: vicinito.com
- D. Ramanaidu, a film producer from Andhra Pradesh, has a Guinness World Record for having produced 150 films in 13 languages.
- A small village in the Anantapur district has a temple called Lepakshi temple with 70 pillars, out of which one hangs in air. No one knows how.
- Thimmamma Marrimanu, a banyan tree, again in the Anantapur district, holds the Guinness record of being the largest banyan tree in the world. It has a canopy of 19107 sq.m. and branches spreading over 8 acres.World’s biggest banyan tree, Source: Wikipedia
I hope I have been able to convince you how Andhra Pradesh is unique in its own way. And once again, if you have more information to contribute, feel free to comment or get in touch with me.
Before we depart, here is a timelapse video of Hyderabad to bid a hearty goodbye to Andhra Pradesh: