East Godavari District
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East Godavari is one of the 23 districts of Andhra Pradesh. The district headquarters is the city of Kakinada, which is also classified as a municipal corporation. East Godavari is located in the northeastern part of the state, with its boundaries being the Visakhapatnam district and the state of Orissa on the north, the Bay of Bengal on the east and the south, and the district of West Godavari on the west. The district of Khammam completes the boundary on the northwest.
According to Census of India, there were a total of 4,901,420 people living in the district as of 2001 making it the most populated district in Andhra Pradesh. Since the district has a total area of 10,807 square kilometers, its population density is pegged at 453.7 people per square kilometer. The largest city is Rajahmundry, which is one of the more well-known business centers in coastal Andhra.
The district’s modern history began when Sultan Quli Qutb Shah, the Qutb Shahi ruler of Golconda, came into the coastal region and subjugated it in the 15th century. However, when Mughal empire under the leadership of Aurangzeb started dominating the areas in southern India, he eventually conquered the sultanate of Golconda in 1687, including the East Godavari district (which at that time was part of Golconda), becoming one of the empire’s 22 provinces. The Mughal empire appointed viceroys to watch over its holdings, with Asaf Jah as the Nizam-ul-Mulk (viceory) for the Deccan. However, in 1724, Asaf Jah invaded the Deccan and established the rule of the Nizams of Hyderabad.
When the British came and started to colonize much of India, the Nizams sought to be on their friendly side and as a result, were allowed to still continue with their rule, under the supervision of the British empire. In 1823, the claims of the Nizam were bought outright by the British East India Company. They were incorporated into the Madras Presidency, a province of British India, and the Godavari district was constituted. When India gained its independence in 1947, the Madras presidency became Madras State, which eventually became the new state of Andhra Pradesh in 1953. The district of Godavari was eventually split into two: the East Godavari district and the West Godavari district.
East Godavari is a predominantly agricultural district, and it is famous for it, contributing about 10% of the total food production of Andhra Pradesh. It is the most prosperous district in the state, and is the second richest district in India. The major crop grown is paddy. Other crops grown include maize, oil seeds, sugar cane and pulses such as black gram and green gram. It is also a potentially good candidate for oil and natural gas reserves as many areas in the district’s Godavari basin are identified as being rich sources for oil and natural gas.
The district is well-connected via road and rail, with the National Highway connecting Chennai and Howrah passing through there, as well as the rail line connecting them. The railway junctions in East Godavari are Rajahmundry and Samarlakota. Air-wise, the district’s airport is found at Madhurapudi, in rural Rajahmundry. There are regular flights going to Hyderabad, Chennai and Vijayawada, among others. Kakinada also has a sea port which is primed to be an important port along the coast of India.