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Medak District is one of the 23 districts of Andhra Pradesh. It is located in the northwestern part of the state. To the north are the districts of Nizamabad and Karimnagar, to the east are the districts of Warangal and Nalgonda, to the south is Rangareddy district and the west is the state of Karnataka. Medak has a total area of 9,699 square kilometers with a population of about 2,670,097 (according to the 2001 Indian census), giving it a total population density of 274 persons per square kilometer. As of 2001, about 14.36% of the population, however, were urban. Literacy rate is also lower than the national average of 59.5%, with only 53.24% of the population literate. Medak’s district headquarters is the first grade municipality of Sangareddy. The capital city of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, is located 100 kilometers south of the district.
The district was originally called Siddapur and since the early times, has been a strategically important region. Not much is known of its ancient history but it is a fact that the region was ruled over by the Devagiri Yadavas and Hoysalas of Dwara Samudram before being taken over by the Kakatiyas. The other rulers of the Medak region were the Satavahana, Western Chalukya, the Qutub Shahi dynasty of the Golcondan empire and the Nizam kings. There is also evidence to suggest that the Romans settled and ruled in the area for some time.
The district is well-known for the multitudes of temples it has adorning the area. These temples, scattered all around the district, depict fine architectural magnificence, reflecting the various kingdoms and empires that have inhabited the region. They are usually regarded as an attraction by the tourists that visit the area, and as important religious symbols by the devout. The more popular temples include the Veerabhadra Swamy temple in the Bonthapally, the Sapta Prakarauta Bhavani Mata temple in Ismailkhanpet and the Koti Ligeshwara Swamy Temple in Siddipet. However, one of the more popular modern tourist attractions/religious buildings is not Hindu, but rooted in Christianity instead. The Medak Catholic Church was built in 1914 by Charles Walker Pasnet and is widely acknowledged to be the biggest church in Southern India. In fact, it is regarded as the single largest diocese in Asia and is the second largest in the world, dwarfed only by the Vatican. It took 10 years to build, and was finally sanctified on December 25, 1924.
The district is mainly agricultural, with about 78% of the population engaged in agriculture or something that is related to it. The major crops in the region are rice, jowar, maize and sugar cane. High-quality teak is also available in Medak, owing to the fact that one-tenth of the district is covered in forests, extending to 97,093 hectares.
The climate in Medak is very tropical, with the summer being particularly hot and dry. Summer extends from March to May, after which the monsoon season comes, which usually brings with it heavy rains until September. From October to November, the rains recede and December to February is marked by winter.