Chittoor District

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Also known as Chittur, Chittoor district is among the 23 districts of Andhra Pradesh. It lies in the Poini River valley, on the Bangalore-Chennai highway. It is bounded to the north by the district of Cuddapah, Anantapur district is to the northwest, and Nellore district to the northeast. The states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka border the south and west, respectivel. The district has a total area of 15.152 square kilometers and a total population of 3,745,875 as of the Indian census of 2001. Of the population, about 21.65% were urban. The district’s headquarters is the town of Chittoor.

The district was a British military outpost until 1884. Prior to that, its history has been one of ups and downs, particularly for the Dravidian kingdoms. The district’s early settlers were the Kurumbas, known primarily for their cruel and difficult nature. The first king of this dynasty was Komandu Kurumba Prabhu, who divided the region into 24 divisions and installed a fort in each one. In the 8th and 9th centuries, the Kurumba dynasty was suppressed by the Cholas, but the eastern part was still under the rule of the Kurumbe people, under the Yadava dynasty. Other dynasties that followed include the Ballal who flourished in the 11th century, and the Vijayanagar, who appeared during the first half of the 13th century.

When several Mughal refugees came to the region and established the Bahmani kingdom, they made a common cause to destroy the Vijayanagar dynasty. This was accomplished on January 23, 1565 when they finally overpowered the Vijayanagar kingdom and a relative of the deceased Rajah who took over the kingdom sent an invitation to the superintendent of the East India Company at Armegaum to settle within his dominion, which was accepted. In 1640, a small strip of land in the coast was granted, and this became the first ever Indian land possessed by the British.

Starting from 1713, the region became a venue for a power struggle between the Marathas and the Nizams, and it was also during this century that the British defeated the French, dashing the latter’s hope for establishing an empire in the Indian subcontinent. The Nizams signed a treaty with the British, with both parties agreeing to offer aid in return for tribute and land governance. In 1802, the British collector of North Arcot raised the tributes and assumed the management of police throughout the district but was met with a backlash and chaos erupted. On July 6, 1804, a British battalion was ordered to Chittoor to enforce order. A commission group was appointed on September 22, 1804 to settle the affair through peaceful means, and several of the insurgents signed the agreement. Those who continued to rebel were dealt in a more active fashion. The British ruled over Chittoor district until India’s independence in 1947.

Chittoori district is a market center for several agricultural products such as mangoes, grains, and peanuts. It also has several industries, including oilseed and rice milling, as well as ceramics, textile and handicrafts. The district is well accessible by rail and road. The district also has an airport at Tirupati, making it easily reachable by air as well.


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