Guntur is a city and a municipal corporation in Andhra Pradesh, located 40 miles (64 km) to the north and west of the Bay of Bengal. Guntur is approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 km) to the south of the national capital, New Delhi and 266 kilometres (165 mi) south east of state capital, Hyderabad. The city has a population of 651,382 (as per 2011 census). During the year 2012 the city limits have been expanded by merging ten surrounding villages into the corporation and the population of the city has increased to more than 7.5 lakhs with an urban agglomeration around 0.9 million. It is the fourth largest city in the state by the size of population and third by the area of the city.
Guntur is a centre of learning and the administrative capital of Guntur district, which is home of historically significant Amaravati, Undavalli caves, Kondavid Fort 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.
History of Guntur
The Kingdom of (Bhattiprolu) in Guntur district circa 500 BC, appears to be the earliest known kingdom in south India. The earliest recorded reference of Guntur comes from the Idern plates of Ammaraja I (922-929 CE), the Vengi Chalukyan king. Guntur also appears in two other inscriptions dated 1147 CE and 1158 CE. The original Sanskrit (ancient Vedic culture/tradition) name for Guntur was Garthapuri (a place surrounded by water ponds (garta/gunta)).
The 'Agasthyeswara Sivalayam' in the old city is an ancient temple of Lord Siva. There are inscriptions in the temple on stones in 'Naga Lipi' (an ancient script) dating back to about 1100 CE. It is considered one of the famous temples in the city. It is said that Agastya built the temple in the last Treta yuga around the Swayambhu Linga and hence it has this name. The 'Nagals' were said to have ruled the region at that time. The region has been historically known for Buddhism and the first Kalachakra ceremony performed by Buddha himself.
With the advent of the Europeans the city has attained national and international significance. The French shifted their headquarters from Kondavid Fort to here in 1752, probably because of the ample availability of water due to the two large tanks. This settlement formed the nucleus of the modern city.
The Nizam and Haidar Ali too ruled the town till it came under the British in 1788. It was made the headquarters of a district named after it that was abolished in 1859, only to be reconstituted in 1904. The city rapidly became a major market for agricultural produce from the hinterland due to the opening of the railway link in 1890. The expansion continued post independence as well and was concentrated in what is now called "New Guntur". 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 and it is considered as the fourth largest city in the state. On 7/13/2012 a new Government Order was issued adding 10 adjacent villages to be part of the city with 'Greater' status.
Guntur Junction is the major intercity rail station in the city of Guntur. Guntur Junction is located in Guntur District in Andhra Pradesh. It is the central (Hauptbahnhof) station in Guntur city as well as Guntur district.
The Guntur Station is owned by Indian Railways and operated by the South Central Railway. It is also the divisional headquarters of Guntur division. Making an annual revenue of more than 60 million (1.5 million USD), Guntur Junction is the largest and busiest railway station in the Guntur Division. It also offers many facilities such as internet. It has an East Terminal and a West Terminal with large reservation complexes. There are 7 platforms provided for rail services. The platforms are inter-connected through an underground subway system.
How to Reach Guntur
By Road: Guntur is the regional headquarters of the State Road Transport System. It is connected to all the major cities of the country through various national and state highways. There are major highways such as Madras-Guntur-Kolkata highway, Guntur-Nagarjuna Sagar-Hyderabad highway (which can take to other major routes like Mumbai and Delhi) and the Guntur- Vinukonda - Kurnool - Bellary highway. Within the city the traffic primarily flows using the inner, outer ring-roads, few bridges, main roads. Many intersections have innovative traffic signals and video cameras to control and monitor the traffic. Common modes of road transport within the city are cars, motorcycles, buses, and auto-rickshaws; antique pedal rickshaws can still be seen. The city is also a major part of the 60,000 crore Golden Quadrilateral system, a national transportation project that has recently been completed.
By Rail: Guntur junction is one of the Divisional headquarters (Guntur division) and a major transit point of the Indian Railways System. All four metro cities and most state capitals can be accessed through this transit point. Proposed Greater Guntur has the following stations: the Main Station (near Arundelpet and Railpet) and the others at Nallapadu, University-Center(Namburu), New Guntur(Reddipalem). Two other major transit points close to Guntur are: Tenali and Vijayawada with a future plan of running suburban trains in the suburban region. The Indian Railways is one of the most convenient and efficient systems of commute for the people throughout India.
By Air: The closest major airport is located at Hyderabad (4.5 hours travel). A local airport at Gannavaram though not practical to the residents of the city, offers limited flights to places such as Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore. There is a proposal to build a more practical airport to the south-west of Guntur City.
Distance from RVR & JC College of Engineering, Andhra Pradesh to Guntur Junction Railway Station, Station Road East, Sambasiva Pet, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh is 17.2 km and takes around 29 min via NH16.