Prakasam District is an administrative district in Andhra Pradesh. The district headquarters is located at Ongole city. The district occupies an area of 17,626 sq km and has a population of 3,059,423 of which 15.28% were urban as of 2001 Census.
Prakasam district was originally constituted on 2 February 1970, carved out of Guntur, Nellore and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh. It was carved out of three taluks of Guntur District, i.e. Addanki, Chirala and Ongole, four taluks of Nellore district, i.e. Kandukur, Kanigiri, Podili and Darsi and three taluks of Kurnool district i.e. Markapur, Cumbum and Giddaluru. It is one of the nine districts in the Coastal Andhra region of Andhra Pradesh.
Martur is famous for its granite units and Tobacco factories and Spinning mills which give emplyoment to over 25,000 laborers and technical engineers. This village pays the highest power bill for its usage. A new Steel factory is under construction where people from Orissa and Rajasthan come to work.Nirmamaheswara swami (Lord Siva) temple is a very old and famous temple in Podili. Chirala also known as andhra mumbai due to the saree & textile marketing shops.chimakurthy is famous for its granite industry which is providing a large sector of employment.
Prakasam Barrage stretches 1223.5 m across the Krishna River connecting Krishna and Guntur districts. The barrage serves also as a road bridge and spans over a lake. The three canals associated with the barrage run through the city of Vijayawada crossing it and giving it a Venetian appearance.
The idea of constructing a dam across the river Krishna dates back to 1798. It began in the hands of captain Buckle and was revised in 1839 and 1841 by captain Best and captain Lake. After the endorsement of Major Cotton, the board of Directors of East India Company approved it on 5 January 1850. The dam was started in 1852 and completed in 1855. Later, the State Government constructed a bridge that was named after Tanguturi Prakasam, the first Chief Minister of Andhra. Completed in 1957 it helps irrigating over 1.2 million acres of land. This barrage also supplies water to Buckingham canal which was constructed as inland navigation canal initially but later used as irrigation water supply canal. One of the first major irrigation projects of South India, the Prakasam Barrage in Vijayawada was completely successful in its mission.
Andhra Pradesh largely owes its rich agriculture to the Prakasam dam as the project facilitated the irrigation of large tracts of farmland. The dam provides views of the lake. It has become a tourist attraction of Vijayawada.