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Rayalaseema (Rāyalasīma) is a geographic region in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It comprises four southern districts of the state namely, Anantapur, Chittoor, Kadapa and Kurnool. As of 2011[update] census of India, the region with four districts had a population of 15,184,908 and covers an area of 67,526 km2 (26,072 sq mi).
Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh
|• Total||67,526 km2 (26,072 sq mi)|
|• Density||226/km2 (590/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+05:30 (IST)|
|Largest city||Kurnool (by population))|
Kadapa (by area)
The present-day region of Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh was officially referred to as the 'Ceded Districts' ('Datta Maṇḍalālu' in Telugu) under the British Madras Presidency, since the districts had been ceded by the Nizam of Hyderabad to the British.
The local intellectuals found the name 'Datta Maṇḍalālu' to be insulting. In 1928, a strong dislike was expressed from the leaders in the Andhra Mahasabha, held at Nandyal and they sought to rename it.
The region got its name as Rayalaseema with a proposal from Chilukuri Narayana Rao and was accepted. The name Rayalaseema hearkened back to the Vijayanagara times, whose Kings used a suffix Rāya (tadbhava of Sanskrit Rājan) or Rāyalu in Telugu as their title.
Thus, Rāyalasīma means 'the region or extent of Rāyalu rule'. 'Rāyalu' could also refer to Kr̥ṣṇarāya in particular.
During the British era, the Nizam of Hyderabad ceded this area to the British, and hence was called Ceded Districts. Independence, it was renamed as Rayalaseema as 'seema' was an administrative territorial entity of the Vijayanagara Empire similar to today's districts.
The four districts of the region were part of the Madras Presidency until 1953. From 1953–1956, the region was a part of Andhra State and in 1956, the Telangana region was merged with Andhra State to form Andhra Pradesh State. On 2 February 1970, three taluks from Kurnool i.e., Markapur, Cumbum and Giddalur were merged along with some other taluks of Nellore district and Guntur district to form Prakasam district.
In February 2014, the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 bill was passed by the Parliament of India for the formation of Telangana state comprising ten districts. Hyderabad will remain as a joint capital for 10 years for both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The new state of Telangana came into existence on 2 June 2014 after approval from the President of India. The formation of a new state named Telangana from Andhra Pradesh is not considered an amendment to the Constitution of India per article 3 and 4 of that document.
Rayalaseema is rich in minerals – Asbestos, Barytes, China clay, Calcite, Dolomite, Diamonds, Green Quartz, Iron ore, Lime stone and Silica sand. It also has rich forest wealth like the rare Red sandalwood. The Rayalaseema area is prone to drought.Bangalore -Chennai industrial corridor runs through Ananthapur and Chittoor districts with Chittoor,Hindupur-Penukonda,Tirupati,Sricity being major industrial attractions. 
Telugu culture reached its zenith during the Vijayanagara rule under Sri Krishnadevaraya. Amongst Ashta Diggajas, Allasani Peddana, Dhoorjati, Nandi Timmana, Maadayyagari Mallana and Ayyalaraju Rama Bhadrudu are from this region. Poets like Vemana, Sri Potuluri Virabrahmendra Swami from Kadapa district played a great role in educating the common people through their literary works. It is also written by most experts (per Kandukuri Viresalingam etc.) until the 1930s that Pothana, who penned Andhra Mahabhagavatham, actually belonged to Ontimitta village of Kadapa District. Indian philosopher and spiritual teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti and Cattamanchi Ramalinga Reddy – an essayist, poet and educationist are from this region. Yogi Vemana is also a notable poet. Annamayya is from Kadapa District who got settled in Tirupati of Chittor District and composed many songs in praise of Sri Venkateshwara Swamy is of Vijayanagara period and is one of the most famous Carnatic composer in the history of Telugu Literature.
Music and actorsEdit
There are many notable actors in film industry such as, Chitturu Nagayya, Kadiri Venkata Reddy, Pasupuleti Kannamba, Basavaraju Venkata Padmanabha Rao, Chadalavada Kutumba Rao, Mohan Babu etc. Musicians and poets include, Annamayya, Rallapalli Anantha Krishna Sharma, Vellaala Subbamma etc.
Annamayya is a spiritual guru, who wrote songs on Lord Venkateswara, Sri Potuluri Virabrahmendra Swami, Ganapathi Sachchidananda, Satya Sai baba is a spiritual and religious savant, Jiddu Krishnamurtie.
Gandikota is one of the oldest fort dating back to 1123. Belum Caves are the second largest cave in Indian sub-continent and the longest caves in plains of Indian Subcontinent. It is located at Belum Village of Kurnool District. Sri Lankamalleswara Wildlife Sanctuary is the only Sanctuary in the world which provides home for a bird called Jerdon's courser. Gurramkonda, Chandragiri, Horsley Hills, Kuppam and Talakona of Chittoor district.
Thimmama Marrimanu, world's largest banyan tree, covering 5.2 acres (21,000 m2) and 550 years old. It holds a Guinness record. It is situated Near Kadiri, 120 kilometres from Anantapur.
Rayalaseema has many important places of pilgrimage. Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, abode of Lord Venkateswara is the richest and the most visited place of worship in the world. The other being Srisailam, Ahobilam, Srikalahasti, Kanipakam, Kadiri, Rayadurgam, Penna Ahobilam, Mahanandi, Mantralayam, Puttaparthi, Yaganti, Lepakshi, Ontimitta, Bramhamgarimatham etc. Shahi Jamia Masjid in Adoni is one of the oldest constructions in South India, built around 1662 AD by Siddi Masood Khan, Ameen Peer Dargah, a famous Sufi Shrine in India.
Rayalaseema Region has good number of universities, medical colleges, central premiere institutions and deemed universities.
- Sri Venkateswara University
- Sri Krishna Devaraya University
- Yogi Vemana University
- Rayalaseema University
- Dr. Abdul Haq Urdu University
- Dravidian University
- Sri Padmavati Mahila Visvavidyalayam
- JNTU Anantapur
- JNTUA College of Engineering, Pulivendula
- YSR Engineering College of YVU, Proddatur
- Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies, Idupulapaya.
- Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences
- Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Kadapa
- Kurnool Medical College
- Government Medical College, Anantapur
- College of Veterinary Sciences, Proddatur.
sri venkateswara medical college, TIRUPATI
- Indian Institute of Technology, Tirupati
- Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Tirupati
- Indian Institute of Information Technology Design and Manufacturing, Kurnool
- Indian Institute of Information Technology, Sri City.
- Central University, Ananthapur.
Rayalaseema Region is well connected by roads, railways, and airports. Being located away from sea this region doesn't contain sea port.
The rail connectivity is getting better with the projects allocated or being part of the region such as, Nandyal-Yerraguntla, Nadikudi–Srikalahasti, Kadapa-Bangalore sections are the under development projects which forms a part of the region. Most of the region falls under the jurisdiction of Guntakal railway division of South Central Railway zone.
Rayalaseema Region has Thermal as well solar power plants. Rayalaseema Thermal Power Station is located in Kadapa district and Andhra Pradesh government recently sanctioned solar power parks in Rayalaseema districts with a capacity of 4000MW's.Today the state of Andhra Pradesh stood No.1 position in solar power generation with an installed capacity of 1868 MW In India and also offers world's largest solar power park of 1000 MW is also located in Andhra Pradesh.
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, Damodaram Sanjivayya, Kotla Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy, N. Chandrababu Naidu, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and N.Kiran Kumar Reddy are the people who served as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, hail from the Rayalaseema region of the state, with N. Chandrababu Naidu being the incumbent. The region saw as many as 6 chief ministers for the state.
Based on Sri Bagh Pact signed on 15 November 1937, Kurnool was made as the capital of the new state after the division of Andhra state from the Madras state. As per the second State Resolution Commission, capital was shifted to Hyderabad upon the formation of Andhra Pradesh.
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Media related to Rayalaseema at Wikimedia Commons