Visakhapatnam District is North Eastern Coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh . It is bounded on the North partly by the Orissa State and partly by Vizianagaram District, on the South by East Godavari District, on the West by Orissa State and on the East by Bay of Bengal.
HISTORICAL ASPECTS AND ETYMOLOGY
District was originally a part of Kalinga Kingdom but subsequently taken control by the Eastern Chalukyas in the 7th Century, A.D. It was also under the occupation of various rulers such as the Reddy Rajahs of Kondaveedu, the Gajapathis of Orissa, the Nawabs of Golkonda and the Moghal Emperor Aurangazeb through a Subedar and later this territory passed on to French occupation also. The Visakhapatnam District was reconstituted with the residuary portions of Ganjam District namely Sompeta, Tekkali and Srikakulam Taluks in entirety and portion of Parlakimidi, Ichchapuram, Berahmpur retained in Madras presidency. As the passage of time, the reconstituted District was found administratively difficult to function and therefore it was bifurcated into Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam districts in the year 1950.Then district of Visakhapatnam was further bifurcated into Taluks of Vizianagaram, Gajapathinagaram, Srungavarapukota and portion of Bheemunipatnam Taluk were transferred to the newly created Vizianagaram District in the year 1979.
Some centuries ago King of Andhra Dynasty encamped on the site of Visakhapatnam on his piligrimage to Banaras and being pleased with the place, had built a shrine in honour of his family deity called Visakeswara to the South of the Lawson’s Bay . From which the district name has been has derived as Visakheswarapuram which is later changed to Visakhapatnam. Because of waves and currents of the sea supposed to have swept away the shrine into off shore area.
District presents two distinct Geographic divisions such as the strip of the land along the coast and the interior called the plains division and hilly area of the Eastern Ghats on the North and West called the Agency Division. Agency Division covered by the Eastern Ghats with an altitude of about 900 meters with several peaks . Sankaram Forest consists the Mandals of Paderu, G. Madugula, Pedabayalu, Munchingput, Hukumpeta, Dumbriguda, Araku Valley, Ananthagiri, Chinthapalli, G.K. Veedhi, and Koyyuru. Machkhand River which on reflow becomes Sileru, drains and waters the area in its flow and reflow and is tapped for Power Generation. The other division is the plains division with altitude no where exceeding 75 metres watered and drained by Sarada, Varaha and Thandava Rivers and rivulets Meghadrigedda and Gambheeramgedda. Since no major Irrigation system exists significant sub regional agronomic variations exist in this division. Along the shore lies a series of salt and sandy swamps. The coast line is broken by a number of bald head lands, the important of them being the Dolphin’s Nose which had afforded the establishment of Natural Harbour at Visakhapatnam, Rushikonda(v) Polavaram Rock and the big Narasimha Hill at Bheemunipatnam. Administratively, the District is divided into 3 Revenue Divisions and 43 Mandals.
Population of the district is 38.32 lakhs as per 2001 Census and this constituted 5.0% of the population of the state while the Geographical area of the District is only 4.1% of the area of the State. Out of the total population appr. 19.30 lakhs are Males and appr. 19.02 lakhs are Females. The Sex Ratio is 985 Females per 1000 Males. Density of population of 343 per Sq.Km. and Agency area shows lesser Density and plain area with higher density. 39.90% of the population resides in the 10 Hierarchic urban settlements while rest of the population is distributed in 3082 villages.
The literacy rate is 60.0% in the District where 20.02 lakhs literates forming 52.25% of the total population of the District. Male literates constitute 69.7% while female literates forming 50.1%.
Visakhapatnam has diverse climatic conditions in different regions of places.Near Coastal region the air is moist and relaxing, but gets warmer towards the interior and cools down in the hilly areas because of elevation and vegetation. The District has annual normal rainfall of 1202 MM, of which south-west monsoon accounts for 72.0% of the normal.Agency and inland Mandals receive larger rainfall from the South West Monsoon, while Coastal Mandals get similarly larger rainfall from North-East monsoon.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Visakhapatnam is covered by forest more than the one third of the area which are of moist and dry deciduous type. Common species available in forest are Guggilam, Tangedu, Sirimanu, Kamba, Yagisa, Nallamaddi, Gandra, Vepa etc. Bamboo shurbs are sparsely scattered. Agency areas are found suitable agronomically for coffee growth. Hence Coffee plantations have been raised in about 10000 Acres in Chinthapalli, Minimuluru, Devarapalli and Ananthagiri regions. By the forest Department to conserve soil, by the Coffee board to evolve cultures suited to on-traditional areas and by the Girijan Corporation and the I.T.D.A. to wean out tribals from the pernicious practices of “Podu Cultivation. Regarding fauna of the district has a livestock of 12.02 lakhs as per 2003 livestock Census. In the Livestock, Cattle 29.4% Buffaloes 34.8% Sheep 16.5% and Goats 17.3% about wild fauna Boars and Bisons are found in Forest areas of the district and isolated instances of Cheetas and tigers.