It is the country’s eighth largest state, known largely for its historic forts, huge diamond mines and mouthwatering biryani. There is, however, more to Andhra Pradesh than what meets the eye.
Here’s a list of 10 things to know about the state that will surprise you:
1. It is home to the only pillar in the world that stands suspended in air.
Yes, you read that right. A small village in the Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh houses the lesser known, but historical Lepakshi temple. The temple has 70 pillars in all, and one amongst them has been defined by some as a ‘medieval architectural wonder’. Reason? it hangs without any support! Visitors usually test the pillar by passing objects under it. No one has been able to determine the way this was done!
2. The designer of the Indian National Flag was from Andhra Pradesh.
Pingali Venkayya, the Indian freedom fighter who designed the Indian tri-colour was born in Andhra Pradesh.He came up with the design and colours of the National Flag depicting sacrifice, peace and harmony after an extensive research on flags of 30 other countries for five years. Incidentally, the town of his birth – Machilipatnam – also gave muslin cloth traded extensively by ancient greeks from the town its name.
3. Andhra Pradesh also boasts of India’s first ‘premier digital technology institute’.
With an aim to make the state the preferred destination for digital opportunities by 2020, the Andhra Pradesh government has set up the International Institute of Digital Technologies (IIDT)- India’s first digital technology institute. The one-of-a kind institute with state of the art facilities offers everything from courses in cybersecurity and data analytics, to cloud computing, and has been made with the motive of encouraging youngsters to embark on a career in the digital field.
4. The Englishmen called Telugu ‘Italian of the East’
Telugu, the official language of Andhra Pradesh, was referred to by the British as ‘Italian of the East’ because of its poetic lilt, and since, like the Italian language, most Telugu words also end with a vowel sound.
5. The state’s film industry holds the Guinness Record for the largest film production facility!
The Telugu cinemas industry holds the Guinness World Record for the largest film production facility in the world.Not only this, D. Ramanaidu, a prolific film producer from the state holds the Guinness Record for the most number of films produced by a person. He produced around 150 movies in 13 languages.
6. Amaravati, envisioned as the ‘People’s capital’, has a 2,000-year-old history.
A small town in Guntur district, Amaravati has a 2,000-year-old heritage, making it one of the oldest places in Indian history. It was the capital of the Satavahanas during the 2nd and 3rd century BC, and after the fall of kingdoms like Pallava, was captured by Britishers. It also houses many old Buddhist sculptures.
7. It also holds the record for holding the world’s largest banyan tree.
With a canopy of 19,107 sq. m., and branches spread over 8 acres, Thimmamma Marrimanu, a banyan tree in the Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh, holds the Guinness record of being the largest banyan tree in the world. The record that was set in 1989, still remains to be broken.
8. A small village in Andhra is the only place in South India that receives snowfall.
Lambasingi (or Lammasingi), a village in the Chintapalli Mandal of Visakhapatnam district is situated at a 1,000 meters above the sea level. It is the only place in South India which has snowfall and is also nicknamed as the Kashmir of Andhra Pradesh.
9. Andhra Pradesh also has an island that was once a mountain.
A few km from Hyderabad and in the sea, in the state of Andhra Pradesh lies the Nagarjunakonda island, believed to have been formed after a mountain was submerged into the sea. Today, it is a place of Buddhist learning. The island also has the most beautiful waterfalls in the country, and is a breeding ground for crocodiles.
10. The State has given India the most number of its Presidents.
Three out of 13 Indian presidents – Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1962–1967), Varahagiri Venkata Giri (1969) and Neelam Sanjiva Reddy – came from Andhra Pradesh, This gives the state the distinction of having given the country the most number of Presidents in its history as a free nation.