Rajahmundry Town is the biggest town in East Godavari and it is a Divisional Head Quarters. Howrah Madras railway line passes through the town longitudinally and has two railway Stations namely "GODAVARI" and "RAJAHMUNDRY" Road cum Rail Bridge was constructed on river Godavari linking Kovvur and Rajahmundry is considered to be an engineering feat.
It is Asia's Second largest Road cum Rail Bridge. The Town is connected with all Centers of the State with motorable roads. Rajahmundry is first of East Godavari District to became Corporation. Rajahmundry with population of about 3 Lakhs, lying on the left bank of the river Godavari, located on National Highway, 560 Km. away from Chennai(Madras) and 520 Km. from Hyderabad, is not only an ancient town where rich literary activities flourished, but it is also an important commercial center. It came into existence even by 918 A.D.
Rajahmundry town is situated on 17o-1' Northern Latitude, 81o-41' Eastern Longitude. It is on the left bank of river Godavari just above the Head of Delta. The average rainfall is about 1057.2 mm. Rajahmundry Town has a large hinterland comprising of delta of Godavari. Which is blessed with vast agricultural land with irrigation potential.
By virtue of this unique location, Rajahmundry provides a communication link and a Trading Center for the hinter land. Rajahmundry is also large commercial area comprising of wholesale and retail trading centers dealing in Consumer goods, Textiles, Automobile, Agricultural Inputs, Engineering Hardware, Cement, Iron and Steel.
The greatness and celebrity of Rajahmundry as the seat of learning and culture and center of religious and political activities, the meeting place of scholars, poets, learned men, dancers and musicians, that commenced in the days of Vijayaditya Ammaraja--II and his half-brother prince Danamava,reached its zenith in the reign of Rajaraja Narendra and continued till the days of the fall of the Reddy dynasty in the middle of the Fifteenth Century, survives to this day though in a lesser degree. Rajahmundry or Rajamahendravaram as it was called in those days as though all these maintained its high reputation and glory as the seat of Andhra learning and culture. The British used Rajahmundry as “Head Quarters” of Godavari District but subsequently the seat of administration was shifted to Kakinada and the District named as East Godavari. This historical town has been subjected to the process of continuous remodeling through the ages. The variety of its present form is the result of forces which dominated during the successive periods of its history. One can find the motives of town builders, from emperors to sub dividers, reflected in the design they have stamped upon the town. It has a hoary past and is said to have been constructed by the Eastern Chalukya ruler Rajaraja Narendra in A.D. 1022. The town has some traces of fine palaces, fort walls, etc., of the 11th century A.D. Nannaya, the poet laureate, who was called 'Adi Kavi' belonged to this place. There are a number of temples here and the Kotilingala temple on the bank of the Godavari is one of the most important temples. The Godavari Pushkarams celebrated once in Twelve years, attracts a large number of pilgrims from all over the country and world. At a distance of seven kilometers south of Rajahmundry, there is the Dowleswaram anicut across the Godavari.
This area was named after Mr. Bipin Chandra Paul who came to Rajahmundry in April 1907 during the Vandemataram movement. The present Kotipalli Bus Stand was his stage of speeches then. He gave speeches for 5 days continuously at this place. The senior citizens of Rajahmundry who are above 50 years might have known this history. The area covering the Petrol Bunk, Jetty Towers, Bus Stand and the three parks comes under Paul Chowk.
The area behind the District Court is known as Seshaiahmetta. It is said that Rajahmundry was on Panchagiris (Five Hills) and one of them was Sesha Giri (A hill named Sesha) and the place was named after it. But the story according to the historians is quite different. According to them the name of this place took it's transformation from "Sher Sahib Metta" to "Seshaiah metta". Sher Sahib was one of the ruler of Rajahmundry during the Mohammedan rule and the present Old - Post Office building was his residence.
Subramanya Maidanam was known as Police Parade Grounds till 1947 15th August. On the Independence Day Col. D. S. Raju named it as Subrahmanya Maidanam after the name of Dr. Brahmajosyula Subrahmanyam, who was a freedom fighter from Rajahmundry.
In 1565, the Vijayanagara empire came to an end. Many people (most of them being soldiers of the defeated Vijayanagara army) shifted from Chandragiri to this area (near the present Town hall) and settled there. These people belong to Telaga caste. Some of the Surnames/First names of these families are Kandaala, Potula, Kattula, Muttangi, Yarra, Narra, Neelam, Kanchumarthi, Nadipalli, Bayapunida. Most of the people from these families had served as Senapathi's (Captains) in Vijayanagara army. Even now also we can find some armors and some other weapons with some of these families. The deity of these families is Sri Venugopala Swami and the procession of the Diety used to go through this street. All these people are Vaishnavas.
The present Municipal stadium was Nagula Cheruvu. Nearly more than a century ago a man called Nagulu got this pond dug for the use of general public. Mr. Potula Veerabhadra Rao who was an athlete became Municipal Chairman in the year 1955. In 1956, he got the Stadium constructed. The Stadium was inaugurated by the Central Minister Mr. Surjit Singh Majigya for a Football Tourney. The market here is named after the same pond as Nagula Cheruvu Bazaar.
Sraddanand Ghat was formed in the year 1920 near the Old Samacharam Office. This ghat was named after Saint Sraddananda, the head of Aryasamaj - Delhi. He lost his breath in the freedom movement. There was a bust size statue of Mr. Bose. People used to believe that Rajahmundry will get floods if the statue sinks in the river water up to its top. This statue was removed during the Godavari Pushkarams in 1991. (Pushkaram - The festival celebrated once in 12years for the rivers in India.) Many people including Acharya Kripalani, Mr. Prakasam, Mr. Tenneti Viswanadham, Mr. Kala Venkat Rao etc. used to address the public here. Foot steps are the gallery for the people who listen them.
This is the only choultry in the country where death ceremonies only take place. It was constructed by Mr. Kambham Narasinga Rao Pantulu between 1845-1850 with his own resources. Kambala tank (Kambhala Cheruvu - Kambham vari Cheruvu) was also the dug during this time. The soil that came after digging this pond was used for making bricks to construct the choultry. Even in Varansi (Kasi) also we can't find a separate choultry that undertakes the death ceremonies. People come different parts of the country to conduct ceremonies to this choultry. This choultry is in ruins now. The water from different villages and other places join this pond. We can find water in this pond in all the seasons. The Government thought of constructing a Stadium in this place. But the public opposed the government and now it is converted into boating club & amusement park.
Some people from Rajasthan and Maharashtra came to Rajahmundry in 1870 and settled near Fort gate. They used to paint colors to clothes and pots etc. They belong to Bondhili religion. Ratnam pen works which is famous all over India has its head office in this area. The Temple of Lord Markandeya This temple is on the Godavari bund. The actual place of this temple was a ruined Mosque near Chanda Satram (Satram - Choultry). After examining this old-ruined mosque the archeological experts confirmed it to be a Shiva temple. This temple was constructed by a rich person Mr. Gundu Sobhanadriswara Rao in the year 1818. The street in which he lived is named as Gundu vari Street. The main entrance of this temple was in this street. But now this gate is being used as secondary. The present Vysya Hostel was the residence of Mr.Gundu Sobhadriswara Rao.
This area was named after Mr. Yedla Ramadasu, a singer. He used to propagate vedanta, non-violence, truth etc. among the public with his folk songs. It is on the way to Korukonda Road, between Sanitarium and Quarry Colony. He died in 1917. We can find his tomb here. He used to work in the Sanitarium T. B. Center. The T.B. patients used to stay in this area.
The Sub Collector Mr. Lister divided the government land into 130 plots with 3 streets in 1895. Nearly 90% of priests got the places for minimum prices. This area was named after him as Lister Pet. Later it was renamed as Aryapuram as maximum residents of this area are Brahmins. This area was annexed into Municipality in 1890. The school in this area was also named after the Sub Collector as Listerpet Municipal high school. It was also renamed after some period as Sri Nannayya Municipal High School. The "Aryapuram Library" was established in 1910 in Dr. A. B. Nageswara Rao Street. In later days the name was changed to "Sri Rama Bala Bhakta Pustak Bhandagaram" and shifted to Vankayalavari Street. The Temple of Lord Sri Satyanarayana was built in 1935. These days also the majority of residents in Aryapuram are Brahmins.
In 1910 Mr. Duvvuri Veera Bhadra Rao divided his 100 Acres land into plots and sold them to Brahmins at very low prices and gave lands for free of cost to Washermen, ViswaBramins and others. It is in the mid of Kambala Tank, Subashnagar, Lalitha Nagar. Till 1930 the residents of this area refused to annex this area into Rajahmundry Municipality. He also gave a very big landscape near Kambala Tank to Sri Rama Krishna Mission and Math for free of cost. The authorities of this Mission sold this area. The place in which the present Income tax Office (AAYAKAR BHAVAN) was built was also the part of the same Sri Rama Krishna Math. The present place where Rama Krishna Math is situated was also given by Mr. Duvvuri Rama Krishna Rao.
The Gowtami Grandhalayam is a combination of Vasuraya Grandhalayam (established by Vasudeva Subbarayadu) and Ratnakavi Grandhalayam (established by Kokkonda Venkatratnam). Later many small libraries came and merged in to this big Library. It was named in 1898 and was registered in 1920.
This colony was formed due to the efforts of the then Sub Collector Mr. Innisin 1865. In its earlier stage the Innispet area covered from Kumari Talkies to Government Junior college. After 1910 till now Innispet has Veeresalingam Theistic Junior College and (Govt. Comprehensive College) Training College and Kumari Talkies as its borders.
The gardens in which the meetings of Divya Jnan Samaj were conducted by their leader Mr. Alcot are named after him as Alcot Gardens.
Due to drought in Jaami areas of Visakhapatnam weavers shifted their board to Rajahmundry. The Rajahmundry Municipality bought the gardens of Guava and divided them into plots and distributed among these people. Till then this place was named as Jampet. The statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the center of the Road was inaugurated by Andhra Kesari Sri Tanguturi Prakasam.
The history of this place is yet to be known. Till now two theories exists in naming this area. The first theory states that this place was named after the leader of washer men, "Danavai", who dug a pond called "Danavaigunta". This name was famous till 1950. The second theory is different. According to that theory this place was the place of one of the Army officials, "Dalavai" and hence it is named as Danavaipet.
The area which was given to Pundits, Scientists and Priests by a rich man from Kandregula family in memory of his mother "Sitamma" is known as Sitampet. There was also one pond "Sitamma Cheruvu". It was converted into a park recently.
Godavari Pushkaram is celebrated once every 12 years at Pushkar a Tirtam, near Rajahmundry. The legend has it that when sage Gautama was doing penance on the Brahmagiri hill a severe famine occurred in village. The sage by his divine power relieved the people of this famine. Since then these Pushkarams are being celebrated to commemorate the end of this serious famine. During the 12 days of Pushkaram, Pujas are performed after taking a dip in the river Godavari.
The origin of the river Godavari is at Triambakam, which is in the Nasik District of Maharastra state. The Godavari river passes through various districts of Andhra Pradesh and reaches Rajahmundry. At Rajahmundry Godavari is known as Akhanda Godavari, later it branches into seven streams and merges with the sea.
The Godavari Pushkarams are celebrated when the transition of the planet Jupiter (Brihaspathi) into Simha Rasi (Leo). These pushkarams was held from 30.7.2003 to 10.8.2003. For Every 12 years the Pushkaras are being celebrated. Lakhs of pilgrims will take a holy dip in the river Godavari during pushkarams.