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History

Brief  History of Prakasam District (previously Ongole District)

About the name of ONGOLE

With regard to the origin of the Name “ONGOLE” for the town the saying in that this area in and around Ongole was a hunting place for Rajas of “YENDLURU” a village situated to the North West of Ongole town at a distance of 8 Kilometers; and there was a Fort owned by the Kshakthriya rulers of Yendluru. They used to go for hunting on their way to Sea-shore at Kothapatnam; and one day while they were on their hunting spree for hares in the area, the hares resisted the hunting hounds of the Raja and chased them away without falling a prey to them; this bravery of the hares attracted the attention of the Raja and they decided to establish a Fort and town in this area and constructed a town as their head quarter and they named it as “VANGANI PROLU” taking into consideration the unbending bravery of the hares. They constructed a Fort also there, in or about 1620. The name gradually changed into “VANGAVOLU” now calling as “ONGOLE” . There is also other saying that the area is with good number of cows and Oxen and as the cow and Oxe are the symbols of “PRANAVAM” or OMKAR the gift of Lord Krishna and Shiva, it is known as “ Om Govulu”, as a pious and sacred place. The area to the East of the road leading from Bandlamitta to Addanki gate is even now called as “ Kota area”

Formation of PRAKASAM DISTRICT

Ongole District came into existence on 02-02-1970 with the carving out portions of Markapur Revenue Division from Kurnool, Ongole Revenue Division from Guntur and Kandukur Revenue Division from Nellore Districts. It was renamed as Prakasam District in 1972 in memory of the eminent freedom fighter, later Chief Minister of the composite Madras State and the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh State, late Sri Tanguturi “Prakasam Panthulu”, “ANDHRA KESARI”who was born at Vinodarayunipalem, a hamlet of Kanuparthi village of Naguluppalapadu Mandal of the District.

Any note on Ongole town will be incomplete without the mention of ANDHRA KESARI TANGUTURI PRAKASAM PANTHULU. It is a matter of pride for the people of Ongole town to say that “ANDHRA KESARI” ardined leader of Andhra belongs to Ongole.

Boundaries of Prakasam District

East: Bay of Bengal
West: Kurnool District
North:Partly by Guntur and Mahaboobnaga rDistricts.
South: Partly by Nellore and Cuddapah Districts.

Administrative Units of the District

The District comprises three Revenue divisions viz., Ongole, Kandukur and Markapur. As many as 56 Mandals were formed separately for Revenue and Panchayat Raj with effect from 25-05-1985 in place of 14 erstwhile Taluks and 17 Panchayat Samithies with the objective of bringing the administration to the doorsteps of the people. They started functioning from 15-01-1987. Besides, 4 Municipalities are in the District viz., Ongole, Kandukur, Chirala and Markapur.

Hills

The important hill ranges in the district are the picturesque Nallamalas and the Veligondas.

    • Nallamala Forest

The Nallamalas consist of a range of unbroken rugged and fairly steep hills with an average elevation about 620 Mtrs. running in a North-South direction over a length of about 113 Kms. east and the Kurnool District forest division on the West. The Nallamala traverse the Mandals of Giddalur, Ardhaveedu, Cumbum, Markapur and Yerragondapalem. There are two passes in the Nallamalas namely the Nandi kanuma and Manbala kanuma. The Nandi kanuma forms the main artery of communication between Kurnool and Bellary Districts of Karnataka on the west and coastal districts on the East, whereas the later links Atmakur and Kurnool on the West and Dornala, Yerragondapalem and Markapur on the East.

      • Veligonda Hills

The portions of the Veligondas falling within Prakasam District, stand out prominently as two continuous parallel ranges of fairly steep hills, running in a North-South direction with vide valley in between. The water shed of the Eastern range of hills forms the boundary between Giddalur and Kanigiri Mandals. The water from these hills drain in a Northernly direction in to Gundlakamma River

Rivers

      • Gundlakamma River

The Gundlakamma River rises at an altitude of about 2,700 ft near Gundla Brahmeswaram of Nallamala forest. It runs in a North-Eastly direction touches Mundlamur, Addanki, Maddipadu and Ongole Mandals and falls into Bay of Bengal near Devarampadu of Ongole Mandal.

        • Manneru River

The river Manneru rises in the Veligondas at Balupalli of C.S. Puram Mandal flows through Nellore District and takes a turn at Pentrala of Lingasamudram Mandal in the District. It flows a distance of 112 Kms. and falls into Bay of Bengal near Karedu village of Ulavapadu Mandal.

        • Musi River

The river Musi rises near Dokkalasala in the Veligondas. It flows first easternly and then southernly through Markapur, Darsi northern border of Podili, Kondepi, Tangutur and Kothapatnam mandals falls into the Bay of Bengal near Madanur of Kothapatnam Mandal.

        • Paleru River

The river Paleru rises in the Veligondas and flows through Veligandla, Kanigiri, Kandukur, Zarugumalli, Singarayakonda and Tangutur Mandals for a distance of 112 Kms. and falls into the Bay of Bengal at Pakala of Singarayakonda Mandal.

 Tanks

A huge tank at Cumbum was constructed by Sri Krishna Devarayalu, Emperor of Vijayanagaram and from that Tank the Gundlakamma River starts its journey upto Bay of Bengal.
Bhavanasi Tank is located at Singarakonda of Addanki Mandal.

World Famous Ongole breed Bulls

Cows and Bulls:-

Ongole as referred already finds a place on the Map of the Cattle Wealth of India. It is said breed of Cows and Bulls known as Ongole breed is world famous.

 Freedom Fighters

The Great Freedom Fighter ANDHRA KESARI Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu garu is native of Vinodarayunipalem village near Ammanabrolu of Prakasam District.

Another Great Freedom Fighter of this area Duggirala Gopalakrishnaiah is well known for his Rama Dandu agitation against British Rules.

POETS

Ongole is famous for poets like, Yerrapragada, Kandukuri Rudrakavi, Nayani Subbarao. Sri B.Hanuma Reddy, One of the Senior Advocate herein is also a well known poet. Prakasam district is fortunate to be the birth place of famous musician like Thyagayya who hails from Kakarla of Cumbum area and also Syamasastry another musician.

Dr. Dhara Ramanatha Sastry is a poet of Natyavadhanam of Ongole town and another poet Sri Nagabhairava Koteswara Rao belongs to Gundlapalli village of Ongole District