Vizianagaram district is a district of Andhra Pradesh state with its administrative headquarters located at Vizianagaram city. The history of Vizianagaram district is mainly associated with the Kalinga dynasty. Slowly and gradually, the upper part of Kalinga became a part of the Odisha state and its lower part was merged into Andhra Pradesh. During the 4th century BC. the Empire of Kalinga was extended from Cuttack in Odisha to Pithapuram in East Godavari district. During different periods of time the place was ruled by different rulers likewise Nandas, Mauryas, chedis Satavahanas, Pitribhaktas, Matharas, Vasishthas, Vishnukundinas, early Eastern Gangas, Eastern Chalukyas, late Eastern Gangas, Reddis of Rajahmundry and Velanati Cholas. Finally, the British came to this place and in 1830s the history of the rebellions against the British rule was started. The rebellions were basically started by the tribal of the district who was unable to bear the oppression. At last, India got its independence in the year 1947 and immediately in 1948 the Zamindaris system of India was abolished, at that time the district was found to be unwieldy for administrative purposes. As a result the present district of Srikakulam was carved out from Visakhapatnam district in 1950. Later, in the year 1979 Vizianagaram district with some parts carved from the neighbouring districts of Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam was emerged as a separate district on the map of Andhra Pradesh state. After that the taluks of Vizianagaram, Gajapathinagaram, Srungavarapukota and a portion of Bheemunipatnam Taluk were transferred from the Visakhapatnam District. The Salur, Bobbili, Parvathipuram and Cheepurupalli Taluks from Srikakulam district were transferred to the new district. The district is currently a part of the Red Corridor.
Pulapaka Susheela, an eminent Indian playback singer mainly associated with the South Indian Cinema for over six decades was born on 13th November, 1935 at Vizianagaram in the district. The Government of India honoured with the prestigious Padma Bhushan Award in January 2008. Moreover, the Andhra Pradesh Government conferred her with the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award in the year 2001 for lifetime achievement in Telugu cinema.
Geographically, the district lies at 18°11'N latitude and 83°40'E longitude. The altitude of the district is 74 m. In the year 2019, there was a total 16.09% forest area of total geographical area. The district has a geographical area of 6,539 sq km. and it is bounded by It is bounded by Srikakulam district on the East, Visakhapatnam district on the West and South, Bay of Bengal on the South-East and Orissa state on the North-West. The climate of the district is characterized as high humidity almost throughout the year with extreme summer and adequate seasonal rainfall. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1274.5 mm in the year of 2019-20.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 2 revenue divisions namely Vizianagaram Division and Parvathipuram Division. Moreover, it comprises 34 sub-districts, 14 towns and 1,520 villages. The administrative language in the district is Telugu.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 23,44,474 including 11,61,477 are males and 11,82,997 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 1019 (females for every 1000 males). In the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 4.23% out of which 3.75% were males and 4.72% were females. As per 2011 the major religion in the district is Hindu with 98.07% of the total population. The population density in the district is 359 persons per sq. km. As per 2011 census the principal language in the district is Telugu with 96.33%. In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 34,238 including 17,988 were males and 16,250 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 17,001 including 10,269 were males and 6,732 were females.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. More than half of its rural population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. Since the district has no big irrigation project hence the farmers of the district is solely dependent on rain water. The chief agricultural products in the district are paddy, groundnut, cotton, sugarcane, pulses, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. The district is also rich in mineral resources which are utilized by the FACOR and other industries. Sometime its economy is based on industrial sector as well. The foremost industries in the district are Ferro Alloys Corporation Limited, Jindal Stainless Limited, Andhra Ferro Alloys Limited, Matrix Laboratories Limited, HBL Power systems Limited, APSRTC Garage and Zonal Workshop, Vizianagaram Andhra Pradesh Tanneries Limited, etc. In the year 2018-19 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 32,45,300 lakh at current price and Rs. 22,85,400 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2015-16 was Rs. 18,83,500 lakh at current price and Rs. 14,85,200 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 1,20,330 at current price and Rs. 82,936 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Some of its recognised educational institutions are Avanthi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Kodi Rama Murthy College of Physical Education, Maharajah's Government College of Music and Dance, Maharaj Vijayaram Gajapath Raj College of Engineering, St. Theressa Institute of Engineering and Technology, Thandra Paparaya Institute of Science and Technology, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 58.89% including 68.15% are males and 49.87% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 12,38,388 including 7,07,503 are males and 5,30,885 are females.
Maharaja Pusapati Vijayram Gajapati Raju, an illustrious Indian politician and a member of the 6th and 7th Lok Sabha from the Bobbili (Lok Sabha constituency) in Andhra Pradesh was born on 1st May, 1924 at Vizianagaram city in the district. At the very beginning of his political career he was a member of the Socialist Party but later he joined the Indian National Congress.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Vizianagaram fort, a beautiful fort in the district was constructed by Vijayarama Raju-I in 1713 A.D. on the auspicious day of Vijaya Dashmi. The Victory arch was the main entrance to the Vizianagaram fort. Further more, there is a temple of Lord Hanuman on one side and Goddess Lakshmi on the other within the complex of the fort. The Moti Mahal, constructed in 1869 by Vijayarama Raju-III is situated in the district. The monument is the evident of the glorious past of the district. Alaknanda Palace, built in 1857 for the royal guests provide its vistors with all comforts of life with some mesmerising natural sceneries and man-made beauty. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Korukonda Palace, Perla Vari home, Bobbili Fort, Raj Mahal, Bobbili Guest House, Thotapalli Barage, Oudh Khana, Ganta Stambham and many more.