Andhra Pradesh, abbreviated A.P., is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the country's southeastern coast. It is India's fourth-largest state by area and fifth-largest by population. Its capital and largest city is Hyderabad. Andhra Pradesh is bordered by Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Orissa in the north, the Bay of Bengal in the east, Tamil Nadu to the south and Karnataka to the west.
On 30 July 2013, the Congress Working Committee adopted a resolution on the bifurcation of the state subject to parliamentary approval. This resolution, once approved by parliament, would bring the state of Telangana into existence with 10 districts, whilst the rest of the state would remain in Andhra Pradesh and comprise 13 districts. Hyderabad (part of Telangana) would be the common capital of both states for ten years.
On 5 December 2013, Cabinet approved the Telangana draft bill prepared by the Group of Ministers(GoM). The bill has to be approved by Parliament before Telangana becomes the 29th state of the union.
According to the Planning Commission of India, in the financial year 2011–12 the state was ranked second in nominal GDP, and fourth in GDP per capital. Andhra Pradesh's GDP in the financial year 2011 was . It is historically called the "Rice Bowl of India". More than 77% of its crop is rice; Andhra Pradesh produced of rice in 2006. Two of the mega cities of the state – Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam – were listed among the top 15 cities contributing to India's overall Gross domestic product.
Andhra Pradesh has the longest coastline (of ) among all the states of India. Two major rivers, the Godavari and the Krishna, run across the state. The small enclave of Yanam, a district of Pondicherry, lies in the Godavari delta to the northeast of the state. The state comprises three regions: Telangana, Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. The state's most populous cities are Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Guntur, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Warangal and Nellore (2011 census).
On 1 November 1956, the States Reorganisation Act formed Andhra Pradesh by merging the Andhra State with the Telugu-speaking areas of the already existing Hyderabad State. The Marathi-speaking areas of Hyderabad State merged with Bombay State and the Kannada-speaking areas were merged with Mysore State.
The first historical records appear in the Buddhist text Anguttara Nikaya, when what is now the Nizamabad and Adilabad districts of the Telangana region constituted parts of the Assaka Mahajanapada (700–300 BCE). An Andhra tribe was mentioned in the Sanskrit epics such as Aitareya Brahmana (800 BCE) and Mahabharata (400 BCE). The Natya Shastra written by Bharatha (1st century BCE) also mentions about the Andhra people. The roots of the Telugu language have been seen on inscriptions found near the Guntur district and from others dating to the rule of Renati Cholas in the 5th century CE.
Megasthenes, a Greek traveller and geographer who visited the Court of Chandragupta Maurya (322–297 BCE), mentioned that the region had three fortified towns and an army of 100,000 infantry, 200 cavalry, and 1,000 elephants. Buddhist books reveal that Andhras established their huts or tents near the Godavari River at that time.