Rajahmundry or Rajamahendri( or రాజమహేంద్రి) is the biggest city of the East & West Godavari districts and first municipal corporation in the Godavari district's of Andhra Pradesh state in India. Poet Nannayya gave Telugu script here which made it a language. It is the birthplace of poet Nannayya, who is also called the first poet of Telugu. The City is known as the Cultural Capital of Andhra Pradesh, Rajahmundry is noted for its versatile Vedic culture and intellect. It is one of the oldest cities of India. It is the fourth largest by area and seventh most populous city in Andhra Pradesh. City population is around 1 million, but census shows 413,616 (Census 2011).In Madras Presidency,The district of Rajahmundry was created in 1823.The rajahmundry district was reorganized in 1859 into two - the Godavari and Krishna districts.During British rule, Rajahmundry was the headquarters of Godavari district. Godavari district was further bifurcated into East and West Godavari districts in 1925. It is situated 400 kilometres (249 mi) east of the state capital, Hyderabad, on the banks of the River Godavari.It is the birth city of Andhra Pradesh. This is probably due to the fact that the Telugu language originated here. Officially the corporation Rajahmundry is named as Grand City of Culture.
The city origins can be traced back to the rule of the Chalukya king Raja Raja Narendra who reigned around 1022 AD, after whom it is named Rajamahendri or Rajamahendravaram. Remains of 11th-century palaces and fort walls still exist. However, new archeological evidence suggests that the town may have existed much before the Chalukyas. Rajamhendravaram was renamed Rajahmundry during the rule of the British, for whom the city was the headquarters of the Godavari district. When the district was split into East and West, subsequently, Kakinada - became the headquarters of East Godavari.
Rajahmundry is acclaimed as the birthplace of the Telugu language—its grammar and script evolving from the pen of the city-born poet, Nannayya. Known also called 'Adi Kavi' (the first poet) of Telugu, Nannayya along with Tikkana and Yerrana, translated the Sanskrit version of Mahabharata into Telugu. Kandukuri Veeresalingam—a social reformer and the author of Rajashekhara Charithra, the first Telugu novel—was also from Rajahmundry.
Rajahmundry was one of the biggest cities in South India in the 19th century. It was the hotbed of several movements during India's freedom struggle and acted as a base for many key leaders. When the Indian National Congress had its first meeting in Bombay (Mumbai), two leaders from Rajahmundry, Nyapathi Subba Rao and Kandukuri Veeresalingam participated in it. Subba Rao, founder of Hindu Samaj in Rajahmundry, was also one of the six founders of India's noted English daily The Hindu.
The rail road connecting the city with Vijayawada was laid in 1893. Colleges and various other institutions of Learning were set up at the same time.
Some Memorable years in the Rajahmundry History :
The rebirth of cultural heritage in Andhra Pradesh started in Rajahmundry. Mr. Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu is known as The father of reformations in Andhra Pradesh. He started a monthly magazine "Vivekavardhini", a school for girls at Dowlaiswaram in 1874. The first widow marriage took place on Dec 11, 1881. A society with 16 members was started on 22nd Jun,1884, which used to look after the widow marriages in Rajahmundry. The town hall in Rajahmundry was established in 1890 by Veeresalingam.
"Anni Besant visited Rajahmundry twice, first time when the foundation of branch of Divya Gjyan Samaj building at Alcot Gardens was being laid. She came again during the opening ceremony of the building.
"Ramakrishna Mission" was established in 1950-1951 near Kambaltank (the place in which present Ayakar Bhavan (Income tax office) was once a part of Sri Ramakrishna Mission only).
Independence movement and Rajahmundry: (1885–1905 AD)
Vandaemataram movement was started in the year 1905 against the partition of Bengal. Bipin Chandra Paul visited Rajahmundry in April, 1905 for the same. During his visits to Rajahmundry he used to address the public in "PaulChowk"(the present Kotipalli Bustand).
Fort Gate (Kotagummam):
During the construction of the Railway bridge (Havelock Bridge - named after the then Madras Governor) in 1900 one of the Fort walls was demolished. The fort was constructed between the 8th and 11th centuries during the reign of Chalukyas. Today also we can find Kandakam Street (Kandakam - A big canal dug around the fort filled with water to stop the enemy forces from coming into the fort - generally deep and wide).
The present municipal water works department (formerly Municipal High School) was famous as Ratnangi and Chitrangi palaces. An undergroundway (Sorangamu - The way to escape when enemy forces attack the palace from all the sides.
City Central Jail:The fort of the Dutch Rajahmundry-
First Flim Studio of Andhra Pradesh-[1936, Rajahmundry]
Today we find Andhra Bank office in the place once the studio existed. Chittajallu Pullaiah, the first-generation director, had a close association with this studio. Sampurna Ramayanam was the first cinema to be shot there. More than 20,000 ft. reel was shot here, as, sources say. Satyanarayana Vratam, Kasula Peru, Bhaktamarkandeya, Chal Mohana Ranga, Mohini Bhasmasura, were but from this very studio. Durga Cine Town was winded up running short of technical advancement.