Andhra Pradesh (AP)
Andhra Pradesh is the largest and most populous state in South India with over 76 million people. It is bordered by, Maharastra, Chhattisgarh, and Orissa to the north, Tamil Nadu to the south, Karnataka to the west, and the Bay of Bengal to the east. AP has the second largest coastline in India, at 970 km (603 miles).
Andhra Pradesh is known as “ India’s Rice Bowl’ because large amounts of paddy are grown on its large coastal plains, crossed by the Krishna and Godavari Rivers. In addition to rice, farmers grow cotton, red chilies, nuts, sugarcane, tobacco, and other crops. While agriculture has been the chief source of income for the state’s economy, Andhra Pradesh has recently become involved in the information technology and biotechnology sectors, mostly concentrated in the capital of Hyderabad.
In India, many states are created along linguistic and ethnic lines. Andhra Pradesh was formed in 1956 from the Telugu-speaking portions of Madras (now Tamil Nadu) and Hyderabad states. About 85% of the AP population speaks Telugu, which shares the Dravidian origins of other South Indian languages. Telugu is the second most spoken language in India after Hindi. Andhra is also home to many groups of Adivasis, or indigenous, tribal people, who comprise about six percent of the population.